Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Victor was a "twin-town" with Desert Lake that came about as some residents began looking for more land. Eventually most of Desert Lake residents moved over to Victor, but not all. They shared a cemetery  located between the two towns, and most of the graves from Desert Lake were moved to Victor, but not all. The towns are usually linked together in history, found in indexes as Desert Lake/Victor.

A couple of years ago the Pierce Family gave us some histories of people who lived in Victor--Martin Riley and Harriet Ann Peterson Pierce and their daughter Elda Pierce. I want to include some of Elda's history because with her words we get eye-witness view life in Victor. 
We left Hanskville on December 19, 1921 with a herd of goats, cows, and a buggy and two wagons holding what personal possessions we felt necessary for the move to Victor...Papa farmed raised animals, except lambs and chickens. This was Mama's department...
My memories of childhood were that of bare feet and hot sand. There was always
Claude and Elda Pierce
something to be herded like goats, cows, turkeys and pigs)...Mama made everything that we wore, including around-the-house-shoes. They were made from the backs of worn levis or seamless sacks. Our slips and panties were made from flour sacks. Mama was a beautiful seamstress. I wonder how many yards of material she sewed into something, for she made our clothes, men's clothes, temple clothes, and burials clothes too.
We were the first to have a phonograph, an Edison with cylinder records. To this music we danced, sang, and by it were lulled to sleep to the tune of the Blue Danube Waltz...  I was baptized in an irrigation canal in Victor. I attended the school in Victor which was also used as a church. My third grade teacher was Miss Lucille Gold. She boarded at our home, and it was my job to wash her dirty handkerchiefs. (We attended Victor until the 6th grade.) We rode a Dodge truck to Elmo for the 7th and 8th grades. High school was in Huntington. I boarded there and did housework for my keep and went home on weekends.
Victor School (Don Oveson Photo)
 School Children in front of School
Back yard of the Pierce home in Victor

When I think about Victor, I remember the fun we had dancing, skating, swimming, Easter on horseback, bonfire parties, ball games, sledding parties--of course after all the work was done. (Elda Pierce Throckmorton)
The following history is quoted from Thomas Wells' account published in Castle Valley, A History of Emery County, compiled by Stella McElprang, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1949. The photographs are from the Pierce Family  and the Don Oveson Collections in the Archives.
A Young school teacher, Manassa J. Blackburn came to teach (in Desert Lake). He remained to take up land and when the ward was organized he was sustained as the first bishop with Henry G. Mills, first counselor and David Powell as second counselor.
Mr. Blackburn, negotiated with Joseph Powell of Salt Lake, for the purchase of land about six miles below Desert Lake that he had taken up and surveyed...Water was brought in through the extension of canals from the Desert Lake Reservoir. Bishop Blackburn went to Huntington to teach school. Henry G. Mills was sustained as bishop in his place. The responsibility of establishing and building up the new settlement then fell to him.
Victor School behind the car
Elda Pierce age 15 in Victor, 1929
 The venture had been such a long hard fight that the people finally became discouraged (because of water) and left for more prosperous places. The ward was discontinued and joined to the Elmo ward and Victor became ghost town--Thomas Wells (McElprang, 130-131).

Victor School years after town was abandoned. (Don Oveson)
Martin Riley Pierce
Victor Cemetery (Don Oveson)

Pierce Home in Victor (Pierce Family photos)