Sunday, August 30, 2009

Glenn Frazier, Part 1

Glenn Frazier
Dec 27 1909, Woodruff, Utah
p. Frank Union Frazier, Emily Rufi Frazier
m. Helen Rex, 20 Nov 1937, Oakland, California
m. sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, 18 Nov 1938
d. 4 Jul 1992, Salt Lake City, Utah
b. 8 Jul1992, Elysian Burial Gardens, Salt Lake City, Utah

Glenn Frazier is Frank Union and Emily Rufi Frazier’s middle child, born December 27, 1909 on the Frazier Ranch in Woodruff, Utah. His siblings are Delora, born1907, and Elmer. born in 1913. Growing up on the Ranch, Glenn worked with his father, grandfather, brother, uncles and cousins. They were his teachers, friends, and task masters.

Union, Utah was at about 7200 South State Street, in the Salt Lake Valley. Their family lived there for a few years while Glenn was a boy. In 1917 they packed all of their belongings into a horse-drawn wagon, and walked back to Woodruff, driving their herd of milk cows with them.

The Fraziers raised sheep in Woodruff. Glenn learned branding, breeding, feeding, herding, lambing, sheering. They planted alfalfa. And he irrigated, then mowed and stacked it. In the winter he loaded horse-pulled hay racks with the hay. He drove the racks across frozen fields and pitch-forked hay out to waiting livestock. When spring came the cycle started again. Glenn was always a hard worker, a son and a father you could count on to get a job done.

The Woodruff School that Glenn attended had the world’s largest slippery-slide in its yard. Once you were brave enough to go down it, you didn’t ever want to stop.
Glenn finished high school in Woodruff, before high school was moved north to Randolph.

Upon graduation he worked for a company paving the gravel road between Woodruff and Evanston, Wyoming. He enjoyed the freedom of driving a pickup truck back and forth with supplies for the workers. And he liked receiving money for his work for the first time in his life.
In 1928 he enrolled at Utah State University in Logan as a freshman. Thinking he’d become a veterinarian, he was surprised when he fainted in class at the sight of spaying a dog. Butchering livestock on the ranch for meat was common place. This was different. A dog is an essential companion to a sheepherder. Glenn always had a dog on the Ranch.

Helen Rex was still in high school when Glenn met her at a town dance. It must have been in Randolph. He asked her if he could take her home after the dance. And she told him, “no,” she’d be going home with the person who brought her to the dance, her father. They courted for a long time. He’d ride the ten miles from Woodruff to Randolph on horseback to see her. When she ran for Rich County fair queen, he bought enough “tickets” to win her the title. Bessie Morgan Rex, Helen’s mother, ultimately agreed to let Helen marry Glenn when he was able to beat her at checkers. These tales, retold so many times, are somewhere between truth and family legend.

Glenn went to Salt Lake City and worked for Dooley/Bamburgers. They owned Antelope Island [in the middle of the Great Salt Lake] and kept sheep out there. He worked for them driving herds of sheep down 21st South out to Saltaire, and across dry land [in the 1930’s] to the island. He lived over there in a sheep camp, herding the sheep for a “long time.” There were canyons and valleys, fresh springs, and fields of alfalfa on the island, and he ran into buffalo. It was a noisy place then. He said there were lights on the island to guide the airplanes into the airport before the use of radar.

He homesteaded on Monte Cristo, now part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest Mountains. He built a cabin, finishing it in 1936, and herded sheep up there.

In 1936 Glenn went to California where he got work and attended diesel engineering school. He graduated from the Hemphill Diesel Engineering Schools at Los Angeles, California, on February 2, 1937.

He planned on working in the engine room of a large ship. Helen came to visit him in May of 1937. He changed his plans and moved to Oakland, California, where his Uncle Bill [William Rufi] was superintendent of the largest steam laundry in the United States (according to Glenn) and gave Glenn a job driving trucks.

In November of 1937 Helen traveled to Oakland, California where she and Glenn were married by Bishop Shields on November 20, 1937. Their first home was at 4180 Opal Street, Apt. 5., Oakland, California.

(To be continued.)
This history was written in 1993 from interview notes with Glenn Frazier. The 1929 Buzzer, Published by Student Body of Utah Agricultural College, Volume XXI, pg. 53. Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier Collection; Glenn Frazier about two years old. Glenn Frazier and Bernice Clayton Purchase on the slide at the Woodruff School yard in 1936. Glenn's high school graduation friends, left to right, [unknown[, Lynn and Myrtle Huffaker (cousins), Vance Moss, and Glenn Frazier. The cabin Glenn built on his homestead at Monte Cristo, 1936. Glenn Frazier and Helen Rex in Los Angeles, California, Spring, 1937.

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