Paul Herd History
I was born on the 26th of February, 1931 in Weston, Idaho at my maternal grandmother’s home, Mary Jane Bell Dawson. The early years of my life were spent in Preston. Growing up, I have fond memories of a good family relationship. I have three sisters, the oldest being Dora Dee then myself and then the next sister was Helen; the youngest sister, Renee. Renee and Helen are deceased at this time, so it leaves Dora Dee and I as the two surviving children of Weldon and Manilla Dawson Herd.
During the time we lived in Preston, my father was an interior decorator, being a painter and paper hanger. He was well respected in the community. Grandma and I married in 1947 and I was not trained and didn’t have much experience in providing for a family so I worked for a short time for Grandma’s brother and her father on the farm in the Smithfield area. Some of the jobs that I had following that are: working as a Fuller Brush man, worked as a meat cutter in a locker plant where we cut animals and put them in people’s private freezer space. I was a route salesman selling frozen foods through northern Utah, western Wyoming and Southern Idaho. I also sold poultry and eggs for a different company, primarily in the Ogden, Utah and Rock Springs, Wyoming area. The first job I had for a national company was Planter’s Peanuts. I also worked for American Safety Razor, selling Personna razor blades and products. I worked for American Greeting cards servicing greeting card cabinets in the major drug stores in the southern part of Utah and part of Salt Lake City. I worked for a company selling veterinary supplies to drug stores throughout the state of Utah. Another fellow and I, Bob Collins, formed our Collins and Herd sales company selling primarily candy through Utah, Idaho, Montana and some parts of Wyoming. This was a good opportunity for us. We had some of our families involved and it turned out to be a good experience. During the time with Bob Collins, we warehoused and distributed candy products and also, we had a sister company called, Pioneer Distributing where we distributed Frito Lay products and Y & S Licorice and many other things. I became part owner of a company, Athletic Bag Company. We organized a division of Z Bag, which we made protective carrying cases for electronic units.
I have been associated with the Smithfield Canyon property since I was in the 6th grade and learned to love the place and spent many hours and subsequent years of working there and trying new things. We also raised beef cattle up there and sold the calves every year for several years and that was a good experience.
One thing that I enjoyed the most was being a temple worker in the Logan, Salt Lake and Draper temples. Since I can remember after grandma and I went through the Logan temple, I have always had a very strong feeling about the truths that are taught in the temple and the ordinances performed there.
That is the door to return to Heavenly Father with our families, which is my greatest hope and desire for all of our family to, sometime in the future be together in the eternal world where Heavenly Father resides.
As far as hobbies are concerned, the only thing that I’ve done very much of that you could call a hobby is bowling. I enjoyed that a lot, especially when grandma and I bowled in a doubles league. It was a good experience and we made a lot of good friends. I’m always interested in our yard with flowers and trying to keep them very presentable and my lifelong passion working with the soil as a farmer, which I continue to do to this day.
I would like to express now, as best I can, my feelings towards your grandma. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. We have learned much through the years. We have been married now 65 years. We have had mostly good times but some challenging times and most of that is my responsibility for causing situations and saying things that made her feel bad and caused division in our marriage. I have overcome that through the years and, because of an experience I had in the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York, I can see that it’s possible for a husband and a wife to be sealed together in mortality. Be sealed together forever. Grandma and I have discussed this at great length and that is our desire to be together forever, we are working to that end. I have such love and respect for her. When ailments and other things come along and cause soberness and make us reflect on who we are and where we are and that sometimes we are going to go on to the next existence, I think of being in mortality without her and it’s a very frightening thing for me because I’m so dependent on her for so many things. My whole world revolves around her and our family and I hope that I can continue on for many years striving to be a good father and grandfather and great grandfather and above all, being a good husband. And having my Savior understand that I do love Him more than anything or anyone and try to show that by the way that I live my life—hopefully a life of service, always.
Since grandma and I married, we have lived in various parts of the country. First, we lived with my parents in Preston, then moved to Smithfield and lived with her parents in their basement. Then we moved and lived in Uncle Dale’s basement. Then we lived in a home in North Logan then we bought our first home and that was in Logan at 1260 Evergreen Drive. This was a great time for our family, all of us grew a lot, worked hard and tried to be honest in everything that we did. We’ve always tried to do that. Then we moved to Salt Lake and lived on 2445 E. 6810 S. for about six years. After we lived there for about 18 months, we moved to Simi, California, where lived for two years. A transfer from American Safety Razor moved us to Lakewood, Colorado at 8239 W. Baker Ave. After living in Lakewood for two years, we moved back to Salt Lake and lived at 3610 Dover Hill Dr, where we lived for about eight years. We had the opportunity to live on Comstock Circle where we built a home that was a beautiful home that Uncle Kevin built for us. We loved it very much, straight east of what used to be the Canyon Racquet Club, up on the hill. Then after having received divine revelation about moving, we moved to Smithfield and lived there for over 20 years. Then after we became a little older and not quite as independent as we were, we decided to move into a community where most of the exterior work was taken care of and we moved to Village on the Green. Even at that, spending a lot of time in Cache Valley going up to the ranch and I will continue to do that as long as I live and as long as I can.
Some people that have had a tremendous influence on my life are several church leaders, Bishops and Stake Presidents and within our family, Grandma Dawson, probably the strongest influence in helping me develop character and looking to be happy in life. When I go to the other sphere of existence, she is one of the first people I would like to see and then, of course, my mom and dad and my sisters and other family, friends and people that I have known in mortality.
I have been blessed with many gifts. Among those gifts are a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and also a testimony of the restoration. I also have a gift of being at ease in communicating with people whether they are strangers or old or new acquaintances. I enjoy that experience of visiting with people and getting to know them. I do a little bit of it almost every day.
My father, his full name is Weldon Christian Herd. He was born in a family of five brothers and three sisters. His mother died when he was very young, about eight years old, leaving a large family, he being the second oldest placed upon his shoulders a lot of responsibility, along with his older sisters. My dad related well to people, he worked directly for people many of the years of his life going into their homes to paint their homes and wallpaper and help them clean up their homes, in a lot of cases, where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to have those things. He was very charitable and did a lot of the work for nothing. He and his brothers were a good team when it came to doing such things as working for people and not getting paid. They were all very charitable.
My mom and dad’s marriage and relationship was strained through most of the years of my life. My father had a habit of drinking. My mother was a hypochondriac. Beyond those weaknesses, they were wonderful people, had tremendous friends, and I like to think a good family. But there was a lot of interference by these two addictions. In fact, my father died as a young man, in his early 50’s as a result of drinking alcohol in the quantities that he did. He was always good to our kids when we would come up there, he would take them to get an ice cream cone and play the pinball machines, help them build boats and cars and things out in his garage. They have many fond memories of their interaction with their grandpa Herd.
My mother is a beautiful woman and had a similar gift that I do, in that she could be comfortable in any situation and carry a conversation that was always interesting to others. She worked at several retail stores in Preston and through that means, got acquainted with a lot of people. I know that in spite of the challenges they had, they loved each other and they tried to teach we children to be upright and honest and industrious. I believe they have achieved those goals.
After my dad passed away, my mother married a man from Preston. His name is Fred Davis—that turned out to be a good marriage, it was good for both of them. Fred had lost his first wife in a car accident and he did a lot to help my mom, especially in her later years when she was not well. They both resided in a rest home in Salt Lake, when she first passed away and then shortly after that, Fred passed away.
My mom and dad always like to go fishing, mostly with my dad’s brothers and his wives. They would have a great time, they used to like to go over into Western Wyoming and a place called Tin Cup and another place called Whiskey Creek. I have a lot of pictures of them and their fishing trips and things like that. It was good for them to maintain those family ties with my dad’s siblings and their wives and husbands.
I knew my dad’s dad, William Knowles Herd, he died in 1948. I was at their house a lot, they had, he and his second wife, Aunt Mamie, had a son named Robert. He was about my same age so we spent a lot of time together, living in the same proximity in Preston. Grandpa Herd was also a paper hanger and painter, always known for good work. Aunt Mamie, his second wife, always treated me well, accepted me as her grandson and I appreciated that. My grandpa Herd’s first wife died when, I believe they had ten children in 12 years in southeastern Idaho, north of Preston about 25 miles in a little town called Lago, also known as Trout Creek.
My mom was raised in Weston, Idaho. We used to go to my maternal grandmother’s a lot when we were kids and had great times there on the farm.
As I mentioned, my grandpa, William Knowles Herd died in 1947, after that Aunt Mamie remarried and I really lost track of her. She spent her last years living in Soda Springs, Idaho, where she had a son, Uncle Russell, who never married. They lived together in the Soda Springs area in the phosphate mines.
My grandfather Dawson, Albert Jacob Dawson, I knew quite well as a young child, but he and my grandmother separated. She moved to Logan, he left the farm and I saw very little of him after that. In his later years, he moved to Boise, Idaho and worked as a prison guard in the state penitentiary, where he earned the respect of his neighbors and his fellow workers in the prison. I would visit him occasionally when I was in the area on my sales trips and enjoyed my conversations with him.
My grandmother Dawson was in a rest home in Preston for 14 years and died just a little short of her 100th birthday. That was a very sad time for me because, even though she was in the rest home, she was a great teacher. Always cheerful and setting a good example, despite her situation being bedridden.
I only got slightly acquainted with my great grandparents. One that I got mostly acquainted with, we called him Grandpa Chris. He was my Grandpa William Knowles Herd’s wife’s father. I know that’s kind of a twisted trail but that’s how it was. He lived in Preston, I remember him in his later years, I think he had a two room apartment. I remember distinctly the round pot belly stove that he had to keep himself warm. He died in Blackfoot, Idaho. He was there for some emotional treatment of some kind. I did not know his wife, I have some history on her. Their migration to America came as a result of their joining the church.
My grandpa Dawson’s parents, I never did know. I knew some of their children, my grandma Bell Dawson, but as far as knowing those grandparents, I didn’t know them. I have read about the dying of my great grandfather, Jim Bell. He was helping a widow lady move her house closer to town in Weston and somehow he got between two tractors and they couldn’t stop them and he was smashed between the two tractors. I’ve read his obituary and he has received high praise from the people in the community.
I did not know my great grandfather on the Herd side. His name was James Herd, I have studied his history some and, as far as I can determine, he was a good man. He was a Patriarch in southeastern Idaho and I have read many of the blessings he has pronounced. He died in the 1920’s and so, of course, I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet him, at least in mortality.
I received my Patriarchal Blessing at the same time grandma did. We went together to the same Patriarch. My Patriarchal Blessing has been a guiding light for me throughout my life. Many promises have been fulfilled and many yet to be fulfilled. I have a powerful testimony of patriarchal blessings.