A short sketch of the life of Joseph and Lathilla Pratt Kimball from the time they were married down to the present time showing how they started their first home up in the Bear Lake country and the large family they reared there and a very few items on how they lived.

(By Lathilla Pratt Kimball)

 In eighteen hundred and seventy-one
Our family then had just begun
In one tiny room we could then celebrate
For just baby and me and Jody, my mate.
We were born and raised in a city life
Till Jody and me were husband and wife. 

So we concluded no city would do
For two little young things with dollars so few
So we bought us a farm where a home we could make
In the north of dear Utah and close to Bear Lake. 

A country so wild where Indians roam,
Where bears, wolves and deer felt always at home,
Wild game, fish a-plenty and Joe a nimrod
Could you hear his fish stories, his eyes all abeam
You would think it a whale he’d thrown back in the stream.

A log cabin we built with the ground for the floor,
With never a window but a squeaky old door.
No chinking was put twixed the logs laid with care
But the sunshine came in and plenty fresh air. 

Little chipmunks came through so shy and so gay,
To get a fresh drink and frolic and play.
From a nice shiny basin of water they’d sip
And after refreshments away they would skip. 

Our homey log cabin just a look would be proof
They hay, straw and timber went to make up the roof.
But a nice clean tarpaulin nailed up overhead
Kept the hay, straw and dirt from covering our bed. 

But the bed only measured five feet and you know
That a man, a six-footer, with feet like dear Joe’s
Could never sleep easy so when all was said
I decided his feet could hang over the bed.

A strip of rag carpet lined with freshly mown hay
Seemed as soft as a velvet to us in that day.
And one dear old rocker and rush-bottomed chair
Where Lathilla would sit when combing her hair. 

A little square table t’was only a stand
Drop leaves when put up would make it expand.
My stove, how it shined, and while baking my loaves
I could see my face in it so I powdered my nose; 

For I must look pretty and I tried to each day
When jody came home from the raking of hay.
My little log cabin as neat as a pin
With hot biscuits awaiting when Jody came in. 

Rough boards were my cupboard where I often perused
Cause t’was pasted all over with old Deseret News.
On my cupboard I read each day without fail
Till the news I read on it was becoming quite stale. 

Well, we were always kept busy day after day
For our stock was increasing and must make hay.
Our family enlarging and we knew very soon
We would need a house larger to give us more room. 

So Jody, the carpenter, and Lathilla his wife
Built them a mansion to enjoy a fine life.
They furnished for comfort, velvet carpets on the floor
Rich drapes at the windows, bric-a-bracs were galore. 

Our income increasing, our tithes to be paid
And because we were faithful, Joe a Bishop they made.
With our increase so steady and our tithes piling up
Our barns and storehouses were o’er-flowing cups. 

Hay, butter and eggs of kind, we must the tenth pay in
If the blessings of the tithe for ourselves we’d win.
On the tenth was always paid and we held nothing back.
As time rolled along, our tithing child it came
I pondered and I wondered would the tithe be the same. 

It was a beautiful dark-eyed child, a lovely little girl
But I gave her to the Bishop and we christened her Pearl.
Joe said to Lathilla, “Be thankful,” and he smiled,
“That I am the Bishop, and me the tithing child.” 

Yes, our family kept increasing, for still there came some more
Till I felt just like Maud Muller as they played around my door.
Sometimes I felt just like the proud lady in the shoe
That I had so many children I didn’t know what to do.

And sometimes I would spank and put them all to bed
But they never cried with hunger because they were well-fed.
And when the baker’s dozen came, we decided t’was the rule
To move back to the city and put them all in school.

Some years have passed since we came back and now we are alone
Our children now have family ties, their children all are grown;
We’re called Grandpa and Great-Grandma, we’re numbered by the score
And OH! how we are scattered, we reach from shore to shore. 

Now small one-room will hold us now, so do not undertake
To crowd our family in one when we meet to celebrate.
For the wise old bird we hear of, whom some people call the stork
With wings outstretched a flapping squawks, “Down at Liberty Park.” 

But alas! The dear old bird has just forgotten me
He is turning his attentions to the younger family tree
And with some of our descendants he is surely acting queer
He knows I’m now a-living in my seventy-eighth year. 

Sometimes I get quite jealous while others have the fun
Years do not always count though, our looks deceive us some
With tottering limbs and bent-over back, don’t let the years creep in
But cling to youth and cherish life, then with old age we’ll win

I’m going to run a race though, and with Jody I will run
He’s getting so conceited because he looks so young.
Of course he may be faster, he takes a longer stride
But when the race is over, I’ll be right at his side. 

And when our final race is run, in our mansions we will wait
With the thousands of our children who will come to clelebrate.

[transcribed by Janean Hendrickson and Heather Hoyt, Feb. 6, 2010]