100 years and counting: Logan man has stories to tell
LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Lloyd Clement of Logan, a retired Utah State University professor, said in 1998 he believed his lifetime was approaching its end, so he wrote in his journal and made sure all of his affairs were settled.
Twenty years later, Clement is celebrating 100 years of living that has taken him everywhere from an isolated farmtown in central Utah to the Mariana Islands, Bolivia, West Africa and ultimately Cache Valley.
Clement was born in Fairview on January 12, 1918, at the beginning of what has been called the greatest flu epidemic in recorded history.
“We didn’t have a problem with it in Fairview,” he said. “We were too isolated or something, and we went everywhere by horseback or horse/buggy, so we rarely went from town to town.
The first world war ended before his first birthday, and his earliest memories are a time of prosperity between 1920-30.
He went to school, where he excelled in his studies, and he worked with his father on the farm.
“I am the oldest of the family, and I was the most useful with my dad because we had the 80 acre farm, eight cows to milk , a team of horses and a riding horse, and pigs and chickens . that’s how people ate,” he said. “We all had big gardens in the summer, grew our own potatoes and carrots and beans. We put then put them in a hole in the ground with lumber or with a door on it called a cellar. That is where we put the vegetables and that for winter ... that is just the way it was in the 20s.”
He was 11 years old when the stock market crashed, and he remembers it well.
“I remember the day that it did — everybody was concerned,” he said. “None of them had money invested in the stock market, but it was a national catastrophe, according to the papers, so everybody was worried about what it was going to do to them.”
Clement said the government had a “bank holiday” and they closed the United States banks — all of them.
“You couldn’t use money, there was no money,” he said.
The people in his little farming community seemed to do just fine for a time. They had their homes, they had food to eat, and instead of using cash to get the things they needed, they began trading and bartering with one another.
“I remember my dad, when he sold hay, or food or an animal. He wrote on a piece of paper how much that animal was . the one that’s buying it would probably give Dad a cow or a horse or a wagon, but they both had to agree on a price for each one,” he said.
Clement said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had established ZCMI stores in almost every small town in Utah, an endeavor that provided many Utah families with a bit of assistance during hard times.
“We could go there for clothing and cloth, nonperishable kind of things. The church was liberal there so people could go there and get socks and clothes and shoes, so that was a stabilizing factor in Utah,” he said, still sounding very much like a professor of economics.
However, Clement the farm boy said he remembers the Depression because he remembers how it affected the people who didn’t have a farm or a garden or a cow, particularly the teachers, who often taught school during the day and then took secondary jobs on local farms to make ends meet.
There was only one doctor in Sanpete County during those years, and he was based in Manti.
“He made house calls but if you had an accident in Fairview and he was still in Manti, it would take a half a day for him to get to you,” Clement said.
Clement remembers a time when he was 10 years old and his Grandmother Clement drove a horse and buggy into town to attend Relief Society. The horse spooked and the woman was tossed into a barbed wire fence, ripping open the flesh on her leg.
It was a day or two before the doctor arrived, and then there was little he could do but clean it up and close the wounds. Within just a few days his grandmother died after gangrene set in.
“I sang at her funeral, I sang one of the hymns, all four verses of ‘Master, the Tempest is Raging,’ from memory, without a piano,” he said. “I think of that a lot.”
The Clement family moved to Draper in 1934, and two years later, Clement graduated from Jordan High School. He admits to being a little lost, so he stayed at home on the farm and worked with his dad for a while.
He was drafted during the early years of World War II — his draft number was 98 — but because he was farming, he received a deferment. In the latter years, however, he was inducted into the Navy and spent a year in Saipan on a shore-based assignment working in the electrical-supply station.
“I didn’t know a thing about electricity,” but I learned,” he said.
By war’s end, the Clement family had moved to Washington, so that is where he went home to, and it was there he met a young Billie Wilson a few years later. She took a job with Boeing and moved to Wichita, and Clement wasn’t far behind.
They were married there in May 1950, and a year later, they found themselves on the side of the road at the mouth of Sardine Canyon.
They were on their way to Utah State University where Clement planned to study economics on the recommendation of an aptitude test provided in the military.
“When we came down the old highway in Sardine, we came around the last turn, as we come out of the canyon — it was the end of May or the first of June and it was a bright sunshiny spring day — and we looked out over the valley,” Clement recalls. “From that point you are high enough to see over the valley. The temple jumped out at us and everything looked so beautiful and green — what we did was pull off the side of the road and just sit there and look. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, and right then we decided this was where we were going to stay, and we did.”
They made their home in Logan, although life periodically took them places.
They went to Boston so Clement could earn an advanced degree in economics.
He worked for two years in Bolivia as the economic adviser to the Bolivian Ministry of Agriculture, and for three years in West Africa for USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, where he helped establish banking standards and set up a land-bank system there.
He retired from Utah State University as an economics professor.
“We’ve been to a few places in the world, but there is no place that we have been that compares to this valley,” Clement said.
While Clement clearly has a head for financial matters and was able to make a career of it, it is raising a family with Billie that has brought him joy. He said they vacationed every summer, often camping, where they created memories they are all still talking about today.
Information from: The Herald Journal, http://www.hjnews.com