Wellington residents grow old with centennial city
|Azella Bradley poses with her mother-in-law in front of one of Carbon County's first automobiles. |
During the city of Wellington's 100 year Pioneer Days celebration two life long residents looked back in pride at a city that they have called their home for the better part of a century. They were born in Wellington, have never really left and have watched the small municipality grow and change as if they were caring parents.
Azella Thayn Bradley was born June 3, 1918 in Wellington on the family farm and according to her family she was nine months old before her father was even able to set eyes on her. He served a distinguished term and was in France at the time of her birth, fighting in World War I. Azella was the oldest of 12 children which meant that she had a ton of responsibility around the farm.
Milking cows, feeding chickens and making bread were all done without running water, electricity or indoor plumbing.
Although her family was poor and life on the farm was hard, Azella never knew it. Bradley attended the Wellington school house on the hill by walking to and from the school everyday. According to family historians, sometimes the Thayns would move into town during the late fall for the winter and then return to the family farm in the spring.
|George Milton Thayn poses with man's best friend in Pace Canyon. |
The cycle of life for the Thayns involved planting, tending, harvesting and bottling all of their own fruits and vegetables. Additionally soap was made by saving the fat from farm animals, putting lye in it and then letting it harden. This soap kept the family clean and was used for the Saturday night bath which took place in a number three tub with the smallest children bathing first.
All transportation in Azella's days as a child took place via horseback and on foot until her grandfather, W.A. Thayn purchased one the first motorcars in Carbon County.
"I really did grow up poor," said Azella. "But you never knew it because everyone else around you was poor too."
According to Bradley, she would get a new dress every July 4 and new pajamas for Christmas.
"I was happy, loved and we always had enough to eat," commented Bradley. "And that was all I really needed."
When she was a teen she met the love of her life when a young man rode up to an LDS function on his black horse and just kept calling on her on until they married.
Azella married Archie Bradley in September 1935 and they moved in to a two room home in Miller Creek. Archie worked a full time job that allowed Azella to tend to the farm and house work. They had four children; Arlene, Dean, Dale and Derk. Once they were school age, Azella worked at the Wellington post office for 31 years.
The only time in her 89 years that Azella ever left the town of Wellington was to serve an 18-month LDS mission. She served faithfully and then returned to her red brick home, a dwelling she has lived in for 57 years.
"There's no place like home in Wellington," concluded Bradley.
|Azella Thayn Bradley is one of Wellington's oldest living residents. |
Then there is George Milton Thayn, who was born on April 5, 1917 in Wellington. He was the first son and second child of a family of 11.
Thayn attended the old brick school house on the hill until 1927 when it burned down. He moved on to attend school at the LDS church on Main Street and after graduating began attending Carbon High until he quit to go to work.
"When I started working, I was herding sheep for $30 a month," said Thayn.
He herded sheep for eight years.
"I really liked the months that had less than 30 days," laughs Thayn. "Because in those months I made more than a dollar a day."
Thayn married Ardith June Jorgenson on July 4, 1939 and bought himself a four acre farm. They had their first son, Lester, there before purchasing a larger farm south of U.S. Highway 6 in 1942.
Milton has spent his working career farming and ranching and at 90 he still takes an active role in all his affairs. He has also worked in the local coal mines along with hauling livestock to auction all over Utah.
According to all who know him, Milton has a great sense of humor and is never short with a story to tell when the time is right. He has lived his whole life on the farm and has no plans to ever leave.
According to those who love him, Milton has a zest for life that makes him unique and that zest has brought him quite a bit of enjoyment and prosperity out of the life he has lived in Carbon County. He remarked that he could not wait for the Pioneer Days celebration this year, that he was proud of the city he has always called his home.
"I remember going up to the park for the celebration in Wellington park when the family loaded up the wagon and team and rode up to town on the dirt roads," concluded Thayn. "It has been my privilege to watch this community grow."