A Page Out of the Book Cliffs
Ink Harris, Page 15, Part 4
by AJ Rogers
Jun 14, 2018 | 256 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As I continue to share complete or portions of letters with you folks written by Ink Harris to Harry Ballard I am frequently amazed and humbled by the gumption and fortitude shown by Mr. Harris as he perseveres through the trials and disappointments handed down by old Mother Nature and Sister Fate. He often looks at the bright side and seems to appreciate the things that go well without dwelling too much on the things that go wrong. I am at the same time honored by his sense of duty, American pride, and loyalty to his country, and to Harry’s country as well.

Ink wrote from Elgin, Utah to Harry in England once again on Nov. 23, 1917. He spent the first page dealing with various business issues. Then began page two like this:

Well Harry, I believe I have covered all the buisness for the present so now for a chat, we are having one of the dryess falls I have seen for along time, haven had any rain for five or six months and cattle look pretty bad to go into the winter but I guess we have got to take the bad with the good, I had a very good calf crop this year and if we get a good winter I will have a fine bunch of steers to turn off next spring. I also have a fine bunch of twos and price look good for the coming year. I just refuised $40.00 for my yearlings the other day.

My ranch venture dident turn out very good as the river flooded me out and I lost $1500.00 worth of crop this year. I am going to move the family to Saluratis next spring and develop that. I had a man up there this summer but he dident do much. You know how it is when you depend on hired help.

Now for the war, I don’t know the number of men that has bin drafted frome this state have forgotten but Utah has furnished her full quota. I don’t think any of the drafted men will go across the water before spring, Uncle Sam is sure doing things and I hope the allies will carry this war through to a finish, I am ready to go anytime they nead me, we have to carry both pockets full of money all the time to subscribe to the different funds of the government and the Red Cross and the Y,M,C,A but Utah has come across with more than her share every time up to date. I think the Germans are going to learn a few things when old Sammy gets in shape. Living is very high here and I guess it will get worse but we are prepared to stand anything as long as we gain the Victory. Those Dutchmen will have a Devil of a time starving you Englishmen to death as long as we have got anything to eat over here.

Well old man this country around G River has died a nateral death and has bin buryed, so I wont try to tell you anything about it. The family is all well except My Wife. She hasent bin very well all fall. Ballard is growing like a weed and wants to go with me every where I go. Wont sleep with any one or let any one do any thing for him but Dady. Goldie is going to High School and is getting along fine. Sylvia is well and getting along very good in her school work.

I have still got old Rodney he hasent done much since I have had him. I keep him around here in the winter and feed him for a winter horse and let Ballard ride him. I herd old Mace was at Thompsons this winter but haven’t seen him.

Well I guess I will quit for this time. Let me here from you once in a Blue Moon, any way with best regardes to Bruce and Mrs Ballard I am as ever, your old Friend. G.A. Harris

And so we come to the end of another newsy note written by Ink in his continuing effort to keep his old boss and good friend apprised of life and times in our corner of Utah and the Book Cliffs country. When he wrote this one it was nearing the end of 1917. I have copies of several more such letters from Utah to England, but for some reason 1918 got skipped or have not survived the last century. I’ll share some news from 1919 in the next installment.

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