Man of Action
“Henry, a man of action, has rendered much valuable service to his community and church throughout his life. Learned the nobility of work early in life, he assisted his parents with the various farm activities and was a hard worker when he began to till his own acres” (Providence and Her People)
Farming was no easy way of making a living. The children were part of the plan. Beets needed to be thinned, backs ached, going down those long rows cutting out the beets and leaving only one. Then the weeds would spring up, and hoeing was just as hard and all out in the hot sun. In our family Ora was the task-master. She cross hoed and we crawled behind and did the thinning. At the end of the long rows, we had only 2 minutes to rest and again we had to begin. Pulling weeds was the next process until harvest time when we dug and topped the beets, threw them in piles and then onto the truck or wagon to haul the beets to the beet factory. Sometimes the beet tops were covered with frost or even snow.
The hay or alfalfa was cut when ready. The children shocked the hay then we pitched it on wagons, some of the children had to tramp the hay down so we could get more hay on the wagons and then haul the hay to the barn. Riding the derrick horse was no fun when the fork was tipped the horse jerked and it was scary. The cable was drawn back, the horse backs up and we listen to “Ready” and we pulled another heavy fork full on the cable into the barn.
Milking cows had to be done every morning and every night. The cows had to be herded from the pasture to their stall in the barn, fed, and were cleaned off and ready to be milked, either by hand or machine. Either way, it was a chore not too desirable for the children, but it had to be done and it was done – not too much time for grumbling- Obedience was learned and taught! Children learned to work and enjoyed the gratification of a job well done.
The chicken coup had to be cleaned out, not the most gracious job. We all took our turn. The eggs were gathered, cleaned and cased. The egg money was our lunch money, our groceries and household accessories. Lyman records: ” Money was hard to come by. Dad and mother always had a vegetable garden and we wouldn’t have to buy many things from the store. Our milk check was $18.00 for 2 cans of milk for 2 weeks, eggs were $0.10 per dozen, $3.00 for a case of 30 dozen. We churned all of our own butter. We would go to the store and buy a few extras. We would take wheat to the mill and get our flour and cereal. Mother sewed many clothes for us.”
Though farming took work from early morning to late at night, Henry served in many community projects as well as church responsibilities even as Bishop for several years. The question is often asked, “How did he do it?” His father did. They knew how to prioritize and to progress. They seemed to be proficient in putting first things first, their households were well organized, neat, clean, and the children well kept. High standards of honesty, industry, integrity, and prayer with faith and testimony was taught by example.
When the children married and left home, Henry retired and sold the farms. Their home was never vacant. During the close of the World War II they offered to house four GI students. Breakfast and supper were also provided. One, a Catholic, one not a religions committed, 2 LDS not too active. The supper meal was always a time for an hour of chatting, invariably ending in a gospel discussion. As a result of the year’s experience the 2 LDS students left for missions. Grandchildren were commonly staying at the Zollinger home and going to college at UtahState. Henry and Eliza kept up with the latest generation. They didn’t have time to grow old. The flower garden provided enough care to keep them strong and busy. An article is provided to capture the story:
In 1959 the Herald Journal ran an article called Today’s Valentine. Today’s Valentine, 9, July 1959. “A long overdo valentine today to a man who keeps one of the most beautiful gardens and landscaped yards in the State. He is H.M. Zollinger of Providence, Utah. I had occasion to drive past Mr. Zollinger’s residence a short time ago, and the blooming shrubs and blossoming plants were startling in their beauty. A retired farmer, gardener Zollinger, now 77, spends a good many hours making his yard a thing of beauty. A friend reports that Mr. Zollinger has taken special pains to “schedule” his gardening, planting flowers designed to bloom from the start of the growing season until the very end, a fine citizen, a top-flight gardener – and a Valentine to you sir.”
Also in 1959, Henry being 78 years old, the Herald Journal printed a picture of Henry and his grandson Brent hauling the last load hay with wagon and a team of horses. The commentary states:
“Less frequent sight in today’s farming operations is that of a man and a boy, a load of hay, with a wagon drawn by horses. H.M. Zollinger of Providence still enjoys driving a team even if it does seem out of the posh and tractors continue to increase.
“Now retired and a little lost after spending a lifetime farming is a prominent Providence cattle and dairy man.
“Until the age of 75 Mr. Zollinger did his own farm work and did it without the aid of modern farming machinery.
“Today he busies himself gardening and finds a great deal of satisfaction comes from keeping his lovely yard in tip-top condition. Flowers of many varieties are found at the immaculate Zollinger residence and his gardens are planned so that some are in bloom from the beginning to the end of the season.
“Mr. Zollinger also finds more time now for reading a worthwhile pastime which he never had quite enough time for before.
“Mr. Zollinger believes that hard work more than any thing else keeps a man from looking and feeling old. He also credits his 37 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren for keeping him and his wife young at heart.” The article mentioned his church and community activities as has been stated.
Henry spent his last retiring years working in the Logan Temple. This was a great challenge for him because of his loss in hearing and he felt he was “just too old”. His determination and courage to do good was so well tutored by his father as an example kept him going until his health inhibited his services.
“Henry died at the home of his son Lyman in Tremonton, Utah, on Monday, Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1967 at 11:30 P.M. at the age of 86. In the last few weeks before his death he was a model patient. It was a privilege to shower him with love and kindness, because he was so appreciative of every small thing done for him. Even toward the end he never failed to come up with the dry wit by which he was known.”
With his passing only his brother, Lawrence Zollinger, of Providence, Utah, and his sister, Mary Luthi of Freedom, Wyoming, remained of the original 13 children of Jacob and Rosetta Zollinger
In addition to their children, Ora, Lyman, Ray, Blanche, Fern, Dean and Clayne, there were 37 grandchildren at the time of Henry’s death.
His funeral was held at the Providence 2nd ward chapel that he helped to build, Thursday, Dec. 28, 1967. His funeral was akin to our precious “family gatherings” as grandpa Jacob called them. The children and grandchildren performed with remarks from President Hall, Bishop Olsen and his brother Lawrence Zollinger. The interment was in the Providence Cemetery.
One remark from President Hall has languished on in the memory of the compilor, Blanche, he said, “Mr. Zollinger was a righteous man. The Lord has said that he favors the righteous and that a righteous man will inherit Eternal Life. Henry’s celestial glory was attained by him fulfilling the measure of his creation.
Henry and Eliza were always proud to be citizens of Providence, UT. Over a period of several year, Eliza worked with the city mayors and councilmen to purchase the land bordering 100 North West of 200 West for a city park. This finally happened in 1985. A beautiful park has been built which has served the community as the primary park in the city. Along with ball fields, 2 covered meeting areas, a playground, tennis courts and a veterans memorial have been built. The park is a welcome sight to all those who enter into Providence from Logan’s South Main Street. Below is a copy of the Resolution drawn up by the city designating the land as a city park, together with a rose garden to be known as Eliza’s Rose garden. The rose garden was later replaced with a war memorial.