Willard Call

A Sketch of Willard Call’s Life – by his wife, Adelaide. Written about Nov. 1933.

After forty seven years of varied experience in living with this husband of mine, and ten years after he has written so tenderly of me, I have decided that there are a lot of things I would like to tell our children and grandchildren about him. I know him better than his mother knew him. I have studied him and I think I know him better than he knows himself. Willard was a good boy and he has been a good man. In his family life he has tried to be just. I love him and I trust him. I married him, on April 1, 1886, for all earlier data I shall have to depend upon others. Continue reading “Willard Call”

Introducing Our Home in Mexico

(Willard Call)

Our Dear Children,

We are introducing to you by word and by picture, the little home we were forced to leave in Mexico. Some of you “at the time of leaving,” were too young to remember much about the little home, others were born after we came out of Mexico, but you boys and girls who were grown, must have many sweet memories of the little home and community, so dear to us, your parents. Continue reading “Introducing Our Home in Mexico”

Willard Call – Words to Descendants of Utah Pioneers

Ladies and Gentlemen, sons and daughters of a noble ancestry, who were the founders of a state and a group of states which has developed into this great intermountain empire, the home of millions, the admiration of nations, I greet you! And I congratulate you, in that you have organized to maintain and magnify and pass on the names and memory of these great men and women, the pioneers of Utah. For in history their great deeds stand out alone, noticeably and significantly in the eyes of the world. I share this pride with you, for I too, am the son of a pioneer. Continue reading “Willard Call – Words to Descendants of Utah Pioneers”

Willard Call – Desert News

Payment of Mexican Claims Will Restore Utahn’s Sight

(Typed from an undated Deseret News clipping)

Willard Call Will Be Able to Finance Operation With Money Lost in Flight From Colony. Experiences of one of the darkest days in his life — when he was forced in 1916 to forsake all his material possessions in American L.D.S. colonies in Chihuahua, Mexico — now promise to bring light back into the life of Willard Call. For Mr. Call, totally blind for the past several months and partially blind for a number of years, will finance an operation to remove a cataract from one of his eyes and restore sight with money awarded him by the special Mexican claims commission. Continue reading “Willard Call – Desert News”

Willard Call Journal

A selection from Willard Call’s Journal

Monday, Apr. 22 1895

I have heard that my Brother A.B. Call of Dublan, Old Mexico was coming to England and in describing the kind of a man we needed for a special work in Cambridge the City of Colleges, I had A.B. in mind, I think Brother Lund understood me for a soon as Bowen arrived, about May 1st, he sent him to our Conference. I will not attempt a description of the meeting on foreign soil of two brothers who had always been companionable and loved each other’s society, after a separation of five years; but suffice it to say that during my short stay of two months in Eng. after his arrival, we allowed nothing but duty to separate us. In going the rounds of the Norwich Conference, which consisted of three counties, to say my farewell, ‘ for I was expecting my release, he went with me and as introduced. I had the pleasure of initiating him into the business of street preaching and I think I shall never forget his first effort. And though he is not a timid man he seemed frightened of every sound – or moving thing. He could hardly keep his feet up on the ground; and he looked as though but for the burden of mortality, be would soar aloft and I really think he would have been more comfortable in his feelings amidst clouds of heaven than he was in the jeering moving, unbelieving crowd on the Norwich Market. And so the time went on preaching the Gospel, looking after the Elders, the Saints, the tithing, the Millennium Stars and the general business of the Conference until June 29, 1895 when the very interesting document from President Lund came to me at Norwich – Well I was really glad to get this letter of release (with the Presidents kind mention of my missionary labors and his blessing for the future) for I had been already more than two years away from home. And though this absence from my family had passed indeed very pleasantly, now that the time to return had come the trains could not run fast enough nor the big Ocean Liners apply enough steam to suit me. Continue reading “Willard Call Journal”

Willard Call Letter

Bountiful, Utah

April 25, 1931

My dear Family,

This is the kind of an occasion and this is the kind of an audience when the head of the house feels as though he could speak of himself arid his own. In retrospection, I see a man who is in many ways disappointing, whose present is not at all what I thought. He would be at the age of 65, and Henry Ford with all his millions cannot buy a little corner of my cherished possessions, and I do not ask permission to try it all over, for I know that many a wiser man than I has done worse. Continue reading “Willard Call Letter”

Leah Pratt Call

by Helaman P. Call

I have been asked to say a few words about my darling Mother. She was an angel of mercy. I can never remember a time when she wasn’t more concerned about other people than she was about herself. My earliest recollection of her would be a call from the Bishop to let her know that someone from the Ward had passed away or someone was sick. She was always on hand to prepare food to take care of the people who would come for the funerals. She often went in the middle of the night to lay out the dead and prepare them for burial, this was before the morticians did all of that. Continue reading “Leah Pratt Call”

Helaman Pratt Call

Written By Helaman Pratt Call

Attended school at Stoker Elementary School in Bountiful, So. Davis Jr. High School at Bountiful and Davis High School at Kaysville. My life from my very early childhood has been a series of Faith-promoting incidences. My father who suffered with cancer for 25 years was cured entirely by the power of the priesthood. When I was drafted into the Navy in 1944, I asked Bishop Sorensen for a blessing. He promised me if I would keep myself clean I would go to the thick of battle, but I would return to my family unharmed. I was assigned to a destroyer as a radar man. We saw our first action at Okinowa and on the 12th of April 1945 our ship was hit by a suicide plane and two torpedoes. There were 46 fatalities and more than 60 men were transferred to hospital ships besides those who would be treated aboard our ship. There were several other men who cracked up with battle nerves during the next 33 days while we were in the thick of the fight trying to repair our ship so we could leave the area. During all this time I had no fear of the outcome because of the blessing I received before leaving home. On Dec. 6, 1947 my wife and I were in an automobile accident. I was told that my wife couldn’t live and later that if she did live she would be an invalid. Thru administration of the elders she recovered and has taken care of our 6 children and still found time to devote to church work. She is councilor in the relief Society at present.

The Life of Helaman Pratt Call

Written June 17, 1977

By Linda Stewart and Sylvia Brewer

Our father, Helaman Pratt Call, son of Willard Call and Leah Pratt Call, was born November 29,1909, in Colonia Dublan, Mexico where his parents were colonizing. He was named after his maternal Grandfather, Helaman Pratt, because he was born the day his grandfather was buried. The Call family has lived Mexico for approximately twelve years during which there was constant upheaval in Mexican Government. Finally when Dad was around two and a half years old, the American colonist were driven out of their homes by Pancho Villa and his gang of armed revolutionaries. The finally settled in Bountiful, Utah. Continue reading “The Life of Helaman Pratt Call”

Helaman Pratt Call: Interview

Interview of Helaman Pratt Call by Clarissa Walker, December 2002

My sister interviewed our great-grandfather shortly before he passed away for a school project on WWII. She was in seventh grade at the time, so the interview is short, but yet the answers are detailed and touching.

Q: How was it during the time of WWII?

A: During the time of the war, I was an insurance man and I collected war bonds along with insurance money, so I thought I would be exempted from service all the way. But in 1940 in January, I got a notice to report to the board. I had to go up on the 3rd of January for an examination. We had just gone up to Morgan for Christmas with the folks. We stayed up there and didn’t get home till New Year’s Eve and on the 3rd I had to be in the draft board.

Q: What Branch of service did you go into?

A: When I went up to the draft board Merle said don’t go in the Marines. She had a brother in the Marines and she didn’t want me head chopping like he had been able to write home about. I just got in to the draft board and they called my number. I was stripped down waiting to be examined. They called my number and I went up to the desk and they said, “Mister, grab your clothes and get out in that truck. You’re going to Fort Douglas.” They took me there and in 30 minutes I was in the Navy. I hadn’t even been able to tell Merle about it. I went home and then I had to leave on the 5th of January to Farigle (?) Idaho where my career in the Navy started.

Q: What event stands out the most to you during WWII?

A: The day President Roosevelt died, I think our ship was hit by three Kamikaze planes. Within about five minutes we lost about 150 men. My job was to help hold them down while a man who had been training to be doctor but wasn’t a doctor yet amputated legs and arms and things like that without any anesthetic. It was very traumatic to go through that. As a result, they ordered me to the hospital. When I got to a telephone and called home I found out that Linda was hit by an automobile and not expected to live. So they sent me home rather than sending me to the hospital. I did never go to the hospital. I was discharged after coming home to see her and to see my father buried. He had died. That was the most trying experience I had during the entire war.

Q: About how old were you?

A: I was 36 when I was discharged from the Navy.

Q: How was it keeping in touch with your family?

A: We wrote letters to each other but I couldn’t ell anything about where I was so if the enemy wouldn’t find out if they got a hold of some of my mail, so Merle didn’t where I was or anything till she heard over the news that my ship had been hit and lot of people killed. She didn’t know how I was and I didn’t know how she was. She wasn’t well, we had a lot of difficulty.