A Brief Sketch of the Life of Clyde A. Russell

As told by Clyde A. Russell, to his daughter, Lois, age 12, in 1937

This autobiographical sketch is taken from a compilation of Clyde A. Russell's writings, made by his daughter Lois and distributed to her children and siblings in 1977 and 1979. - Ed. Clyde B. Russell

Clyde A. Russell was born the year the SLC Temple was dedicated
SL Temple
My father and mother both came from Scotland when they were quite young. They met and were married in Salt Lake City Utah, where they lived for a number of years, and where I being the fourth child was born Jan. 19, 1893, the year the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated.

When I was about six years old, we moved to Eureka Utah, where my father worked in the mines. Shortly after this we moved to a little house a few miles away in a place called Homanville, where father worked in a pumping station. There was little company there except snakes, coyotes, and Mexican section hands. We did have a black dog we called Nig, who had joined the family as we journeyed from Eureka by wagon, with our household goods.

Later, we moved back to Eureka where the family remained until after the death of my father, December 23, 1929.

Here all my brothers and sisters grew up, went to school, and most of them married and raised their families in the center of the tintic mining district, high up in the hills of Juab County.

In these early days of my life, wages were small, and the family was large, so we never knew luxury. On the contrary, it was necessary for the boys of the family to get a job at the first opportunity. When I was about twelve years old I worked as messenger boy for the telephone company during the summer vacation, and because it seemed necessary to help out with the finances at home, I worked through the winter instead of going to school.

We used to go out into the hills with a wheelbarrow of home manufacture to obtain our firewood, and many happy days we spent in this manner, in spite of the work involved. I think the thing that relieved the strain of these difficult days and somewhat compensated us for them was the complete unity and harmony of our home. We not only worked together, but played together.

The brightest spots of these early days of my life were the trips by team and buggy to the somewhat distant lakes and streams for fishing and swimming (in these trips the entire family would participate), and the pleasant evenings we enjoyed as a family in our parties and in our simpler family gatherings at home.

Clyde A. Russell - Missionary
Clyde - Missionary
I had to leave school when I finished the seventh grade, and at fifteen years of age was working in the mines with my father. I was large and strong for my age, so it was natural for me to go on from there, working under ground. I invested in two correspondence courses, but completed neither, perhaps because they required too much sustained study for one so young who was engaged in such 1heavy work. My father and mother had, however, a splendid library, and I did a vast amount of general reading of good books, and to this I owe my greatest education.

I worked in the mine until I was nineteen, when I went on a mission to Great Britain - two years spent studying and teaching the Gospel. Here I made many fine friends and a complete new world of experience was opened up to me. I returned home in August, 1914, as World War I broke out.

I went to work in the mine again, but studied English in high school as a special student in my spare time.

In 1917, being barred from Army service because of defective vision, I went to Detroit Michigan, to study Electricity and aeronautics, where I later obtained an opportunity to enter civil service as an inspector of airplanes and was stationed at Morrow Field, the Acceptance Park for the U.S. Government - where the new planes were assembled and flown for the first time. At the signing of the Armistice in 1918 I was released.

Clyde Arthur Russell, Instructor at the Michigan State Auto School, Detroit, Michigan
Clyde, instructor at Mich. Auto School
Working in various automobile plants, I was studying drafting and machine work in the evenings. I had already met the girl who was later to be my wife, and on the 12th of July, 1919, Mary Bannister and I were joined in marriage by President Taylor, who had just been released as President of the Northern States Mission. With my wife and myself working we bought a house and furnished it. I obtained a job illustrating a textbook for a large auto school, and when that was finished, was retained as one of the staff of electrical instructors.

Clyde and Mary traded ease and prosperity for "years of struggle and hardships" and the hope of an Eternal Family. The mortal sojourn that started in the year of the Salt Lake Temple's dedication, ended on July 8, 1966 while he was serving as an Ordinance Worker in "his own" Oakland Temple.
Oakland Temple
Irene was born at the home of my wife's parents, at Pontiac Michigan, December 29, 1921 and our hearts and home were filled with joy and sunshine. We were happy and contented and time seemed to slip away. On June 7, 1922 we made a trip to Utah where our marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. On January 19, 1925 Lois was born, also at Pontiac, Michigan.

Desiring to raise our children among the Saints of Zion, we sold our home and came West in June, 1926. There followed years of struggle and hardships in an effort to obtain a foothold in the new state, during which Don and Clyde B. were born. And now with our newest little girl, Joan, born November 13, 1936 we are a happy and proud family.


1 Clyde could have been working 12 hour days in the mines during this period. - Ed.

Stories Index | CAR MBR Home Page