Henry Sears Hintze

Henry Sears Hintze
Henry Sears Hintze

I will begin this autobiography by writing some things of which I have no personal knowledge. However, since my sources of information are unimpeachable, these will have to be regarded as facts. They come from my father and mother. My mother’s name is Ethel Irene Sears Hintze and my father is Henry Herriman Hintze. I was born February 11, 1919, in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time of my birth there was a terrible flu epidemic that took many lives. Since my mother was afflicted with the flu at my birth, my chances of survival were somewhat reduced. In fact since my mother later referred to me as her “delicate child”, my early life must have been somewhat affected. Happily I soon overcame this bad start.

When I was a small child our family moved to Elberta in Utah County. We lived there until I was sixteen. Father was in the branch presidency and later served as Bishop of the Elberta Ward, so much of our lives revolved around the activities of our fellow church members.

My early life was spent as most rural farm families of our time would live it. My summers were spent tending our cows and sheep on the open prairie. We would herd them to where the best feed could be found and keep them away from the unfenced fields of hay and grain, bringing them in again at night. Often our herd was combined with that of our closest neighbors, the Art Jolleys, giving us company to play with while the stock grazed. This often got us into trouble as we got so involved in our play the herd would stray into some field and destroy some of the crop. As I grew older I was pressed into service handling the derrick horse, driving it back and forth to lift the hay onto the stack, tromping and learning to place it on the wagon so it would not fall off on the ride to the stack yard. Of course milking the cows soon fell our lot. This was not a bad chore in the summer, but in the winter was quite an ordeal. I always loved milk straight from the cow. As soon as I could toddle I made my way to the corral and stand by Dad so he could fill my cup. This was simplified when I started to milk as I would squirt right into my mouth, eliminating the cup.

We had many happy times in our small town. One unusual pastime that I remember with fondness was sliding with the water in the cement ditch down the hill. This ride was about a block long and many pairs of overalls lost their seats during that trip. We also had some sad times there. I can still picture the sight of two homes that burned to the ground during my early childhood.

I was twelve years old before we lived in a house that had electric lights and we never had inside plumbing in Elberta. Our house with electricity was only a short stay and then it was back to the farm with no frills.

My teen years in Taylorsville were no less enjoyable. Our many new friends soon got us into the swing of big city life and all of the many varied activities available. Of course the ward activity was still our main interest and in many ways life was much the same.

School in Elberta was in a two room school house with two teachers. Three grades were in each room. The teacher worked with one grade while the other two did some assignment, then she would rotate to another grade. My teacher often lived for short periods of time with the families of her students because travel was too slow for her to commute from her home. After grade school we were bused to Goshen, the neighboring town where I finished junior high school. Our high school was a longer bus ride to Payson where I attended for two years. The family then left the farm and moved to Taylorsville where I graduated from Granite High School in the class of 1939. The rest of my schooling included three quarters at Utah State University in Logan and some extension work at the University of Utah where I concentrated on marketing, preparing me for my life’s occupation in sales work. One of my favorite side activities in school was taking part in choruses and operettas during junior high and high school.

It was the custom of our times to be baptized on your eighth birthday, so dutifully on the 11th of February in 1927, my father and I along with Brother Oliver Penrod climbed in the Model T Ford and headed into Goshen Canyon where we found some open water in a stream too swift to freeze. There I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was not alert enough to keep one foot under and had to go under the cold water the second time. Afterward I was bundled in a warm quilt and driven to the Penrod home where I was confirmed into the Church and the occasion was celebrated with a nice dinner. I remember how proud I was when I received the Priesthood and was made a Deacon. I can still see the picture in my mind of my father performing this ordinance in the basement kitchen of the ward house. I feel very good about having the opportunity of serving in the presidency of every Priesthood Quorum. My church service has been continuous throughout my life and this is a great joy to me. It was my desire to serve a mission and in June of 1941 I received my call to the Central States Mission where I served under Pres. John F. Bowman for two years. After arriving in the office in Independence Missouri, I was sent to the Western Kansas District in Dodge City. I labored in that district for a year and a half. My mission was completed in the West Oklahoma District. Pearl Harbor was bombed when I had been out about six months. By the time of my release, since most of the eligible men had been called into the service, there were very few Elders out.     I spent the last few months touring the mission with Elder Shirley Reynolds keeping up with all of the contacts left by the departing Elders. This was a grueling but very rewarding end to a very satisfying period in my life.

I have always enjoyed my church assignments. Teaching the Gospel Doctrine class has been a special joy. I have spent many years on the Stake Sunday School Board. Many special memories have accumulated from several stake missions. My present assignment as a counselor to George Labrum in the Branch Presidency of the Bennion Care Center Branch has given many touching and spiritual times. Another very satisfying episode was the years doing confirmations in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple. The years spent in the offices of The Sons Of The Utah Pioneers has also been very gratifying.

For a time after my mission release, due to the intervention of Bishop Abram Barker, I received a military deferment to help him on his turkey farm. With my brothers Wayne, Alan, Keith, and Lyle all away in the service I grew restless at not doing my part, so I rejected further deferment and tried to enlist in the Merchant Marines. Due to my need to wear glasses, I was turned down and had to take my chances in the draft. Upon induction I told them that I would prefer the Navy, they said that was good because that was where I was headed. After boot camp in Faragut, Idaho, I was sent to a diesel engine school in Ames, Iowa, for six weeks and then to Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay to await assignment to a ship.     My brother Wayne was serving in San Francisco and he and Dorothy were living there. He told his boss, an Admiral, that I was there and he had me assigned to a Naval Air Squadron stationed at the Oakland Airport, where I spent the rest of the war. I was watching over a diesel powered boiler making steam for a galley (kitchen).

Soon after my return home from the Navy, in 1946, after MIA one night, my brother Lyle and I went over to Murray to bowl. Little did I realize how far reaching that decision was to become.. During the course of our second game, we noticed two attractive girls waiting for a lane to open up. Being sympathetic by nature to the plight of others, I thought how nice it would be if their access to a lane could be speeded up.   I approached them with the idea that if they would like to bowl on our lane with us for our last game, then we would leave and they could continue bowling. This seemed a good plan to them so the names of Lola and Thelma were added to our score sheet. Now I considered myself a pretty good bowler, so when Thelma ended up with a higher score I felt obligated to avenge myself. So a challenge was made for a new try. In the second game I prevailed. Next week found us bowling together again and soon I found us well enough acquainted to ask for a date, and on Valentines Day in 1947 we became engaged. June 27, 1947, in the Salt Lake Temple, Thelma Korous and I were married by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Council of the Twelve. How fortunate it was for me that this chance meeting happened in that bowling alley. A man could not ask for a more beautiful, faithful, and enjoyable companion for the rest of eternity. To us have been born six children all now with families of their own, all attentive to their church duties, all married in the Temple to partners who are very dear to us. Our children are Henry Edward (Ted), Pauline Thelma, Louise Grace, Gerald Kay, Joel Ray, and Connie.

While Thelma and I were awaiting our wedding day, we purchased a home on Indiana Avenue in Salt Lake City on the west side. This new home was not yet quite finished in time for us to move in after our honeymoon. How happy we were moving and putting in the yard of our first home. Here was born to us Ted and Pauline. Since it was only a two bedroom home and we now had need of three, we started to look for a larger one. Alan had just graduated from the University of Utah and he and Viola were moving back east, so we made a deal with them for their basement home on Redwood Road in Taylorsville, next door to my Mother and Father. This was in March of 1952, and here we lived happily during the birth of four new children and the growing years of our family. We finished the top story of our home in time for Connie, our last child. By the time we had to move (due to commercial development around our home) in 1978, our three sons had filled missions and all but Joel and Connie were married. We were sad to leave our neighborhood after so many happy years, but with my father and mother having passed away it became easier. Our new home in Bennion was beyond our wildest dreams. Lots of room on a quiet street and a Ward that put us right to work and made us feel so welcome.

Most of my life’s work has been in sales. In my early youth, of course, farming was what kept us occupied. After we moved to Taylorsville my father did not devote all of his time to farming, but used other employment to supplement his income. As a teenager along with my brothers we would do odd jobs around the town helping other farmers. In the spring we thinned sugar beets and hoed them. Later we hauled hay and harvested grain, then in the fall topping beets kept us busy. I even made a few dollars digging graves and working as a part-time clerk and butcher at Joseph Bennion’s Merc.   After my mission and World War II, I went to work for Kennecott at the Garfield smelter, but the long ride did not appeal to me so I got on at the Union Pacific Railroad on the repair track with my Uncle Harold Mackay as my boss. A general layoff took me out of that job and I went to work at Greybar Electric in the warehouse. About this time I began to become interested in sales, so I joined Beers and Bigelow selling appliances on Main Street in Downtown Salt Lake City. From there I took a job selling typewriter ribbons and carbon paper for Keelox Manufacturing Co. My territory was Utah, Idaho and Montana. In awhile the travel began to wear on me so I started with Eric J. Seaich Company as a business forms and carbon paper salesman. Part of my job there was selling pressure sensitive labels made by the Avery Label Co. Due to my success at promoting their product, I eventually left the Seaich Company and started to sell for Avery on my own. This has proven to be a satisfying endeavor to keep me employed until now.

I hope my years that are allotted me here on earth in the future will in no way detract from the joy that has been my lot to date.