Jennie Arthema Tolman Hintze

My name is Jennie Arthema Tolman Hintze, the daughter of Judson Adonirum Tolman and Cecelia Artema Durfee. I was born April 14, 1918 in Preston, Idaho. My mother was the second wife, and I was her first born. I was given the first name in remembrance of father’s first wife and my mother’s second name as my second name. I do not remember anything of my first home in Preston, but ac-cording to my mother I was a very cross baby and she doesn’t know how she would have made it if she hadn’t had her step-daughters to help tend me.

When I was about two, we moved to Salt Lake, where my father went to work for Utah Power and Light Company as a stationary engineer.  He continued to work there until he passed away in about 1942. The first home I remember is Salt Lake was at 2503 Dearborn Avenue. I remember attending Primary and of singing a solo while quite young. While living here my folks used to make chocolates each Christmas time to get a little extra money. Mom and Dad would make creams and caramels for centers late into the night. As we were preparing for school, the chocolate dipper would come, and by the time we arrived home in the evening there would be tray after tray of chocolates that we, as a family, would pack into boxes ready to sell. They continued to do this all the years I was at home, so it played a great part in my remembrances of Christmas.

While I was still quite small, we spent a Christmas Eve at my Aunt Charlotte’s home. We slept on the floor in the kitchen and I can remember laying there watching the fire in the cook stove until quite late. The next morning we walked thru deep snow back to our home (about 8 blocks). When we got there, we found a set of China play dishes that we kept for many years and it was a very special gift to my younger sister, Leora, and me.

Another Christmas when I was small, I got a net stocking full of candy. We had a neighbor who was a different person, but she was always coming over. This morning she asked me if she could see my stocking and when I gave it to her, she held it and ate much of the candy before giving it back to me. I stood there and watched her with a sad heart.

When we lived on Dearborn, there were two houses on the street east of us and the rest of the land was open area. We used to leave the house and walk a few blocks into trees and quiet places where we would picnic and hide Easter eggs. One Easter, mother bought us a plaster of Paris chicken. We were told if we would crumb a little bread in front of it at night, it would lay an egg for us. This happened a few nights and then we decided that that was so great we crumbled a whole loaf, which didn’t please our parents too well. On one of my birthday’s a neighbor Holling’s boy gave me a bead necklace. I wore it to have a picture taken, which always brings memories to see.

I started school in the Highland Park school. I can remember the first pictures I learned to draw, and of taking them home to show my family. While living here, I turned 8 years old and was baptized in the font in the lower room of the Tabernacle. The Sunday I was to be confirmed, for some reason I can’t remember, my parents weren’t with me and my sister, who had me in charge, didn’t make it known that I was to be confirmed and they almost missed me.

The next home I remember was on 8th East, just South of 21st South, and I attended the Forest Dale School. It was at this home that I have first remembrances of eating bread and butter and onion sandwiches, which I still love today.  Also, while at this home, I became very ill, losing consciousness suddenly, and for several weeks remained in that state. A private nurse was brought in for a while, but because of the expense, and because mother never left me anyway, the nurse was dismissed. One day mother answered a knock at the door to find a man she did not know. He said, “I understand you have a sick child. Would you like me to administer to her?” Mother informed him that we were quarantined, as they thought I had Spinal Meningitis.  He said that he was not afraid and proceeded to come in. Mother said he preceded his blessing with a description of my personality and disposition, and in the blessing said that I had been put on this earth for a purpose and would live to fulfill that purpose. Mother never saw the man again. Later that day, the doctor came and said I would probably not last the night, so he went to get the nurse so they would not be alone. After the doctor left, my father said, “That man promised that she should live. We have done all we know how to do. Kneel with me.” He then talked to the Lord, asking for directions. As they arose my Aunt Celestia asked if mother had a special medicine called Paragoric. Mother replied that she was afraid of it, but my Aunt Lettie had seen just what and how much to give, so the medicine was obtained and given me in drops from an eyedropper, and worked down into my throat manually. By the time the doctor had returned, I was conscious. It took time, but I began to mend from that time on. This experience has always been a strength to me.

From this home we moved into a home on 13th East and 27th South. We then moved to another house across the street and it was while living here that we got a piano and I started lessons for the second time.  It wasn’t long until my young brother and a neighbor built a fire in our coal bin adjacent to the house, and the house burned to the ground (the piano in it). This ended my lessons. At the time this happened, I was in school just a few blocks away. Our class saw the smoke and heard the fire engine, and we stood at the class window watching, not knowing it was my home.

We then moved to the East Mill Creek area. In the school there I remember having to march into and out of school to music. Also, a wind completely lifted the roof off our long chicken coop.

We then moved into the Mill Creek area where I began my Jr. High years at Granite Junior High and went to school for 6 years until being graduated in 1936. In the meantime, we moved into the Holladay area and I took the bus for the last couple of years.  My parents had built a home on Viewmont Street and we thought that we were moving to the very end of civilization. While there I was close friends with Bonita Casto, Lillian Walter and Lucille Bowers. We sang quite often and met in our homes to play Pollyanna and eat popcorn.  It was also here that I met and began dating my future husband, Eugene Sears Hintze.  We lived in the basement of our home for a few years while father finished building the rest of the house. Gene used to come and help with the building. During the summer of 1937 we decided to get married, and had set the date for September. However, Gene was called on a mission and we both said “yes” that he should go, so our wedding plans were postponed.  Although it was a little difficult to see at the time, that mission call has been a wonderful influence in both our lives, and the lives of our family. While Gene served on his mission, I worked for Verl and Lillian Boyce as a cook and waitress in a lunch stand in the center of Holladay.

Because of misunderstandings in our letters, Gene stopped writing after a year and a half. We had decided that I should continue to date while he was away. Many problems arose to put a strain on our relationship during those two years, including another proposal for me. From my vantage point now, I know that we were meant to be together and I am very thankful for the Lord’s help in straightening out our thinking and I will be eternally grateful for my mate and wonderful 37 years of married life we had up to May 1977.

Gene returned from his mission in October 1939, and we were married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 29, 1940. We moved into a home behind a service station and lunch stand in Taylorsville, Utah. We run both of these for nearly two years.  At this period of our lives, we were close with a group of returned missionaries and had a study group which traveled widely putting on Sacrament services (singing and preaching). Our home was a common meeting place and we have fond memories of that period. Just before Christmas (1940) we closed the lunch stand as we were expecting our first child, and the following summer Eugene Tolman was born. I stayed in the hospital two weeks as I was still running a little fever. The baby wasn’t eating too well but we decided I would get better faster when I was home, so we had to sign a release in order to leave. I did do better at home; however, Eugene was such a cross baby the first year that I said that if the second was as cross as the first, that I didn’t think I would want the third. My family of 8 testifies that I handled the second better than the first. When the baby was about 1 year old, I went with Jane and Bill back to Chicago on a bus and we drove a long chauffer-type car back. Jane and Bill and Gene and I did many things together at that time, and we have some fun memories, such as our trip to Yellowstone Park with that small baby and many evenings driving around the block trying to get him to sleep.

We had moved into the West Jordan area by July 1943 at which time our daughter Linda was born. Right after she was blessed, we moved to the Uinta Basin at Avalon, Utah, where we bought a small farm. Gene and Ira Wilson spent their spare time in the hills cutting timber to build us a home. I, with the children, would go with them part of the time. On our land we lived in a one-room log cabin with another room consisting of a board floor and sides and a tent roof. When it was time to ween Linda, it was a hard decision because it meant crawling out of a warm bed to build a fire to warm a bottle.

Before we could get all of the wood down from the mountain, my sister, Drucilla, came to see us and talked us into moving back to Ogden where we could run a farm for her in Harrisville. While we were living there, Arlene was born. She came in a hurry one night and I had to get Gene out of a sick bed to take me to the hospital. Gene was serving as Sunday School superintendent.

While Arlene was still small, we moved to Elberta, Utah, where we bought a 20-acre farm. The old two-story house on the place was in sad shape, and family and friends came as a group and layed new linoleum, put in cupboards, and fixed the house so we could live comfortably, and we had a regular party while we were doing it. Gene was Branch President while we lived there. He farmed (his great love), but had to work also in the mines, which I really disliked. While living here, Mary Lou was born. Also, my mother got Uncle Dell out of the hospital in Prove and he came to live with us and was part of our family for many years.

We put on a Christmas Cantata, “Chimes of the Holy Night”, and although it was a large undertaking for our small branch, we did a good job and drew so many from all around for the performance that we had 300% attendance at Sacrament meeting.

About this time, Que Seeley and Chad Richardson (missionary buddies) got together with us and decided to buy some cows and land and go in together in the dairy business in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. We did this but the first winter was a very severe one, and we couldn’t get feed, so had to sell the cows at much less than we had paid. It was a much shorter business venture than we had planned and left us all in tight circumstances. Dad went to Provo and stayed with Uncle Harold and worked at the steel plant, coming home on weekends. Chad took on a printing job, and Que stayed and ran the farm and watched out for the three families. Gene and Chad would bring their checks home and divide them. It was quite an experience, and we are still very good friends. We finally decided we had to have a little different life style, and Gene found a job working for Mr. Graff in Hurricane, Utah. We made the move, but had no cash left to live on so we started out life by charging at Graff’s store. We never did get to where we could make enough to start with a fresh slate at the beginning of a month, so after three years of get-ting less and less cash at the end of the month, we decided to move again and headed back north. We did have many good times while in Hurricane, and made many friends and had one more addition, Patricia, to our little family. On the way back north, we stopped at Mt. Pleasant with Que and Eva Seeley. The car refused to go further so we had it in the repair shop for two days. We then went to Nephi where Gene talked to his friend, Andy Johnson, and was given a job effective the next day at Thermoid Rubber Company. We took the children on to Salt Lake and left them while we found a home to live in.

We lived in Nephi for the next 8 years. It was a nice drive from Salt Lake so we had lots of company which we loved. We had three children while living here, Karen, LaMar Tolman, and Joanne. Little LaMar lived only about 5 months, so we had him with us a very short time. We were so thrilled to have another son. After his passing, I had a major operation, which I had needed for several years. Somehow the combination of these two things caused me to have a near nervous breakdown, and my nervous system has been a touchy thing ever since in my life.

While Joanne was still small, the rubber plant went on strike and because Gene felt we couldn’t live while they were striking, he moved to Salt Lake and found work as a service station attendant. After a few months, he moved us up and we lived in the Holladay area in a rented home until we found a home to buy on Morgan Drive. This move was made in October 1959, and we lived there almost 20 years. I was Primary president, and Relief Society president, and also worked on the Stake R.S. board. Gene was Sunday School president along with other assignments in the High Priest quorum.

As the children grew and got married, I started working outside the home. My first job was in a bakery in the shopping center below our home; then in another Dunford bakery; then as matron at Churchill Jr. High. I worked there for a couple of years.  While there I broke a bone in my heel trying to squash some empty boxes. With a cast up my leg, I tried to continue working and ended up in the hospital with phlebitis, and nearly lost my life when a blood clot broke away from my inflamed leg and settled in my lung.

On Christmas Day 1974, Gene had a severe heart attach and we nearly lost him. During his recuperation, he would sit in one chair by our front window.  That was a hard winter, for he hated sitting around and I was away at work. Part of the time my Mom was at the house for him to watch out for. By this time, I had left the school job and worked for a while “Needling” men’s hair pieces. I soon found out that that job was not for me, and I accepted the job of managing the Spudnut shop in the Cottonwood Mall.  I stayed there for a couple of years.  During that time I slipped and fell on a wet floor and broke my leg in two places. The spring before this happened, Arlene gave a talk in her Ward and spoke of her singing family. This resulted in a commitment for an hour-long program to be given the following September. We had a great time writing and learning and preparing this pro-gram. We would have had a much harder time getting it prepared if I hadn’t broken my leg, which kept me home from work and gave us more time to practice. We presented the program 12 times and had to turn down about that many more. Even though it was a great strain on our husbands and grandchildren, we had a very memorable experience.

I finally left the Sputnut shop in about 1974 and went to work at the Relief Society Distribution outlet in the Cottonwood Mall. I loved the work.

In 1976, we received a call from President Kimball to serve on a mission and were assigned to the Nauvoo Illinois Mission under Pres. Leroy Kimball. We entered the mission home April 17, 1976, and had such a special year and a half serving the Lord. I was at the Seventies Hall and Gene at the Blacksmith Shop. I talked him out of taking more than one pair of coveralls, and we bought him three new suits. When he was put in the Blacksmith Shop, we had to go out and buy more coveralls, and he put his ties away in a drawer except on Sunday, and he loved every minute of it.  He was great with the visitors, and everyone loved to visit his corner of Nauvoo. We returned home in October 1977, and we had to put extensions on our truck in order to get everything home. On our-return, we found a home in LaVerkin Utah which we liked so we sold our home in Salt Lake and prepared to move south.

On December 20, 1977, Gene went to the hospital to have a cataract taken off his eye, and to have a lens sewed right in. The operation went well and we continued to pack for our move to LaVerkin. Late in the evening of January 11, 1978, there began a severe pain in Gene’s chest, and said he felt like he was floating. Paramedics were called and he was rushed to the Cottonwood hospital. The truck was coming next day for our things so the family rallied around and moved for us. After extensive tests, it was decided that Gene needed open-heart surgery. They operated January 20th at the LDS hospital. Before he could get his strength back form that, a tumor was discovered in his chest and he was sent to the University hospital and we started the fight against cancer.

We were able to spend about three months in our LaVerkin home in between trips to Salt Lake for treatments. During this time, Joanne received a mission call. As we were working to get her ready to go, Gene contracted pneumonia (set up by the chemotherapy). The evening of Father’s Day we made a rush trip back to Salt Lake with him. Everything was done to help him but he died June 23, 1978 and was subsequently buried in Hurricane City Cemetery. Joanne went into the mission home July 20th and my house was very empty.

I accepted an invitation to return to Nauvoo on a visit with my friend, Pauline Atkinson. On my return, I bought a new car in Salt Lake and returned home to sell the truck that Gene and I had bought to take on our mission.

I was approached in August to be a Stake Relief Society Visiting Teaching Leader. In October, I got a job working for Stout’s Home Center and when the Ward was divided, I was put in as Ward Organist.  About November I joined the Sweet Adelines, so I had my time full enough to help me through this lonely time.

In the Summer of 1979, I went with Pat and Mike into Canada and British Columbia and saw a lot of beautiful new country. That fall, I took in a Japanese student for the school year. Her name was Makeko Tonda, from Osaka, Japan. She soon became a “member of the family”. After being graduated from high school, she soon joined the Church and attended Ricks College.

Last April I went with my sister, Minnie on a three-week tour of Hawaii.  It was a beautiful dream come true. At this time (October 1980) I am looking forward to Karen and her family returning from Texas for a family Thanksgiving. We will all be together except Gene and his family in Australia. Another dream of mine is to be realized when, right after Christmas, I am going to spend six weeks in Australia, and get reacquainted with my family there.

(Ed’s Note: August 1983, Gene and his family have returned from Australia and are currently living in Centerville, Utah.)