On March 3, 1922 Elmer L. Hackford was born to George Thomas and Sarah Jane Hackford. Elmer was born at home on the kitchen table with his Grandpa Thomas Hackford performing the roll of a midwife bring him into this world. His Grandparents were Thomas and Drusilla (Howell) Hackford, Phillip and Margaret Mary Van.
Elmer had 14 brothers and sisters and has always been a hard worker all his life. In his youth he not only helped take care of the family farm but also his younger brothers and sisters. while the four younger girls were growing up it seems like he was always there to take care of them. He had a lot of responsibilities, not just with doing the chores that had to be done around the farm, but he also took care of his brothers and sisters because his mother and father had to be away most of the time which he seem to mind doing, having no other interest's other then to work around the ranch during this time of his life.
Elmer married Wanda Maxine Russell in May of 1942 and was bless two years later with one daughter, Rebecca Jane, who was born on July 28, 1944. Elmer and Wanda have been blessed over the years with three grandchildren, Lew Elray Edrington Hackford, Cory I. Edrington, Kyle Raymond Edrington, eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandson.
I can recall Elmer working in the hay fields mainly because he was the only one who would let the little kids ride on the bow-rake hauling the hay to the stacker. After he finished on all the fields on the flats, he along with his nephew, would head out to Farmcreek too help those living there get their hay in, never tiring, always willing and ready to help any one that needed it. He always drove the wagon when ever Grandma Hackford, Aunt Fonnie and the kids went on an Easter picnic or to pick bullberries in the pasture or when we went to his Sister Selmas to gather gooseberries. He also was the one who drove the team of Horse's hauling Ice to the Icehouse in the hot summer.
Elmer not only had the responsibility of taking care of the Hackford kids when they were little. But after he got married it was him and Wanda who traveled to St. George to stay with the kids.
Elmer always took the kids side whenever they got in trouble. He not only spoiled his brothers, sisters and his daughter, but any other kids that came around and they all loved him for it. Elmer's a great storyteller and loved to tell stories about his childhood.
Grandma Sarah Hackford would talk the Ute language and visited with relatives; Grandma Van would bake pies, bread and cakes to sell at the Monte grounds. Elmer with the help of his brother George, cousin Ed Van and sister Selma would sell these baked items while grandma Hackford played Monte.
In 1956 the Affiliated Ute Citizens (AUC) of the State of Utah was formed to represent the mixed Blood Utes. There were four other mixed bloods who set on the Affiliated Ute Citizens board as directors along with Elmer at that time. those were Preston Allen, Lula (Harris) Murdock, Elizabeth (Curry) Bumgarner and Art Workman. They held their first meeting as the board of directors on June 7, 1956.
On April 5, 1956 the final roll of the mixed bloods was published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Elmer was and has always been sad and troubled because his daughter Rebecca was left off this roll, leaving only him and Wanda on the roll, but not his only Child. Elmer was there to witness the destruction and heartbreak of his people through out this termination policy, which the government couldn't resist branding the affiliated Ute people with.
After being terminated, Elmer worked for Great Lakes Timber Company in Lapoint, Utah, driving timber trucks hauling logs off the mountain. He also worked for Dalabo driving a water truck in the local Oilfields. The other drivers for Dalabo played a joke on Elmer one day. After gassing up his truck at the old Sinclair station, which is now LCL. He headed for the Neola Oilfield. While driving north, car's and trucks would pass honking and waving; Elmer was bewildered wondering what was going on with these people... When he pulled on location and went to unlatch the hose's, he seen a plastic "blown up doll' dangling from the back of the truck. Elmer could only chuckle himself.
Elmer has always been broken hearted because of the heartbreak that termination caused him and his beloved people. He has always hated termination; no matter how they tried there was nothing any of the AUC's board of directors could do to stop it.
Elmer is one of the kind heartiest people one could ever meet... Wanda, his wife passed away and left him all along. He snuffed a stroke and is now hampered by it and is currently in the care center in Vernal Utah where he sits and thinks back to the day's when he was on the farm with his family. Rebecca lives in Roosevelt and visit's her dad as often as she can. If anyone is in the Vernal area please drop by and say hello to Elmer.
Dad, we all love you! You are the greatest example of a perfect Native American Indian Man that there could ever be. Thank you for being my Dad, our brother and uncle, and just for being the "Kind Hearted person you have always been..."
Footnote: Elmer Hackford left this world to walked the star trail on the morning of May 16, 2005, Elmer turned 83 in March 2005.