Howard R. and LaVaun Butler Adams


Howard and LaVaun on their 50th anniversay

Howard and LaVaun on their 50th anniversay

Howard was born Nov. 28, 1908 at home in Marion (Oakley). When he was eleven years old, his father died, leaving his mother Sarah Stoddleton Adams to raise seven children. LaVaun was born April 9, 1915 to John and Charlotte Hansen Butler. She, too, was born in Oakley and except for some time spent working in Murtaugh, they spent all 55 years of their married life in the house on Marion.

Howard and LaVaun dug the basement for their home and lived in it until their family required more space and money was available to materials. Barns, corrals and chicken coops followed. Three children: Leon, Dale and Eileen came along to help expand the farm operation. Howard liked to tell of going to the hills with LaVaun wearing extra large overalls so they could bring back more wood in the bibs. He had a life-long obsession with having enough firewood. Pictures taken in his later years show wood sorted by type and size and grandson Scot never wanted for wood when he inherited the home place.

LaVaun worked in the Relief Society and her sewing and cooking are still marveled upon. Her “dreamed I died and went to heaven” pickles are just one example. She cooked for the expanding crew as Howard Adams and Sons incorporated and began farming in Golden Valley. Golden Valley Warehouses, two enormous potato cellars Butte Irrigation were evidence of the Adams family interest in being on the cutting edge of agriculture. Before the farm operation was divided the operation included 2500 acres. Some of the first pivot irrigation was seen in Howard’s fields. Golden Valley Warehouses and Butte Irrigation are still family owned businesses.

Howard was known as the “micey man.” He always had traps set in the fields for gophers. He couldn’t stand to see a gopher hole in a field. When his vision began to fail he asked the Highway District if he could paint a line along the side so he could see to go to Oakley and back and check his traps. He loved farm animals and the place always had chickens, cows, a pig or two and several cats.

Both Howard and LaVaun loved to dance. There were members of a square and round dance group for many years. They also loved gardening. The original soil in their yard was too hard packed so for many years LaVaun sprinkled sand in each row as she planted the seeds. Over 55 years the soil became highly productive. Even an asparagus patch thrived. Howard built a waterfall with a waterwheel which can still be seen if you drive by during the summer.

Howard and LaVaun’s children were H. Leon Adams (Patricia Obermiller), Eileen Adams (George) Becker, and Dale B. Adams (Sheila Bessire). Following LaVaun’s death in 1989, Howard married her sister LaRae Barrus. Howard was working in his shop when he fell and broke his hip. Following surgery he passed away at the age of 93 on April 28th 2002. The original home place is still occupied by a grandson and his family. Animals are always welcome.