The Blauer Legacy of Wayne Harold Blauer

Christian Frederick Blauer and Rosetta Gerber Blauer in View (Photograph on order)

My Blauer Grandparents were Christian Frederick Blauer and Rosetta Gerber. On April 7, 1900, they moved their family to Lund, Idaho, from Ogden, Utah. It was here that Grandfather took up a quarter section of dry farm land. They increased their holding and did very well especially during and shortly after the World War I years. Grandfather filled a mission in his native land of Switzerland in 1926-28.

September 1, 1928, this couple moved with their youngest daughter and youngest son to my parents home in View, Idaho. Dad and Mom returned to View so in 1931 Grandfather with his two youngest sons, Arnold and Ernest, rented a farm in Springdale for a year. After that our grandparents lived with their children, Alice Meiners and Henry Blauer, until August 1933 when they moved to Logan, Utah. I remember that in 1938 Grandfather visited Yellowstone Park with our family. I always thought of Grandfather as a super, special gardener. He expected Yellowstone to be like the manicured Parks and Gardens that he had worked at in France, Switzerland, and New Zealand and so was really disappointed with the “natural” Yellowstone.

Four of their children were quite prominent citizens of Cassia County. Alice and her husband Carl Meiners operated and owned Meiners Studio in Burley, after having lived in View and Burley for a number of years. Their son, Paul, a pilot in the United States Air Force was killed in Vietnam. Henry was a farmer in View. Arnold filled a mission in Switzerland and finished it in Colorado due to health reasons. He farmed for a number of years and worked for the City of Burley. Lily attended Albion State Normal School and then taught for a couple of years in the View School. Ernest graduated from Burley High School, attended Albion State Normal School, became a teacher, and was principal of the Southwest School. My wife, Phyllis, remembers him as her principal. He was manager of the Amalgamated Sugar beet field men for a number of years and president of the Burley Chamber of Commerce. He was bishop of Burley First Ward and Counselor in the Burley Stake Presidency.

Blauer Boys

“Blauer Boys”: (John’s family) Wendell, Wallace, Blaine, Rodney; (Arnold’s family) Jay, (Henry’s family) Lorin, Cecil, Harold, Willes, Uncle Ernest (missing Clyde from Henry’s family and Douglas and Kenneth from Fred’s family). Great grandfather Johan Frederick Blauer was concerned that his Blauer line would die out. My grandfather Christian Frederick Blauer was not married when great grandfather died in 1890. These boys (other than Ernest his son) were all his Blauer grandsons.

Henry William Blauer and Lucille Woodbury Blauer in View and Burley photograph on order

My Dad, Henry William Blauer was born in Ogden, Utah, on October 13, 1899. He was raised in Lund, Idaho, where he helped on the farm as a teenager and young man. When Dad was 21 years of age he got a call to go on a mission to the Southern States under President Charles A. Callis. He was assigned by President Calllis to the teach school for the Catawba Indians in Catawba near Rock Hill, South Carolina. He taught there for three winters of his 30 month mission. After returning home he helped on the farm and taught school at Lund for 3 years

In 1927 Dad decided to attend Albion State Normal School to advance his skills as a teacher. While he was attending school he bought a 30-acre farm located at 350 E. 500 S. of Burley, Idaho. A few months later he added 10 more acres to this purchase. Dad lived with his sister, Alice Meiners, at View while he went to school at Albion. His niece, Ethel Meiners (Orton) got him to date her third grade teacher, Lucille Woodbury. After Mom and Dad were married in 1928, Dad taught at Central and they lived at Lund where I was born April 25, 1929. The next year the folks purchased a pre-cut home from Montgomery Wards.

Precut Montgomery Wards home that was assembled by Henry W. Blauer in the early 1930s. This was the home that I was raised in.

Precut Montgomery Wards home that was assembled by Henry W. Blauer in the early 1930s. This was the home that I was raised in.

In order to pay for this home they took a teaching job at Telluride, near Grace, Idaho. They stayed in this job for three years traveling each summer to View to farm etc. In Mom’s history she says: “The third spring Henry decided that teaching made him nervous so decided to farm. We both felt that a farm was a good place to raise a family so in the middle of the depression we left a good paying job to farm a forty.

“We didn’t make much on the farm during the summer of 1933. Potatoes were 23 cents a sack and other things comparable. We had a few chickens, pigs, and milk cows, so were able to get along.”

During the next several years Dad expanded his 40 acres to 260 acres. The master plan for the farm that our folks developed was to make the family self-sufficient. It wasn’t many years until they had a lovely, large garden and orchard along with pigs, chickens, and cows, later they added sheep for wool and honey bees for sweetener. Horses supplied the power to operate the farm equipment and for riding. As a teenager I remember we had eight work horses and a riding horse. Twelve or more cows were milked by hand morning and night come rain or shine. The cream was separated from the milk and sold to the creamery. The skim milk was fed to a big herd of pigs. Dad was able to get his pigs to the sale in about six months from birth. Each spring we were able to sell the wool and lambs from the sheep herd. It was a challenge to help Dad rob honey from the bee hives (who likes to get stung) several times each summer. We used much of the honey but some was sold to friends, neighbors and family members. Mother did a lot of canning of fruits and vegetables raised in the orchard and garden. Some produce was stored in the potato cellar.

With all the livestock on the farm it was necessary to raise a lot of hay and grain for their feed. By the time World War II ended in 1945 Dad was raising about 35 acres of potatoes each year. This crop took a lot of time and effort to plant, grow, harvest, and store. A large cellar, for that time, was built in the late forties. It was really nice because you could drive through with a wagon or truck until the side bins were filled then fill the driveway as we backed in. Over the years Dad made good money on his potato crop. I remember that in 1939 he was able to sell part of his #1 potatoes for $2.75 per hundred. This was a far cry from the 25 cents he received in 1933. For several years in the 40’s it was my job to cultivate the potatoes one row at a time with a team of horses while Dad, Willes, and Uncle Arnold hauled hay. From the time that Dad bought the farms he was constantly working to level the land so that he could irrigate with gravity irrigation. In the early 50s he hired Gordon Construction Company (owned by Gordon Hansen – Kenneth Hansen’s father) to assist in this effort. By the time the 50s rolled around Dad was also raising sugar beets and commercial beans.

It was amazing that Dad could farm so many years when one considers the twisted foot that he was born with. He learned to compensate for the handicap and was a better man for the efforts he made and success he had. He seldom if ever complained about the pain he must have suffered. What a great example we as his sons had to follow.

In 1959 Dad turned the farm over to Cecil and he went to BYU in Provo where Mom and Dad both completed their B.S. degrees in Elementary Education. They were hired to teach school in Stone and Holbrook, Idaho.

In the spring of 1970 Mom and Dad gave up their teaching jobs in Stone and Holbrook and moved back to Burley. They bought a home back of the Southwest Elementary School at 2210 Conant Drive. They loved living where they could see children at the school over their back fence.

Dad died of complications from Parkinson ’s disease on July 28, 1973. We held his funeral at the Burley 7th Ward Building with Bishop Walter Petersen officiating. Interment took place August 1st at Gem Memorial Gardens in Burley, Idaho. Mother died a year later after she was hit by a car at the corner of Overland Avenue and 13th Street in Burley. Mom and Dad were the best parents that children could ever have. They gave us a love for education, hard work and play, family, country, and most of all the Church. Dad’s philosophy of Life was always Mormonism. What a great legacy they left their descendants.

Four of their children remained in Cassia County. Harold farmed, measured water and taught school. Willes farmed 240 acres in the Pella Area and later lived in Burley. His sons Dan, Craig. and Doug operated Blauer Brother Farms in the Pella Area for a number of years. Dwaine farms many acres of land in the Declo Area. Dwaine and Amy’s son, Matt, manages the “Celler” for Bob Hamblen. Cecil farmed 390 acres in View and served on the Burley Irrigation District Board for 22 years. His son, Lynn, farms land for Cecil, Harold, Mike, and himself in the View Area. His son, Mike, is a CPA who works for Evans Grain and does income taxes for many Burley customers. His daughter, Kathy, has taken on the responsibility of carrying for Cecil and Merle in their View home in their declining years. Bonnie married Kenneth Hansen who was President of Gordon Paving Company for several years while living in Burley. This company provided jobs for 30 or 40 families during the construction season each year. Their daughter, Kristine, married Clay Handy. Clay is the general manager of Handy Truck Lines here in the Burley Area. Their son, Gordon Hansen, owns and operates Idaho Water Sports in Burley and Meridian. Clyde was a professor at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. Lorin worked as a lawyer and lived in Bountiful, Utah.

Harold Woodbury Blauer and Phyllis Holyoak Blauer in View and Burley (photograph on order)

Phyllis and I bought an 80 acre farm from my Dad and moved to the two bedroom house in View at 400 E. on 500 South in January of 1958. Prior to that time we had spent three years in Provo where I worked as a psychiatric aide at the Utah State Hospital assigned most of the time to the Maximum Security Ward to which the criminally insane were assigned. During this time at BYU I earned my BS degree in Secondary Education and received my commission as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force as an ROTC graduate. From 1955 to 1957 we were in the United States Air Force at Houston Texas where I earned my wings as a navigator at Ellington Air Force Base and at Biloxi, Mississippi where I became an Electronics Counter Measures Operator. I then spent 2 months flying in Germany and various places in Europe.

In November of 1957 I was hired to teach an overflow class of fifth graders at the Miller School. I had taught fifth and sixth grade at Miller School in 1949-50 after certifying at Albion Southern Idaho College of Education. The next four years 1958-62 I taught eighth grade science at Burley Junior High School. When I started work at getting my Master’s of Science Degree in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Idaho for three summer, I was allowed to teach Chemistry, Physics, Electronics and Math at Burley High School starting the Fall of 1962. In 1969 I applied to be Principal of Dworshak School but was assigned by the School Board to be the Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools. Seven months later I effectively became the Superintendent of Schools for Cassia County. I served as Superintendent for eight years, then a teacher at Burley Junior and Senior High School for three years and finally principal of the 4-6 grade students at Mountain View for ten years. Phyllis retired from the Bureau of Reclamation where she had worked for 20 years of our married life in 1986. I retired from the School District in 1991. Off and on during the next 15 years we served as missionaries in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah and as temple workers in the Washington, D. C. and Boise Temples.

Phyllis and I worked at getting our financial start while living on the farm in View. The Oakley Stake kept us busy. Phyllis served in the Oakley Stake Relief Society, as a counselor in the ward Relief Society and as a Beehive teacher. I served in the Stake Young Men’s Presidency as Stake Young Men’s President and as Bishop of the View Ward. Phyllis and I loved our farm where she taught our kids to work in the beet field and I taught them to care for farm animals, including a small herd of beef cattle. We moved to Burley at 608 W. 21st Street in 1966, but have kept the farms rented to my brother Cecil and his sons primarily Lynn Blauer.

Phyllis worked for the Bureau of Reclamation for 20 years of our married life. She did her best to help our children learn to read, etc., and insisted that I helped them with science and math. If they did not have lessons to work on they were expected to use their study time in reading good books. I loved teaching fifth graders (they loved school) eighth graders (they loved science) my Chemistry and Physics classes at the high school were a challenge for me academically. What great students I enjoyed at all three levels! Cassia County School patrons supported us as a school administration and Board. Especially was this the case when we had to find classrooms for 800 students when the Burley Junior High School burned in 1973. Wayne is a family practice doctor in Burley. Keith is a reproductive endocrinology doctor in Sandy, Utah. Reed works for the Dept. of Agriculture (Foreign Ag Division) in Washington, D.C. Marilyn lives in Houston, Texas, where her husband is a financial planner and insurance broker.

Wayne Harold Blauer and Nancy Cole Blauer in Burley (photograph on order)

Our son, Wayne Harold, was born at the Cottage Hospital here in Burley on July 10, 1953. He graduated from Burley High School as the Salutatorian in 1971. He graduated from BYU at Provo with a major in Chemistry and pre-med. He entered the Washington Alaska Montana Idaho (WAMI) Doctors program from which he received his MD degree at the University of Washington. As part of his training he did a clerkship with Dr. Walter Petersen and his internship at three hospitals in Boise.

Wayne married Nancy Cole from Sacramento, California. She helped him get through medical school by working as a secretary and helping him paint apartments. Wayne asked Nancy to be his eternal hiker as they were crossing the Colorado River Bridge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon during our families every seven year hike in July of 1978. After some negotiations between the two of them they decided to take over Dr. Kircher’s practice here in Burley instead of settling in California. It has turned out that Burley has been a great place to raise their eight children.

Wayne has had the privilege of serving in the Burley Stake High Council for several years. It is of interest to note that his Dad and both grandfathers, Henry Blauer, and Joe Holyoak, served there in their time. Wayne has always been interested in musical instruments and voice. When he was eight his mother started him on the piano. Later he took organ from Bob Hamblen who really helped him love music. He has been instrumental in not only playing the organ and piano but in singing with the Soft Touch and working to keep them organized. What a great service they render for our community. He has been very active with explorer posts and teaching young men in general. He served as a counselor in the Burley Stake Presidency for 9 years. He also serves on the District Scout Committee as the Adviser for the Venture Program.

Precut Montgomery Wards home that was assembled by Henry W. Blauer in the early 1930s. This was the home that I was raised in.

Precut Montgomery Wards home that was assembled by Henry W. Blauer in the early 1930s. This was the home that I was raised in.

Four Generations (left to right from the bottom row with relationship to Wayne Blauer): Vonetta Jones Holyoak (Grandmother), Phyllis Holyoak Blauer (mother), Harold Woodbury Blauer (father), Wayne Harold Blauer, Lucille Woodbury Blauer (grandmother), (back) Joseph Jensen Holyoak (grandfather), George James Holyoak (maternal great grandfather), Jane Isabell Jones (maternal great grandmother), Angus Cannon Woodbury (paternal great grandfather), Henry William Blauer (grandfather)

So starting in 1910 Wayne’s great great grandparents Jensen, great grandparents Blauer, Holyoak and Woodbury, grandparents Blauer and Holyoak, and his parents have owned and operated farms in Cassia County. Wayne is involved in a partnership with his Dad and brother Reed that owns a 40 acre farm at 500 East on 500 South in View. His great Grandfather Woodbury taught school at Oakley. His grandfather and grandmother Blauer were teachers in Cassia County and elsewhere. His father was a teacher in Burley. Many of his uncles and aunts Blauer, Holyoak and Woodbury were teachers. His wife, Nancy, taught fifth grade at Mountain View before their marriage. His great grand father Woodbury and grandfather Blauer were on the school board in View and served as its chairman. His Dad served as Superintendent of Cassia County Schools for eight years. What a legacy of farmers and ranchers, of teachers and administrators, of doctors in the past 100 years in the great County of Cassia and in the beloved City of Burley. We as a family love this beautiful special area of Idaho. As the Prophet Lehi said “This is a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands.” Our legacy is in the land, it’s communities and their residents. How blessed we have been and how blessed we are!