“Get up and yankee doodle dandy”
Written by Gale J. Brimhall 1997
Compiled by Richard Logan Brimhall 2005
A Father of Nations
FATHER’S NAME: Norman Andrew Brimhall
MOTHER’S NAME: Mary Agnes Willis
BORN: 12 October 1892
Brimhall’s life spanned the time from covered wagons to space travel. One
month after his birth in Lehi (now West Mesa) his parents took him and three
other children to
grew up in
the fall of 1907, while he was in his 15th year, he began high school in
“What did I get out of High School? To put it in a few lines, it looks like this;
1. If you want to be happy, consider the other fellow’s opinion, and be not disgruntled if your own is not adopted as a procedure;
2. Playing with one’s associates teaches one balance, poise, good will, power to do, and courtesy in getting things done;
3. It pays to do the best, most essential things, and leave negative activities alone. Is this proposal right? ” If not, I will have none of it!
4. Do your best and be happy in the doing. It may be far superior to what some may do who carry away honors;
5. I’ve learned the formula for water, H20, and have never developed a taste for any liquid that is so satisfying:
6. Somehow, there came a turn of mind to histories, current problems, biographies, social problems, and fundamentals of religion; and
7. All along the line, my mind was impressed with the idea that women are sacred vessels of the God who created them, and that men were most fortunate to see their faces, hear their voices, and on occasion, let a little smile of approval. To hold one’s hand was the honor of him who had been captured for better or worse. Smooching, necking, mothering and cuddling are only things I’ve read about, and since there are no explanations, I know not what they mean. Ah, poor, lucky me. Too busy with athletics to go to H. - for cuddling.”
Tragedy struck soon after their second child was born. He was working in the farm blacksmith shop with some of the tools.
A piece of steel
about 6” long was being hammered into shape for a punch. A wrong blow on
the steel at the right moment sent it flying into his head.
he was rushed to the doctor, he suddenly came to the realization that he was
stone blind. The doctor determined the iron had hit both eyes outside the
lids. One eye might be saved, but never with any vision. Then
followed six weeks of night-time, wherein medicine was dropped into the eyes
every 30 minutes. He was confined to a dark room and was not to see any
light for the duration. Sight slowly returned to the good eye. The
other eye was carried for years through pain, torture and dust. Finally,
when cancer threatened, it was removed and substituted with a lovely eye made
of glass. When his health returned they went back to school by taking
correspondence courses at four universities while at the same time working in a
coal mine repair shop in
“Each night, after much writing of answers to questions in the assignments, I would read the next assignment. On the morrow, I carried the questions, 20 of them more or less, to my work and pinned them on the wall near my work. The questions were read and studied, and answers formulated as I went about the work of repairing mining cars. When I came to the writing table, soon after the evening meal, I merely set down the answers formulated during the day.
The Master Mechanic said one day when he saw the questions, “What goes on here? Know ye not this institution is paying you for your time here?” The answer was an explanation of hopes, desires and efforts to become educated to the point of securing a teacher’s certificate, and an invitation to compare my output with other help in the shop.
About a week later, Mr. Murphy, the Big Boss, came to the shop and watched around for an hour or more and before leaving said to me, “Come to the office tonight at seven bells.: I went to the office to get my time. Mr. Murphy was alone and said to me, “” Mr. Brimhall, we have never had a case just like yours before. You are selling to Spring Canyon Coal Company eight hours of physical labor and the same eight hours to educational institutions. We have here a report of our output for a week. You did not take time off to enter into idle talk of the crew and you did 10% more finished output than the next highest man. Congratulations my boy, your wages have been raised to $1.50 per hour. Keep to your lessons and your work son, and you will come out on top. Good night and good luck!”” We stuck to our guns and have never been sorry of the effort.””
finally graduated from
SHOW LOW SILVERCREEK WATER CONSERVATION AND POWER DISTRICT
THE LDS BUREAU OF
INFORMATION AND GENEALOGICAL LIBRARY
He organized a corps of teachers and librarians at the genealogical Library to teach the fundamentals of genealogical research. They printed a “KNOW HOW BOOK in Genealogy,” and a book entitled “PRACTICAL RESEARCH In Genealogy.”
for removal of the orchard, landscaping the area, and placing a new Bureau of
Information north of the
“At the end of twenty minutes, President McKay said, “”Though you haven’t said it as yet, I know all of this is leading to your asking the Church to remove the orchard and build a new Bureau of Information north of the Temple and use the present building for a Genealogical Library only.”” That stopped further efforts on our part, for we knew he had the picture as well, if not better than we. He finished our effort by saying, “Leave your plans, pictures and application and we shall see what my favorable recommendation to the Brethren will bring forth.”
When we arose to go he said, “Please be seated, we have two good minutes yet, and often many great things happen in less than two minutes.” He asked very understanding questions about the Library and smiled happily when we told of its’ success and the great service it renders to the people.
special note is
Logan Brimhall influenced the lives of thousands for good. Perhaps one can know him better by reading quotes from his writings:
“When I die, if there are only two places for me to choose from - hell or the dark dungeon - I’ll take hell; for the heat eventually creates some light.”
“Travel, like reading, is an education in and of itself, provided the right choices are made and the right perspective is present. There must be open-eyed interest and a well planned itinerary.”
“We have learned, the better educated people are, the easier it is to make acquaintance and strike up conversation, namely; Ask them about their children or dad or mom, and you have generally “pulled the plug out of the dam.”
“In our teaching job of the present, we leave off all frills and bring their attention to the fundamentals of the most happy life. These include health, loyalty to home and country, the necessity of God here and hereafter.”
“Where we haven’t traveled, we have gone by “proxy” (literature, pictures lectures and music). What little we have traveled, we have taken our family with us.”
“The writer has looked in vain for written statements of men about the two most important women in the universe, WIFE and MOTHER.
We have spent long hours wondering just what sort of woman was grandmother, whom we have never seen, great grandmother, and so on back to mother EVE. I should like to have found in writing just what Dad thought of my mother, MARY AGNES WILLIS. I know he loved her, for I have seen and heard him tell her so. He said words to the children about her, but we forgot. Why not put a few items on paper for the grandchildren to read about grandmother as grandpa saw her?”
“Graduated, patrons of the school, and colleagues; When I have finished the effort, I shall not be disappointed if you say,“The theme lends itself readily applicable to people, communities and nations. Sooner or later, every human soul comes under its broadening influence. Just to repeat the words, brings a state of calmness to wearied bodies and burdened minds. Peace be still, peace-peace to the soul.”
people do when they don’t have anything to do become avocations. What did
“The completely mortal character I most admire and search for new stories about is my distant cousin, Abraham Lincoln. I’d rather hear an Abe Lincoln story, than wear a RED hat to a ball game.”
“The people I like to hear speak in public are anyone who will get to the point without stuttering, rattling papers, carrying to the stand an armload of books - the fellow who “pulls the trigger” and lets his hearers know how he feels about anything. I like to hear the fellow speak who has something he thinks is important enough for him to know what he is talking about. The fellow who can do this and tells it and when he has finished, shuts his mouth and takes it to his chair with him.”
“Some said, “A fellow of the professions has no business.” We make no point of the issues involved in that statement, but hastened to record: Professional men’s business is to keep and make people well and healthy, groomed, educated and satisfied.”
“My business has been to educate the youth of the land, rear a large family, keep true to my companion, and lift and pull, push and lead.”
“We have owned several good farms on which we produced onions, cotton, hay, seed, grain, silage, cattle, hogs, turkeys, and cucumbers. We owned and operated the first radio, combine, and bathtub in our end of the country. We constructed and lived in five new homes, sold our gravity-flow irrigated farm, sunk a well and developed, by pump irrigation, the “Valley of the Moon.”
“As to our two main business ventures, teaching and rearing a family, the record speaks louder than can our pens. Suffice it to say that fathering and mothering thirteen children, educating and otherwise caring for them is somewhat of an American BUSINESS. They are all paid for, no doctor, hospital or other institution sends us “due bills.” Dollars were scarce so we had to make them go farther and do more things. Mary developed the ability to turn pennies into dollars and kid energy into helpful ways.”
the latter part of 1979,
He died in 1982, just weeks before his 90th birthday.