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Benny Pearson

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

Benny Pearson Interview. 6-12-2007. ABRIDGED

By Judi and Rollie Myers

at the George M Pearson Homestead T36 R111 Sec 31. West of US 191 at mile 123.


BP: There was 4 Pape brothers come to this country. Uncle Will came in the latter 1800s. He was the first brother. They come from Kansas. Then I think Uncle Lon mighta been the next one. My grandpa was probably the next one and Norman Pape’s grandpa. I’m going on their water rights. Now my grampa’s water rights….From the Warren Bridge that we just crossed. That woulda been my granddad’s from here down to the Warren Bridge. The Green River.

JM: Who was your granddad?

BP: Arthur. Artie. He was a Pape. One of the brothers.

JM: Who was Norm’s granddad?

BP: Uncle Fred Pape. Did you get 4? Will, Lon, Arthur and Fred. Yeah. That’s right. And then 4 Pearson Brothers come to this country. It was I think Uncle Jud – George – we called him Jud. The one that homesteaded this chunk of ground right here. Now him or I had an Uncle Arthur Pape Pearson. I think them two were probably the first Pearsons that come to the country. And then my dad would be. I’m a junior. Alvins my (real name). And then George. I don’t know if you’re puttin’ ‘em in a row or not. Jud or Uncle Art Pearson mighta been the first ones that come here. And then I think my dad was the next one. You see their dad died when they were a Mormon family down…I don’t know if you’re Mormon. If you are, fine. .I got a lot of relatives that are Mormon. I’m not. I’m heathen. But anyway, their dad was killed. They had a big farm right where Sandy, UT is right now. Right in the middle of it. And he was killed. I’ll just tell you this real quick, when them kids were all little. My dad was 9 years old. And they farmed them kids out to different places. I had an uncle that, where Karmen Pape (Marincic – 93 Pape Road) lives right now. The Johnson Place. He was. Well, his nickname was Bish, he was a Bishop, Bishop Johnson. Nels was his first name. Johnson. That’s where Karmen Pape lives right now. Karmen Marincic. OK. That was my uncles…ahh Great Uncle’s place. And my dad stayed there and lived with him and went to school there at Bronx. Did we get all the Pearsons?

JM: I only got 3.

BP: Let’s see. Uncle Tony, that’d be Maylene (Boyce’s). Anthony. That would be Maylene’s father. Oh, and then there was another Pearson come in. Marvin. You know Richard Pearson? Well, he’s a cousin. He married a Fronk (Bondurant family). Marvin. You gotta put Marvin’s name down there. So there was 5 of them.

JM: Eileen Dockham (was a Fronk).

BP: Yeah. Eileen Dockham’s sister, Dorothy, was my aunt. Whadaya think of this? Isn’t this fun?

RM: That’s why you gotta be careful talking about anybody in this country.

BP: Well, in THEM days. Now then you can kinda badmouth somebody and I’ll say “I don’t know that person”, but if you trace it back, it might be. Who knows?

JM: Now George M Pearson homesteaded this? And he took the patent in 1936. How did your father get it?

BP: You mean my grandfather? Well, okay, let me tell you this. George and my dad (Alvin) and Uncle Tony all married 3 Pape sisters. Maylene’s dad (Tony Pearson) married a Pape. And my dad (Alvin) married a Pape and so did George Pearson. You can put in parenthesis “Jud”. That was his nickname. And they were Arthur Pape’s – Artie they called him – my granddad’s daughters.

JM: Let’s see. George M Pearson homesteaded this and then your father?

BP: My GRANDfather – my mother’s dad (Artie Pape) – bought this property. I don’t know what year it was. He bought it. That added …and see my grandma’s homestead – Gramma Pape – Arrthur’s wife - Artie’s wife got a homestead right here. Well, them willows right there over there (looking south) would be the upper end of her homestead and it’d go clear down to that hill there. My granddad’s homestead. And then he bought some more homesteads there and got all this land.

RM: So this road right here takes you right through the Pape Ranch? (South)

BP: In fact them 4 Papes along with the Pearsons added to it…

RM: You owned all this country!

JM: What was your mother’s name?

BP: Eileen. Wilma Eileen but she went by Eileen. And Uncle Jud’s wife was Mamie. Tony – his wife was Katherine. That’s Maylene’s mom and Gene Pearson.

RM: Gene Paul?

BP: Well, there’s Gene Paul Jr and Gene Paul Sr . Gene Paul Sr is Betty Lou’s husband.

RM: A bunch of sisters there.

BP: You mean that married? You mean Gene Pearson’s (Sr) wife? She was a Potter.

RM: Then Gary Lozier’s - Big Piney - wife is a sister. And Jim Roger’s wife. And there’s one more.

BP: Ray Sanborn’s wife.

RM: She drives school bus.

BP: Don’t get me into them people! …I’m a junior. (Benny’s real name is Alvin). I’m named after my dad. I told my dad I never did like Alvin any. I said, “Dad, why did you name me Alvin?” He said, “Oh, misery liked company.” He didn’t either!

JM: Your mom and dad were Alvin and…

BP: And Eileen.

JM: And she was a Pape? Now her father was Artie Pape?

BP: Yes. You’re doing good.

JM: And her mother was?

BP: Lena Pape. In fact, now here’s another thing to confuse ya. Uncle Fred’s (wife) - Norman’s grandma, was named Lena too. I wanted to tell you that so that you say (to yourself) “He said Lena was his gramma and it’s Norman’s gramma. How the devil did that happen?”

JM: Who is Alvin (Pearson’s) mother and father?

BP: Gramma Pearson. See, they owned a farm right in the middle of Sandy UT. I went down and looked at the old farm. I was down there when I was a kid. Now there’s trees and houses all over the place. It was right in the middle of Sandy UT. When I was in the 6th grade…you see our mother died when us 3 boys…I was 9, Ken was 7 and Paul was 5 and our grandparents more or less raised us, whenever they could catch up us with us. We grew up in the sagebrush here.

RM: Now Paul. He’s dead?

BM: My youngest brother. Yeah. He fell down the stairs. I found him.


RM: His wife used to work over in Big Piney.

BP. Sharon was administrator of the Piney school. And my brother Ken. You probably didn’t know him. He spent most of his grown up years in Big Piney.

JM: You were telling me about Alvin’s mother and father, but he died young. And your father died young?

BP: 1965. My MOTHER died when I…I think she was 27 years old. 27 or 28. And see Dad died in ’65 with cancer.

RM: Did you have any sisters?

BP: All boys.

JM: You never knew Alvin’s parents?

BP: My gramma Pearson, yes? It was a Swedish name. Hilda? Hulda? And then my grampa Pearson’s name was Henry, first name. And see they come from Sweden. Well, actually this is a mixed-up story too. They said that my grampa Pearson came from Sweden but Gramma Pearson…now I’ll change my story here pretty quick…that she came from …up until we were pretty old…came from Denmark. My dad had 2 or 3 sisters and they kept track of all this. Well, down the years they found out that Gramma Pearson was a full-blooded Swede, but she lived in Denmark, she come from Denmark. So, I’m half Swedish. ‘s-o-n’ – that’s Swedish.


JM: What year were you born?

BP: Oh, I don’t wanna tell ya. 1930.

JM: And you’ve lived here how long?

BP: It was just…it was right in the dry…during the depression and my uncle homesteaded this outfit. I don’t know where he was living. From time to time his brothers which would be Tony & my dad and our family would come by to live in this cabin for a year or 2. I just couldn’t even tell you. We’ll just jump over that.


The oldest boy of George M Pearson who homesteaded this is a retired Air Force pilot. Him and I are the same age, in fact I got seniority, I’m 8 months older than him. We’re double cousins like Gene Pearson and all of us. Mamie’s boy and Uncle Jud’s (George M Pearson’s) oldest boy and he flew over 100 missions in Vietnam in a B-29. But anyway, him and his wife live in FL and they’re retired. What I wanna do is they’re coming out in September. Usually they’d be here right now and he’d be honored to…but he’s the one who says, “Ben, I’ve been over to the museum and how’s come Dad’s homestead cabin isn’t there?” And I says, “It isn’t?” And he said “No. I wonder why. That would mean a lot to me.” And here we are. He usually comes and spends a month or 2 on the hill behind our house. They’re coming out in Sept. That’s what I’d like to have you do. Take a picture of him cuz he’s it was actually his dad and he was the one who brought it to my attention.

JM: His name is?

BP: George also. George Pearson. He was a Lt Col, retired.

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