In Salt Lake City in 1902, where would a woman go to nursing school?
a. Deseret University
b. The University of Utah
c. The Relief Society Nursing School
d. The Young Woman’s Nursing School
A Doctor and dentist
From the life of Hilda Erickson: It was fun growing up in Grantsville where I went horseback riding, sledding, and dancing. And how I enjoyed producing plays in our home. It was there that a handsome young man by the name of John Erickson began courting me. He had his own farm, was a good singer, and always had a good, clean story to tell. Although he kept proposing to me, I wasn’t ready to settle down. Then my best friend, Lucy Clark, made me promise that I would get married when she did. So on February 2, 1882, Lucy had her beau, Alfred Eliason, and John Erickson and I went to Salt Lake City to the Endowment House to get “hitched.” I wasn’t convinced then that I was ready for marriage and remarked, “I wish I was at home and going to the dance.”
John and I set up housekeeping in Grantsville. A year later, we were called on a mission to the Goshute Indians in Deep Creek (now Ibapah) in the southwestern corner of the county where hardly anybody goes anymore since they built the road to Wendover. We had Sunday School in our home, and I taught the Indian women how to sew and make gloves and other useful articles. During long winger evenings, I had time to create lace doilies and curtains, and soon our little cabin was a nice little home.
Since it was so difficult for women to bear children under such primitive conditions, I decided to go to Salt Lake City and take a course in obstetrics from Doctor Romania B. Pratt who was in charge of the Deseret Hospital. From then on, I was busy delivering babies for Indians uncommon then for an Indian to come to our cabin calling, ‘Hiddity, you come quick,” and I would ride sidesaddle on my horse to his camp. Since they didn’t have fancy sunglasses or goggles like we have now, I rigged up a gray buckskin mask to protect my face from the blowing sand.
Often, I was called upon to stitch up ugly wounds the men received while breaking wild horses-and I performed the same service on the horses. I once came upon a man with a very bad toothache. I pulled his tooth and went on my way, and after that, I was the local dentist.
John and I served a twelve-year mission at Deep Creek; then we rented the Church ranch for another three years. Around 1897 we built our own ranch twenty-five miles north of Ibapah. When John was called on a mission to Sweden in 1903, I had full responsibility of the ranch. By then we had a second home in Grantsville so that our children-we had two of them-could attend school. Although I made the four-to-six-day trip to the ranch by team and wagon, I was never afraid to travel alone across the desert.
After John returned from his mission, we decided to build a store on our ranch, but we had to make the two-week round trips to Salt Lake City to stock our store with merchandise. I was the store manager, buyer, and clerk, and miners, sheepherders, and cattlemen from the surrounding mountains arrived from all direction for supplies. Because the distances were great and travel was slow, our customers often stayed for several days. There were occasions when I housed and fed as many as thirty men at one time.
Lesson Committee, Museum Memories-Daughters of Utah Pioneers, (Salt Lake City, Talon Printing, 2010), 2: 19-20.