Burl Jay Haight

Pictured above are Burl J. Haight and his wife Eva (Williams) Haight.

The following Burl Haight history was written by Burl this year 1959.  Burl lives at 2301 Oberlin St., Palo Alto, California.  They own their own home, and are retired.  They do a lot of traveling both in California and all over this U.S.A.  Few have lived as good lives as Burl and Eva.  This is paying big dividends, now in 1959, both in good health and in "Money in the sock".   Far from rich, they have plenty and more important are contented.
Written by Dwight Haight May 1959

BIRTHPLACE:  In a stone house eighty rods north and 120 rods east of the center of Brook Twp., Sec.15, Buena Vista County, Iowa. On Feb. 11, 1888, the night of "THE BIG BLIZZARD". Look up newspaper and weather bureau records of that date. The north wall of that stone house still stands as the north wall of the present house which was built about 1900.

I remember visiting school held in a tent near our west gate, the teacher being Mr. D. A. Hamm. My seat was made from an apple box and was painted red. Had the usual duties and pastimes of small boys from farm families of those days--pick up cobs used for fuel, bring milk cows from the pasture, feed calves, pigs and chickens. Herding stock out of the fields in the crop. Many hours were spent picking wild flowers, (violets, mayflowers, tiger lilies, jack-in-the-pulpit) and the wild fruits such as: wild plums, grass, gooseberries, strawberries, as well as hazel nuts, hickory nuts and black walnuts. Hunting rabbits and quail was popular in the winter. During those days I attended country school #5 at the center of Brook Twp., that was about our only contact with other youngsters outside of our family of brothers and cousins.

Driving a team in the fields was started at an early age and when I was about ten I went with Ernest to help thresh grain at a neighbors. Before leaving, Mother cautioned Ernest that I should not be allowed to "cut bands" for the horsepower hand feeder threshing machine. Because of a short crew I was given that job and all went fine until I missed cutting the band at the first try and just as the fellow reached for the bundle. I made another slash at the band with my knife--did not cut him but that ended my band cutting days right there.

Big events, then and later, were trips to celebrations at Peterson, Linn Grove, Sioux Rapids, Buena Vista County Fair at Alta, and to Sutherland to visit our cousins the Frank Martin children. Little did I realize at that time that I would spend a hitch in the army with one of them in France and Belgium. Sunday trips into Elk Twp. to visit the Wm. E. Haight cousins and grandfather and grandmother Haight on the farm they homesteaded in 1869. We enjoyed fishing, swimming and skating on the Little Sioux River which was about one half miles from our house. Tree climbing was a great sport.

In the later part of September 1906 Elgar and I went to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to visit Herbert who was attending Colorado College. The Pikes Peak Centennial was being celebrated--the fireworks and parades were a wonderful thing for two fellows fresh from the farm. We hiked up Pikes Peak on our very first tour in a mountainous region--I was amazed at all the rocks. How well I remember Helen Hunt Jackson's grave, Garden of the Gods, the Iron Springs at Manitou, Balanced Rock, the Antlers Hotel and most exciting of all, saw a game of polo--my first. This summer--1959--I hope to visit Pikes Peak again and take Eva up Pikes Peak by car--no walking this time!

In the late fall of 1906 father and mother moved to Cedar Falls, taking Dwight, Trevor, Rex, Elgar and myself in order that we might enter better schools. I attended "Prep" for one year before entering Iowa State Normal School. The following year the folks stayed on the farm and four of us batched at 2026 Normal Street that year as well as the following. About 1910-1911 I was manager of the boys' hall, better known as Fort Sumpter,

2022 Normal Street, I believe. Took part-time studies some years and stayed until the spring of 1912, when I returned to Brook Twp. to teach #5 in the school I attended all my childhood. Later I also taught #4.

Went to Fergus County, Montana, in July of 1912 to file on a homestead which joined one Ray had and near Ernest's and Elgar's. Returned to Iowa for a few months and in January settled on the homestead and built a shack which I occupied most of the time for three years. Spent my time working for neighboring ranchers and my brothers. The summers were spent driving horse stage in Yellowstone Park. Automobiles were not admitted until August 15, 1915. Horse stage travel was always a rugged trip for the DUDES but they really saw the park much better than those going through by auto in the present day. I stayed on the wrecking crew for Wylie Way the fall of 1915 and left about October 1st for San Francisco to attend the Golden Gate World's Fair of 1915. The spring and fall of 1914 I had worked with B. P. Melchert county road grading crew at Suffolk, elevator in Suffolk the winter of 1913-1914 and I went to Shonkin to help build one there.

After proving up on my homestead I went to Iowa where I had charge of all the roads in Brook Twp. the summer of 1916. Going back to Montana early in 1917 and started ranching with my brother, Herbert, on his ranch and the eighty I had purchased joining his place. It was during that summer I met Miss Eva Williams from Butte, Montana, who had come to visit her sister Mrs. Wm. K. (Hattie) Turner on Salt Creek. We met at a baseball game at Christina and throughout her stay we spent much time together before she returned to her teaching position in Butte.

Entered the service from Lewistown, Montana on September 5, 1917 and went with about two hundred men from that area to Camp Lewis Wash. A group of regular army men had been brought from various army units and among them was my cousin from Iowa, Sgt. Floyd L. Martin. These OLD SOLDIERS helped whip us into something like soldiers as soon as they could. Trained at Camp Lewis until June 1918 when 91st Infantry Division was ordered to entrain for the east coast, going over the Great Northern through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, then south to Wisconsin to Dubuque, Iowa, and east to Chicago, Detroit. Where we crossed into Canada and back again to the USA at Niagara Falls. Spent one half hour there. Pass through Jersey City and on to Camp Merritt. Left for overseas on July 5th after boarding the Empress of Russia and landed in Liverpool, England eleven days later, after an uneventful voyage in a convoy of about ten troop ships. Crossed England to South Hampton, then by a small freighter to Le Havre, France. Then by train to our training area near Montigny Le Roi, France. We passed within sight of Eiffel Tower, and the next night our train was hit while standing on a siding, by a fast moving freight. It plowed through the last few cars on our train and smashed them like packing boxes. We were billeted in a small village, Dammartin, where we trained intensively for a month.

I spent considerable time on weekends touring that area on a rented bicycle. Hitched a day or two from Dammartin and boarded the train at Langers going toward the Metz front. Camped in a wooded section while being held in reserve during the St. Mihiel action. From there our division was taken by truck to a forest back of the Argonne front, going through Barle Duc. The 91st Division went over the top on the morning of September 26, at daylight, fully expecting to see action within a few minutes. Our artillery had kept up a heavy bombardment all night so the enemy had retreated about five miles and took up a stand on the hills at Epinonville, Very and Ivory. We did run into some sniper fire from all angles but kept advancing until about dark-then for protection we withdrew about one half mile and slept in the trenches all night. Very quiet until morning. Started advancing in the lead but our battalion was soon relieved and we stopped on the slope of a hill protected from the enemy. Heavy artillery shells started falling around us soon after dark, several killed and soon I found myself walking back to a first aid station and then to a field hospital where they ordered me taken to a Base Hospital there at Vittel. A famous resort town in peaceful days, but I saw the resort town as one among thousands of American wounded. Left Base Hospital #36 in ten days with many others returning to their outfits going to Dijon, then entered and trained for Belgium, going through Sommelonne, Rheims, Calais, Ypres and joined Co. C, 362nd Infantry a few miles from Audenarde, Belgium on November 9.

Marched into Audenarde November 10 and would have relieved another battalion on November 11, but were told on that morning that the Armistice had been signed. We could not believe it possible because we could hear rifle fire. All of us felt it would break out again within a few days. At 11 o' clock November 11th I was helping to bury men who had been killed the day before on the advance to Audenarde. No one can imagine the confusion that day a mile back of the front with civilians returning and finding many of their relatives and friends had been killed the night before. There was NOT a CELEBRATION on our section of the front that day or the next.

By easy marches we started toward Dunkirk, France, passing through Orick and billeted in Oostvieteren. Saw all the devastated front of Ypres and surrounding country. Visited Dunkirk, Poderinghe and other small settlements. On New Years Eve we left Oostleteren, Belgium by train going toward an embarkation port. Stopped at St. Cosme De Vair, where we spent about two months, then sailed from St. Nazaire in April on the Edward Luckenback, a freighter. I saw this vessel in San Francisco about 1943. Landed in the USA about April 15 and spent one day touring New York. With others I went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and mustered out May 1st, 1919, then went to Iowa a short time and then back to Fergus County, Montana where I resumed ranching on my place nine miles southwest of Winifred on lower Salt Creek. Eva Williams was teaching Salt Creek School that summer and on December 31st we were married at Butte, Montana and returned to the ranch in Paradise Heights.

Spent seven happy years on the ranch where our son Boyd J. Haight spent his young childhood. He was born in Lewistown July 16, 1922. And in October we leased the ranch to Clyde and Mildred Clary, fully stacked, while we went to Albany, Oregon and rented a filling station. The following August we sold the station and drove down the Redwood Highway to Menlo Park, California to visit the A. B. Thomas family, a cousin of Eva. The Thomas family now live in Corvallis, Oregon. Though them I obtained employment at Stanford University in the fall of 1927, moving to Palo Alto in 1928 and lived there to the present date.

I worked at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Ray Lyman Wilbur, President of Stanford University, from January 1929 until September 1949, as both had passed away. When their home was closed I was asked to work for Dr. and Mrs. Wallace Sterling, who had become President of Stanford University a few months previously.

I considered it a great privilege to have been able to work for those two families for so many years. While there I met many of the great and near great in government and educational life in the United States. Dr. Ray Lyman
Wilbur had been in the Herbert Hoover cabinet during his four years as President. Mr. Hoover gave his home th Stanford to be used as the home of Stanford's President and nearly every year after he left the White House he
would spend a few weeks at the home of Dr. Wilbur or at his former home with the Sterling's. On March 1st, 1954, I retired and have been enjoying every minute of the time since retirement. Eva and I have been back to our ranch in Montana many times since leaving in 1926, we of course, still own it and expect to visit there again this June 1959.

The stone house mentioned on page 1 was built by Fred and Laura Cassiday Haight shortly after moving to the undeveloped farm in Brooke Twp. James F. Haight, his brother, lived two miles southeast.

Burl J. Haight
2301 Oberlin Street
May 18, 1959 Palo Alto, California

Boyd J. Haight
Boyd J. Haight, born July 16, 1922, St. Joseph Hospital, Lewistown, Montana. Married Barbara Aitken on August 16, 1952, at First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, California. Barbara Aitken was born February 18, 1928, at Cincinnati, Ohio. Two children: Boyd Aitken Haight born February 20, 1954, in Palo Alto, California.
Robert Gordon Haight born July 15, 1955, in Palo Alto, California. The following was written on March 14, 1958, 2842 S. Court Palo Alto, California.

Boyd spent the first four years of his life on a ranch at Winifred, Montana owned by his parents in Sections 12 & 113, Twp., 20-17, Fergus Co., Montana.  In October, 1926, he was taken to Albany, Oregon, and in August, 1927, moved to Menlo Park, California. During the fall of 1928 moved to Palo Alto, California.  During the fall of 1928 moved to Palo Alto, California, at 360 Bryant Court and started to the public school (Lytton) that year.  Attended all grades of the Palo Alto schools and was graduated from "Paly-Hi" in 1940.  Attended San Jose State, San Jose, California, two years, and entered the army. Was transferred to Stanford University where he took special training in the ASTP program.  Studied Japanese and other related subjects.  He was then sent to Washington, D.C., to do secret work for the army.  Mostly translating enemy material that had been captured in the Pacific.  He finished the work required for his degree at Stanford and was graduated 1945.  After being discharged from the Air Corps he returned to Stanford where he studied until receiving his MA in journalism in 1948.  He accepted a job with the Palo Alto Times that summer and stayed until he was offered a position as teacher of English and publicity director at California State Polytechnic College, San Louis Obispo, California.  At the end of one year he returned to Stanford University as assistant director of public information.  Within a few months he returned to the Palo Alto Times and has been with them until the present.  A paper of over 30,000 circulation as their CITY EDITOR.
Barbara Aitken came to Palo Alto when about then years old, attended the public schools. Graduated from the high school and then entered Stanford University.  Later went to San Jose State College, San Jose, California, graduating from there. She taught school near Fresno, California. Her folks are graduates of California University.  Mr. Aitkens spent most of his young years on top of Mt. Hamilton where his father was connected with the "Lick Observatory".
The above written by Boyd's father Burl J. Haight.

Burl Jay Haight 2-11-1888 at G. A. H Brook Twp., Buena Vista, Iowa. Married 12-31-1919 to Eva H. Williams at Butte, Montana.  She was born 8-28-1890.

Boyd J. Haight 7-16-1922 at St. Joseph Hospital Lewistown, Montana.  Married 8-16-1952 to Barbara Aitken at Palo Alto, California.  She was born 2-18-1928 at Cincinnati, Ohio.

Boyd Aitken 2-20-1954 Palo Alto, California.

Robert Gordon 7-15-1955 Palo Alto, California.

Haight Family Photo Album