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EPHRAIM’S OLDEST CITIZEN HAS LOGGED A CENTURY OF MEMORIES AND A LOT OF WOOD

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Hillary Larsen, Ephraim's oldest citizen at 100, doesn't drive a double-bitted ax into an Englemann spruce these days or brand calves on his farm.

"I'm too old for that now," he admits. "And fishing at Loggers' Lake."But his mind is still keen and his memories are rich. He remembers well the days when he logged in Reeder Canyon. The trees came down with a hand saw, were dragged out with a team, loaded on a wagon and hauled to the mill south of town.

"That was before the time of chain saws and tractors."

He bought his first sawmill in 1918, and his son Afton, himself a senior citizen now, worked with him in the timber for years.

"Once in awhile, when I need a few pieces, I go out and crank up the old mill," Afton Larsen says.

Their first truck was a Model A Ford. Over the years, they bought their first tractor and changed from hand saws to chain saws.

"The new tools made the work easier and faster," Hillary Larsen said. One year they produced a half million board-feet of lumber, a record for the mill. Other years they produced around 200,000 board-feet and sold most of it locally.

"It went into hundreds of sheds, barns and houses."

He also recalls the farming, the cattle and the sheep.

And the fishing - "at Loggers', at Snow Lake and at the other Manti Mountain ponds."

Larsen was born in Ephraim on Aug. 26, 1889, to Andrew and Marilda Anderson Larsen. He married Carrie Christiansen in Monroe on Nov. 23, 1910. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary a few months before her death.

Six of their eight children are still living. At the family reunion that celebrated his 100th birthday, Larsen joined his grandson, Valjo Anderson, in singing some of his favorite songs.

"We'd sing them while logging in the mountain," Larsen said, "at night, around the campfire."