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CENTENARIAN RECALLS THE DAYS WHEN 11-MILE TRIP TOOK 3 HOURS

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It is 11 miles from Nephi to Levan and a 10-minute trip on a two-lane highway, but once it was a trip of adventure.

Clark Stevens Wood, born April 29, 1889, and Juab County's oldest resident, remembers the day when he spent three hours traveling the 11 miles. He and his bride, Alvida Kofford, were en route to Nephi to catch the train to Manti where they were to be married in the temple.It was Nov. 6, 1912. "The mud was so bad we just got there barely in time to catch the train," said Wood. "It was a mud wallow from Levan to Nephi.

"A team could only walk four miles per hour." There were no roads, just trails - a break in the brush that loomed on each side.

At the time a train ran through Salt Creek Canyon to Manti. "The train was so slow you could walk along the side of it," he said. It took approximately two more hours to get to Manti. "It was all uphill to the divide."

The couple stayed in Manti two days, which served as a honeymoon. A honeymoon was a rarity, said Wood.

Wood was presented with a plaque honoring him as Juab County's oldest citizen on Tuesday. Ray Crook, on behalf of the East Juab Senior Citizens group, presented the plaque to Wood.

He may be 100 but Wood gets along better than many people who are 70. He lives alone and fixes his own breakfast and lunch. His daughter-in-law, Jessie Wood, who lives across the street, brings in his supper. He takes care of himself, though Jessie Wooddoes his washing for him. He never misses church. "My son, Rulon, takes me here and when I visit my son in Idaho he takes me there.

"I didn't have much control over it," he said of his long life. In 1949 he discovered he had cancer. He went to the LDS Church's General Conference and Apostle Matthew Cowley gave him a blessing. "I knew I was going to get better," he said.

The day before deer season he went to California for treatment. He liked deer hunting. "Seeing all those deer hunters going hunting made me feel worse than anything," he said. "I was down in Cafifornia for three months. When I came back I was practically well."

He was born in Holden and grew up the son of a farmer. "I was no little angel," he said, admitting to stealing a few watermelons. He also spent a lot of hours working on the farm helping raise wheat, oats, corn and alfalfa.

As a young man he rode his horse to Fillmore to dances. There weren't any lights and the roads were poor. "There was just a cow trail," he said. "There wasn't such a thing as a road commission."

He remembers his first car, although not with fondness.

He got the car in 1926. "The first car I had was a Model T. I kept it two or three months. I didn't like jumping out and cranking it. I traded it off on a Chev."

He remembers the coming of television, but Wood was most impressed by the phonograph. When Wood went to school, his English-born grandmother lived across the street from the school. A relative had a Victorola phonograph.

For days, he said, the schoolchildren would run across the street to watch the Victorola play.

Wood's first wife died of high blood pressure, March 7, 1923, and left him with three children, the youngest two months shy of 2 years.

He married his second wife, Marie Anderson, June 25, 1924.

Wood worked for 36 years as postmaster in Levan. "That was a good job," he said. He began Feb. 17, 1923, just two weeks before his first wife died. He retired April 29, 1959.