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LIVINGSTON, Lewis Sears 1823

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                   Life History of Lewis Sears Livingston ==

I was born to William R. and Afton S. Livingston on September 1, 1923, in Holladay, Utah. I was named Lewis Sears Livingston after Mrs. Lewis who ran the maternity home where I was born and the maiden name of my mother. My family lived at 770 Ramona Avenue, Salt Lake City, and I attended Forest Elementary School, Irving Jr. High School, and South High.

During summer vacations I was sent to Colorado to work for Uncle Joe Livingston who had extensive sheep Operations near Craig and Hayden, mostly along the Williams Fork of the White River. I would arrive in time for the docking and trailing and then assist in tasks such as camp moving or supply handling. lt was satisfying to watch specific lambs grow up during the summer, but I was happy to go back to school before the lambs were shipped in September. 1 earned exactly $100 for the 3 months and it came in cash and was unspent at the end of the summer since there was no way to buy anything. I became acquainted with cousin Lewis R. Livingston, a more experienced and valuable ranch hand. He was known as "Big Lew" and 1 was "Little Lew."

I enrolled at the University of Utah in pre-law courses and began working at Salt Lake Abstract Company after school. My father and my uncle ran the company and my brother was already working for them. On a typical day I waited on the front steps of Kingsbury Hall until I could hear the streetcar approaching. I could then dash down the street, barely catch the "dinky", and get to work. In the beginning work consisted purely of typing and I was the best typist in the office. I was paid 5 cents per page which usually included about 5 carbon copies on onion skin paper which 1 then waved over a cooking hot plate to cause the carbon to melt and become more legible.

My brother Grant bought a model A Ford roadster for $75 which was a treasured addition to the family. I was the first of the siblings to have a driver's license, having obtained such on the exact day 1 turned 16 and to the amazement (and suspicion?) of the examining officer. I may well have driven the first car between Emigration Canyon and Parley's Canyon. That road was not yet finished but was under construction and there were some pieces where we had to get out and push or remove some of the brush driving on pure mountain soil, but we made it.

After Peary Harbor I decided to take advantage of several Navy options which allowed completion of the second year of college before reporting. I joined the Navy in a program which led to service in aviation. Big Lew and I were part of the group ordered to report to San Francisco and we remained stationed together for about the first year. His girl friend named Irene lived in Logan and my girl friend Lois was in Salt Lake. We both saved all the quarters we could get our hands on to make phone calls from pay phones which often involved leaving our names and numbers for return calls. One Operator accused us of two-timing our girl friends since both of our names were the same.

The Navy tried to drown me learning to pass the infamous B-2 test which required completing a certain swimming course using 4 strokes within certain time frames. I spent lots of liberty hours in the huge Pool and I honestly think they finally decided to pass me because of pure sympathy for effort expended. Next we were sent to California where we were able to fly Stearmans and a monoplane called SNJ by the Navy which even had retractable wheels. Robert Taylor of moviedom fame was my night flying instructor and quite a nice guy. His wife, Barbara Stanwyck, was not permitted to live in the married officers quarters unless she happened to also be an employee, so she worked in the laundry, and my claim to fame includes the likelihood that she did some of my laundry.

Lois Brown and I were engaged for about 17 months because I was away in the Navy. The chance to get married came with a small window of opportunity of 4 days travel time allowed between releases in Chicago and reporting to Clinton, Oklahoma. The Salt Lake Temple was closed which required a trip to Logan. We had a flat tire during a serious rainstorm on that trip which required me to change the tire while wearing Navy whites complete with Ensign insignia. We camped in a tent that first night and it continued to rain liberally. Our train trip to Oklahoma was highlighted by the news of the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Japan.

I returned to working with Salt Lake Abstract which became Western States Title Company. I represented insureds or insurers in property matters. I frequently dealt with disputes between adjoining land owners over easements or boundaries. The creation of the Crossroads Mall complex was completed merely days before I left to serve as president of the California Anaheim Mission. Western States Title grew to be the dominant title company in northern Utah and it had several branches. During this time I served as chairman of the real property section of the Utah State Bar, as a member of the Title Standards Committee, and as president of the Utah Land Title Association.

I have enjoyed playing tennis ever since my brothers and I found that we could play doubles at the park for the mere price of 4 tennis rackets and a ball. When Lois and I built our family home in 1955 it included space to build a tennis court eventually in the back yard. When that court became a reality I acquired some wonderful tennis-playing friends who kept the court in business on most days. I regularly played doubles, Lois often joined mc for mixed doubles, and often 1 played singles. My daughters Kay and Marilyn shagged balls occasionally and my son Clyde lettered in tennis in high school and has kept the tradition going with his children and grandchildren. My college friend Boyd Pexton gave me a tennis racket tie clip at his wedding reception which became my trademark. I have worn it whenever I wear a tie ever since I was in my 20s.

1 was blessed to serve in the church with very dedicated saints in a number of callings. I served as a counselor in two bishoprics, the first time under young Bishop M. Russell Ballard. I helped build the new church building in the era when donated labor was required and we became the Holladay 12th Ward. I served as a counselor in the stake presidency prior to being called as the president of the California Anaheim Mission. Later I served as a bishop and as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. I have often felt heavenly ratification of the work performed in the temple and look forward to its efficacy in my own eternity.

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This page has been accessed 1,050 times. This page was last modified on 2 April 2015, at 17:57.


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