I was born august 10th, 1899, at Mamoth Creek near Hatch, Garfield County, Utah. I was the oldest child of Cornelius and Lydia Jane Lemmon Workman.
My parents migrated with a large number of other families to the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming when I was only 14 months old. Eight more children were born to my parents in Lovell, Wyoming, each two years apart. In order: Abram Owen, Olevia, Hyrum, Verda, David Turner, Olive, Haskel, and Kendrick. All of which have passed on except Kendrick.
Of childhood health conditions, I remember well, having the measles, the mumps twice- yes, on one side at a time. I did, however, escape the dreaded diphtheria which all of the other children had of which Haskel died Christmas Day, 1915. It was not considered wise to hold any funeral service as this disease was not under control as it is today. Of course the occasion was sad one.
In my tender youth there were no commercialized sports. All shows were home talent plays. My playmates were, for the most part, my cousins on my mother's side of the family, the Thaxtons ö Alta, Eldora, and Enola: the Allreds ö Orvel, Chasty, and Vera: the Farnes- Cloe, Elva, and Lydia. We played lots of ball games. The balls were made of unraveled old socks and sometimes when it got dark we would soak them in coal oil and play on.
Religious conditions in my parent's home were ideal. My parents did not just send us to church, they went with us. Family devotions was always practiced, consisting of family prayers before breakfast and a song and prayer again before any member of the family went to bed. My father was a good provider and we never went hungry.
I attended the elementary grades of school in Lovell, Wyoming, graduating in 1913. in which I gave the Welcoming Address. At that time there was no high school in Lovell so I attended the Big Horn Academy in Cowley for two years which concluded my schooling.
The time from my 12th to 18th years were spent on different farms that my father owned. I was taught how to irrigate and was responsible for most of it during this time. Sometimes water was scarce and I would never take my boots off for 24 hours in order to cover as much ground and not waste any water.
I remember well my attendance at Primary, Religion class, and Missionary Class. The latter two have been discontinued and supplemented by Seminary. The memories of many of my teachers with their love and untiring efforts to teach and direct me to know right from wrong are very pleasant.
My activities in sports were very little as most of the boys I chummed with were older and larger than I, so often I was used as umpire in the ball games. (Ha ha!)
Oh yes, of course I had a few little puppy love crushes. I claimed one girl two years my senior as my girl back as far as my earliest remembrances, but she got tired waiting for me to grow up and married a fine boy and moved out of the country.
I met the girl who became my wife at Lovell, Wyoming, in 1922, shortly after I had returned from the Mexican Mission. She was a Baptist, but had been investigating Mormonism for some time and was already converted, due to her own initiative and the congeniality of some of the members of the Lovell West Ward. So I was given the privilege of baptizing her. She was and still is talented in being a good mixer and sought after to take part in and lead many activities. When I became acquainted with her I immediately lost all interest in any other girl and gave her the rush act which resulted in our marriage October 1, 1922 by Bishop H. Cash Carlton. We were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple October 11, 1922, by Joseph Fielding Smith who is now president of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Prior to my filling a Mission in Old Mexico, I was in the Marine Corps during World War I. I enlisted July 25, 1918 at Mare Island, California, and was honorably discharged January 23, 1919, at Quantico, Virginia.
On January 14, 1920, I left Salt Lake City, Utah in answer to a call to labor as a missionary in the Mexican Mission. At that time the missionaries had been withdrawn from the Mexican Republic and missionary work was being done along the border among the Spanish speaking people. I labored 9 months at Douglas, Arizona, 4 months at Uvalde, Texas, and about 11 months in and near Mexico City, If I were to fill another mission my preference would be among the same people, especially where the Indian blood predominates. It may be that I am a little partial to the Indian blood as my life partner has a fraction of the proud Cherokee blood which, of course, flows in the veins of our eight children, and 32 grandchildren (with more to come, we hope.)
We have been blessed with nine children, eight of which are living which we love and are very proud. They are all healthy, married to lovely mates, and we are very happy that we all enjoy one another's company and hope and pray that this love and affection will continue to grow and increase as time goes by. Our children's names in order are: Venita Workman Smith, Cornelius Workman, Preston Duncan Workman, Trulan Workman, Eva Lu Workman Tanner, Croft Mondell Workman, Dallan Workman, and Claude D. Workman. I and my three oldest boys were born in Utah. My dear wife was born in Wimberly, Texas, and all the other children were born in Lovell, Wyoming.
During the first ten of our 42+ years of married of married life we moved many times = 31 as best as we can remember. We have lived a little over 32 year at 173 West 3rd, Lovell, Wyoming.
Two little incidents that happened in our early married life. When our third boy, Trulan, was born, he was the smallest baby at birth of any of our children. Venita, who was a little less than five years old, upon seeing him for the first time said, "Daddy, he's so tiny we don't know if he's a people of not!" Another about Cornelius (or Neil) who was a very healthy good-natured baby and we imposed on him trying to make him sleep more than he need to. His answer was, "I got a good peet!"(sleep)
My employment during my married life consists of about five years of farming- mostly through depression times when sugar beets sold for about $6 per ton, beets at1¢ per pound, wheat and oats at 50¢ c.w.t. and labor $1 per day (with dinner- maybe.)
I worked for several years at the smelter located at Tooele, Utah, during the late 1920's and early 30's. during the middle 30's I worked at a lime rock quarry near Greybull, Wyoming. During the W.P.A. days I laid many miles of water and sewer lines. I laid several miles of drain tile at the Casper airport during World War II. From 1942 to 1948 I worked at the Carter Oil Refinery as pipe fitter and rigger. Since 1948 to the present time I have worked as Maintenance Man on the Shoshone Drainage Districts in the summer and Beet Washer at the Great Western Sugar Co. in the fall winter.
As far as my political activity, I have always registered as a Democrat, but have many times voted a split ticket when I thought the better candidate was a republican. I served as a precinct committeeman during the F.D.R. for one term only. Too much, "I'll tickle you if you'll tickle me under handed." One candidate tied to get me to round up a bunch of Hobos to vote for him. I refused and he lost the election by a narrow margin. My belief "Honest and true politicians are few and far between, be careful of and for whom you vote."
As for Religion in our home, we have not always been as active as we should, but we know that the greatest joy and happiness has been ours when we were busy in church activities and living the Gospel teachings. We have read most of the Standard Works of the Church, some of them numerous times. Also, we read from cover to cover all the Era publications which we enjoy very much.
My favorite recreation is to visit my children and grandchildren and to tell stories to the younger generation.
My talent lies in my being able to get my dear wife to wait on me hand and foot, to tickle my appetite with tempting food, to see that I bathe and change clothes often, and to soothe my aches and pains and prod me to more activity in my church duties.
The capacity in which I have labored in church include: Sunday School Superindent, Sunday School teacher, Ward teacher, YMMIA presidency, HIght Priest Class Leader, Elder class Leader, Boy Scout Committeeman, and Janitor for one month to work out ward maintenance dues.
My Patriarchal Blessing has been fulfilled in all the promises that were made. That I should fill my mission and return home in safety. That my life companion would bless me with a large family and that I should enjoy my activities in church work.
Many people have influenced my life by constructive criticism, in showing me in kindness a better way to accomplish what I was trying to do. Others have been (as it were at the cross roads) to steer and shield me from pitfalls.
I am by nature what you might call a tenderhearted man. I am very unhappy where there are harsh words being spoken, so naturally my favorite song is "Let Us All Speak Kind Words to Each Other."
In closing, I want to thank my wife for her help and patience to get me to write these few lines, also to my granddaughter Sue who I affectionately call Dolly Dimples, for her recent request for my life history. Also to Greta who promises to type it up for me.
(Claude Cornelius Workman died October 20, 1976. He is buried in the Lovell City Cemetery, Lovell, Wyoming.)