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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Thomas Clarence Ryset

Fourth child of Francis and Priscilla Ryset


Thomas Clarence Ryset, on the left, in the army about 1918. With him is Clifford Egan.


Thomas Clarence, on the left in this picture, was the younger of the two sons. Thomas Clarence was born 12 June 1896 and died 9 July 1963. He never married.


Thomas Clarence is on the left in this picture.


By Ellen Ryset Butler

June, 1980

As one of the older members of our family I have been asked to write some things I remember about my brothers, Clarence and Francis Edward (Dick). I sincerely hope the things I say will help the younger generation to know, love and appreciate them as I do. I truly hope someone will add to this.

Clarence was nine years older than I and I really remember him as a big brother. I don't remember him teasing me as some sisters think of their brothers teasing. I can remember when I got older how I looked up to Clarence and Dick. I looked up to them and thought "What handsome brothers!"

I think Clarence was an obedient boy until about the time the boys his age were advanced in the priesthood. Burt Flitton had some kind of a grudge and his name was not put in with the rest of the boys. That really made a change in him. I was too young to know but I can remember the "fuss" at home because he would not go to church.

The World War in 1918 came along and he was drafted. Many of his other friends went along at the same time; Ralph Moore, Ed Brown and others. He was sent to Camp Fremont, California. They issued his shoes that were too big and they rubbed blisters on his heels during the training. He got infection and had a bad time for a long time. His feet bothered him the rest of his life. His Company landed at Brest, France, just the time the Armistice was signed. They were held in France for a year as guards. His duties included that of guarding the service men's payroll. He was among the service men who met and stood guard over President Wilson when he arrived to tour France and he was released from the Army in August, 1919.

Clarence was a lot of fun and was liked by all his friends. He was a good dancer and I am sure he helped each of his sisters learn to dance. The family loved horses and always had the best of horses on the ranch. I remember his team, Old Baldy and Blaze, beautiful black horses with white blazed faces and white stocking feet, big masterful animals. I'll never forget how broken hearted he was when Blaze got in the wire fence and cut her leg until she was never strong enough to match Baldy after that. Baldy lived until he was a really old horse. He was the mainstay on the ranch. When it was haying time and I helped, the boys gave me Old Baldy on the rake. Of course he knew more than I did. Then Clarence, Dick and Harold Brown would laugh and tell me, "Let old Baldy go. He will teach you how to rake hay!" Then I would cry. He was a good hand with horses and had a silver grey saddle horse named Bill that also knew more than I did. One had to know how to ride if one rode horses he broke.

I'm sure we have all mentioned the dry farm in our stories. I'd like to tell you a little of the boy's romances. The Holdens from Idaho Falls had a ranch they used to come to during the summer. Mr. Holden was a barber and Mrs. Holden was a school teacher. They brought other school teachers up with them to ride horses and enjoy the cool summer weather. There were Margaret Blake, Mary Blake and Eunice Blake. The boys had several years of fun where all the cowboys and school teachers would go on fishing trips, (horseback) riding through the beautiful mountains and having good times around the campfires. During this time many matches were made. Margaret married Clifford Egan, Mary married Dick, Cleo and Clarence had an understanding that she would go home to Colorado and come back later. I understand however, that Clarence thought that the family was too far in debt and did not think he could bring her into the family debt nor leave the family until they were out of debt. They never married. Cleo was killed in a plane accident later. I often thought Dad asked a lot of the boys and maybe Clarence's life would have been different. When Dad passed away in 1924 I remember Mother saying to Clarence, "You will have to help me raise these girls." There was Sara, 19; Ellen, 17; Leone, 14; and Jennie 12.

Clarence was good to us and took us to dances and helped on the farm. I'll not say he did not do things he should not have done, but that was not a very good life for him either.

As Clayton and I were remembering today the years that Clayton used to come out to the ranch in the summer, he said, "Those were good years. Clarence was so good to me. I learned to ride his horses. He taught me to be one of the boys. I learned what life was about." He told how Clarence had brought home a pistol from the service and was sitting and whirling it around and it went off and blew a flower pot to pieces. Everyone was frightened to death and learned a lesson from that.

He was good to all of his nieces and nephews. He really liked children and would have been a good father. I'm sure that is what he would have wanted for himself, had things been different. He spent many winters with my family in Blythe and Mesa and we had a many good talks. He was tenderhearted and kind. Many times I saw tears come to his eyes as we talked about things. He was an avid reader and could converse with anyone on most subjects.

One of the best trips I ever took was when I brought a pickup we bought in Idaho Falls back to Allen in California. He knew something about every part of the country as we drove along. As we went through Fillmore, Utah, he told me things about the family. He remembered folks telling him about when they lived in Deseret county. He remembered Dad telling about going with Platt and Jody Lyman to the four corners of Utah and "Hole in the Rock" and taking care of the horses for them. Many of the things I have written in the histories are things he told me.

We are including with his history the Life Sketch that was written by his sisters and given at his funeral. For the past few weeks in our Church History Class we have been studying about Harold B. Lee. He gave a promise to the adult ladies that had never married. He promised them that if they were worthy they would not be forgotten. I feel this way about my brother Clarence.