BY MELISSA SPELTS
Maree could drive down Pleasant View Dr. and list off every person who lived along the road. She loved growing up there. The community felt so much like family that Maree thought every older woman was her grandma. There was Grandma Ferrin, Grandma Budge, Grandma Bailey, Grandma Cragun, etc. Maree was born at the old Dee Hospital to A. Glen and Adella Ellis on January 26, 1952.
Growing up, Maree worked on the family cherry farm where they picked cherries and collected them in buckets. Her dad knew that if Maree ever went home for breakfast or lunch, she wouldn’t want to return to the orchard. He made sure to get breakfast or lunch to her while she was working. His go-to meal was a sandwich with a piece of baloney, a dollop of cottage cheese, and potato chips between the bread. She thought having chips in a sandwich was normal until a friend at school asked her about it. It was delicious, and Maree still puts potato chips in her sandwich today.
The Ellis family made many friends while working the cherry orchards. Many migrant workers came every year, and the Ellis family appreciated the needed help. There came a time when Maree’s mom sold an acre of land and made more money from that land than she did in 40 years of farming cherries. This was very sad to her.
Everyone looked forward to the softball and baseball games at the Pleasant View Park. The teams were made up of boys and girls from the wards (or church groups) in the area, and it was said the competition was GREAT! The Pleasant View 1st Ward had the Tuckers, the Craguns, and the Rheeses, and they were good. The Pleasant View 2nd Ward had the Fackrells, the Wadmans, and the Olsens. All of these families were friends unless they were playing baseball. It got very competitive. Maree struck out all the time while playing softball. Her dad sat behind the fence and catcher and hollered if it was a ball or not so she would know when to swing.
Maree had known her husband, Larry, since he was 12 years old, which was when the Wadman family moved to Pleasant View. After Larry returned from his mission, he was driving down 500 W., also known as “the mile hill”, and was hit by a cherry truck backing out of the Ellis’s orchard. The truck hit Larry’s car, turning it over in a ditch that lined the road. As they waited for the ambulance, Larry laid against his car with a hurt shoulder. Maree asked him if he would like some cherries and handed him some. This was the day when Larry noticed Maree. He later told her he had thought, “Ooh, she’s cute.” Things progressed from there.
Both Maree’s parents were raised during the Great Depression; they lived off the land. Her mother, Adella, was from South Weber, and her Grandpa, John Kendell, lost land because he couldn’t pay the taxes. He always said, “Get an education, because no one can ever take that away from you.” Maree’s mom made sure she and her three girls went to college. They all became teachers. There was also an education fund set up for the grandchildren, and they all went to college as well.
Maree’s Dad, Glen, was born in Pleasant View and lived here until he was six years old, when his family moved to Riverdale. After he married his wife, Adella, they moved back to Pleasant View and lived in the original Ellis family house off of Elberta and 500 W. After Maree was married to Larry, they lived in the house for three years while they built their home. Six generations of Ellis’s have lived in that home.
Glen worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad. One year, Glen was so sick that he couldn’t work, so his wife, Adella, worked in his place until he was well enough to go back. Maree has two sisters, Charleen Ellis Cook and Kathleen Ellis Anderson. Maree’s mom started including double “ee”s in their names, and this has continued with the grandchildren’s names.
One day, Glen found an Indian arrowhead while he was working in the fields on his tractor. It was the color of an apricot pit, and it was amazing he had spotted it. Arrowheads were found all over their property, and Adella brought her 4th grade classes on field trips to run through all the rocks and search for them just above Weber High School.
Glen used to say, “He’d sooner do 100 things once, than do one thing a hundred times”. He was a whittler, rock collector, and hiker. He was a very active man. He loved to take pictures and he took pictures of all the houses on Pleasant View Drive. Most of them are gone now, so they are of great worth to the family.
Maree’s Grandfather, Alma Ellis, was born and raised in the Ellis home off of 500 W and Elberta drive. After he was married, he bought the home from his father and raised his family there. His wife, Mabel Cottom Ellis, told stories to her grandchildren about the Indians that would come to her house for food. One time, she was concerned about her safety, so she gave them food at the front door, grabbed her children, and ran out the back door to the root cellar to hide. They lived at that house until Glen was 6 years old and moved to Riverdale but kept the farm. Alma raised sweet and sour cherries, apples, and grew hay. Later, Glen added apricots, peaches, pears, and plumbs.
Alma was also a local “water witch”, and he helped find much of the water in Pleasant View, including the water for his home. He helped people from Promontory Point all the way down to Delta find water. He used a peach twig to help himself find the water and could even tell how far to dig. He was taught by an 84-year-old man named Mr. Taylor.
Fredrick Ellis was the first of the Ellis family to come to Pleasant View from England. He lived in Salt Lake City for two years and borrowed money while there. He found work in Corrine Utah with the railroad. He earned enough money in two years to pay his debts and help his Dad, Edmond Ellis, stepmom, and their children come from England to Pleasant View. They dug a hole in the mountain at the foot of Ben Lomond and lived in a dugout for two years until Edmond could build a home. After the railroad was finished, Fredrick settled in Pleasant View. The grasshoppers came and destroyed everything, so Edmond left Pleasant View and moved to North Ogden. Fredrick built the little home in Pleasant View in 1886 for his second wife, Sarah Jane Barker Ellis, and their three children. Three more children were born after they moved in. He was a polygamist, and his first wife, Susan, lived in North Ogden with their children. Between the two wives, Fredrick had 16 children.
Fredrick homesteaded 150 acres in North Ogden and Pleasant View, which included the land on which Weber High School and the church below it is built. Sarah passed away from an ovarian cyst and left six little children on their own. The six children stayed in the home without a parent and raised each other. When Martha, the oldest of the children, got married, she took the youngest daughter, Polly, and moved to California with her husband. This left the four boys to be bachelors in the house. They worked hard on the cherry and hay farms and watched out for each other.