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Edward Fay Little and
Alta Jane Empey Little

"Heritage of the High Country
A History of Del Bonita and Surrounding Districts
Pages 426-427

Edward Fay Little was born October 4, 1896 in Kanab, Utah. He is the son of Lorin Amasa Little and Eliza Ann Pugh. Around 1900 (prior to Fay being of school age) his parents moved to Alberta, Canada, where they settled on a homestead in the Taylorville district. He attended district school and helped his father with the farm and sheep. Being very handy with machinery, he was always building new gadgets to make the work lighter for everyone.

On September 6, 1916, he married Alta Jane Empey of Kimball, Alberta, Canada. Alta was born October 21, 1899 in Egin, Idaho. For a wedding gift his father gave him a team of horses.

Fay wanted to go to an engineering school. He sold his team of horses and went to school in Austin, Minnesota for six weeks. At the end of the term he received a diploma showing he had passed with one of the highest marks in his class.

He returned to his father's farm and worked with him. He was successful in talking his father into buying a gas tractor, one of the first in that part of the country.

He worked with his father for three years. Then in the fall of 1919 he and his wife and two small sons went to Utah and had their marriage solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

Fay worked for a while in Pocatello, Idaho driving a taxi. One night while working, a storm came up and the wind was blowing a real gale. All the lights in town went out and everyone wanted to get home in a hurry, so he was very busy for a while. He made a lot of money that night, but also said, "I wouldn't want to have another like it".

He received word from his brother Lorin in Kanab, Utah, wanting him to come and work with him. He had to haul wool into Marysvale, which was the end of the railroad line. Then on his return he would bring groceries and freight back for his uncle Len Pugh's store.

During this time his father sold some of his land in Canada and returned to the States, settling in Weiser, Idaho. During the summer and fall season he worked in the fruit industry, and during the winter months he worked at the Washington Hotel in the engine room. He operated the steam heating system. His health was not good, and his doctor advised him to work outside more.

Fay decided to buy the land his father still owned in Canada. In March 1922, he moved back to Taylorville, Alberta, but having no means of working the land, he had to work to get horses and machinery. Sometimes he would break wild horses and work with only one tame horse on the whole farm. He built some of his own machinery.

He and his family stayed on the farm until 1938 when they purchased a home in Cardston and moved there. Lyle, his eldest son, stayed to look after the farm. Later that same year he purchased a business, Little's Delicatessen, groceries and confectionery (the building presently occupied by Foodland). He operated this business until his death.

Fay was active in the L.D.S. Church. He held many positions over the years, including Choir director, Bishop of the Taylorville Ward. Member of the High Priest Quorum at Cardston, and a member of the Alberta Stake High Council. He loved to work with young people and so enjoyed his days in Scouting. He was assistant Scout Commissioner for southern Alberta. In 1937 at Gillwell Scout Training camp he received an award for highest marks of efficiency in his rank.

Fay was especially interested in music. In the earlier years on the farm, he organized his own band and for over five years they played for dances throughout this area. Except for one member who moved away, the group has remained intact all this time. He organized choruses for boys and girls and was also responsible for organizing and directing many dramas to help meet church expenses. Many plays were put on by members under his direction. They paid for a piano in one year instead of the three years allotted time for this purpose.

There certainly were ups and downs in these endeavors. The down part came one night during a performance at Jefferson. Halfway through the first act all the stage curtains fell to the floor, revealing all the backstage in various degrees of costume change. Everyone froze to the spot for a few seconds, but by a combined effort the curtains were restored and the play commenced. This was followed by a dance and a lunch and no one seemed the worse for the excitement.

Fay became ill while on a business trip to Lethbridge on the fifth of December. He was brought to the Cardston Hospital where he died of heart trouble, December 8, 1940 at the age of forty-four years.

Edward Fay Little was loved and respected by those who knew him. He was a friend to all and had many friends to mourn his early death. The Stake Tabernacle at Cardston was packed to overflowing at his funeral. Fifty Boy Scouts were present to show their esteem for him.

Fay and Alta were the parents of nine children. Melba and Deron Empey are deceased.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup