These twin brothers were once the oldest in the Church

These twin brothers were once the oldest in the Church

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 1960 issue of the Pioneer

Omer and Homer Call:

From writings by Alice Harding,  James H. Miller

These twin brothers were once the oldest in the Church
Omer (Seated, 1834-1909) and Homer Call (1834-1908)

These brothers while they lived had the distinction of being the oldest twin brothers in the Church and the second oldest twin brothers in the United States. They were familiarly called “Big Call” and “Little Call”, but the big one had the little name and the little one had the big name. In size and appearance there was very little difference and they were considered to be identical.

They were born June 9, 1834 to Cyril and Sally Tiffany Call in Madison, Geauga County, Ohio. They were the youngest children in a family of thirteen. The family of Cyril Call came to Utah in the year 1848 and made their home in Bountiful, Davis County. In 1852 Omer and Homer Call came to Willard, Box Elder County to homestead farms. They were each built of substantial rock and each possessed large herds of cattle and hogs. They formed a partnership which lasted more than 50 years.

Omer Call married Sarah Ferrin when he was 21 years old. Ten children were born to them. He later married Eleanor Jones who was the mother of 11 children. Homer married Nancy Merrill. She died at the age of 40 years leaving him 6 of the 11 children born to her. He never remarried.

In the year 1857 Omer and Homer were partners in the raising of grain and other farm products. They were threatened with the loss of their crops by crickets which were destroying the grain on all the farms around theirs. They prayed for help and made a promise to the Lord, that if He would spare their grain from the crickets they would use the entire crop for seed and flour and would sell only to those who were in need of bread for a reasonable price or sum. They would not seek to gain profit from it. Then the crickets did not molest their fields and they kept their promise. Those who had no money to pay were given flour without charge.

They owned the first flour mill built in Northern Utah. It was located in Willard. The rock buildings still stand. They installed new grinding stones and increased the capacity of the mill. It was run by water power. One of the stones is now in the possession of Judge B. C. Call in Brigham City. The old original stone burrs weighed more than 1200 lbs. each. The upper stone weighed a little less than the lower one. The Call brothers were among the first to bring a threshing machine to Utah by ox teams from San Francisco.

A few years after operating the flour mill they procured hull-less oats. They planted them and raised a good crop. After milling them and baking them they put them in pasteboard cartons and sold them for breakfast food. The operation of the mill was discontinued when milling in larger towns made the business unprofitable.

When the railroad was being constructed the Call brothers subcontracted 20 miles of the road in the mountains of Wyoming and later took a contract and helped build roadbed in Utah.

These brothers were very jolly men. They enjoyed a good joke and a good dance. They were both good singers and how they would chuckle when they would recall the times when each was taken for the other. On one occasion they took two young ladies to a dance. The girls, to make sure they would not be mistaken in their partners pinned a small bow of ribbon on Omer s coat. Upon arriving at the party Omer pinned the bow ribbon on Homer’s coat. When the dance was over he took it back and pinned it on his own coat. Each took the girl home, he had not danced with during the whole evening. The trick was not made known for several days.

Homer said he had never had a quarrel with Omer in all his life.

They were always good entertainers and created much laughter at all celebrations.

These brothers were seldom seen apart at the meetings and social gatherings. Their families were reared together almost like brothers and sisters. They were parted by death. Homer Call died July 12, 1908. The following year Omer passed away at his home Sept. 15, 1909 at the ages of 74 and 75 years respectively.

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