10th Day Christmas Past Question and Story

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Christmas Past 2016 | 14 comments

Untitled-2On the 10th Day of Christmas Past, the question is to be –

Question:  What gift was a little community in Blanding, Utah given?

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“His Christmas Gift”

“It was during the very early days of the settlement of Blanding, Utah and the little community was dependent for their water supply on the stream that came down the ditch from the nearby mountain.  On the 23rd and 24th of December the water failed to appear and we were under the necessity of hunting small patches of snow, or of carrying water from West Water Springs down in the canyon half a mile away.

The comfort and progress of the town was first in the mind of Walter C. Lyman, from the time he was shown the place in a wonderful dream, eight years before.  He was eager and watchful for the well-being of the town.  On the morning of the 24th of December, Walter took his shovel and started off up the ditch to see what had become of the little stream of water up on which we were depending.  He took no lunch with him, having no notion of how far he might go or how long he would be gone, but the farther he went the more interesting the hunt became.  He knew there was water up there somewhere if it had not all frozen solid and he figured that he might find it in the next rod ahead.

He walked on and on.  He had brought no extra coat, having left on the spur of the moment, and when it began to snow he still would not turn back when at every step forward he might find the illusive water.  So he went on mile after mile, and late in the day, soaked and hungry, but warmed with hope at the thought of getting the water down to the needy little community, he found where an ice-jam clogged the ditch and turned the stream off into the brush.

He shoveled away all the stoppage of ice, cleaned out the ditch below and got the water headed again for the town.  Coming down the ditch he scanned every foot of it for any other places where the stream might be hindered, or stopped again, and paused to remove obstructions here and there, leaving the channel clear and open all the way.  It was after dark Christmas Eve when he got home, wet and weary, but exulting in the fact of his having found and removed the trouble; yet he was fearful that in all that long distance the stream might choke up again with floating ice, or the ice which might form in it as it came slowly along.

As he lay thinking about it after having gone to bed, he resolved to go back the next morning if the water had not reach the town.  The ditch ran near his home, so near he could almost venture out in his night-clothes to see if the water was in it.  He was awake very early, ready to go, when he heard the welcome trickle of the water in the ditch.  The town heard it, too, when they awakened, prepared to go with their buckets to West Water.  It was Christmas and Uncle Walter had made his appropriate gift to everybody in the little isolated community, all without mentioning a word of the great effort he went to to anyone.”

Is there something this Christmas that keeps coming to your mind?  What lengths will I go to bring it about – mile after mile?

Taken from:

Kate Carver, Our Pioneer Heritage, p. 196-197, submitted by Albert Lyman.


  1. Through the efforts of townsman, Walter Lyman, the community of Blanding was given the gift of water. This season gifts of charity and service have been given to me. Although they may have seemed small to the givers, they have encouraged me to do whatever I can and give whatever I can.

  2. Walter C. Lyman who had settled the little community knew the town was depending on the water they came from the mountain stream right before Christmas the water stopped flowing so he ventured out determined to get the water flowing after an exhausting day he found it blocked by ice so he unblocked it and went home the next day which was Christmas the town woke to the sound of water in the little stream

  3. I appreciate the story of Walter Lyman and his efforts to make sure water would be available to the town of Blanding on Christmas. My story isn’t as inspiring, but my mother who is 86, likes an old fashioned candy. ( Walnettos) They are not easy to find. I’ve spent considerable effort trying to find them for her. Finally found them but they are at a store a good distance away and it seems like I’ve had obstacles trying to get them for her!

  4. Water from the stream started flowing again on Christmas Day.

  5. Walter was able to find the water and get it to come down the ditch for Christmas for the little community, even though he had no coat and no lunch and was cold and wet he kept going mile after mile until he found the blockage of ice in the ditch knowing that the community needed water so badly.

  6. Walter Lyman gave the town of branding one of the three gifts fneeded for survival which is water. This Christmas my mind has turned to my brother who is about to leave this earth. And even though Ithe past was not not the best between us. My heart is heavy for the lost we are about to loose and want him to know I love him

  7. Walter cleared the blocked stream (ice had blocked the water flow) and water was again flowing to the town on Christmas day.

  8. The end result was water but the real gift was the love, concern and willingness to sacrifice for the townspeople that Walter Lyman had. He was a man so willing to give whatever it took, mile after mile, for the little community. He sounds like he was the pillar of the community.

    The thought that keeps coming to my mind this year is to remind my grandchildren of the love that they, as cousins, have for each other. They see each other often and are so excited each time they get to be together whether old or young. I want them to realize as they get older that the bond they have can still be there. They can always have the love and support of their cousins as well as their own family. On our family game night we are giving each grandchild a framed picture of all of the cousins to put in their room to remind them of the unity and love that is theirs.

  9. Walter Lyman made a Christ-like sacrifice to bring the precious gift of water to the little community. A fitting gift, since Christ is the “living water.”

  10. Walter C. Lyman brought the town water. He found where an ice-jam clogged the ditch and shoveled away all the stoppage of ice, cleaned out the ditch below and got the water headed again for the town.

  11. The Blanding, Utah community was given the gift of having a water supply ready for them on Christmas Day. This gift was given by the man Walter C. Lyman, who dreamed of the comfort and progress of his town. His sacrifice and commitment aided the town in growing and becoming prosperous.

  12. Walter Lyman was willing to sacrifice his comfort, time and possibly his health for the wellbeing of his hometown, Blanding. With no thought for recognition, he served his neighbors and provided them the much needed gift of water.

    As we look for those we can serve, it should be with no thought of recognition or praise. It should be given in the same Spirit that Jesus Christ served, in love.

  13. Walter Lyman cleared the ice so the town could have water.

  14. I admire our pioneer ancestors and the lengths they went to in service to others. What wonderful examples that we can live by today.

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