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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dedication of the New Mt. Pleasant City Hall ~ August 23, 1939 ~


Dedication of the New Mt. Pleasant City Hall
August 23, 1939
An Address  by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf
 Scanned from original manuscript, corrected, edited and formatted for this presentation
 by David R, Gunderson.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen:  
I do feel highly honored to have been asked to give this part on today’s program, and I hope I may say some things old, yet new, and. interesting to you.
The history of Mt. Pleasant and the people of the community is a very interesting study, there were many phases, conditions and problems, and it seems each administration has had its own particular problems.
Since this occasion is the dedication of the New City Hall, it was thought perhaps the stories of the city halls and the buildings of the past administrations might be a most interesting topic today.       
Mt. Pleasant was granted a charter by the Territorial Government, Feb 20th 1868. On May the 5th the following officers were chosen:
      - First Mayor:
           W. S. Seely,  and as
      - First City Council Members:    
           Jacob Christensen,
           Peter M. Peel,
           Jens Jorgensen
           N. Peter Madsen, and
           Joseph Page.
They made the following appointments:
           1.  George Farnsworth – Recorder,
           2.  Andrew Madsen – Treasurer,
           3.   Edward Cliff – Assessor,
           4.  Paul Dehlin – Road Supervisor, and
           
5.  O. Seely – Marshal.
It does not state where this administration met. Only three short items are recorded concerning this first City Council, one of these tells that Joseph Page was appointed Mayor Pro. Temp. At another, it was moved and carried that the $45.00 paid to the Indians should be taken from the treasury.                                                  
On May the 2nd 1870 Joseph Page was elected Mayor, and records state that on May the 7th , the council met in the hall, this no doubt was the Social Hall, which was the first meeting house built out side the fort.
They next met on July the 4th, at Andrew Madsen’s home, next at Anthon Lund’s   home, then at the Third Ward School, then at the Forth Ward School house, the Telegraph Office, the Second Ward School room, Joseph Page’s residence, and so on making the rounds again.
Some of the problems of the early administrations were fence lines, irrigation ditches, 
irrigation rights, obtaining clear titles to property, to license or not to license the sale of liquor, establishing stray ponds, ordinances pertaining to meat marketers, to butchering, to duties of the polices and many other ordinances needed in a new community.


From the minutes of a session held in the Second Ward school house, in 1874,
the following is copied:
“The council, then took into consideration the plausibility of building a city hall and jail, and it was moved and seconded that the council proceed to build the same, at least, as far as to finish the basement or the lower rooms this year. Paul Dehlin and Andrew Madsen were appointed, as a committee, to locate said building and decide on dimensions of same, and estimate the cost.”
The minutes of the next meeting state:
“The Dehlin and Madsen committee appointed at last meeting gave report on subject of city hall, Madsen, Dehlin and Mayor Page were appointed to see to the erection of said hall, and to locate same and as far as circumstances would allow, to engage the labor for same, at best terms for the city.”
Later at a meeting held at the Second Ward school house, it was recorded:
“The question of the city hall was again brought up, and it was decided that it would not be wise to build, or commence building of the hall at present, but to arrange to rent a place for a lockup. Bennett and Monson were appointed to rent a house and repair same sufficient to make it safe to hold prisoners, and were authorized to draw on the treasury for means necessary for same.”
Later a bill for $10.00 was presented and paid.
And thus, after eight years of shifting from place to place, disappeared their first 
dream of a city hall.
Dec. 1875, John Waldermar and  W. W. Brandon were appointed a committee to rent
and furnish a building to be used as a lockup.
From the minutes of a meeting held in the post office in 1876, the following is taken:
 "'On the subject of a room for city council meetings, Councilor A. H. Bennett reported that a room belonging to P. M. Peel, could be had at a reasonable price. The council agreed to rent the room and Bennett and Page were appointed to make terms for the same.”
The next meeting was held in the Peel room, and it was reported that arrangements
had been made for same at $ 2.00 a month. The action of the committee was
unanimously indorsed. Andrew Madsen and Peter Monson were appointed to get one dozen Chairs at the best terms possible. And this, after twelve years, was the first temporary home, the council had known, and was referred to in the minutes as the 
Mayors office.
It seems the question of the lockup was not yet satisfactorily settled,
In 1877, Andrew Madsen, as a committee of one, was appointed to select and negotiate
for some building suitable for a city lockup, Madsen later reported, he was able to
get the former building used, but that it was in need of much repair. The matter was
fully discussed, and laid over to hear, from A. H. Bennett, as to a contract to build
a good substantial lockup.
From the minutes of a meeting held Oct 24th is copied:
“The Mayor stated, the object of the meeting was to take into consideration the propriety of building a lockup, with height enough to admit a general city office above, this giving room for all city purposes and save rent and contingent expanses. After some discussion as to the finances to meet the expenses of said building, Mr. A. H. Bennett presented his specifications, in three divisions
First,          The lookup proper, finished and completed, to the    
                    expectance of the city council for. $275.00.


Second,      With additional room above, completed for $100.00 more, thus a total of $375.00.

Third,         In event of the council desiring only the lockup, to  
                    finish same thoroughly, save the contractor put on a
                    temporary roof’ at an agreed on price, less than $275.00.
Some discussion was had on the necessity of inviting proposals to build said building. The Council decided that time and necessity of the building, the known honor of the contracting party, his intimacy with the financial conditions of the city, his terms proposed of payment, and that none perhaps could be found to take the contract, and thoroughly complete the same, and that no version of building would be required, it being left to Bennett, therefore, it was unanimously resolved, to build said lockup, agreeable to the contingency that may arise as to the finances in the matter of completion, and the contract was awarded to A. H. Bennett.
A motion was made and carried that the Mayor make all arrangements, for the building and paying therefore with the contractor. On motion that the recorder prepare a contract, agreeable to the specifications submitted, which contract shall be duly signed by the contractor, with two approved signers, to the acceptance of the Mayor, and that said contract shall be on file in the recorder’s office.
The contract was duly signed and placed in recorder David Candland’s office. Mayor Page, Madsen and Bennett were appointed a committee on location of the building.
In December, the following was recorded:   
“The committee on receiving the City Hall from the hands of the contractor, reported favorable and that the speciation had on the part  of the contractor .been faithfully carried out. Upon its acceptance by the council, $250.00 was allowed Bennett in full price of the lockup, and co-operation notes were drawn up, bearing 1&½ per cent interest per month from maturity. Contractor Bennett delivered the keys to the Mayor; the Mayor delivered two keys to the Marshal. The Marshal was instructed to get ‘bedding’ and Councilor Peter Monsen to get a suitable stove. Records show the stove was purchased for $7.00.”
Thus with the erection of the jail, but with out the extra rooms, faded their dream number two of a City Hall.
The Council then decided to vacate its present quarters, where they paid Joseph Page $2.00 a month, and meet over the Post Office.
A year later, it was agreed, upon motion of Councilor Monson, to fence the city jail or lockup, with lumber twelve feet high.
The lockup referred to was a building erected of rock and had been built on the public square or North Fort (Now ‘1939’ the North Sanpete High School block), which, at that time, was surrounded by a rock wall.
Few claim they ever saw the inside of this lockup.- but many do remember a prisoner, who, in the early hours of the morning,  would sit upon the roof of the building and sing the popular songs of the day. This, however, was after the high board fence had been placed around it.
The story is told that, prior to the installation of the fence, a policeman, and by the way there were many of them, after locking up a prisoner, when turning a corner on Main Street, came face to face with the very prisoner he had just locked up.
Another story of later date is that of a prisoner who started a fire on the floor, in the center of the room. And, but for the timely arrival of Marshal, Joseph Monson, would surely have suffocated.
In 1881, a room for council meetings was secured at Bishop Seeley’s home, for $1.25 a month. Later they met up-stairs over the co-op store, in the South Brick school house, up stairs in the Wasatch: Mercantile building and perhaps in other places not named. It was a difficult matter to check their trail.
In 1888, Councilor Syndegaard called attention to the city jail, and said it was not a fit place to put a prisoners. Later Marshal Burns reported the jail had been repaired and he thought it was now a comfortable place to retain prisoners.
In 1890, during John Carter’s term as Mayor, again the subject of a city hall was discussed. The council favored erecting a water works system, instead of a hall, if the City must be bonded for either.
And thus, that city hall dream again faded away. (Number Three)
In 1895, during the time that Abram Johnson was Mayor, the record states:
“Considerable discussion was indulged in by the council, in regards to the immediate construction of a city hall, and the Mayor was authorized to procure plans etc. and it was resolved that it be the purpose of this council, to erect   a city hall, at an aggregate sum of from four to five thousand dollars, at as early a time as practicable, and that we proceed during the present year to excavate for basement and build foundation of said building. July 15th Architect Watkins presented the plans for the proposed city hall. The plans submitted were for a two story building with the jail in the basement, a council chamber, police court, vault and three offices on the first floor, one office and a public hall on the second floor. Aggregate cost to be $5,500.00.  It was discussed for some time, finally disposed of by appointing a committee to prepare an estimate of current income and expenses of the city, with the object in view to ascertain what available funds the city could command. July 19th the subject of erecting a city hall was again taken into consideration, and discussed as to weather said building should be constructed or not. A motion was made to lay the matter over indefinitely, while the motion was lost, no farther action was taken”.


And thus faded dream number four of a City Hall.
In 1896, during N. S. Nielsen’s term as mayor, at the time of the building of the
Central or Hamilton School, School Trustees, Ericksen and Jensen, representing the
School Trustees, met with the council, to confer with them, in regards to disposing of the North School house. Council took the matter under consideration
No farther mention is made of a City Hall was made until 1898, during the time
that Ferninand Ericksen was Mayor when the following discussion took place:
(By then, the City Council had been wandering about homeless for 30 years.)



North Brick School remodeled into Mt. Pleasant’s First City Hall (1898)

“School trustees Johnson and Jensen appeared for the purpose of making a proposition for the transfer of the North Brick school house to the city. It was moved and carried that it be the sense of the council that they purchase the house, providing the offer of the School trustees meets the approval of the council. Mr. Johnson stated that after through consider-ation, the school trustees had concluded to ask the sum of $2,000.00. On motion of' councilman Sorenson, a com-mittee of three were appointed, to visit the School house for the purpose of ascertaining the condition of the property. On Feb. 4th the council met in   special session, the committee reported the school. Building to be in better condition than anticipated, and recommended the purchase of the building at fifteen hundred dollars, which Mr. Johnson of the school trustees stated they had decided to accept the offer.  It was moved, and carried to purchase same and to pay the school board, $500.00 down, $500.00 in six months and $500.00, again in nine months. Notes were issued bearing interest at 5 per cent per annum from date of purchase.”
       “A motion was made to reconsider motion, motion lost.” 


The committee on improvements were instructed to take immediate action, and in due time after thoroughly remodeling the building, installing a heating plant, a vault, cells and suitable office furniture, It became an up to date, and creditable City Hall.  And dream number five, came true, when the council met in their session, in the first real home the Mt. Pleasant City council had ever known.

But, that, was forty years ago.   

                    We are here today, in honor of dream number six, and to dedicate the new Mt. Pleasant City Hall of 1939[1].                            

                                               

Mt. Pleasant’s New (1939) City Hall[1]


[1] Pictures of the “Old” and “New” City Halls are from the Book, “Mt. Pleasant” By Hilda M. Longsdorf - 1939 


Thank You




[1] City Government in 1939 – Mayor:  Justice Seely,
City Council:  J. H. Stansfield, Dr. A. L. Peterson, L. A. Phillips and William Olsen.



[1] Scanned from original manuscript, corrected, edited and formatted for this presentation by David R, Gunderson.

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