Monday, June 24, 2013

Old Mt. Pleasant North Ward Church- Torn down in 1952

This picture of the Old Mt. Pleasant North Ward Church  also shwos  the Hamilton Elementary School in the background, the bell tower which stood atop 
The following are excerpts from History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf concerning the planning and construction of the North Ward Church:

First Meeting and School House
Early in 1860, a temporary building for meeting and school purposes was finished. It was a building 20 feet by 30 feet, located almost in the center of the fort; facing south, with one door and two windows, and a huge fire place in the west end of the building.
The logs for the building had been cut in the mountains and hauled to the fort by Orange and Wellington Seeley, John Carter, and several others, and later when the tithing office was built, Orange and Wellington Seeley had the contract to get logs out, while others were assigned to haul them from the mountain.
January 12th, Apostle Orson Hyde and Ezra T. Benson visited the colony and preached to the people, and on January 13th, A. B. Strickland assisted by Mrs. Oscar Winters began teaching school. Brother Strickland, who had some difficulty with the children, was assaulted and abused by James R. Ivie, the dispute arising over some punishment inflicted by the teacher upon a brother of Ivie. Brother Strickland closed his school the 26th of March. On April 9th, Alma J. Forsyth began a similar school for the summer months. We quote Rudolph N. Bennett, in a talk given by him at a pioneer meeting, March 24, 1924, "There was at that time three months at school and nine months out at work, not vacation; no wonder some of us have not the book learning we would like, but we did not have the opportunity to get it. The school seats were then made of slabs and the desks were of rough boards. The schools now have all that is necessary, including music." Concerning the use of the building, we again quote Mr. Bennett, "This building was also used for a dance hall, 'Nigger Shows,' theatre and school doings. The lights were furnished by a sage brush or cedar fire; on special occasions tallow candles were used. The house was always packed because the people were glad for any kind of entertainment that could be given."
pp 62-63

New Meeting House

January 4, 1865, a special meeting was called for the purpose of discussing ways and means of erecting the new meeting house, as the Social Hall was now too small and a larger place was needed to accommodate the people. It was proposed to erect a large meeting house in the center of the church block. A resolution was adopted assessing each person over eighteen years of age $10.00. Besides, a property tax of three percent was levied upon the property. William S. Seeley, Amasa Scovil, Niels Rosenlof, and William F. Reynolds were appointed as a building committee. February 17th, a contract was let to James Hansen and Niels Ro­senlof to erect the building. It was to be of white adobe and was to be completed by May 1, 1866. The contract price was $14, ­000.  p. 93

Work was at once begun, a good foundation laid, and the wall started, but on President Young's next visit, he told the people the building was too small and, consequently work was discontinued for the time being. March 4th, a grand celebration was held in Salt Lake City, celebrating the re-inauguration of President Lincoln, and a number of people throughout the county attended. On Saturday, April 5th, upon learning of the assassination of President Lincoln, all business houses in Salt Lake City were closed and the communities were in mourning. p. 94

Brigham Young Visits Mt. Pleasant

President Young and a number of the twelve apostles again visited the community. They were met by the brass band, the Sunday School children and a great many saints. At a large gathering held in the bowery, Joseph F. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith and George Q. Cannon spoke of the benefits of  co-operation and home manufacturing, and also dwelt on the Word of Wisdom. President Young pronounced a blessing upon the people, begging them to live their religion. Many good instructions were received and the saints rejoiced much over the visit. Lauritz Larsen was at this time serving as the church re­corder. The grasshoppers having nearly disappeared, the people "were successful in again raising a large crop of grain. The Union Pacific Railroad had reached Ogden and many implements were shipped into the territory. A combined reaper-mowing machine, called "The World," and a hay rake were purchased and brought to the town by C. W. Anderson and Andrew Madsen. This was the first rake and machine brought to Mt. Pleasant.
August 16th, Paul Dehlin, Abraham Day, and Samuel S. Witten were appointed to supervise the building of the meeting house, on the foundation laid in 1867, at which time, on account of the trouble with the Indians, work was suspended. Ebbie Jessen took contract for the mason work for $800.00 and Erick Gunderson and Jacob Rolfson the carpenter work for $2,000.00 A poll tax of $10.00 for each man was paid towards it. It might be interesting to know that at that time adobes were $10.00 per thousand, and freight on window glass was $25.00 cwt., from the Missouri River. At about this time some people became dissatisfied and apostatized from the church. The High Council, a quorum of twelve men, chosen by the church to settle difficulties among the Saints, was organized with Bishop Seeley as the president. p 131

From the minutes of the priesthood quorum the following is taken: "December 11, 1870, High Priests met according to
appointment in the new Meeting House. After some remarks
President Staker stated he did not feel to lengthen his remarks on account of the uncomfortable condition in the house." This is the first record of any gathering having been held in the build­ing.
The Deseret News of March 3, 1871, published the following
"Mt. Pleasant. Elder George Farnsworth writes an interesting letter on the 26 ult. from Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah He says that on account of the very mild winter, fears of the scarcity of water during the coming summer for irrigation pur­poses have been very general throughout Sanpete Valley. But as such fear has been dispelled by the abundance of snow which has fallen during two or three weeks, prior to the date of his  letter. p. 134

Under date of April 28th, the Deseret News contained the following from a correspondent from Mount Pleasant: "The Northern Sanpete
Co-operative institution, organized a short time ago, having sold shares to a considerable amount within the past few days, taking mostly young stock in payment, was started from this place this morning for the herd ground in Thistle Valley. Our new meeting house is nearly completed. The weather in this section has been very cold and stormy, causing delay in sowing, hut a good crop is anticipated this season. The health of the people is generally good." p. 134
A committee was named to clean the interior and white wash the walls of the meeting house, which had been built a few years previous. In 1889 it was thought advisable to have the meeting house heated with coal instead of wood. Report was made that fifty benches had been made by members for use in the bowery
They proposed to get a church bell before the next year. A
committee was appointed to get men and teams to level the north side of the church square, and to further beautify the grounds by planting suitable shade and pine trees. A committee was also appointed to supervise the painting of the fence." Note: The fence was built by Levi and William Reynolds, and was extra high. p. 164


"Mt. Pleasant, March 21, 1910.-Yesterday was Pioneer Day in this City, but the Pioneers and their descendants held their celebration Saturday. A program was given at the North Ward Meeting House. An interesting feature of the day was a collection of Pioneer relics, displayed at the Opera House. There were old spinning wheels, wooden shoes, flint-lock guns of over a hundred years ago, Indian millstones, pewter ware brought across the plains in the handcart companies, and many other things. The day's festivities closed with a grand ball in the evening at the Madsen Opera House." p. 195

In 1913-14, the old "meeting house" was remodeled and new benches purchased. At this time, the gallery was taken out, and a vestibule was built on the west. The building was dedicated by President Anthon H. Lund, and then became known as the North Ward Chapel. p. 198

Later (John Hasler) took the leadership of the ward choir; George Farnsworth, the former leader had resigned. At that time, no printed
music was arranged to the Church Hymn books, he wrote all the notes and arranged them to the Latter-day Saints' Hymns, until the Psalmody was edited. No heated rooms were provided for their practices, a leader had to make his own fires, and bring his own coal oil for their lights. Later, when an organ was pro­vided for the meeting house, the leader had to teach the organists before the practices. Entertainments had to be arranged to en­courage the members as well as the public. In this capacity, Mr. Hastler labored for over twenty years. . . . He was greatly thankful to be able to enjoy his work. He was noted for his punctuality, he never was known to have been late to meet an ap­pointment where duty called.
He was an organizer in this line of work, not only in Mt. Pleasant, but in many other towns he organized choirs and bands. p. 243

No comments:

Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple