Saturday, October 26, 2013


Saga of the Sanpitch 1974

Source: Verlyn Oldham, Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

Mrs. Dorothy J. Buchanan
Richfield, Utah
Professional Division
First Place Anecdote

 Since we were children, most of us have heard about the cow that jumped over the moon, but this
cow I have in mind jumped under the moon…or that is, she fell into a cellar, back in those pioneer day, 115 years ago. My great grandfather, Jens Larsen, came to Mt. Pleasant in 1859 and soon began to build his first house..of necessity a slow process. He planned a two room, block adobe house with a dirt roof and cellar. At first, only the north room was built, which the family occupied. Then the cellar was excavated and Jens planned to build the south room on top of that.
Things went along smoothly until one spring day the valuable family cow strayed too close to the cellar and fell into it, but fortunately was uninjured.

Quite a hubbub ensured when friends and neighbors hurried to the spot to offer Jens advice as to ways
and means he should employ to get the cow safely out of the cellar. The cow was heavy and the cellar was deep. How could they every manage it? They possessed no tools or mechanical devices to help them. But as pioneers were noted for their ingenuity and skill in many things, there was always a way! The men simply threw piles of hat and straw into the cellar until it was high enough for Bossy to walk calmly out. She was the only one who had not been excited!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Off to Yakima

Lee R. Christensen's  Photos and Stories From Mt. Pleasant

For a week or ten days......

     1. I will not be seeing much of this!  

2. nor doing any of this and........
 3.  hopefully shoveling none of this !

      But visiting with Tracy, David, their 3 dogs, 5 goats, 3 cats and two horses.    Lee

Monday, October 21, 2013

Genealogy Roadshow On PBS.

I recommend this show to everyone.  I pre-record every airing to view later.  It is shown on P.B.S. (Kathy)

Fourth Episode of Genealogy Roadshow

GenealogyRoadshow-logoThe fourth episode of Genealogy Roadshow was broadcast earlier this evening on PBS. I watched and found there isn't much new that I can write about the show. It continued with the same format as the earlier episodes I have already written about. Indeed, I like that format.

The one obvious exception in this evening's broadcast was the fact that it was videotaped in Austin, Texas, in the historic Driskill Hotel. Many of the stories revolved around Texas genealogy and history. One guest found she was a relative of, although not a descendant of, Sam Houston and also Texas' current governor, Rick Perry. Another found that her Tejano ancestor fought in the Texas Revolution. She also had her DNA tested and it indicated descent from Crypto Jews, one of the groups who settled in Mexico early in its colonial days. DNA obviously doesn't provide names, places, or dates, but does provide connections to documented ethnic groups.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Anyone Remember Castilla?

The Roundhouse at Thistle


Provo Daily Enquirer 1889

The Daily Enquirer 1892-07-16

Spanish Fork Canyon was named for the Spanish priest-explorers Escalante and Dominguez who discovered the springs in September 1776 as they followed the Spanish Fork River down the canyon. They called it Rio de Aguas Calientes (“River of Hot Waters”) because of the hot springs flowing into the river. The name Castilla may have been suggested by the castle-like rock formations nearby. In 1863, heavily armed Mormon troops traveling through Spanish Fork Canyon noted the presence of “unfriendly Indians” living around the hot springs (Jeffers, 1972). But by 1889, the Native Americans were gone and William Fuller had filed for a patent on the hot springs property with the U.S. government. He built a small house that contained a wooden tub for bathing in the mineral water. Later that year, a Mrs. Southworth felt that her health had been improved by bathing in the spring water, and she urged her two sons to buy the springs and “make a resort for people who have hopeless afflictions, that they may come and be cured.” They filled the swampy area with gravel and built a three-story, red sandstone hotel from sandstone quarried in a nearby canyon (Figure 4). Other structures included indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a store, a dance pavilion, private bathhouses, several private cottages, and a saloon. Picnic areas, a baseball diamond, and stables were also provided.

The history of "pleasure resorts," as they were commonly called in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is seen by many historians as central to understanding American culture and society in the last one hundred years. However, not much has been written or published about resorts in Utah. By the turn of the twentieth century, resorts of all kinds dotted the state's cities, canyons, and lakes but, aside from Saltair, we know little about them. Many have nearly faded from historical memory (including Bountiful's Eden Park, Salt Lake City's Fuller's Hill, Ogden's Sylvan Glen, Utah Lake's Geneva and half-dozen other resorts, and most of the Great Salt Lake's nearly one dozen). About others whose names are more familiar, only a relatively little is known; they include Salt Lake City's Salt Palace, Majestic Park, and Calder's (later Wandamere) Park, Spanish Fork Canyon's Castilla Hot Springs, Ogden Canyon's the Hermitage, and Emigration Canyon's Pinecrest. Even Lagoon, the most enduring of Utah's resorts, still awaits its historians.

What is known about early resorts in Utah suggests they have come in a variety of kinds and sizes, from modest health spas, such as Castilla Hot Springs, to quiet mountain retreats, like the Hermitage or Pinecrest, to elaborate amusement parks, like Saltair, which by the 1920s was drawing half a million patrons a season. Also, most were relatively short-lived, including Eden Park (1894-96), Syracuse (1887-91), Lake Park (1886-95), Utah Lake's Murdock Resort (1891-97), and the Salt Palace (1899-1910); Saltair (1893-1958), Saratoga (1885-present), and Lagoon (1896-present) are notable exceptions. Those that did survive any length of time evolved in the direction of, or began as, full-fledged amusement parks, offering a variety of attractions.

Many resorts came of age in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the products of a rapidly changing society, one that was becoming less rural and agricultural and increasingly urban and industrialized. The resorts eased people's adjustment to life in that kind of society in several ways. They provided an appealing urban experience, one that offered fun and excitement, thereby legitimizing it. Even though resorts often promoted themselves close to nature, with their midways, boardwalks, concessions, and mechanical rides, they were clearly urban. At the same time, they provided a temporary escape from the city with its disagreeable features, dirt, pressures, clamor, danger, and drabness.

Resorts were viewed as a sign of an area's growing maturity and coming of age. Thus, when Saltair was built in 1893 it was taken as an indication that Utah in general, and Salt Lake City in particular, had evolved from a strange, provincial backwater to an increasingly modern and up-to-date, city and state.

A major factor in the success of resorts was the development of urban railway systems, which made it possible for large numbers of people to easily and cheaply travel to them. Indeed, railroads commonly owned and operated resorts on or at the end of their lines as a way of stimulating passenger traffic. When, for example, the Great Salt Lake and Hot Springs Railway Company began the construction of tracks from Salt Lake City to Ogden in 1891, they proceeded in stages, laying track first to an existing resort, Beck's Hot Springs, four miles to the north, then going as far as Bountiful, where they built Eden Park, then moving to Farmington, where they built Lagoon, and finally, in 1908, reaching Ogden.

Though resorts have sometimes been seen as serving a democratic function, catering to anyone who could pay, since they were rigidly segregated until the 1950s, they in fact demonstrated the very real limits of democratic theory and practice in Utah as elsewhere in the United States. In July 1910 Saltair's management ejected an African-American from the resort solely because of his race. He sued; but the court ruled the resort acted within its rights if it refunded the twenty-five cents the man had paid for admission, and ordered it to do so.

Resorts in Utah have paralleled and reflected national conditions and patterns; but they also have reflected unique local conditions--in particular, the extreme tension between Mormons and non-Mormons that existed in the late nineteenth century and the movement toward the easing of those tensions that began in the early twentieth century. The Mormon Church, for example, established Saltair in 1893 in an effort to provide a wholesome place of recreation under church control for Mormons, particularly families and young people. For the previous ten years or so church officials had been concerned about "pleasure resorts" and their harmful influence on members of the church. In 1883 the church-owned Deseret News warned parents "to allow children of either sex of tender years to go unprotected to pleasure resorts where all classes mingle indiscriminately is criminal." Resorts, it continued, exposed Mormon children "to the villainous arts of practiced voluptuaries" and "degraded character destroyers" who sought to "overthrow" the Mormon Church. Church officials were particularly distressed about the Garfield resort, which non-Mormons owned and operated. According to Mormon apostle Abraham H. Cannon, Saltair was intended for "our people" so that "they can have a place to go and bathe, if they so desire, without being mixed up with the rough element which frequents Garfield." At the same time, the Mormon Church also intended that Saltair be the "Coney Island of the West." Advertised as that for many years following its completion, it attracted an increasingly diverse group, particularly as the division that had existed between Mormons and others moderated. It thus benefited from the new spirit of accommodation, but served as well as an agency to promote it.

The heyday of resorts like Saltair was over in Utah, as it was in the rest of the country, by the 1950s. Since then, though Lagoon has continued to prosper, the term "resort" has increasingly come to mean "ski resort." More than a dozen of these dotted the state by the 1990s, attracting hundreds of thousands of both in-state and out-of-state skiers. And, in many ways, the modern-day counterpart of pleasure resorts is the shopping mall with its myriad attractions and entertainments, crowds of people, fun, and excitement.

See: Nancy D. and John S. McCormick, Saltair (1985); Dale L. Morgan, The Great Salt Lake (1973); and Richard S. Van Wagoner, "Saratoga, Utah Lake's Oldest Resort," Utah Historical Quarterly 57 (Spring 1989).

John S. McCormick

Friday, October 18, 2013

At The Age of Thirteen ~ James Monsen ~ Farming, Hauling Winter Wood and Making Adobes

James Monsen

At the age of thirteen, I began doing the varied jobs on the farm and about the home.  In those days the sowing of the grain was all done by broadcasting.  Father being very particular about sowing, was very reluctant to turn the job over to someone else when rheumatism in his right arm disabled him.  Joe, who was my senior by four years, was not at home, so it fell to my lot to do the broadcasting.  With a little coaching by father, we managed to do the job.  I was very concerned about it, and eagerly watched the sprouts come through the ground to see how evenly it was sown.  From then on, when not being convenient for father to do the sowing, though Joe being older, it fell to my lot to do the job.

After the farm work was all done, the big job yet to do was hauling our winter's wood.  Not until I was nearly grown did we have coal.  In company with Orin Clark, I hauled the first load of coal to our home.  I think about a ton was divided between the two families.  Much wood was required and many days were required in which to haul it.  For several falls, Henry Trauntvine assisted me in hauling wood.  He got every third load.  We drove an ox team, always  leaving home before sunrise, and never home before sundown.  Sometimes we did not arrive home until eleven o'clock at night.  Practically all the trees were pulled down by the oxen and dragged to the wagon with the limbs on.

By the time wood hauling was finished, the wood piles were so large there was scarcely room in the yards for them. So for convenience, wood was often piled on the streets nearest the house.

Dr. Allen, or at that time, Sam, joined Joe and I on our way to the cedar hills after wood.  Sam drove a pair of mules and we had oxen.  Joe got in Sam's wagon, leaving me to prod the oxen along.  On the way an arrangement was agreed upon by Sam and Joe that we assist each other in getting our loads. The wood was pulled down by the oxen, and Sam's wagon was loaded first.  He didn't wait to help us get our load; instead he hitched his mules to his wagon, leaving us to get our load as best we could. An unfortunate thing happened after Sam left.  The first tree we pulled, it was necessary for me to climb the tree to fasten the chain as near the top as possible.  The chain was fastened, but the oxen didn't  wait for me to climb down.  I was unaware that my one finger was fastened between the chain and the tree,  but as the oxen started down came the tree.  Jim and all, tearing the nail and part of the flesh from the finger.  So Joe was left to get his load of wood alone.  What he called Sam  Allen wouldn't look nice in print.  That's one night we were late in getting home, and the folks were concerned to the extent that father and someone else were already to go and look for us.  That finished my part of the wood hauling for the season.

The following summer father made preparations to build a house on the lower lot, by making the adobes and hauling rock for the foundation.  I assisted him in making adobes.  The dirt was loosened in the ground and water poured on it. By turning it with a spade and tramping it with my bare feet, it was ready for the mold, but too heavy for me to place on the table.  So father did that, as well as carry the mold.  We ran out three to five hundred ten-inch adobes each day.


By Vmenkov (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Duskee Seely ~ Submitted by Lee R. Christensen

KATHY:   One of the truly great stories of my  lifetime.   lee

Duskee Seely

Mt. Pleasant – Memorial services were conducted here Sunday afternoon in the Mt. Pleasant North ward L D S chapel under the direction of Bishop O. M. Aldrich for Duskee Seely, who was brought to this city by Mr. and Mrs. J. Leo Seely when he was a small child. Duskee found a home with the Seely family.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune, Wednesday February 23, 1944 page 17

This is a tribute to a white father and a loyal Indian boy. Although both are now dead, they left a story of kindness, love and loyalty that is worth knowing.
In 1930 the late J. Leo Seeley of Mt. Pleasant was on a business trip to Arizona to buy sheep for his ranch. His attention was attracted to a small Indian boy, herding sheep all alone. The little fellow seemed so forlorn and forgotten: the look in his eyes penetrated to Mr. Seeley’s heart.
Given Away
He talked to the boy and found that his mother had recently died, that his name was Duskee and that his father had given him away. Further inquiry confirmed that the boy had been traded for a sack of flour. This was too much for a man with as big a heart as Mr. Seeley had. He loaded the youth in his car and drove to the Indian Agency to see what could be done.
The father was located but didn’t want the boy – couldn’t take care of him alone. That did it! The little boy had to have a decent home. With help at the agency he was wiped and partially cleaned and some new clothes put on him and the car started back home with the two passengers.
Little Talk
There was little conversation along the way. The doubts and fears were registered n the face of the child. Mr. Seeley made repeated attempts to assure him all would be well, but there was little or no response.
Then the doubts began building up in Mr. Seeley’s own mind. What reaction would he receive from his wife and family? They had accepted stray animals, tramps, old and young people that he brought home for a meal and some help. There had been the welfare boy they had given a home for many months, but somehow in Mr. Seeley’s mind he knew this was a game had to be for keeps. Could he swing it?
Left in Car
It was very late in the night when the two reached the Seeley home in Mt. Pleasant, and the family had retired. A dozen plans had crossed his mind during the trip, about what he would say or how he would present the boy to the family, but none of them seem logical in the middle of the night so he left him to sleep in the car until morning.
It was early morning when Mrs. Seeley raised the blind of the bedroom window to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of a new day. She couldn’t believe her eyes – what on earth could that terrible looking sight be, standing at the side of the car? From the distance of the yard to her window the matted hair and wrinkled clothing were noticeable – also the worried look on the little child’s face.
Her husband unfolded the story. As usual his wife agreed. The child had to have a home. At the breakfast table, the children were told about the situation and know they should accept the strange sight as part of the household.
Given Bath
The first order of the day was a hot scrubbing bath and hair cut and clean clothing and then he was showed around the yard, the farm and assigned the chores that he would he responsible for. In a few short hours, Duskee had found a home, a family and a job.
For the next 14 years, Duskee was a devoted loyal son and brother. He enjoyed his new family, his home, the farm work, the sheep and cattle. His days were happy as he rode his own pony and attended school. He studied hard! He wanted his family to be proud of him!
He enjoyed athletics and excelled in track events; played the trombone in the marching band and was a member of the varsity football team. He made many friends and enjoyed dancing with the girls at the school dances.
Honor Student
It was a happy day for all concerned when Duskee, in his new suit and shoes, proudly received his diploma from the North Sanpete High School, and was recognized as one of the honor students. He was happy with the surname Seeley on his diploma. He had been legally adopted some time before this.
It wasn’t long after graduation when Duskee had an accident while working on his uncle’s farm. It didn’t seem too severe and the doctors found no complication but still he didn’t seem to gain his strength back but gradually kept going down hill.
At last the family doctor (Dr. Madsen at Mr. Pleasant) his wife and the Seeley took him to the hospital at Tuba City, Ariz., where much work and research has been done with Indian children. His illness proved to be leukemia; it was only a short time until he died.
Proud of Heritage
Although he had been “Duskee Seeley” for a long time, he was always proud of his heritage as an Indian. The family honored him by laying him to rest in Arizona, among his people. It was his rightful birthright.
His death occurred in 1944. There had been 14 years of happiness and love and loyalty among the family.
In his “Happy Hunting Ground” I am sure his real mother was waiting. I am sure they were both there to greet Leo Seeley when he died a year ago.
In these troubled days it is important to remember we are all God’s children. Our duty in life is simply to remember that: “In as Much as Ye do It Unto One Of The Least of These, Ye Do It Unto Me,” and we need to turn again to Matt. 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Published in the Provo Daily Herald, Sunday May 21, 1972 page 2

For more information on Seeley or Seely Family History check out the link below:  

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