Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The New Mt. Pleasant Elementary School

Mt. Pleasant Elementary Bears
History by Janice Nielsen as a Daughter Of Utah Pioneers.

The settlement of Mt. Pleasant began like the settlement of most colonies in Sanpete. Although the first settlers labored diligently, their efforts were often demolished. But with much determination a group of sixty from Fort Ephraim surveyed a Fort site and planned a colony on Pleasant Creek and finally succeeded. The Fort was very well planned and organized. Because these sturdy pioneers had been schooled in crafts and many professions in their native lands, a log one-roomed schoolhouse was included in the fort. A.B. Strickland, (it has been said he was also very strict) and Mrs. Oscar Winters served as the first school teachers in the fort. The schoolhouse was also used as a chapel, theater, dance hall, and meeting place. At one end was a huge fireplace which provided heat, and light. Even though the floor was dirt, young and old liked to dance to the music of violins; the bishop's stand was often converted to a stage for a Shakespearean drama. The school was a center of community activity. Because they had been taught well the fundamentals of living and survival, they used the environment to work at their command.



Regardless of Indian aggression, homes sprang up and schools soon dotted the town site in various homes. "Aunty Hyde"s school was the first built outside of the fort. "Aunty Hyde" was a very interesting person who was most often attired in a dark-colored bonnet and smoked a pipe. She did not use a bell but brought her children to school by calling "to books, to books, to books." She often prepared her evening meal at school in the fireplace, making it very difficult to study with all the aroma. The schoolroom was situated one half block west of the present High School. (This was in 1980, the present high school is 500 East and 700 South.)



There became other classes held throughout the town and tuitions were paid by the parents. the few books that were available were also paid for by the parents. At this time classes were not graded as they are now but went by readers first; the primer reader, next; first primer reader, second, third, fourth and fifth. (If one completed the fifth reader, he was considered educated as the material was very hard.) Practice writing was done on slates.



Children rarely got to school before Christmas as school was a secondary consideration. It was the same in the springtime as soon as the ground was bare, work on the farm began and had preference over school. So most school seasons did not exceed four months.



Methods and practices started changing as teachers were getting degrees from college and universities. During this time Sister Margaret F.C. Morrison was able to place an organ in her school and music became to be an important part of the curriculum. Schools and ward houses were still used in conjunction with one another.



Educational advancement was always in the uppermost mind of the people of Mt. Pleasant. The old houses used as school buildings located in different districts of the town were abandoned and a central school was established in 1896. It was a beautiful three story school building, erected on the corner of Main and First East Street at a cost of about $20,000. The new school was called Hamilton Elementary, probably getting it's name from one of the first attempted settlements led by Madison D. Hambleton. (This name was later changed to Hamilton.)



It was indeed a happy day for the settlers to have such a fine, large modern building in their city. This school sometimes housed grades up to the 8th grade and had anywhere from 350 to 600 students at one time. (This building was not used as a church either.) The outside walls were made of blocks of rock and red brick with four regular classrooms and a few smaller rooms on each floor. One of the smaller rooms on the 3rd floor was used as the library and housed the ladder to get up to the belfry. One of the walls seperating the library from one of the other rooms could be rolled up like a roll top desk to make an assembly room. Later, this wall was nailed down. It seemed the 3rd floor was a poor place for an assembly room. This new school had blackboards which were easy to write on and easily cleaned.



Until about 1942 the restrooms were out in a separate building to the south of the main building. Later the supply room on the 2nd floor was converted into the restrooms. At that time they were called "toiletrooms." In this same separate building, the meals were prepared and brought to the school on a big cart pulled by the cooks. School lunch program was introduced during the 1930's. One hot dish of soup or chowder was served for a penny a bowl. Every student donated a bowl and spoon to the school for this purpose. Students usually brought a sandwich or something else to go with it. When in Kindergarten each child brought his own milk.
The belfry housed the bell which was heard all over town because of it's remarkable tone. People often set their watches or clocks to the sound of the bell from the elementary school. It was used as 9:00 p.m. curfew, warning of fire, flood, other special occasions because it could even be heard beyond the city limits. It rang with much force. In fact, if you were on the 3rd floor when fire drill was called, the building actually swayed. It was rung on a pull on a big rope that hung from it to the teacher's entrance on the first floor. A smal gong attached to the side of the stairs was rung by a little jerk on a small chain. Sixth grade students felt it an honor and an important position to be assigned to answer the telephone in the Principal's office and to ring the gong for class change and to ring it other scheduled times. The little bell became used for the fire drills. Fortunately there was never a fire in the school building even though the students loved the fire drill especially if they were on the third floor because they had the privilege of sliding down the three story high fire escape with it's spiraling curves. Often in the summer or after school hours a favorite pastime was climbing up the slide and going down. It was worn very shiny and the metal was actually worn thin. It would appear that a million students had escaped fires in the Hamilton School. This bell has been preserved by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and put on display on the top of the Pioneer marker on the north side of the Pioneer Relic Hall in Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary Completed in 1962

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Mt. Pleasant Elementary Bears

New Mt. Pleasant Elementary  ~  Completed in 2013  ~ Moved into January 2014

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Hamilton Elementary built in 1896

A piano was placed on the 2nd floor. With a gong from the bell, the students were called from their play on the school ground and lined up by their assigned door. Each class lined up in threes and to the rhythm of the piano marched to their classrooms. If anyone got off step or goofed up they were to put in time after school in the awkward squad. Thus it was necessary for everyone to learn how to march left, right, and how to keep time. All were expected to do this. Again, when every one was marching to the beat, the sway of the building could be felt. Children were excused with about the same procedure.
Those who lived on farms outside of Mt. Pleasant, would wak to the county road where they would be picked up by a canvas covered wagon. The wagon was pulled by two beautiful big, well mannered horses owned and driven by Lawrence Barton who guided them with love, not whips. About twenty students rode in the school wagon and were among the first to be at school. Later, school buses replaced the horses.


Another incident which most of the senior citizens remember about their days in school was the double tragedy of death of the Principal and Janitor. On the morning of March 24, 1922, Principle Elmer Johansen and Janitor Kanute Terkelson were both accidentally electrocuted on the landing at the top of the steps to the furnace room. (more details in a future post.)


Through Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, our nation was plunged into a bitter struggle that lasted until 1943. The teachers and students loyally supported drives to buy thrift stamps and war bonds were purchased by the teachers and students. Tons of scrap metal were hauled to a spot out by the furnace room. In one of the rooms that was a restroo, was piled up end to end with bundles of old newspapers and other papers in the paper drive to help the war effort.


Many special events can be remembered such as the annual "May Day" held outside so the May Pole could be braided and all grades danced a special dance. A spring dance festival is still held where all children participate. Hamilton had a well groomed band which often played for some of the town special events and were often invited to march in various parades through the state.


After serving as the public schoolhouse for Mt. Pleasant for over sixty years, it became necessary to get a new schoolhouse for Mt. Pleasant. It was built on the same block as the Hamilton School on the south side; so the old one could be used until completion of the new one. This new building was completed in 1962.

(Each era has its own memories of Hamilton Elementary School. Those memories listed in the above history are not the same as mine. However, we thank Janis Nielsen and others for preserving this history. We would like to hear your memories. Please share with us your thoughts and remembrances.)

Also see Talula Nelson's Memories of Hamilton Elementary:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mt. Pleasant's New Electric Light and Power Plant ~ Mt. Pleasant Pyramid October 3, 1913



These men are inside the Power Plant East of Mt. Pleasant.
Peter N. Nielsen, Ray Ericksen and Amasa Ericksen
Early 1900s ?
This is actually from the Carrie N. Hafen Collection.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Brownette Burro Gets Peroxide From Clyde Vance

Clyde and her husband Lloyd moved to Mt. Pleasant in the late1990s.  Clyde died shortly after moving here in 1997.  Lloyd died in 2004

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pioneer Relief Society April 1878

Meeting held April ...1878
Opened with singing "Guide Us Thou O Great Jehova"
Prayer by Sister Peel
Singing "How Firm A Foundation Ye Saints Of The Lord"
Sister Morrison addressed the sisters.  Felt well to be united with the sisters in capacity of a meeting, said in as much as we were humble in our efforts before the Lord, he would direct us with his holy spirit to lead and guide us in the way of truth and righteousness in all things that is noble and good.  Thought it was a great privilege given to us to be stewards for the poor, to comfort the less spirited and build up those that are oppressed with sorrow and trials.  She also exhorted the sisters to be watchful and prayerful in this .....the power to present that influence and spirit that try to lead us astray.
Sister Peel felt also glad to meet with the sisters and then to bear her testimony, felt sorry that poor health had not permitted her to come every time but her spirit always united with the sisters.
Sister Simpson said that the good spirit manifested in this meeting, felt so much pleased that the visiting sisters came so loaded to her house; thought it was a pleasure to supply the wants of the poor and exhorted the sisters that go around by humble and prayer so that they will always bring a good spirit wherever they go.
Sister Rowe said that it was a long time since she met with the sisters.... but the faces look familiar to her and reminded her that the fellowship and connections we had this mortal body.
So many other sisters presented strong testimony to the truth and a good spirit prevailed and was felt by everyone present.
Sister Morrison read some chapter of "Women of Mormondom" and Sister Hanah Nelson was admitted as a member of our society.
Sister ....... gave a pair of stockings to the temple and the meeting was closed with singing and Prayer.
Sis MFC Morrison   Pres
Sis Louise Hasler   Sec.



Sunday, May 11, 2014


Happy Mother's Day To All



Mother

What Is A Mother's Love?

What is a Mother's love?It is something that is very, very special.
It is something that no one can really explain.
It's something that is made up of much deep
devotion, joy, pain and sacrifice.
It is endless and unselfish and it endures
whatever may come.
It is full of hopes, dreams, tears and pleasure.
Nothing can ever destroy it or take that
special love away.
Mother
It is very patient and forgiving.
A Mother's love is a lifelong commitment
to selflessness.
More often than not, it requires much more
giving than receiving.
But it is something that is given with delight,
gratitude, enthusiasm and much satisfaction.
Mother
A Mother's love never fails or falters even
though the heart is breaking.
It is always believing when all the rest of the
world is condemning.
A Mother's love is a splendored miracle that man
cannot understand.
It is something that cannot be measured,
for it has no beginning or no end.

Mother

pregnant_belly.jpg

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Barbara Beckstrom Swenson





Barbara Beckstrom Swenson native of Mt Pleasant but long time resident of Whittier, California died at her home  there Friday 10 May.  She was 91, daughter of Orald and Edna Nelson Beckstrom and a great granddaughter of Peter Monson early Mt Pleasant Pioneer.  She was a 1934 graduate of Hamilton Grade school and class of 1940 Wasatch Academy.  She married Harry Swenson from Fairview September 1940.   Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Harry, a brother Clair and a sister Joyce.  Burial will be in California.

North Sanpete High School 50th Class Reunion ~ May 1990

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

   This was the speech I gave at the 50th  class reunion of  North Sanpete’s class of 1940    I had gone to school with the Mt Pleasant students in this class for 10 years prior to switching to Wasatch  Academy for my junior and senior years.   These were my Hamilton Grade  school classmates of 1934. 


  Barto and Pinky were both from Fairview and they came to North Sanpete for their  junior and senior years.   My dating Barto was when we were both sophomores, she in Fairview and me in Mt Pleasant.  
   After high school Barto and Pinky married and lived happily every after in southern California.
   
   North Sanpete’s ENN – ESS – AITCH 1940 yearbook was lent to me by Reva Cox Fillis  for scanning the photos of those mentioned in the speech.   Sorry I did not get a better photo of Pinky but he was not in the student section and I had to scan him off the basketball team.  Even there he is better looking than I remembered.    lee

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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




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