Franklin County Idaho

Communities

 

 

Map courtesy of Elaine Johnson

BATTLE CREEK BRIDGEPORT CLIFTON DAYTON FAIRVIEW FRANKLIN MAPLETON
MINK CREEK OXFORD PRESTON RIVERDALE TREASURETON WESTON WHITNEY

 

BATTLE CREEK

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BATTLE CREEK, it seems needless to say, was the setting for the Indian Massacre in 1863. The Utah Northern Railroad was built to there in 1878 and it was made a division point in 1881. The place seemed to just boom into a town almost overnight. The railroad company built repair shops with an eight-stall round house to take care of the engines, and company houses and buildings to house the foreman and employees with their families. To look at the place and see it as it is today, we can hardly believe that the town had once been of good size with a population of over one hundred. Besides the railroad property, the town consisted of a store, which was owned by Charles Paull, a hotel, an amusement hall, two saloons and about fifteen dwellings. The first house in Battle Creek was built in 1877; a year before the Railroad Company started to build up the town. John Winn, (known as "Uncle John") built the first house, a one-room log cabin with a dirt roof. Just a little later during the same year, Joseph Winn built a frame house. E. Brockway built a house in 1877.

SCHOOLS:

After the railroad people came in, Esther Winn taught a school free of charge in her own home, and any that wished to come, young or old, were welcome. The first public school was taught. by Ida McCoy in part of Charles Paull's store building. The people paid the tuition. Some of the people in the town were latter-day Saints; however, there was no church organization as the L. D. S. there belonged to the Riverdale ward. There was a Sunday School organization with George Carter, Curtis Hadlock and Heber Morrell In charge. A brass band was organized and conducted by a man named Stewart. The town continued to grow until the year of 1886 when the Railroad Company began moving their buildings to Eagle Rock, and in 1890 removed the tracks. With the moving of the railroad property, the people moved along too. So today there is no town at Battle Creek and just an average of five or six families live there. When the farmers began to plow up the old battle grounds, quite a number of relics were found, such as: old gun barrels, rusty knife blades, some human bones, bows and arrow heads. One of the guns which was found bad ...a bullet had just started into the muzzle, indicating that the one using it had fallen dead before he had time to finish loading! These were testimonies of the bloody conflict, which took place there.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

BRIDGEPORT

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    Bridgeport was located across the Bear River at the mouth of Deep Creek, about two and one-half miles north and west of the present city of Preston.

            As early as 1861, that particular section was known as the Franklin Meadows where a number of people came yearly to cut the wild hay growing there in abundance.  Later some of the people came for the purpose of farming and to build homes or to look after the ferryboat.

            The ferryboat was used for the purpose of taking people, teams, wagons, and freight across the Bear River.  Nathan Packer had charge of the ferry.  This ferry was used until May 10, 1869 when the first bridge across the Bear River was completed.  It is not impossible to imagine how thankful the people were with the erection of the first bridge.  No doubt “Old Gentleman Bassett” felt a real thrill, as he was the first man with a team to drive over the new bridge.  This was a toll bridge known as the “Packer Bridge.”

            The station for the Overland Stage and the mail route were also located at Bridgeport.  A change of horses for the coaches was made at this station.  Nelson Sill was the first stage driver.

            The people who were living there in 1865 with their families or parts of families were: William Davis, Robert Holmes, Thomas Mendenhall, Joseph Nelson and Nathan Packer.  By 1866, these families were joined by David Carge, George Freestone, James Frew, Christian Lynn, George Mendenhall, Orson Shipley, George Wheeler, James Young and Mrs. Elvira Wheeler and her family.

            These people lived in dugouts and log houses with out flooring and dirt roof.  Two or three of these huts were built on the east bank of Bear River.

            Mrs. Elvira Wheeler, a very skillful nurse who looked after the sick and also served as a midwife, was a very great help to the people.

            A Latter-Day Saint ward was organized there with George Washburn acting as presiding elder.  The meetings and social gatherings as well as day school sessions were held in the homes of the people.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

CLIFTON

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In the west side of the valley, at the foot of a beautiful chain of the Wasatch Mountains, lies the Village of Clifton. This town has a location that is distinctive, due to its natural beauties, such as mountain streams, gurgling into the green meadows beyond. Clifton was named for the many jagged cliffs in the nearby canyons. The village was first settled in 1864, but not permanently until 1869. The first settlers were pioneers from Franklin, Idaho. They were allotted small portions of land under the "Squatter's" right, as the government had not as yet surveyed the land. The first settlers were: Thomas C. D. Howell and wife, Sarah; Jason Howell and wife, Jane M.; Henry N. Howell and wife, Lydia; Nathaniel and Thomas Parritt and families; William Pratt and wife, Alice; Thomas Mendenhall and wife, Louise; Ransom Van Leuven; William Billingsly; Martin Henderson, Sr.; Wm. Marler; Henry Harmon, John Sperry and families. William G. Nelson lived at Oxford and was the first presiding Elder over the Oxford and Clifton wards. He was called to Arizona and George Lake was appointed to take his place. William Pratt was the first bishop of Clifton. Jane M. Howell, familiarly known as "Aunt Jane" deserves special mention because of her devotion and untiring efforts in behalf of the sick. Although she had taken but a short course in obstetrics, she held the record of having but one death in 500 confinements. Regardless of the weather conditions, day or night, she would go long distances, even to Gentile Valley in all sorts of conveyances on her errands of mercy for she received comparatively nothing for her services.

The settlers first lived in a fort at Oxford for protection from the Indians and would travel back and forth to their land in Clifton where they engaged in farming, dairying and stock raising. The first house in Clifton was a small log cabin built by Henry N. Howell and it was moved from Oxford. The first Relief Society President was Alice Pratt with Jane M. Howell and Elizabeth B. Howell as Counselors. Elizabeth B. Howell still resides in Clifton and has the distinction of being the only survivor of the ship "Brooklyn" which sailed from Boston to San Francisco, in 1846. John Sant, Sr., was the first Sunday School Superintendent. Martin Henderson was President of the first Mutual Improvement Association, effective July 15, 1877, with Riley Davis First and John S. Bingham as Second Counselor and Samuel G. Martin as Secretary. The Y. W. M. I. A. was first presided over by Delilah E. Dudley, President, and Lucetta Marler First and Susan Harmon, Second Counselors. The first Primary Association at Clifton was presided over by Harriet Henderson, President and Lucinda Monroe, First and Elizabeth Bingham, Second Counselors.

Sarah Cardon managed the first store at Oxford for the Relief Society and goods were brought from there to Clifton. The Relief Society kept a small store at Clifton for a short time. Susan Harmon managed it. The supplies in the Relief Society stores were hauled by team from Ogden. Other early storekeepers were Harvey Dixon and John Sant. Large quantities of supplies were bought from freighters. John Den and French Joe were also early merchants. Henry N. Howell, who was among the first school teachers in Franklin to teach in the first school building in Idaho, was also the first teacher at Clifton in the log school house and later in his own home in the Rushville District. (North of the Clifton Ward). Brigham S. Dudley was also an early teacher. The principal forms of amusement were home dramatics and dances, which were rounded out by the good old-fashioned picnic.

H. Henderson was the first white child born In Clifton. She was born September 14, 1869. The first death was a child of Ed Bassett's. The first missionaries sent from Clifton were John S. Bingham, who went to New Zealand and R. C. Van Leuven, who went to the Southern States. The first postmaster was Henry N. Howell. The first blacksmith was Dan Robins.

Although the inhabitants of Clifton were handicapped for many years in developing the natural resources, due to unsuccessful irrigation projects, lack of proper transportation and poor markets, the village now enjoys a period of comparative prosperity. The rich soil produces excellent returns in sugar beets, alfalfa and grain. The dairy business is thriving, owing to the excellent pasturage and many are also engaged in the poultry business. Today Clifton has about four hundred and fifty people residing there. Just to the east of the town is the Twin Lakes reservoir which stores water for irrigating some 13,000 acres. Also just out of town on the highway the Clifton Cheese Factory is forging ahead steadily. Dry and irrigated farming are bringing success and prosperity to the district.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

DAYTON

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    Dayton a town of about two hundred inhabitants, located across Bear River, west and about five miles from Preston.  Is now a productive center for sugar beets, alfalfa, dairying and poultry.

    Settlers: -- This town was settled first by Joseph Chadwick, who settled on Five Mile Creek in 1867.  He built a log house, which is still standing.  Shortly afterwards he was joined by Peter Poole, Robert Taylor, Stephen Callan and Richard Wickham.

    Name: --The place was first called “Chadville” then “Five Miles” (it being just five miles from Weston and five miles from Clifton.)  It was later called Dayton.

    First Born: -- The boy and girl having the honor of being the first-born were Alfred Wickham and Sarah Spackman.

    Business Houses: -- Joseph Chadwick, the first settler, opened up a supply store in the north room of his home for the accommodation of the few settlers and freights going through.  The next to open up places for buiness were: F. B. Wooley, Phillips and Atkinson, Paul Larsen, Doren Perkins and P. Jones.

    Postmasters: --The following have served as postmasters: Garett Campbell, Niels Michelson, F.O. Hales, and J. H. Schow, B. A. Johnson and Mary Smith.

  Church Organizations

            Buildings: -- The settlers first belonged to the Weston ward, presided over by Bishop Henry Jensen.  A log house was brought from Weston to Dayton and served for meetings and school.  Miss Annie Boden served as the schoolteacher in the log house.

            This log building was soon replaced by a two-room frame building, which served as a community center, until 1909, when the present L.D.S. church was built (recently the building was remodeled and provided with class rooms, and a modern heating system).

            In 1914, a modern six-room school building was erected; it is provided with a full basement providing a gymnasium.

            As the number of settlers increased the town was organized into a ward.  Stephen Callan was appointed to act as the first presiding elder.  The bishops in their order were. Philo W. Austin, S. J. Callan, Alma L. Hansen and Charles Jones.

            The first Relef Society was organized with Mrs. Louise Boyce as President.  Mrs. Sarah P. Callan was President of the Y.M.M.I.A., and Luna Nelson Chadwick, President of the first primary.

              Railroad: -- 1890, the Oregon Short Line Railroad first passed through Dayton.  A flag station “card” served the town until 1906 when a substantial station was built and designated as Dayton.  Due to the central location of this town all trains stop here regularly.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

FAIRVIEW

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Commencing in the winter of 1869 P. D. Griffeth, Sr., and G. A. Griffeth, Sr., hauled the lumber to build the first house that was built in Fairview. Located on the Sim Inglet farm. The following spring April 12, 1870, Sarah Gibson Griffeth, wife of P. D. Griffeth, came with her two children to make her home here. They lived in a covered wagon until their one-room house was built. They fenced a garden spot below the little spring and plan­ted a garden. The fence was made of willows. They lived here in the summer and herded cattle and sheep, then they would go to their home in Hyde Park, Utah for the winter until 1872 when the Griffeth's made Fairview their permanent home. By this time, other settlers had come. They were William, James, and Robert Bodily. Joseph Hall, Jeff Wilcox and Joseph Allred with their families.

The first baby girl born in Fairview was the daughter of Robert Bodily and Harriet Roberts Bodily. Born November 24, 1872. The first boy born was the son of Joseph Allred and Noami Harvey All­red born February 1873.

The first death in Fairview was Sarah Talbot Bodily, wife of William Bodily. She died of childbirth October 8, 1873, giving her life in exchange for a little girl and was buried in the Hyde Park Cemetery, as there was no cemetery for Fairview at that time.

The first body buried in the Fairview cemetery was Walter E. Rawlings, the three-year-old son of James and Eliza J. Rawlings. He was buried March 16, 1890.

The first school was taught by Clysta Strickland in her own home. The first public school was held in a building, which Joseph Hall built on his homestead intending to use it for a stable. About the time it was finished there was a great need for a schoolhouse so he invited them to use his new stable for this purpose. This school was taught by Urmina Griffeth. A new schoolhouse was built in the winter of 1876-77 by donation from the settlers and it was used as a public gathering place both religiously and socially. Amelia Drury was the first teacher in the School House.

The winters were long and cold with a great deal of snow and the summers were dry with frequent frosts. Year after year, the men planted grain and did not harvest any on account of the unfavorable weather. The men had to go away from home to work. The most of the land was sandy and would blow when plowed, but it was covered with an abundance of wild grasses, which the people cut and used for hay. These conditions made it favorable for cattle rising.

The Fairview ward formed a part of Lewiston ward until the organization of Oneida Stake and was known as Upper Lewiston, with James Bodily acting as presiding Elder. A Sunday School with thirty members was organized by Bishop W. H. Lewis in August 1881. The Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association was organized November 22, 1881; Heman Hyde was appointed to act as president. May 18, 1883, the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association was organized with Mary A. Harrick as president. This organization had fifteen members. Primary was organized with Jane D. Hyde as president in 1883.

On July 9, 1883, a post office was established with W. J. Under­wood as postmaster. This necessitated naming the place. The name "Fairview" was suggested by James Egbert because of such a won­derful view of all the surrounding country and the Logan Temple could easily be seen on clear days.

The ward was organized July 20, 1884, Heman Hyde was chosen as bishop with James Bodily and James C. Taylor as his counselors. On August 30, of this, same year the Relief Society was organized with Louisa Bodily President.

      The first business establishment was Roberts Bodily's black­ smith shop.

      The first store was built by a group of men about 1890 and was managed by John Corbridge, afterwards bought by M. W. Pratt.

Some of the sturdy, progressive people who came in a little la­ter than those already spoken of and whose descendants, some of who still live in Fairview are the Bronsons, Coles, Choules, Eg­berts, Gilberts, Hyde’s, Inglets, Rawlings, Smiths, Taylor’s.

As the years have rolled by, many changes have taken place in the town of Fairview, both in an ecclesiastical and temporal way. So far, the changes have all been for the best and a means of making this part of the county a thriving community.

Today the town has a good electric lighting system, telephones, electric car service, and a water system. A new store has recently been erected and a service station takes care of the needs of the automobilists.

The school is good and the people are thoroughly enjoying the use of a most excellent, modern L. D. S. chapel-finished during the summer of 1926.

It seems however, that the outstanding feature of the Fairview district is that it does not have any poor people in the community. The reason for this, no doubt, is the fact that some of the richest farming land in this country is found right in Fairview where the farmers have more than an abundance of irrigation water. This abundance of water is made possible by the use of a pumping station on Bear River, and the Lewiston canal.

The soil is very rich and with the help of plenty of water it makes possible a very heavy production of beets and other agricultural products.

Dairying and poultry raising are also flourishing industries in this community.

The Fairview people believe in getting what they want and they know too, that the only way to get it is to go after it. For awhi1e they didn't have all the water they wanted for culinary purposes, so they got busy and have just finished an eight hundred and fifty foot well, which with the aid of an automatic electric pump throws 500 gallons a minute and supplies them with all the extra water that they need.

Fairview beckons to the agriculturists.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

FRANKLIN

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In the spring of 1860 five companies, from Provo, Payson, Slaterville, Kayscreek and Bountiful, left Utah and came to Franklin in search of new homes. Most of these people belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the policies of which was to expand and settle new territory. Many of then had been advised by Brigham Young, their leader, to settle on the "Muddy" now Cub River, in the northeastern part of Cache Valley. This was then thought to be part of Utah. The first company came in the first part of April, they camped for a short time in Camp Cove and explored around to see where best to settle. While there their numbers increased, as others came to join them, on the 14th of April, they broke camp and moved to the present site of Franklin, Idaho, which is located one mile north of the Utah-Idaho line, on the Yellowstone Highway. To view the names of the first families, click here: FIRST FAMILIES. Peter Maughan, the presiding Bishop of Cache Valley, appointed Thomas Smart, S.R. Parkinson and James Sanderson to take charge of affairs in the colony while in Cove, both temporal and spiritual. The Indians in the vicinity of Franklin at the time of its settlement were under Chief Kittemere,.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

MAPLETON

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            The little town of Mapleton is situated about ten miles east of Preston in Franklin County Idaho. Cub River a beautiful mountain stream winds its way through the settlement (From this canyon the surrounding towns are supplied with culinary and Irrigation water.)

The first settle in Mapleton was Joseph Perkins, who moved from Franklin Idaho in 1874 and built a home about where the Henry Bennett home is now located.

The early settlers of Mapleton noticed a well-beaten trail along the Cub River up through the canyon; this was the old Indian Trail, over which bands of Indians made their annual journey to and from the Buffalo hunting grounds In Wyoming and frequent trips to Frank­lin and other parts of Cache Valley. This trail, parts of which can be seen to this day pass about five rods north of Mapleton's new meeting house.

The hills and mountains of Mapleton made an excellent summer range. Cattle were driven to this place from as far south as Plain City, Utah as well as near by settlements.

The first house on the north side of the river was built near a little spring just north of the present location of the meetinghouse. Andrew Morrison was the builder during the year 1876.

Early in April 1877 Harrison A. Thomas of Smithfield, Utah, took a small company of men up on Cub River where the ranger sta­tion now is, here, by the use of the board ax, railroad ties were made from the timber in the pine groves.

These ties were floated down Cub River into Bear River and on down that stream to Corinne, Utah, near where the Bear River empties into the Great Salt Lake. Orin J. Merrill was foreman of these drives. Many ties were also hauled out by teams and oxen.

Later in the same year (1877) a sawmill was built on the ran­ger station flat by a company composed of the following men Har­rison A. Thomas, Thomas Hillyard, Preston L. Morehead and Samuel Roskelly. About fifty men were employed and thousands of ties were sawed and floated down the stream the next year.

About 1879 Andrew Morrison sold his land claim to II. A. Thomas who homesteaded the land upon which the new meetinghouse and school house now stands.

In the year 1881 Harrison A. Thomas made a ditch from Cub River through which he brought water to his home and farm. This ditch was enlarged to a millrace and later on, negotiations were made by James Chadwick and Joseph Morrison of Whitney to continue the ditch on to Whitney.

In addition to the names already mentioned some of the early settlers of Mapleton were Mark Porter, Abraham Foster, George Giles, Lorin Corbin, James Morehead, Hyrum Johnson, Charles sweet, Elmer Rose, Owen Roberts, Lamonia Taylor, Nathan Hawkes, Dave Davis, Calvin Wheeler, Archibald Stephenson, Edward Whittle, Henry Day, Christian Nuffer, Fred Nuffer, George Kent, Sr. and George Kent Jr. Samuel A. Merrill.

About the year 1881 a branch of the Franklin Ward was or­ganized in Mapleton, it was then called St. Joseph in honor of Joseph Perkins the first settler. (The name was later changed because of another St. Joseph in the state). The Franklin Bishopric was in at­tendance at this meeting. Joseph Perkins was appointed presiding elder and Joseph H. Thomas was appointed superintendent of the Sunday School with Isah Bennett as Secretary.

In the year 1888 Mapleton ward was organized with Edward Perkins as Bishop, Orrin J. Merrill and Heber Taylor, counselors and Hyrum Johnson Superintendent of the Sunday School.

The first Relief Society president was Harriet Perkins with Eli­za Taylor and Lenora Taylor as counselors. In 1897 a Primary was organized with Elizabeth Merrill as President and Lenora Taylor and Mary Titensor as counselors.

Some of the early schoolteachers were Miss Woods, Nellie E. T. Johnson and Della M. Chadwick.

About 1898 a post office was opened with Elizabeth Merrill as post mistress and Charles Sweet as mail carrier. The office was at the home of Orrin J. Merrill; this office was kept in operation until the coming of the rural delivery.

Mapleton is a delightful place in which to live; the hills are covered with grass and beautiful flowers, in season game is plentiful and the river is filled with the best of trout. The cool evening breezes as they come down the canyon bring with them the plea­sant odor of the pines.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

MINK CREEK

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Nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, about fifteen miles northeast of Preston is Mink Creek, a set­tlement of some 500 prosperous farmers. Dry farming, dairying, lumbering, sheep and cattle ranching are the chief activities responsible for the good homes and prosperity of this region.

COLONIZATION:-In the year 1871 Janus M. Keller and his sons Theodore, William, and James of Mantua, Utah settled on the Strawberry Creek (The north part of the present town site of Mink Creek.) There they built a log cabin with a dirt roof, also a log sta­ble. Enough of the wild hay was cut with the scythe to supply the animals with food during the winter.

After the cabin was built and the hay in for the winter, Mr. Keller returned to Mantua, leaving William aged fourteen and James aged twelve to look after the claim. During the latter part of December, the child James became so homesick that he returned to Mantua (a sixty mile hike) thus leaving William to face loneliness and the rigors of winter alone. Imagine if you can the isolation of the boy who’s nearest neighbors where over fourteen miles away south, over rugged mountains. William remained alone with the stock until April 1872. In the meantime he had more than one unusual exper­ience the most thrilling of which was in March when Mr. Bruin looked in at the window curious to find out who his new neighbor was that had come during his hibernation.

The long siege of loneliness was broken when William had the great pleasure of welcoming his mother and other members of the family the early part of April 1872. They brought with them some household goods, food supplies, two small pigs, a crate of chickens, a few cows and some sheep.

In the spring of 1873, Theodore Keller and Christena Larson were married. These people with the father-in-law, Hans Larson and his family, came into this district seeking homes and each built a log cabin. By 1874 there were five heads of families here. Rasmus Rasmussen and Hans L. Nelson having come with their families to increase the number.

        PRESIDING ELDER: - Under the direction of Brigham Young Jr. and P. M. Musser of Salt Lake City, a special meeting was held in the home of Hans Larson, September 10, 1876, Rasmus Rasmus­sen was chosen to take charge of the affairs of the little colony. At the same time, the name of Mink Creek Branch was given to this district.

WARD ORGANIZATION: - July 18, 1877, Moses Thatcher, William B. Preston and M. D. Hammond of Logan, Utah visited the branch and directed the organization of a ward. Rasmus Rasmussen was appointed bishop with Theodore O. Keller and Jacob Jensen as his counselors. A bowery had been built for this special occasion where the meeting could be held. The people were advised by Moses Thatcher to build a meetinghouse. Following his suggestions, logs were hauled from the mountains nearby in 1877 and by 1878 a log meetinghouse was completed. The building, 24 x 18 feet, had a dirt roof and slabs were used for benches. The slabs and finishing lumber were hauled from Franklin.

FIRST BIRTH: - Lewis O. Keller was the first child born in this community, April 27th, 1875.

RELIEF SOCIETY: - The first Relief Society was organized. On April 16, 1878. Christena Keller, Emma Rasmussen and Christena Peterson were appointed as executives with Katherine Keller as secretary and Christena Nelson treasurer.

Y. M. M. I. A: - Organized March 17, 1878, Jacob Jensen president, Janues Keller and Hans Rasmussen assistants with William Keller secretary.

SUNDAY SCHOOL: - The first Sunday School on record was organized December 19, 1880 with Hans Rasmussen superintendent, Andrew A. Bjorn and Mads Hansen assistants, Nels Graham secretary. A catechism was used and tickets distributed for the first few years. (Here is just a bit of information concerning the early gather­ings: the males and females were kept separated; the men sat on the north side of the room, and the women on the south side. The boys and girls met in separate classes.)

The Y. L. M. I. A. was organized January 14, 1882 with Christena Keller, Minnie Eskelson, Emelia Bjorn and Stena Peterson executive officers.

PRIMARY: - The first primary was organized January 14, 1882. Emma Rasmussen, Stena Nelson, Kathrine Larson, Anna Larsen and Karen Sorenson were appointed as executive officers.

FIRST MISSIONARY: - Rasmus Rasmussen was the first mission­ary called out of Mink Creek that was in 1886. Rasmus Peterson had charge of the ward while Mr. Rasmussen was away.

THRESHING: - During the earliest years in this section, the grain was threshed with a flail. The roller was also used, a team was hitched to a log, which had been built into framework, and this was run over the grain on the threshing floor, which had been made smooth, with clay mortar.  After the grain was beaten or rolled from the husks, it was thrown against the wind allowing the light chaff to blow away from the grain.

In the year 1877, James M. Keller brought the first mower and dropper combined. The bunch grass was cut wherever it was smooth enough to run a mower. The first thresher was brought in 1878.

INDUSTRIES: - Each family was provided with a spinning wheel, which was used for making yarn. Some looms were used to make the wool into cloth. The sheep shearing was mostly done by the women folks, generally wherever the women were; they kept their knitting needles busily clicking.

HARVESTING: - The grain was cut with the scythe and bound by hand as described elsewhere in our history.

MAIL: - During the first few years the mail was sent and re­ceived at Franklin. The settlers would drive in there for their sup­plies, and take the mail back to Mink Creek where it was distributed at the dances or meetings.

POST OFFICE: - The first regular post office was established in 1878 with James M. Keller postmaster and William Keller assistant. Joseph Stone was the mail carrier from Franklin. No doubt the weekly mail delivery day was the big event of the week. Today it is carried from Preston by a rural Mail carrier each day.

OFFICERS: - The first voting precinct was founded in 1887 with Nels Graham appointed as the first Justice of the Peace.

SCHOOLS: - Because of the homes being so far apart, there were two' schools opened up in the fall of 1878. Hans Rasmussen taught in the meetinghouse and Charlotte Keller taught in a log cabin about two miles north of the first meeting and schoolhouse. The teachers were paid by taxing each child at the rate of fifty cents a term (three months). Anna Keller was the next to teach. She taught during the school year of 1882-83 and was the first teacher in Mink Creek holding a teacher's certificate. The school district was established in 1882.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

OXFORD

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Town History Currently Under Construction

 

PRESTON

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Town History Currently Under Construction

 

RIVERDALE

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Town History Currently Under Construction

 

TREASURETON

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    Over the Bear River Highway north of Preston in the midst of a successful alfalfa and stock ranching district will be found Treasureton, with a population of 300.

            In the fall of 1868, Wilson Robbins, Niels Georgeson and Soren Hanson from Weston settled on the east bank of Battle Creek—the place in now owned by David Sant.  Nathan Smith and George Sant with their families moved from Smithfield, Utah in 1871 and settled on the west bench of Battle Creek on the farm now owned by D. P. Thomas.  After living there one year, they moved a few miles west and settled on the farms owned by the Geddes Brothers in the section known as Banida.  Further south on the Creek, two French Canadians Mr. Shaw and Peter Rasalle settled.  These men later sold out to Alfred Rosciot, another French Canadian.

            In 1872, Niels Georgeson and Soren Hanson moved back to Weston, and Wilson Robbins mover further north into the place now owned by Dell Hymas; however the original place was abandoned in July 1875.  George Sant bought the old Robbins place and in the fall of 1875, Wilson Robbins went to Franklin and part of George Sant’s family moved into his place to care for his stock.

             The winter of 1876 was a very sever one.  After Christmas there was no travel with teams.  In 1874, the terminus of the Utah-Northern Railroad was at Franklin, and James and Fred Atkinson, brothers, got the contract to carry the mail once a week to Soda Springs from Franklin.  They did not have much trouble until about Christmas.  They could get their horses as far as Rosciot’s place, from whence they could use snow shoes the rest of the way.  When they could not ford the river they had to go around by the Packer Bridge.  For that reason it often took them an extra week to make the trip.

            In the fall of 1875, William Treasure and family moved from Smithfield and settled on the hill near where the old creamery stands, and they too had to endure that hard winter.  There was so much snow that the few people that lived in Gentile Valley were completely shut out as their only mode of travel was by means of snow shoes—the long narrow kind.  On account of the hard winter the hay got scarce but the south side of the hill where the snow had blown off there was a great deal of dried grass, and in March and April the stock were driven over the crust on to the bare hills.  It took men, women and children to help get them on to their feet.  Mr. Robbins had 150 head, George Sant and Mr. Treasure had some also, but all had to be helped up when every they would lie down.  On the first day of April 1876, George Sant Jr. measured the snow in the lane just north of where the meetinghouse now stands, and it was exactly two feet deep.  The weather did break up until the latter part of April.  There are a few still living that will never forget that winter.

            Spring came at last, however, and two more settlers came; John Millington who settled on the Rosel Taylor place and Charles Williams settled where Charles Shumway now resides.

            In the summer of 1878, the Utah Northern R.R. extended its line.  The terminus was just on the north side of the Nathan Smith farm where a town of tents and lumber houses sprang up as if by magic.  The town was called Dunnville in honor of one of the railroad officials.  It was a very busy railroad camp; there were stores, boarding houses, saloons, blacksmith shops, and everything that goes to make a thriving town.  All freight for Montana was loaded there, and made a very fine market for butter, eggs, cheese and vegetables, for the short time the terminus was here.

            T. Morrison, one of the first settlers, applied for, and got the contract to carry mail from Dunnville, to Soda Springs.  William H. Homer was the sheriff of Oneida County at that time the people who were living on Battle Creek, made application through him to get them a post office, this was granted, and as William Treasure lived on the main road from Dunnville up through Gentile Valley, he was appointed post master, and sheriff Homer gave the place the name of Treasureton.

            When the place was first settled, it belonged to Clifton Ward, but as a few more settlers came in, George Sant Sr. was made presiding elder.  After a time the ward was organized and Benjamin Hymas was the first bishop.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)

 

WESTON

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Town History Currently Under Construction

 

WHITNEY

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Just midway between Franklin and Preston on the Yellow­stone Park Highway is the town of Whitney, which has a population of about three hundred and fifty. This town like many others had a very humble beginning. It was cus­tomary for people who came to Franklin as settlers to be given an allotment of hay or grain lands. When Isaac Nash, James Hebdron, George and Alfred Hensen, E. Nelson, Peter Pool, Dickey Colter, William Handy, John and Nephi Comish and William Rogers came to Franklin they were each given five acres in the section now known as Whitney.

            This was really the beginning of Land ownership in this section of the country.

At that time the Indians were very troublesome, so much so that the men were advised to work in groups and never without their firearms.

It must have been an interesting sight in the late summer to Bee a large group going with their wagons and oxen, scythe and home made rakes to harvest this precious hay.

Those who really wanted to keep their hay lands had to build homes in order to protect their holdings because of an influx of cattle and sheep. In the spring of 1869, Ephriam Ellsworth and William Handy each built a cabin on their claims. (One of Mr. Handy's daughters still lives on the old homestead.) That same summer, James Chadwick and R. M. Hull formed a partnership and bought out some of the above named hay land claims and built them each a home. The next year William Head built a log cabin for his wife Sarah E. The Franklin County Sugar Company is built on part of this claim. In 1876, this land claim of 160 acres was sold for a big grey riding horse and a little money.

Thomas Bennett and his son William each built themselves a log house in 1870. Others, including the Joseph and George Foster Families, followed until there was quite a little colony of settlers.

            From the time the railroad came through 1878 until the place was given the name of Whitney, It was known as "Hulls' Crossing."

Some of these early settlers used their rights as first locators and claimed a share in the Worm and Spring Creeks. From these streams, they brought early spring water to irrigate their lands.

A ditch company was organized in 1881, the members of which worked together to bring water from the Cub River. This company joined in with Harrison Thomas.

This early pioneer group had many difficulties which were most trying. On account of the roads being impossible to travel most of the year, the men folks would ride horse back to Franklin for their meetings. The women and children would remain at home and keep the range cattle back from their growing crop. It was almost Im­possible to fence against the half-wild Texan cattle that freely roamed over this country. Many interesting stories are told concern­ing encounters with these cattle and their enormously long horns. At one time a pioneer woman went in search of her own cattle and while searching for them, a herd of these cattle completely sur­rounded her and were making ready to charge just as she threw her full gathered apron up over her head and caused the animals to race away in a wild stampede.

Some so-called white men were more trouble than either the Indians or wild cattle.

A number of men, headed by a notorious outlaw leader, Bob Tarter would help themselves to the settlers horses and cattle, drive them to Corinne, Utah and from that point ship them East and West. Occasionally the band of thieves would drive cattle up into Montana, where they sold them for a good price.

The outlaws not only took the cattle, but they were so bold as to kill the animals in the vicinity and take the beef to the homes of the owners and offer it for sale.

The settlers were quite sure, or at least suspected who the marauder’s were but were afraid to say or do anything about it because members of the robber band would not hesitate to kill anyone who interfered with them.

George Sharp te11s us that his brother Orson was one of the men sent up here by the United States officers from Salt Lake City to run down the cattle thieves. However he was killed by a mem­ber of the gang as he traveled with them along the Portnuef River. It seems that he got in with the band somehow and had planned to get some evidence against them, but they got him first; his body was never found. Hen Holt was also treated in the same manner. He was buried in the vicinity of Preston.

When the railroad was later built and passed through Whitney, the people were very much annoyed by tramps and hoboes of all kinds, as many as fifty would pass thru in one day.

Probably one of the most exciting experiences was with a band of thirty Chinese tramps that came up the track near Hull's. There were just Ann Hull, her friend and some children at home when the Chinamen were seen. These children hastened to lock all doors as a temporary protection at least. The cellar door however, was not locked; the Chinese just walked into the cellar and helped them­selves to the milk, cream and eggs, they also killed some chickens after which they proceeded to make a bonfire in the yard and pre­pare their midday meal. In the meantime, while the Chinamen were busy on the south side of the house, Ann put her brother out through the North window and sent him post haste to get help from the neighbors.

It was not long before Ephraim Ellsworth, a neighbor, appeared with a black whip, as soon as the Chinamen saw him; they began to shout, "Me go! Me go!"

The tramps were mostly unemployed men who were seeking work.

The trains were a determinant as well as a help to the community. Frequently, grass fires were caused through ignition from sparks, which poured from the chimneys of those old-style locomo­tives. The women and children would watch the fields along the train route and put out the fires as soon as they were started, whenever it was possible. They fought the fires with willows and sacks were used as beaters. Sometimes a fire would get a start of them and many of the willow fences were destroyed as well as the summer hay crop.

Alfalfa was not cultivated during those first few years; the set­tlers depended on the native grasses as food for the animals until after 1880.

First Grain: If you were looking down from Rattle Snake Point, could you, dear reader, in your imagination picture one little patch of about ten acres of green grain, growing inside of a frame of sage brush and dry native grasses, if you could, you would have seen the only green patch which had been planted by R. M. Hull. This lonely grain patch was growing on present farm of Roy Tanners, during the summer of 1873. This place of 160 acres was bought in 1872 from Martin Higley for a span of Mules.

Other Produce: There was an abundance of butter and cheese produced, the butter brought an average of fifteen cents per pound during the year and eggs brought about ten cents a dozen in exchange for merchandise.

            Occasionally a merchant could be induced to pay a little money in exchange for produce to buy postage stamps with.

During the summer time, the people had to take care of their produce the best that they could because the store refused to take it. Soap was made from the surplus butter.

When the roads were too bad for horse or wagon travel, the people would often walk to Franklin and carry huge buckets of but­ter in exchange for store goods. However, at other times when they could ride, the ever present knitting needles clicked merrily to­gether as if they were trying to keep time with the turning and squeaking of the wagon wheels. It was impossible to buy hose ready made at that time so we can readily see why the women had to keep the knitting needles so busily clicking.

            Much sugar cane was grown and molasses by the hundreds of gallons was made by Samuel Clark and others.

Foods: The people had plenty of cattle, pigs and chickens to furnish their meats; their problem was what to do for fruits and vegetables.

Each fall, some of the men would go to other towns to get: some dried fruit and molasses. Serviceberries were gathered and dried or boiled and stored away in five-gallon jars without sugar but sweetened with a little molasses. Wild gooseberries and cur­rants were oared for in a similar manner. Fortunate indeed was the family that had a good supply of this fruit to give the variety neces­sary for the winter diet. Native currants were sometimes obtained in Franklin but these were a real luxury.

It was possible in the spring of the year to get rhubarb at some of the homes in Franklin. One pioneer woman tells us that she has many times walked from Whitney to Franklin and back to get some of the treasured rhubarb. It was such a treat that the mother would clean even the large veins in the leaves and cook them. The children were so hungry for something green or fruity, that they would chew what was left of the leaf and spit out the pulp when all of the juice was extracted.

Later corn and melons were successfully grown in the gardens be1ow the Thomas ditches.

Recreation: The settlers were tried almost beyond endurance with cattle thieves, droughts and grasshoppers, but the most of them proved to be men and women of great strength and endurance so much so that they stayed with their land possessions. However, they were just human enough to welcome every little ray of sunshine, which came in the form of a diversion or amusement of any kind.

A ray of sunshine, which they appreciated very much, came once in a great while, when the Mormon missionaries would hold meet­ings in the homes of the people.

At one time there was one man brave enough to bring a lan­tern slide into the community. The lanternslide was shown in the log house of Wm. Bennett and the entire community was present. Each one gladly paid his ten cents, the price of admission.

When the people were baptized into the "United Order" in 1878, there was a great celebration and feasting. Many came to be bap­tized in the pool, which had been formed by building a dam across Spring Creek the night before the baptismal ceremonies.

A beef was killed for the occasion and many were put early to greet the authorities that came from Franklin to take part on this wonderful occasion.

Many people came from great distances among them David Jen­sen who was one of the acting officials during the baptismal ceremonies.

Special programs and all day celebrations were some of the other diversions.

This generation seems to be such a busy, restless group that we are wondering what would happen if a group of modern people were expected to sit still and listen to a program as lengthily as the one following which consists of forty-three (43) numbers presented at a Fourth of July program in 1889.

Orator of the Day, George T. Benson, Sr.; Chaplain, Bishop James Chadwick, Sr.; Singing, Choir; Prayer, Chaplain; Singing, Choir; Ad­dress of Welcome, Alvin Hull and Pearl Weaver; Speech (5 minutes) Wesley Beckstead; Song, Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Weaver; Reading, J. Rallison; Recitation, Eva Holden; Speech (5 minutes) Herbert Ral­lison; Accordian Music, Amasa Beckstead; Song, Presidency of Pri­mary Organization; Negro Story, E. R. Lawrence; German Song, Mr. and Mrs. Eulgster; Dialogue, Amy, Elise, Mary and Lela; Recita­tion, Sarah Lawrence; Song, Nephi McLeary; Recitation, Rudolph Dursteller; Speech (10 minutes), Louise Benson; Song, Mr. and Mrs. John Holden; Speech, Grandpa Ashton; Recitation, Hattie Greaves; Song, Sunday School; Song, Abbie Lundegren; Speech, A. H. Head; Song, Joseph S. Wright; Story, Joseph Dunk­ley Sr.; Stump Speech, Andrew Beckstead; Recitation, Frank T. Benson; Song, Samuel Clark; Speech, William Handy; 'Step Dance, Elton Beckstead; Reading, George Foster; Recitation, Arthur Chad­wick; Dialogue, R. M. Hull Jr., Albert Chadwick and Serge Bensoll; Song, Joseph Beckstead; Recitation, Jennie Weaver; Speech (five minutes), R. M. Hull, Sr.; Mouth Organ Music, Riley Clark and Joe Beckstead; Reading. Catherine Winwarn; Song, Bishop Chadwick and G. T. Benson; Recitation, Serge Benson; Song. Fred Rallison; Speech (5 minutes) James Hebdon; Dialogue, Sarah and Kittie Dunkley; Song, Lizzie Beckstead.

Eight dozen were donated, eggs selling at thirteen cents; a dozen were donated by the people to pay for the prizes offered to the children who took part in the sports. Three dollars worth of scrip was also donated: this scrip served as an exchange for "store goods."

The title of the first play produced in the "School House." was "He was Never Known to Smile." Fred Olsen and Elise Benson took the leading 'parts.

            Other amusements and forms of recreation were similar to those described in a part of the history of Franklin.

            The first Primary was organized May 8, 1885 with Sarah .T. Clayton appointed to act as president, Elizabeth Eardly and Annie Hull as Counselors.

            Sunday School was organized July 8, 1888 with Joseph S. Sharp as superintendent and Joshua Rallison Secretary.

The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association was organi­zed in 1888. Herbert Rallison as president, Gaston Brawley and Jas­per Head as counselors, and Arthur Chadwick as secretary.

The Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association was organi­zed February 17, 1889. Mary A. Weaver was appointed to act as president with the two counselors, Hannah P. Head and Gretta Hull. Elise Benson and Amy Chadwick were secretary and treasurer. At this time this district belonged to the Preston ward.

Just before the L.D.S. ward organization was effected, some of the leading men of the community met at the home of J.A. Head, finally Mr. Head offered the name of Whitney which was accepted in honor of Orsen F. Whitney, now an Apostle in the L. D. S. church.

The organization of the Whitney ward effected June 9, 1889, with James Chadwick as Bishop.  George T. Benson first Counselor, Joseph S. Wright second counselor and Herbert Rallison as Clerk.

BIRTHS AND MARRIAGES: Among the first births in this dis­tricts were: Drusilla, daughter of William and Ester Booth Bell, born November 7, 1873; Charles Bell Jr., born September 1874; Pleasant Williams Bell born December 1875; Sadie Ellsworth born January 13, 1976, daughter of Ephriam and Elizabeth Ellsworth.

The first births after the ward was organized were Lester Dunk­ley and Ruby Chadwick.

            Charles Morris Bell and Jane Panton were the first people mar­ried; they were married December 11, 1873.

            Rudolph Dursteller and Maria Bauman were the first ones mar­ried after the ward was organized.

MISSIONARIES: Joseph S. Wright and Andrew Beckstead were the first male missionaries sent out from Whitney; they both served as missionaries in Europe.

            The first lady missionaries were: Martha H. Dunkley and Flor­ence Benson. James Chadwick was the first public officer.

SCHOOLS: The peo­ple built a district schoolhouse in 1884. It is the north part of the present home of F. W. Rallison. Annie Hull was the first teacher in this school. She held a first grade cer­tificate and was paid just fifteen dollars ($15.00) a month. The county officials at Malad had charge of the school and paid Miss Hull's salary.

Florence Holland, a Logan girl, recently from England, taught the girls domestic arts along with all the other subjects.

Other teachers were: Annie Hopkins, who married Henry Lam­oreaux; Mary Flack, another teacher, taught for $35.00 per month and quit because the school board would not pay her forty dollars ($40.00) a month. Geo. E. Crockett also taught in 1889-90.

HIGHWAY: The first stagecoach road or highway ran almost in a direct line from the point of "Little Mountain" to the present site of the Franklin County Sugar Factory. It crossed the Worm Creek at the present south crossing, then passed on up over the old "Oregon Montana Trail" which is now marked by the railroad. When people began to build their fences, that placed the road east and it crossed Spring Creek near L. H. Ballif's store.

Railroad: One of the outstanding events in the history was the building of a narrow gauge railroad. In the fall of 1877 the road was completed as far as Spring Creek, coming, by the way of Franklin. By January 1878, the Spring and Worm Creek bridges were completed. Early in the spring the road was built on over the flat, now Preston.

In 1876 a railroad grade was built on the east side of Whitney. It ran north from Buttermilk Curve (Now Nashville) as far as the Bear River Narrows. Engineers found it to be too expensive to build through that way so made a new route, which is followed by the pre­sent railroad system.

While the railroad was under construction, Jay Gould, the great financier and Mr. Huntington visited this locality, they were seen picking up loose spikes and bolts along the track, early in the morn­ing. When asked about it, Jay Gould said, "That is the way we have laid our foundation of great enterprise."

BUSINESS: The first, business establishment was the Equitable Co-op in 1887, located near the present site of the Pea Vinery. The Co-op was built and owned by a group of men who finally had to sell it at a great sacrifice because of so many bad, outstanding debts. Different parties owned it until finally it was burned down.

In the northeast corner of this store was a flourishing shoe mending department supervised by Nephi McLeary. Mr. McLeary mended shoes six days of the week then lead the choir on Sunday.             A blacksmith shop was owned and operated by Joseph Simons it was located near the Pea Vinery.

            During the years of 1888-89 J. W. Windward sold all kinds of farming implements for the George A. Lowe Company.

The first postmaster was Albert Chadwick with his sister Amy who acted as assistant. Sometime later the post office was taken care of in the Equitable Co-op Store.

            Joseph Simons hauled the first load of rock for the construction of the rock-meeting house in 1891.

Whitney has some very productive farming land, most of which is used for sugar beets. The Franklin County Sugar Factory, which takes care of the beets, is located here.

In comparison to the present methods of handling sugar beets, it might be interesting to relate the way in which the first beets that were grown in Franklin County were handled. They were planted in the spring of 1899; the tool for thinning was an iron from an old wagon box, bent and sharpened. They were gone over four different times before they were thinned satisfactorily. Cultivation was with a hand pushed cultivator, and the topping was done with a butcher knife. A shovel or hand plow was used for digging them.

The first crop was loaded on a flat car, which held fifteen tons; the grower and agent estimated the weight. They were shipped to Weber County, Utah, to the Amalgamated Sugar Co. and the price paid was $4.25 per ton. The first car shipped out was grown by John A. Dunkley.

A Pea Vinery was built here in 1926.

                This community has a very fine modern school building and gymnasium, which were erected in 1924.

            As transportation, the people of the town are served by the bus lines and Oregon Short Line Railroad.

. Generally speaking, the great aim of the parents in this com­munity has always been to give their children the best educational opportunities available. Out of this ward have come many leaders, doctors, lawyers, churchmen and statesmen who have made renown­ed successes in their chosen fields of activities.

Russell Maughan, the "Dawn to Dusk" flyer received his agri­cultural training in this little town of Whitney.

            Much of its well-known musical talent had its foundation in the early ward choir, which won first place in a choir contest, in­cluding all of Cache Valley. Elsie B. Alder was the choir leader and she was assisted by a round twenty other talented singers. Riley Clark was assistant chorister and John A. Dunkley was president of the choir.

The people here get behind public enterprises, knowing that cooperation is necessary for the development of community welfare.

(Taken from THE TRAILBLAZER published 1930)