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LDS chapel burns

(Piute County News, 11 October 1946


Most Disastrous Blaze In Marysvale History

Marysvale residents were awakened early Sunday morning to see the chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints going up in flames. The fire started about 4:30 a.m., apparently in the rear of the building, and had such a start before it was discovered that it was impossible to check the blaze.

The building, which was a frame and stucco structure, was burned to the ground, and with it all the furnishings and some records belonging to the Relief Society and the Primary. Luckily, the Ward Records were at the home of the Ward clerk, Lester J. Epling, and were not destroyed in the fire.

Kent Sargent was first to discover the fire. A general alarm was sent out and members of the community turned out to help fight the fire, but the building was so badly burned that it was impossible to battle the flames with the equipment available.

The Jay Sylvester family were also among the first to discover the fire. They live in a house adjacent to the church and were awakened when heat from the fire broke windows in their bedroom. The fire would undoubtedly have spread to theirs and other surrounding buildings but for a heavy rain, which had been falling throughout the night. It dampened roofs and kept the fire from spreading to the nearby buildings.

This chapel was built shortly after the turn of the century and was enlarged and remodeled in 1936. It had stood through the growth of this community through prosperity and depression and has seemingly watched sorrow and joy come to the people. Because it is so closely related to those things which are sacred in the lives of the people of this community, it is deemed a great loss to everyone.

Bishop Edward C. Hansen, who was attending General Conference of the L.D.S. Church in Salt Lake City when the fire occurred, met with general authorities there on Monday and conferred with them again here on Thursday to make plans for the rebuilding of the church. Although no definite plans were arranged, it is anticipated that a new church will be constructed as soon as material can be obtained.

Bishop Hansen wishes to extend his appreciation to all who turned out to help with the fire. And he wishes to caution everyone to stay away from the burned ruins, as the walls are apt to fall in any time. He especially solicits the cooperation of the people in keeping their children away until it can be torn down.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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