History of West Weber
Compiled by Gwendolyn Jenkins Griffin For West Weber Centennial July 4, 1959.
West Weber is a fertile strip of land sprawled out beside the river whose name it bears. The river has always been a thing of importance. The sloughs, formed by the overflow of the churning waters, made a paradise for the Beaver. Here they founded their colonies and created the historic "Beaver Meadows," the ruins of which are still found in spots along the Weber. The Muskrat chose the marshy banks of the Weber for their hideouts. Their common enemy was the trapper. These early trappers, Peter Skeen Ogden, Captain Miles Goodyear and others trapped along the Weber for many years. By 1847 the heyday Or the trapper was over. The Weber was becoming depleted of Beaver. Consequently it was not difficult to arrange the purchase of Weber County.
Captain James Brown on his way to California to collect the service money for the men Or his Mormon Battalion Company, stopped over night with Miles Goodyear at his cabin on the Weber River (located where the Speery Mills are today). Captain Brown was impressed with the country and upon his return from California in January of 1848, was authorized by President Brigham Young to complete the purchase of Weber County. Captain Brown and his two sons pooled their money and by using a portion of the service money, were able to negotiate with Miles Goodyear for the property.
Miles Goodyear obtained the land surrounding Weber River from the Mexican Government as part of a land grant in 1841. Known as the Weber it included all the territory from Weber Canyon on the east, extending west to the Great Salt Lake, thence north to a line parallel with the Utah Hot Springs, and east to the mountains. He sold the entire claim for $1,950., and threw in 75 goats, 75 cattle, 12 sheep and 6 horses. The land was purchased with a view of colonization and was used as a common herd ground until settlers took up the land.
The first natives of the Weber were the Indians. It was a favorite camping ground for Chief Little Soldier and his band of Utes. Although the early settlers had had much trouble with Chief Little Soldier and his band, he was fairly peaceable when the settlers came in 1859 and was content to let them take care of him and his tribe. Other tribes led by Chief Terikee, Indian Jack and others migrated along the banks of the Weber enjoying the fishing and hunting that the river afforded.
The ground west and south of the river was looked upon by the settlers of the Valley as a choice herd ground. The grass was tall along the river and the river supplied plenty of water. In 1850 Alvin Bybee and William Middleton built a corral and cabin on the riverbank in a fine grove of Box Elder trees, which was located about three quarters of a mile east-northeast of where the present meeting house stands today. The Bybee family lived in this cabin during the winter of 1850-51 but the Middletons did not move down until the spring of 1851.
Early in 1851 the Bybee's left the settlement and accompanied the colony which went to Southern California with Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich to settle San Bernardino After that the Middleton's were for a short time the only family in that part of Weber County, now included in the West Weber Ward. Early in 1851 Charles F. Middleton eldest son of William Middleton, tapped 75 Box Elder trees, caught the juice in troughs made for that purpose, and boiled the syrup, even making a portion into sugar. This is supposed to have been the first sugar ever made in Weber County.
In the spring of 1851, also, William Middleton and his son Charles F., plowed a few acres of land which they planted with corn, wheat and vegetables, but the crop failed through lack of moisture. The family not being able to take the water out of the river for irrigation purposes with the manual strength at their command.
In June 1851 Charles Butler, father-in-law of William Middleton who lived with them, died in the cabin. His remains were conveyed to Ogden by Gilbert Belnap, Ogden's first sexton, to what is now Ogden City Cemetery, and his body was the first interred in the present Ogden City Cemetery. The people who had died in Weber County previous to this had been buried elsewhere.
Middleton's kept a ranch here for a number of years but finally vacated the place and later the cabin was taken down by other parties and burned for wood. For several years afterward there were no settlers in that part of Weber County known as West Weber. The country was used as a common herd ground by the people of Ogden and other settlements. In 1854 William Hooper and his brothers built shanties and a corral a mile or two west of the present meeting house and their cattle grazed on the grass.
As early as 1850 John Staker purchased land from people holding claims which they had abandoned because of high water. His claim was one-half mile east of the present Wilson meeting house. (The eastern section of West Weber was later named Wilson.) In 1854 George C., Lewis D,, Barlow B. Wilson, brothers purchased claim east of the Staker farm. They lived in Ogden until 1860, going back and forth to their farms. The Wilson brothers were successful in farming.
In 1856 John Martin came to live in West Weber in a dugout. He raised a crop that year and in 1857 he moved his house out from Spring Street in Ogden, by taking it apart and floating the logs down the river. John Martin and his wife Sarah Sargent, are credited with being the first permanent settlers of West Weber.
Prior to this in 1855, Captain James Brown made a black willow fence around a quarter section of land in the northeast quarter of Section 22. This land is known as the Robert McFarland pasture. In 1858 Captain Brown built a small cabin for a herd house. It stood on the edge of the ridge overlooking the country westward, near the center of this section. The fence ran east and west. It was necessary to fence the land as the timber wolves would destroy any cattle left out at night.
The spring of 1858 was filled with misgivings. It was certain the Army would enter Utah, and the people of Weber County moved south to the Provo River bottoms, in accord with Church leaders, leaving a few men to guard their homes should trouble arise with the troops. Two months later, the threat Or invasion over, they were allowed to return. Many returned to their homes, others sought land north and south Or Salt Lake City. Along those who came north in the fall of 1858 were the group of men from Lehi. They were seeking a site for a new settlement and having heard favorable comments for a settlement on the Weber River came to look it over. Finding the country favorable for settlement, they returned to Lehi and began to make preparations for moving their families the following spring, 1859. They settled in Plain City.
Others who came north in the spring Or 1859 were the early settlers Or West Weber. These settlers came from various parts Or the world to be with the Saints in the west. They were converts to the Church and had crossed the plains with ox teams, settling in Salt Lake and the surrounding territory.
In the spring of 1859 John I. Hart, John Douglas, John E. Bitton and Hans D. Petterson bought twenty acres of land from Captain James Brown at $5.00 per acre. This formed the nucleus for a new settlement. The arrangements made by the settlers with the captain were to the effect that the settlers were to pay $10.00 per acre for land which had been plowed and $5.00 per acre for land outside the fence. In the purchase Or the twenty acre lots each Or the brethren had the privilege of taking, free of extra charge, any Or the land outside Or this.
That same spring the McFarland's, Archibald and James, and their families, together with an unmarried brother William, came with the settlers from Lehi and settled in what is now Plain City. They stayed there about eight days until their cattle rested then not being satisfied with the settlement on the north side of the river, decided to try to buy some land in another location. Archibald and William started on foot to Ogden. They spent the night with Samuel Glassglow and he told them about some land on the south side of the river which Captain Brown had for sale. They contacted the Captain and arranged for the purchase of a tract of land fenced with a willow fence, parts Or Section 22-23 and part of Section 15 of the township.
McFarlands settled on the Brown claim in southwest quarter Section 22. Other settlers joined the little settlement. Robert Hellewell, James Stone, Ammon Green Sr., Peter I. Mesick and John S. Higbee. William McFarland Sr. came from American Fork in May 1859 bringing his wife and daughter, Janet. By fall the little settlement boasted of twelve families all living in log cabins.
They put in a crop of grain and a few vegetables and realized a small harvest. That year Archibald McFarland dug a canal from one of the sloughs bordering the river and was able to irrigate part of his land. This was the first irrigation ditch dug west of the Weber. The other settlers soon followed his example.
The first concern of the pioneers was shelter. The families lived in their wagon boxes until the crops were in then they started to build homes. They were made of log, with dirt floors and the doors were made from willow branches covered with dirt. The doors of the houses were made rather flat. The result was that was that nearly every house leaked during the first winter, and umbrellas, where such a luxury as an umbrella was owned, were frequently in demand to shelter those engaged in cooking, and even in bed, persons would be seen sitting or lying under an umbrella. The houses were built in a row running east and west with the fence. The openings for doors and windows were covered with canvas. Later dugouts were built and by 1870 many homes had been constructed of adobe. These homes boasted of windows with panes of glass, doors, fireplaces and built cupboards. The early houses were lighted by homemade tallow candles. The sagebrush served for fuel. In 1861 the first kerosene lamps were introduced into the village and soon candles were a mere memory.
The winter of 1859-60 was very severe and there was considerable suffering among the settlers. That fall the first death occurred in the settlement in the demise of Janet McFarland, twelve year old daughter of William McFarland Sr. She was buried in the Ogden Cemetery. On 20 December 1859 the first birth occurred when James R. McFarland was born. Many stories could be told of the sufferings and hardships endured by the settlers that first winter.
During the winter of 1859-60 there was no regular Church organization in the settlement, but meetings were held occasionally in the homes of John I. Hart, John E. Bitton and others, under the Presidency of William McFarland Sr., who was the senior member of the settlers. He and Brother Hart would also, on their own responsibility, visit the people as teachers, although the settlers, so far, had not been identified with any Bishop's ward.
On October 25, 1863 all the Wards and Branches in the Stake ward reorganized and designated as Districts with Presidents and Counselors in charge. President Lorin Farr and Chauncey W. West visited the settlement and organized it into a District, known as Number Four. William Kay was appointed to preside over it.
After shelter was provided and the first irrigation ditches made the settlers erected a place of worship. It was just a one roomed log cabin and was used as a school room, dance hall and place for social gatherings, but it was many years before a Church was erected. In 1888 the present meeting house was built. In 188° West Weber Ward was divided and Brigham Heber Bingham was made the first Bishop of the eastern half which was later called Wilson Ward. In 1909 the West Weber Ward was again divided and the south half made into a new Ward, which was known as the Taylor Ward. William Jardine was made Bishop of the new Ward. At this time the West Weber Ward meeting house was cleaned and redecorated and a flowing well was due. In 1930 a building program undertook the remodeling of the Chapel, with the addition of classrooms, and it was dedicated on 12 October 1930, by President Heber J. Grant. The Saints were always mindful of their religious obligations and never forgot why they came here to the valley of the mountains.
In 1861 the Church authorities called for men and teams to go to the Missouri River after emigrants. The West Weber settlement responded by sending William McFarland Jr. and Henry Wilson to the frontier, one ox team, three yoke of cattle and a wagon. Similar responses were made in 1862, 1864, 1866 and 1868.
In 1860 the County court organized the settlement into a precinct of Weber County. Naming the same Weston Precinct. Previously the settlement had been called Brown's Place and McFarland settlement. When the District was organized it was called Weber District. This was confusing to the settlers 30 in 1664 the two n3mes, Weston Precinct and Weber District were combined and shortened to west Weber.
Education was considered of the greatest importance by the settlers. The first school building was commenced in 1861. It was built cooperatively by the settlers on the John Martin homestead. It was located slightly north of the Martin's old home on the sandridge. The winter of 1862-63 saw the schoolhouse finished and the first day of school was taught in West Weber by Clinton Wilson. The schoolhouse was about 14 by 16 feet and served as a meeting house, dance hall, etc. It was heated by a fire place, and lighted by tallow candles, which were home made. The benches were rough hewn logs. With this crude equipment a very fine school developed. Many children walked two and three miles to school over sage brush and sand. Few had leather shoes. The popular foot wear was a shoe made from old overalls. This type foot-wear was introduced by the Saints as the need for shoes became acute, the fashion carried on for many years. The children tell of the sand being so hot that they would jump from one sage brush to another and at frequent intervals would jig up and down on first one foot and then the other to cool their feet. In winter the problem was reversed and they battled the cold. Many suffered permanent injury from frost bite.
In 1867 a new school was opened to accommodate the children located in the western part of the settlement. It was a log house moved over from Slaterville and was located on what is now Walter Greenwell's homesite. This building burned in 1871 and a new log building was constructed on what is now Oscar Hadley's property. About 1872 a new adobe structure was built on the northwest corner of our ball park. In 1887-88 the Garland school district was organized and a two room building was constructed on the Southwest corner of Hans D. Petterson's homestead.
Transportation problems made it necessary to have smaller schools conveniently located to accommodate the children of the settlement. Consequently, several schools were built in the settlement about the same time. The children in the western part attended a new brick building, now owned by Duane Wagstaff. A two room adobe house built in 1876 by William Fronk, was converted into a school and the children of the northern part of the settlement attended this. It was located on what is now John Dance's property. The southwest part of the settlement attended a nice adobe school located on what is now Herman Neilson property. This also served as a meeting house for several years in Taylor, before the ward was divided. The southeast section of the ward attended a small school, located on the site of the pea vinery in Taylor.
In 1903 a modern four room building was built on our present school site. In 1928 this was torn down and the present building replaced it. A modern gymnasium was added in 1932-33 and a cafeteria in 1960. The opening Or this new school marked the beginning of our present system of consolidated schools.
One of the greatest tasks which confronted the people when they came hero in 1859 was the problem of irrigation. Although there was an abundance of water, there still remained the problem of getting it onto the lands. As soon as the settlers were settled they began the construction of a canal. This canal was dug by hand. The only tool was a shovel. It was a gigantic task and one which was to bring them many heart aches and disappointments. Eight miles of ditch to be dug by hand over sun-baked plains, through sage brush hollows and mounts of sand. With little to sustain them except sheer determination, the task was accomplished and the first water from the Weber River was turned on to their lands in 1860. In 1860-61 it cost the settlers $2500., to irrigate ten small farms. Imagine their disappointment when the ditch broke from want of sufficient fall. They rebuilt it and in 1862 the river made history by breaking all high water records. The dam was destroyed and the greater portion of the ditches were swept away. Again they rebuilt it only to have it washed away in 1866. Courageously the calloused hands rebuilt it, but this time the old ditch was abandoned and a new survey made by Jesse W. Fox was adopted. This held until 1873, when once again the levee was washed out and the river poured its devastation's on the infant settlement. The settlers, in their battle for supremacy, purchased a pile driver and hauled timber from the mountains, which was driven into the river, and with brush and gravel combined to make a strong dam. In 1875 the dam gave way and in trying to repair the gap Brother James Robb and his son John, and a young man Ed Fuller, were drowned. With high resolve and courage the repair was made on the dam and the settlers took turns guarding the levee. Later they joined with Hooper and the present levee and canal were constructed. Up to about $75,000., had been expended on the canal started by the settlers in 1860.
Another factor in the life of the early settlers, which was affected by the river, was that of transportation. Miles Goodyear owned and operated a ferry on the Weber River. The Pioneers were isolated from Ogden and the other communities by the river. Their only method of getting across the river was to ford it. They would ford the stream at a point about where the American Packing Plant is today. Many interesting stories could be told of the times the wagon boxes were washed off the running gears, and the many river spills, etc. During the spring, when the water was highest, they would ford the river at Riverdale, later a bridge was built at Riverdale. Those who didn't wish to go to Ogden by way of Riverdale would drive their teams as far as the home of Edmund Robbins and leave them there, and cross on a sm411 foot-bridge, which the Wilson brothers built in 1855. During the extreme high water the foot-bridge would be submerged in water, then they would either wade the swollen stream or go around by Riverdale.
In 1866 the people of West Weber joined with the people of Plain City and constructed a bridge for their mutual convience. The people of Slaterville did likewise in 1890. At this time the townspeople were called upon to help with the construction and a very sad accident took place. A huge boulder fell from their grasp, pinning Gideon Holmes to the ground. His lungs filled with blood and he died in an agony of fever two weeks later.
In 1870 the railroad built to bridge spanning the Weber River with a foot-bridge for pedestrians. In 1879 Weber County built a wooden bridge spanning, the river about where the steel bridge stands. This was really a step in progress, now the settlers could take their produce to market without going around by way of Riverdale. This bridge was replaced by the steel bridge in 1908.
The years of the Civil War were hard on the new settlers, as commodities were high sugar was worth sixty-five cents a pound, nails about the same, and one yard Or factory material cost from one dollar to one dollar-twenty-five cents per yard.
Before the war was over the people had began to take up more land, so in 1863 they had the Dixie field surveyed and laid out in twenty acre lots, as was the New City Bench lands. A fence was built by the brethren around the fields, which saved each one from fencing his own. This same year the main water ditch was enlarged and extended one and one-half miles to irrigate the new survey of land which the new settlers had taken up.
As yet the town site of West Weber had not been surveyed and laid out, so in 1867-68, Charles Hardy surveyed the town of West Weber and laid out the farm land in the West field. The town was laid out in one-half mile blocks, with streets four rods wide running parallel. The blocks were divided into twenty acre lots. Some of the men assisted by carrying the chain. Now the settlers knew where their lands were located and an effort was put forth to rebuy the lands from the Government. (The government did not recognize the claim of Miles Goodyear) One person filed for all owning land in their section, and the settlers paid according to the amount of land they owned.
For many years the first roads followed the easiest grades. No attention being given to section lines. Such a road came from Ogden through Wilson Lane to Wilson's hill, turning north and west along the sandridge, passing John Martin's homestead, and west along the sandridge to McFarland's, on to Bennington's corner, north to Greenwells and west to the present site of the West Weber meeting house. After the fields were surveyed and the road bed was laid for the present road.
All able bodied men in the settlement participated in the building of the first roads. Later the poll tax system of upkeep of roads was adopted which provided that each man must pay $l.00 per year or donate one days labor per year free for the upkeep of the roads. This was changed at the turn of the century and At present they are built and kept in repair by state and county taxes.
The revolution in road building helped to establish our system of Rural Mail Delivery. The early settlers used to have to go to Ogden for their mail. In 1870 a post office was established in the home of Edmund Ellsworth, Sr. (where Heber Hancock lives today) The post office was called "Alma" at first. Each community had a post office and they were named by the Government. Joseph Belnap Sr. was appointed mail carrier. It was delivered to the community three times a week.
In the winter of 1877-78 the settlement was visited with a severe epidemic of Diphtheria which continued for about eighteen months and during which time, more than a score of children under twelve years of age fell victim to the disease. Hardly a family escaped and many of these deaths were several from the same family.
The years of the crickets took their toll from the beauty of the countryside, but this was hardly noticed by the settlers in their grave concern for their crops. The crickets started their migration into the infant settlement in 1867. Each year the loss became greater, until the year 1870 when the crops were almost a total loss. The settlers tell of the "grass hopper war," the crickets lighting on the fences at night until the boards looked black with their bodies. Hopelessly they waged their battle against the pests, their only weapons were flails, fire and prayer. Undaunted they planted their crops each year, only to see from one-half to three-fourths destroyed by this invading army. The cricket scourge lasted about five years.
Once in awhile a year comes along which changes the trend of the world. Such was the year of 1869 when the coming of the railroad united the oceans and western frontiers were conquered. The problems of supplying the necessities of life became less difficult and less expensive. Wheat that had been selling in Utah for 60¢ a bushel jumped to $2.40. Unbleached muslin that had been selling in Ogden for $2.40 per yard dropped to .50. This greatly decreased price for exports but greatly decreased price for imports made it possible for the thrifty settlers to become better fixed financially.
In the spring of 1868 Archibald McFarland and Hans D. Petterson took contracts to build 100 miles of grade for the Central Pacific Railroad in Nevada. All able bodied men of the community went to assist. The men were anxious for the work, particularly so as the return for labor was money. The very sound CASH had a peculiar ring of enchantment to many minds, as this commodity was scarce; as all business transactions were usually consummated without the presence of cash, but trade-barter-wheat-flour- and stock being the chief articles of exchange. Upon completing the Nevada grade many of the men continued on to the Promontory, working for Benson, Farr and West. These men were present when the rails were united in the Gala celebration on May 10, 1869.
When the Utah Railroad was being built from Ogden to Salt Lake, the ward took a contract for ~ mile3 of grade. The people were thrifty and used the money to pay their debts, build and improve their homes and build a better community.
The coming of the railroad also brought an influx of Gentile Merchants. Prices soared and it looked as though the Gentile merchants might soon be in the majority. President Young recognized the seriousness of the situation. He was determined to make the people self supporting in every respect. In order to do this they had to roster many industries. Converts to Mormonism, regardless of what part of the world they lived in were advised to migrate to Utah and bring with them the best of world possessed. West Weber got her share of these people. Among those who came during this period of time and contributed much to the settlement were: James Ririe and his sons, John Gibson, James Hunter and his sons, Wheatly Gibson and Charles Hogge and his sons,
In 1869 President Young issued his notable "Non-Gentile Patronage Policy." A co-operative movement was started. Each settlement had a co-op store and West Weber was no exception. A co-op Stock Company was organized; a co-op store was opened; also a co-op mill started, which ran for a couple of years or so. Many men of the settlement took stock in all these organizations.
Many industries were introduced into the settlement about this time. Many of the Saints who came into the settlement at this later date were tradesmen. Among them were men who operated blacksmith shops: George and Walter Hadley, John Sutton and others. In 1872 Richard Mills and his brother, William began a brick industry. Gideon Holmes also had a brickyard. He later sold his brickyard to William Fronk who was a skilled brickman. About one million bricks were made in West Weber during the years of 1873-83 and most Or them burned by sage brush.
Among the industries which President Young and other Church leaders of Utah made an attempt to establish was that of silk worms from France and Italy in 1855. Twenty-five or thirty acres of trees were planted on the church farm at Forest Dale A number of the early pioneers of West Weber planted mulberry trees in West Weber. Archibald McFarland had a long line of these trees, as did Ralph Hunt.
In 1870 Sister Zina D.H. Young distributed some silk worms among the settlers of West Weber. They raised Silk worms, spun the thread from the cocoons and wove beautiful cloth. However, it was not successful, the machinery being too high priced. There a few silk handkerchiefs made from this enterprise in the possession of descendants of these early settlers.
The settlement boasted of five stores: Matilda Douglas, Mrs. Hall, Anthony Fronk, A.G. Bowman and Nathan Hawks, all owned and operated stores in the early days of West Weber. Ambrose Greenwell owned and operated a slaughterhouse. The butchering was done here and taken to Ogden, where he operated a thriving meat business. The slaughterhouse was located just a little south of Bishop Farr's hay shed. The Greenwelll's also had a molasses mill.
The turn of the century brought many luxuries to the little community. In 1900 a remarkable feat of engineering was begun when it was decided to build a cut-off from Ogden straight across the lake to Lucin. The new line was completed in 1903 and went directly through West Weber. The people contributed much to this enterprise. Many of the men were grateful for the chance of extra work on the grade, some of the women made tents, some boarded the laborers who came from far and near to help on the project. A station was built in West Weber and was operated by Mr. Mark Cullen. The trains stopped here twice each day and were routed from here. "Now my lade could spend a day shopping in the city whenever she wished."
About this time the telephone came to West Weber. Robert McFarland is credited with having the first telephone and William Fronk and Nathan Hawkes soon afterwards. The number system was interesting, 96 olive- 36 red- etc., later changed to 350- 36R- 36J, etc. One line was all the community afforded so everyone was on the same line.
The advent of the electric lights in 1914 was hailed with joy by the residents of West Weber. Soon many conveniences were added to their mode of life. Perhaps the greatest change was brought about by the electric washing machine. It soon became a necessary part of each home and the days of washing in the river and drying the clothes on the bushes was only a memory.
The settlement has always been conscious of its physical appearance. So green and tree grown is the aspect today that it is hard to believe or visualize West Weber as a nearly treeless expanse. Yet in 1859 there was only a thin ribbon of cottonwoods and willows along the winding course of the river, with here and there a small grove of box Elder Trees. In 1865 considerable energy was put forth by the people of West Weber in the planting of fruit trees, which a few years later as they became large, lent considerable enchantment and importance to the new settlement. Many previous attempts had been mode to grow trees, but the winters were so severe that the trees would not grow. When President Young came north in 1850 to lay out the city of Ogden he promised the settlers that the seasons would change and become mild and the crops would mature and the trees grow. The settlers of West Weber lived to see this fulfilled. The first few years they had slight frosts even in the summer months.
The change to longer harvest seasons enabled the settlers to introduce many new crops: alfalfa, potatoes, beets, tomatoes and corn, sugar beets were particularly good in this locality. At one time West Weber had three beet dumps.
A reclamation program in the late 1930's encouraged the people of West Weber to reclaim some of the lands in the settlement. Many acres have been changed into productive acreage by draining sloughs, leveling land and the installation of pumps to aid in irrigation. Bishop Phares N. Green is credited with being among the first to subscribe to this program, as it was on his property that a power scraper was first used in West Weber Ward. Today these lands are fertile farms.
Other county programs which have done much to improve the settlement of West Weber are the present county road program, the weed program and the mosquito abatement program.
Another appurtenance of civilization introduced in the year 1863 was a cemetery, still existing on the bank of the Weber River. Today people point with pride to this quiet resting place of the early settlers. Etched against a backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains, it nestles close to the singing river. Rolling green lawns trim shrubs, and impressive monuments mark this sacred spot. Sometimes one will hear a combine at work near these sleeping men who cut their grain with a cradle, or perchance a plane zoom over the heads of these quiet ones who followed the grassy trail of the oxen. It is a shrine of beauty now, but it was not always so. The transformation began in 1940 when Thomas Lund, a former resident of West Weber, donated $500., to aid in procuring water for the cemetery. A storage tank was attached to the well and a hydraulic pump was installed, but it still was not adequate for beautification purposes. In 1949 a cemetery district was organized and another attempt was made to secure water A surface well was dug, a pump house built and a power line installed at a cost of $700., Much of the labor was donated. This still was not sufficient water for so large a project so in 1956 another well was dug which drew water from a distance of 803 feet underground. It represented an expenditure of $1,272. After many months and years of toil and perseverance the present cemetery has evolved. Much credit is given to the committee, J. Andrew Penman, J.J. Gibson and David W. Hancock who helped to inaugurate this program. At the death of Brother David Hancock his son Boyd, was appointed to the committee.
West Weber has seen many changes since that day in 1859 when the first settlers pulled their wagons to a halt along the Weber. They surmounted many difficulties. They poured water on a desert land, they planted, they reaped, they played and sung and sometimes they mourned, but happiness and contentment came to live with them. Their faith wrought miracles.
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF WEST WEBER
William McFarland, Sr. (1859-1863) President of settlement by right of seniority.
William Kay (l863-1864) Presiding Elder of District Four. Richard Douglas (1864-1867) Presiding Elder. Counselors: Hans D. Petterson, Clinton Wilson.
Archibald McFarland (1867-1872) Presiding Elder. Counselors: John Martin, Hans D. Petterson, Edmund Ellsworth.
John I. Hart (1872-1877) Presiding Elder. Counselors: Ammon Green, James F. Hunter, A. G. Bowman, Hans D. Petterson.
On May 20, 1877, the Ward was organized and John I. Hart was appointed as 9ishop, He was Bishop from 1877-1888. In 1879 he was called on a mission to England and Ammon Green presided in his absence. In 1886 he was called on a mission again to England and James F. Hunter presided in his absence.
Zacharia Ballantyne (1888-1892) Bishop. Counselors: Robert McFarland, Jens Sorenson.
Robert McFarland (1892-1909) Bishop. Counselors: Wheatly Gibson, George F. Hunter, James B. Ririe, William Jardine, Nathan A. Hawkes.
William C. Hunter (1909-1910) Bishop. Counselors: George W. Etherington, Nathan A. Hawkes.
George W. Etherington, (1910 - 1916) Bishop. Counselors: Hans F. Petterson, George A. Heslop, Jacob P. Gibson.
George A. Heslop (1916-1942) Bishop. Counselors: David Hancock, Henry Penman, David W. Hancock, Oscar McFarland, Thomas A. McFarland.
C. Milton Farr (1942-1854) Bishop. Counselors: John E. Dance, Harold W. Gibson, Boyd Hancock.
Phares N. Green (1954-1964) Bishop. Counselors: Boyd Hancock, Jay Gibson, Ellis Griffin.
Boyd Hancock (1964-1971) Bishop. Counselors: Lewis Greenwell, LeRoy Herrick.
History of West Weber
Long before Utah was accepted as a state of the Union, fine young families were coming from many lands to the "Big Bend Or the River" to settle, to subdue the land, to make it productive; and as many of the first settlers were Mormon Converts, to worship their Heavenly Father as they had been taught, as their testimonies directed, without fear of persecution.
They brought with them talents and cultures, such as: black smithing, brick making, mid-wifing, cheese making, quilting and many other arts of homemaking.
Among the first settlers were school teachers, doctors, butchers, musicians, farmers, bridge builders and stock-raisers.
Daily life was difficult. Starvation and freezing was ever present menaces. Lack of water and the constant inroads by insects made hazardous every attempt at growing crops. Many settlers secured fuel by digging sagebrush, thus simultaneou31y clearing their lands.
Before the Mormon settlers arrived, it is conceivable to believe the Indian passed this way, fishing, hunting and trapping. Enjoying the fields of waving grass, the clean air; gathering herbs for medicine purposes, berries and other wild roods from along the river's edge.
In 1841, crusty Miles Goodyear probably thought he'd reached trapper's heaven when he stood at the junction of the Ogden and Weber Rivers and studied the vast empty land about him.
Except for the splash of a leaping trout, the twitter of birds, or the crash of a deer nearby, and perhaps the guttural muttering of Pomona, his Ute Indian wife, the country was silent.
This was Utah before the first Mormon settlers came and apparently was just what the 24-year old woodsman was searching for.
Miles was born 24 Feb 1817, at Hamden, Conn., orphaned at age 3, he was bound out to relatives and friends and after an unhappy youth joined the Whitman Party in 1836, and traveled west.
In 1841, he met and married Pomona, daughter of Chief Peteet-Neet, who lived near what is now Payson, Utah.
All this time, since 1836 when Goodyear started west, he had been searching for a suitable spot to settle and when he came upon the Weber Country, he found his haven. The soil was good, there was plenty Or water and timber as well as pastureland. There were trout for fishing, waterfowl and game birds to hunt and deer and elk for those cold days of winter.
It was a perfect spot for a trading post, not only because of the proximity of water but also because two well traveled Indian Trails came to a junction at that point.
His buildings rose swiftly and before long Goodyear added a herd of sheep and goats, a remuda and a small herd of cattle.
Most early cabins were built of cottonwood logs, felled on the banks of the Ogden and Weber Rivers; the roofs were of dirt and doors hung on wooden hinges, fastened by wooden latches, dirt floors and no windowpanes.
In 1847, the trapper got wind of a wagon train of emigrants on their way to Oregon who were headed in his direction and trader that he was Goodyear made a trip to California where he acquired a herd of horses; then went east into Wyoming and waited for the travelers. It was here he met the vanguard of the Mormon settlers headed for their new home. Among them were Porter Rockwell, George A. Smith, Erastus Snow and Norton Jacobs.
The arrival of people in his valley was too much for Goodyear, and he decided to sell.
In The Bend Of The River
History Of West Weber 1859-197