(Submitted by Floyd Palmer)
The old beauty of the Plain City Cemetery grounds came about only once a year. This was when the tulips came into blossom for about two weeks. After this it was a solid mass of tea vines and weeds.
A newspaper article that appeared in the Ogden Standard Examiner in the spring of 1938 was submitted by Roxy Heslop.
Bloom Wave Will
BLANKET OF FLOWERS…The field of varicolored tulips being admired by 14yearold Idona Maw of Plain City will be dug up and replaced with grass and shrubbery as a part of the improvement program underway at the Plain City Cemetery. The tulips will be taken out as soon as they cease blooming, Wilmer J. Maw announced. An elaborate sprinkling system fed by a 700foot artesian well will be laid throughout the cemetery. The well, recently completed, flows 40 gallons per minute. The blanket of blooms will be removed because of the short duration of tulip lives. Bulbs will be given free to persons interested in obtaining them for replanting. (Standard-Examiner photo)
The new beautification program started in the year 1937. It came about through Floyd A. Palmer and his affection for his mother, Emma Jane Carver Palmer, who had suffered a long illness. She had said to him many times that she hoped someone would keep the weeds and tea vines from growing on her grave in the Plain City Cemetery.
Following her death on May 26, 1937, Floyd went to Bishop Charles L. Heslop and asked if something could be done to improve the Cemetery grounds. Bishop Heslop was quick to say, “…yes, and I would like to make you the Chairman of a committee to start the project.” Following their conversation Walter J. Moyes and Art M. Simpson was called in by the Bishop to assist on the committee. The preliminary took several months of work and study to formulate a workable plan for the project.
It was decided to drive a flowing well for the water. Raising the necessary money was the next step. Local lot owners were contacted and letters were sent to those living in and out of the state. We asked for $5.00 per lot and stated we would drive a well large enough to handle all that participated. The response was good and very few questioned the feasibility of the project. A 2″ pipe was washed 730 feet deep for the well. It required continuous drilling and was necessary to haul water in to drill with. Wesley and Virgil Stoddard from West Point did the drilling. The well was flowing a beautiful stream of water in May, 1938. The people were happy to have water available for flowers on Memorial Day.
Pipe lines were laid to service each lot from stand pipes with a hose connection. Our Cemetery Sexton, Walter J. Moyes, agreed to care for the lots for $6.00 a season. The owners were to help prepare the lots for seeding. Much credit is due to Walter for the first lawns planted and their care. Some lots were seeded in the Fall of 1938. Others, in the spring of 1939. As each lot was improved, it made a new appearance.
This caretaker system continued to grow each year through 1943. Then the flow of water became inadequate to serve all desiring lawns. This, along with public interest, led to developing a way to extend caretaker service to all lots. Through the counsel and help of many interested town residents, it was decided that the best method would be to Incorporate the town so that a property tax could be levied to finance the project on a sound basis. Rulon Jenkins gave much help and assistance to get things started for the Town Incorporation. It was necessary to
raise money to finance the preliminary work of surveying, engineering fees, Attorney fees, etc. Our first annual Potato Day Celebration, July 4, 1943, was a financial success. Dean Baker was the Chairman of this and many others worked hard on the committee. The profit was used toward the Incorporation of the town.
Petitions were circulated through the town of Plain City and were presented to the Board of County Commissioners of Weber County on November 27, 1943, certified as follows:
“That they have read the said petition, including the names of signers thereof, and that they are acquainted with each of the signers whose names appear as follows: L. Rulon Jenkins certifies to names appearing opposite the numbers 1 to 50, inc.; Dean Baker certifies to names appearing opposite the numbers 51 to 100, inc.; Fred L. Singleton certifies to names appearing opposite the numbers 101 to 150, inc.; W.A. Sharp certifies to names opposite numbers 151 to 200, inc.; Floyd A. Palmer certifies to names opposite numbers 201 to 253, inc.; and they believe each of said respective signatures to be true and genuine.”
The Board of Weber County Commissioners approved a RESOLUTION to take effect and be in force from and after 5 O’ Clock P. M. on the 13th day of January, A. D. 1944, creating the TOWN OF PLAIN CITY.
A Board consisting of a President and four Trustees was appointed by the County Commissioners. The following named persons were appointed to it: Dean Baker, President, L. Rulon Jenkins, Fred L. Singleton, Albert Sharp, and Floyd A. Palmer Trustees, to hold office until the next municipal election. Bond was fixed at $500.00 each.
The Board then moved ahead with plans to complete the Cemetery improvement. Potato Day, July 4th, again brought some revenue and a one mill levy on property tax in November, 1944, was enough to purchase pipe and get it installed with mostly donated labor, in Fall, 1944. The spring of 1945, the caretaker building was relocated on the west side of the cemetery for a pump house. A new pressure pump was purchased and placed in the building with a connection to the irrigation ditch. This furnished plenty of water to sprinkle the entire cemetery.
Walter Johnson was Sexton at this time, and was employed on a full time scale. There was a big job to be done preparing the lots to be seeded. Many concrete copings, large trees, obnoxious weeds, fences, and undesirable shrubs had to be removed. After this, it was necessary to haul in some top soil, spade and level the lots to prepare them for seeding to grass. This took several months and required a lot of donated labor. Mr. Johnson is deserving of much of the credit for his extra efforts and hard work.
The next change came about through the action of our State Legislature. The 1945 Session made it possible to organize Cemetery Maintenance Districts throughout the State. A one mill Property tax levy can be levied. After a thorough investigation and holding public meetings, the Town Board and public favored creating a Cemetery District.
In pursuance to Chapter 17, Session Laws of Utah, 1945, property owners of Plain City, Utah, filed a petition with the Board of County Commissioners for organization of a Cemetery Maintenance District. The Board set Monday, June 11, 1945 at 11 O’ Clock A. M. in the session room for the purpose of hearing objections of any taxpayer within the proposed District boundaries. No objections were recorded.
An election was held in Plain City, Tuesday, July 17, 1945, for the organization of the Plain City Cemetery District. There were 407 legal registered voters, less non-property owners, leaving a total of 310 legal registered voting taxpayers. The official canvas of votes
cast were as follows:
Total Votes Cast 233
The Board of County Commissioners of Weber County, State of Utah, met pursuant to Chapter 17, Session Laws of Utah, 1945 at 10:30 A. M. on Thursday, July 19, 1945 in the session room and organized the Plain City Cemetery District, and that the following be recommended to the Governor of the State of Utah, as the first Commissioners of said sub-districts:
Albert Sharp, District Number One
Floyd A. Palmer, District Number Two
Charles Helsop. District Number Three
There being no further business the meeting adjourned.
(Signed) L. M. Hess, Chairman
At the next election LeRoy Folkman replaced Charles Heslop as a Commissioner. They were as follows:
Floyd A. Palmer, Chairman
LeRoy Folkman, Secretary
During 1952, a new brick building was constructed for the pump house and caretaker. A 60′ Flag Pole was installed. Memorial Day Services were held at the Cemetery on May 30th.
In the spring of 1953, Charles Telford was employed as a full time Sexton and Caretaker. Mr. Johnson had requested to be released because of health. Mr. Telford had great pride in his work and did an excellent job as caretaker. He always went the extra mile to help keep the grounds in beautiful shape. New chain link fencing and gates were installed at different times around the boundaries of the Cemetery.
It has been necessary to open new lots on the north side of the Cemetery. These have been seeded and made a part of the new area. There had been good planning for future growth when this extra land was purchased.
Charles Telford was stricken with a stroke while he was working at the Cemetery on June 9, 1963. He was found by a neighbor living by the Cemetery, after his wife, Lulu, had phoned her to tell Charles his dinner was ready. Mr. Telford never recovered from this. After going to the hospital he was taken to the Roy hospital where he passed away on September 25, 1967. The town of Plain City is very grateful to Charles and Lavina Telford for their faithful work.
The Sexton and Caretaker job was then taken over by Jerry Bradford and LeRoy Folkman. They have continued with very fine devoted service to the town.
In 1967, Floyd A. Palmer moved to Ogden and when the election came that fall, Abram Maw was voted in to take his place on the Board. By then, Floyd had been helping with the Cemetery growth and improvement for 30 years. He is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this excellent town and Church program that has gone on. Also to work with so many fine people who will continue their service and may this responsibility be passed on to those who will have a desire to continue.
THE FOLLOWING WAS TAKEN FROM DEEDS IN POSSESSION OF MRS. GEORGE WEATHERSTON:
The town-site of Plain City was established. An act of Congress April 24, 182D, entitled, “An Act tweaking Further Provision For The Sale Of The Public Lands, Etc.”
Six hundred forty acres of land were provided for people of this town-site.
“Now know ye that the United States of America, by these present, do give and grant unto the said Franklin D. Richards, Judge of Weber County, in trust as aforesaid, and this successor in said trust above described, the tract as described.”
Signed: Ulysses S. Grant, USA
Utah became a territory in 1872.