Wednesday, August 7, 2019



            In 1858, Bishop Charles B. Hancock constructed a grist mill located at 300 South and 200 East (today’s address).  This was the second grist mill that he was involved in constructing.  The first one was located at approximately the location of the Intermountain Farmers at the rear of the present day Getaway Furniture. The new mill was known as the Hancock Mill for many years.  It was built as a “make work” project for the benefit of the poor.
            The Hancock Mill was a two-story log mill operated by an over-shot wheel run by buckets eight feet long and eighteen inches deep.


          In 1880, the grist mill was purchased by the Payson Cooperative Institution.  James Finlayson was the millwright.  After a year it was sold to Mr. Finlayson and became known as the Finlayson Mill.  It operated until 1901 when it was destroyed by fire.  The Payson Electric Light and Power Company had a dynamo, owned by Thomas E. Daniels Jr. and George W. Hancock.  During the daytime this power was used by the mill to grind grain and from six P. M. until midnight furnished power to many residents of the city.


            In 1909, Thomas F. Tolhurst came to Payson to investigate a location for a grist mill.  He had gained milling experience at the mill located in Leland near Spanish Fork.  He built a rollar mill on the site of the old Finlayson Mill.  The new mill was equipped with the most modern equipment that he could obtain.  The mill could produce seventy-five barrels of flour a day.
            Mr. Tolhurst died in 1931 and the mill was sold to Ammon Hermansen.  By 1935, there was new large capacity grain cleaning equipment installed in the mill.  The mill was closed in 1955 due to the illness of the miller, Richard Wilson.  After that Mr. Hermansen used the mill to store flour produced at the Nephi mill that he operated.
            The mill building and property was later purchased by Elmo Dockstader.  He had previously restored the old Francom home on the northeast corner of 100 North and 500 East.  This home had been vacant for many years.  He had also restored the old Payson Substation on North Main into a residence.  He had plans to restore the old mill for new uses.  He had converted a portion of the old mill into living quarters but later sold the property without finishing the restoration he had planned.  The building was later torn down.
            The old mill has become nothing but a memory to many Payson residents. It was torn down several years ago and a beautiful new home now occupies one of the important locations in the history of Payson

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


     One of the oldest buildings in Payson’s business district on what was then knows as Deport Street (today’s Utah Avenue) went under the wrecker’s ball almost forty years ago.  In the summer of 1977, the brick building with a rock foundation that had been constructed before 1900 to house Central Lumber & Hardware Co. became a rubble heap.  The business had been  established by brothers, Otto and Henry Erlandson.  It was managed by Otto.
    Buildings at the rear of the store were used for storage of  farm machinery and other heavy merchandise.  Across the driveway to the east of the main building stood a large open shed which Jesse Finalyson said he helped to build in 1910.
      When the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad (Orem Inter-urban) laid its tracks into Payson in 1916, the terminal and depot were located north of the lumber yard through the block.  The Erlandsons accepted the opportunity to have a spur of the railroad built into their place of business.  Another spur of the railroad extended west to the Utah Poultry located to the read of the former Wells Fargo Bank building.
     Carloads of lumber and other building materials were shipped directly to Central Lumber and Hardware Co.  Carloads of coal, the chief fuel of the times, were allowed to stand on the premises until sold, as ton after ton was loaded onto wagons or trucks after being weighed on scales located between the tracks and the east entrance of the building.
     The brothers were also contractors and builders.  They  were instrumental in building a number of public building in Payson and Spanish Fork.  They also built a number of private homes in Payson.  Among them were beautiful homes they constructed for their families.  Henry built his home further east of Depot Street on the southwest corner of today’s 300 East.  The plans for his home were completed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
     In about 1923, the Erlandsons sold their lumber business to Smoot Lumber Co. of Provo.  Shortly after, they opened the Santaquin Lumber Company in Santaquin.  Otto’s son, Wendell, was the manager.
     George Chase came to Payson in 1923 when he purchased the Colvin and Reece Lumber Company on First North and Sixth West.  He operated this business until 1932 when he purchased Smoot Lumber Co., formerly known as Central Lumber & Hardware.  He gave the new business his name and it became known as Chase Lumber Company.
     Mr. Chase later sold controlling interest in the lumber company to A. E. Money and his brother Reed Money Sr.  The brother headed up a corporation made up of  family members and a few other individuals including Mr. Chase and Sid Corey.  Mr. Chase continued to retain an office in the building for several years after he sold out.
     The new owners chose to retain the Chase name and after a few years bought all of the stock owned outside of the family.  A. E. Money died in 1964, after which Reed Money Sr. bought all of the remaining stock from family members.  Gradually, he turned the stock to his sons and daughter.  The new corporation was formed with Reed Money Sr. was president and Reed Money Jr. was the manager of the business.
     The Money family demolished the Old Central Lumber Company building in 1977 along with the building on the corner east of the store where Moore Sheet Metal had been located.  They constructed a new building that housed Money Home Center and Self’s Food Mart.  The store faced the interior of the block.  This move helped to develop the mid-block parking behind the stores that faced Main Street.  Most of the stores then developed rear entrances to their stores.
    Reed Money Jr. operated the new store for a few years until his retirement.  He then sold the business and it became known as Southgate Hardware.  This ended an era of the Money family business which had been one of the important businesses in downtown Payson.   The owners of Southgate Hardware sold the business in 2015 to new owners and it is now known as Ace Hardware.

The Original Central Lumber located on East Utah Aveneu

New Central Lumber building located on East Utah Avenue

Central Lumber later became Chase Lumber

Tracks of the Orem Railroad extending from the station to the lumber yard

Sunday, December 16, 2018

B.F. Ott Drug


             B. F. Ott was the first manager of the Huish Drug that was located at #2 North Main in the Lewis Building which was located on the northeast corner of today’s Main Street and Utah Avenue.  He was the manager there from 1903 until 1908.   In 1908 the owner’s son, Dave Huish, completed pharmacy school and returned to Payson to manage the store for his father.
            Mr. Ott then relocated to Salt Lake City for several years and operated a drug store in that city.  He then went east to marry his sweetheart.  He made the decision to return to Payson with his new bride.  He established B. F. Ott Drug about 1911at #6 North Main just north of the Huish Drug.  The building had been constructed in 1898.
            He remained in business at that location until 1944.  He then leased the drug store to Ralph Daniels of Malad, Idaho.  He had worked for the Ott Drug when he was a young man.   Mr. Daniels’ father, Rolla Daniels, was a Payson native.  Rolla’s father. Orson P.  Daniels had been a prominent photographer in the Payson area in the late 1800s
            Mr. Daniels operated Daniels’ Drug in the Ott building until 1954 when he moved into the Lewis Building next door.  The building had become vacant when City Drug moved into their new store across the street where the Douglass Building had been located.
    In 1961, LeRoy Jewett opened a shoe store in the Ott Building and operated in that location for several years.
    In 1966, Dawna Stewart opened a new business called The Cloth Shoppe.  She operated her business there until 1986.  She and her husband purchased the building from the Ott Family a short time after she opened her business.
            There was a craft store located in the building for several years after Mrs. Stewart vacated the building.  It then remained vacant for several years until Mrs. Stewart leased the building to Russ Brown.  He established Memory Lane Photography in the building and later purchased the building from the Stewarts.  That business is still flourishing in that location.
            #6 North Main has seen many changes in the last 112 years.  Many businesses and business neighbors have come and gone, the street has changed from horse and buggy traffic to automobiles but the building still stands proud in its prominent location of Payson Main Street.

Parade Passing by Ott Drug

B. F. Ott Drug

Daniels Drug in Ott Building

City Drug next to Daniels Drug

Clothe Shoppe in Ott building. 

Memory Land Photography today is located in the Ott Building 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bette-McCann Hotel


    The Payson Opera House was constructed in 1882.  At the same time, John E. Betts built a hotel adjoining the Opera House.  Mr Betts operated the hotel at the same time he was serving as manager of the Opera House.
    Many of the traveling theater performers stayed in the rooms of the hotel.  There were doors leading from the Opera House into the lobby of the  hotel.  Theater goers were able to go into the hotel lobby during the intermissions of the performances.  The hotel also had a dining room  where meals were served to patrons and local townspeople.
    Later the hotel was sold to a Mr. McCann and he renamed the hotel the McCann Hotel.  He had a large sign painted on the north side of the building.  The building was repainted in 1965 and the sign was covered over after being there for many years.
    In 1886, the Wightman Hotel was constructed on the corner north of the Betts Hotel and the Betts lost some of its popularity.  In 1900, a new dance pavilion on West Depot Street (Utah Avenue) was constructed by the Payson Silver Band  and this also contributed to the decline on the hotel. 
    In 1905, George Done purchased the hotel and converted it into apartments.  Mr. Done also purchased the Gayety Theater in 1908.  It was located just west of the Huish Furniture building on First North.   He later built a new theater on Utah Avenue and moved the Gayety to that location.
    In about 1918, the former hotel was purchased by Thomas F. Tolhurst.  Mr. Tolhurst was a banker and a miller.  He owned and operated the mill located on 300 South and 200 East.  The apartments were remaned the Tolhurst Apartments.  Mr. Tolhurst also purchased the Opera House next to the hotel.  He used the Opera House for storage for his mill.
    Mr. Tolhurst upgraded the apartments and they enjoyed a few good years until his death in 1930.  The apartments then fell into disrepair as various owners came into possession of the building.  Most of them put very little money into any improvements or repairs.
    In 1965, Leland and Florence Daley purchased the apartments and renamed them the Flora-Lee Apartments.  They did many upgrades to the building and the surrounding grounds until Mr. Daley’s death in 1971.
    Since 1971, the apartments have passed through numerous owners.  At the present time, the apartments appear much as they did in 1971.  The subsequent owners have tried to maintain the appearance and serviceability of the building.
    Today, the 135 year old Betts-McCann Hotel building fits in well with the surroundings of the renovated Opera House that is now a popular local restaurant and Zions Bank that replaced the old Wightman Hotel the burned down many years ago.  Today, the apartments are known as The Wellington Apartments.


Friday, April 14, 2017



 The Payson Historical Society is proud to announce a new display that can be seen at the Peteeneet Museum during April, May and June.  Dale Barnett, the current President of People Preserving Peteetneet,  has graciously consented to display his collection of swords and various pieces of ceramics that he and his wife, Gloria collected during their many travels throughout the world as part of his business.
 Dale founded Payson Sheet Metal many years ago.  His company is widely recognized for their work with the L. D. S. Church and their temples.  His company does the TABB (Testing, Adjusting, and Balance) program in all the temples throughout the world.  On his many travels to Spain, he  acquired a large collection of Toledo swords.
 Toledo is famous for its historical character, art and its steel.  It is difficult to know the exact date when swords and knives began being made in the city.  It is beyond doubt that this industry is as old as the town itself.

During the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries craftsmen from throughout Europe came to Toledo to learn from the artisans the secret of making the  blades the city was known for.
 The fame of the Toledo steels was rooted in the mastery with which some artificers handled tempering without any technical knowledge of measuring, by far, the adequate temperatures for such treatment.  The temperatures were known by the color of the red-hot steel and the immersion into water.  People related the quality of the tempering to the water of the Tagus River in which the swords were tempered.
 Dale has a collection of many swords including examples of swords used by  El Sid, Richard the Lionheart, Sir Lancelot, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, Don Quixote, Alexander the Great, Columbus, Prince Valiant, and Charlemagne among others.  There is also on display a small suit of armor and a warrior mounted on his horse.

This display is one of the finest that we have had the opportunity to display as part of the Payson Historical Society exhibits.