Sunday, January 31, 2016

Payson First 100 Years--David Forsey 28th Mayor

Part 30–David Forsey–28th Mayor
Payson Historical Society


    Thus we go on to 1942 when David Forsey took oath as the 28th mayor of Payson.  The United States had just entered the war the previous month before he took office.
    The sewer project was completed in April. Work then began on oiled roads. The roads had been graveled the fall of 1941 for the preliminary base.  During 1942-43,  eight miles of city streets were oiled. Several miles of new side walk were also put in and rock irrigation carriers were constructed.
    The swimming pool was remodeled to meet standard requirements required by the state. The children of the community once again enjoyed the city  pool on the warm summer days.
    The band stand in the park was too small to accommodate the seating of the band while playing at summer concerts, so a large platform of cement was added to the bandstand to make it large enough to seat the players in the concerts held  each Sunday evening during the summer months.
    The sides of the fish pond in the north west corner of the park were rocked up, the dam and bridge remodeled. This greatly improved the picturesqueness of the pond.  Memorial Park is recognized as one of the most beautiful parks of any city in the country.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Remember When
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Kenna Holm   

Monte Taylor–A Payson Icon

    I can’t think of Payson Onion Days without thinking of Monte Taylor.  He was such an icon.  He not only had his Dixieland Band in the parade but he played at the horse races and put on his own Dixieland band concert and entertained in the park after the parade.    He would then go on and play in the Payson City Band for the band concert.
  Let’s roll back and tell the story of Monte because it is quite a story.  He started playing the clarinet at the age of six (six mind six I’m not sure most kids have enough wind to blow one of those things).  He played in his first Payson Onion Days Parade at the age of nine marching with the Payson Band.  He started playing for the Sunday Night Band Concerts then moved up to first chair
which he held from then on.
   Monte was born in Payson in 1929 and was the first child of “Snick” and Helen Taylor.  He had one brother, Dick, who was quite an athlete.  He is now deceased.  He also had two sisters, Carol Herrick, who works at Nebo Credit Union and Jean Rogers, a long time bus driver in Nebo School District.  Both Carol and Jean reside in Payson.  He married Lorna Jeannie Lightfoot and they were the parents of seven children: Vickie, Richard “Diz” (deceased), Jill (deceased), Jackie, Dana, Jody, and Sydney.
    Monte was the manager of the power department at Strawberry Electric for many years.  They lived on 8th West by the current Mt. Nebo Junior High for many years and then they lived at the power plant in Payson Canyon for a number of years until he retired and they built a new home on 300 West.

   Monte started playing with a family band at church socials and then later with different bands in the area at age 17.  Some who he played with were Sherm Loveless (Pat Hill and Brent Loveless’ dad) from Sherm’s Men’s Apparel I wrote about some time ago, Ralph Magliaccio (who owned and run Arrowhead Swimming Pool and dance hall in Benjamin0, Dub Reece and several others.
    In about 1960, he formed his own band called Monte Taylor’s Dixieland Band.  They were terrific.   The played between races on Onion Days, the played in the parade as well as in the park after the parade.  They sat on the bed of a flat bed truck and were dressed in the red and white striped vests and white shirts and played the whole distance of the parade route. The Dixieland music was something that everyone loved to listen to.  His Dixieland Band consisted of Al Payne (now deceased) on the piano, Farrel Huff (also deceased) on the trombone, Alma Willey on the bass horn, Dick Peery (now deceased) on the trumpet and several others including Raydon Madson, who joined at various times over the years.
    They played good old toe-tapping music.  Monte would then change hats and play with the Payson City Band in the band concerts.   WHAT A TALENTED MAN !
Monte really got into his music.  The sweat would just roll off of the man and he would just keep going.

    In about 1988 he received a plaque and was honored for fifty years playing with the Payson City Band at the Sunday Night Band Concerts.  He and his lovely wife were also honored in 1990 as Grand Marshalls for the Onion Days Parade.
    At the age of 55 he had heart problems and had surgery where the put a pig valve in his heart.  At the age of 59, he had to have one of his legs amputated because of blood clots.  That did not slow Monte down at all.  He kept right on playing his clarinet and entertaining everyone at the Sunday concerts on Onion Days even though he was there in a wheel chair.
    It was a sad day on July 12, 1997 when Monte died from a pulmonary embolism at the early age of 67.  He was a genuine icon of Payson Onion Days and it was so fun to look back at his life and what he shared with all of us and remember when...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Remember When
August 14, 2008
Kenna Holm


    Payson's Golden Onion Days is just around the corner and I've been thinking back to the "good 'ol days" when everyone looked forward to the celebration and the horse races and all the fun the celebration brought. I miss those horse races. They were the best. It was the drawing card of the celebration.  I had the pleasure of chatting with Terry DeGraw about those days and it was so enjoyable.
    I'd like to take us back to when the celebrations started. Now that was before my time but I wanted to mention how it got started.  In 1929 State officials suggested that to hep the economy in each community they should promote an annual celebration. At that time Dr. LD Stewart was the mayor of Payson and the city leaders tossed a few ideas around as to what to call the celebration. At that time Payson was growing lots of things like, the sugar beets (I remember thinning those) peas, (we loved to chase the wagons that was loaded with peas on their way to the pea vinery) tomatoes, beans, fruits and vegetable of all kinds. It was decided that the onion would be the thing that would be the motif , because the onion crops had just caught on here and so the name of the celebration would be 'Payson Golden Onion Days and Homecoming.  The city built a track and grandstand for horse racing which would be the main featured event of the celebration

   Dr Stewart was a member of the Utah Horsemen's  Assn.  and  he  owned  several outstanding  race  horses.  I remember  his  one horse called Timpanogos that won many races. His stables was down where Tom Provstgaard's home  is  now.  (If  my memory serves  me correctly).
    In 1946 they remodeled the grandstand and enlarged it to hold double of what it had held before. The races were a major attraction. This was actually the  only event  that  charged  in  the  celebration.  That  money went  to  pay for  all  the celebration.  They had parimutuel betting which really brought in large crowds and lots of money to the track. The betting booths were set up on the south side of the grandstand and had people there at the booths taking the bets for people. It was finally stopped by the state officials, but the racing continued.
    Payson came alive on race days and the farmers tried to get their crops in before Labor Day so they could attend the horse races.
    They had paddocks where the betters went to view the race horses before the races so they could pick who they thought would be the winners. Snaff Wood told me he thinks Dick Gray was like the Horse Wisperer and talked to the horses at the paddock.

    At the races, Brig Crane and Dale Wilson were they announcers sometimes along with state announcers. and made the races really exciting with their commentary. Snaff Woods also said he remembers the
kids all used to walk around under the grand stand and pick up the change people would lose out of their pockets.
    Between races they  would have entertainment. They would have great acts.

    Terry DeGraw told me he was in the racing business for about 39 years. He was one who helped start the Racing Association here. There were about 40 members. They built new barns (with the city's approval) and started out with 1 set of barns that held 32 12x12 stalls with 2 tack rooms on each side for the men to hold their saddles and such. Later on theybuilt 4 more sets and had 126 stalls with 4 tack rooms. They rented the stalls and did manythings with the proceeds. They bought their own tractor, starting gate, new paddocks, new pipe railing and helped put a new roof on the grand stand.
    Terry said he was in partnership with Dale Wilson and they went 50/50 on everything. He said Dale was one of the most honest men he knew. (I knew Dale because we lived in the same neighborhood and he had two daughters that would come up and play. They were a great family) Terry said they made it a family affair and it really paid off. He said his kids knew how to work and they have wonderful memories.  Terry won the first Mayors Cup in 1980 when Gary Hansen was mayor. This was only one in many races his horses won .

    The race track and barns were used for so many different things. The kids in 4-H and the high school rodeo kids used the race track .Now they have nowhere to go for their events. They also used the track for the stock car races, the riding clubs used it. I remember my dad playing broom polo. He was a member of the  Cockleburr Riding Club. Dad had a horse that was really meant to be a polo horse. That horse would push right against the opposing horse while dad would hit the ball. It was fun to watch. They had horse pulls where the men would have teams of horses that would pull weight and theywould see which teams could pull the most. My dad always had some winners in that. The school also used the grand stand and field for their football games.
    It's sad that that is all gone. With Onion Days nearly here, I would love to have those horse races back. I like the statement that Terry made. He said "the horses were high powered athletes".
It  was  a  sad day when  they tore  the grandstand, paddocks, horse barns and all down even though there were so many fighting to keep it going and now all we can do is remember when....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Payson--First 100 Years--George Chase--27th Mayor

Part 29–George Chase–27th Mayor
Payson Historical Society


    George Chase became the 27th Mayor in January 1940. These next years brought many advancements to the community.
    The sewer project was nearly finished. C. E. Huish started a cold storage and locker plant. It was operated In connection with the Porter Meat Market.
    The Seminary building was enlarged and remodeled making it one of the finest seminary buildings in the state.
    Aug. 30, 1940 the Commercial Bank of Payson started business in the State Bank Building with P. P. Thomas as president, George C. Chase as vice president and Roy Broadbent as cashier. This meant a great deal to the people. There had not been a bank here since the State Bank closed Jan. 3, 1932.
    For the Home Coming and Onion Days in 1940 the race track was resurfaced. The race track was lighted with 64 giant lights making night horse racing possible. This was the debut of night racing in the state. The lights also made it possible to have entertainments of all kinds at night, such as baseball, football, rodeos, etc.
    A power house was built about three miles up Payson Canyon by the Strawberry Water Users association. It went into operation in 1941. 'I his helped materially with the electric power.
    The United States declared war on Japan, Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese  made a sneak attack upon Pearl Harbor. On December 11 of the same month war was declared with the Axis. Once again the U. S. had to send men and war material across the seas, this time in two directions.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Remember When
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Kenna Holm  

Frank’s Pharmacy

    Helen Beckstrom called me a few days ago and asked if I would like a picture of their old Drug Store. I'm always thrilled when someone brings me a picture and a story. So I told her I would love to do a story about them. I had mentioned them a little bit before but I hadn't gotten a good story about their store.
    Frank's Pharmacy was located where Dalton's Restaurant is now.  That building started out as a Boise Cascade Co and they then rented it to Tri-State Lumber Company.  In 1959 Frank and Helen Beckstrom purchased the building from Boise Cascade and started remodeling the building for a drug store. They open their new store in 1960. It was a great place to get your prescriptions filled, buy a gift, or had a good root beer float or sundae. They made their own home-mad eroot beer and it was to die for. They also made the best fresh strawberry or fresh peach sundaes when the fruit was in season. It was a fun place to hang out.
    Beckstrom's were also fruit farmers. The grew peaches and pears out on the West Mountain towards Utah Lake if I  remember right. During harvest time, they would bring the bushel baskets of fruit to the store and people would buy their fruit there. When Frank wasn't busy filling prescriptions for customers he would go out and help sell the fruit.
    In 1963, they  purchased Spencer Snow's Paint Shop next door to the south and that is where they sold the fruit from the back of that building. Later they moved the prescriptions into that building and then in 1964 they purchased Brown Brothers building that was south of the paint store. They used that for storing merchandise.  That place is now Fat Jack's and the Chinese Cafe.
    Helen said that when the movie "Foot Loose" was being filmed in Payson, all the movie company's trucks and equipment were in the parking lot in back of the Pharmacy . She said Kevin Bacon spent a lot of time in the store between filming scenes. Needless to say, they always had a lot of the young girls spending time and waiting to see him. (It is fun to watch that movie and pinpoint all the people and places we recognized.
    Frank and Helen ran a very friendly and wonderful business. I loved going in there.. It seemed you could get about anything you wanted. After 20 years in the Drug Store they retired and we all missed them. It was nice to actually call in and talk to a live person and ask questions and Frank was always so knowledgeable and friendly. Helen could always be found helping out at the store to. She has always been such a beautiful lady.
    When they retired they rented their building to NAPA Auto and they were therefor 3 or 4 years before they moved to another location that was bigger. Beckstrom's still own the buildings and they rent the big building to Doug and Sandy Huff who run the Dalton Fine Dining and the other 2 buildings to the south that was Snow's Paint Shop and Brown's Plumbing to Fat Jack's Pizza.
Frank's Pharmacy was a great place and it's fun to stop and Remember Back When...

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Remember When
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Kenna Holm

    I was driving up Main Street and  glanced  over  at  Forsey's Auto Repair which used to be Jolley Joe’s Tire Shop and I got to thinking about when  that  building  was  a  car dealership.  Jim  Crump was  the owner.  They carried  Buicks  and  I thought they were the most beautiful
car on the road. It's funny how in those days you could tell every car on the road. Now Ican't tell one from the other. They all had fun names like Buick Skylark, LaSabre, Chev Bel Air, and so on. Now they have Durango, Prisis, Outback and a million others.
  In 1923, Jim went to work for Ted Okelberry in Goshen as a car mechanic. In Goshen, the economy was very good with mines operating in Eureka but in 1932 the depression hit and all the businesses all over the country failed.  The mines closed and so many men were without work, including Jim.
      Jim then worked for Dave Shuler in his auto repair shop at 96 South Main in what was to later become Safeway.  The back part of the building is now Hope Baptist Church and the front part in now a storage area owned by Dana Dewitt.

  This persuaded Jim to start his own business in 1937. He bought the building that eventually became Jolly Joe’s Tire and remodeled the building. He had a Service Station and Repair shop until 1949 and it was then he received a New Car Dealership for Buick automobiles. My folks bought a beautiful turquoise-blue Buick and it was the prettiest car in town. Not long after Dr. Stewart bought one that was the same color except his had the sleek sloped back. I think they were like 1949's.

Ronal Crump and his wife, Zella with their daughter, Sharon in front of a beautiful new Buick (notice the wide white wall tires)

    I remember the big showroom they had and they always had a beautiful new Buick on show there.  They ran a machanic and auto body shop in the back.
Dee Stevenson remembers that Payson Police Department bought a gray 1953 tudor sedan from Jim and used it as a Police Car for several years.

  In 1954, he relinquished his dealership and just operated a repair serviceat the same location until 1957 then he worked as a salesman for a Pontiac dealer while maintaining his repair service.
Jim was the father of Ronal Crump who had learned to fix his own cars after working with his father. Jim was also the grandfather of Ronnie Crump who is over our  Payson Electical Department.
    When Jim's wife passed away, he left his home and lived in the back room of the shop.
We have no 'new' car dealerships now but it so much fun to look back and remember when....

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Payson First 100 Years--Philo Wightan--26th Mayor

Part 28–Philo Wightman–26th Mayor
Payson Historical Society


    “Philo Wightman took over the office as the 26th mayor in January of 1935. The first project was the completion of the water tank. Henry Erlandson, as mayor, had started it so was asked by Mayor Wightman to finish as he was familiar with the project.
    The country was still in depression. It was up to the cities and taxing units to sponsor worth while projects under the direction of the W. P. A. These projects furnished work for the men who needed it.
    The Payson City Hospital was one of these worthy projects. Dr. A. L. Curtis saw the need of such an enterprise and met with the city council. A proposal was submitted to the Works Progress Administration. They accepted it and the hospital was built by Payson City, and the W. P. A. Dr. Curtis was medical advisor. It started operation Feb. 14, 1938. It has been a blessing for not only Payson, but surrounding cities.
    In 1937,  the swimming pool was improved and the bath houses built. In 1938 the two tennis courts on the southeast side of the park were put in.
    The cemetery was enlarged, new water lines laid, and the whole planted to lawn. This was a great improvement, making the cemetery one of the nicest in the state.
    With the growth of the community, Payson High School needed to expand. Dr. L. D. Stewart and Graham Daley broke the ground for a new #39,000 shop and gymnasium on January 27, 1939, to be built on the ground south of the high school. The high school was also renovated.
    Oct. 26, 1939 Mayor Philo Wightman turned the first ground starting the sewer system, in the presence of the City Council, WPA officers, citizens and workmen on the project.
    Peteetneet Creek running between Utah Avenue and First South paralleling Main Street was covered over, this opened a road back of the business buildings on the west side of Main Street.” *

*Quoted from “The Payson Story” page 23-24,  published by the Payson Centennial Committee, October 1950