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