Site of First Mapleton Meeting House – DUP Marker #515
Matilda Wells Streeper donated one acre of land at this site for the building of a meeting house. A grove of trees was left on the lot to beautify the grounds. On August 26, 1888. Apostle Francis M. Lyman of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized the Mapleton Ward. Edwin Lucius Whiting was ordained as bishop, with William T. Tew and John Mendenhall as counselors.
The first building, costing approximately $3,500, was started in 1889 under the direction of the building committee – Lorenzo Whiting, L.J. Whitney, and Charles M. Bird. It was made of light-red bricks with walls 12 to 14 inches thick. The building measured 58 by 30 feet. There was a large central room with tall, cathedral-style windows; colored glass at the top of the windows reflected beautiful colors onto the floor. The handmade, high-backed benches were made of pine. The benches were removable so that the floor could be cleared for dances and other socials. A large stove was in the center of the room, with supplemental heating from a small stove near the rostrum. The central room could be divided into Sunday School rooms by pulling heavy curtains across to make eight classrooms. A small room behind the pulpit was reached by going down several steps. Another door opened into a stairway that led to a small, special prayer room above the pulpit.
Around the turn of the century, the building survived what could have been a disastrous fire. A bucket brigade quickly put out the fire in the attic.
The original meeting house was dedicated on April 30, 1899, and served the people until 1936 when it was razed and the present meeting house built. The second meeting house was dedicated on April 28, 1941.
In January of 1933 Frank M. Jenson was installed as Bishop of Mapleton LDS 1st Ward. Soon after the ward got busy and began to tear down the old meeting house. By 1936 a new building was given a work receipt that could be exchanged for food. Progress was slow and steady, but by September 30, 1937 the walls were up and the roof nearly completed. By late 1938 most of the inside work was completed.
The new building had an amusement hall, chapel, relief society quarters, heating plant, baptismal font, and classrooms. The benches and pulpit were made from black walnut trees that moveable panel that separated the amusement hall from the chapel. It could be opened to increase the seating capacity of the chapel for large meetings. Finally, A. Leo Harmer reported that all the debts were paid off and the work was completed on the new meeting house. Elder Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church came to Mapleton on Sunday, April 27, 1941, and formally dedicated the new edifice. The building cost was $34,000 plus many hours of donated labor.
Information taken from the “History of Mapleton”
By Ralf Kay Harmer & Wendell B. Johnson
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