“The Stump” artesian well in North Ogden, Utah has been around for many years. The well was drilled about 1930 by Clarence Barker for irrigation purposes. In the summer of 1934 Joe Ballif, who had a hamburger stand at 2620 North 390 East, had a portion of the well water piped to a spot just north of his stand. He obtained a cottonwood tree trunk from Frank Campbell’s front yard located at 2594 North 400 East. The cottonwood tree was a lone tree standing when the pioneers arrived in North Ogden, and the upper part of the tree had been destroyed by fire. The stump was so heavy it took 4 horses to pull it across and up the road on a skid.
After the stump was put in place for the drinking fountain, Joe hired Dewey Lakey, a traveling craftsman, to cut, chisel, and shape the trunk into a drinking fountain was a yellow electric bulb in the center of the trunk above the drinking tap. The first sign above the stump read: “Good water, isn’t it? Try our hamburgers.”
He later had Grant Huband, a famous local cartoonist, make a sign for the stand. “The Stump” has greeted many a thirsty traveler and filled many jugs of water for people over the years, and we hope it will continue to do so for many years to come.
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