West Jordan, Utah 1916-1970
In 1849 Governor Brigham Young sent Apostle John Taylor on a mission to France to investigate industries that could be successfully established in the New Mountain Empire. There he met Phillip DeLamare, a man of exceptional talents and substantial means, who had a knowledge of the sugar industry.
In Orras, France, they carefully examined the sugar beet industry, and convinced of its possibilities, raised funds in England and purchased equipment in Liverpool, England. Early in 1852, the equipment was shipped to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There it was placed on 40 sturdy Santa Fe wagons; each drawn by 4 to 8 oxen. This private enterprise faced monumental setbacks and many wagons were replaced before they reached Provo, Utah one year later.
Due to insufficient funds, ownership of the property was transferred to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who set up a “pilot plant” on the northeast corner of the Temple block. Another plant was built on Parley’s Creek and later known as “Sugarhouse”. In 1854 the factory was ready for operation but it never flourished due to inexperience, lack of organization, marketing, weather and spoilage.
The vision was not dead however, Arthur Stayner examined the industry in California and with 20 stockholders, he organized the Utah Sugar Company of Lehi, Utah, August 30, 1889. The original principals involved were: Elias Morris, President; Francis Armstrong, Vice President; James Jack, Treasurer; Arthur Stayner, Secretary and General Manager, and James H. Gardner, Sugar Boiler.
This venture was successful and provided the incentive for other factories in Utah and Idaho, including the large U & I plant at West Jordan, which became the model of productivity, research, and cooperation between farmers, producers, and consumers for 55 years. Great economic growth was derived from the millions of dollars dispersed throughout Utah and Idaho from research and the manufacturing of sugars and syrups.
Over 13,163,157 one-hundred pound sacks of sugar were produced from over 4,910,869 tons of sugar beets. The West Jordan plant’s research contributed to the control of sugar beet diseases, including the dreaded “curly top”, and in the development of Hybrid Monogerm seeds. The factory was constructed at West Jordan, Utah for Utah Idaho Sugar Company by E.H. Dyers & Company. The original officers were: Joseph H. Smith, Manager and Horace G. Whitney, Secretary and Treasurer.
Note: This plaque is on the opposite side of the same structure as the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad, SUP #35 in Veterans Memorial Park in West Jordan. In 2013 the structure had crumbled and was rebuilt by the Chapter from the same materials.