Central Overland Trail – Washington Square
[previously Emigrant Square)
“The city presents a handsome appearance. About 3 o’clock the whole train arrived and is camped in Emigration Square in a dusty place, full of horses and wagons from the states. A large number of old acquaintances came into our camp to congratulate us on our safe arrival.”
This city block is now known as Washington Square, but during the 1850s and 60s it was known as Emigrant Square. All covered-wagon emigrants who planned to spend any time in Salt Lake City were required to set up camp within this block. While camping here they were able to rest their livestock and replenish their supplies.
In 1859 Captain James H. Simpson led an expedition that opened a new route between Salt Lake City and California which became known as the Central Overland Trail. Emigrant Square was the beginning point of that route. During its short history this route was used by the Pony Express, the Overland Stage, and significant numbers if California-bound emigrants.
Herman Franks Park
Located at 700 East and 1300 South in Salt Lake City, Herman Franks Park has a baseball diamonds, a playground and a dog park.
There are plaques for M.J. “Mickey” Scanlon and Herman L. Franks.
M.J. “Mickey” Scanlon
M.J. “Mickey” Scanlon was born in 1887 and died in 1968. In the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s Mickey spent many hours at this park known then as Municipal Park where organized amateur baseball was played every evening and on Sunday mornings. The park became Mickey’s “other home” where he umpired, managed, coached, advised and directed the activities of the many amateur teams playing here.
In 1962 he was awarded the Hot Stove League trophy.
During those years Mickey was also a Scout for the New York Yankees. he signed up many talented local players giving them the golden opportunity to make it in the big leagues. Many of his prospects were successful.
Dedicated April, 1990
Name submitted by son, Maurice Scanlon, 1990.
Herman L. Franks
Herman L. Franks was born in in Price, Utah, in 1914. He grew up in Salt Lake City and spent much of his youth in Salt Lake baseball parks. At seventeen Franks was signed as a catcher by Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League. For most of the next 50 years he was in organized baseball–as a player, coach, a manager or general manager.
Franks played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Giants. As a manager, he wore the uniforms of St. Paul, Salt Lake, Caracas, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Chicago.
Franls was named Greatest Baseball Player in Utah, 1850-1950, by the Deseret News, and voted into the East High School and Utah Sports Halls of Fame.
This ball park was the scene of many of Franks’ early games when he played on several amateur teams..
Dedicated April, 1990
The name for this park was submitted by Dr. Dominic Albo, Jr.