Built in 1935-36, the Moroni High School Mechanical Arts Building is part of the Utah Public Works Administration (PWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) Buildings Thematic Nomination and is significant because it helps document the impact of New Deal programs in Utah, which was one of the states that the Great Depression of the 1930s most severely affected. In 1933 Utah had an unemployment rate of 36 percent, the fourth highest in the country, and for the period 1932-1940 Utah’s unemployment rate averaged 25 percent. Because the depression hit Utah so hard, federal programs were extensive in the state. Overall, per capita federal spending in Utah during the 1930s was 9th among the 48 states, and the percentage of workers on federal work projects was far above the national average. Building programs were of great importance. During the 1930s virtually every public building constructed in Utah, including county courthouses, city halls, fire stations, national guard armories, public school buildings, and a variety of others, were built under federal programs by one of several agencies, including the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), or the Public Works Administration (PWA), and almost without exception none of the buildings would have been built when they were without the assistance of the federal government.
The Moroni High School Mechanical Arts Building is one of 233 public works buildings identified in Utah that were built during the 1930s and early 1940s. Only 130 of those 233 buildings are known to remain today and retain their historic integrity. This is one of 107 public school buildings constructed, 55 of which remain. In Sanpete County 18 buildings were built. This is one of 11 that remain.
The building was constructed between 1935 and 1936 as a Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) project. It was a duplicate of the Mt. Pleasant High School Mechanical Arts Building that was constructed at the same time. The project was approved in November 1934; construction began in January of 1935 and was completed in April 1936.
The Jabez Faux Home is significant as an excellent example of one of the first brick pioneer homes constructed in the Sanpete Valley. It is also important as the home of one of the community’s leaders of Moroni.
Jabez Faux was born in Yorkshire, England, March 16, 1837. He learned the trade of a fitter in a machine shop before joining the Mormon Church and emigrating to Utah with the Daniel Robinson Handcart Company in 1860, Shortly after his arrival in Utah, he settled in Moroni which had been established two years earlier in 1858. In Moroni he first built a dugout then a log cabin and finally the brick home in which he lived for over fifty-five years. Mr. Faux worked as a blacksmith for a short time after his arrival in Moroni before turning his attention to farming. He was director of the Moroni Cooperative Mercantile Institution established in 1868 as part of the Mormon Church effort to maintain economic independence in light of threats from the soon to be completed transcontinental railroad and non-Mormon merchants. Because of his long association with the Moroni Co-op, the store was closed in honor of Mr. Faux during his funeral in 1923. In addition to his economic pursuits, Jabez Faux filled many church .and civic positions including Sunday School Superintendent in the Moroni Ward for twenty years, Ward Clerk, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Moroni City Library and Literary Association. After Mr. Faux f s death in 1923, the home passed to members of his family but by 1950 was abandoned and remained unoccupied until 1970 when the Wilsford Clark Family purchased and renovated the home.
The Jabez Faux home is significant architecturally as the oldest known kiln-fired brick structure in its region. History leaves no evidence of the early brick-making industry in Moroni but the brick for the Faux home was probably manufactured locally inasmuch as the railroad did not come to the area until 1874 and transporting brick by freight wagon from northern counties was impractical, especially in light of the on-going Black Hawk War. It may have been the war itself that hastened the development of kilnfired brick, a building material much superior in its permanence to the adobe and wood then being used. Due to the active Black Hawk War, most pioneers in Moroni still lived in the fort. Jabez Faux may have felt the only way to reduce the risk of living outside the fort was to construct a sturdy home of the most permanent materials possible. A brick home built in 1867-68 was a significant advancement in technology for the Sanpete Valley region and nearly corresponded with the introduction of commercial-grade brick in Utah and Salt Lake Counties in 1863-64.
At a time when most homes were at best 1 1/2 stories in height, the 2 story “I-form” Faux residence was also advanced in its structure. While the 2/2 hall-parlor plan was not uncommon by the 1870’s, houses of two full stories and segmented arches in door and window bays were rare, just being introduced. The simple paired brackets and frieze, and scalloped bargeboards may have also found their precedent for the Moroni area in the Faux home. A feature which is definitely unique is the wall construction of the first story. There are seven courses of stone up to and including the course in which the sill stones are set. The remainder of the superstructure is brick. We can only speculate as to the reason stone was discontinued in favor of brick at the sill level. Fresh from England, Jabez Faux demonstrated a desire for residential refinement at an early period of colonial development and helped bring to an end the vernacular style which had previously pervaded the entirety of pioneer architecture in Moroni. (*)
Next door to the south, the Jabez Faux Jr home is a beautiful red brick home. I saw this old photo of it online.
L.D.S. Ward organized: 1877-1881 L.D.S. Ward reorganized: 1897-1926 Population at its maximum; About 20 families, over 200 people Electricity came to Freedom: 1935
The fruit orchards in Freedom were known as the best in Sanpete County. They grew apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, pears and plums. At the top of the street at the foot of the mountain there was a large piece of ground planted in strawberries and raspberries.
William L. Draper, known as “Doc Draper”, moved his family to Freedom in 1870 because it was a very lush, fertile valley where grain would grow very tall. William’s brothers Henry, Grant, Parley and Albert followed him to homestead in Freedom. They originally called this place Draper. The postal authorities made them change the name because there was already a town called Draper, Utah, south of Salt Lake. They then renamed it Freedom because freedom was what they wanted and they felt free now to do anything they wanted. Freedom became a County Precinct in 1875. The Drapers filed on their homesteads in 1878. The town was never incorporated. William Draper died in Freedom.
Freedom grew as many people found it a desirable place to live. At one time there were as many as twenty families making a population of over 200 people residing in Freedom. There were approximately 30 houses in Freedom during the depression. Many of the families were polygamist families. There are those who say Freedom, in the springtime, looked like the Garden of Eden.
The railroad was run from Nephi through Freedom to the coal mines in Wales. Martin Van Buren Taylor had a contract to build some of the grade for the railroad. He took his boys and some other people and built the grade from Fountain Green to Wales. There was a little shack about a mile south of Freedom which was a depot where they could flag down the train so people could get on.
The town of Freedom had a school house, church, town hall, and a small store that was connected to Dorcey Draper’s home. At first they had to go to town for their mail but eventually they had their own Post Office.
Freedom had its own school house. In the front of a book that belonged to Glen Taylor’s sister, in the possession of Margaret Taylor at this time, it states that school started October 6, 1902. Her husband Glen Taylor told her his memory of the school as it was when he attended in 1906. The school was built of lumber and was approximately 30 feet by 50 feet in size. It was built between the old home of Joseph Draper (Dorcey’s Dad) and Frank Eliason’s fence line.
The one room school house had two large windows on the west side and had two windows on the opposite side. There were also two smaller windows on the entrance side of the school. The heating stove was located in the center of the room. The school benches and the desks were lined up on each side of the stove. There were two students to a desk and they were seated according to the grade they were in from beginner to sixth grade. Later on single desks were purchased. There was a blackboard at the front of the room and the teacher’s desk. The children wrote on slates. There were between eight and sixteen children at various times in attendance depending on the number of eligible aged children. The children started school at the age of six and there were six grades taught in the Freedom School House.
The children of Freedom walked to school as well as the children from Jerusalem, which is a mile or more to the north of Freedom. They took their lunches with them. School started at 8:00 a.m. and let out at 4:00 p.m. They had a morning and afternoon recess at which time they played marbles, baseball, tag and other sports.
Some of the teachers were Mary D. Taylor, Hannah Hardy, Myrtle Thorpe, Sarah Sumsion, Delphia Rees and Marie Anderson. Most of them lived with families in Freedom during the school year.
After the sixth grade the children rode in a covered wagon to Moroni to school, but the children from Jerusalem still had to walk to Freedom to ride in the wagon to school. They had blankets and heated rocks to keep them warm on the trip during the winter. The trip took two hours with the horses at a fast trot. It was dark when they left Freedom and dark when they returned. The children did their studies at night by lamplight. Lather on they got a school bus. The one room school house in Freedom was closed down in about 1918. The children were then bused to Moroni and it was only a ten to fifteen minute ride.
Freedom’s L.D.S. Church
When the Sanpete Stake of Zion was organized July 4, 1877, the saints of Draper were organized into a ward called Freedom, with Henry Draper as Bishop. He acted as Bishop until 1880, soon after this the ward organization was discontinued, and the members were transferred to Moroni.
When the polygamist family of Martin Van Buren Taylor moved to Freedom a new ward was organized on May 5, 1897, with Martin Van Buren Taylor as Bishop. The church house was on the north east corner where the road turns to go to Maple Canyon. It had a nice organ in it, which the people of Freedom purchased. The organ, pulpit and clock from the church are in the DUP room in Moroni. In 1926 the Freedom Ward was dissolved because so many families had moved away. The few remaining families were put in the Moroni West Ward.
After Doc Draper lost a four month old son and a five year old girl in 48 hours he buried them side by side on his farm. This was the beginning of the Freedom Cemetery in 1885. Doc Draper’s father then came to live with them in Freedom, and he died one year later on May 28, 1886. He was the next person to be buried in the cemetery. The Doc, himself, died May 2, 1887 and was buried there too. There are many children buried in the cemetery because there was an epidemic of Diphtheria which took the lives of many of them.
There is one Indian buried in the cemetery and his name is “Indian Jim” or Jin Wanup. The Mt. Pleasant DUP put a beautiful marble headstone on his grave in 1975 but his name is misspelled on it. It is spelled James Onump on his headstone. He was a full blooded Ute Indian. Indian Jim was a good friend to the people of Freedom and he would spy for them and let them know when the Indians were going to attack. The people of Freedom built him a dugout to live in on the west side of Freedom.
The cemetery is still visited by many people each Memorial Day and other times during the year. It is still a very peaceful and quaint little cemetery where those that come can remember what Freedom used to be like.
Chester was founded by David Candland. In the beginning the town was named Canal Creek after the waterway from which the community received its water. Candland then changed the name to Chesterfield after his hometown in England; it was later reduced to Chester.
This community (like several others) claims to be the closest to the geographic center of Utah.
Erected in 1865 on order of General D.H. Wells to protect the settlers during the Black Hawk War. The fort covered the present City Hall Block and westward with 12 ft. rock walls supporting cabins along the inside. The bastion stood on the Lincoln School Lots. Its walls 3 x 16 ft. held port holes which gave a view of the entire valley. In 1866, when nearby settlers were ordered to move into the fort, Fountain Green occupied the N.E. section; Wales, the West side; and Moroni, the remainder.
The city of Moroni is located in the north end of the Sanpete Valley, 30 miles east of Nephi in Juab County and 19 miles north of the Sanpete County seat of Manti. Although Anglo settlers did not inhabit the valley until 1859, it had long been a favorite valley of the local Ute Indian tribe, a fact that would later affect the development of the area.
In the spring of 1859 eight men from the town of Nephi, led by George W. Bradley, began the settlement of Moroni, building dugouts into the banks of the Sanpitch River, which runs through the settlement. Although the town was originally laid out in the flat lands south and west of the current town site, due to the unpredictability of the river, the town site was moved to its present location in the rolling hills northwest of the river. Farming and stockraising was the main livelihood of the Moroni settlers, but several sawmills constructed in the early 1860s provided for the lumber needs of the community.
In April of 1865 conflicts with local Indian tribes came to a head. The conflict, known as the Black Hawk War, began in April of that year and spread from the Sanpete Valley throughout the territory. Brigham Young, leader of the territory, and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) requested that a fort be constructed in Moroni and that the residents, not only of Moroni, but of the neighboring towns of Wales and Fountain Green move their log homes within the protection of the fort. For the next six years residents of the fort spent much of their time fighting battles and protecting their homes, property and livestock.
During this time in the fort, the city of Moroni was incorporated in 1866, and while land had already been distributed among many of the settlers, after the opening of the Federal Land Office in Salt Lake City, the mayor, William Draper, applied there in 1870 for 365 acres of land for the Moroni city plot.
By 1872 the conflict between the settlers and the Indians had quieted and most residents had moved outside the protection of the fort. Several of those from the communities of Wales and Fountain Green, however, stayed on, making Moroni their permanent home. Once outside the fort, the town of Moroni was developed in the typical grid fashion according to Joseph Smith’s “Plat of the City of Zion”, despite the inconvenience of rolling hills.
In 1885 the Sanpete Valley Railroad Company, which had organized in 1874 to service the coalmines on the north bench of the Sanpete Valley, completed track into Moroni. As Moroni was the terminus of the railroad, it became “the distributing point for mail and supplies for all southern cities and towns.” The railroad also “stimulated foreign shipments and gave the place and impetus to financial prosperity.” Travel to Salt Lake City and points between became possible when regular passenger service was scheduled to connect with passenger trains at Nephi.
In 1889 the Moroni Meeting House, which had been constructed of adobe in 1870 and had served for all public gatherings for nineteen years, was replaced with the Moroni Tabernacle, the first “modern” community building. Another significant building, the Moroni Opera House (National Register 1996), was completed in 1891. The town of Moroni began to flourish and diversify with the building of stores, hotels, a grist mill, and manufacturing facilities. This prosperity lasted through the end of World War II, when the economy of the nation changed dramatically and Moroni, once again, became more of an isolated rural community.(*)