During the 1930s, UTNG used federal money, often supplied through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), to build or expand a number of UTNG facilities. The WPA funded eight armories and several garage and storage areas for the UTNG. By 1940, 13 armories were in use by the Utah Guard including” that in Nephi.
“Construction of the National Guard armory in Nephi will be furthered with $34,669” in WPA funds, Provo’s Daily Herald reported. The building has since been demolished.(*)
Constructed in 1893 by Oscar M. Booth, this house is an excellent example of the Queen Anne architectural style in Utah. Some identifying features of the home include its side-hall plan, asymmetrical massing, long wrap-around porch, and the octagonal tower with conical roof. Mr. Booth was a local carpenter and builder who is best known in the Nephi area for his design of the Whitmore Mansion, listed on the National Register. It is also reported that in addition to the work Booth did in Nephi, he also worked in the Avenues in Salt Lake City during the 1890s. He was born in 1868 in Utah and continued his building activities, primarily in Juab County, until his death in 1944. Mr. Booth, along with his wife rose, owned this home until 1897, when it was then sold to another local resident of Nephi. The home retains its historic integrity and is a contributing resource within the city of Nephi.
In 1859, John Hoile established a flour gristmill at First South between First and Second East. The mill consisted of a small one-story frame building. On June 20, 1870, the mill was bought by John Hague who operated it until he died in 1900. The mill sat idle until 1907 when it was purchased by the Juab Mill and Elevator Company. They immediately enlarged the mill’s manufacturing capacity by adding a three-story brick structure.
This wheel is the third and last wheel used at the millsite. A wooden flume or millrace, raised 16 feet high on stilts, carried water from Salt Creek at a place between Third and Fourth East. The force of the flow turned the wheel which powered the whole mill. During the 1920s, the Juab Mill and Elevator Company bought the Nephi Mill and Manufacturing Company located at First North and Second West. From the time on, flour was milled at the Nephi Mill and Manufacturing Company, and the Old Mill operated as a feed mill, manufacturing poultry feed and chopping and grinding grain.
Activities came to an end at the original site in 1949 when both mills were sold.
Prisoners from Juab county were first held in the basement of the Social Hall that stood on the corner of Center Street and Second East in Nephi. The next jail was a sturdy frame building built of thick heavy planks painted red located directly south and west of the old courthouse.
This Juab County Jail was built in the Territory of Utah four years before Utah became a state. The contract for construction of this jail was awarded July 13, 1892, to Pauley Jail Building and Manufacturing Company, St. Louis, Missouri, for $8,916. This two-story brick building is unique with iron cages and interior ceiling of heavy metal similar to a ship. Occupants through the years have known sorrow, repentance and remorse. Some were filled with bitterness and revenge. Suffice it to say that the old jail served the purpose for which it was constructed and remained in use until 1974.
This Museum and Community Center consists of part of the old Juab County Court House, the Jail and a pioneer implement building known as the Brough Building. Pioneer memorabilia are kept and displayed in this complex.
This monument replaces one previously erected (that crumbled through weather conditions) by Langley A. Bailey, Sr., Jacob Bowers and Henry Knowles. In memory of the following pioneers: Jens Jergensen and wife, Jens Terkelsen and Christian E. Kjerulf who were massacred by Indians, June 4, 1858, near this spot while traveling unarmed on their way to Sanpete Valley.
Check out all of the historic markers placed by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers at JacobBarlow.com/dup
Nephi is located at the mouth of Salt Creek Canyon; the north peak of Mount Nebo is to the northeast and the Red Cliffs are to the southeast. The city covers an area of approximately four square miles.
As with most settlements in Utah, Nephi’s founders were Mormons, and the name of the town came from the Book of Mormon. In the summer of 1851 Joseph L. Haywood and Jesse W. Fox, the territorial surveyor, were instructed by church leaders to lay out the town of Salt Creek, so named for the local salty stream. Haywood served as civic and spiritual leader in the area for three years. The settlers immediately began to clear ground and build homes. They also started schools for their children. Nephi boasted the third high school (and the first rural one) in the state in 1894. In 1879 a Presbyterian school was opened and later a Methodist school.(*)
Nephi was known for some years as Salt Creek. However, early church records refer to it as the Nephi Branch and some government records also called it Nephi. Until 22 May 1882 mail to the town was addressed to the Salt Creek post office. Nephi was incorporated in 1889, and on 16 January 1882 an act by the governor and the legislature of the territory was approved, making Nephi the county seat of Juab County.
Agriculture was the first industry. Farming and livestock have always been important in the Nephi area. The settlers traced the source of the salt in the creek to a cave in the canyon east of town and they then began to mine it. This soon became a flourishing local industry, with salt traded to people as far away as St. George in exchange for food and clothing. In 1893 the Nebo Salt Manufacturing Company was organized. However, it eventually became unprofitable to compete with the larger companies on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, and 1925 marked the end of the local industry.
Milling was another local industry with Zimra H. Baxter, George W. Bradley, and Abraham Boswell building a grist mill. Later more mills were built and modernized, and Nephi’s Gem and Snowflake flour became known throughout most of Utah. In 1917 R.C. and Robert Winn built a mill which was later purchased by the Hermanson family. In June 1991 it was destroyed by fire with a loss of more than $20,000 worth of inventory; however, the California partners who now own it are planning to rebuild.
When gypsum was found at the mouth of Salt Creek Canyon, plaster was made by grinding it between two rocks and cooking the powder. Later a grinding machine was obtained and a waterwheel installed which was powered by water diverted from Salt Creek. In 1889 the Nephi Plaster and Manufacturing Company was incorporated and the first mill was constructed. It survived two fires in the early 1900s and flourished to become the major employer in Nephi.
On 3 May 1879 the railroad came to Nephi, and in 1880 the Sanpete Valley Railroad was built from Wales to Nephi for the purpose of hauling coal from the mines. This helped make Nephi a business center and greatly improved the local economy.
The business district on Main Street grew rapidly, and during the late nineteenth century there were restaurants, mercantile stores, hotels, clothing stores, a tailor, a furniture store, two millinery stores, two barber shops, and several other establishments. At this time, because of the number of businesses, Nephi was frequently referred to as “Little Chicago.”
Early in 1900 the main railroad line was moved west to Lynndyl and Delta. This resulted in some changes, but the people generally adjusted and other industries appeared to supplement the economy. In 1930 Nephi Poultry, Inc., which was affiliated with the Utah Poultry Association, was formed and employed a number of locals. The Nephi Processing Plant was organized in July 1945 to process turkey meat. In 1947 the Juab Valley Feed Company was organized; in 1958 it was purchased by Utah Poultry.
In June 1948 Termoid Western was dedicated and opened for inspection. The company manufactured rubber conveyor and transmission belting; molded types of industrial hose for oil fields, automotive fan belts, mechanical rubber products, and tank lining. By 1956-57 gross sales reached over six million dollars and it employed about 300 people. During the past thirty years the company has had multiple changes. It has closed and reopened, has changed owners several times, and is now operating as N.R.P.-Jones. It currently employs about 145 people.
Unfortunately, with the general ease and availability of transportation to larger urban areas, Nephi’s Main Street business district has somewhat declined, as is the case with many rural areas in Utah. Nevertheless, Nephi’s population reached its largest numbers in 1980, 3,285 residents, and continued to grow throughout the decade to 3,515 in 1990. Students attend the Nephi Elementary School and the Juab Middle and High School which share a building completed in 1980. The city hosts the annual Ute Stampede Rodeo, first held in 1936. The population is predominantly LDS with members attending seven wards in two stakes.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers Marker #196 – Early Schools
The first settlers arrived here in 1851. A one-room building was erected and used for Church and School purposes in 1852. George Spencer and his wife were teachers. In 1855 a schoolhouse was erected inside the fort and early teachers were: Martha Hayward, Thomas Ord, Andrew Love, Mary Ellen Love, John Chapman, Amy Bigler, Martha Shofield. Later school was held in the Social Hall, and in 1894 Central School was completed. The bell on this marker was installed and used as curfew and to call the children to school.