Thursday, January 15, 2015

A 1914 proposal to disband Davis County

WHAT if Davis County didn’t exist today?
Just over a century ago, there was a strong proposal to do away with it.
“Davis County may be wiped off the map” was a May 7, 1914 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
“G.W. Palmer of Farmington threw a small bomb into the state board of education meeting  yesterday afternoon by asserting that Davis County should be split in two, half added to Salt Lake County and half to Weber County,” the report stated.
“Geographically there is no excuse for the county and socially it is no county,” Palmer argued “Half of the residents  look to Salt Lake as their principal city and the other half to Ogden.”
Many at the meeting said they were too loyal to Davis County to permit any such arrangement. Palmer argued that this was “false patriotism” and that his proposal was a logical move.
Part of the controversy also centered around whether the small high schools in Bountiful, Kaysville and Syracuse should continue, or establish one large, strong county high school instead.
-In other historical tidbits:
-“No boxing in the town of Hooper” was an Aug. 10, 1910 Standard headline.
Weber County Sheriff Wilson had canceled the August 15th twenty-round boxing match scheduled between Joe Harbertson and Kid Williams. He said that was not only because so many Hooper residents opposed it, but also because its existence would mean that Weber County communities would be claiming prize fights too.
Also, “every boy in the county that felt he was ‘scientific with the gloves’ would be putting in his time training for a boxing contest.”
J.D. Hooper was the local chairman of the committee who opposed the boxing match on the “grounds the morals of the community were in danger.”
Notwithstanding, a previous boxing match had been held in Hooper on July 24th of that year, though residents felt that illustrated the dangers of the sport.
-“State Highway to be constructed to Hooper” was a June 1, 1917 Standard headline.
This road was constructed from West Ogden through Kanesville. The report stated the present highway to Hooper was in poor condition.
“… With heavy travel from this populous farming district, southwest of Ogden, there is need for the road being built at once,” the Standard reported.
The same story also stated that the other great highway need in Weber County was a road through Liberty to the top of the divide, to connect Weber and Cache counties.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on January 14-15, 2015 by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:  

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