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Front Page » November 26, 2013 » Scene » Emery County Archives
Published 1,186 days ago

Emery County Archives

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By Alice Wadley
staff writer

Michael R. Kelsey has donated a new computer to the Emery County archives office. The computer that the archives office has is slow and outdated. It was taking Kelsey several days to get the information that he needed for his research of Emery County, so he decided to donate a new one. The new computer will be much faster and will produce pictures with higher resolution. The new computer has been approved by the Emery County Commission and is in the process of being ordered by the county IT department.

Kelsey is an avid hiker, who has hiked all over Utah and the world. He has visited 224 countries, republics, islands or island groups. He has been hiking his entire life. In 1954, he climbed Mount Timpanogus for the first time. Kelsey owns his own publishing company, Kelsey Publishing. He has written several hiking guides including Hiking and Exploring the San Rafael Swell. He is working on the 4th Edition of that book now, which is due out in March of 2014. This 4th Edition will include much more history of the San Rafael Swell region than previous printings.

Kelsey has visited Emery County 21 times since March to research and gather information for his latest edition. One story he has been researching is the shooting death of Sanpete County Sheriff James C. Burns. Burns went to Reeder Ridge to investigate a case of sheep stealing. The two suspects were Moroni Kofford and Jim Mickel. They shot and killed Sheriff Burns and fled to the Castle Valley where Mickel had a bullet removed. They then escaped to McCarty Canyon in the San Rafael, and were helped by relatives who lived at the old Paradise Ranch on Ferron Creek. They were never captured, but stories about their escape have been told since 1894. You can learn more about Kelsey, his publishing company and hiking guides at

Shirley Begay works at the Emery County Archives. She welcomes everyone to come and research the archives. Begay can help you with your family history, which you can donate to the archives. All family or personal history will be in digital format and can be placed on a cd for future reference. Begay said, "Before you throw anything away contact the archives". So often, family items that can be archived are thrown away because family members don't know what to do with them. You can make a donation to the archives of anything from documents to textiles. They will make copies of historic documents or photos for you to keep a copy in the family, or they will make a copy for the archives and give you back the original, if you do not want the archives to preserve it. All of the items donated to the Emery County Archives are treated well and meticulously preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Emery County Archives has a blog you can read. The archives website is The archives is open to the public Tuesday-Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. Contact them at 381-3563.

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November 26, 2013
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