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Front Page » June 11, 2002 » Lifestyle » How Emery County Towns were Named, Ferron and Clawson
Published 5,375 days ago

How Emery County Towns were Named, Ferron and Clawson

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As part of the book "Emery County- 1881-1980," Clawson history was compiled by resident and author Keith Wright from information written first by his mother, Bessie Wright, and resident, Theo Cox, and other more recent residents. Mr. Wright said he wrote more "of a tale or a legend" that he hoped would be useful( page 90, I found it not only very useful but very enjoyable and colorful reading.

Wright goes on to say "Clawson has always been something of a suburb of Ferron. The North Ditch, a canal diverting the waters of Ferron Creek, was completed in 1896, after two or three years of hard work, bringing essential irrigation water to the North Flat-as it was sometimes called. Early the following spring, 1897, the first homesteads were claimed."

"The scattered collection of log houses soon became known as Kingsville. Whether the name was in honor of the first homesteader (one of the first was Guy King), or because there were more Kings than any other name, is now speculative.

As part of the Ferron LDS Ward church, several organizations, were formed in 1902. Two years later, Oct. 25, 1904, Rudgar Clawson, then a member of the LDS Council of Twelve, organized the branch into a ward, "In honor of the apostle's visit, the town's name was changed from Kingsville to Clawson. So it was that the community took its name from a visitor of a few hours, who, so far as is known, never returned. Incidently, in all of the United States there are only two towns named Clawson, one in Utah, one in Michigan. The town, of course, has also been known by occasional nicknames, one of which- cleaned up enough to appear in print-was goose-eye."

Clawson even though small in population is an incorporated town with its own post office, cemetery and new city hall building. Children are now bused to Ferron.

Clawson saw a little boom during the early days of the building of the power plants, then dipped in population again, but is now an attractive and stabilized community of many lovely homes with well kept yards and surrounding pastures and fruit trees.

According to "Emery County- 1889-1980" page 102-3, Ferron was settled the winter of 1877 by people of Ephraim, Nicholas Larson for one. "The creek was frozen over and they had to chop holes in the ice so that the oxen could stand up."

"John Lowry was camped with his sheep herd; Tom Simper and Sam Gilson were herding cows for the Bennion Brothers; and Mike Molen had cows here at that time, They were a source of meat for these early settlers."

"There were cottonwood trees in abundance by the creek, sluice grass and bunch grass. However, the valley was most desolate, the rolling barren mud-colored hills surrounded the valley with tall mountain peaks in the distance. There were patches of greasewood and cacti so thick a horse or dog could not be made to go over to what was later to become Ferron townsite."

"This story concerning the authenticity of how Ferron got its name was researched by Ida Conklin, a Ferron native in 1963. She was attracted by an obituary in the Salt Lake Tribune of the death of William E. Ferron. She corresponded with his widow at an address given in the paper and was informed that Augustus David Ferron was indeed her father-in-law and that he was the surveyor who had been hired by Brigham Young in 1870 to help lay out many of the streets in Salt Lake City: later he was sent by the U.S. government as head of a surveying party to survey the land in Castle Valley so it would be available for homesteading. It was while he was surveying in this vicinity that he and his crew were camped on a stream in southeastern Utah.

They liked to make jokes about each other and told Mr. Ferron that they would name the stream after him if he would submit to a dunking in it. It was hot and he was game and took the dunking. They called it Ferron's Creek. The story was told often and labeled on their charts and maps to indicate the name of the stream. Later on, dugouts and log houses were built along the stream."

However, they soon dropped the "s" and the town became Ferron. The name is French. Ferron's parents immigrated to America for France in 1849. In 1880 the population was 90.

Three Nelson brothers, Andrew, Hyrum and Christian settled in Ferron. Christian went into the mercantile business in 1900 in a store located where the Morris Singleton house stands today." This property is owned and occupied currently by Kyle and Kathy Singleton.

Ferron is one of the three largest towns in Emery County where there are many families who have retained family farms for more than 100 years. It has been known for marketing its many products throughout the years; poultry, eggs, dairy products, cattle, sheep, pork, vegetables, molasses, honey, flour and fruit, especially peaches to the surrounding coal mining towns and even bricks to Salt Lake City that were used on the first ZCMI building. Two of the biggest events of the county are held in Ferron annually; the Southeastern Utah Junior Livestock Show and Peach Days.

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June 11, 2002
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