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Front Page » July 2, 2002 » Lifestyle » How Emery County Towns were Named, Moore and Emery
Published 5,355 days ago

How Emery County Towns were Named, Moore and Emery

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The organization of the Independent Canal and Reservoir Company, Dec. 1894, marked the beginning of Moore, according to the history "Emery County- 1880-1980." Twenty-two men from Emery, 17 from Ferron, two from Ephraim, and one from Koosharem bought 10 shares of stock valued at $10 each to start up the company.

"A traveler on Highway 10 driving through the farming area called Moore, would never suspect how unique its history is ... different than surrounding communities because the land and water were controlled principally by companies; a story unusual because Moore was not settled by people called to go there by the LDS Church.

Early settlers all lived on their farms, and did not lay out a town site. At this time Moore was called "The Flat" with the Muddy River four miles south and the Wasatch Plateau to the west.

In 1900, the Emery County Land and Water Co. was formed to buy the land and water at The Flat. The town was then named Rochester, either by F. E. Kennaston of Rochester, Minn., or by H.B. Whitney formerly of Rochester, N.Y. In 1907, Lestra C. Moore took over management of the company.

Children first went to school on Muddy Creek and were taught by Agnes Rasmussen. In 1907-08 Josephine Moore taught the Davis children at her home. School was discontinued in about 1925 when busing to Emery and Ferron began, but in between there were many students and various teachers in the log cabin school house.

In 1919, Leon Ralphs became the first postmaster; before that the mail was delivered only once a week from Ferron.

Under photos of L.C. and Josephine Moore in the history is the caption: "In 1940, through permission of the U.S. Post Office, the name of the town and the post office was changed from Rochester to Moore. It was an honor that comes to few citizens."

The present town of Moore consists of only three or four full time families; the farming is still good, and the people are proud if its colorful history.

The history of Emery started on Muddy Creek in the late 1870s when cattlemen from Juab, Sanpete, and Sevier among other counties ran their large herds in Castle Valley during the winter months and west of the mountain in the summer months. One of the first settlers, Casper Christensen "commenced making an irrigation ditch to aid in farming" in 1881 and soon others came to settle, too. That settlement was called "Casper" for a time since the mail was delivered to Casper Christensen's home.

The story of the area is water; the Muddy, the surveys, the dams, and the digging of the tunnel to transport water which was an engineering marvel that took four years and was completed in 1889.

"A new townsite south and west of the Muddy was being surveyed to be settled when the canal water reached the area. A survey was completed May 12, 1884, and was registered under the name of Emery by the Probate Judge." The name "Freedom" had been thought of, but when both the post office and the LDS ward were named Emery, the name was set by 1887.

Emery has a wonderful history of the roads, stores, schools, and church that is colored with changes caused by the Depression Era, World War II, the coming of the telephone, the building of I-70, and even the "Big Blizzard" of 1949. The people of Emery continue to make lovely improvements to their town but have worked hard to retain much of the flavor of the past especially in holding on to and making provision for restoring the old LDS Church which is the town's historic and treasured landmark.

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July 2, 2002
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