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Cedar City celebrates Homer Jones’ 101st birthday
by Gerald R. Sherratt
Jan 05, 2011 | 319 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PERSON OF THE MONTH: Homer Jones, who celebrated his 101st birthday on Dec. 3, grew up helping his father, Randall Lunt Jones (the SUU theater is named in his honor), photograph and promote the scenic beauty of Utah’s national parks.

He made photography his livelihood and produced thousands of portraits and photos of life in Cedar City. He married the late Belle Macfarlane, and they established the Zion Photo Shop on Main Street, where they did studio photography for more than 50 years. His extensive collection of photographic images was given to the Special Collections Division of the SUU Library and provides an unprecedented glimpse of the exceptional scenery of southern Utah and of long past events in the schools and community.

Warm and affectionate greetings to Homer, and our collective deepest thanks for all he has done to help make Cedar City such a wonderful place to live.

TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Local resident Terri Kerr Cook has been made an on-air contributor to KSL-TV’s 11 a.m. television show, Studio 5. Ms. Cook represents southern Utah and once a month she shares simple rules and recipes for home entertaining as well as ideas on how to make everyone who crosses the threshold feel part of the family, welcome and comfortable.

You can catch this month’s show on Jan. 13. Terri is married to Brad Cook, SUU’s provost, and the couple have four children: Sam, Cairo (their only daughter who was named for Egypt’s capital city since it had played an important role in the couple’s lives), and twins Jack and Charlie.

Terri, a native of Logan (she is a niece of Rolfe Kerr, former Commissioner of Higher Education in Utah and a former president of Dixie College). Terri is a graduate of Utah State University and was introduced to Brad by Brad’s father. One suspects that if Ms. Cook lived in Salt Lake City, she’d have a television show all her own.

SPIDER-MAN. Shakespeare Festival patrons will remember Patrick Page, who won many friends in Cedar City as an actor while appearing at the festival. Well now Patrick is playing Norman Osborn (AKA, the Green Goblin), in the most expensive new Broadway production in history, a rumored $85 million.

While the show has been marred by accidents, performances are continuing, and those who have seen the previews are awe-struck.

JUST THE FACTS: Sales tax revenue for September totaled $392,375, or 97 percent of September 2009’s total of $405,049. RAP tax revenues totaled $35,530 or 96 percent of September 2009’s $36,844.

Renon Savage reports that eight business licenses were issued in November 2010 including Plum Crazy Clothing Company (520 S. Main St.), AK Studio and Design Company (423 West Coal Creek, Suite 1), S & T Services (600 N. 100 East, Suite A) which is owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, and Deb’s City Cafe and Deli (2002 N. Main St., No. 5) now owned by Debbie Simmons.

Iron County’s unemployment rate in October was 9.2 percent, compared to Washington County’s 10.2, Utah’s 7.6 and the nation’s 9.6 percent.

Iron County’s wage and salaried count for November was 16,306 (up from 13,976 in July) and the highest of the year.

OTHER QUICK FACTS: According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Iron County’s population in 2009 was 45,280, up 34 percent from 2000’s 33,779. Utah’s growth rate in this same time period was 24.7 percent.

In 2009, 10.2 percent of the population were children under 5 years old, 30.1 percent were persons under 18 years old, and 9.7 percent were persons 65 years old and older. Females made up 50.2 percent of Iron County’s population. White persons were 93.5 percent of the population (including Hispanics or Latino origin who were 6.6 percent), blacks were 0.8 percent, Native Americans were 2.3 percent, Asians were 1.4 percent, Pacific Islanders were 0.4 percent, and persons reporting being of two or more races were 1.6 percent.

OLD FRISCO: In its heyday in the 1870s and 80s, the ghost town of Frisco in Beaver County was a roaring mining town and indisputably one of the wildest places in the American West, rivaling Tombstone as a place of sin. At its peak, the town’s population was about 6,000 miners and their families, and an 1879 directory lists 33 businesses of which 20 were saloons, brothels, and gambling houses.

By 1885 more than $60 million in zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver had been mined, hauled away by mule train and placed aboard the Central Railroad. There is nothing left of Frisco today but a cemetery and some foundations.

Now Margaret W. Miller, who taught English and business for 34 years in the Beaver County School District, has written a book, “A Scent of Lavender,” which relates the factual story of the town and interlaces it with fictional characters to provide us with an engaging portrait of what life was like in the crime-ridden city and what it took to clean it up. The book has been printed by Granite Publishing (telephone free 1-800-574-5779 for information).

150 YEARS AGO: In January 1861, the nation was preparing for the Civil War. During the month, five states seceded from the Union: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state.

In Cedar City, the town’s population had dwindled to slightly more than 300, two-thirds of Cedar City’s population having moved away prompted by the closing of the Iron Mission, the tragedy at Mountain Meadows, and the difficulty of making a living on the far frontier. Some 35 homes in the community had been abandoned.

While some still farmed, the total acreage was a mere 400, about all that could be irrigated by the waters of Coal Creek. Those who didn’t farm, worked at freighting, home manufacturing, dairying and raising livestock.

Isaac Chauncey Haight, a former member of the Nauvoo Legion (he served as a guard for LDS Church founder Joseph Smith), was serving his last month as mayor (1854-1861), relinquishing the job the following month to Henry Lunt.

DID YOU KNOW? That inspired in part by Cedar City’s Rotary Centennial Veterans Park, Las Vegas, Nev. is planning a veteran’s monument of its own to be located in the historic Huntridge area.

That two entities in China are competing to see which can be first in the creation of a major theatrical production honoring the life of Helen Foster Snow, the Cedar City woman (her statue is at the entrance to the Main Street Park) who created the Gung Ho industrial cooperative movement that is credited with saving countless lives during the Japanese occupation of China prior to World War II.

That Amy Adams, niece of Cedar City’s Frank Adams, has been nominated for a Golden Globe by the Foreign Press Association for “The Fighter,” also up for best movie.

EVER WONDER WHY? Rants people have suggested that I mention in the column: Why does McDonalds offer its McRib sandwich only occasionally during the year, and why, when they do, are they generally sold out? Why is it your neighbors never paint their house the right color? Why does it seem that Independence Day and Pioneer Day always fall on a Sunday?

Why do people at night walk about or ride their bicycles wearing dark clothing, substantially raising the prospect drivers won’t see them and increasing the prospect of an accident? Why does it seem to always snow on weekends?

Why are the reported temperatures in Saint George always four degrees higher in winter than they really are, and four degrees less in the summer than they actually are? Why have the sizes of sodas in the movie theaters changed (there is now a new small and what was small before has become medium)?

A CENTURY AGO: The year in Cedar City started and ended with health difficulties: a Typhoid Fever epidemic in early 1911 in which all public gatherings were banned, and the following December the spread of both Measles and Scarlet Fever to some 25 homes with from one to four cases in each home, prompting the closing of schools for a week.

A special election was held in July regarding the sale of liquor with 46 voting for the sale of liquor and 336 against.

There were complaints that children were roller skating on city pavements and the City Council took up the issue of placing fire hydrants throughout the city. The prospect of having a railroad built to Cedar City was explored prompting studies of right of way and rail locations.

And in the November elections, Donald C. Urie, a Socialist, was elected mayor of Cedar City, gathering 161 votes to defeat the Republican candidate, Jethro Palmer (who received 97 votes), and the Democratic candidate, Lehi W. Jones (who received 101).

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