Letter to the editor: Tidwell monument to be dedicated
The Historic Jefferson Tidwell and Early Settler Monument is being placed in the Wellington City Park by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Cabin. It will be dedicated on July 25, 2009 after the Pioneer Day Celebration Parade.
This founder's monument for Wellington City will have a bronze bust of Jefferson Tidwell, the leader of the first settlers, and a granite base with the early settler's names placed on it.
In 1877, President Brigham Young called on Jefferson Tidwell to explore the country east of the Wasatch Range, which now consists of Carbon, Emery, and Wayne Counties. President Young told him that if he would settle on the White River, now the Price River, he would soon be on one of the great thoroughfares of the nation. This was a prediction later verified by the construction of The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.
After the death of Brigham Young, President John Taylor called Jefferson Tidwell on a mission to return to the area in October of 1879, and organize the settlement. The story goes that Jefferson Tidwell was very sick. When asked if he would rather go on a foreign mission to Germany or return to Castle Valley, someone squeezed his hand when it was time to say yes. Later, when he was set apart the same thing happened. He would have preferred to go to Germany, but he felt he was prompted to go to Castle Valley instead. Jefferson Tidwell, son of John Tidwell and Jane Smith, was married to Sara Seely, daughter of Justus Wellington Seely and Clarissa Jane Wilcox. Sara Seely was well known for her profession as a midwife nurse and a doctor. In naming the town, the railroad wanted to name it Jefferson, but Jefferson Tidwell asked that it be named Wellington after J. Wellington Seely.
The early settlers of Wellington were: Nathan Galloway (Trapper), Jefferson Tidwell, William Jefferson Tidwell, William Averett, Robert Snyder, Thomas Zundle, W.J. Hill, Joe Montus, Ephriam Green, Bob Watson, Frank Ellem, Dick Thompson, Hyrum Strong, William Reed, Walter Barney, Joseph Gale, Henry Gale, Thomas Gale, Newton Hill, John Vance, J.J. Thayne, E.A. Jones, David Ellis, John Ellis, Severin H. Grundvig, Ben Roberts, Isaac Roberts, Joe Roberts, John Roberts, E.E. Branch, The Palmer Family, F. Matthew Simmons, Joe Darling, Ben Smith, Hyrum Chittenden, Peter Liddell, Abraham Liddell, George A Wilson Sr., George A. Wilson Jr., Taylor Wilson, John Wilson, Bruce Bassett, Guy Bassett, Romjues, Fausetts, George Young, William Bishop, Lehi Jessen, A.E. McMullin, George Yaeger, John Blackburn, Elias Cox, Elam Cheney, Sidney Allred, George Downard, George Blaine, Thomas Blaine, Arthur Barney, Martin Allred, W.A. Thayne, Gustive Larson, Dr. Fisk, and their families.
The project of raising the money for the monument started in February of 2007 after my son, Kendrick Powell, came to me with the idea of a founders monument. In talking to Jim Young, the sculptor, and Pat Worley, the granite base provider, we came up with a cost of $10,000 to put up the monument. Then we had to find a place to put the money until we had collected how much we needed. The Southeast Utah Community Development Corporation, under the direction of Delynn Fielding, consented to take care of the money for us. There was a lot of meetings attended, and letters sent. I notified almost every business in the area plus some upstate, and applied for funding from programs in the area. LaVee Pierce and Jacqualyn Thayne assisted in this project.
James Young, the sculptor, passed away in December of 2008. He was a retired professor at the College of Eastern Utah and taught sculpting. He also had his own business. He did a lot of the work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the community. He went to meetings with me and tried to help me all he could. Karen Templeton, a well known sculptor in the area especially for doing the Crandall Canyon Miners' Memorial, took over as sculptor after James death, for which I was very grateful. Pat Worley, the granite base provider, was raised in Wellington and operates the Worley Jensen Monument. They were all very patient with me as it took me over two years to collect the money.
Finally, on April 1 we had the ten thousand dollars and we are now able to dedicate this monument to my great great grandfather.
I am so grateful to those that contributed money or merchandise to the monument.