1955: a year of building and near building
Editor's Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth in 1891.
The year began with a fire in early January that caused a half million dollars worth of damage to the Mutual Lumber Yard and the Arrow Auto Line Building, where 15 trucks were destroyed. Reports at the time showed that the bus lines building suffered the most costly damage, while the lumber yard lost 150,000 feet of lumber in the blaze.
The college was in the news in 1955 in that it was planning an extensive building program and got approved for a practical nursing program, something that would grow immensely up until the present time. In the spring of 1955 the college planned to build the armory (which now is part of the Utah National Guard complex across from the Price Cemetery) and a new auditorium (which is known today as the Geary Theater). In February the school got the go ahead from the Utah State Nursing School board of review granted approval to start the program. In June, the program began with 16 students enrolled. In addition in June the ground breaking for an LDS Institute for on 400 North across the street from Carbon College took place.
The Gooseberry Project was also a news item once again. A move to get the upper Colorado storage project approved included the Sanpete project and a number of Carbon officials went to Washington D.C. in the late winter and early spring to fight it being included in the storage plans. In June it was announced that the project was dropped from the list of storage projects under that legislation.
The polio vaccine which was administered to Carbon children in a test in 1954 also proved to be a success based on the the outcomes reported in 1955.
"The Salk polio vaccine is safe, effective and potent, it was officially announced on Monday," stated the lead paragraph in a story about it on April 14. "The vaccine was found to be 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing paralytic polio in tests last year."
While the announcement did not end the need for vigilance against polio, which had been a paralyzing disease for generations and was seemingly getting worse as the 20th century wore on, it changed the game entirely, keeping its clutches at bay while further research into the disease continued. Suddenly it was like a dark cloud was lifted from the country.
"There is no doubt that children now can be vaccinated successfully to end the threat of polio and the anxiety it causes each year," stated the paper. "Dr. (Jonas) Salk urged that children this year be given only two shots of vaccine in order to step up the effectiveness of the vaccine."
Polio vaccine inoculations began that spring, as the injections had proven effective.
By the fall public health officials released information that improved vaccines were then available that would require only one shot instead of two for the vaccine to be effective.
In late June the area lost an historic building when the main house at the Preston Nutter Ranch in Nine Mile Canyon burned down. The nine room house was the headquarters of the Nutter Ranch and a number of historic and valuable items were burned along with the dwelling.
Carbon School District also announced the preliminary plans were ready for the new high school that was to be built east of the college. Up until this time the high school and college had been together, but plans to separate them were being made in 1955, although it would be four years before it actually happened.
The issue of building a new Carbon County Courthouse came up once again in 1955. Years before that the county had purchased land near Washington Park for a new courthouse (basically where the Burtenshaw Dorms of USU Eastern are now located) but many people objected to the location because it was too far out of the center of Price. In 1955 talks began again as the county started conversations with the school district about the property that is now a rose garden and the Price City Fire Station on 100 North. In the June 2 issue of the Sun Advocate a large photo of the old and stately Carbon Courthouse had a caption which stated that it wouldn't be long before the old building, finished in 1909 was dismantled.
In the fall the county commission looked at another option as well. John H. Redd, owner of the Redd Motor Company had a used car lot on the corner of 100 North and Carbon Avenue and for a short time the commissioners considered building the new courthouse there. A bond election in November was held while the location of the new building was still up in the air and the bond was defeated.
"Vote seen as objection to proposed site rather than rejection of building need" stated the second deck of a headline in the November 17 issue of the paper. The vote was 596 to 511 to reject the bond. According to reports at the time, it was the first time the public had ever rejected a bond for county development purposes.