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Front Page » July 17, 2003 » Carbon Senior Scene » Tracing Pressett history
Published 4,464 days ago

Tracing Pressett history

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Jack Prerssett

Humbert (Bert) Pressett was one of three brothers that were brought from Switzerland after their mother died in America enroute to their new home in Utah back in the mid- 1800s.

His father, Louis was headed to what is now Woodside about halfway between Price and Green River when his wife died leaving the three boys back in Europe. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries helped the family by getting the boys and bringing them to Utah. Instead of ending up in Woodside the children landed in Heber and it was there where they began their schooling in America.

Louis was superintendent of the railroad that was being built from Green River to Salina and was eventually going on to California. However, when coal was discovered in Carbon County, the railroad was never completed and instead, the family headed north towards Price to accommodate the coal mines.

Bert attended junior high school in Heber but shortly after the three brothers quit school and joined their father in Woodside, helping him on the small farm and working with their father on the railroad.

Bert's father eventually remarried and Louis and his new bride had five more children.

Bert moved to Green River and bought a farm where he had planned on raising fruit trees. After a few years of planting and preparing the peach trees they finally produced, but a frost wiped out the entire crop and Pressett went bankrupt.

Bert had always been an incredible athlete and following his failed business. He was recruited by the Sunnyside mine to pitch for their baseball team. As a 28 year-old he became an all-star pitcher. The mines were very competitive and often recruited top athletes to lead the ball teams.

During the day he bartended until the bar closed and then he went to work in the mines, playing ball all along. At the mines he was a pump man and fireboss.

While he was playing ball and bartending, around the turn of the century, Bert ate at the boarding house in Sunnyside that was operated by the Rasmussens. One of the 11 Rasmussen children was Zina, whom Bert fell in love with and married in 1904.

Bert and Zina raised their nine children in Sunnyside and he retired in 1935 but died unexpectedly later that year, at the age of 65. It was the depression and there were few jobs but Zina found a job as a janitor at the local school and continued to raise her children.

This is the story of the second to the youngest, Jack Pressett, who was born January 23, 1923. He attended elementary and junior high school in Sunnyside and graduated from Carbon High School in 1941. While in high school he worked at Utah Rock Asphalt Company in Sunnyside.

He immediately began working for Columbia mine after graduation and worked as a pump man until he enrolled at BrighamYoung University. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education in 1951. Even though he taught high school economics and history and did some coaching at Lincoln High School in the Alpine School District, he continued his employment with Columbia mine.

His 40-plus year career with Columbia mines spread out from the mid-40s through 1985 when the mine was closed. His primary responsibilities centered around supervisor of personnel, which include the employment and placement of all employees. This involved maintaining contracts, managing benefits, transfers and re-hires.

The list of community activities and special awards are endless, beginning with his presidency of the Carbon County School Board for eight years. He was also awarded a special merit for community development presented by Utah State University.

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July 17, 2003
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