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Front Page » October 23, 2003 » Local News » Preserving History
Published 4,373 days ago

Preserving History

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Eagle Scout saves Woodside Cemetery

Jack Pressett, whose grandson Jon completed his scout project at the cemetery. Jack's father and brothers owned a farm near Woodside raising sugar cane to press into sorghum and molasses.

The efforts of Jon S. Pressett have put a lot of smiles on people's faces who are affiliated with the Emery County Historical Society. Pressett, who is from Carbon county, completed his Eagle Scout project by preserving history and saving the Woodside Cemetery from further destruction.

Unable to attend the ceremony, the 25-year-old student is attending medical school in St. Eustaisus, in the Caribbean, but his father, also Jon, and his grandparents Jack and Lucille Pressett were on hand as the historical society unveiled a large plaque with history of Woodside and the 28 people who have been put to rest in the historic cemetery.

Located on a knoll just across the river from the original community of Woodside, the cemetery is now fenced and protected from the cattle and recreational vehicle drivers who were once destroying the historic site. Jon's great grandfather and other members of the Pressett family are buried in the cemetery.

Jon began the project in 1995 and was able to raise about $3000 from donations to assist in the restoration. Jon is the son of Jon L. and Gayla Pressett.

Gale Miles from the Emery County Historical Society sat in the graveyard and recorded 24 names of people who were buried in Woodside. These names were included on the plaque, along with the history of the area. There were several names that Miles was unable to find information about. She could only find one veteran in the cemetery, that being Peter Petersen who fought in the Indian wars. He passed away in July of 1925.

Members of the Emery County Historical society gather with the Pressetts as the new plaque was was unveiled in September.

From all records it appears the first person was buried in Woodside in 1889. The Pressett headstone was hand carved from a piece of stand stone in 1895 and shaped like a tree. One of the limbs has broken off but the rest of the stone remains stable

Pressett worked with the BLM for about six months acquiring permission to fence the cemetery and begin restoring the grave stones. Energy West provided the pipe, while Randy Thayn welded the wire for the fence. Emery County road department made the gates. Roy Pogue, who owned the Woodside gas station and business dug the post holes and provided a tractor for the project.

Woodside was originally a railroad stop with three different companies over the years. Originally a railroad connecting Green River and Salina was proposed through Woodside, but that was never constructed, instead the line ran up to Price to haul out coal from the developing mines. This was later upgraded to the current railroad.

JoAnn Behling serves as president of the Emery County Historical Society, a group with 115 members.

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