Missing its plaque and statue, the stone pedestal in Pioneer Park is more a mystery than a monument. The inset is a 1931 photograph of the original statue of a pioneer woman carrying a sack of grain. The people in the photo are unidentified.
There is an old monument in Pioneer Park in Price that has been a mystery to many people over the years. People have had a lot of questions about it. Who built it? Why was it built? What did it look like originally?
These are questions that have been posed and the local chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers are working to not only inform the community, but to rebuild the monument to as close to its original form as possible. The monument was originally commissioned by that organization in 1931.
To understand the monument and its significance, one has to look at the history of the local chapter of the DUP to understand it. The first organization of the DUP in Carbon County was put into place Nov. 7, 1923 by Mrs. Sorenson of the State Camp (state organization). Katherine MacKnight was elected captain and Stella Dalton secretary. Later, camps were organized and those remaining active today are Balance Rock (Helper), Sunflower, Sarah Jane Powell and Juniper (Price), Log Cabin (Wellington) and Geneva (East Carbon). There are two log cabins located in Pioneer Park in Price and one on Main Street in the Wellington Park which are open to the public on specified days.
In April 1928, under the direction of President Susie Richardson, plans were made for a Memorial Park. In June 1928 Price Mayor W. F. Olson offered the DUP a plot of land above the Memorial Park to be made into a park in memory of the pioneers to be known as Pioneer Evergreen Park. The offer was accepted and plans of getting the area cleared and in shape were started. In August of that year the boy scouts worked on the park clearing away brush and rocks. Afterward they were rewarded with a lunch served to them by the daughters.
Minutes of April 17, 1929 tells us that President Richards said that "we have to do some improvement every year on our park to hold it," and asked for cooperation of all in getting it fenced this year. August 21, 1929 members were asked to give two cedar posts each to fence the park. On Nov 19, 1930 Mayor Olsen spoke to the members about doing more to improve Pioneer Park in the spring.
On April 28, 1931 a special meeting was held to discuss tree planting and other pioneer business. It was voted on to get 10 trees; five weeping willow, and five others. It was decided to go to the park, on May 1st, take lunch and plant the trees.
In the meantime, a local artist named Dean Fausett had created a statue of a pioneer mother. On July 16, 1931 in a DUP meeting it was decided to accept the statue from Dean Fausett and to have Dan Morley build a monument in the park.
On Aug 20. 1931 there was a discussion on the unveiling of the monument and the banquet to be held afterward. It was moved and seconded that they pay Dan Morley $111.00 for the construction of the monument, $13.20 to the local lumber company for material used in the making of the statue and $25 to Dean Fausett for creating the statue.
The unveiling of the monument was held Sept. 7, 1931. Mayor Olsen praised the spirit and sentiment of the DUP which inspired them to erect the monument. He told of the time when the first settlers came to Price and said he deplored the fact that such a meager history had been kept of the works of our pioneers. The unveiling of the monument was by Verna Golding and Fay Critchlow granddaughters of former President Susie Richards and President Celestia Oman. The dedicatory prayer was given by Bishop George Jorgensen.
In April 1932 it was decided to dedicate the trees that were planted in Pioneer Park
Through the years the markers on the trees all disappeared. Unfortunately so has the statue that was created by Fausett. It has been reported that it was destroyed and the rock monument that it stood on was vandalized. In addition the two markers identifying the statue were stolen.
In the fall of.2009 the city asked the DUP if they knew anything about it. An advertisement in the Sun Advocate brought forth an article and picture of the statue dated Sept 7, 1931 in The Sun which told what the purpose of the statue was and details about its creation and unveiling.
The Carbon Company of the DUP wants to get this monument restored to its original beauty. They have started a fund raiser to raise enough money to restore the monument, along with putting in a lighting system with a surveillance unit The project would also extend the base, put up a wrought iron fence, and make other necessary improvements. The fund would also be used in the maintenance of the pioneer cabins.
An account has been opened at the Central Utah Credit Union under the name of Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Donations will be accepted there or call for more information call Helene Majors at (435) 637-3759.