Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
S. George Ellsworth
Mapleton, a small rural Utah community located on the benchlands between Hobble Creek Canyon and Spanish Fork Canyon fifty miles south of Salt Lake City, was settled in the late 1860s and early 1870s by Springvllle and Spanish Fork families who built their homes on their individual farms. These families did not follow traditional Mormon settlement patterns with a City of Zion plat as their guide; their community grew along quite different lines. Its inhabitants never heard a "call" nor did they have their land alloted to them by their church.
The Latter-day Saint Ward, established on the bench In 1888, became the nucleus for both civic and spiritual growth. Its leaders were central figures In the events leading to the political separation of Mapleton from its parent community of Springville in 1901. Two factors contributed to this political separation: a feeling by Maplefon residents that the Springville City Councll was not looking after their interests, and a serious irrigation controversy.
After the establishment of town government in 1901 Mapleton grew and developed in ways similar to much larger cities. It developed the same type of civic pride and worked to improve its educational, civic, and cultural programs. However, despite the many improvements in roads, and the amount of available irrigation water, by 1945 Mapleton was not a community of full time farmers. It was, and had been since its beginnings , a community of part-time farmers who worked at second jobs to help pay for farms and maintain a moderate standard of living.
The community has been affected by many outside events, but it developed in a manner similar to many other Mormon communities. Its residents enjoyed the inventions of a modern society. They were apprehensive and concerned about world wars and depressions that affected their lives. Still, the three most important influences on Mapleton people were the family, the church, and the job.
Harmer, Ralph K., "A History of Mapleton, Utah to 1945" (1975). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3167.
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