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JAMMIN' ON THE QUAD: The band Allred performs during a day of welcome for returning students. Click Arts&Life for a link to photos. / Photo by Heather Routh

Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Devotion of early settlers reflected in upkeep of Nibley and Millville cemetery

NEAT AS A PIN: The cemetery is green and fair, thanks in part to Theil Jenson. / Photo by Shannon K. Johnson

By Shannon K. Johnson

April 23, 2007 | NIBLEY -- When visiting the Nibley and Millville cemetery the neatly trimmed green grass and well-maintained roads are easily overlooked.

In 1945 Nibley and Millville cemetery district was formed, and that large district was divided into three smaller districts.

Representatives were then elected from each of these districts. Theil Jenson, a World War II veteran, has worked on the board for more than 22 years.

"It's time I retire. I keep saying that I should, but they always say, 'No, no, you do a good job,'" said Jenson.

Of the other two members, one spends only half the year in Cache Valley and the other is a farmer.

"So, I guess I may do a little more," said Jenson.

Not every city has a cemetery district. Residents of such a district pay a property tax to help maintain the cemetery.

"I reckon there are probably seven or eight cemetery districts in Cache Valley. Providence has their own cemetery but no cemetery district," said Jenson

The tax hasn't gone up since 1987, said Jenson, "so we have to be a little more conservative, instead of so liberal like our government today."

On April 26, 1896, Abel Garr donated six acres to be used as the cemetery after the death of his wife of five weeks.

In 1932 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave care of the cemetery over to the city.

For Jenson the thing that makes the Nibley and Millville cemetery unique is the care and devotion that the earlier settlers had for their dead.

This devotion is carried on by Jenson.

"Whenever there is a soldier whose passed and I want to say something to that family, I always say: that guy in the casket deserves respect and honor, and those people standing there mourning him are proud of him."

Jenson is in many ways like those early pioneers, his daughter Tamera Fitting said, "Him having this job has made all of us more comfortable with death,"

Fitting also said, "The pride he has taken with caring for our real close relatives graves like his parents."

Jenson will not simply accept the compliment; he quips in response:"Don't say things like that, or we are going to die."



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