County highlights lecturer keeps listeners laughing
By Brooke Barker
October 2, 2006 | "Imagine if that happened today.
Channel 5 news would be here for sure to see the men
dancing with each other up Logan Canyon, wearing pink
and blue ribbons," exclaimed Kenneth Godfrey, describing
the dances the men from the valley would have while
working on the Logan LDS temple construction.
"There weren't many women working at the saw mill,
and the men kept themselves entertained by having dances.
Those wearing the blue ribbons got to lead, and pink
had to follow.
Every seat was packed Thursday evening in the Merrill-Cazier
Library's auditorium with friends, relatives and those
just wanting to hear a good story about the quirks that
helped shape Cache County. Godfrey kept the crowd
laughing with historical stories he deemed among the
25 pivotal events in the county's history.
"They are not in any way to say the most important,
some of the events I thought would be interesting to
talk on this evening," said Godfrey as he opened
his lecture. "So don't get all uptight if I don't
mention your event, just write a book yourself and maybe
someone will buy it -- maybe."
The event was sponsored by the Friends of the Library,
a non-profit organization that raises money for the
Merrill-Cazier Library and seeks to further the appreciation
of books throughout the community.
Godfrey, who sits on the Board of Directors for the
organization, was recently involved with writing a city
history section, the preface, "Cache Valley Before
the Mormons," and "The Mormons Come to Cache
Valley" portions of
the new book, "A History of Cache County: Towns,
Families, Commerce and Organizations."
Godfrey didn't quite manage to get through all 25 events,
but came close, covering 20 great people, stories and
places from the history of Cache County during the short
Some of the highlights included the death of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prophet Brigham
Young, the coming of the railroad, water, inventions
and farming. Godfrey grew up in Cornish, which added
insights and memories he shared, such as a fight that
broke out between an LDS bishop and his counselor concerning
"Water was so important that when the canal was
completed in Preston they had a grand parade following
the water as it traveled down the canal," said
Godfrey. "Once it actually reached Preston they
let out a Hosannah shout, which was normally reserved
for temple dedications."
Godfrey also mentioned important figures and famous
men and women to come out of the area since it was first
settled in 1855 with Elkhorn Ranch and in 1856 with
Maughan's Fort, which later became Wellsville.
"We can't forget to mention the women of Smithfield
who managed to ban liquor until they were out-voted,"
he said. Other important figures included Leora Thatcher,
a Broadway performer; Lula Greene Richards, the first
publisher of the LDS magazine "The Friend";
Anthon H. Lund, who passed legislation to set up Utah
State Agricultural College and Experiment Station.
After the lecture, listeners could look at several
books from Special Collections that highlighted Cache
Valley's history and talk with Godfrey about their own
memories of the once-small community. Those interested
also purchase copies of the book for $60, which includes
more interesting stories Godfrey was unable to cover
during his lecture. A portion of the book's profit will
be going back to help fund library projects.
For more information on Friends of the Library or the
book, "A History of Cache County," contact
Trina Shelton at 797-2631.