Morgan High School Class of 1952 congratulates the Class of 2012 and wishes them the very best for their future.
The month of May, 1952, concluded 12 years of education in the Morgan County school system for the Morgan High School class of 1952. The class of 1952, along with teachers and administration staff were planning graduation ceremonies. However, Mother Nature presented challenges to those best laid plans.
Morgan County was experiencing the end of a long hard winter, the weather was cold and late April storms had dumped a significant amount of snow in the mountains and valleys. As much as 16 inches of snow covered the fields in Morgan County. Storm clouds moved in and warm rain melted the mountain snow. The rain continued for several days resulting in major flooding from swollen rivers and streams.
The graduating class of Morgan High had gone to Salt Lake City on the morning of May 3, to celebrate the “senior sluff day.” After visiting several sites of interest, having lunch and going to a movie, the students boarded the big yellow school bus for the return trip home with Bert Carrigan driving.
As the bus came to the Weber river bridge on highway 89, water was splashing over the bridge railing onto the road. Upon entering “horseshoe bend”, water was splashing over the top of the three foot retaining wall and part of the wall was gone. More than a foot of water was flooding the highway.
Sometime within the next hour the highway in “horseshoe bend” was gone and the road stayed closed for many weeks. Travel to and from Morgan was through Echo Canyon or through Coalville and Parley’s Summit. Old Trappers Loop road, Big Mountain and Jeremy Ranch road were not passable. Many sandbags were filled and placed. Truckloads of dirt, rocks and gravel were dumped in areas of need. Logjams were pulled out or blown up with explosives. When the water subsided, many weeks of clean up followed.
The flood cleanup coincided with the traditional cleanup of the school grounds and “M” day. The “M” was cleaned and painted, a few more feet of concrete was poured, the weeds had been cleared from the area and it shined brightly in the beautiful spring sunlight. It reflected the spirit of cooperation and unity of the community working together for a common cause.
Some members of the graduating class had another bright idea concerning the “M” and on May 21, five senior class members took dozens of one gallon tin cans and several five gallon cans of diesel fuel up the trail to the “M.” A horse was provided by Darrell Mikesell to carry the diesel fuel. The gallon cans were put in numerous gunny sacks and then tied onto two long wooden poles. The poles were carried on the shoulders of two people. Loren Tonks and Richard Jensen carried one pole and Vern Kilbourn and Harold Scott carried the second pole.
Holes were dug at designated spaces and the gallon cans were partially buried in the holes to keep them from tipping over on the steep slope. Each can was partially filled with water and a measured amount of diesel was added to each can. Pieces of gunny sack were put into each can to act as a wick.
On graduation day, May 22, Bruce Tonks and several of his friends hiked up to the “M” and lit the fires at a designated time. After the ceremony ended, the attendees were surprised to see the “M” illuminated. This began the tradition that has endured for 60 years.
The Class of ’52 will hold its 60 year reunion on May 26 at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn at 2 p.m. All classmates and partners are invited to attend.