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Mary Chadwick Remembered: Morgan’s first Published History Reprinted

Article Date: 
10 February, 2012 (All day)

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Mormon Pioneer’s arrival in the Salt Lake Valley Pioneering Morgan County was prepared by Mary Chadwick and published by Mr. and Mrs.  Albert Epperson .   The book is the first known published history of Morgan County.  

In addition to publishing a book, for several weeks during 1947 sections of the manuscript were featured in the weekly Morgan County News.   In the late 1980’s the original notes, hand written and also typed, and the manuscript prepared by Mary Chadwick were donated to the Historical Society.  It is one of the most valued collections in our archives.

In a recent meeting of the Historical Society Board of Trustees a motion was approved to recognize Mary Hansen Chadwick as Morgan County’s first historian.  Mary Chadwick was born in 1877.  She moved to Morgan with her husband, William, and family in June 1911.  They had lived in Idaho, and her birth home, Hyrum, Utah prior to coming to Morgan.  They were the parents of three sons and two daughters, Elwood, Eva, Walker, Laverne, and Russell. 

The Chadwick family lived at 127 E. 100 N. Street where Mary spent countless hours hand writing the early history of Morgan.  Some residents we have interviewed remember her dedication to preserve the history of Morgan County.  She was often seen walking around the city with writing tablet and pencil in-hand as she went to conduct interviews.  Many of those she interviewed were among the early pioneer residents of our valley.    A 1980’s letter from her daughter LaVerne Chadwick Marchant states, “I remember taking Mother around the county to gather some of this Morgan County History, in our old car… I know it was important to her. “  

To quote Mountains Conquered, 1959:

Mary Chadwick began thirty years ago to seek, to question, to listen, and to do all that she could to learn of the early history of Morgan County and its settlers.   

It has been a fruitful pursuit to which she has devoted her efforts, her energies and unstinted time.   Certainly with the passing of older generations, much that is here preserved for all time would have been irrevocably lost. 

Mary Chadwick has done us a very great service.  We gratefully acknowledge the generous use of all her notes and manuscripts which we have used as the basis for the historical section of this volume.

Mary Chadwick was a devoted member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  She served as the Treasurer of Morgan City Corporation  1928 – 1930.  She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she held many position in the various organizations, including secretary of the Genealogical committee of Morgan Stake.  She made many lifetime friendships with the young women of Morgan while she served in the YWMIA.  In 1957 she was selected as “Mother of the Year” by the Morgan Fine Arts Study Group.  She was a very well-known and respected resident.  

Mary’s husband, William died in 1951.  Mary remained in her Morgan home until about a year   prior to her death in 1963 in Orem, Utah. 

Mary Chadwick’s contribution to the past, present and future is acknowledged and profoundly appreciated by the Historical Society. 

To honor Mary Chadwick and commemorate the 150th Anniversary of  Morgan County, the Morgan County Historical Society is selling the reprinted 1947 Pioneering Morgan County.  The book can be purchased for $12 at the office of the Historical Society located at the back of the Morgan County Library.   The Historical Society Office is open Monday through Thursday from noon until 5 PM.