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Morgan County Established (150 years)

Article Date: 
13 January, 2012 (All day)

In January 1862 An act of the Utah Territorial Legislative Assembly established/defined the boundary of Morgan County.  Morgan County was blessed with an abundance of natural resources.  The acreage also became an essential piece of real estate for services making their route to the west coast.   These included the telegraph, railroad and future utilities that would eventually traverse Weber Canyon.  

 

January 17, 2012 will be the 150th anniversary of the first proceedings to organize Morgan County Government.  From the official Morgan County records we read:  “Pursuant to an Act of the Legislature Assembly, approved January 17th 1862, I Charles Shreeve Peterson, Probate Judge of said County proceed to organize said County this 13th day of February, 1862 by appointing the following officers; to wit: James Bond, County Clerk: Ira S. Spaulding, Philemon C. Merrill and Joseph Brady; Selectmen: John D. Parker, Prosecuting Attorney.”

Thus began the civil government of Morgan County.   County Clerk  Bond was then instructed to issue notices to the above named individuals of their appointments and require them to meet with Probate Judge Peterson at his office in Weber City on Monday February 17th 1862.  At this meeting the new officials were to hold court with the intent to transact such business as necessary to complete the full organization of Morgan County. 

At the February meeting the oath-of-office was administered to the newly appointed officials.   At this time  the following individuals were also appointed to complete the county administrators:  

James Bond, County Recorder; John D. Parker, Assessor and Collector; Arvin M. Stoddard, County Surveyor; Thomas S. Johnson, Sheriff; Isaac Bowman, Treasurer; Philemon C. Merrill, School Commissioner.  Jas Bond, John D. Parker and Thomas Welsh were appointed inspectors of Common Schools.

The county was then divided into four precincts, which would also serve as the county’s four school districts.   Mountain Green, Weber City, Thurston and Kanyon Creek.  Each precinct was then appointed a Justice of the Peace, Constable and Fence Viewers.  It wasn’t until the March meeting at Weber City (Peterson) was selected as the County Seat.  

Through the years the precincts and  their boundaries have changed, along with those of the school districts.  The county court continued to be governed by the Probate Judge and three Selectmen until statehood in 1896.   It was at this time the state legislature passed an act creating a three-member  county commissioner form of government to establish uniformity throughout the state.   Morgan continued to be governed by three elected commissioners until  May 1999  when a new seven-member county council was established following an unsettled two-year struggle filled with petitions, debates and finally an  election. 

The Morgan County Historical Society and Friends of the Society have created a couple of special items to  commemorate the great milestone.  First a 150 year collector’s pin has been created.   It costs $5 and can be purchased at the office of the society located in the county library, or from any of its eight members of the Board of Trustees.  Also, the first published history of Morgan County,  “Pioneering Morgan County,” written by Mary Chadwick has been reprinted.  This popular book was published in 1947 .  It is also available at the office at a price of $12.   It is from the information in this book that all later county histories were generated.

Anyone who has information to share about Mrs. Chadwick, or photographs of this remarkable lady, please contact the office at 801-829-6713.  We would like to compile a history of this great woman.