Deweyville History


Deweyville

On March 14, 1864, John C. Dewey left Calls Fort and settled at Empey Springs.  This site had been purchased from William Empey.  Empey's Springs became known as Dewey's Springs.  From 1864 until 1868 only three families had joined the Dewey's: John P. Barnard, John Allen, and Elizabeth Lasley came from Calls Fort.

In the spring of 1868 other settlers came to take up land including Benjamin Gardner from Ogden, John Memory from Willard, Henry Marble and Milo V. Gardner from Brigham City.  They all built log houses in somewhat close proximity and laid the foundation of another community.  Jude Levi Dewey was the first white child born in the community.  William Walker Howard came to Dewey's Springs in 1865, while the Germers, Fryers, Beetons, and Childs family moved to the locality in 1869.

John C. Dewey was presiding elder and general director of all community activities including the erection of a school house in 1869 and the organization of a dramatic company.  A Sunday School was organized in 1872, with William H. Howard serving as superintendent.  The school house served as a recreation center, and Jude Wells and William McCrary played their violins for the dances which formed the chief source of amusement.

Everyone worked together as illustrated by the joint enclosure called  "the fence".  This was built of stakes and willows woven together to a height  of four feet, with a deep ditch dug on the outside.  The first wire fence was built during 1870 by Ozro Eastman.  This fence was made of smooth wire threaded through holes bored in the posts with a 3/8 inch bit.

In 1873-74 Deweyville was a railroad stop on the Utah Northern Railroad.  No station house was built, however, until the Oregon Short Line Company took over the Utah Northern Line and made it a standard gauge.  The first post office was established September 29, 1873, with John C. Dewey as the Postmaster.  Until 1901, when the Malad Valley Railroad was built, Deweyville was the shipping point of the entire Bear River Valley.  This, together with the building of the Bothwell and Hammond Canals, caused a boom during which a number of business houses were established in Deweyville.  They included saloons, brewing plant, two boarding houses, and a barber shop.  J.B. McMaster and J.H. Forsgren established a lumber and hardware business, and merchandise businesses were run by Nathaniel Marble and Henry Marble.  An LDS Ward was organized on August 19, 1877, with John C. Dewey as Bishop and Orville Childs and Anson C. Loveland as counselors.

On March 7, 1939 Deweyville was granted a Town Charter by the Box Elder County Commission.  A water system was installed in 1941, one of the last PWA projects completed in Utah.