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Harper Ward History


Harper Ward

The section lying between the northern boundary line of Brigham City and the southern boundary line of Honeyville has been known at various times Calls Fort, the North String, North Ward, and Harper.  Main street is about 8 miles long prompting the remark that “it is the longest church block in the state of Utah.”

 

Lewis N. Boothe, in a short sketch of Brigham City, said that before 1853 the following families had farms in this section, and he named them in order going north from the Lucius Snow Farm:  Joseph Clapper, William Lewis, William Morgan, Taylor Jones, David Powell, John Thomas, John Gibbs, Benjamin Philips, William C. Thomas, Capt. Thomas, John Jones, Henry Boothe, and Joseph Grover.

 

John Gibbs was the first to establish a homestead about four miles north of Brigham City.  He and George Foster built a little shanty of rocks in the spring of 1852 and made a few other improvements, but they moved to Brigham that winter.  In the spring of 1853 they plowed and planted more ground, and other families moved their implements and belongings into rough log houses.  These small homesteads survived the winter of 1853-1854, making it the first permanent settlement north of Brigham City.

 

In 1854 the families were joined by Anson Call of Bountiful who built a home and blacksmith shop, surrounding it with a wall eight feet high and three feet wide as a protection against the Indians.  The frost enclosed a tract of land 120 feet square.  The following year, in 1855, Thomas Harper and Chester Loveland arrived, and in 1861 the settlement was strengthened by the arrival of James Mann, George Whitworth, Joseph Orme, Jude Allen, John C. Dewey, Thomas Baty, Richard Baty, and John P. Barnard.

 

In 1862 a schoolhouse was built, and by 1871 two rock schoolhouses were built in the Calls Fort Precinct.  The North School was known as Calls Fort.  The South school was known as Lake Side.  The Calls Fort Schoolhouse (also known as the North School) measured 22x44 feet.  The Lake Side school measured 22x36 feet.  Each Sunday, a Sunday School was held in each school building.  Sacrament meetings were held alternately in each school house until 1892 when a rock church building was constructed.  An L.D.S. branch was organized in 1862, with Chester Loveland as Presiding Elder.  He was followed by James May, Sr. and Thomas Harper.  On August 19, 1877 the ward was organized and Thomas Harper was called to serve as Bishop.  Bishops who followed him were: Thomas Yates, Thaddeous Wight, Henry Yates, Emery Wight, Joseph Yates, Paul Hunsaker, Elbert R. Beecher, and Jack N. Webster.  Bishop Webster was the last Bishop to serve in the original rock building.  The building was sold in 1977, and the Ward moved to the Honeyville building.  A few years later, with some boundary changes, the Ward moved to the Brigham City Utah North Stake Center in Brigham City.  Clark Siddoway, Jerry Wilde, and T. Brent Price served as Bishops there.

 

The area continues to grow.  In the spring and summer of 1995, a water line was laid from Brigham City to the Honeyville City limits to serve the area.