Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 24, 2020
In 1920, Tooele hosts Community Christmas Tree celebration

The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has published Tooele County news since 1894. Here is a flashback of local front-page news from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago that occurred during the fourth week of December.

Dec. 26-28, 1995

Two Grantsville girls brightened the Christmas season for 86-year-old Manuel Mondragon by returning his lost wallet with $715 cash inside.

Heather Jones, 12, and Emily Hathaway, 14, said their Christmas was merrier because they did the right thing.

“Emily and I were on our way to catch the school bus on Dec. 15 when I stopped to tie my shoe,” Heather explained. “It was about 7:30 in the morning, As I bent over, I saw the wallet.”

Mr. Mondragon said the season would have been absolutely bleak for him if Heather and Emily had not returned his lost wallet — and the $415 cash it contained.

Later in the week, an Orem woman on her way home from Wendover on Christmas was forced off the freeway by two cars and robbed at gunpoint of almost $7,000 in gambling winnings.

The robbery occurred on Interstate 80 at milepost 65, according to Tooele County Sheriff Frank Scharmann. He said the woman had been playing 21 at the Red Garter Casino in Wendover, Nevada and reportedly won $6,900 at the blackjack table.

Dec. 22-25, 1970

Statistics showed an increase of 16.7% in the number of white collar jobs in Tooele County from 1960 to 1970, according to the Department of Commerce. This was in line with the growing demand for clerical, management, professional, technical and sales personnel.

Of the 5,425 men and women employed in 1960, 1,900 were in white collar jobs. The rest were in blue collar or service occupations or were employed on farms. 

Friday’s front page featured an update on “Operation Progress,” the Tooele downtown renovation committee. Tooele City Council and Operation Progress approved  a contract for a preliminary design study for the redevelopment of the city’s downtown business district.

The contract was awarded to Environment West, a Provo based design firm headed by Milo Baughman, a prominent national figure in the field of contemporary design.

Prior to 1969, Mr. Baughman’s companies were located in New York and Massachusetts.

Dec. 25-28 , 1945

Running their auto into the side of a freight train on the Grantsville-Tooele Union Pacific Railroad crossing northwest of Tooele City Saturday at 10:30 p.m. caused painful injury to three persons and demolished the auto.

Julian Barrus, age 45, suffered a skull fracture, his wife was painfully cut and bruised, including a broken finger, and Warren Moffit, age 45, a passenger in the car, suffered a severe scalp injury.

A few moments after the wreck a Streamliner passed by and missed striking the wrecked car again.

Later in the week, 1,400 children enjoyed the Elks Christmas party at the Gillette Theatres. 

The party included a visit from Santa Claus, gifts of candy, nuts, oranges and special prizes, with a free picture show.

Dec. 24, 1920

Plans were all complete for the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree in Tooele at the South Ward grounds on Dec. 24.

A short and spicy program would be rendered followed by the distribution of a good-sized sock filled with candy, nuts, an apple and an orange by Santa Claus to all children under 15 years of age. 

Parents are urged to bring their children and turn out to make this a real community affair.

Children who are not able to attend are requested to phone their names into The Transcript, Phone No. 59, and their share from the tree will be taken to them.

Correspondent Mark Watson compiled this report.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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