Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 22, 2016
In 1941, World War II’s first county casualties are reported

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 third week of December.

Dec. 17-19, 1991

Tooele City Hall bought nearly $9,000 in plastic irrigation pipe to see if continual use of the former Meredith Sod Farm’s massive underground wells would impact other nearby water sources. The irrigation pipe would be used to irrigate land around the farm. The city bought the farm for $650,000 in July 1990 to tap into its certificated water right of 4,181 acre-feet (1.36 billion gallons) per year and with hope to eventually pipe part of that water to Tooele City.

Utah Downwinders made gains in a lawsuit against Dugway Proving Ground’s testing of live pathogens at Baker Laboratory. The Utah Medical Association filed a friend of the court briefing stating the association agrees with the Downwinder’s suit. UMA represented 3,000 physicians across Utah. Its amicus brief states before any aerosol testing proceeds at Baker, it should first be required to undergo a thorough review by the medical community and citizens of the state of Utah.

Dec. 20-23, 1966

Lawmen from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff’s patrol and the Utah Highway Patrol worked around the clock Sunday and Monday nights manning roadblocks on the county’s main arteries as part of a state-wide manhunt to find the killer or killers of two service station attendants. The nude, frozen body of one of the attendants was found about a half mile south of Timpie Springs on Skull Valley Road. He had been stabbed multiple times. The second body was found off of westbound Interstate 80 three miles west of Wanship, Utah. It too was found naked and stabbed multiple times.

With magical Christmas Eve drawing nigh, Tooeleans  had been scurrying through shops and stores to finish their Christmas shopping. Tooele’s streets had been echoing with Christmas music blaring from loudspeakers at various appliance stores. Stores had been open until 8 p.m. week nights since the holiday season began, and were scheduled to continue to do so until Christmas Eve, at which time they were scheduled to close at 6 p.m. so all employees could enjoy the evening with their families.

Dec. 16-19, 1941

Just a week after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Tooele County’s first casualties became known under the front-page headline: “2 DIE IN WAR ACTION.” Tooele County’s first and only U.S. battleship commander, Capt. Mervyn S. Bennion, “lost his life in the line of duty during the recent Japanese attack…” Bennion was born in Vernon and his early education years were in Tooele County schools. The second casualty was Army Corporal William R. Briggs, who was killed in the Philippine Islands. He was born in Magna, Utah, but graduated from Tooele High School and lived in Tooele City.

The Tooele County Defense Council, at a special meeting Thursday afternoon, made a formal bid to the government for a new 1,000-bed military hospital, which was to be constructed in Utah, according to an announcement by chairman Sol J. Selvin. It was required the new hospital’s location be removed from defense production centers in the state.

Dec. 22, 1916

The front page of the Dec. 22, 1916 edition included a poem by publisher and editor James Dunn that perhaps was in response to ongoing World War I. It was titled “What will next Christmas be?” and read:

What will next Christmas be?

Peace, or war on land and sea;

Or will the Angels sing with glee

As they sang in Galilee,

That sweet heavenly hymn again —

“Peace on Earth — Good will to men!”

Will the widow’s tears be dry,

Will the mateless lover sigh,

Will the hungry have to cry,

“Bread oh, bread! Before I die!”

Or will the tyrants of this world

From their bloody thrones be hurled?

This week’s report compiled by David Bern

David Bern

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
David Bern is editor of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. The 54-year-old journalist began his career with the Transcript-Bulletin as an intern reporter from Utah State University in 1983. He joined the newsroom full time that same year after completing his internship and graduating from USU with a degree in journalism. In 1989 he became editor and served in that capacity for six years. Under his leadership, he guided the newspaper to numerous awards for journalism excellence. After briefly stepping away from the newspaper in 1995, he returned in 1996 to start Transcript Bulletin Publishing’s Corporate and Custom Publishing Division. In that capacity he served as a writer, photographer and editor for 17 years. During that time he created a variety of print and digital communication materials, including brochures, magazines, books and websites. Bern returned to serve as editor of the newspaper in January 2013.

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