Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

MARYSVALE (UTAH)

Agency History #622

CREATION

Marysvale is located at the bottom of a narrow ravine on U.S. Highway 89 as it passes through Piute County. The spot was first noted in 1848 when an exploration party led by Parley Pratt camped there for the night and reported it to be a "Merry Vale." The first settlers arrived in 1864, and by the following year sixteen families had moved there with the intent to settle and farm. In 1866 troubles incident to the Black Hawk War forced all settlers to evacuate the area. Mining activity brought both prospectors and settlers back to Marysvale in 1868, and in 1913 the town was incorporated in order to provide a government to manage community affairs.

FUNCTIONS

Utah municipal governments perform numerous functions, including the maintaining of law and order, guarding public health and sanitation, managing public services and promoting community development. Marysvale town government has focused much energy on maintaining a municipal water system. The community updated or rebuilt this water system in 1956 and 1975. The Marysvale town board has also provided fire protection. The board installed a siren in 1943 and later installed fire hydrants and purchased a fire truck. The town board organized a volunteer fire department in the 1950s. Other community improvement projects include street maintenance and the installation of curbs, gutters and street lights. The board has maintained a city dump for residents to deposit trash, and has organized community cleanup efforts.

The Marysvale town government has played a particularly active role in supporting the development of the community's youth and in providing for community recreational activities. The board has maintained various public facilities such as a park, dance hall, and race track. The town board has sponsored Little League and Pony League baseball, sponsored a man power program, organized fund raisers, and financially supported many community activities. The town board has supported or sponsored numerous holiday celebrations such as Easter, July 4th, July 24th, and Christmas. Traditionally, the town has been appropriately decorated for each Christmas season and the board has sponsored decorating contests and arranged for Santa Claus to visit every family with a gift of candy.

The town board voted not to participate in zoning and community planning programs (1968). However, the town board has been active in managing zoning related issues such as issuing building permits and monitoring subdivision development.

ADMINISTRATION

A town board president (or mayor) and four trustees provide leadership for Marysvale. The town board president, who is elected by general municipal election, is the chief executive officer. He presides over town board meetings and supervises all other city officers. He signs all city ordinances and official contracts on behalf of the city. The town board functions as a legislative governing body for the community and is responsible for all aspects of community management, such as appointing officials and setting their salaries, levying taxes, establishing a budget, maintaining public services and utilities, and regulating activity within the community.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The town board appoints a number of town officers and defines their responsibilities. By 1943 officers appointed by the Marysvale town board included a town clerk, a town treasurer and a town marshal. Town marshal was a full time paid position, and his responsibilities included collecting water bills, maintaining the water system, policing water usage, and in addition, collecting dog taxes, caring for the cemetery, being a health officer, and managing stray animals. The town board had so much difficulty retaining a marshal that they later divided these responsibilities. In 1947 the Marysvale town board appointed a superintendent of water works, a superintendent of the park, and a supervisor of streets. The town board appointed a town traffic marshal in 1954 (discontinued in 1956). In 1975 the offices of marshal and water master were combined again, and the town board appointed a fire chief in 1980.

TOWN BOARD PRESIDENTS (MAYORS)
J.E. Oscarson 1943-1945
George J. Brox 1946-1953
John P. Fullmer 1954
Edward A. Hansen 1955-1961
Marion Ackerman 1962-1973
Pratt Seegmiller 1974
Walter Kennedy 1975
Brent O. Gottfredson 1976
Wayne G. James 1977-1981
Ken Wilson 1981-1985
Don Julander 1986-1989
Ronald Bushman 1990-1997
Gary James 1998-

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , January 2002

SOURCES

Bennett, Cindy Larson. Dots on the Map: A Traveler's History of All the Towns in Utah, (unpublished) Cindy Larson, 1163 Lake Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105.

Marysvale (Utah). Town board minutes, Utah State Archives, (Series 23949 ).

Newell, Linda King, A History of Piute County. Utah State Historical Society; Piute County Commission (Salt Lake City: 1999).