Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

PARAGONAH (UTAH)

Agency History #758

CREATION

Paragonah is located four miles north of Parowan, the first permanent settlement in southern Utah. Parowan settlers discovered large meadows next to Red Creek and determined this to be an ideal location for agriculture. At first they cleared and cultivated the land while living in Parowan and traveling to and from. However, prosperous harvests encouraged relocation. By 1852 at least seven Parowan families had relocated in Paragonah. Early settlers called the new settlement Red Creek. Piute Indians gave this place the name 'Paragoonah' because they found water there. Paragonah became an incorporated community 3 April 1916.

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. Paragonah adopted ordinances defining these functions shortly after the town became incorporated in 1916. In keeping with the town's still current goal of maintaining a rural agricultural lifestyle, Paragonah has maintained a stable population of between 300 and 500 for many years. Paragonah ordinances have maintained lot sizes to accommodate animals and have restricted businesses not in harmony with rural agriculture. In the early 1920s Paragonah installed an electric power plant, and since that time the town has operated its own municipal power company. The town government has put considerable effort into this endeavor. Paragonah installed a new culinary water system in 1968, contracted for garbage pick up in 1974, and established a fire department in 1989.

ADMINISTRATION

A town president (mayor) and a board of four trustees preside over the municipal government of Paragonah. These officials are chosen by municipal election. As chief executive, the town board president presides at town board meetings and signs all ordinances or other official community documents. The town board 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. Originally these officers included: a town clerk, who is responsible for recording proceedings of board meetings and for publishing ordinances and keeping all records in possession of the town; a treasurer, who manages town finances; a marshal, who is charged to arrest law breakers; an attorney, who provides legal advice for the town; a justice of the peace, who enforces town ordinances; a sexton, who has charge and control over the Paragonah cemetery; a supervisor of streets, who oversees the maintenance of all streets, sidewalks, bridges and culverts; a pound keeper, who takes stray animals into custody while seeking their rightful owners; a board of health, which supervises all matters relating to sanitation; and a surveyor, who determines appropriate lines for streets, town boundaries and the boundaries of individual lots. In addition to these original officers, the town board later added a fire department chief to supervise the fire department, a water department superintendent to manage the town water system, and a plumbing inspector to issue plumbing permits. The town board also created several adjunct boards or committees of five members each. These included a planning commission and board of adjustments with powers as authorized by state law, and a power department to control and supervise municipal electric utility service.

PRESIDENTS
William P. Barton 1916-1921
Thomas W. Jones 1922-1923
Thomas A. Topham 1924-1925
D.A. Lamoreaux 1926-1927
D. Amasa Stones 1930-1931
H. E. Dunton 1932-1933
Samuel Abbott 1934-1937
T.A. Robinson 1938-1939
H. E. Dunton 1942-1945
George A. Topham 1946-1947
Samuel Abbott 1948-1949
Alma E. Topham 1950-1953
William S. Boardman 1954-1957
James R. Stones 1958-1961
H. Revere Robinson 1962-1969
Ivan S. Robb 1970-1977
Scott Barton 1978-1980
Howard Topham 1981-1983
Bob Wyatt 1983
Hazel Jean Robinson 1984-1985
Antone Robinson 1986-1993
Jim Kirkpatrick 1994-1995
Constance Robinson 1996-

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cunidff , August 2001

SOURCES

Paragonah (Utah). Codified ordinances, Utah State Archives, (Series 23627).Paragonah (Utah). Planning and zoning committee minutes, Utah State Archives, (Series 23645).Paragonah (Utah). Town board minutes, Utah State Archives, (Series 23626). Seegmiller, Janet Burton, A History of Iron County. Utah State Historical Society; Iron County Commission (Salt Lake City: 1998).