Part 1: Nephi’s Pioneer Day

1934 Pioneer DayThe inhabitants of Nephi had a strong Pioneer heritage.  Every year on July 24th they celebrated the settlers of Nephi.  I cannot do justice to the intensity of their celebrations!  So, check out this 1933 Pioneer Day article, which describes in detail the entries for their parade.  These celebrations were typically sponsored by the MIA and supported by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  Nephi took their celebrations seriously.  At left is an invitational article for the celebration that was held in 1934.  The activities appeared to increase every year including baseball, boxing and dancing.  I loved reading the follow-up article listing the winners of the “whiskers” contest among other awards.  My GG-Grandfather, Thomas Bowles’s family won first place among the “handcart” floats!

1934 Blackhawk -charter night (page)The great success of the 1934 Pioneer Day resulted in an immediate desire to hold an even bigger celebration the following year and a committee was formed to invite the Blackhawk Encampment to Nephi for 1935.  (Pioneer veterans had been holding reunions, which came to be known as “Blackhawk Encampments” named after the Black Hawk War.)  Preston L. Jones was selected as President of the Nephi post of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneers and Indian Wars Veterans.  They learned they needed to increase their membership in the group and a couple of drives were held.  Then, a banquet was planned and held (in December 1934) to show off their more than 300 members, making them the largest post in the State of Utah at that time!

The work to attract the Blackhawk Encampment to their town was often headline news (example at right, above) and there were weekly articles detailing all their efforts.  Finally, in February 1935, 40 citizens showed up in Springville along with President P.L. Jones to convince the directors to hold the Blackhawk Encampment in Nephi.   Although up against Cedar City… Nephi was selected for the annual encampment!!

1935 Blackhawk -Nephi selected

 

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