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


Daughters of Utah Pioneers

I visited my mother this past week and forced her to join the D.U.P. with me!  My sister said, “You’re already a daughter of a Utah pioneer.”  I know… but now it’s official and I can wear one of their cool pins!  To be a member, we had to fill out an application and prove that we have at least one ancestor that entered Utah between 1847 and 1868.  I couldn’t decide which ancestor to put on the application.  We joined the “Birch Camp” located in Nephi.  My great-grandmother, Bertha Bowers Bowles, was captain of that camp at one time!

I’m looking forward to getting my first newsletter or whatever communication it is that I will receive to acknowledge my joining the group.  I don’t understand exactly what will be required of me as a member, but looking forward to it all the same.  You can find out all about the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers organization at their website.  You can look for ancestors and which company they were in at the Pioneer Company Search website.  Another fabulous resource is the Mormon Migration database that gives lists of passengers that sailed to America on a variety of ships.

UPDATE… Since writing this post, I have also joined the Utah Society of Mayflower Descendants and the Daughters of the American Revolution!

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