I always loved the Fall. I loved the colors of the changing leaves and the start of a new school year. Not to mention, the fun of Halloween! I bet many kids today feel the same way. Thinking about them and thinking about Yalecrest’s past… thought I’d share my 2 favorite stories relating to Uintah Elementary School.
The 1st story takes place in the earliest days of Uintah. Remember, this was back when the school’s eastern boundary extended all the way to the Wasatch Mountains. Children often reported seeing a coyote as they walked to school. And sometimes the kids and teachers would gather for a little coyote watching before getting down to business.
The 2nd story comes from Ray H. Barton, Jr. Ray attended Uintah from 1923-1929. His story can be found in a booklet titled “Uintah Memories, A Retrospective View of Uintah Elementary School, 1915-1993.” In Ray’s words:
I was caught jumping out the first story window at lunch break in the 5th grade and was sent to see the principal by Miss Kelly, my teacher. We were all scared of Mr Kesler. He was tall and had a booming voice. So I went to see him shaking in my boots.
He said, “Come in,” when I knocked and asked what I was there for. I told him and he said, “I don’t think that was so bad. Sit down and let’s talk for a few minutes.” He was nice and then sent me back in a few minutes to my room. I was grateful to him.
Years later, after graduating from Temple Medical School in Philadelphia, I returned to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake to intern. One day I was asked to assist on a surgery. The surgeon asked me, as we made the incision, to check the tissues and tell him how old I thought this man was. I couldn’t see anything but the incision because he was draped. I didn’t know who it was. The doctor was trying to make the point that this patient had taken care of himself and was lean and wiry. I guessed about 45 to 50. He said to my astonishment, “He is 70 years old.”
Being curious, after surgery I went up to his room to see him. To my surprise it was Mr Kesler, my old principal. I introduced myself and then told him the above happening when in school. He was glad to see me and shook my hand and said, “Well, Ray, I’m glad I was nice to you at that time. Things have a way of paying off.” We remained close friends until the end of his life.
Can you spot Mr Kesler, the principal, in this photo?
- Copyright for the coyote images belongs to the Uintah County Library. Copyright for Uintah School photo belongs to the Utah State Historical Society.
- “Uintah Memories” was compiled by the Uintah PTA. Lucile Anderson (PTA Historian) and Karamea Edwards did a lot of work on it. Writing credit also goes to the school principal at the time, Julia Miller.
- Fred Keeler was Uintah’s principal for its first year. After that, A. B. Kesler was the principal from 1916-1934.
- 1917 Uintah School photo: 1st row: James Hurd, Irene Kimball, Ira Konold, Alice Edgeheill, Aquilla Merrill, Alice Christensen, Raphael Stokes. 2nd row: Clyde Rose, Frank Goeltz, Marcel Mansuy, Edith Gray, Melvin Wagstaff, Martha Irvine, Hazel Westergreen, Ellen Bessendorfer, Glen Davidson, Myrtle Herman. 3rd row: Rosalia Scribante, Olof Scott, Erma Wetzell, Clyde Watson, Vera Jensen, Fay Leaker, Hazel Grow, Joseph Gumbmann. Top row: A. B. Kesler, Edith E. Kendell.