One of the first questions people wonder about when they hear the name "Dingle", is 'Where does that quaint name come from?' When you tell them it comes from a cow bell, that just adds to the mystery.
Brigham Young is credited with assigning the appellation. Both he and Charles C. Rich were visiting the settlement and were camping in what was then called "Oakey's Grove". The grove consisted of lots of huge cottonwood trees, many of them over four feet in diameter. The last vestiges of the grove can be seen in the vicinity of the Joy Alleman, Ben Thornal and Florence Ream homes. The grass was green, the weather was pleasant, the evening was quiet, and cows were grazing nearby. The bell around one cow's neck made a soft dingle dingle dingle sound as she grazed. Brother Brigham, somewhat amused, suggested, "Let's call this dell Dingle." The name stuck, including the dell part and it was thence known as Dingle Dell.
When the people petitioned for a post office, the postal authority pointed out that the names Dingle and Dell are redundant. Both mean small wooded valley. One of the names had to go. Dell lost out and Dingle remains to this day.
The title of "First Settler" has to go to a man by the name of Thomas Long Smith. He was a colorful character. Around about 1827, he had been shot in the leg on one of his escapades and the leg later became gangrenous. Abandoned by his companions, he knew what he must do to survive. He took a butcher knife and filed teeth in it to make a saw. Using that saw, he cut the bone of his own leg to save his life. He carved a stick for a leg and was thence known as "Peg Leg Smith." He even fashioned a special stirrup on his saddle to receive the peg leg. He was also known to have used the wooden leg as a club in brawls.
Sometime during the early 1840’s he came
He operated a trading post on what was then
Before he left the valley, rumor has it that he buried his ‘favorite’ wife, Mountain Fawn, sister to chief Walkara in the mountains east of the lake along with items of food and wealth. She was buried standing so she could see the lake forever. Also buried were two horses, food and clothing, loot from Spanish raids and foofaraw he had given her over the years, and two saddlebags of gold and coin. Then the huge hole was rocked up and remains to this day.
Incidentally, there was a schoolteacher in Dingle that had a wooden “peg” leg. He was very strict and intimidating, but not to be confused with Peg Leg Smith.
The first names of the area included
The first settlers here were William L. Lee and Thomas Rich who took up claims in 1871. The following year, John Grimmet began summer pasturing cattle. The first permanent family came in 1873. They were Mary Oakey and her sons Alfred and Hyrum and daughter Sarah. Sampson Nate and Alfred Sparks brought their families in 1875. William Quayle and Joseph Lewis came in 1876. Other families that soon followed were Boyd Wilcox, Christian Merkley, Alfred Dorney, Christian Selk, Felix Barnabee, Harry Cheeles, Chester Southworth, William D. Ream, David Follick, James P. Nowland, Joe LaRocco, George Bird, the Hogensens, Andrew Larsen, George H. Cook, Hank Cook, Moroni Dayton, John Berrey and Eli Bennett.
W. W. Ream, who was born in 1886, recalls
when hundreds of Indians camped in Oakey's grove as
they traveled between Fort Hall and a reservation in
Dayton had a charcoal pit near the old grove.
He made charcoal of the trees and freighted it to sell as far as
baby was the first person interred in the
William Passey was appointed as presiding
elder of Dingle Dell Branch of Paris First Ward on
Alfred D. Oakey views log building that housed first church in Dingle, and also served as school.
Up to this time the people settling in
Dingle belonged to the
In the early days frosts came a little early
so that wheat was not a good crop. Most
of it got frozen and the bread made from frosted wheat was black and
sticky. Oats and barley made better
crops. Oxen and later horses pulled hand
plows. Sowing was done by scattering the
seed by hand and brushing it in the ground with a drag made from a bunch of
The people found that by irrigation they could grow small grains successfully. Alfalfa hay was planted too. Among the canals constructed were Dingle Irrigation, Ream-Grimmett (now Ream-Crockett), Peg Leg, and Black Otter.
In the early days there used to be lots of water--in fact the north part of Dingle was an island. A boat was used to get from one side of town to the other. An Indian boy whose name was Alma Morris, but always called StuJoe, lived with the Quayle family and rowed people from one side of town to the other.
With crops came the necessity of fencing. One large field of several thousand acres southeast of the town was fenced. Each family had its grain field. After the crops were harvested it was pastured in common; until a few people turned in so many cattle that those with large fields and few cattle became discontented and began to fence off their holdings.
In the early days of Dingle doctors were
scarce. People depended on home remedies
and faith. When Jane Sparks, wife of
Alfred Sparks, came to Dingle in 1876 she saw the need of medical help. In April 1883 she went to
For twenty five years Dingle grew steadily
and rapidly until it gained a population of around three hundred. In 1890 the church was settling the Cardston Canada area and began encouraging members to move
there. Many of the people of Dingle
went. At one time there were more than
thirty empty houses. A few returned from
The town was at a standstill for a number of years. People became familiar with dry farming and it was found that wheat could be raised successfully on the upland, and a new era of homesteading began. It wasn't until about 1914 that most of the range land was homesteaded.
One of the national political issues facing the country between 1850 and 1920 was the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In the 1890s several ladies from Dingle were active in the movement. Among them were Nora Ream and Sarah Sirrine. Nora was the leader in Dingle and held many of the meetings at her house.
In the early days Dingle was divided into
two factions. It remained so for many
years. There were two schools in the
town at one time. One on Peg Leg Island
was called the "
About 1892 Quayles
and others built a large building 40 feet wide by 60 feet long and two stories
high. It was called "The Hall"
and was built in a willow patch on the "
An artist’s conception of the Old Hall
The town finally united the schools and they
were held in this building. People
became dissatisfied with its location.
About 1907 they built a two story brick, four
room schoolhouse located three-fourths of a mile south of the Hall. The schoolhouse was more nearly in the center
of town. That building has been used
ever since. The number of pupils
attending school increased and decreased, as did the town population. Most of the time four teachers were employed
and each taught two grades. Later on,
two teachers taught four grades each. In
the fall of 1966, the county began bussing students to the schools in
The mercantile business in Dingle has had its ups and downs. It has never received the full support of the town, so business has always been poor. It seems that the first store was run by Boyd Wilcox in a building owned by William Quayle. Then Joseph Lewis ran it from 1877 to 1900 when Lewis built his own store building. Quayles then opened their store themselves and for a while we had two stores. That was bad in a place that would not support one, and resulted in both going out of business. Lewis sold to Frank Smedley in 1901. A few years later an old time Dingle resident, Albert Bird, returned to Dingle and thought he saw good prospects for a general store. So he put up a good building on the corner of the Dingle-Paris road. He stocked it well and did a good business for a time. However, it did not fulfill his expectations so he sold to Frank Smedley, who sold to the Nates in 1932. The stock was reduced to what the town would buy. It has been operated by Milton Nate, Clifford Skinner, and Pete Gould since that time. Today the building serves as the Post Office.
In the early days "Billy" Phillips had a blacksmith shop northeast of the present Dingle Store. It seems he did a pretty good business for a few years, but for some reason he pulled up and left in about 1890.
There has always been some dairying, first with common cattle, and in later years dairy breeds have been predominant. Chet Southworth had a cheese factory east of the fields in the early days.
Dingle had a brass band as early as 1890. They played all over the valley. Hyrum Oakey was the leader. Joe LaRocco played the fiddle for all the dances. He was a real musician who loved to play and he did it free. Moroni Dayton was a really good dancer and led all the step dances. Later, Helen Charlotte Wilcox (Grant's sister) had a special gift of music, and she played piano and organ with her uncles Elmo, Theodore, and Ollie Dayton for dances.
Dingle Brass Band, Thomas Fork, 1895
Front Row: Jim Ream, Perry Nowland.
Second Row: Lou Dayton, Minnie George, Nell Quayle, Sadie George, Bessie Quayle, Nettie Humburg, Amelia Lewis, Mettie Wilcox, Etta Bird.
Back Row: Hyrum Dayton, Charlie Nate, Lester George, John Sparks, Will Dayton, Fred Oakey, Jack Bennett, Sam Humphreys, Elmo Dayton, Bill George, George Dayton, Oliver Dayton, Hyrum Oakey.
Chet Southworth was a dramatist. He organized a group of players and presented plays in Dingle and other towns in the valley. His daughter Agnes was an outstanding actress. All this entertainment was done without any pay.
About 1900 the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a depot at Dingle and put in a full time agent. The people of the town did not support the depot, so after about five years they took the agent away. Later they put the agent back for several years, but still no support. They then closed it down and later removed it to save taxes.
From 1908 to 1910 Grant Wilcox had a little barbershop just north of the Dingle Store. But again there was not enough business to justify running it full time so he closed shop. George Sparks had a small butcher shop south of the store for some time.
The telephone came to Dingle in 1903 and has been well supported ever since. For some time there were only two lines to Dingle. (The rings were very complicated. W.W. Ream phone had five short rings. There was some eavesdropping and it was difficult to keep secrets). Electricity came about 1928.
Power Company, which later became Utah Power and Light Company, began the Bear
Lake Project here for the Utah Idaho Sugar Company. These operations lasted over a period of ten
years and culminated in two canals from
In 1930 the total population of Dingle was 317. 273 were members of the Dingle Ward. 73 were children. Dingle has always been predominately Mormon. There has never been enough people of other faiths to justify a building or an organization.
When the mining operations began in the
area, Dingle was on its way to a bigger and better town. Phosphate mines in Leaf,
Many men worked for the Oregon Short Line
Railroad (now the Union Pacific). Others
found good employment in
A frame church was built in 1891. In 1910 a recreation hall was added onto it. In 1947 plans were made for a red sandstone building, with stone quarried from the Pine Springs country--the mountains southeast of Dingle. A beautiful chapel was completed and dedicated on March 9, 1953. In 1956 a part of the area north of Dingle known as Wardboro was annexed to the Dingle Ward.
History of the Dingle Ward
The first families attended meetings in
On-June llth 1882, the Dingle Dell Branch was organized as the Cotton Wood Branch (Ward) with Samuel Allen Wilcox as Bishop, Sampson Nate as lst Counselor and John Berrey as 2nd Counselor. Francis M. Lyman set the Bishop apart.
In 1886 on June 10th, Counselor Berrey passed away.
Bishop Wilcox moved away in the Spring of 1886
after which Counselor Nate took temporary charge of the Ward until later in the
year when Samuel Humphreys was chosen as Bishop and at the request of the
people had the name of the ward changed from
In 1891, a new meeting house was commenced. It was a frame building 28 by 50 feet. It was finished at a cost of about $3,000. Later in about 1910 an addition was built on the south side, 40 by 60 feet. This addition was used as the recreation hall. The entire building was used until 1947, when it was torn down. It was built across the street from what was then the Dingle store, now the Post Office on the site where Kelly and Justin Skinner live.
The second church in Dingle
This picture was taken after the
addition. There was a population of 300
people and the Community was the 5th largest settlement in all of the
After 28 years, Bishop Humphreys was
released as Bishop in 1914, when J. Warren Sirrine
was ordained as Bishop. He served until
1917, at which time Edwin C. Cook was appointed in his place. After two or three years, J. Warren Sirrine was again appointed as Bishop and he served until
1929. During the years between 1929 and 1942, Hyrum Oakey,
J. Clarence Lindsay and Samuel G. Humphreys each served as Bishop of the Dingle
The ground where the present chapel is was purchased in 1936, by Bishop Clarence Lindsay. In 1947, as soon as World War II was over, the chapel was torn down and plans for the new building were drawn up.
The work for the new site began on
We started using the new building in
February of 1951. It had been
constructed at a cost of $65,000. The
rock that was put on the outside, was got out of the
Ream Rock Quarry. It was dedicated on
In November, 1952 William H. Lindsay was released as Bishop with his Counselors, Joseph Thurber and Calvert T. Lewis, and Ward Clerk, Clifford J. Skinner.
Clifford J. Skinner was sustained as Bishop with Calvert T. Lewis as lst Counselor, Harold Lindsay as 2nd Counselor and Bernard Sparks as Ward Clerk.
In February, 1956 the Wardboro
Ward was dissolved and 86 of the members who lived South
of the railroad tracks and East of Bishop Truman Rigby's place were assigned to
the Dingle Ward. The remaining members
went to the
It became necessary to release Brother Harold Lindsay as a member of the Bishopric, as he was called into the High Council of the Montpelier Stake. Bernard Sparks was also released as the Ward Clerk. At this time, Darrell O. Keetch a former member of the Wardboro Ward was sustained as 2nd Counselor to Bishop Skinner. Alfred D. Oakey was Ward Clerk and Udell Nate was Financial Clerk.
With the addition of the new members from
the Wardboro Ward, the need of classrooms became a
necessity. A planning committee was
appointed and a "Kick off Party" was held on April llth, 1963. This was
followed by a party each month, planned and sponsored by one of' the auxiliary
organizations or Priesthood group. By
the time sufficient funds were raised to start building, the church had changed
its building policy and all church buildings had to be put out on bids. Purser
and Larsen of Ogden submitted the lowest bid and was
awarded the contract. However, the ward
was given the opportunity of doing some of the work. It was decided that the plumbing, excavating,
getting out the rock and preparing it for laying, could be done by the
members. They could also remove the rock
from the building where the new part was to be joined on. The work began on
The new addition was able to be used on
With the growing population of Dingle, we didn't
have enough class rooms to take care of everybody so we had to build on
again. We had to pack
everything...books, pictures and etc. all out of the library and store them in
the Junior Sunday School rooms, along with all dishes and everything from the
kitchen, while they remodeled. We had to
attend all our meetings at
These next two pictures came out of the 50 year time capsule from the Montpelier Tabernacle. The first is what was then the Senior Sunday School and the second is the Sunday School officers and teachers.
Front Row, Left to Right: Wesley Ream, Mary S. Ream, J. Clarence Lindsay, Mona Lindsay, Bruce Arnell, Hyrum Oakey, William H. Lindsay Jr., Joseph Thurber, Calvert Lewis, Roy Bird, Natalea Bird
Second Row: Charles Sorenson, Millie Sorenson, Mary Dorney, Lee Dorney, Wanda Oakey, JoAn Sparks, Oscar Arnell, Alfred D. Oakey, Jean Oakey, May Lindsay, Helen C. Sparks, Marcie Sparks, Leona Arnell, Agnes Lewis.
Third Row: Phebe Thurber, Aida Oakey, James Oakey, LaVar Bateman, Helen R. Bateman, Arvilla D. Sirrine, J. Warren Sirrine, Patricia Koeven, Donnetta Dayton, LaMar Dixon, Calla Lewis, Thomas G. Lewis, Odella Nate.
Fourth Row: Udell Nate, Gladys Nate, Ted Crane, Ellen Lindsay, Frank Koeven, Maureen Lewis, Dale Ream, Audrey Sparks, Ross Thurber, Betty Ruth Nield, Willard Lindsay, Joe Jensen, Donna Nate, Jean Ream.
Front Row: Aida Oakey, Willard Lindsay, Donnetta Dayton, Donna Nate, JoAn Sparks, S. Oscar Arnell, Alfred Oakey, Audrey Sparks.
Back Row: Phebe Thurber, Maureen Lewis, Ellen Lindsay, J. Warren Sirrine, Jean Ream, Ross Thurber, Calvert Lewis, May Lindsay, Calla Lewis.
Last Wednesday, the people of Wardboro celebrated the practical completion of their new
$4500 meeting house with a social and dinner during the day and dance at
night. President Shepherd and other
stake officers were in attendance from
The Wardboro church
Dancing began early in the evening and continued until about The meeting house will be formally dedicated in a few weeks.
(News Examiner 10 Nov 1910)
On Highway 30N, less than three miles south
Although succulent grasses enticed Nathaniel
and Moroni Green to pasture their stock in the area
as early as 1865, Preston Thomas is credited, with being the first permanent
settler in Wardboro.
He too, was enticed by the good grazing and by the Prospects of an
irrigation system. Mr. Thomas was the
first to take water out of
the other first settlers were Hyrum Smith, Charles Stevens, Dave and Edgar
Osborne, William Heep and Orson and Harrison Dalrymple and the names of Dimick,
Langford and Stewart, soon became prominent.
By 1865, the town had received the name of
The community suffered its first death early in its existence when the young daughter of William Heep became lost in a violent blizzard. Although a feverish search took place the young, girl was frozen to death when found.
Wilcox and Eunice Dalrymple were issued, the first
marriage license on
A branch of the L.D.S. church was established in the community in 1868 and the Dalrymple name dominated many of the church offices. Oscar Dalrymple was the first Y.M.M.I.A. president, Edgar Dalrymple was the first Sunday School Superintendent and Eliza Dalrymple served as the first Primary president.
August 1877, the
By 1885 such confusion existed between the mail deliveries to the two Prestons of Idaho that the postal service demanded a change in name. (Zip codes weren’t in use then) The Bear Lake Preston was the younger of the two towns, so it was requested to change its name.
factors determined the name of Wardboro. The first postmaster of the community was
Milton Ward. Some believe it was named
after him. Others say that the name came
from the former home-town of Oscar Dalrymple,
1891, population had increased and it was decided to reopen the Wardboro Ward.
Charles G. Keetch of
the spring of, 1909, a new church was begun.
On a lot purchased from John H. Stewart, a beautiful brick chapel of 40
feet by 60 feet was erected. The brick
were shipped from
1887, an ice jam on
the spring, during the early years, a lake of water separated the east from
west side of the valley. A rowboat from Wardboro to
In 1917, John A. Berrey succeeded John George Haddock as Bishop. About the same time, the Utah-Idaho Sugar company persuaded area farmers to try raising sugar beets in the area and a spur line was built to receive the crops. After several years, the project was abandoned because of the seasons. As one crusty old rancher put it, "if I'm going to freeze to death, I prefer doing it in the saddle, wrangling cattle, rather than digging sugar beets out of the snow."
One of the first school teachers in the area was Rose Webster.
February, 1943, Parley O. Buhler became bishop.
He followed Bishop Berrey who served in the
bishopric of his ward for 42 years. At
that time Pegram was also incorporated in the
ward. A new meeting house was dedicated
Truman W. Rigby succeeded Parley O. Buhler as bishop, following him was David Jensen, the last bishop of the ward before it was dissolved on February 26, 1956.(News Examiner 26 Sep 1963)
A history of Dingle,
Should Dingle have a Jingle? Salt
4. Treasured Tidbits of Time, Pat Wilde, 1977
5. Some Dingle History researched by Vera Nate, 1991