By: Vere McHenry

“My parents were members of the Church when I was young, but they were inactive, and neither I nor my two older brothers had been baptized. I attended Arlington Elementary School which was located on State Street at about 5000 South in Murray, and the Murray First Ward on Vine Street at about 200 East. The parking lot to the rear of the ward bordered the back of the school so it was very convenient for LDS kids to walk over to the church for Primary each Tuesday afternoon after school.

I was confirmed a member of the LDS church by Bishop Alma Crane who was also Principal of Bonnyview Elementary School in Murray. (About sixteen years later our lives crossed again when I succeeded Brother Crane as Principal of that school). A little over three months later, Bishop Crane conferred upon me the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained me a Deacon. The Deacon’s adviser at that time was Jess Casper who was the husband of my cousin, Merle Hobbs. They lived in a basement apartment in the home of her parents, my Uncle Ed and Aunt Irene Hobbs at 487 East Vine Street. We had several quorum socials in that home and had some great times.

We had some great members of our quorum, including my old friends Doug Allen and Bob Born, and my new ones, Glen Tuckett, Carl Erickson, Hal Marsden, and Ken Westover. As I got to know them better in both church and school, my circle of friends changed dramatically.

Sometime during my tenure as a deacon, the Murray First Ward was divided, and I and most of my close friends became part of the new Murray ward with Dr. Warren Wright, a local dentist, as Bishop who ordained me a teacher on January 17, 1943. We continued to share the same building with Murray First Ward on alternate schedules until the new Third Ward building was completed.

Today the building that housed the Murray First Ward is vacant. It came near to being destroyed to make way for commercial development except for the efforts of a group of citizens who recognized its historical significance and envisioned the possibility of restoring it and converting it into an appropriate monument to the city’s past. Such a movement is currently underway, and I offer my personal best wishes and support.”