NAME: Clarion
COUNTY: Sanpete
CLIMATE: Warm summer, plenty of snow in the winter
COMMENTS: There are a few residents who farm in the area, but the old town with most of the structures and history is not inhabited. Most of the homes and foundations are approximately four miles west of US Highway 89, along a gravel road leading westward from the highway, 2 blocks south of the old sugar plant at the outskirts of Centerfield. There are 2 headstones on a desolate hillside, with Hebraic inscriptions. One for a man who was killed while hauling lumber in 1913, and a baby who died in 1914.
REMAINS: Many structures, intact and ruins. There are also 2 headstones.
In 1911, the Utah State Land Board sold 6000 acres of land in Gunnison Valley to the Jewish Colonial Association. Shortly after this, several men, some of whom brought families, moved into the area to farm. 1500 acres of land was planted. About 6 dozen businessmen from mainly Philadelphia moved on to Clarion. Each of the families had a 40 acre property laid out by civil engineering for them. The farms were lined up along the main road running north to south. They faced each other, with some right angled roads providing access. They planted grains on these farms: mainly wheat, oats, and alfalfa. The structures built were mainly homes, barns, and corrals. Most of the people who lived here possessed many luxuries to make their homes more comfortable such as fine furniture, china, rugs, and art. In 1912, the community celebrated a good harvest, and was praised by the Governor Spry for their work. In 1913, a school was erected in the center of Clarion. A well was dug in the town to give them a direct supply of water. Trees were planted but conditions were not right and they soon died. A post office was opened in 1915, but lasted less than a year, closing in 1916 for financial troubles. Many following financial issues caused the colony to go bankrupt, and all settlers sold their lots and moved back to the big cities. Some of the homes were moved to other towns, but many of the homes remained in place and were used by the new owners, whom were mostly Mormon farmers. In 1919, the population was 140. There was also a ward branch and the schoolhouse was being used as a church on Sundays. By 1925, enough people lived in Clarion that a ward was established, which lasted until 1934. The town was absolutely deserted by 1934 due to a prolonged drought that began in 1933. Submitted by: Alex Barber