Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Early Mt. Pleasant Politics As Seen by Lee R. Christensen

The following is taken from Lee R. Christensen's Book: "You Knew Me As Buddy"; a collection of letters he wrote to friends who grew up in Mt. Pleasant.

March 19, 1997
Dear Beth,
Joe Lund was probably elected to the City Council fall of 1929 to sit through 1930-31. He
either did not run again or was defeated. It was probably conversation around your dinner
The mayor was Bent Hansen. Ben with a “t”. Recorder CalvinChristensen. I don’t know
if this was elected or appointed. Treasurer Annie B. Syndergaad; E.W. Wall four year counselor;
Paul Monsen, O.M. Oldrich, Joseph Lund, and Ches Seeley two year counselors.
These people were all Republicans.
By the next election the Democrats behind Roosevelt were in charge. Doc Winters was
mayor; Dan Rasmussen was recorder; Ed (drugstore) Johnston four year councilman.
Roosevelt made the Democrats so popular that Mt. Pleasant’s Republican Party died.
They changed their name to Citizens Party. Their first elected mayor was Justus Seeley.
Justus, I think, was mayor from 1936 to 1942 when John Gunderson was elected - after my
father had gone into service.  

1931 was the year both our banks failed. E.W. Wall continues to get elected, but I don’t see
Calvin Christensen again. Both were bank officials. E.W. with the Commercial Bank, Calvin
with the North Sanpete Bank. Wayne’s father, I think, was CEO - as we call them now
- of the North Sanpete Bank. W.D. Candland was the biggest shareholder. I had $71.00 in
the bank when it went broke. Have since kept my money in my mattress.
Tom Jensen, Dan Rasmussen, Doc Winters, and the editor of the Pyramid were all Democrats.
W.D. Candland, most of the Seeley’s, Ross Christensen, and H.C. Jacobs were all Republicans

Tom Jensen’s business was politics. I do not know what else he did. He was our state
senator, but was also a professional lobbyist. He should not have been doing both while
a senator, so I don’t know how he fed his very populous family.
Evelyn Jensen’s maternal grandfather, was he C.W. Sorensen, was a Democrat. I can
remember arguing Hoover vs Al Smith 1928 campaign with her. We were first grade. In
those days, I was a Republican. Inherited from my father.
Was Evelyn related to Elaine and Andra?
I’m just back from taking the winter’s pile of horse droppings and moving them to the
south end of Barbara’s property - downwind. Just as I did at Joe Lund’s. Tracy and I, over
the winter, have been mucking out the horse stalls and piling the muck just outside the
stalls. At Joe’s it was the cow stall. Now with the snow gone, the dandelions due next
week, I’m moving the piles. My question for you - what happened to the piles I had every
spring at Joe’s? Who hauled it? Where? I remember how big the pile was by spring. And
how some wintery days I could hardly get the mucky stuff out of the stable, it was so frozen.
But where did it go. Agusta’s garden! May explain the brilliant color of her flowers.
Speaking of banks - as I was - I was in your backyard playing with polliwogs in the watering
trough when Murry told me the North Sanpete Bank and my $71.00 was gone. I’ve
had nothing to do with polliwogs or banks since.