This blog is dedicated to my parents, brothers, sister, and cousins who are descendants of Johannes (John) Gutke and Johanna Mork Gutke (pictured above). I am in the process of posting everything I have, so that I can back up documents/photos and also access the info from any location. There are likely to be mistakes, so check back often and feel free to comment if you have corrections!


Deniane Gutke Kartchner


Elizabeth Monson History: Sandy City, Utah


Sandy in 1873 and 1874, although only a small community, was a very important one. It consisted of a few lumber houses, a post office, a store and a depot. The people depended upon the railroad for transportation to and from Salt Lake City. Two passenger trains ran through the town every day--one in the morning and one at night. All merchandise came by rail, there were no gasoline freight lines no trucks or automobiles. Freight trains carrying coal and ore came through from the southern part of Utah when the railroad was completed.

The machine shops where my father worked were located on the east side of the railroad tracks (Main and Center). There was also a turntable where the engine could be turned around when necessary. I remember it very will as I rode with father in the engine car and I pinched my finger on a lever due to curiosity I guess. Two smelters were running full blast--the Saturn smelter a little distance south of the town and the flagstaff a short distance east of the town.

A boarding house for smelter workers in those early days was the scene of many unpleasant affairs in which a number of men lost their lives. Fights due to drink were common occurrences. Many saloons or beer joints opened up so liquor was plentiful. It was sold by the glass over the bar and it was a common thing to see men come reeling out and staggering from side to side as drunk as they could be. Pay day night at the smelters and mills was a busy one for the bar tenders at the saloons. Quarrels occurred and fights were common. It was very unpleasant to the Latter-day Saints or Mormons as they were called who lived there and were opposed to liquor and such acts of rudeness.

Sandy was made a voting district in 1873. Clashes at the polls happened often and caused much trouble. As time went on work became slack at the smelters and mills and many of the undesirable characters left for Montana and elsewhere where work was more plentiful. Peace again reigned in the town. When Sandy again began to boom a townsite was surveyed and lots were sold at a high price. The townsite covered 160 acres of ground. The railroad from Southern Utah was finished.

Bingham is a mining town in the Oquirrh Mountains about 18 or 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. It is a one street town about seven miles long and is called the narrowest town in the nation. Bingham has now the largest open copper mine in the world. That is, the whole hill is being hauled away to the mills at Magna where it is being refined, to copper. A railroad runs into the town and over into Magna. In late years a new town called Copperton has been built near the mouth of the canyon where many of the miners live. There is talk now in 1960 that all of Bingham will be sold, the houses to be hauled way so in a few years Bingham town will only be a memory.

A few years ago all the slopes of these western hills of Salt Lake County was sand and sagebrush land and considered waste land but when dry farming was started some years ago, it became tillable and grain in abundance is raised there now. I remember before this ground was planted in grain that when the wind blew hard great sandstorms and whirly-gigs would travel over this vast sandy area and fires would rage through the dry grass set by sparks from the engine and it chugged up the hill.

There was no rural delivery. We had to call for our mail at the Post Office. Many years later rural routes were established and mail was delivered every day. The Post Office in our little town was a little building made of rough limber with living quarters at the back where the Postmaster and his wife lived. The Postmaster was a little old man with a beard. He was a jolly old man and the children loved him. We could buy all kinds of penny candy there. He had a little confectionary store along with his duty as postmaster as a side line. To get to the Post Office we had to pass several saloons or beer taverns. Often men would come staggering out so drunk but we were never molested in any way. There were seven saloons in our little town at one time. Now in 1955 there is a nice new larger Post Office, a nice bank building, a bakery, a theater, & one store. The business district will eventually be along State Street or eastern part. The railroad depot is there no more and many of the older buildings are torn down since I lived there. The population has grown and fills these new subdivision in homes. From 1 ward there is 14 wards to the population has sure soared.

[Problem with pages in here somewhere]

...boundary on the east was the railroad track and on the west the State road which was later called State Street. It was right in the midst of sagebrush, not a green tree or shrub around. Surely this was called pioneering. The house was built of homemade adobe party lined on the outside with rough lumber.

I have often wondered when the pioneers came in 1847 and settled mid the sagebrush if they visualized what the future would bring or have in store for them and how their efforts and thrift would blossom as a rose as it looks today. In imaginations I can see them tilling the soil irrigating the parched land to make their grain grow so they would have food. There was one thing that made them prosper and that was hard work. The history of these 1847 pioneers hinges on the strength that these men gave to the land so now we have these desert lands changed into tillable farms, rough wagon trails into paved streets, and where our horse and wagons bumped over the rough roads now we ride in automobiles in comfort and ease.

It was just 29 years later when my parents settled mid the sagebrush and made their farm blossom by hard work and perseverance. Imagine my mother who had lived nearly all her life in a beautiful city with all the comforts available that they had in those days, now living on a farm mid the sagebrush and a neighbor a half mile away and these neighbors were English speaking people and mother had not fully mastered this new language yet. She could understand it fairly well but not talk it. Yet under those circumstances she was willing to be a farmer’s wife.

The first thing they did after moving to this farm was to buy stock or shares of water from the water company. Then father dug a water ditch or irrigation ditch from the main ditch carrying water to the Mingo Smelter to his farm. By the way the smelter was only one half mile north, half way between the farm and the town. The hardest part was to bring the water such a long distance to his place. The water would seep into the sunbaked sandy soil so there would be little left when it reached his farm, but time and patience worked wonders and in time his efforts were a success. Father also dug an open well 150 feet deep lining it with boards. The boards decayed so it only lasted a few years before it caved in.

Grandmother who lived with us was a born gardener. She loved flowers and enjoyed seeing green things growing. She would walk a mile or two to a place called Dry Creek (so called because it became dry in late summer). She would dig up wild rose bushes and carry them home and planted them into an arbor where we as children spent many a happy time. Grandma planted “Old Man” and “Old Woman” very fragrant with their aromatic smell. She also planted Lavender and mint, Hollyhocks and flags (Iris we call them now) and in later years all kinds of beautiful flowers were found in her flower garden. She was always fussing with her flowers. Many a bucket of water did she carry from the pond to her flowers. She also loved to pick wild flowers which grew abundantly mid the sagebrush.

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