40 years ago today - Nov 2, 1978-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
... William R. [Palmer] was a close friend of J. Golden Kimball, who usually stopped at his home on the way south and back. On one occasion Elder Kimball was assigned to St. George, and complained in the pulpit about the hot weather. His complaints were so pointed and straightforward that the people were offended. The stake president wrote President [Heber J.] Grant and told him not to assign J. Golden to St. George Stake again because the people had been offended by his remarks about their climate. President Grant put it off as long as he could, for several years, and finally he couldn't avoid it any longer. In order not to offend Elder Kimball, he had to assign him to St. George Stake. Once again he was there in August. It was very hot and humid. He arose in stake conference, took off his coat, wiped his brow, and said, "I was told that you people were offended by the remarks I made the last time I was here about the hot weather. Well, I might say that I understated the situation. It is hotter than ever. I don't see how you all stand it. If I owned hell and St. George, I'd live in hell and rent out Washington County." When Elder Kimball stopped at Brother Palmer's home on the way back to Salt Lake, he told about this and said, "The people in St. George have no sense of humor. You can't joke with them about St. George."

The Palmers said that there was a certain teenage girl in Parowan where they grew up who began to play very loose with the boys. She was very permissive and promiscuous and rather took pride in helping the boys lose their virginity. After this had gone through several of the young men in Parowan, they got together and decided she'd have to go. It would go badly against them if she didn't. They drew straws among themselves to determine who would do away with her, and finally it was determined that a Chamberlain boy would have to do it. So he took her up to a place on the mountain and pushed her off. That's one of those faith-promoting stories which comes out of small Mormon towns-at least in folklore.

There was also a certain Indian figure that they remembered who always walked into town from the reservation in a slow manner involving sort of a swinging of the hips, and sort of bow-legged. They said there was an explanation for that. When he was younger he started playing loose sexually with the Indian wives and maidens. He was warned several times by the chief and elders of the tribe that he must stop, but he didn't. So finally one day they grabbed him, attached a wire to his scrotum, and attached the other end to a tree and let him swing loose. From that point on he walked bow-legged.

A third story relates to a prominent family in Parowan. The old man was an important Church official in the community, stake president or bishop or counselor or high councilman or something. Anyway, his daughter married a young man and the father-in-law, the Church official, noted on several occasions that the young man had stolen his water. That was something one did not do in Southern Utah where water is so scarce. He warned the young fellow and warned him, but for some reason he was persistent and continued to take the water without authorization or permission. One day when he was riding down the street, the father-in-law shot him in the leg; and so he limped the rest of his life from that wound.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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