Nov. 2018 History Question of the Month

Nov. 2018 History Question of the Month
Posted on 11/01/2018

Who built the first bridges across Little Cottonwood Creek at today’s Highland Drive and at the bottom of Pepper’s Hill?

Answer:

David Alma Proctor was born in South Cottonwood to David Proctor and Martha McCroy Graham. The Proctor family moved to Union about 1864. David Alma, married Julia Ann Van Valkenberg, the daughter of Peter Van Valkenburg and Eliza Ann Boggess, of Union, on November 23, 1880. The married couple settled on a farm “up the creek,” on the north side of Little Cottonwood Creek near today’s Highland Drive.  Their first home was a one-room log cabin where four of their children were born. David Alma purchased property to the east of his current farm. He built another one-room log cabin, hauling the logs from the nearby canyons. He built a lean-to that was used to do their cooking and the boys slept in a tent by the side of the house. He set aside a plot of land on which to build another house someday and went about planting orchards and gardens on the rest of the property. It was David Alma that built the first bridges over Little Cottonwood Creek on today’s Highland Drive and on today’s Creek Road at the bottom of Pepper’s Hill. When the Butler School District decided to build a school for the children living along “the Creek”, it was David that hauled the granite used to build the foundation. The school teacher boarded with the Proctors, and David Alma was also on the School Board. He purchased a piece of property on the south west corner of today’s Creek Road and Highland Drive, which he divided among his three oldest sons, David Albert (Bert), Clarence, and Ira. He gave a piece of property on the west side of Highland Drive, north of the creek, to his son Melvin and a piece on the east side of the road to his daughter Ruby. David Alma died April 10, 1937 and his wife Julia died October 6, 1938. They had eight children, three of which died young.