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Notes on Willard Esplin

[These notes are from papers that Ruby Esplin had in her possession. Most of them were handwritten.]

[I think this is what went into the obituary]

Willard Hoyt Esplin died Thursday July 21, 1983 at home in Orderville, Kane, Utah, born, Sept. 12, 1912 to Israel Hoyt Esplin and Chastie Vilate Stolworthy. Attended public school in Orderville received Bachelor degree from Utah State University and als Smith Hughs.

He married Ruby Hilda Pehrson in Oct. 8, 1938 in the Logan Temple. Survived by wife, Ruby, Orderville, 3 daughters Mrs. Bryce (Ruby Luane) Wilson, Huntington Ut., Mrs. Brent (Gayle Elizabeth) DeMille, Dushane, Mrs. Gary (Joyce LaVonna) Wilcken Enoch, 3 sons, Roy Willard, Stocton Calf, Mark Pehrson Billerica Mass, Ernest Israel, Logan Utah. 15 grandsons, 3 granddaughter, 3 great grandchildren, brother, T. LaVoy Esplin, ST. George, brother James S Esplin, LaPoint, Vance, Glendale, J. Donald, St. George.

Funeral services Saturday July 24th 2:00 p.m. Orderville Ward Chapel Friends may call.

Burial Orderville Cemetery.

Willard H. Esplin Nov. 1979

Mr. Esplin was born in Orderville Utah, 1912. In 1919 he began Elementary School there being geld in the west wing of the old Orderville Chapel. He attend and graduated form Valley High School May 1931.

He attended Dixie Junior College 1933-34.

He attended Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University) graduating spring of 1939 with a Bachelor Degree in Animal Husbandry and a split Agricultural Economics and Farm Mechanics. Later he completed requirements for a Vocational Agriculture Certificate.

His first two years of teaching were at Kanab Utah High School. He taught Vocational Agriculture at Milford, Mt. Pleasant, Utah and Kanab, Utah.

He accepted the principalship at Valley High the year of 1947 and 1948 and continued this for 5 years. This also included the Valley Elementary School temporarily.

He was principal again for 1 yr. 1956-1957.

He taught at Valley High from 1947-1973.

Some of the classes taught were Industrial arts, Farm Mechanics, Vocational Agriculture, Biology, Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, EArth Science, Math.

His last day of teaching was in May 1973. He expected to teach again in the fall but was unable to do so because of health problems, so he retired.

He has undergone two heart operations June 14, 1961 and June 21, 1976.

[by Ruby Esplin]

Honored at the half of Championship b. ball game Nov. 24, 1979 arranged by Stan Sorensen of Cedar City Ut..

Willard H Esplin History (1968)


I was born 12 September 1912, Orderville, Kane County, Utah. The place of birth was at home in an old home owned by a family of Brown’s before my parents purchased by my parents across the street down by the creek on the lot of Clyde Taits.

1919 (age 7)

Entered the 1st grade which was held in the west wing of the old Orderville Ward Chapel, my teacher was Zydie Crook.

2nd My second grade was in the same room in the old chapel taught by Miss Brown (I asked her to call me Mr. Esplin)

3rd In the East wing of Old Chapel, my teacher was Lucy HOlgate Englestead. Many of the class had whooping cough bad this year and were held back while just a few of us went on, Fen Covington, Esther Porter, Luclla Chamberlain, Florine Chamberlain.

4th grade was in the North wing of the old Rock School house standing where the parking lot is for the new school gym and music room. Vera Esplin was my teacher.

5th grade was in the present Elementary school that is now condemned and will be discarded or torn down this next year Mr. Willardson was my teacher.

My sixth grade was in the same room but with a new teacher, Mr. Reed Burr. This year I started taking Band from Mr. Peterson.

Willard H. Esplin History Jan. 5, 1969

About 1965, I started teaching the High Priest Orderville Ward Group, and have been leading the singing in Priesthood meetings, since before that date.

[I (Mark) remember him leading the singing while I was a young priesthood holder. He didn’t really beat time. He just waved his hand to get us started then let his voice do the leading.]


I have been taking an inservice training class at CSU (SUSC) as a student Scholarship form the National Science Foundation. I started on August 19, we had 3 days brush up then we took a r day tour of all the Southern Parks and Monuments, sleeping in sleeping bags and cocking our meals. This class continues until May 1969 meeting 2 times each month on Saturday for 4 hours each time we meet. [Next part in Ruby Esplin’s writing] Good grades.

[I (Mark) remember daddy talking about this trip on a number of occasions. I remember him showing slides that a member of the group took and gave a copy of them to Dad. I remember him talking of taking a Gray Hound (at least a big bus) on the dirt roads and having to back up several times to make it around the turns, and how surprised people were to see such a big bus on such bad roads. I remember him telling about the bus getting stuck and of all the men getting off and pushing it to get it going.] Sept. 1958 W. H. Esplin

1958 Family moved to house up further on Sand Street which had belonged to Henry W. Esplin and Kezia.

May 1973

Willard completed final day and year of school teaching.

1973 Retired Financial set up not established until Jan. 1974. Lived on savings and $300 from Roy. Aug. 10. Dr. Sundwall at Glendale Clinic, examined Willard and told him he should resigned from teaching school because of his heart and related problems.

Willard H. Esplin April 9, 1961

Teaching Record

1940-41 Started teaching at Kanab.


1942-43 Moved to Milford Utah to teach Industrial Arts, 1943-44 Vocational Ag, and Biology.


Spring of 1945 moved to Mt Pleasant to teach voc. ag., U.S. History and 7th math.

1945-46 Mt. Pleasant

1946-47 Moved back to Kanab to start voc. ag. Met with little success.

1947-48 moved to Orderville to be Principle of High School and 1948-49 Elementary School and was voc. ag. instructor the

1949-50 year ???? left.

1950-51 principal from 1947-1952


1952-55 Mr. Haw??? principal

1955-56 Mr. Demille Principal

1956-57 I was principal


1958-59 voc. ag.


1960-61 taught science

operation in 1961

from the Stampede

Issue 2 Valley High School October 10, 1973

Valley thanks two retiring teachers

Two familiar faces are missing this year in the halls of Valley High School. Rex Bauer and Willard Esplin, long time members of the Valley faculty and both former principles here have retired.

The School and student body wish to thank both Mr. Bauer and Mr. Esplin and wish happiness in the years ahead.

[The left hand column in about Mr. Bauer and the right hand column is about Mr. Esplin]

Mr. Esplin was born in Orderville, Utah his home town. He graduated from Valley High School.

He taught school at Kanab, Utah for 3 years. He taught Ind. Arts, Science and he taught at Milford, Utah, Voc. Ag. and Math.

He started to teach at Kanab, Utah.

He started to be a principal in 1947 at Valley High School. He has been a principal for 5 years. During that time he taught science and Math.

He taught at Valley High for 26 years.

He taught the following classes: Industrial Arts Voc. Agriculture Farm Mechanics Biology Physiology Chemistry Physics Earth Science


Principal Orderville Valley School fall 1947 for 5 years then 1 yr. 1956 1957.

1919 Elementary West wing of the old Orderville Chapel.

Attended and graduated Valley High School

May 1931 attended 1 yr. Dixie Jr. College

1933-34 herded sheep to get money for College. Went to Logan Jan. of 1935. Graduated spring of 1939 with B. S. Degree in Animal Husbandry and Agricultural Economics and Farm Mechanics. Returned following fall to complete requirements for Vocational Agriculture Certificate.

[I can remember hearing Dad tell about getting to school one year late because he had to work with the sheep and couldn’t get away earlier. He got there one week before the midterm exams. He nearly flunked out, but by the end of the quarter he was able to catch up.

I also remember him telling of having trouble with his brothers because he sold or wanted to sell off part of the herd of sheep to get ahead a little financially (remember this is during the recession) This disagreement helped him decide to go off to college since things weren’t going so smoothly.

I remember him telling of working for $.25 an hour hard labor to get money to continue in college. After he got a job milking the cows for the college dairy. We milked cows twice a day by hand, (a lot of cows). It was before dawn when he did the first milking.

[I remember him telling of in a class in trigonometry, I think at Dixie they used a transit to look down at the campus an measure the angles form a couple of locations on the overlooking hills and figuring out the distances. He said they didn’t use side rulers much, instead they used logritem tables.

He says the winter he spent at Dixie was one of the coldest winters he had because of the cold damp feel. ]

First 2 yrs. teaching at Kanab High, then to Milford 3 yrs. until July 1945 the 1 yr. at Mt. Pleasant Ut. Back to Kanab and taught yr. of 1946-47, voc. ag. with little success? Then accepted principalship at Valley High School and Valley Elementary in Orderville and served for 5 yrs, then 1 yr. 1956-57.

I have taught Science and Math and Vo. Ag. last 5 yrs. onward (being Aug. 6, 1956). Physics, Industrial Arts, Voc. Ag, Farm Mechanics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science.

Principal Valley High School Sept. 1956-57. Taught Vo. Ag. 1957-58 July 1, 1959. and 1948-49.

Summer school 5/13/54

After In service training class sponsored by the National Science Foundation 1969 at CSU(SUSC). He participated in tour Aug. 19, 4 days in southern Utah Parks and monuments.

Last day of teaching May 1973, intended to teach again in fall but had to retire because of heart and lung troubles.

Heart Operations:

June 14, 1961 Salt Lake City 11 days

June 21, 1976 Salt Lake City 2 1/2 months

Taught in Kane County School District 29 years 1940-42 and 1946-1973.