The Creeper

Update item information
Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 06
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1974
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s65x272x
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-26
Date Modified 2005-02-26
ID 324158
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s65x272x

Page Metadata

Title The Creeper
Description date the track was extended to the Morrison Mine, east of Sterling, for hauling of coal. Small parts of the narrow gauge track that led to this mine can still be seen across the meadows and salt flats. In addition to the freight cars, baggage compartments, smoker and coal-fired engine, the train boasted a passenger car with twenty four plush seats that wel - comed interested travelers for a day's round trip ride from Manti to Nephi. The train schedule said, "leaving Manti at 7:45 a.m." It returned to the point of departure about 3:30 p.m. The "Round house" at Manti was a terminal for the train. Here repairs were made, engines oiled and greased under the direction of Tom Chapman and Mr. Wood. Here the train turned around for another run. H.S. Kerr was Superintendent and had his office at the Manti depot. An early day train crew were William Watson, engineer; Sam Parry, fireman; George Bradley, conductor; Ray Stringham and John Kennyberg, brakemen. J.H. Hornung was agent in Manti. The train had a number of nicknames, one was the "Polygamist Central." It received this name because it was believed that the trainmen signaled the polygam-ists if Federal Officials were aboard. Another name was "The Creeper" Because of the slow pace which the train travel-ed. There were a number of reasons for the slow motion in addition to the train not being geared for high speeds. Leaving Manti the train had to cross the swampy meadows to the west of Manti and Ephraim and due to the boggy nature of the ground, if a faster speed were maintained, the cars had a tendency to rock on the unsteady track. There were also stray cattle feeding along the tracks and many times the Engineer had to pull the train to a sudden halt and get out to shoo a cow or a wayward calf off the track when it failed to pay attention to the loud, insistent tooting of the whistle. Sometimes the train would stop and allow the passengers or the crew to hunt a few jack rabbits on the way. Some years the grasshoppers would be so thick in the fields along the track, that they were a menace to safe, fast travel. Going down Salt Creek Canyon couldn't be a speedway either as passengers often wanted to stop and gather the long-stemmed, tasty, green water cress that grew along the pleasant stream in the spring of the year. In the fall, the Conductos of the train always obliged the sun-bonneted, overalled travelers by stopping at "Vicker's Ranch" half way down the canyon to pick some of the abundant hops from the vines that grew high along the fence. The hops were used for making malt beer. Two young boys, ages twelve and fourteen thought the "Creeper" was well named. One morning they hitched their buckskin mare to the family milk cart for the daily trip to the farm west of Manti. As they neared the corner south of where the pea factory was later built, the train was just steaming up ready to leave the station. With a chug, chug and a whistle, away it sailed down the track. The younger boy hit the horse with his strap while the older one hung on tightly to the reins, driving as hard as he could. It was a race all the way to the cross road with the boys passing the vantage point and still strapping the horse down the lane and all the way to the farm before finally coming to a halt as the train was fast diap- pearing across the meadow route, the conductor waving his hat in farewell to the pleased boys. -12-
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 022_The Creeper.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 6
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-19
Date Modified 2005-02-19
ID 324142
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s65x272x/324142