12 wagstaff home

(Number 12 on the 1958 Highland map - 10305 N. 6550 W.)

LeRoy & Leah Marie James Craig Wagstaff

LeRoy was born November 29, 1903, in American Fork, Utah to William Isaac and Esther Barnes Wagstaff.

Leah was born December 29, 1915, to Willis and Lorena Carlson James in a log cabin in Edgemont, Utah near the Provo River. She grew up swimming in the Provo River and fishing with her Uncle Glen, leading to a life-long love for trout. They raised strawberries, raspberries, pears and apples on their farm. She married Alvin Gustave Craig on July 30, 1934, and they had one son, James Rex. They later divorced and she met LeRoy at a dance in Provo and they were married March 24, 1937, in Las Vegas, Nevada - in 1964 were sealed in the Manti Temple. They had three children: Delbert, Carol and Nancy and Rex was always part of the family.

Leah and LeRoy Wagstaff

Leah and LeRoy Wagstaff

They lived in a humble home in American Fork near Utah Lake with no electricity or plumbing. At night by coal oil lantern LeRoy would bring in the car battery and hook up a six-volt radio and listen to the mystery stories broadcast at night.

In 1946 they were able to purchase a large home and seventy acre farm in Highland that had belonged to Hyrum Harmon (q.v.) (Number 12 on the 1958 Highland map). They raised hay, grain, peas, pink-eye beans and potatoes and one year experimented with a pasture grass called Sudan Grass that grew to heights of over seven feet and the seed that it spread has been a nemesis to Highland farmers ever since. He also raised cows, pigs and Guinea Fowl, whose squawking could be heard for long distances as they settled to roost on the corral fence. To harvest the pink-eye beans he had a combine, similar to a grain combine, that would harvest them efficiently.

In 1964 they built a new home, across the hollow to the east and LeRoy made a well-worn path across the hollow to do chores and tend the animals. Their old home was later used for a number of years by the youth of the Church as a haunted house at Halloween time and it was demolished in 1980, having served for ninety years.

LeRoy worked at Geneva Steel for many years until he had to retire because of a bad heart but he continued to farm until May 29, 1976, when he passed away.  Leah had been working at the State Training School for eighteen years and she retired shortly thereafter.

Wagstaff 1976

Leah and her children 1976 (left to right: Delbert, Carol (married Lyman Buhler), Nancy, Leah, and Rex)

Leah worked in the Relief Society as a counselor to four presidents: Thelma Chidester, Eloise Ferguson, Verda Jepperson, and Miriam Park and she also taught Primary and Sunday School. (Ed. note: There is a discrepancy here - I can't find a record of Eloise Ferguson serving as RS President ) Leah died June 13, 1993, in Highland and she and LeRoy are buried in the American Fork City Cemetery.

Source: HIGHLAND HISTORY: A compilation by Charles T Greenland II for the Highland Historical Society

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Highland Historical Society Home Page
Highland Historical Society Mission Statement
Highland History Chapters (compiled by: Charles T Greenland II):

  1. Highland History
  2. The 1st Highland LDS Ward
  3. History of Highland by Cora Beck Adamson
  4. Highland Residents Poem by Cora Beck Adamson
  5. Ecclesiastical History by Cora Beck Adamson
  6. Record and History of the Highland Sunday School by Ruby B. Day
  7. Highland Oldsters by O.C. Day 1959
  8. Highland Ward History by Beth Roundy Day Hyde 1954
  9. Early Recollections of Highland by Della Miller Hatch
  10. Beloved Highland by Jean Day Perkins 2005
  11. History of the Highland Church by Eva Buhler Turner 1991
  12. Water
  13. Mining
  14. The Highland School
  15. Electricity Comes to Highland
  16. Peas and Peaviners in Highland
  17. Famous Feature
  18. The People

Highland Family Histories
1958 Highland Aerial Map 
1958 Highland Homes and Families (table with addresses)
Homesteaders' Map
Highland Censuses (and LDS Ward Membership List)
Link to: David T. Durfey 1992 Master's Thesis - Aberrant Mormon Settlers: The Homesteaders of Highland, Utah