Washington County Fair Honorees

Grand Marshall
Grand Marshall
Than and Cherrie Naegle
Toquerville, Utah

Pioneer Award
Pioneer Award
Annette Kleinman
Toquerville, Utah

Grand Marshall Autobiography

Than and Cherrie Naegle were both born in Hurricane, Cherrie grew up in La Verkin, Than in Toquerville. They met at Hurricane High School in a speech and debate class. After high school, Cherrie graduated from the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and, after marriage, Than from the College of Southern Utah—today’s Southern Utah University.

They raised their 8 children in Salt Lake City and Bountiful but after 40 years they came home to “Dixie” and built a home in Toquerville. They each have very deep ties to Washington County—their pioneer ancestors helped establish settlements from Santa Clara to Virgin and their grandparents, from St. George and Virgin, were among the first residents of La Verkin and Hurricane. This has given them a much greater appreciation for all those who worked and sacrificed so much to make these communities such inviting places to live.

It also inspired Cherrie to begin a new chapter in her life as a genealogist. She began to collect, identify and archive the many family and historical photographs and histories that had been left by others. As she assembled these histories, she discovered many more documents which when compiled made for a rich and robust historical account of the lives and times of those settling Southwestern Utah. It led her to compose and publish several books about the history of these communities: “The Life and Times of John Conrad Naegle”, “La Verkin the Town of my Youth”, “Toquerville, Oasis in the Desert”, “Hurricane Hintons and Spendloves”, and “Joseph Wright” – books filled with many photographs and histories of the people and the development of the area.

Than found opportunity to become involved in church and community service. Serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Toquerville Irrigation Board were an education in the challenges facing our Town just as the growth was beginning. Cooperation and compromise between the Irrigation Company, the Town Board and the Water District created the Toquerville Secondary Water System in order to conserve our
available water and extend service to most of the community. Than was appointed by Mayor Charles Walquist to secure the land for our City Park. The hard work and generosity of our citizens under the direction of the Park Committee has built a beautiful facility without using scarce tax dollars. This same spirit of cooperation and public service in our community has produced a new City Office adjacent to the historic Town Hall, the expansion and beautification of the Cemetery, and improvements to our street and culinary
water infrastructure, and many other improvements in “Toquer”.

They both note with satisfaction the many new residents who have moved here and contribute their time, energy and resources to support Toquerville as the Oasis it has always been. It really is ”THE PEOPLE” who make Toquerville a great place to live!


P.S. An interesting fact relating to the theme of the fair: Peter Anderson, Than’s ancestor, was captured and forced to serve on a pirate ship until he managed to escape in New York City. After joining the LDS Church and coming west, he in time settled his family in Belleview—today’s Pintura; next he moved to Echo Farm—Anderson’s Junction, and today part of Toquerville. According to daughter, Laura A. Pulsipher, he was “a man of many firsts (in Washington County), installing the first telephone from his house to the barn; had the first home with running water; the first bathtub and inside fixtures; owned the first surrey with the fringe on top, and later one of the first cars, a 1915 Model T Ford.”

Pioneer Award Autobiography

Annette came from early pioneer ancestors that settled in the Toquerville area.
Early pioneers included her maternal great grandfather, Levi Savage. He served his country in the Mormon Battalion and traveled with the Willie and Martin handcart company. (You have seen the movie 17 Miracles, right?) He was a missionary in Burma, now Thailand for 4 years. He mingled with the native people – learning their language and teaching them of Jesus Christ. His service inspires Annette to be a contributor to Toquerville – not just a resident.

Annette lives in a home on the Savage Lot where Levi had a small home. Fig trees and remnants of a rock wall remain. Mona Olds, now deceased, told Annette about playing on this plot when she was a child. She called it a “garden of Eden” with all the fruit and nut trees and grape vines to shield them from the Dixie sun.

Annette’s paternal great grandfather is John Conrad Nagel (Naegle) who immigrated from Bavaria in Germany. While living in California as a rancher, he was called by the LDS Church to come to Southern Utah to make sacramental wine for the Church. His “big house” still stands at the south end of the original town.

Annette put together a pictorial presentation of Toquerville for the local chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers convention 3 years ago. She met all kinds of pioneer stock who also settled Toquerville in the late 1890’s. The array of skill and spirit they brought to this area is impressive. This knowledge keeps Annette involved in Toquerville for those who are still coming.

Annette and Van are the parents of two children, Lisa and Matt. Van is retired and raises cows, which is very different from a long career in corporate management. Annette enjoys a “late” career in home health and hospice and also has artistically designed and built the community display for Toquerville which has been represented at the Washington County Fair and has won many awards including Sweepstakes!