Washington County Fair Honorees

Washington County Fair Royalty
Washington County Fair Royalty
From Left to Right:
1st Attendant: Samantha Jensen, Daughter of Ralph and Christen Jensen, $500 Scholarship
Queen: Celeste Francis, Daughter of Bill and JaNae Francis, $2,000 Scholarship
2nd Attendant: Alivia Snow, Daughter of Jed and Allison Snow, $500 Scholarship

Lyman Hafen, Grand Marshall

Lyman Hafen, Grand MarshallLyman Hafen is a native of St. George, Utah. He grew up on the southern edge of what was then a small town and as a boy developed a strong sense of place roaming the broken landscape and listening to the stories his father told.

He became a horseman on the family ranch in Clover Valley, Nevada, and was the 1973 Utah State High School Rodeo All Around Champion. He graduated from Dixie High School in 1973, and Dixie College, where he was also a member of the rodeo team, in 1977.

He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina from 1974-76. In 1977, he married Debbie Frei of Santa Clara, Utah. Debbie has been a violin teacher and member of the Southwest Symphony since 1983. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.

Lyman graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1979. Since 1980, he has been a writer, editor, publisher, and active volunteer in community, state and national organizations. He was co-founder of St. George Magazine in 1983, and was its editor for 16 years. He continues to write a monthly column for the magazine chronicling the history, culture and personality of his fast-changing hometown.

He has written twelve books of fiction and nonfiction including, “Roping the Wind”, “Far From Cactus Flat”, “Over the Joshua Slope”, and “In the Midst of Winter”. His most recent book is a contemporary coming-of-age western story entitled “On Cloudy Mountain”. All his books are available at LymanHafen.com.

His writing has been honored on several occasions by the Utah Arts Council, and he has written and directed three documentary films including “Born to Ride,” about world champion bronc rider Cody Wright, which won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. In 2005 he was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman to the board of directors of the Utah Arts Council. Over the years he has written numerous articles for regional and national publications, and has served as publisher of important books including Portraits of Loss – Stories of Hope, which sparked the multi-million-dollar fundraising effort for victims of the 2005 Santa Clara-Virgin River Flood.

Since 1998, he has served as executive director of Zion Natural History Association, the official non-profit partner of Zion National Park. He founded the Zion Canyon Field Institute in 2003, and the Zion National Park Foundation in 2007. All three of those entities were recently merged into the new Zion National Park Forever Project, for which he continues to serve as executive director.

Jewell and Shelby Frei, Pioneer Award

Jewell and Shelby Frei, Grand MarshallJewell Gubler Frei (93) and Shelby Dean Frei (soon 96) are both descendants of original pioneer settlers called by Brigham Young in 1861 as part of the Swiss Company to settle the St. George area. As an interesting note, both Jewell and Shelby’s family lines tie back through early pioneer John George Hafen.

Jewell is one of 9 children (8 girls and 1 boy) born to Edmund and Eliza Hafen Gubler and lived her entire life in Santa Clara. Jewell recalls from her childhood long hot summer days with no air conditioning, but cooling off at the girls pond on the Santa Clara Creek and in the dirt irrigation ditches. Happy days came when the road was paved through town so she had better place to go roller skating.

Jewell attend the Santa Clara School until 10th grade when all Santa Clara students attended Woodward in St. George. Jewell and her entire family had to help sustain their lives by raising chickens, pigs, and cows and of course milking the milk cow every day. She was very willing to work and help out especially when spring came to plant the garden. By the end of winter Jewell was very anxious to have fresh vegetables from the garden and to work on the summer ranch and apple orchard on Pine Valley Mountain at the Blake & Gubler Ranch.

At the age of 15, Jewell started to date Shelby Frei who was two years older than she was. Shelby was the son of Vivian Jacob Frei and Jessie Leorna Hafen Frei and the third oldest of four brothers and two sisters. Shelby also attended school and lived his entire life in Santa Clara. He worked long hard days with his father on the farm raising alfalfa, melons, fruit and cattle.

With World War II brewing, Shelby was drafted. Shelby felt impressed to ask Jewell to marry him before he was inducted, he was worried that someone else would get Jewell before he would be able to return. At the age of 17, Jewell agreed to marry Shelby in June of 1942 in the St. George Temple. Shelby left that August for Abilene, Texas for basic training. Shelby was assigned to General Patten’s 3rd Army Field Hospital serving in Cairo, Egypt then on to England to follow the D-Day invasion at Normandy landing on Utah Beach and on through France and Europe. Shelby was honorably discharged from the Army in October of 1945.

Shelby returned home to Jewell and his first born – nearly 3 year old – son, Leon, who he had never before seen except in pictures. At that time, Shelby knew one thing for sure – he would never leave Santa Clara again. Shelby worked to build campsites on Mt. Charleston, as a brick hod tender and on the farm. Shelby eventually purchased his father-in-law’s and dad’s farms and ranches to become a full time farmer and rancher. He and Archie Gubler purchased 180 acres above town that he would later place in a development company to become Santa Clara Heights. Other lands were purchased as Shelby’s needs for his cattle operation grew. Shelby recalls buying land in what is now the Dixie Downs area for $2 per acre. In 1959, as old highway 91 traffic increased, Jewell and Shelby opened and operated two fruit stands in the heart of Santa Clara until Interstate 15 was completed in 1972.

Shelby was appointed Mayor of Santa Clara in 1975 at the sudden death of Mayor Sylvin Graf. Shelby undertook to complete the first sewer system in Santa Clara conceptually started by Mayor Graf. Rallying donated labor from Santa Clara residents and equipment from Washington County, the system was competed for $800,000 which was fully paid off by the sale of some City property shortly thereafter. As Mayor, Shelby obtained the old State of Utah Checking Station to serve as the Santa Clara City Office and oversaw the extension of the City water system. At that time the Mayor was paid $100 per month for his time and effort. Shelby always returned his $100 per month check back to the City as he felt the City always needed the money a lot more than he did.

Jewell and Shelby raised five children here in Santa Clara. Leon (Bevalynn) Frei, DeeAnn Frei (Jerry) Jensen, Kent (Robin) Frei, Tresa Frei (Rob) Barerre and Kyle (Lisa) Frei. They have 20 Grandchildren, 42 Great Grandchildren and 4 Great, Great Grandchildren. Jewell has served in many church positions including an Ordinance Worker in the St George Temple under nine (9) Temple Presidents. Shelby has also served in may church calling including the Bishopric of the Santa Clara Ward

Jewell and Shelby have been married for 75 years and celebrated the occasion with EVERY member of their family attending, a posterity to date totaling 99. They attribute the joys in their life to their great Santa Clara heritage of church, family and hard work.