Welcome to Sanpete:
Move-ins and why they moved
By James Tilson and Suzanne Dean
Apr. 26, 2018
MAYFIELD—Lifelong residents called them the “move ins.” Even move-ins who’ve been in the county a few years use the term to describe the more recently arrived.
The fact is, people who grew up in Sanpete County, and are still here, along with their adult children and sometimes adult grandchildren probably comprise half or fewer of the county’s population.
The rest of our residents are people from urban areas, including many retirees, who for a host of reasons—including cost-ofliving, pace of life, recreation and values—decided they wanted to live in the “country.” Then they settled on Sanpete County as their nonurban area of choice.
Wes and Barbara Floyd of Mayfield were looking for a place to settle in retirement. Wes had put in 28 years with the FBI, mostly around the western United States and on Indian reservations. At the time Wes put down his badge, he and his wife wanted to find a place closer to her parents, who live in Provo. Close “but not too close.”
They started with a rental in Richfield, and then started exploring Sevier and Sanpete counties. Mayfield was one of the first places they noticed because of its rural character and central location.
Wes says his wife, when looking for a place to live, keeps an eye out for the best hairdo. When she sees it, she finds out who did the hair and goes there. That’s what she did in Mayfield, and she has been going to the same hair dresser ever since.
The Floyds enjoy outdoor activities—hiking, off-road trails and playing golf at Palisade Park nearly every week.
Another consideration in moving to Sanpete County was the kind of people already here and opportunities for community involvement. Wes belongs to the Mayfield Lions Club. He has also joined the local woodturning club, which gets together once a month. The members like to show their latest projects to each other. He even thought about possibly teaching a class at Snow College, but says, “Once you start retiring, it’s hard to go back.”
When it came to housing, the Floyds say their decision was not so much about location as the home itself.
They had lived in lots of places, some very nice, some not so nice. When they saw a home for sale in Mayfield Estates, the development on the north side of the town, their daughter Sydney told them, “This is the one you want. You don’t need to look anymore.”
The Floyds’ home is new and roomy. It has space for them and visiting family, as well as for their camping gear, the RV and their ATV’s.
The back yard provides a wonderful space to gather, entertain and gaze at the “Nipple,” a blip on the mountain off in the distance.
Jon Collard and Leigh Ann “Boots” Corley
Jon Collard grew up in Fountain Green and moved to California to pursue a business as a tax incentive consultant.
When it came time for him to retire after 20 years, “it was an easy decision” to come back to Sanpete. He wanted to come back to where he grew up, and be closer to his family. Although most of his immediate family has moved away, there are still “quite a few Collards around.”
He ended up in a log cabin home in an unincorporated area east of Mt. Pleasant.
“I just love the mountains,” he says. “The hunting, the fishing, the ATV trails” all pulled him back to where he grew up.
He asked the Messenger if he could put in a personal pitch for residents to support Sanpete Search and Rescue, which he believes does great work with modest funding.
One of the biggest draws for Collard was the values he finds in Sanpete County. “Being able to do business with people you know and trust based on a handshake, rather than all the litigious nonsense on the West Coast,” makes him feel at home, he says.
“Much of the world is changing rapidly. People are losing values that made America what it is. I wanted to preserve that as much as possible. This is the place for that.”
In contrast to the Floyds and Collards, who moved to the county to retire, Ron and Debbie Crockett moved here seeking an agricultural lifestyle and seeking to finish raising their family of eight children.
According to Debbie, three of the children have left home, two are “almost married” and three are still at home.
Earlier in their married lives, the Crocketts lived in Provo in a house that was near a tire store and fire station. Later they lived in Vineyard, west of Orem, in a cul-de-sac that backed up on the Geneva Steel plant and was near a railroad.
For 13 years, they lived in West Mountain, west of Payson, on a 5-acre property. That location was closer to what they were seeking. But over time, some negatives emerged.
Their home was on a collector road that also serviced a gravel pit. About 200 cement trucks per day went past their house. “The kids couldn’t ride their bikes safely,” Debbie says.
In their taxing jurisdiction, they needed 5-1/4 acres for their property to be in the greenbelt. Because they were a quarter acre short, all 5 acres were taxed at the residential rate.
“More and more people were moving out here,” Debbie says. “It just kept growing and growing. We said, ‘This is not what we wanted.’”
It took the Crocketts a year and a half of “looking, contemplating and praying” to figure out where to go.
In 2013, they move to 13 acres in Spring City. But they wanted something that would give them a second income and eventually enable Ron to quit commuting to Provo.
They found that potential in dairy sheep—sheep that can be milked and the milk sold. Several months ago, they moved to a 39-acre farm near Mt. Pleasant that has an artesian spring and a stream running through it. The access to their land is a dirt road, and Debbie says the only people who drive on the road are their immediate neighbors.
Ron has worked for 31 years for a Provo company that makes diamond bits for the oil, gas, coal and asphalt industries.
“We knew it would be an hour commute, but we decided it was worth it,” Debbie says. Her husband takes U.S. 89 through Indianola up to Spanish Fork Canyon. And as it turns out, “he actually enjoys the commute,” Debbie says. On virtually every trip, he sees wildlife—deer, foxes, a coyote, wild turkeys or eagles.
He uses commuting time to meditate, listen to LDS conference talks and decompress, his wife says. “When he gets home, he’s ready to be a dad and a husband.”
The Crockett children seem to be content with their lives in Sanpete County. “My boys can hardly wait until they have a blacksmith shop,” she says, and at their present home, “we can do it.”
Debbie says she’s heard others, whether living in Indianola, Fairview, Mt. Pleasant, Ephraim or Moroni, express the same feeling she has. “As soon as you cross the Utah-Sanpete County line, you know you’re home.”
“Honestly,” she says, you couldn’t pay me to go back.”