r By Dianne King
M. Lee Taylor, a 1964 graduate of Springville High School, will present a look back at Springville schools from their beginnings, particularly the high school, as part of a historical lecture at the Springville Senior Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. The center is located at 65 E. 200 South. Springville High School alumni will especially enjoy this event.
The history of Springville High is often clouded in local memories, and the story of its founding is a mystery even to many of those who grew up in the community and attended school there. Before the 20th century, schooling typically ended at the eighth grade with students having received what was then called a “normal education.”
Early Utah history tells us it was deemed far more important for the youth to be helping out on the farm than spending time in the pursuit of “higher education.” Those who felt the need or expressed the desire to continue on were generally sent East to attend an institution of higher learning.
The construction of school facilities and the education of local children was foremost in the minds of the earliest settlers of Springville. Those attending this lecture will learn how the efforts of those earliest citizens led not only to the organization of a local school system, but also to the erection of extended school facilities and the eventual founding of Springville High School, the very first “public” high school in Utah County.
Lee Taylor has lived in Springville his entire life with the exception of three years spent in the military. He was born in his parents’ home in the Sage Creek area, and for the past 43 years has lived just two houses away from his childhood home. He attended grade school at the Jefferson School and also attended the new (1958) junior high school; he graduated from Springville High in 1964. After at year at Brigham Young University, he joined the U.S. Army, receiving basic training in Fort Ord, Calif., followed by service in Oklahoma, Okinawa and Vietnam and at Fort Belvoir, Va. He was honorably discharged in 1969.
He spent the next 22 years at Pacific Pipe as a machinist and electrician before joining the IBEW Electrical Workers Union. Lee then worked for the next 18 years virtually coast to coast as an electrician and eventually was named superintendent for Cache Valley Electric before retiring in 2009. Since then he has been very active in the Springville Historical Society, where he serves on the board of directors. He is an amateur historian and particularly interested in almost anything dealing with the Springville/Mapleton area. Recently he has focused on the early Springville schools and school system and has given several lectures on the subject.