LAND USE BY FRUITA PROPERTY OWNERS, 1912 to 1950*
*Years selected at random. Source of data: Assessment Roll of Wayne County, Wayne County Courthouse, Loa, Utah.
The dramatic increase in amount of improved land reportedly planted in orchards on the 1946 tax roll and the subsequent doubling of taxes (according to Charles Kelly) resulted in a resurvey in 1947 of private lands in Fruita. It is believed the 1947 assessment roll figures are therefore more accurate, as they are consistent with the NPS 1949 appraisal figures. Most orchard acreage in 1947 was owned by the following: Max Krueger, Owen Davis, Clarence Mulford, and Dean Brimhall. Together they held 87% of the fruitland in Fruita, or 34.6 acres of the total 40 acres in orchard. Below is a listing of fruitlands reported to be held by all Fruita property owners in 1947.
Assessment Roll of Wayne County, 1947 Record -
Landowner Acres in Fruit
Because the fruitlands appear to be grossly under reported prior to 1946 (and apparently over reported in 1946), these tax records prior to 1947 have limited usefulness in documenting the chronology of orchard development during the historic period. By the same token, averages are probably not very meaningful, except in distinguishing improved vs. unimproved private lands. Historic photographs and orchard records proved to be a more accurate source of documentation for purposes of this report. Additional oral history may also provide information regarding the orchard changes over time.
Additional note: Prior to 1912, land use is not described on assessment roll. Improvements and animals are listed however. Some time between 1951 and 1955 agricultural land use is no longer broken into categories of use as earlier. "Improved Land" means irrigated land; unimproved and grazing are synonymous categories.
DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK, FRUITA, 1896-1958
*Bees no longer recorded from this period on. The only beekeepers until 1911 were Cal Pendleton and Leo Holt, then Jed Mott began keeping bees as well. Pendleton was the first to keep bees, and he consistently kept the most colonies.
NOTE: The assessor did not record chickens and turkeys. All sizeable herds of horses, cattle, and/or sheep were owned by rancher Clarence Mulford. Mulford had additional grazing lands outside (to the west of) Fruita. Because his ownership of livestock was sporadic and as other Fruita residents normally owned only a few horses, cattle, or pigs, livestock averages are not meaningful and would be misleading.
Source of Data: Assessment Roll of Wayne County, Wayne County Courthouse, Loa, Utah.
Last Updated: 01-Apr-2003