Belle Kay Snarr remembers much of her first year in Salt Lake City in 1897, 50 years after the arrival of Mormon pioneers.
And the Salt Lake woman, who recently observed her 100th birthday, also recalls the dedication of the Brigham Young Monument by LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff.The centenarian, born April 30, 1888, in Omaha, came to Utah with her parents when her father, Joseph Daniel Kay, was transferred by the Oregon Shortline Railroad. Rather than drop his family off at the train station, the engineer took them to within a short distance of their new home on west Sixth South.
The family arrived in the Utah capital during a time of excitement. The Mormons were celebrating their 50th year in the Salt Lake Valley and were staging the largest parade ever held in the West.
Little Belle, who was only 9, was the princess for a children's parade. She rode on a cart decorated especially for the occasion.
"It was a beautiful parade. It was muddy, though, except on the boardwalks," she said. She remembers U.S. and Utah troops marching in the parade, fireworks and musical programs during the three-day celebration.There were three parades: one for the Sunday School, a parade of counties and one that has now become the Days of '47 Parade.
Snarr attended Lincoln School and later worked as an accountant at Acme Printing Co. At age 18 she married James Snarr. Although she was a Catholic and he was a Mormon, she said differences in their religious beliefs never caused any problems. The couple had two children, a son, Dentley, who died at 21, and Laureta, now Mrs. Lewis T. Ellsworth. James Snarr died many years ago.
Snarr remembers the friendly, caring people along Sixth South. She said the street was the "Main Street" across town, where fancy carriages, mostly from the Jordan River and old Cannon Farm region, would pass by frequently.
During her first year in Salt Lake City, news of a rich gold strike on the Klondike in Canada's Yukon Territory reached the area, but she said no one seemed to care much about venturing that far north.
Snarr has four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
"I'm quite fortunate to have good health, and I love to play bridge," she said.