Oral Histories

Sam Taylor

b.1933

Sam Taylor

Q: When he went the other way (Moab to Cane Springs), it was just on horse? It wasn’t the stage?

A: Yes, just horseback.

Q: Thompson was the mail stage.

A: I found his inscription on the very toe of that big rock at the Hole in the Rock. It’s carved and it was early nineteen hundreds, 1903 or something like that. And it’s real high on the rock. I asked him one time, “I found your name and the date on a rock at Hole in the Rock.” He said, “Yeah, I remember carving it in there”. I said, “Well. It’s way up high on the rock. Was there a big sand dune up there”? He said, “The guy from La Sal was late and I was bored so I decided to carve my name in the rock and I got my horse up next to the rock, got up and stood on the saddle and carved that name”. He said it was a good old horse.

Q: He must have been.

A: And that name is still very visible.

Q: And he drove mail stage for a while?

A: Yes, and then he decided he wanted to see the world so he hooked up with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Thompson or Green River, one of the two, and went to work for them for a week or two until he found that shoveling up crap wasn’t the best job in the world. So he went back to Sunnyside Junction and hopped a freight, a coal train, up to Sunnyside. Got a job working in the coal mine. That lasted a day. He decided there had to be a better way to make a living. By this time he was about 16 or 17. So he hopped another freight back into Price and got a job working in a little weekly newspaper. There were two newspapers in Price at that time; he went to work for one of them that was operated by a real drunkard. The place was a mess and the guy said, “You’re gonna have to get the paper out. There are the type cases and you put the type together and get a newspaper out.” He said, “What’ll I put in it?” And he said, “Oh, just get the other paper and copy what they had.” So that was his introduction to the newspaper business. And a year or two later, when he fairly well learned the mechanics of putting out a newspaper, his older brother-in-law, Clarence Robertson, who was the County Attorney here in Grand County, and who was kind of Dad’s mentor, bought the Grand Valley Times from J.N. Corbin. And he bought it primarily because Corbin wanted out badly. He was an entrepreneur, mining magnate type, always had new ideas. He started the first telephone company here.

Read the other Oral Histories