Oral Histories

William D. McDougald

b.1927

Bill McDougald

Q: What other boards did you say you were on?

A: Higher Ed, of course that’s from my teaching experience. And that’s been a good assignment I’ve enjoyed. I joined the Water Board in 1984, and for a long time it wasn’t so political but it’s more of a political battle anymore. It’s not quite as enjoyable as it used to be. But it comes to that, I guess, because of the new development and this Cloudrock is one of the issues you’re looking at and of course I’ve always said Cloudrock will go if you can develop the necessary water for them and to do the job. The District is in the business with a new well, the second well and storage tank on the edge of Johnson’s Up on Top mesa or on the valley rim.

Q: You’re not worried about Moab becoming an Aspen for rich people?

A: We’re a little desert today. We don’t have a poor people populace in the upper valley the way it is tioday as far as I can tell.

Q: I think that’s true. I live by J.D. Norman’s gated community.

A: Well, I don’t think that the valley’s poor at all. Well, of course, the danger of going to Aspen is that things are so highly priced. I think we’re a long ways from that.

Q: It sounds like you enjoy the mixture of Moab.

A: We have a good mixture and it’s a wonderful thing, semi arid Aspen-like community.

Q: Are you worried about anything?

A: No we’ve got a good City Council. We have an excellent new mayor. I worked with him on the City Council, Dave Sakrison. Karla Hancock was a fine Mayor and good person. The County Council when they changed over to seven had their real problems and I still wish they’d gone for five but, of course, I’m partial because I served all those years on a five-man Board. So that’s why I speak that way but they’re getting along and doing all right. We have a good community.

Q: Well I think that’s the most important thing for people to know the facts instead of arguing about things that they do not comprehend. They should work together.

A: In Higher Education I try hard to teach them a good course of elementary geology. This year I taught one course, #101, which is Physical Geology to you and I, beginning first course in geology. I taught it for the College of Eastern Utah and of course we’re on a semester basis now so that runs fifteen weeks instead of ten. We didn’t have the enrollment for Winter Semester. I teach the classes when they have the enrollment. We have to have the enrollment of eight to ten students.

Q: Moab could become more of a college town if they’d develop facilities.

A: Yes, that’s a long haul and a very expensive situation when you get into all those things. Of course they got that land donated for a campus. The problem is the junior college in Grand Junction and the college in Price. Populations only support so much Higher Education facilities and staffing.

Q: Blanding has sort of a little community or campus.

A: They’ve taken their CEU and expanded it into an on-campus center. They’re ahead of Moab as far as CEU. We kind of sit in between there but at the present time we’re in the process of buying up CEU, the complex including Moab City Hall.

Q: Oh, where the City is?

A: That would then succumb. Oh course the City owns their own land and property in west Moab complex.. That would only come about when or if the City moved to the retired high school and middle school along east center by the ballpark complex.

Q: The one that’s empty now?

A: Yes. In the 1930’s, 1940’s, we used to occupy an old building behind the 1930’s constructed K1-12 buildings, a library and auditorium, including a lunchroom.

Q: Well you’ve seen Moab through thick and thin and must like it one way or another?

A: I still like it, it’s a great place to live. A bunch of wonderful people, yeah there’s lots of good people. Moab has always been a blend of LDS and others. Maybe 40% LDS.

Q: Blanding?

A: Yeah and the tough town, by the way, the real tough town as far as looking at the religious part was Monticello. I am told that they are more jealous. I’ve golfed with a mixed crowd of people. I’m not LDS but I do have two sisters that belong to the church. Mary and her husband, Jim Davis, have been on 5 missions. Mary’s a wonderful person. And I have the highest regard for the LDS and have no problem with them. If I had a problem with them I wouldn’t have stayed in Utah.

Q: Well, Moab isn’t predominantly Mormon.

A: No, it isn’t. I think one time it might have been 60% and it’s probably less than that now, about 40%. Don Cook told me somewhere about the statistics here . We was down around 40% LDS.

I’ll tell you about my early years serving on the Moab City Council. I served two years under the late J.W. Corbin and he was the president of the Midland Telephone Company. That’s Ila’s husband and he has grandsons J.R. Carter and Russell Carter’s wife, the nurse, is the daughter, Helen. And I served two years with J.W. And I served two years with my brother, Ken, and this picture depicts the time he was awarding me something for my service in ’56 through ’60. And Ken was quite a community leader, to say the least. We lost him in 1983 in an airplane crash in New Mexico. But Ken was quite a guy. He was a giant in the community.

Q: Was he older than you?

A: Ken was about 18 months older than I am.

Q: Was he in politics before you or vice versa?

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