Davis Ward

A History of its Beginnings
written by June and Glen Lofgreen

Members of the Church who lived in Davis, California were originally members of the Sutter Ward of the Sacramento Stake. The ward building where we attended meetings was located in the western part of the city of Sacramento. In December 1950, members living in Davis were transferred to Woodland and Woodland Ward was created from the Woodland Branch. Over the next few years the membership of Woodland Ward living in Davis grew rather rapidly and it became obvious that a Davis Ward would have to be created in the near future. At this time I was serving as the Bishop of Woodland Ward. Recognizing the need and with the aid of the stake president, Albert B. Crandall, we were able to purchase a choice three acre lot in Davis for the future construction of a combined Institute of Religion and ward chapel.

On 17 February 1957, the Davis Ward was organized by a division of the Woodland Ward. I was released as Bishop of the Woodland Ward and sustained as Bishop of the new Davis Ward with Gene S. Jacobson and Myron F. Andrews as counselors. Kent Tyler and Bob Cowan were called as clerks.

I was set apart to preside over the Davis Ward on 31 March 1957 by Delbert L. Stapley. Having previously been ordained a Bishop, it was not necessary for that ordinance to be repeated. At the same time, I was called to serve as chairman of the Sacramento Stake Bishops' Council. That meant responsibility for the cannery and stake welfare programs. It was a challenging time with only 161 members in the new ward.

We immediately organized a building committee and began raising funds to construct a ward chapel on the site we had purchased before the ward was organized. The ward members cleaned an area on Putah Creek where we held chicken barbeques and had other activities. The next few months of my tenure as bishop were filled with things like the barbeques, rummage and bake sales, progressive dinners, and wood cutting projects, just to mention a few. I do not remember all of the diffrent types of projects. However, I know the bulk of the ward's share of the funds was raised by member contributions.

The first meetings of the new ward were held in a house on B Street which we had remodeled to accommodate church meetings. One wall of the living room was removed for sacrament meetings. The basement was remodeled and benches were built for the younger clases. We poured a concrete driveway from the street into the adjacent vacant lot to be used for parking. It wasn't long before the house on B Street could not accommodate the membership of the ward and the meetings were changed to the I.O.O.F. Hall.

Soon after the ward was organized, in an effort to become better acquainted and to try to stimulate even greater activity, I determined to visit every family in the ward boundaries which was not receiving home teachers. I did so, except for one who was out of the country at the time. Interestingly, none wanted to be considered as inaccessible.

In the summer of 1958, I was released as Bishop of the Davis Ward in order to take a sabbatical leave from the University of California.

At this point I would like to bear my testimony concerning the blessings which I received during my short tenure as a bishop. In the normal sequence of advancement in the University of California system, one serves six years as an assistant professor before being considered for advancement to the tenure position of associate professor. It is seldom that anyone receives an accelerated appointment to this position. However, despite the time I spent doing the Lord's work, I received an accelerated advancement to the position of associate professor after five years as an assistant professor. Of course, while serving as bishop I tried very hard to make sure I gave the University a full measure of service. This is also a testimony to me that when one devotes the necessary time to the Lord's work he is blessed with the ability to be more efficient in the use of his time so that he can accomplish his other responsibilities. During this time we were also able to start purchasing our home at 822 Miller Drive in Davis, which we needed so badly with the growth of our young family.

Members of the original Davis Ward (that we have remembered thus far):

Gene and Barbara Jacobsen
Myron and Vonnie Andrews
Bob Cowan
Kent and Bea Tyler
Jerry and Ruth Halterman
Duane and Margaret Mikkelsen
Jeanne Collins (and Ed)
Roy and Clark Mortenson (brothers)
Francis and Pauline Broadbent
Dan and Dorothy Noorlander
Cy and Betty McKell
Les and Annie Whitton
Earl Taylor
Bob and Libby Freeman
Murray and Audrey Fowler
Royce and Pearl Bringhurst
Niles Cooper
Tom Cooper (think his wife was Elaine, a non-member)
Vera Mrak (and Emil)
Dave and Jody Ririe (on a mission to New Zealand)
Warren and Clara Cecil
Erma Besbeck (and Lou)
Archie and Margaret Millett
Bud and Florence Boulton
Marjorie Hall (and Dennis)
Conna Mullin (and Tom)
Vern and Mary Marble
K.C. Ellsworth
Barbara Thomas and her parents (can't remember the given names of the parents;they lived in Dixon)
Glen and June Lofgreen