Hyrum’s Civic Organizations: Lion’s Club, Jaycees, and Saddle Club
Hyrum Lions Club
The Hyrum Lion’s Club was the first to organize in Cache Valley, receiving their charter from the International Association of Lions Clubs on October 17, 1928. For eighty-five years, the Lions served Hyrum, sponsoring many projects for civic and community improvement. Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, the club was disbanded in 2013. One of the Lions’ most notable events is the Easter egg hunt each spring on the city square and many remember when they actually released rabbits for the children to catch. Historically, the Lions also sponsored a Christmas show complete with a visit from Santa Claus, the pancake breakfast on July fourth, and vision clinics to check for glaucoma and diabetes. In 1959, the Lions built the large stone fireplace in the city park. The club also assisted with projects at the rodeo grounds and the park in Blacksmith Fork Canyon.
Henry Giessenbier founded the Jaycees (presently called the U.S. Junior Chamber) in 1920 with 3,000 members in St. Louis, Missouri. It was Henry’s vision to provide young people with opportunities would otherwise have little or no access to because he believed that young people could change the world. In his era, most young men were out of school and working by the age of fifteen and those were most likely the jobs they held throughout their lives. Giessenbier felt that young men did not have the opportunities necessary to develop their skills at a younger age, thus depriving our nation of an important resource. Accordingly, he formed the Jaycees to offer leadership opportunities to young people and give them hands-on experience through serving the community. The Hyrum Club of Jaycees organized in 1951 with Luane Larsen as president. They served the community through various projects including sponsoring little league ball players. Nationally, in 1927 the Jaycees worked with member Charles A. Lindbergh to develop the U.S. Air Mail Service, guided the establishment of the National Wildlife Federation in 1936, endorsed the principle of a military draft in 1940, and supported statehood for Alaska in 1959 and Hawaii gained statehood the following year due to Jaycee efforts.
Hyrum Saddle Club
In 1944 a group of horse-lovers decided to take the afternoon off so they could enjoy a horse ride and the rest is history… Soon after, the group formally organized into a riding club and eventually joined the Western Riding Association. Over the last seventy years, the club has won numerous awards, medals, and honors while participating in races and other activities throughout the region. Once known as the “Big Pole Corral” the rodeo grounds east of town have always been used for pasturing animals, roundups, and races. Eventually, Hanna Anderson gave twenty acres of the land to Hyrum City to be developed into a park. Along with several of the local organizations, including the Saddle Club, the city installed the rodeo arena near the existing racing track in the late 1940s. The Saddle Club sponsored chariot races during Memorial Day weekend through the 1960s and continue to organize the Star Spangled Rodeo and ride in the parade on the Fourth of July. Today, the Hyrum Saddle Club continues to offer activities, rides, and camaraderie to its members. In 2012, Hyrum City built a new rodeo arena and the Saddle Club works tirelessly to offer an entertaining, high-quality, professional rodeo that is not to be missed! New members are always welcome.