Tragedy at Beef Hollow

Shortly after midnight on the morning of April 30, 1908, the horse drawn wagon carrying Frank Stanley, his family, and friends fell off a steep drop on the side of the road. They were all returning to Lehi after leaving a dance held in Bluffdale, where Stanley and his wife had acted as chaperones for the teenagers that were with them. Stanley was making his way along a road then known as the Beef Hollow Dugway which rose out of a deep hollow.

Salt Lake County Surveyor map (1950s-1960s)

Salt Lake County Surveyor map (1950s-1960s)

On the wagon were his wife Sarah, their two daughters, and another teen from Salt Lake City that had been staying with them on their Lehi farm. According to the death certificate filed with the State, Mrs. Stanley died of a skull fracture. The rest of the passengers and the horses were injured but still standing.

Frank Stanley petitioned the Salt Lake County Commission in May for compensation due to the poor condition of the road. The petition was delivered by his attorneys, Willey & Willey.

Frank StanleyThe County Attorney’s opinion is attached to the petition stating that he did not believe that the County was responsible for the accident.

County Attorney

Stanley brought suit against Salt Lake County in 1909 for $25,000, a sum that would be approximately $600,000 in today’s dollars. Unfortunately, no further records of the case were found.


Salt Lake County Commission, Petitions, Series CM-333.  Salt Lake County Archives.

Salt Lake County Herald May 2, 1908; “Death Comes Suddenly..

Inter-Mountain Republican May 1, 1909; Wife Killed in Fall over Embankment and Husband Asks $25,000.

~Entry contributed by Vince Fazzi, Salt Lake County Archivist


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