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The City Journals

Riverton City honors local historian Scott Crump

Apr 09, 2018 05:04PM ● By Mariden Williams

Scott and Desiree Crump (center) with the Riverton City Council

In a meeting on Feb. 20, local historian and longtime high school teacher Scott Crump received special recognition from the Riverton City Council for his contributions to preserving community history. 

Crump, who co-authored the 1994 book “Riverton: The Story of a Utah Country Town” together with Melvin Bashore, served in the original Riverton Historical Society at its formation in 1984 and laid the groundwork for the formation of today’s Riverton City Historic Preservation Commission. 

“What an honor it is to recognize Scott Crump for his incredible contribution to Riverton City and for his work in preserving our history,” said Riverton City Mayor Trent Staggs. “He laid the foundation of historical preservation for our city, which can be built upon for years to come.” 

In addition to his work in preserving Riverton history, Crump is arguably a piece of Riverton history himself. Over his 37-year career at Bingham High School, he won numerous awards, including the 1991 Utah Sterling Scholar Most Inspirational Teacher, Utah Historical Society Teacher of the Year 1992, Utah Legislature Educator of the Year 1993 and Utah Teacher of the Year 2004. In that time, he influenced the lives of countless students, including Staggs and a few members of the current city council.

“Mr. Crump, as we all knew him, he wasn’t one of my direct teachers, but he definitely had influence in my reason for getting involved in politics,” said Councilmember Sheldon Stewart. “He taught AP; I wasn’t good enough for AP. But everything we did around the school, everybody knew Mr. Crump.”

Even if you weren’t directly his student, Crump would still find a way to get you involved one way or another, be it through schoolwide events or more personal endeavors. He even went so far as to recruit the school madrigal choir, which Stewart was in at the time, to help him perform a sung marriage proposal to his wife Desiree. 

“I still even can get the song in my head a little bit,” Stewart said—a reworking of traditional Christmas carol “Fum, Fum, Fum,” with new lyrics Crump came up with himself. That’s the way Mr. Crump is. He’s just this creative guy. He came up with great ways to teach us, how to learn different concepts and how different things related to history. And I got to tell you, I hated history when I got into high school. But between some of the things he did, he really got me interested in history, even though I wasn’t one of his students. As much as you may not always know those that you touch as a teacher, you touch everyone that you see.”

Staggs named Crump a lifetime honorary member of the Riverton Historic Preservation Commission and also offered Crump the city’s support for a possible follow-up edition to “Riverton: The Story of a Utah Country Town.”

“It’s part of my library at home,” said Councilmember Tish Buroker, who has read the book several times. “I absolutely believe that the only way to truly feel connected to your community is to know some of its history, and that’s where you learn to love it.”

“This book, I found fascinating,” said Staggs. “It’s full of history, and I would recommend that anybody in Riverton take a look at this book. It’s mostly chronological  and kind of ends in the ’90s, and I personally would be interested in seeing a second edition produced; that would bring us up to date.” 

A second edition will have to wait at for a couple years, though, as Crump and his wife Desiree will be leaving the state in April 2018 to serve a mission in Nauvoo, Illinois, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.