WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
WOOLLEY LUND & JUDD MERCANTILE
LOCATIONThe south side of the Wells Fargo Building in Silver Reef was home to the Wooley Lund & Judd Mercantile.
HISTORYIn October 1875 Thomas Judd joined his financial resources with those of Edwin Gordon Woolley and Robert C. Lund to establish the firm of Woolley, Lund and Judd. Their store, originally established in the St. George Hall, proved so successful that it presented a threat to the recently established Southern Utah Cooperative Mercantile Institution founded by Apostle Erastus Snow also in 1875. The Southern Utah CMI was part of the Church-wide cooperative movement to develop a self-sufficient economy thereby excluding the threat of economic domination by non-Mormons. Edwin Woolley had been manager of the Cooperative Store until his decision to form a partnership with Lund and Judd.
As an apparent result of the rivalry, all three partners were called on proselyting missions during the Semi-Annual Church Conference in April 1876. Not without some influence on Brigham Young, the three men worked out a compromise whereby Edwin Woolley would serve a mission in the United States, Thomas Judd would return to his native land of England to try to win converts to the Mormon faith and Robert Lund would be permitted to remain in Utah to operate the business.
After a two-year sojourn in the mission field from 1876 to 1878, Woolley and Judd returned home. The silver mining boom at nearby Silver Reef provided and excellent opportunity to expand the operations of the firm and store was opened in the building which also housed the local offices of Wells Fargo and Company. With stores in St. George and Silver Reef, the firm played an important role in the economy of Southern Utah.
REFERENCESA History of Washington County, From Isolation to Destination
Book by Douglas D. Alder and Karl F. Brooks
Pages 86, 88, 109, and 36.
Immortal Pioneers: Founders of City of St. George, Utah
Book by Albert E. Miller