WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
HENRY & MARY SCHOLZEN
BIOGRAPHYHenry Scholzen was born on March 17, 1894 in Racine, Wisconsin. The Scholzen family were immigrants from Germany, settling with many other German people in the Wisconsin area.
Henry served as a cook with the U.S. Army during World War I. After the war he came West as an employee of the dining car and hotel department of the Union Pacific Railroad. Prior to being transferred to Southern Utah to manage the Union Pacific's facilities at the Utah National Parks (Grand Canyon North Rim, Bryce and Zion), Henry was over the Union Pacific's dining car division from Ogden, Utah, to Hollywood, California, with offices in both of those cities. He was a pioneer to the present day Zion National Park Lodge, having set up a mess hall three years before the 1925 construction of the lodge.
During the time that Henry was manager of the Utah Parks Company, he asked Mary Sanders of Hurricane if she would help manage the dining hall at Zion. Mary Sanders and Henry Scholzen were married November 18, 1924. From then on she was his constant companion and partner.
Henry and Mary's only child, Jack, was born in Hollywood, California, on September 13, 1925. Even as a child Jack was involved in their business adventures. He was driving trucks at age 14.
In 1928, Henry quit working for the Union Pacific Railroad and their subsidiary the Utah Parks Company. Fearing a transfer and not wanting to leave Southern Utah, he decided to go into business for himself. He raised chickens, turkeys, and rabbits and began selling them to the big restaurants in the Los Angeles area. On return trips he would freight in construction supplies for the Southern Utah contractors.
As economic conditions changed, Henry branched out into other product lines. Henry and Mary had the vision to see that the Union Pacific would not spend huge sums of money on park facilities without knowing that roads would be built to connect the parks, so they made plans and began contacting business houses. When road contractors began moving their road building equipment into Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, they were ready. They sold them everything from blasting powder to groceries and meat for their mess hall. For several seasons, from Spring until road conditions stopped for winter, Henry and Mary loaded their truck in Salt Lake City with supplies for the construction camps.
Henry and Mary sold supplies to contractors on the Zion National Park tunnel and highway. When the tunnel was completed in 1930, they began selling contractor equipment and supplies from a small warehouse in Hurricane. Thus, Scholzen Products Company, as it is known today, was born. However from 1928 to 1936 the business was known as Scholzen Produce Company.
When Jack was fifteen, Henry was in a terrible car accident. Jack had to leave school to see that the deliveries were made. Henry finally recovered, but the years of hard work and long hours took its toll on his health. Henry died on July 18, 1951 leaving his son, Jack, with the responsibility of carrying on the business at the age of 26.
Although he was only 57 when he died, Henry left the imprint of his noble character and accomplishments on the face of Southern Utah.
PHOTOSPhotos on the web:
REFERENCESScholzen Products Company History
Find-A-Grave entry for Henry Clarence Scholzen
Find-A-Grave entry for Mary Sanders Scholzen