About twenty five years ago, I attended the funeral for my grandfather Huntsman in Fillmore, Utah. It had been some years since I had visited this small, central Utah town. As a youngster, I had visited there many times and always enjoyed the small town feel that was a real novelty for someone who had spent the first twelve years of their life living between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
During a prayer that was given at the graveside, one of my uncles stated, “Fillmore, being the hub of the universe. . . .”
At the time, I reflected on that comment. My father had been born in Blackfoot, Idaho, only because he was born several weeks premature, altering his father’s plans for having his second son born in Fillmore. The Huntsmans were among the early settlers sent by Brigham Young to the settlement that eventually became the territorial capital of the State of Deseret. James Huntsman, who had joined the Latter-day Saint movement in Kirtland, Ohio, would be the first of five generations to live and die in Fillmore.
I belong to the seventh generation of Huntsmans, and my generation will be the first that none of us have lived in that Utah town, which gave so much to so many of my ancestors. This is in no way a criticism of Fillmore. I drive through every few years and with great pride show my children their ancestral homes, small businesses, and farms. Our diaspora, however, is a sign of the economic times.