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FENTON, Thomas

This article originally appeared in Vol.60 No. 2 of Pioneer Magazine

by Ronald W. Andersen

The Fentons rented part of a house in the Fifteenth Ward, but in 1852 they purchased a house and lot in the Sixth Ward. In 1856 they moved to Ogden, intending to settle there, but after buying a house and two lots in that city and finding themselves unable to purchase farming land in the vicinity, they returned in February 1857 to their old home in Salt Lake City. Having purchased two-and-a-half lots close to his home and planted a good fruit orchard, Mr. Fenton next seeded, planted, and established a first-class nursery. Afterwards, as his sons grew old enough to go into business with him, he purchased 30 acres of land a few blocks away for nursery stock and kept his green and hot houses, rose gardens, and so on in the Sixth Ward.

In June 1876, Fenton asked the city council to consider the propriety of introducing the English sparrow for the purpose of exterminating insects destructive to fruit. The petition was referred to the committee on improvements. The petition was evidently approved and the bird, the weaver finch, popularly referred to as the “English sparrow,” was brought to Utah

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