By Kent Larsen
Wellsville Disputes with Stake President over Sham Battle
WELLSVILLE, UTAH -- An announcement of the Wellsville Founders' Day and the
Sham Battle that has accompanied it since 1916 won't be inserted into ward
bulletins in the town before the celebration. But, the Founders' Day
Committee Chairman, Becky Siggard, and local LDS Stake President Louis
Lucaro disagree on why. The town had asked the stake to have the insert put
in ward bulletins, but Lucero turned them down.
According to Siggard, however, Lucero first agreed to distribute the
inserts, as long as information about the annual Sham Battle was left out.
The event portrays a mock attack by Indians on Mormon settlers and is said
to commemorate an 1860s militia group's annual military exercises which
culminated with a similar sham battle.
But after preparing a version of the insert without the Sham Battle, Siggard
checked with Wellsville mayor Ruth Maughan, who "didn't feel good" about the
changed insert. "I felt if we were going to advertise, we should advertise
the full schedule, said Maughan. Mention of the battle has appeared on every
piece of advertisement for the celebration.
However, when the Logan Herald-Journal checked with Lucero about his reason
for turning down the insert, Lucero said he had "no comment." He latter
added that 'secular' advertisements are generally not allowed in ward
bulletins, "I don't run all these (bulletin) things. Each ward is at liberty
to do whatever they like in their bulletin ... But as far as when people
have asked me, I've not let any [secular annoucements] in that I'm aware of
in the last year."
Asked if the Church has an official stance on the Sham Battle, Lucero said
no it doesn't, nor does it have a position on "anything with the cities,
really." Meanwhile, Siggard says "I understand both sides of this story. ...
I think the Sham Battle is just a big controversy no matter how you look at
Sham Battle under siege
Logan UT Herald Journal 1Sep01 D6
By Jason Bergreen