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NIELSON WANTS OREM POST OFFICE NAMED AFTER SENATOR FROM UTAH

SHARE NIELSON WANTS OREM POST OFFICE NAMED AFTER SENATOR FROM UTAH

Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, wants Congress to rename the Orem Post Office to honor a once-powerful Republican senator from Utah.

He has introduced a bill that would name it the "Arthur V. Watkins Building."Watkins was a senator from 1947 to 1959 and achieved national prominence as chairman of the Select Committee on the Censure of Joseph McCarthy - the Wisconsin senator who was notorious for accusing people of being communists.

Nielson said in a speech on the House floor that because of his handling of the committee, "Time Magazine once described Sen. Watkins as a `man little known in the past who should be long remembered into the future.' I could not agree more."

Watkins also served as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Immigration and National Policy. He was defeated in 1958 when former Republican Gov. J. Bracken Lee ran as an independent and split the Republican vote. That helped Democrat Frank Moss win with just 38 percent of the vote.

Nielson said he chose the Orem Post Office for his bill because Watkins attended public schools in the Provo-Orem area. He also entered Brigham Young Academy in 1903 and was a guard on its first championship basketball team.

Nielson said an example of Watkins' determination for fairness came when he was offered $40 a month in 1906 to teach elementary school in Maeser, Utah.

"He asked how much sheepherders were paid. One of the school trustees who was a sheepherder told him that herders were paid $60 a month because they were responsible for valuable property. Watkins stated, `I won't work for less than the sheepherders; children are a lot more valuable than sheep.' He was paid $60 a month," Nielson said.

Watkins was a private attorney in Vernal, an assistant Salt Lake County attorney, a Utah County farmer, an elected 4th Judicial District Court judge, director of the Orem Chamber of Commerce and director of the Provo Water Users Association, where he was instrumental in construction of Deer Creek Dam.

Watkins died in 1973.