Rollin Southwell

Rollin Southwell

1936 ~ 2013

Rollin Glen Southwell passed away suddenly on Sunday, March 24th, 2013. Born February 9, 1936 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska he had just turned 77 years old. He attended first and second grades in Gering, Nebraska then finished elementary and high school in Huntley, Wyoming. Rollin was raised on the Southwell family homestead in Goshen County Wyoming. A graduate of Huntley High School class of 1954, he played on their small town 6-man football team. He later served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1959-1961 in the Northwestern States Mission.

Rollin Southwell was a great teacher and educator. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1965 and received his Masters in Education from Utah State in 1977. He taught Industrial Arts (i.e. Shop class) at Highland High School and Math at Hillside Middle School for the Salt Lake School District. Upon his retirement, he pursued his passion for history and travel with his involvement in the preservation of the Lincoln Highway, the first privately funded paved road from coast to coast built in 1913. He was instrumental in the completion of a monument to Carl Fisher, located at the top of Johnson (Fisher) Pass on state highway 199 between Clover and Terra, Utah. For this work, he received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Utah State Historical Society for his efforts to preserve the history of Fisher Pass. While living in Ely, he was instrumental in bringing the National Lincoln Highway convention to Ely in 2005. He was on the National Lincoln Highway association board for many years. During this time, he started the placement of the Lincoln Highway cement markers and metal highway signs along the Lincoln Highway in Nevada. He was known as “Mr. Lincoln Highway” in this area. While Rollin was here, he spent a lot of time researching the Midland Trail which came through Ely on its way to Los Angeles. He taught all of us an appreciation for the history of the Lincoln Highway and the Midland Trail. Rollin Southwell’s legacy is preserved in the memories and work he left behind.

Because of health concerns, he moved back to Salt Lake City. He also spent time in Wyoming at his family farm. He had three children: Marie in New York, Elizabeth and Robert in Salt Lake City.

A Memorial Service will be held at Ely’s St. Bartholmew’s Memorial Garden, 7th and Lyons, at 11:30 am on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Lunch will be served afterwards.

In lieu of flowers his children, Marie, Elizabeth and Robert kindly ask that donations be made to the Utah State Historical Society in honor of his love for historical research.

© 2013 The Ely Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.