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Midvale Journal

Hall of Honors celebrates newest members

Aug 29, 2017 10:52AM ● By Jana Klopsch

One of Iris Buhler’s grandsons accepts her plaque on her behalf. Buhler was also inducted into the Hall of Honors. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Fifteen minutes. That’s all that was left before the deadline to file candidacy for city council. That’s when Trent Jeppson urged JoAnn Seghini to run for city council. 

“I said no,” Mayor Seghini recalled of how she entered the political arena in the mid 80s. “He said, ‘You could sign up today…and take your name off tomorrow, but you can’t sign up tomorrow.’ And the rest is history.”

Three decades later (three terms on city council, five as mayor), Seghini credits then-mayor Jeppson for the last-minute push into her life as an elected official. 

“Every minute has been wonderful because I had a mayor who believed I could do more,” she said. 

Seghini was speaking at the Midvale Performing Arts Center where the Midvale Arts Council presented awards for its 2017 arts show, recognized and presented the city’s youth ambassadors and inducted two new members into its Hall of Honors—Jeppson and Iris Buhler. 

More than 100 people packed the center’s 80+ capacity auditorium for the annual event that takes place during Midvale City’s Harvest Days. 

“I think the Hall of Honors event should be standing room only,” said Stephanie Johnson, president of the Midvale Arts Volunteer Council. “Mission accomplished.” 

Midvale City established the Hall of Honors in 1983 to celebrate those who have made considerable contributions or whose significant achievements have brought fame and recognition to Midvale. 

“The Hall of Honors is a very special, special thing that happens to Midvale,” Seghini said. “It’s all about the beauty queens, it’s the angels whose wings you may not see, but who will touch your life forever.” 

The Hall of Honors is an actual hall found in the performing arts center where dozens of plaques adorn the wall to distinguish their accomplishments and contributions. 

Jeppson was known for his leadership in various capacities from mayor of Midvale from 1982-86 to different roles he held in his church. During his time as mayor, Jeppson helped re-establish Harvest Days and made infrastructural strides to the city’s water, curb and gutter in addition to the creation of the Hall of Honors and Midvale Arts Council. 

His friend Grant Pullan, whose own plaque was added to the wall in 2013, introduced Jeppson not only as a builder of quality brick houses—Jeppson was involved in building construction—but also as “a builder of quality people.”

Slightly stooped forward at 83-years-old, Jeppson addressed the crowd with reflection and admiration for those he worked with. 

“This is a great honor, and I sure appreciate it,” he said. 

Iris Buhler passed away in 1988, but two of her grandsons spoke about the example she set by overcoming her challenges. 

Buhler’s leg was cut off by a train in 1944 while she was working for the railroad, she tripped rushing to avoid the train and needed the help of crutches for the remainder of her life. 

Three years later, Buhler’s husband died. Her grandson, Joe, recounted how she went back to school (she was close to 50 at this point) and acquired essential skills that led to her being hired as Midvale’s city treasurer. Joe said his favorite story about Buhler was how she told the city she was 44 when she was actually 54. 

“You have some serious problems thrown at you—losing a leg, losing a husband—but she never complained, she was never the victim,” Joe said. “She pulled herself up literally by the bootstrap, got up and made her life better.” 

Buhler would go on to become the president of the Midvale Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Midvale Ladies’ Guild. She also helped in the creation of the Midvale Senior Citizen Center. 

As one of her grandsons Bruce Yuhas put it, “Grandma really loved Midvale.”