DAVID (DAVE) SHULER (1887-1965), the seventh and youngest child of James Fayette and Mary Ann Shuler, was born 16 Dec 1887 in Payson, Utah. Payson was his life-long home. He married Dora May Wightman in 1909. She was the youngest daughter of Joseph Wightman and Emily Johnson of Payson. Dave and Dora May had three sons:

     HOWARD WAYNE SHULER, born 15 July 1910,
       married IRMA LANT, died 27 July 1977 at age 67, 
       had 5 children:
         PATSY RAE SHULER, (b. 1932)
         SANDRA SHULER, (b. 1934)
         JOHN DAVID SHULER, (b. 1937)
         MICHAEL HOWARD SHULER, (b. 1939)
         CRAIG LANT SHULER, (b. 1951)
     MARVEL DAVID SHULER, born 5 Dec. 1911 
       died 1 June 1921 at age 9, after being hit by a car;
     KEITH JACK ("Bish") SHULER, born 3 Sept. 1916, 
       married Maxine WILSON,
       died in 1999 in Salt Lake City, had one son,


Dora May died in 1918, during the flu epidemic, leaving Dave with three small sons to raise. Dave's brother-in-law, Henry Fairbanks, died on the same day. For awhile the survivors of the two families moved in together. Aunt Mary (Dave's sister -- Mary Sunbeam Shuler Fairbanks) became the temporary mother of the three little boys, and her daughters Jenny and Madge became their big sisters. This close relationship between the two families continued throughout the lives of all of them.
Dave remarried about a year later, to Erma Nell Wightman Gardner. She was a niece of Dora May's, being the daughter of Dora May's older brother Philo. Erma was a widow with two young daughters. She had also lost her spouse, Wayne Gardner, in the flu epidemic. Dave raised these little girls as his own.

     HELEN GARDNER, born in 1914,
       married (1) Milo Christensen and (2) Joseph McNabb, 
       had 3 children:
     GERALDINE GARDNER, born in 1916,
       married Paul Archibald Wittwer, had 5 children:
	 TIM SHULER WITTWER, twin -- died at birth

Dave and Erma had two more sons:

     RUSSELL PHILO SHULER, born 3 Feb. 1924 
       and died 3 days later;
     STERLING HAL SHULER, born 9 August 1927, 
       married Carolyn DAVIS, 
       currently resides in Elk Ridge, Utah;
       had 6 children:
         KARL HAL SHULER (b. 1950)
         WENDY KAY SHULER POPE (b. 1952)
         JAY DAVIS SHULER (b. 1955)
         DAVID ALLEN SHULER (b. 1956)
         SARAH ANN SHULER (b. 1962)
         BRAD LYNN SHULER (b. 1966)

Dave, while a young man, owned the Shuler Livery Stable and drove the hack (buggy/cab) that met all trains coming to Payson. In 1914 he opened the first automobile agency in Payson, Shuler Motor Company, selling Fords.

(In 1908, the first Model T's sold for $850, which was not cheap in those days. In 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line in his factory, cutting production time for each car from 12 and a half hours to an hour and a half, and started mass production. In 1916, the Model T could be sold at a profit for less than $400 -- the lowest price of any automobile. Ford sold over 15 million Model T's from 1908 to 1927, and it was the most popular automobile for over 20 years. More than half the automobiles sold in America between 1908 and 1927 were Fords, mostly Model T's, a car which many people in all walks of life could afford, and cars gradually replaced the horse and buggy during these years).

In 1925 Dave Shuler sold his Ford agency and built Arrowhead Bathing Resort near Utah Lake. In 1926, after two seasons, he sold Arrowhead and bought ranch land near Payson. In 1927, he reopened Shuler Motor Company, this time selling Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles. He again sold his agency in 1936 and ranched full-time. All of his life, his profits in business went to buy land. Besides being active in business and ranching, Dave was always involved in civic affairs, being on the Payson City Council and on the Payson Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as fire chief for a time.
Here is an article from the Payson Chronicle, 11 June 1958.

Huge Old Goosenest Ranch is County Landmark

"Just southeast of Payson, spreading down over the foothills, is the 1500-acre hay and grain ranch of Dave Shuler. On it, tucked in the natural formation of the Goose Nest area (formed by a gravel deposit left behind by ancient Lake Bonneville), in a scene of indescribable beauty, sits the restful ranch home, one that looks out over the vast expanse of Utah County and even sees the grandeur of Utah Lake and Mt. Timpanogas. With its back doors snow-capped Mt. Nebo and restful Mt. Loafer and its windows the nest on the south, the house basks serenely, snuggling against the mountains. There, with no sidewalks or billboards or street noises, just mountains and valleys and rich land all about, Dave lives with his wife Erma, enjoying the free wind that brushes by, ever rolling along some tumbleweeds.
"Long ago the ranch house gazed over another area, near Payson West Mountain on the Jesse Knight farm. It was a frame house then, so John Elmer once told the Shulers, and one that could be easily moved. Thus when the Tagge family years ago (around 1907) bought 160 acres of the Goosenest Country, they also bought Jesse Knight's frame house, and moved it to the high ranch ground.
"Then times came in the upland area when the winds sweeping down from the hill country threatened to blow the house away. That was when the rock rim reinforcement was added (Dave added a native stone and cement wall around the outside of the house). Dave has done a lot since then to the original frame work, until the house is now a modern design.
"Close by the ranch house an old brass locomotive bell sits on top of a derrick. Many years ago the derrick was a windmill tower perched on top of the house, and the windmill was used to generate electricity before city lights were wired to the ranch.

(My mother, Sandra, remembers that during the late depression years, when she and her parents Howard and Irma Shuler lived for a while at the ranch house, and tried to earn a living raising turkeys, the windmill on top of the house didn't generate enough power for both the lights and the radio, so whenever they wanted to listen to a radio program, they had to turn off all the lights in the house).

The old bell was then in far Hawaii. If it could talk, it could tell about a time over 100 years ago when it sailed around the horn to reach Hawaii and then rode a locomotive for many years. Like many things that appear to outlast their usefulness, the bell made its final run. It was after that, that folks in Hawaii found it and mailed it to the Shulers, who restored its pride by bringing back its shine of youth and using it on top of the derrick to call in from the fields the men for dinner and to announce visitors at the ranch.
"Early in life Dave learned to love ranching, and he learned the hard way. He spent hours on a horse riding in the hot sun, and he spent many nights as well, working in the open areas, learning to love both horse and land. Probably that is the reason that Dave, though he worked at other occupations, has in his 70th year decided that life on a ranch with grandchildren to enjoy and plan for, is the life for him.
"Dave began his ranch 33 years ago with 160 acres, gradually accumulating more and more, some from the Tagges, some from the John H. Dixon estate, some from his mother, and some from Dave Curtis, until his holdings reached 1800 acres of ground. Only recently has he parted with a few bits, and those were taken over by his two sons, Howard and Hal, and by Max Depew and the McLaughlins of California. When he bought the ground, the late Mr. McLaughlin thought the ranch country the fairest this side of heaven.
"Though he has owned the ranch for 33 years, for just the past eleven has he made his home on it, ever planning and ever living, with his generous hospitality welcoming callers from near and far. His old friends and those of his wife and children and of people who have just learned from others about the Goose Nest Ranch come from as far away as Hawaii to the ranch near Payson in the cool altitude of the hills; some to enjoy the valley and mountain vistas, some to hunt deer and pheasants in season, others to drink the fresh spring water piped down to the house from the John Dixon spring that erupts a mile and a half away up a small canyon behind the house and feeds delicious watercress at its source, and all folks come to thrive on the unlimited wealth of richness in living.
"Naturally Dave, who was at one time a mechanic of the best, likes to tinker, and naturally he has a favorite old horse. Put the two together and you have Dave's hobby of this past year -- building a small-sized wagon for the old horse, Shorty, almost thirty years old, for his grandchildren to drive. Though Dave has owned blues and roans and pintos, all have gone now except the old bay, Shorty. He still grazes loose in the pasture and lives to bring pleasure to Dave's grandsons as he did to his own sons. Dave points to the old horse and talks philosophically and sympathetically of an earlier time, yet he plans for today. As a result he has created that little red wagon cart for his grandsons and Shorty. No wagon setup by famous wagonmakers years ago could have been better made, and none more lovingly. Built of hardwood and painted bright red, the box is small, but large enough to seat eight children, four on each side facing the center. Up in front is the driver's seat wide enough for two. At the rear a door closes the box, but will open down to make entrance and exit steps. Small wheels with rubber tires make riding easy. Dave Shuler has found happiness in his Goose Nest Ranch environment -- and he has shared his land and his likes with others."
(The above article was written by a Mrs. Groesbeck.)

I, Karen, remember as a child when we made at least one trip to "the ranch" every year, and we children would run to pull the rope and ring the bell spoken of in this article, when we arrived. There was a large lawn and gardens, many hummingbirds at the feeders, large beautiful shade trees with many hanging weaver nests in them, fruit trees, barns, animals, haystacks, and even a little guest house out in back, which was so quaint, and we always asked if we could see inside because we thought it looked like a doll's house. We would all eat while we sat outside enjoying the view and visiting with relatives, on the large porch which stretched across the whole front of the house, and then Great-Grandpa Shuler would take us out for a turn in the pony cart, or let us sit on a horse, or take a bunch of us kids in the back of his pickup truck across the dirt roads over the scenic foothills, through the wheat fields, and through patches of sagebrush, scrub oak, sunflowers and sego lilies which grew on the hillsides. We would all scream, but we loved it, when he took us on the very steep road down into Loafer Hollow, where there were lots of deer in the forested area. This was also part of the ranch. It was truly a very wonderful, special place. I remember that Great-Grandpa Shuler smoked a pipe, and he was a very warm, loving grandfather. Hal Shuler, Dave & Erma's son (who was a teacher at Payson High School), and his wife Carolyn and their family, lived about a half-mile away from the ranch house, at the other end of a small private lane which ran between the two houses, and Hal's sons used to drive the pony cart up and down this road and take us all for rides. They also had a swimming pool at their house, and a pet monkey.


Dave Shuler continued to live at the ranch until his death August 22, 1965, at age 77. His widow Erma lived there alone for a few years, but then she went to live at an elderly care facility, where she died in 1988. The ranch house is still there and still occupied, but it has become rather run down since it was sold out of the family. However, many very nice modern homes have been built on the former Goosenest Ranch property, overlooking Loafer Hollow, Utah Lake and Mt. Timpanogos. In 1972 the residents incorporated into a new town; Salem Hills, Utah. The name was later changed to Elk Ridge, Utah, and there is a Shuler Park and a Shuler Lane. Hal Shuler was mayor of the town for a time, and he still resides there. A very nice golf course and clubhouse were developed up above the spring. The town now has a population of approximately 1000 -- all on the former Goosenest Ranch land.
Dave Shuler had 12 grandchildren, and more than 30 great grandchildren. One grandson, David Allen Shuler, son of Hal Shuler, was a seminary teacher and then got his Ph.D. in comparative world religions. He currently works at the David M. Kennedy center for international relations at Brigham Young University. He has lived and studied extensively in India and other countries. One of Dave Shuler's great-grandsons, David Lawrence Shuler, son of John David Shuler (1937-1985), who was the son of Howard Wayne Shuler, works for the U.S. State Department, as chief duty officer at the Pentagon. He was formerly stationed at the U.S. embassy in Greece, before that in Japan, and before that the Dominican Republic. He also lived and studied in Spain and is fluent in many languages. Others of Dave Shuler's descendents also seem to have broad interests in world cultures, languages, religions, and ideas. They enjoy relating and interacting with many diverse people, so it seems that this is part of his legacy to us.

Information Compiled
by Karen Bray Keeley

INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra Shuler Bray