Mesa Arizona South Stake                   Not an official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints                     830 E 2nd Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204

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Getting Started - 1952 to 1957
Problems during the stake basketball tournaments in 1952 led stake YMMIA leaders to suggest to the stake presidency a facility was needed to support the growing athletic program in the Mesa area. Donald Ellsworth (Mesa Stake President) and his brothers took the matter seriously and made a substantial donation to help get the building under way. Donald Ellsworth then appointed a committee to select a site where land could he purchased and a building constructed. The first committee had the following members:

H. Lorin Allen Stake Presidency Representative
William S. Porter High Council Representative
Willis F. Nielson YMMIA Representative

On April 3, 1953, the main parcel of land was purchased and plans for a building and softball diamond were begun. The Maricopa stake was invited to join the project, and they accepted. During this same period, it was decided to name the project Ellsworth Park in honor of Donald and Leo Ellsworth, because of the contributions they made to get it started. Leo said to look ahead for 40 years and get enough land for future needs.

Others who were involved in getting the project started were:

FP. Nielson Expedite the building project, and coordinate the finances
Martin Ray Young Jr. Architect and technical advice
Dean V. Johnson Clerk and records on donations and payment of bills

Layout of Grounds and Construction

Once the property was purchased in 1953 things started to happen:

Under the leadership H. Lorin Allen, the land was cleared, leveled and surveyed. A softball diamond and grandstand were built, and by November 1953, lights for the softball field were installed. Since that time many people who grew up in Mesa had the opportunity to play softball on that field. First fast pitch and then later slow pitch.

A second softball diamond was added just North of the first diamond, approx 20 years later.

Ground-breaking for the building was held on Nov 13, 1953.

Construction of the building was mostly completed by early 1955, and the building began to be used at that time. The dedication was not held until May 5, 1957.

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