Utah's Canning Men

This page was last updated on September 7, 2018.

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William Craig

George W. Goddard

Nephi Preston Hardy


Nephi Preston Hardy was born February 20, 1844 in La Harp, Illinois, the fourth son of Zachariah and Eliza Philbrook Hardy.

Hardy and his son were responsible for the construction of four of the early commercial canning factories in Utah; the two early factories in Hooper and the first of four factories in Roy; and the factory in Spanish Fork, along with still another located in Oregon. All of this construction had taken place by 1907 when the son, Nephi Edwin Hardy, died.

In 1894 Nephi Preston Hardy, along with Mr. Beus, built the first cannery in Hooper. Then in 1895 he built the second cannery.  It was a larger one of brick. This second cannery was on property that was where Edsel Jones later had his home. This factory was only used one year, then it burned to the ground on September 3, 1896.

Nephi Preston Hardy started the second canning enterprise in the state when he began processing tomatoes on his own farm in Hooper as early as 1892. His first plant was destroyed by a fire, but Hardy started over again and by 1897 he and others in Hooper, including Jake Parker, built a larger factory in Hooper. This second attempt also ended in a fire that consumed it in mid-season, but the factory was rebuilt in time to finish out the season. Hardy and Parker then decided to build a more substantial, fire proof factory.

After building a canning factory in Hooper, Nephi and his seven sons operated it.  It was in operation a short time when a fire destroyed it.  Soon after the fire Nephi moved his family to Roy, buying a large tract of land.  They built a home and other buildings besides clearing the land of sagebrush, biscuit root, and rabbit brush. As soon as they were able, they built another canning factory, and for many years it afforded employment not only for his own family but for many others throughout both Weber and Davis counties.

This time the factory was located in Roy, close to the railroad tracks to allow direct shipment of their finished products by rail car. This cannery was the first of four that would be located in Roy. Nephi Preston Hardy ran this first cannery in Roy until he retired in 1915, when he sold the enterprise to William W. Craig, who was operating another cannery in Ogden.

Hardy and his son went to Oregon in 1902 to build a factory for Fred J. Kiesel of Ogden. The elder Hardy returned to Utah after the factory was completed, but his son remained until 1904 to train local employees in the proper operation of the new factory. The son returned to Utah and managed his father's factory in Roy until 1905, when he began work on a new cannery to be built in Spanish Fork. He had been there for about two years when he contracted spinal meningitis and died, leaving behind five orphan children. At the time of his death, the younger Hardy was in the planning stages for a new factory that was to be located in Springville for the same owners as the just completed Spanish Fork factory. His death delayed the construction of the Springville factory by at least two years.

Nephi also built and operated a store in which his daughters had employment as clerks. Later he became Postmaster and a corner of the store served as the post office.

Nephi Preston Hardy passed away March 26, 1920 at the age of 76.

Nephi Edwin Hardy


Nephi Edwin Hardy was a son of Nehpi and Mary Jane Higley and was born March 8, 1868 in Morgan, Utah.  When he was one year old, his parents moved to Hooper, Utah, where they lived and raised a large family of sixteen boys and girls.

In the spring of 1899 his father asked Nephi to move with him to Roy, Utah, so they could build another canning factory, nearer a railroad in order to ship their products.

They moved up to Roy and lived in tents until they could build a house for their families. The canning factory was completed in the fall of 1899. Nephi was manager of the factory while it was operating from then until about 1902. [In 1902 Nephi contracted with Fred J. Kiesel of Ogden to construct a canning factory in Oregon.  He took the two youngest children with him and left the others with relatives in the Ogden area. He stayed in Oregon for two years, and returned when he contracted to build a canning factory in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Nephi Edwin Hardy died on September 30, 1907 of Spinal Mengenitis. He was living in Spanish Fork at the time.

Robert C. Lundy

Robert C. Lundy, along with Alexander C. McKinney, first came to Utah in May 1886. They returned in 1887 and started their canning business.

Lundy and McKinney were shown as staying at the Overland House hotel in Salt Lake City in March 1887. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 16, 1887)

In early 1889, in addition to owning the Utah Canning comany, R. C. Lundy owned and managed the "R. C. Lundy & Co." selling real estate and insurance, and making loans.

In 1893, Lundy was Mayor of Ogden. Before that, he was a city councilman.

Alexander C. McKinney


William J. (Jake) Parker

Isaac N. Pierce