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
FP. Nielson – Expedite the building project, and coordinate
Martin Ray Young Jr. – Architect and technical advice
Dean V. Johnson – Clerk and records on donations and payment
Layout of Grounds and Construction
Once the property was purchased in 1953 things started to
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.