Following a delicious roast beef dinner, the local Red Rock Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers presented an honor to a member of our communities as a “Modern Day Pioneer.” The honor was presented to Mack Esplin by president Ron Taylor, in Orderville, on March 3.

Israel Mack Esplin was born on July 30, 1934, in Orderville, Utah, to Lucy Heaton and Lawrence Esplin. His ancestors were among those who were sent to the Muddy Mission and later settled in the Kane County, Utah area.

Esplin spent some of his early years at their homestead in the Oaks (North Fork) and all his life in Orderville. He has worked the same fields as his father and grandfather. He has seen many changes from digging ditches to sprinklers, from horse drawn farming to tractors.

He attended school in Orderville and excelled in basketball and track. He met Betty Marie Brinkerhoff and they were high school sweethearts. Instead of attending college, he started cutting timber soon after high school graduation. He and Betty married in September in the St. George Temple.

For over 40 years, Esplin cut timber and ran the farm and ranch in his spare time. He and Betty have five children. Each spring the family would plant a large garden and raised crops to share with others.

Along with working with cows and raising crops for the animals, Esplin would jump at the chance to work on a CAT. He loves to make watering holes, roads and clearing the land. He hopes to have a CAT waiting for him in Heaven (along with all his dogs).

Even to this day (now in his eighties) Esplin loves to be working hard, even when he may not feel well.

He lost his wife Betty when she was 62. He met and married Peggy Curtis in 2003. Together they served a working mission to Nauvoo. He worked in the blacksmith shop and drove a team of horses.

One great trait Esplin taught his children and grandchildren, was to stick with it and work hard. He is quite a man and he loves the Lord, his family and his way of life.