Grand Marshal: Gib Mitchell
Gilbert Adams Mitchell (Gib) was born August 2, 1929 to Elmer and Sarah Mitchell of Parowan, Utah where he grew up. At a young age Gib started working at the Mitchell Sawmill in the summers. As he grew, his responsibilities grew with him. Gib graduated from Parowan High School in 1947 working at the Sawmill in the summer months from 1947-1950. On February 19, 1951, he was drafted into the Army and served our country during the Korean War for two years. Soon after he was released from military duty, he met Barbara Houston from Panguitch, and after about a year courtship, they were married on June 26, 1954.
Gib and Barbara lived in Southern Utah while pursuing his education at the College of Southern Utah, now SUU then on to Utah State University. Gib worked part time for Blackburn & Gower Construction Company while he went to school. He graduated from USU in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industry and Trades.
After graduation, Gib and Barbara moved back to Southern Utah, where they built their own home and settled in Cedar City. Gib worked for Blackburn and Gower, then in 1971 started his own business: Mitchell Construction. His excellent work and craftsmanship can be found in many homes throughout Southern Utah. Gib was also a part time instructor in construction at Southern Utah State College from 1980 to 1984.
Besides working hard at his job, Gib has worked hard serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He has served in many leadership positions. It was a cherished time of his church service.
Another huge part of his life has been his family. He and Barbara raised two sons and two daughters (Mike, Dennis, Cathy and Ali). He now has 25 grandchildren, 17 who have served full-time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and 48 great grandchildren who bring him great joy.
In 1972 Gib’s brother-in-law, Kent Pendleton, started a novice horseshoe tournament on Labor Day. It was held at the race track, in front of the grand stand, right after the races were over. After three or four years they moved it to the west side of the high school. Kent was the host of these tournaments until the horseshoe courts were installed at the fairgrounds in 1992. It was when he was helping Kent out that Gib’s love for the sport of horseshoes was born.
In 1992 the Iron County Fair Tournament became a sanctioned tournament with Kent as the fair Contact/Host and Dennis running the competition/stats. With the novice tournament on Labor Day, the SUHPA Tournament was scheduled for the Saturday prior to Labor Day. In 1992 the eight horseshoe courts were finished south of the race track and fair building. About this time, Kent’s eyes were almost blind, so Gib went over to Parowan every year to help Kent prepare and groom the courts to get them ready for the tournaments. In the early 2000’s, Kent’s eyes and health had declined to the point where he had to give up hosting and participating in horseshoe competition. So, the Iron County Fair Board called Gib to be on the horseshoe committee and to be the Contact/Host for the tournaments, and he held that position until 2019. When Dennis passed away in 2015, Gib took over the duty of running the novice tournaments on Labor Day.
Under Gib’s supervision, with the help of Lyman Munford, Kent Smith, and Mike Jake, many improvements were made to the fairground courts. The county provided concrete so that the pads were extended on many of the courts. The city maintenance department replaced and painted back boards on sixteen pits, and cleared the weeds from the courts. Gib worked hard behind the scenes of many horseshoe tournaments, but he also enjoyed participating in the tournaments. He won 23 medals in the Utah Summer Games and has trophies from 49 Class Tournaments. He received the 1996 Bud Schardine SUHPA Service Award, the 1998 SUHPA Sportsmanship Award, and the 2016 Utah Horseshoe Hall of Fame Award—2nd Charter Member.
For this reason with the many years of service he devoted to the Iron County Fair we have seclected Gib Mitchell to be 2020 Grand Marshal.