Thomas Atwood of the tiny town of Loa, Utah, committed an error in judgement early 1893 and it landed him in prison for six months. His imprisonment created a huge impact on not only his life but on the lives of the residents of Loa.
Thomas was the only blacksmith in the area. The residents were totally dependent on agriculture and with Thomas gone, the normal constant repairs on farm equipment came to a halt.
His imprisonment impacted their well-being but of greater concern, they felt that the prison sentence exceeded the crime in this particular instance. Friends and neighbors felt a great deal of compassion for their young friend.
On 2 July 1893 a petition signed by almost every person in the area was sent to Utah Territorial Governor, Caleb W. West in Salt Lake City, asking for the pardon and release of Thomas from prison.
I couldn’t find the resolution of their request but assume the pardon was granted. People make mistakes. We all need friends to help and support us through the resolution and restitution required to pay from them. Let’s hope they are as supportive of us as the residents of Loa were to Thomas.
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