David O. McKay, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, dedicated a $150,000 chapel and recreation hall for the Ontario Ward the previous Sunday, The Argus-Ob server reported Jan. 12, 1953.
McKay called for more spirituality across America while praising President Eisenhower and the diligent farmers of Malheur County.
Some 1,300 church members from the surrounding area gathered at the new building to hear McKay’s first speech ever in Ontario.
“I congratulate you on being an area that produces 22 tons of beets per acre and 850 sacks of onions per acre,” McKay told the gathering. He warned to avoid the American trait of being wasteful. “I hope you keep your holdings here and don’t forget to take care of them because this land is good to you,” McKay said.
In praising a newly-elected Eisenhower, the church leader said he was “glad we are going to have leaders who believe in spirituality.”
Local church Bishops Blaine J. Holladay and Earl Winegar conducted the invocation and benediction.