James B. Decker, cashier of the Monticello State Bank of Monticello, San Juan county, was born at Bluff,
Utah, March 19, 1883. His parents, James B. and Anna M. (Mickeison) Decker, were representatives of early
pioneer families of the state. Both were born at Parowan, where their respective parents had located on
coming to Utah. In 1879 James B. Decker, Sr., assisted in building the road to Bluff, blasting the way
through a bluff now known as the Hole in the Rock. He afterward returned to Parowan and in the following
year, 1880, removed his family to Bluff. He was engaged in sheep and cattle raising and continued to
reside at Bluff to the time of his death. He was the first stake Sunday school superintendent and the first
Sunday school superintendent of Bluff ward. He likewise filled the office of county commissioner and
was a member of the school board for a number of years. He took a most prominent and helpful interest
in all school activities and church work and he gave to each of his children good educational
opportunities. He died at Bluff, a most highly respected citizen, in 1900. His wife, Mrs. Anna M.
Decker, was with her husband through all the privations and hardships of pioneer life. One of her
children, a daughter, was born in a covered wagon in what is known as the Hole in the Rock, above referred
to. In 1918 Mrs. Decker removed to Monticello, where she now makes her home. One of her sons, Claude
Decker, volunteered when war was declared against Germany in 1917. He joined the Marines and went to
France in February, 1918. He was one of the earliest of the Americans to engage in active service and was
wounded in the shoulder by a machine gun but returned to the front before the close of hostilities. He
received an honorable discharge September 11, 1919, and returned to his home in Monticello.
James B. Decker acquired his early education in the common schools of Bluff and afterward spent two years
as a pupil in the Brigham Young University at Provo, pursuing a commercial course. He devoted three years
to an agricultural course in the Utah Agricultural College at Logan and he also pursued two summer
courses in science at the University of Utah. Thus liberal educational training well qualifled him for
responsible duties and he is regarded as one of the most intelligent and enterprising young men of
Monticello. His earlier life work was with his father in stock raising and in 1910 he became an active
factor in educational circles. For two years he was principal of the schools at Milford, Utah, and in 1912
was principal of the Monticello schools, while in 1913 he accepted the principalship of the schools at Bluff
and filled the office for two years. In 1915 he became associated with the Verdure Live Stock Company,
operating from Monticello, and for three years was range foreman. In 1918 he became one of the
incorporators of the Monticello State Bank, was chosen its cashier and has since remained one of the popular
officials of the institution. He is also a stockholder in the Verdure Live Stock Company, is the owner of
some splendid farm land and likewise owns a good home at Monticello.
In Salt Lake City, in September, 1909, Mr. Decker was married to Miss Laura Pearl Adams, a daughter of
Charles and Sarah Ann (Davenport) Adams, who crossed the plains at an early day and were afterward called to settle Parowan, Utah. Her father was bishop for twenty-five years and both he and his wife are still
living at Parowan. To Mr. and Mrs. Decker have been born five children: James, whose birth occurred at
Milford, November 29, 1910; Helen, who was born at Parowan in April, 1912; Webster, born at Bluff in
October, 1914; Maud May, whose birth occurred at Monticello in March, 1917; and Craig, who was born at
Monticello in April, 1919.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Mormon church and Mr. Decker filled a mission to the
northern states from 1906 until 1908, acting as traveling elder. He has been superintendent of the
Sunday school of Monticello and has filled other positions in the church with honor and ability. His
political allegiance is given to the republican party and he is an active worker in its ranks, being now
chairman of the republican county central committee. He has filled the office of county treasurer and
during the war he was on the building committee for the purpose of restricting excess in building. His
influence has been a tangible asset in public progress and improvement in San Juan county and thus the work which was instituted by his pioneer ancestors and continued by his parents is being carried still
further forward by James B. Decker.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. Utah Since Statehood, Volumes 1-4 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations
Network, Inc., 2000. Original data: Noble Warrum, ed..
Utah Since Statehood. Vol. 1-4. Chicago, IL, USA and Salt Lake City, UT, USA: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.,
About Utah Since Statehood, Volumes 1-4
A history of the state of Utah from before the pioneer
settlements until the end of the 19th century.