Willis L. Hansen

“Infobox officeholder”
name Willis Lorenzo Hansen
order 32nd
office Mayor of Brigham City
term_start January 2, 1962
term_end January 3, 1966
predecessor Ruel M. Eskelsen
successor Olof E. Zundel

When Willis Hansen took office, he had served six years on the City Council before becoming Brigham City’s Office Manager. He was familiar with city administration, but nothing had prepared him for the blow to the local economy resulting from a major reduction in force at Thiokol. When he took office in 1962, Thiokol had 7,000 employees, and by March of 1965 the plant’s workforce was reduced to 3,000. Unemployment rose to 10%, and new home construction was at a standstill as more than 200 homes and apartment units were vacant.
Mayor Hansen remained optimistic, appointing Lenn C. Jensen to head the Brigham City Industrial Commission whose objective was to bring new industry into the area. He initiated a major change in city management in 1963 when he hired O. Neil Smith as the first Public Works Director, whose responsibilities included streets, sewer, water, parks, and electrical departments.
In Hansen’s last month of office, demolition of the 56-year-old Box Elder High School was begun to make space for a modern junior high building. A new high school had been built in the west part of town and opened for the 1961-1962 school year.


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