Almost 70-year-old Dixie High School ring found, mystery unravels

The 1948 Dixie High School class ring found on the Chuckwalla Trail Saturday, St. George, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Cody Molyneaux, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Eight-year-old Tessa Molyneaux of Payson was hiking with her family Saturday on the Chuckwalla Trail in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. She had scampered a few steps ahead of her father, Cody Molyneaux, and was with her mother, Lacy Molyneaux, playing in the dirt when she spotted something gleaming on the trail.

The spot where Tessa Molyneaux found the 1948 Dixie High School ring, St. George, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Cody Molyneaux, St. George News
The spot where Tessa Molyneaux found the 1948 Dixie High School ring, St. George, Utah, April 2, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Cody Molyneaux, St. George News

“We were just shortly past the climbing area,” Cody Molyneaux said, “Keep in mind I was not there when she found it, I had other kids I was herding along, and when I got up to them, my wife said, ‘Look what Tessa found.'”

She had found a Dixie High School class ring.

“I was turning around and I was flinging the dirt a little and I saw something really shiny,” Tessa Molyneaux said. “I picked it up and said, ‘Mom! I found a ring!'”

Cody Molyneaux came up and saw the ring.

“The ring had dirt everywhere on it. My daughter just saw something glimmering and she picked it up and chiseled all the dirt off. We were shocked to discover that the ring was from the class of 1948.”

Tessa Molyneaux, who found the 1948 Dixie High Class ring while hiking. Undated | Photo courtesy of Lacy Molyneaux, St. George News
Tessa Molyneaux, who found the 1948 Dixie High Class ring while hiking. Undated | Photo courtesy of Lacy Molyneaux, St. George News

The ring had the initials “MH” flanking the Dixie logo. Cody Molyneaux enlisted the help of several people in St. George and at Dixie High School to discover the owner, but there was no senior class member from 1948 with those initials.

Then Michael Henrie of Millcreek City, a 1977 Dixie High School graduate, along with several others got involved due to a post on Cody Molyneaux’s Facebook page. The group had an idea: Could the mysterious “MH” not have graduated?

“I knew of a website that had digitized Dixie High School yearbooks and started searching as soon as I could,” Henrie said

The Facebook friends found  a 1946 Dixie High yearbook and discovered one person with the initials “MH”: Myrlean Holden was a sophomore in 1946.

Myrlean Holden, as pictured in the 1946 Dixie High School yearbook. St. George, Utah, 1946 | Photo courtesy of Dixie High School, St. George News
Myrlean Holden, as pictured in the 1946 Dixie High School yearbook. St. George, Utah, 1946 | Photo courtesy of Dixie High School, St. George News

The information was passed to Cody Molyneaux and a small but growing cadre of amateur investigators including Allyson Wood of Delta.

The next tidbit uncovered was Myrlean Holden married Carl Caldwell in the St. George Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1947. Then Myrlean’s sister Dorothy Holden was discovered by Wood as having lived in Leeds for many years.

But the trail grew temporarily cold when it was discovered that Myrlean (Holden) Caldwell died in 1953 in Montana. Her husband remarried and died in Montana in 1995.

After several leads had been checked and found to lead nowhere, Cody Molyneaux along with the burgeoning crowd of investigators discovered that the Caldwells had two daughters, Corine, now living in Helena, Montana, and Joyce Hulet of Dillon, Montana.

The daughter Hulet spoke with Cody Molyneaux on the phone Wednesday.

“She was in shock with what I said,” Cody Molyneaux said.  “She knew nothing of the ring. If I am correct that means the ring has been lost since the ’40s or ’50s.”

Cody Molyneaux has discovered that one of Caldwell’s granddaughters lives in Spanish Fork. He plans on having his daughter, Tessa Molyneaux, deliver the ring to her so she can in turn deliver it to her mother and get the ring back to the rightful owner.

“As more people joined the (Facebook) thread it started to become more coordinated and more resolute to find the ring’s owner,” Henrie said. “I think everyone in the search group feels it’s sad that Ms. Holden died before we could return it to her.”

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Sand-Town April 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Wow! What a great story. Could not have been done without social media. Great job Tessa and family!

  • Simon April 8, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Yes! This is fantastic story and our family is so very excited by the news that Aunt Myrlean’s ring was found. This story will have a special place in our Holden Family Book of Remembrance. Thank you, everyone!

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