Category Archives: Historical Structures

Devereaux House

Published / by Kenny Son / Leave a Comment

By: Kenny Son 

Place by: Salt Lake City Triad Center

Utah Coordinates: Latitude: 40.769949, Longitude: -111.901035

Historical Marker Text:

          “Devereaux House was Salt Lake City’s earliest mansion and in its day, the most elegant. As a unique mansion in an isolated frontier city, the Devereaux was the setting of many social gatherings that included prominent local citizens and important national and international visitors. Portions of the house date from 1855, only eight years after the first arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. Extensively added to and remodeled in the 1870’s, the Devereaux House estate featured the mansion, extensive ornamental gardens, a kitchen garden, hothouses, vineyards, orchards, stables, and a carriage house. Owner William Jennings was a patron of the arts and furnished the interior with items collected during trips throughout the United States and abroad. The coming of the railroad later turned this part of Salt Lake City into a commercial and industrial area, and for many years the mansion stood as a forlorn shell of its former glory. On March 1, 1971 the Devereaux House was listed on the National Register of Historic places and, in 1978, the Utah State Legislature purchased the property for future renovation. Three years later, the State and Triad Center entered into an agreement whereby Triad would maintain and manage the area once the buildings and grounds were restored.  With Federal, State, Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, and private funds, the Devereaux house, Carriage House, and gardens have been reconstructed for the benefit of present and future Utahns.”

Extended Research: 

The Devereaux Mansion, located on 334 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, was built for Utah Resident William Staines in the year 1857. The home is significant because it was the first mansion built in Utah Territory. It was the center of social gatherings in the valley for much of the nineteenth century.[1]

Architect William Paul’s first project in Salt Lake City was the Devereaux House, a Victorian style mansion with unique features. The outside of the home consisted of a masonry cement plaster wall reaching two stories high. The interior included many beautiful kinds of wood, such as mahogany. The home is two stories tall with a west wing intersecting north to south. Long time resident William Jennings added new features to the house, such as a sizeable east wing and several outbuildings. Decorations surrounding the home included floral gardens, orchards, and a greenhouse.[6] Gates were added around the perimeter of the house to make it private.[7]

Eventually, the house would go through several different owners. In 1865 Staines sold the home to Joseph A. Young who was the son of Brigham Young. Later, Young sold the house to William Jennings, a prominent businessman and future mayor of Salt Lake City.[4] Jennings is responsible for giving the home the name “Devereaux Mansion” in remembrance of his childhood home in England.

Jennings was born in Birmingham, England, and spent 26 years there before moving to the United States. He earned his education primarily in England. He first moved to New York, and later to Missouri where he entered the cattle business. He arrived in Utah in 1852, and established a textile mill. After spending time in the mill business, he slowly transitioned to banking. Specifically, he became a stockholder and later director of the Deseret National Bank. He later became vice-president and director, and then was influential in establishing the co-operative mercantile business recognized as Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution.[2] Jennings was known in Utah as a pioneer industrial leader, Salt Lake mayor, and allegedly Utah’s first millionaire.[3] 

Jennings practiced polygamy and had two wives who both moved into the Devereaux home in 1867 to live with him. His wives Jane Walker and Pricilla Paul, both occupied the home at the same time until Pricilla passed away in 1871. Jane then took care of both her and Pricilla’s combined fifteen children.

Jennings was known to have many significant people stay in his home, such as William Seward, who was the U.S. Secretary of State. President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Boggs Grant visited the house for several hours during their visit to Utah. Also, President Rutherford B. Hayes, with general William T. Sherman visited the home. After Jennings died in 1886, his family sold the house after living there for several years.[5]

During the great depression, the J. J. Coan family resided in the mansion for some time but it was eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. Decades later, a group of civic and preservation minded organizations formed a committee in hopes of restoring the dilapidated mansion. The committee consisted of Junior League of Salt Lake City, the Utah Heritage Foundation, Salt Lake City Historic Buildings Advisory Committee, Women’s Architectural League, the Utah American Institute of Architects, the Board of State History, and the Utah State Historical Society.[8] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the home in 2005 and uses it on occasion for receptions and other functions.

References

Primary Source: 

  1. “Deveraux House,” Utah National Register Collection, (March 1971), https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6894vj4
  2. “In Memorium, William Jennings,” Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, accessed April 4, 2020, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62z1vt8.

Secondary Source: 

  1. Roberts, Allen D.  More of Utah’s Unknown Pioneer Architects: Their Lives and Works (Sunstone Magazine, 1976), 53, https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/003-42-56.pdf.

[1] “Deveraux House,” Utah National Register Collection, (March 1971): 2, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6894vj4

[2] “In Memorium, William Jennings,” Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, accessed April 4, 2020, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62z1vt8.

[3] Allen D. Roberts, More of Utah’s Unknown Pioneer Architects: Their Lives and Works (Sunstone Magazine, 1976), 53, https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/003-42-56.pdf.

[4] Devereaux House, Utah National, 2.

[5] Deveraux House, Utah National3. 

[6] Robert’s, More of Utah’s, 53.

[7] Devereaux House, Utah National, 2.

[8] Devereaux House, Utah National, 2.

Aunt Libby’s Dog Cemetery

Published / by Shannon Gebbia / Leave a Comment

write-up by Shannon Gebbia

Placed by: Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Associations, No 95

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 07.123, W 112° 34.660

Historical Marker Text:

BURIAL PLOT

Enclosing graves (west side) of two men and a child emigrants of the early eighteen sixties.

Original wall erected in 1888, By Mrs. Horace (Aunt Libby) Rockwell to shelter graves of her beloved dogs. 1. Jenny Lind, 2. Josephine Bonaparte, 3. Bishop, 4. Toby Tyler, Companions in her lonely, childless vigils here about 1866 to 1890.

Erected by enrollees U.S. grazing division C.C.C camp g-154, company 2517.

Utah pioneer trails and landmarks association Tooele tourism tax grant

Sons of Utah pioneers

-settlement canyon chapter

SUP No. 239     Rededicated 2017

Extended Research:

Sometime between 1860 and 1870, Horace Rockwell and his wife Elizabeth “Libby” Rockwell moved to Skull Valley, a 40-mile long valley in what is now Tooele County, Utah. They operated the Pony Express station known as Point Lookout then continued living on the property in a log cabin built by stage workers after the station had closed.[1] They became horse and cattle ranchers and garnered a reputation as “rough frontiers folk” and “two strange characters.”[2], [3] Over time, the pair came to be known affectionately as Uncle Horace and Aunt Libby.

Uncle Horace and Aunt Libby owned one of the only sources of water along their stretch of the Overland Trail and charged travelers a fee to access it. Many riders and locals remembered Aunt Libby for smoking a pipe and treating her dogs better than her hired men.[4] Her “colony of dogs” were described as black and tan, short-haired, possibly of the “Fiste” breed (perhaps a misspelling of Feist, a small hunting terrier).[5] Aunt Libby liked to name some of her dogs after popular characters of the time, both fictional and real. Her variety of name choices reveals a wide range of interests in music, history, and popular literature: Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale” of the mid- to late-19th century opera scene; Josephine Bonaparte, the first Empress of France; and Toby Tyler, the 10-year-old protagonist of the children’s novel, Toby Tyler; or, Ten Weeks with a Circus.[6]

Photo of the site in August, 1941, prior to restoration by the UPTLA.

 As testament to her devotion for her dogs, Dr. W. M. Stookey, a member of the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks association, recalls an instance when Aunt Libby called upon Tooele’s Dr. William Bovee Dods to tend to one of her dogs, which had fallen ill. When Dr. Dods refused, Libby forced one of her workers, Elijah Perkins, to play sick, thus tricking Dods into paying a visit to the cabin. Once there, he reluctantly tended to the dog, and she paid him $100. Aunt Libby’s trick only worked once—the next time a dog got sick, the Rockwells had to travel roughly 70 miles to Salt Lake City.[7]

Photo of the site in August, 1941, prior to restoration by the UPTLA.

When one dog died en route for treatment in Salt Lake City, Aunt Libby brought him back to Point Lookout and buried him near a collection of three graves belonging to immigrants who had died while passing through Skull Valley.[8] She then hired a stone worker, Gustave E. Johnson, to build a wall around the small graveyard.[9] As her beloved dogs passed on over the years, Aunt Libby buried each one in her cemetery.

The Rockwells moved to California sometime after May 25, 1890 and lived there for the remainder of their lives.[10] Aunt Libby’s Dog Cemetery is the only structure still standing on the property known as Point Lookout.

View from Hwy 36 Pony Express Road

The historical significance of this cemetery seems to be centered around its location among the Pony Express stations along Utah’s section of the Overland Trail. Unlike Horace’s brother, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Horace and Libby Rockwell were not major figures in Utah or Mormon history—monuments haven’t been built in their name, we don’t learn about them in history lessons. But one story about a rough, pipe-smoking woman who tricked a Tooele doctor into treating her sick dog has survived the test of time and given historical value to this cemetery. Dr. Stookey explains that the reason for including the cemetery as an “extra in the line, both in design and significance,” was due to a “growing increase in its unique history,” and perhaps because it is one of the only remaining structures along this section of the Overland Trail.[11] Regardless of the reasoning, by including the cemetery among Utah’s historical markers, the UPTLA created an avenue for Aunt Libby’s stories to be retold forever. Within the chasm between the details of each recollection, we find the personality of that “strange character” Aunt Libby. According to most of the people who described her over the years, she was a rough, childless, pipe-smoking woman, unafraid of outlaw Porter.[12] But by way of the legacy of pet cemetery and the stories about her dogs, we see a giving, loving, motherly woman whose cultural knowledge reached far beyond the secluded scope of the Wild West.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

“Fatally Burned.”  Los Angeles Times. March 26, 1901. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/380059910/?terms=Mrs%2BRockwell.

Sharp Manuscript: Stories published by James P. Sharp. Compiled by Shirley Sharp Pitchford and Susan Sharp Hutchinson. Utah State Division of History Archives.

Sharp, James P. “The Pony Express Stations.” Improvement Era (February 1945): 76–77.

https://archive.org/details/improvementera4802unse/page/n21/mode/2up

Stookey, W. M. “They Died But Lived Again! Aunt Libby Rockwell’s Doggone Dogs and Their Lonely Cemetery Beside the Historic Overland.” Salt Lake Tribune. August 31, 1941. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/598747615/?terms=libby%2Brockwell

Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association marker records, ca. 1930–1990s. MSS B 1457, box 1. Utah State Division of History Archives.

Secondary Sources:

Bluth, John F. “The South Central Overland Trail in Western Utah, 1850- 1900.” U. S. Bureau of Land Management. https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101963?Reference=61466

Bluth, John F. “Supplementary Report on Pony Express Overland Stage Sites in Western Utah.” https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101965?Reference=61468.

Fike, Richard E. and John W. Headley. “The Pony Express Stations of Utah in Historical Perspective.” Cultural Resources Series Monograph 2. Bureau of Land Management of Utah, 1979.

https://archive.org/details/ponyexpressstati00fike/mode/2up

Jessop, J. D. “The Ghost of Aunt Libby May Be Nearby.” Tooele Transcript Bulletin, October 2, 2014. http://tooeleonline.com/the-ghost-of-aunt-libby-may-be-nearby/.


[1]Bluth, John F. “The South Central Overland Trail in Western Utah, 1850-1900” (U. S. Bureau of Land Management), p. 4. (accessed February 10, 2020) https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/101963?Reference=61466; Jessop, J. D. “The Ghost of Aunt Libby May Be Nearby.” Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah, October 2, 2014. (accessed January 29, 2020) http://tooeleonline.com/the-ghost-of-aunt-libby-may-be-nearby/; Stookey, W. M. “They Died But Lived Again! Aunt Libby Rockwell’s Doggone Dogs and Their Lonely Cemetery Beside the Historic Overland.” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 31, 1941. (accessed February 24, 2020). The exact date is unknown as several accounts differ, but they all agree the Rockwells lived at this location until sometime in 1890.

[2] Stookey.

[3] Sharp, James P., “The Pony Express Stations ,” Improvement Era, (February, 1945), 76-77. (accessed Feburay 10, 2020) https://archive.org/details/improvementera4802unse/page/n21/mode/2up

[4] Stookey.

[5] Sharp.

[6] Jessop, Stookey.

[7] Stookey, Jessop. Several newspaper stories reported this story, but the accounts differ as to which dog was ill, who called for Dods, and the amount he charged.

[8] Stookey, Bluth. Three unknown emigrating travelers died and were buried here.

[9] Stookey.

[10] Jessop; Stookey; Los Angeles Times, “Fatally Burned.” March 26, 1901. (accessed February 24, 2020) https://www.newspapers.com/image/380059910/?terms=Mrs%2BRockwell. Again, much is contested about the date, but one fact stands out: Aunt Libby burned in her house after falling asleep smoking her pipe.

[11] Stookey’s article explains the UPTLA’s haste in using the nearby CCC camps to help place markers and monuments along the difficult terrain, and that most Pony Express stations had “little or nothing remaining of the originals.” The survival of this cemetery and its story provide a picture of life along the trail.

[12]Lloyd, Erin. “Colors of Life Paint Rich Past in Rush Valley.” Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, 9 Dec. 1998, pp. 25–27. The article states Porter Rockwell owed $500 to his brother Horace, and Libby vowed to cut off Porter’s hair if the debt remained. LDS history states Porter’s hair long hair held significance to his faith. https://www.newspapers.com/image/545721374/?terms=libby%2Brockwell

Thomas Kearns Mansion and Carriage House

Published / by Brooklyn Lancaster / Leave a Comment

Write up by: Brooklyn Lancaster

Marker placed by: The National Registry of Historic Places

Coordinates: 40.7698° N, 111.8741° W
603 E. South Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84102


Marker Transcript:
Utah Historic Site
Thomas Kearns Mansion and Carriage House
Built 1900-1902 of Sanpete Limestone.
Architect Carl M. Neuhausen.
Governor’s Mansion 1937-1957.
Division of State History N-1

National Register Plaque

Extended Research:
Thomas Kearns was born in Canada in l862. His family then moved to a farm in Nebraska in 1870. Thomas didn’t grow up with a lot of money. When he was 17 years old, he left his family’s farm to look for a job. He ended up working different mines in South Dakota as well as Arizona. He then heard about Park City while riding on a train. He decided to head to Park City in 1883 hoping to make it big.

While mining in Park City Thomas discovered that there was an untapped silver vein in a mine called the Mayflower. He decided to lease the Mayflower with the help of two of his friends, David Keith and John Judge. On April 15, l889, they struck “gold,” or in this case silver. Over the next few years, Thomas and his partners bought several nearby mines, including the Silver King. The Silver King was one of the greatest silver mines in the world. It soon made Thomas and his partners very wealthy.

Once the railroad made its way to Utah in 1869, people from all over the world came to Utah hoping to make it rich in Utah’s mines. While this worked for some, others made money off of supplying goods for the miners. The people who struck it rich started to build impressive homes on the most desirable street in Salt Lake City at the time–South Temple. Even Brigham Young, an important local church leader, had several homes on the street. Other important pioneer leaders also built houses on the street.

By 1899, Thomas Kearns’s partners had both built mansions on South Temple which led Thomas to follow their example and buy some land to build his own mansion. After buying land Thomas hired architect Carl Neuhausen to design his home for him. The building of the mansion took from 1900 to 1902.

Thomas wanted his home to be the most modern and up to date, including the latest technology. He had electric lights, steam-heated radiators, a call board, and dumb waiters all installed in his home. Thomas even had one of the first indoor showers in Utah. The mansion also had a bowling alley, though all the pins had to be placed by hand. Jennie Kearns, Thomas’ wife, went all the way to Europe with their children to find art and furniture to decorate the mansion. They wanted the best of the best when it came to their home.

The Front of the Kearns Mansion

Architect Carl Neuhausen wanted the Kearns Mansion to look like a French castle. Each side of the mansion is designed differently. The mansion also has turrets on three of the four corners. The walls are made of limestone and have carvings around the windows and doors. Besides the mansion, the Kearns family also had a carriage house. Thomas was a great horse lover and had eight carriages. Once cars became more popular, the Kearns family stored their cars in the carriage house instead. Thomas Kearns was one of the first people to buy a car in Utah. However, he never actually learned to drive it.

The Carriage House

In 1938 the Kearns Mansion was renovated to become the Utah’s Governor’s Mansion. Governor Henry Blood and his family were the first governor’s family to live in the Kearns Mansion. It was then used as the home of the governor until 1959 when George D. Clyde became governor. He refused to live in the mansion. Subsequently, a new home was then built for the then governor. Besides Governor Clyde, Governor Calvin Rampton, was the only other governor to not live in the Kearns Mansion after it became the official residence of the governor. [1]

With the Governor moving out, the Utah State Historical Society decided to move in. Sadly, they didn’t have the funds to truly keep the mansion in good shape. The mansion became more and more run down over the subsequent years. It wasn’t until 1976, when Governor Scott Matheson was elected, that the mansion was given an update and repaired. The Governor then decided to move his family into the mansion in 1980. 

The mansion was used as the Governor of Utah’s residence all the way up to December of 1993. That was when Governor Mike Leavitt’s family Christmas tree caught fire in the Grand Hall.[2] The fire spread quickly. Luckily everyone was able to get out of the building without injury but much of the house was destroyed. Priceless woodwork, hand-carved and painted decorations, art, fabric, and furniture were charred and gone. During the restoration of the Kearns Mansion officials decided to return the home to its 1900s roots. While still updating the electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating they tried to make it look like it did when the Kearns family lived in the home. 

During the life of the Kearns Mansion it has been a family home, a Governor’s residence, as well as an office for the Utah State Historical Society. It has been nearly burned to the ground and then fully restored. It is still standing after over a hundred years, sharing the history of the Kearns family, Salt Lake City, and Utah with everyone who visits. In 2020, it is still in use as the governor’s mansion for Utah governor Gary Herbert.

[1] The Governor’s decision to vacate the Kearns’ Mansion was a controversial one because of the fact that the Kearns’ family had donated the mansion for that use.

[2] While the Governor was not at home at the time of the fire his family was.  

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:
“Fire, Smoke and Repairs.” Governor Seal. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://governor.utah.gov/mansion/mansion_firesmoke/.

“Historic Utah Governor’s Mansion Reopens”, press release and program. Accessed January 30, 2020. http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/PD/ms122b1996bf00617.pdf.

Secondary Sources:
“Fire, Smoke and Repairs.” Governor Seal. Accessed January 30, 2020.https://governor.utah.gov/mansion/mansion_firesmoke/.

Kued. “The Governor’s Mansion – PBS Utah Productions.” PBSUtah.org, February 1, 2019. https://www.pbsutah.org/whatson/kued-productions/the-governors-mansion.

“KEARNS, THOMAS.” Utah History Encyclopedia. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/k/KEARNS_THOMAS.shtml.

Wilson, Martin and Susan Holt, Rob Pett, Ellie Sonntag, “The Governor’s Mansion: Ready for Utah’s Second Century,” Utah Preservation, Vol. 1, 1997: 10-19. Issuu. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://issuu.com/utah10/docs/utahpreservation_volume1.

Utah State History. “Utah Preservation Restoration, Volume 2, 1980.” Issuu. Accessed March 20, 2020. https://issuu.com/utah10/docs/utahpreservationrestoration_volume2.

L.D.S. Tenth Ward Square

Published / by Katie Katz / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Katie Katz

Placed by: The National Register of Historic Places, Site Number N-159

GPS Coordinates: 40°45’ 38’’ N 111°52’ 6’’ W

Historical Marker Text: 

L.D.S. Tenth Ward Square. As a result of the organization of the original nineteen wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in Salt Lake City on February 22, 1849, ward squares or blocks were created on which the public buildings for each ward were constructed. Of the original squares, only the Tenth Ward Square retains the building which served the settlers’ spiritual, economic, cultural and educational needs. Still standing are the 1873 meetinghouse, the first building used exclusively for religious purposes; the third school house, built in 1887 and one of the earliest known designs of Richard K.A. Kletting, prominent architect and German immigrant of 1883; the late gothic revival church constructed in 1909; and the Tenth Ward store in 1880. The store is connected to a house which was built in 1890’s by Adam Speirs, bishop and proprietor of the store. Originally the Tenth Ward was bounded by Sixth East on the west, the foothills on the east, Third South on the north and Sixth South on the south. The first bishopric of the Tenth Ward consisted of: David Pettegrew, bishop, with Daniel Tyler, first counselor and Sanford Porter, second counselor. All three of these men were members of the Mormon Battalion.

1909 chapel (left) and 1873 building (right)

Extended Research:

The Tenth Ward building has a long heritage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the ward’s history dates back as far as February 22, 1849.[1]At that time, the Salt Lake Stake (a geographically based religious unit in the LDS tradition) divided land in the Salt Lake Valley into nineteen wards with nine blocks for each ward.[2]Members of the Tenth Ward constructed various buildings over the years for religious and educational purposes, not all of which survive to the present. First in 1849, the members built a one-story structure for their religious meetings and school, but by 1853 the building was modified to make way for a two-story building for religious meetings, school, and a theater.[3]This building was demolished in 1898 and the stone lintel was used for the entryway of the chapel that was built in 1909.[4]In 1873, ward members built a brick meetinghouse, in the Greek Revival style of architecture, that was strictly used for religious purposes.[5]The Greek Revival style was used because of its rising popularity in the 1800s. This building is still standing today. It is the oldest of all the buildings currently on the Tenth Ward square.[6]In addition, this ward meetinghouse is the oldest meetinghouse still in use today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Inside of 1873 meetinghouse

Ward members next added a schoolhouse to the three-part building currently standing on the Tenth Ward square. Erected in 1887, the schoolhouse is located on the corner of 800 East and 400 South. This building is said to be one of the first structures that the famous Utah architect Richard Kletting designed. This building is significant because it was the original District Schoolhouse for Salt Lake City until 1890.[7]

In 1909, the congregation constructed the final addition to their historic building, its worship space, even though it was not dedicated until February 13, 1916.[8]President Joseph F. Smith, then leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered the dedicatory sermon and prayer.[9]Right before his sermon, Smith commended the ward for staying out of debt and submitting their building collection fund in a timely manner.[10]Ironically, leaders of the Tenth Ward seemed to have collected the funds in just the nick of time. Only a week before the dedication service, a meeting note from Tenth Ward leaders stated “it is urgently requested that the collection for the building fund [be] collected… so that we may be able to pay off all indebtedness” before the dedication.[11]

1909 chapel (Stained-glass windows visible on the right side)

This last addition became the new chapel for the Tenth Ward to house its religious meetings. This section of the building is well-known and loved by many, but especially the members of the Tenth Ward. The chapel, a Gothic Revival style designed by Ashton Brothers architects, includes stained-glass windows, a steeple pointed roof, and a custom organ to accompany the choir. The organ stands out to all who visit the church both because of its beauty and because the sound it produces is wonderful to hear. The stained-glass images used in this building have symbolism rooted within the teachings of the Church. An example of this is the image of a beehive above a couple of windows. Beehives are an image the LDS Church uses often to symbolize its members working together, like bees within a hive. Another example is an image of a book with the Greek symbols alpha and omega on the pages. This is a representation of a scriptural passage in the Bible’s Book of Revelations, where it talks of Christ being the “Alpha and Omega,” or “the beginning and the ending.”[12]The most beloved stained-glass window, however, is located above the balcony, where natural light illuminates a picture of Christ knocking on a door, waiting to be let in.

Stained-glass window above balcony (left) and stained-glass “Alpha and Omega” (right)

As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had done with other old meetinghouses, in the late 1990s it considered demolishing the building and erecting a new meetinghouse in its place. This news created considerable opposition from many people within the Tenth Ward, even though they understood the logic behind it because restoring the building would cost so much money. Gordon B. Hinckley, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a personal connection to the Tenth Ward building and as a result also came to oppose its destruction. In 1983, Hinckley had shared in the Ensign magazine, an LDS publication, that it was in the balcony of the Tenth Ward building, during an opening song, “Praise to the Man,” that he gained his own personal faith in the gospel and the church he would one day lead.[13]

Hinckley thus decided that he would not let the building that meant so much to him be torn down. The LDS Church therefore, changed its plans for the Tenth Ward building from demolishing it to restoring it and updating it to meet modern building codes. The renovations of the building took two and a half years and cost three million dollars to complete.[14]The project aimed to keep the building’s interior as close to the original as possible. For instance, in the chapel the workers only changed the carpet and gave more spacing between the pews but kept everything else the same. 

On January 2, 2000, the Tenth Ward building was rededicated as a place of worship. Members of the Tenth Ward still use it for this purpose today.[15]Ultimately, with the help of modern renovations, the Tenth Ward building stands as the oldest church building still in use in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solidifying the building’s place as a Utah historical landmark. Recognizing this fact, the National Register of Historical Places submitted a nomination for the Tenth Ward Building to become a Utah Historical Site on April 4, 1977.[16]

[1]Julia A. Dockstader, “Chapel’s Heritage Lives On,” Church News, 25 January 2001, https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2001-01-27/chapels-heritage-lives-on-115947.

[2]Dockstader, “Chapel’s Heritage.”

[3]Lisa Thompson, “Renovation Transforms SLC’s 10th Ward from a Maze to Amazing,” The Utah Heritage Foundation Newsletter, January 2000, 1.

[4]Thompson, “Renovation Transforms,” 1.

[5]Thompson, “Renovation Transforms,” 1.

[6]Thompson, “Renovation Transforms,” 1.

[7]Thompson, “Renovation Transforms,” 1.

[8]“Passing Events,” Improvement Era19, no. 6 (1916): 570.

[9]“Passing Events,” Improvement Era19, no. 6 (1916): 570.

[10]“Passing Events,” 570.

[11]Tenth Ward General Minutes, 1849-1977; Volume 3, 1914-1916, Church History Library, 133, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=f14718d4-ef32-4dc7-b338-1f25eee93591&crate=0&index=132.

[12]Rev. 1:8 (King James Version).

[13]Gordon B. Hinckley, “Praise to the Man,” Ensign, August 1983, 1.

[14]Thompson, “Renovation Transforms,” 1.

[15]Dockstader, “Chapel’s Heritage.”

[16]United States Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form,Salt Lake City, UT: National Park Service, 1977, https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/77001314_text.

For Further Reference:

Primary Source:

Tenth Ward General Minutes, 1849-1977; Volume 3, 1914-1916,133. Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=f14718d4-ef32-4dc7-b338-1f25eee93591&crate=0&index=132.

Utah. United States Department of the Interior. National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form. Salt Lake City, UT: National Park Service, 1977. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/77001314_text.

Secondary Sources:

Dockstader, Julie A. “Chapel’s Heritage Lives On.” Church News, 25 January 2001. Accessed January 29, 2020. https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2001-01-27/chapels-heritage-lives-on-115947.

EMC,Tenth Ward History, document in glass case, 1909, Salt Lake Tenth Ward building, Salt Lake City, UT.

Hinckley, Gordon B. “Praise to the Man.” Ensign, August 1983.

“Passing Events.” Improvement Era 19, no. 6 (1916): 570.

Thompson, Lisa. “Renovation Transforms SLC’s 10th Ward from a Maze to Amazing.”The Utah Heritage Foundation Newsletter 34, No. 1 (January 2000): 1,3.


Spring City

Published / by Jessica Guynn / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Jessica Guynn

Placed by: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, No. 158

GPS Coordinates:  39.4794986, -111.4965053

Historical Marker Text:

This spring was long used by Indians and early scouts as a camp site. James Allred, directed by Brigham Young, on March 22, 1852, led his sons and their families here to build their homes. In 1853 a large colony of Scandinavian immigrants joined them. The waters of canal creek and natural springs supplied the settlers twice. The Indians drove them out burning their fort and all their possessions; but in 1859, they returned to establish permanently the town of Spring City. Canal Creek Camp. San Pete County.

Extended Research:

In 1980 the U.S. government designated the entire town of Spring City as a National Historic District for its significance as an example of Mormon settlement patterns and for its well-preserved construction using geologically unique, Sanpete oolite limestone. [1]

After crossing the plains to Utah from Missouri in 1847, James Allred was assigned by the Latter-Day Saint Prophet, Brigham Young, to leave the Salt Lake Valley with his extended family in 1852 and settle an area to the Southeast known by the Mormons as Sanpete County.

Allred’s journal recorded, “I remained in Manti City, Sanpete Co. until the Spring of 1852, when according to the council of President Young, father and I moved 16 miles north and started a new settlement. [2]

Allred patterned his frontier village after the architectural plan created by Church founder Joseph Smith to build Zion, the ideal city. The template called for wide streets dividing symmetrical blocks of five acres. Center lots provided space for religious structures and businesses, while surrounding blocks accommodated individual acre lots for homes.[3]

Likewise, survey maps for Spring City display a grid of streets dividing the land into analogous squares, thus imprinting urban order onto the wilderness. [4] The plat called for private residences to be constructed of brick or stone and set back from the street to allow for both a front yard and garden behind.

Farmers utilized open space outside the village for their crops, allowing inhabitants to live centrally rather than spread themselves as distant neighbors among their fields.

Villagers eventually called Allred’s eponymous settlement Spring City after a natural effusion of cold, clear water at its center. It was one of nearly 500 communities across the West to imitate Smith’s original design, thus shaping the nascent urban landscape in the Great Basin and California. [5]

However, Mormon pioneers were not the first to claim the Sanpete valley as their home. The Ute tribe had inhabited the land for hundreds of years, migrating from the south perhaps as early as 1000 CE and establishing settlements throughout the Great Basin. [6] Ute Chief Wakara, who had grown rich from trade with trappers and Spanish colonists in New Mexico, initially viewed the pioneers as trading partners and allowed them to settle the Ute tribal hunting grounds east of the Wasatch mountains. However, tensions between villagers and tribespeople grew when Mormons sought to regulate Ute raids and sales of livestock and captives that had become their currency. [7]

Isolated acts of theft and violence increasingly led to open hostilities that culminated in the Walker War and the destruction of the entire town of Spring City by fire in 1854. [8] Settlers fled to nearby Fort Manti and didn’t return until 1859 after the withdrawal of federal troops from the Utah War (1857-58) between Mormon settlers and the U.S. government over territorial sovereignty. [9]

A large group of newly arrived Danish converts, many of whom were skilled stonemasons, joined the original villagers in reestablishing and rebuilding Spring City. Their chief material was a geologically unique Sanpete oolite limestone found in nearby outcroppings. Abundant and easily accessible, craftsmen prized the stone for its creamy hue and pliability. Oolite was the principal element of both public and private structures that began to fill the town. Stonemasons crafted churches, homes and civic buildings.

Perhaps most notable is the Spring City LDS Chapel for its intricate oolite brickwork.[10] Many of these structures still stand as monuments to pioneer industry and resilience.

[1[ “The Founding of Spring City” https://friendsofhistoricspringcity.org/history-2/ (accessed: February 21, 2020)

[2] Allred, James Tillman Sanford. Diary. (1825-1905). https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=cacd6a43-7eb9-4cdb-b348-ce2ee27d758d&crate=0&index=2

[3] “Plat of the City of Zion, circa Early June–25 June 1833,” p. [1], The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed April 1, 2020, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/plat-of-the-city-of-zion-circa-early-june-25-june-1833/1

[4] Burr, David H. “Survey Maps.” N.P, 1857. Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, Spring City, UT.

[5] Provost, Claire. “Building Zion: the controversial plan for a Mormon-inspired city in Vermont,” The Guardian.com, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/31/building-zion-controversial-plan-mormon-inspired-city-vermont (accessed: February 20, 2020)

[6] Wimmer, Ryan Elwood, “The Walker War Reconsidered” (2010). All Theses and Dissertations. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/ (accessed: April 1, 2020). P. 21

[7] Ibid, 53

[8] Antrei, Albert C.T. and Roberts, Allen D. Utah Centennial County History Series – Sanpete County. Utah State Historical Society and Sanpete County Commission, 1999. P. 71 

[9] Poll, Richard D. and MacKinnon, William P. “Causes of the Utah War Reconsidered”  Journal of Mormon History, Vol 20 (Fall 1994): P. 17

[10] Parry, William T. “A majestic Building Stone: Sanpete Oolite Limestone,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol 81 (Winter 2013): P. 55

American Fork Presbyterian Church

Published / by Courtney Worthen / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Courtney Worthen

Placed by: National Register Division of State History, No. 306

GPS Coordinates: 40.37815, -111.796178

75 N 100 E, American Fork, UT 84003

Historical Marker Text: “The First Presbyterian Church of American Fork: In 1877 Reverend George R. Bird arrived to begin activities of the Presbyterian Church in American Fork. Work on this modified Gothic revival church began in 1878. The cornerstone for the completed building was laid in September 1881 by Reverend Thomas F. Day. This building was used as both a church and a school until the school was closed in 1909. It has served as a Presbyterian church continuously since its construction. It was listed on the national register of Historic Places May 23, 1980.”

Extended Research:

On September 7, 1877, Reverend George R. Bird arrived in American Fork to establish the Presbyterian faith in the area.[1] The history of the American Fork Presbyterian Church is part of a wider history of the Presbyterian mission in Utah Territory. Presbyterianism was among the first protestant faiths to enter Utah amongst an overwhelmingly dominant Mormon population. This broader history adds context to the church’s activities in American Fork.  

Presbyterian influence first came to Utah through a Presbyterian clergyman named John Anderson in 1862. As a California volunteer who helped establish Fort Douglas, which overlooked the Salt Lake Valley during the Civil War, Anderson was in Utah on military assignment. While in Salt Lake City, Anderson held Presbyterian services in a tent he brought with him from California. Evangelizing in portable tents was a common practice in territories where Presbyterian churches were not yet established. This was especially true in Farron, a city in Emery County, where it is argued that Presbyterianism was first organized in Utah.[2] Other historians argue that the first Presbyterian churches in Utah Territory were organized in predominantly “Gentile,”or non-Mormon communites such as the railroad town of Corinne, or the mining community in Alta. In 1871, Reverend Norman McLeod officially organized a congregation in Salt Lake City. [3]

The Presbyterian mission in Utah had both religious and educational purposes. Before 1890, Utah did not have a free public school system. When Presbyterian missionaires realized their proselyting efforts were not very successful among Mormon adults they decided youth education might be an effecitve means to bring Christianity and American values to Utah. By 1880 the Presbyterian mission had twenty four schools ranging across Utah and by 1890 they reported thirty three schools and four academies. In American Fork, Ida Kingsbury and other teachers offered a Presbyterian education to children in their community. Kingsbury opened American Fork’s day school in 1879 with eleven students enrolled. In 1890, the Utah legislature passed laws to begin a public school system in the state; as a result, the Presbyterian educational mission began to decline. American Fork’s day school continued to operate until 1909.[4]

The relationship between the Presbyterian mission and the Mormons in Utah was hostile for many years. However, one historian claims that the relationship between Presbyterians and Mormons “varied due to time frame, geographical setting, and the interactions of different personalities.”[5] For example, in 1871, Brigham Young invited Presbyterian Henry Kendall to speak in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle to a large Mormon audience. The audience was respectful and attentive and Young later encouraged members to allow “every reputable person” who wished to preach “the privilage of doing so” no matter what their religion.[6] Alternatively, in 1872, Reverend Norman McLeod’s anti-Mormon speeches created so much anger amongst Salt Lake City’s Mormon population that he fled East after receiving harrasment and death threats.[7] During the nineteenth century, Presbyterians and Mormons struggled to understand each other, and they frequently perceived each other harshly. Prebyterian day schools, anti-Mormon publications, along with polygamy and other Mormon doctrines exacerbated unkind feelings between the faiths.   

The Mormons were well aware of the Presbyterian’s “Christianizing” agenda in providing education to Utah’s youth. In order to raise funds for day schools, Presbyterians published newspapers and pamphlets such as The Kinsman, which accused Mormons of being un-American, attacked polygamy as barbaric, and highlighed other doctrines Presbyterians perceived to be heretical. Presbyterians raised money in the East on the grounds that their mission efforts might rescue Mormon youth from their parents’ religion. They especially concentrated their efforts on Mormon girls.[8] Knowing of the Presbyterian’s mission to reach Mormon children, and finding their anti-Mormon publications to be offensive, Mormon authorities discourgaged their members from allowing their children to participate in Presbyterian schools.

Presbyterians, in turn, reported harrasment from Mormons. In an 1880 letter, the Presbytery of Utah complained to Mormon leaders that in Logan, American Fork, Springville, and Payson Presbyterian meetings were “frequently disturbed by hooting through the windows, cursing against the teachers, and by boisterous singing and shouting round the doors.” Presbyterians further claimed that buildings had been “defiled in unmentionable ways, our property injured by stoning, and our books cut to pieces and scattered under the seats by those attending our services.”[9] According to one historian, Mormon apologists were equally fierce in their condemnation of Presbyterians as Presbyterians were of Mormons. Charles W. Penrose, then editor of the Deseret News, called Presbyterian ministers “snuffling, collection-taking hypocrites” who Satan himself would not be seen with.[10] During these years Presbyterians felt ostracized as religious minorites and their claims of harrasment were often dismissed by Mormon leadrship.[11] As Utah gained statehood and assimilated into the United States, Presbyterian periodicals reduced their coverage of Mormons and fortunately, both denominations learned to coexist as friends as they strove to build good relationships.

Beginning his ministry in American Fork, Reverend George R. Bird was more fortunate than many of his collegues. Upon arriving, Bird rented a social hall, in the upstairs of “Chipman’s Store,” and held American Fork’s first Presbyterian service two days later on September 9, 1877. [12] According to a history written by Ruth Teuscher, Bird had thirty Sunday School students in attendance by September 30. On November 27, Bird was able to offically establish a congregation with five members. The Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church helped Bird purchase a log house near Main Street in American Fork to use as a temporary chapel.[13] Bird’s growing congregation was made up of, “mostly Scots, some English, and a few Scandinavians and Americans.”[14] Reverend Bird ministered to his congregants in American Fork for three years before Reverend Thomas F. Day replaced him in 1880. Before leaving American Fork, Bird appointed Ida Kingsbury, from Indiana, to oversee the day school. Reverend Day later married Kingsbury.

Westminster College. The Presbytery of Utah at American Fork. August 1894. Photograph. American Fork, Utah. Special Collections. J. Willard Marriot Library.

The Presbyterian mission enjoyed the height of its membership in nineteenth century Utah during the 1880s before experiencing a decline. The subsequent decline in membership mirrored the decline in the number of day schools. Mining in American Fork Canyon sustained church membership in American Fork better than other missions in the state, however, the church experienced a lull in membership when the mines closed. The outbreak of World War II witnessed a revival, especially when Geneva Steele brought more Protestants to the area. Church membership in American Fork peaked in the mid 1960s with about 135 members.[15]

Architect  Peter Van Houghton is thought to have designed the Presbyterian church in American Fork in a “modified Gothic Revival style”.[16] In 2020, the exterior of the church resembles its original state even though the building has experienced a variety of modifications over the years. In the mid 1940s a kitchen was added to the back of the building. The original building had clear glass which was replaced by stained glass in 1976. On July 12, 1952, the bell tower was struck by lightning which caused fire damage to the exterior of the belfry. The damage remained for 44 years, until 1997, when the American Fork Legacy Committee helped restore the belfry as part of Utah’s sesquicentennial celebration. Minor interior renovations occurred in 1975 reversing classroom separations which were added in the 1940s.[17] The church has also been featured in two Hollywood films: Footloose and The Butter Cream Gang.[18] In 1940, Reverend Elias Jones changed the name of the church from The First Presbyterian Church to its current name: Community Presbyterian Church.


Notes:

[1] American Fork Presbyterian Church, Papers, Utah Historic Building Records, Marriot Library, Utah. 55. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1495212

[2] George K. Davies, “A History of the Presbyterian Church in Utah ,”Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society (1943-1961) 25, no. 1 (1947): 46-67, Accessed February 22, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23324258.

[3] Douglas R. Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah, 1870-1900: A Reappraisal,” Journal of Mormon History 37, no. 3 (2011): 162-228, Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23292727.

[4] Utah Historic Building Records, 74.

[5] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 167.

[6] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 169.

[7] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 170.

[8] Jana K. Riess, “Heathen in Our Fair Land’: Presbyterian Women Missionaries in Utah, 1870-90.” Journal of Mormon History 26, no. 1 (2000): 165-95, Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23288593.

[9] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 213-214.

[10] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 176.

[11] Brackenridge, “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah,” 166.

[12] Utah Historic Building Records, 74.

[13] Utah Historic Building Records, 55.

[14] Theodore D. and Marian E. Martin, “Presbyterian Work in Utah, 1869-1969,” (SLC, Wheelwright Lithography Co, 1971): 3-4, Quoted in American Fork Presbyterian Church. Papers. Utah Historic Building Records, Utah. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1495212

[15] Utah Historic Building Records, 65.

[16] Utah Historic Building Records, 5.

[17] Utah Historic Building Records, 5.

[18] Utah Historic Building Records, 63.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Westminster College. The Presbytery of Utah at American Fork. August 1894. Photograph. American Fork, Utah. Special Collections. J. Willard Marriot Library. University of Utah. Salt Lake City Utah.  https://utah-primoprod.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=digcoll_uuu_11wc_pc%2F1094197&context=L&vid=UTAH&lang=en_US&search_scope=EVERYTHING&adaptor=Local%20Search%20Engine&tab=everything&query=any,contains,american%20fork%20Presbyterian%20church&offset=0

American Fork Presbyterian Church. Papers. Utah Historic Building Records. Utah Division of State History. Salt Lake City, Utah. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1495212

Secondary Sources:

Brackenridge, R. Douglas. “Hostile Mormons and Persecuted Presbyterians in Utah, 1870-1900: A Reappraisal.” Journal of Mormon History 37, no. 3 (2011): 162-228. Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23292727.

Brackenridge, R. Douglas. “Presbyterians and Latter-day Saints in Utah: A Century of Conflict and Compromise, 1830—1930.” The Journal of Presbyterian History (1997-) 80, no. 4 (2002): 205-24. Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23336401.

Davies, George K. “A History of the Presbyterian Church in Utah (Continued).” Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society (1943-1961) 24, no. 3 (1946): 147-81. Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23324121.

Davies, George K. “A History of the Presbyterian Church in Utah (Concluded).”Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society (1943-1961) 25, no. 1 (1947): 46-67. Accessed February 22, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23324258.

Molascon, Allen R. “The Presbyterian Mission in American Fork, 1887-1896.” 1968. Special Collections. J. Willard Marriot Library. University of Utah. Salt Lake City Utah. 

Riess, Jana Kathryn. “”Heathen in Our Fair Land”: Presbyterian Women Missionaries in Utah, 1870-90.” Journal of Mormon History 26, no. 1 (2000): 165-95. Accessed February 23, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/23288593.

Old Meeting House – Draper Fort

Published / by Aaron Ika / Leave a Comment

Write Up by Aaron Ika

Placed by: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, No. 56, January 1940

GPS Coordinates: 40° 31′21′′ N, 111° 51′56′′ W

Photo Credit: Rendering of the Old Draper Fort in Pioneer Times (1850’s) – Draper Historical Society

Historical Marker Text:

ERECTED JANUARY 1940

“OLD MEETING HOUSE” DRAPER FORT

            THE NORTH WALL OF THE “OLD MEETING HOUSE’ STOOD NEAR THIS MONUMENT. HERE (1861-1869) DR. JOHN R. PARK BEGAN HIS CAREER AS AN EDUCATOR IN UTAH. THIS SCHOOL PRODUCED MANY OF THE STATES LEADERS AND LEFT AN INDENIBLE LOVE FOR THE EDUCATION IN DRAPER.

THE GRANITE BLOCK IN THIS MONUMENT WAS THE SOUTH STEP OF THE OLD CHURCH. THIS SPOT WAS WITHIN THE ENCLOSURE OF THE OLD ADOBE FORT 184 YDS. X 113 YDS. THE WALL WAS 14 FT. HIGH AND 3 FT. THICK.

EBENEZER BROWN CAMP

Historical Marker View in Draper Historical Park
Photo Credit: Draper Historical Park (1990)JacobBarlow.com
Draper Historical Park (2020) – Home of the Old Meeting House – Draper Fort Marker

Extended Research:

The marker for the Old Meeting House Draper Fort commemorates two important pieces of history in Utah and the city of Draper: the Draper Fort and the Old Meetinghouse that sat inside the fort. The marker is located on the north side of Draper Historic Park.

Settlers moved to the south east end of the Salt Lake Valley into an area called South Willow Creek in 1850. The area grew rapidly and by the end of 1852, 20 families called South Willow Creek home.[1] In 1854, the establishment of the first post office brought a name change to the town. The area came to be known as Draperville, in honor of William Draper JR, who was a prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). In 1877, the town shortened the name to Draper.[2]

On 10 April 1854, Brigham Young addressed the followers of his church: “from hence forth, let one and all go forth with one accord and build their forts, wall in their cities and villages, herd and guard their cattle and other property and keep their guns and ammunition in good order and convenience, ready for instant use.”[3] Skirmishes erupted from Sanpete to Salt Lake Counties between Native Americans under Ute Chief Walkara and settlers. Walkara had become upset by Mormon efforts to stifle Indian slave trading and by the increased intrusion of settlers into traditional Native American hunting grounds.[4] This broader violence shaped the first Mormon settlement in the area that became Draper.

Ebenezer Brown and his family were the first settlers to arrive in “South Willow Creek” in 1849. Ebenezer’s homestead was 160 acres. Because of the Native threat, and at Brigham Young’s directive, Ebenezer donated 5 acres of his property to build a fort where members of the community could gather and feel safe. In late 1854, the fort construction began for protection to those pioneers homesteading in the area. It took two years to build walls of adobe brick and clay around the fort that measured 23 rods east to west and 35 rods north to south. A Rod is an old English measure of distance equal to 16.5 feet (5.029 meters). The walls were eight feet high and one foot wide with look-out slots every fourteen feet. All homes faced the center of the fort.[5]

Photo Credit: Ebenezer Brown – Courtesy of the Draper Historical Society

The Draper Historical Society has researched the fort extensively and created a map of houses and shop locations inside the fort.

The entrance to the fort was a dirt road through a wide opening in the northwest corner of the fort and in front of Lauritz Smith’s blacksmith shop. A garden area was at the southwest end of the fort. It included a small orchard of apple and peach trees, planted by William Terry with seeds he carried across the plains from Rhode Island. John Fitzgerald’s home was built on the northeast corner of the fort. John’s mother, Ann, had a candy store attached to the home. The first house built was Ebenezer’s, and then running west along the south wall were three other small homes. Perry Fitzgerald’s two-story home was built on the east wall and to the west was the LDS Church tithing office and granary and the Relief Society Hall. Ebenezer’s son, Norman Brown, built an adobe brick house. This house also served as Draper’s first schoolhouse. From its beginning, Draper showed a special interest in education. Schooling began right away with Betsy Draper, wife of William Draper, as Draper's first teacher. Town leaders were always on the lookout for qualified teachers and paid them out of their own pockets. By the year 1855 the population of the community had grown to 222 people. Up until then church, school and public meetings were held in homes. More space was needed, so in 1860 the vestry was built across from the Norman Brown home. In 1863 the main hall was added to the vestry, and from that time the building was known as "The Old White Meetinghouse".[6]

The fort was an essential part of the community and provided the settlers with a sense of security and comfort during the early history of Draper.[7] Due to the increased tensions with the Native Americans and the settlers, many people tended to things outside the fort during the day such as their own homes, cows, sheep and other livestock. At night they returned to the fort to be safe from home raids. The temporary homes inside the fort were for sleeping only. They were very small with some being just one room. Some were no larger than a wagon box. Difficulties with Native American tribes lessened by the late 1850’s. The fort was never attacked, and families began returning to their homes. Ebenezer Brown deeded the “center area” of the fort to the community.[8] The fort was disbanded around 1864 and the fort walls were gradually dismantled. The Old White Meetinghouse and some of the original homes remained and in 1892 the Draper First Ward Church was built on the property.[9]

Draper Fort as researched by Draper Historical Society

The Draper Fort housed one of the town’s most essential buildings, the schoolhouse. Settlers of Draper built the first schoolhouse in 1852 on the north wall of the Draper Fort.[10] The schoolhouse became home to early educator, John Rocky Park. The schoolhouse also served as a public and spiritual gathering place for nearly twenty years after construction.[11] Park was an integral figure in education in not just Utah but in the expansion of the western territories of the United States. Park was at one time, president of the University of Deseret, that was later renamed the University of Utah. In 1895, Park was elected as Utah Superintendent of Education.[12]

Photo Credit: Old White Meetinghouse – Courtesy of the Draper Historical Society

Draper became known as the “Cradle of Education” in the West.[13] The Draper curriculum of John Rocky Park became known for its excellence at all grade levels. Park gained notoriety for his school and what was being taught inside its walls. With Trustee funding, Dr. Park, provided blackboards, maps and charts.[14] Brigham Young even wanted to build the University in Draper but disputes over land caused the site to move locations.[15] A student of those days reminisced: “The [school’s] walls were soon covered with maps and charts illustrative of all departments of knowledge. Models and globes rested on the broad window seats. A tellurion, a miniature illustration of the planetary system, was provided . . .”[16] Author Ralph Chamberlain found evidence of the renowned success of John R. Park’s school in Draper: “From a little country village, with a population of about 300, secluded in a corner of the Salt Lake Valley, in a brief period of five years that still stands out as its golden age, went forth a surprising number of men who later achieved high success; and in that village developed a spirit and movement that in time spread beyond it and inaugurated in Utah an educational regeneration. Never was the potential power of the good teacher more strikingly demonstrated.”[17]

Photo Credit: Dr John R Park – Courtesy of the Draper Historical Society

In January 1940, the Ebenezer Brown Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers erected a monument on the original site of the old meetinghouse. The granite block in the monument was the south step of the old church.[18]

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

James Herman Tegan, “Pioneer Personal History” Survey, The Works Progress Administration (Utah Section) Biographical Sketches, 1939, https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6pv8qj7

John Hamilton Morgan, “Scans of miscellaneous papers related to John Hamilton Morgan”, Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, 1951-1952, https:/collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6dn4xjn

John R. Park papers, MS 0242, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elisabeth Boulter Enniss, Journal 1874 – 1879, Draper Historical Society Museum, Draper, Utah

Secondary Sources:

PETERSON, CHARLES S. “A New Community: Mormon Teachers and the Separation of Church and State in Utah’s Territorial Schools.” Utah Historical Quarterly 48, no. 3 (Summer 1980): 293-312.

Willey, Darrell S. “Utah’s Frontier Architect of Social Destiny: John R. Park.” Peabody Journal of Education 38, no. 2 (1960): 100-06.

Noel Ennis, True to the Faith: The Life of W.B. Enniss 1857-1947, (Pioneer Books, 2004)

Draper Historical Society, “The History of Draper, Utah, vol. 2: Sivogah to Draper City 1849-1977”, (Agreka Books 2001)

Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper Park School,” Places that Matter – Draper, Utah, May 2014, accessed April 2, 2020

University of Utah, and Ralph V. Chamberlin. 1949. Memories of John Rockey Park

Footnotes:

[1] Draper Historical Society, “The History of Draper, Utah, vol. 2: Sivogah to Draper City 1849-1977”, (Agreka Books 2001)

[2] Noel Ennis, True to the Faith: The Life of W.B. Enniss 1857-1947, (Pioneer Books, 2004)

[3] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

[4] University of Utah, and Ralph V. Chamberlin. 1949. Memories of John Rockey Park

[5] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

[6] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

[7] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper Park School,” Places that Matter – Draper, Utah, May 2014, accessed April 2, 2020

[8] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

[9] Draper Historical Society, “The History of Draper, Utah, vol. 2: Sivogah to Draper City 1849-1977”, (Agreka Books 2001)

[10] John R. Park papers, MS 0242, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

[11] John R. Park papers, MS 0242, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

[12] University of Utah, and Ralph V. Chamberlin. 1949. Memories of John Rockey Park

[13] University of Utah, and Ralph V. Chamberlin. 1949. Memories of John Rockey Park

[14] PETERSON, CHARLES S. “A New Community: Mormon Teachers and the Separation of Church and State in Utah’s Territorial Schools.” Utah Historical Quarterly 48, no. 3 (Summer 1980): 293-312.

[15] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper Park School,” Places that Matter – Draper, Utah, May 2014, accessed April 2, 2020

[16] Elisabeth Boulter Enniss, Journal 1874 – 1879, Draper Historical Society Museum, Draper, Utah

[17] University of Utah, and Ralph V. Chamberlin. 1949. Memories of John Rockey Park

[18] Draper Historic Preservation Commission, “Draper History,” Draper Utah’s Historic Buildings, May 19, 2017, accessed April 2, 2020

First Wayne Stake Tithing Office

Photo Credit: Bill Kirchner, Sept. 29, 2018

GPS Coordinates:

38º 24.114’ N     111º 38.681’ W

Marker is in Loa, Wayne County, Utah.

Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, January 20, 2020.
Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, January 20m 2020.
National Register of Historic Places Marker

Built in 1897, the Loa Tithing Office is historically significant as one of 43 well preserved tithing buildings in Utah that were part of the successful “in kind” tithing system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) between the 1850s and about 1910. Tithing lots, which usually included an office and several auxiliary structures, were facilities for collecting, storing, and distributing the farm products that were donated as tithing by church members in the cash-poor agricultural communities throughout the state. Tithing offices were a vital part of almost every Mormon community, serving as local centers of trade, welfare assistance, and economic activity. This building is also architecturally significant as one of ten existing examples of Utah’s tithing offices which were designed in the Greek Revival style. Peter Christensen, who constructed the building, also fired the brick in a kiln located between the nearby town of Lyman and Horse Valley Ranch. The woodwork on the building was carved by Benjamin E. Brown, a local craftsman. In 1972 the building was sold to the local chapter of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

–National Historic Places Registry, Date Unknown

DUP Marker No. 396

First Wayne Stake Tithing Office built in 1897 at a cost of $1,000 by Peter Christensen who fired the brick in a kiln between Lyman and Horsevalley Ranch. Benjamin F. Brown carved the wood decorations. Used only for tithing office as long as offerings were paid in produce. It then became the Wayne Stake Presidential Office. Now owned by Daughters of Utah Pioneers, where pioneer relics are displayed and meetings held.

–Mauna Loa Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1976

Extended Research:

Photo Courtesy: LDS Church History Library and Archives, Wayne Stake Office/Old Tithing Building, PH 211.

Tithing offices were found in every settlement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the Mountain West during the nineteenth century. These houses played a major role in the economic life of their communities. Historically, they were an extension of the communal storehouse which was established by Latter-day Saints in Missouri in the early 1830s. Leaders of the newly organized “Church of Christ,” as it was then called, established a system under the law of consecration, which asked all members to donate their surplus income and wealth to the church. The funds were used to buy land, construct temples, and provide for the needs of the poor. The law of consecration was replaced in 1838 by a “lesser law” of tithing, which required members to pay one-tenth of their annual increase or net income.[1]

Once the Latter-day Saints were established throughout Utah Territory, the receipt and disbursement of tithes necessitated the construction of a tithing office, a storehouse, and often a stockyard in every settlement. The tithing office, storehouse, and stockyard were under the management of the local clergy called stake presidents and bishops.[2]

As the membership of the Church increased in Utah, Latter-day Saint congregations were divided into geographic units called stakes usually named after the county or region they occupied and overseen by a three-man stake presidency. Stakes were subdivided into smaller units called wards, a term borrowed from voting districts in the early United States. Wards in the LDS Church were overseen by a bishop and two counselors, who reported to stake leadership. Members of the wards or stakes paid tithes to the Church in various forms, ranging from cash, labor, or grain, to livestock and produce, depending on an individual’s financial circumstances. Tithes paid were disbursed by the bishop or stake president for assistance to the poor and needy within their jurisdiction.

First Wayne Stake Presidency: Joseph Eckersley, Gerson Bastian, John Riley Stewart
Photo Credit: Andrea H. Maxfield, September 2019.

First Wayne Stake Presidency: Joseph Eckersley, Gerson Bastian, John Riley Stewart

Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, September 2019

Though Latter-day saints began settling in Rabbit Valley as early as 1865, Wayne County wasn’t officially organized until May 2, 1892. The elevation of the communities in the county vary from 7,300 feet at Loa to 4,200 feet at Hanksville.[3] The broad spectrum of elevation, and proximity to the mountains and Fremont River created difficulties for settlements in adapting to unpredictable weather patterns. Freezing temperatures, heavy storms, and flooding often interfered with farming and settlers were dependent upon the assistance of stake tithes to survive.

Facing west, Wayne tithing office and Loa tabernacle (Wayne Stake) Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, January 20, 2020.

In response to these hardships, in 1897, members of the Wayne Stake followed the counsel of Church headquarters in Salt Lake City and built a white brick building to serve as the Wayne Stake tithing office. There were originally two floors, the main floor, and a cellar used for storing vegetables and potatoes. Behind the building was a large wooden granary where the clerks stored grain paid as tithing. Further east of the granary, church members stacked the hay brought in for credit.

In February 1897, Bishop Levi C. White of Blue Valley (later Giles) said, “The Ward is in Good conditions, owing to the recent storm the people have not been able to do mutch ditch work. Had it not been for the donations made to their ward by the Saints in the upper settlements, they would not have been able to raise crops this year. The people greatly appreciate the Generocity of the saints who have donated to their needs.”[4] Again, in May of the same year, Hans W. Hansen reported the good results that came from “the liberal donations of the people of the western part of the stake to those living in the eastern part.”[5]

Members of the stake willingly paid tithes to help preserve their economy. George S. Bastian of Loa, stated that nothing gave him “more joy than to take of his substance and help the poor and needy.” And Elias W. Blackburn of Bicknell reminded members of his congregation that they had “made a promise in the Nauvoo temple to help the poor and needy,” and now he could say he had spent the past “six months exclusively in making good this promise.”[6]

Labor was also a common donation for tithing. The Wayne Stake tithing office was likely financed through labor donations. The white bricks for the structure were made in a kiln between Lyman and Horse Valley by Peter Christensen, a member of the stake, who then laid the brick. Benjamin Brown another Latter-day Saint member in the stake made the fancy woodwork on the doors and porches.[7]

Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, September 2019.

By the early twentieth century as communities became more financially secure, tithing in kind gradually dwindled throughout the stakes. After Latter-day Saints in Wayne Stake discontinued the payment of tithes “in kind,” the granary behind the tithing office was moved to another location in Loa. The white brick building was then used as the stake clerk’s office until the 1950s when the Loa Tabernacle/Stake Center across the street added a cultural hall and stake offices.[8]

The Mauna Loa Daughters of Utah Pioneers purchased the tithing office building and currently use it for DUP meetings and as a museum which houses antiques, photos and other artifacts from early Wayne County.

German Spinning Wheel housed in Wayne Tithing Office. Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, September 2019.
Pipe organ from Loa Tabernacle, also on display in the Wayne Tithing Office. Photo Credit: Andrea Maxfield, September 2019.

Notes:

[1] Leonard J. Arrington, “The Mormon Tithing House: A Frontier Business Institution,” The Business History Review, 28:1 (March 1954), 24.

[2] Arrington, “This Mormon Tithing House,” 25.

[3] Anne Snow, Rainbow Views: A History of Wayne County, 4th Ed. (Springville, Utah: Art City Publishing Co, 1985), 1-18.

[4] Loa Stake General Minutes 1893-1981, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Call Number: LR 9963 11, 219-20.

[5] Loa Stake General Minutes,226.

[6] Loa Stake General Minutes, 223.

[7] Snow, Rainbow Views, 422.

[8] Loa Utah Stake Manuscript History and Historical Reports, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Call Number: LR 9963 2.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Loa Stake General Minutes 1893-1981, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Call Number: LR 9963 11

Loa Utah Stake Manuscript History and Historical Reports, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Call Number: LR 9963 2

Secondary Sources:

Leonard J. Arrington, “The Mormon Tithing House: A Frontier Business Institution,” The Business History Review, 28:1 (Cambridge: The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1954), 24-58.

Anne Snow, Comp., Rainbow Views: A History of Wayne County, 4th Ed.(Springville, UT: Art City Publishing Co., 1985).

Pioneers of Antimony

Published / by Eric Montague / 4 Comments on Pioneers of Antimony

Pioneers of Antimony

Write-up: Eric Cecil Montague

Placed By: Daughters of Utah Pioneers Forrest Camp · · · Garfield County (1949)

G.P.S. Coordinates: 38° 6.907′ N, 111° 59.8′ W

Historical Marker Text:

In 1873, Albert Guiser and others located in a fertile meadow, which they named Grass Valley. Surveyors camped on a stream, lassoed a young coyote and called the place Coyote Creek. The first L.D.S. settlers were Isaac Riddle and family, who took up land on the east fork of the Sevier River. Later, a school house was built, and the Marion Ward organized with Culbert King as bishop. In 1920 the name was officially changed to Antimony after the antimony mines east of the valley.

A picture on the day of the dedication of the marker with Antimony townswomen – Amber Riddle and Maude Wiley on the left and Esther Mathews and Ethel Savage on the right. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office – Antimony, Utah)

Extended Research:

The history of Antimony is a story of diverse groups making a home in a beautiful valley. Much like the story of Utah at large, these groups consisted of Native Americans, early settlers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.), and miners. The fertile valley of Antimony has been known by several names over the years: Clover Flat[1], Grass Valley[2], Coyote[3], and after 1920, Antimony. The latest name was chosen because of the abundant antimony mines in the canyons that surround Antimony and the mining industry that the mineral supported. This valley is covered in lush grass that is naturally irrigated by Otter Creek and the East Fork of the Sevier River.

The primary native people of the valley were Southern Paiute Native Americans. Previously, approximately 10,000 years ago, early native peoples, including the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan peoples, inhabited Southern Utah.[4] Twenty-seven miles south of Antimony, at the ranch of Jeff Rex, archaeologists found ruins known as the North Creek Shelter Site. These ruins provide insight into the lives of the native peoples that inhabited the area before European settlement. The site, used as temporary shelter by many generations of hunters and travelers, contains artifacts from the Paiutes and earlier native peoples. Artifacts found at North Creek include stone tools, farming equipment, projectiles for hunting, pottery, and other common native objects.[5] The item from the North Creek site that received the most acclaim was a wild potato; this is the earliest documented use of potatoes in North America.[6]

North Creek Shelter Site

The more recent peoples of the region are linguistic relatives of the Utes, known as the Kaiparowits Band of the Southern Paiute.[7] Shoshone bands also occupied the area. Both groups used the substance now known as antimony (a very brittle, bluish-white metallic substance),[8] which they extracted from the canyons around Grass Valley,[9] for tools and weaponry. This Southern Paiute band engaged with Europeans (Mormon settlers and the U.S. Army) during the Black Hawk War (1865–1872), and Europeans settled permanently in the region shortly thereafter. The small Southern Pauite band that lived in Grass Valley called themselves the Paw Goosawd Uhmpuhtseng or Water Clover People.[10]

The earliest Anglo-European contact with the region occurred as a result of the Spanish Trail and the John C. Fremont explorations. A trading path off the Old Spanish Trail called the Gunnison trail was used during the 1830s and 1840s. The trail split at the summit of Salt Creek in Salina Canyon. From there, the path passed through Seven Mile Canyon and Fish Lake, descended along Otter Creek, and continued along the Sevier to the Pahvant Mountains.[11] Trading caravans used this path to supply two economies: goods and slaves. The most prominent trade goods were furs, buckskin, and dried buffalo meat. In addition, the Ute people sold captured Southern Paiutes as slaves to the Spanish traders.[12] Later, in the winter of 1853–1854, Captain John C. Fremont made his fifth and final expedition to the Western territories. During this expedition, Fremont encountered harsh weather and searched for safety. After a long trip through the San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef, and the Awapa Plateau, Fremont and his group followed Otter Creek into Grass Valley, and there found shelter and recuperated.[13] The party later continued to Parowan for further recovery. In a letter to his sister about his trials, Fremont wrote that “the Mormons saved me and mine from death and starvation.”[14]

During the Black Hawk War, Mormon settler Captain James Andrus received orders from Brigadier General Erastus Snow to conduct a reconnaissance mission throughout Southern Utah to ascertain the strength of Native American communities in the region. This group passed through Grass Valley on September 4, 1866. In Grass Valley, the soldiers found the most “extensive” defense works they had ever encountered, erected by the Southern Paiutes.[15]

Brigham Young, then president of the L.D.S. Church, organized the first Mormon exploration party into Grass Valley in 1873, following the end of the Black Hawk War. The group included Albert K. Therber, William Jex, Abraham Holladay, General William Pace, George Bean, and George Evans. Throughout Southern Utah, Chief Tabiona of the Shoshone tribe served as their guide. During their exploration of Southern Utah, on June 18, 1873, they camped at what is known today as Antimony Bench. That evening, they recorded in their journal that “We were just going to camp for the night when we saw an old coyote with three young ones. We gave chase and caught the little ones, cut their ears off short, tied a paper collar around one’s neck and turned them loose. We named the stream Coyote.”[16] Thus, Grass Valley was renamed Coyote.

In 1873, the first European settler arrived in the valley: Albert Guiser. Guiser and his family owned mines in Oregon, namely the Bonanza, the Brazos, the Pyx, and the Worley mines. He likely came to Utah as a mining speculator because of the propaganda surrounding Utah during the national mining fervor and its promised mineral riches. Guiser established a cattle operation in the valley as well, yet did not establish a permanent settlement or buildings in Coyote, only visiting during summer.[17]

To understand the account of Antimony’s first permanent settlers, one must be acquainted with the practice by the adherents of the Mormon faith known as the United Order. The United Order, established by Brigham Young, was an economic concept based on cooperative and communitarian ideals. In the Order, all property was held in common, whereby its participants’ goal was to become self-sufficient from the external world. Most United Order communities only lasted a few years before dissolving.[18] Two Order communities that had lasting effects on Antimony were Kingston and Circleville. John Rice King, son of the leader of the Order in Kingston, purchased the Antimony Guiser cattle operation as part of the Order.[19] Two prominent future leaders of Antimony came from United Order communities: Isaac Riddle and Culbert King, from Kingston and Circleville, respectively. Riddle used Grass Valley to graze the Order’s cooperative beef herd. The Order from Kingston built a dairy beside Riddle’s ranch in Antimony.[20] After the dissolution of the Order in 1878, Isaac, Culbert, and others came to Grass Valley.

Isaac Riddle was the first permanent settler in Coyote. Riddle was born in Boone County, Kentucky, where his family converted to the Mormon faith and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. He enjoyed his time making shingles for the Nauvoo temple. Riddle spoke of the challenges that he encountered from the “mobbers of Illinois,” who persecuted the Mormons. He also described the troubles of 1844 that the Mormons encountered in Nauvoo at the murder of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. Notably, he wrote a description of Smith’s death, stating that “he cannot tell how we felt.” For the next six years, while migrating to Utah, Riddle endured numerous trials. His three-year journey to Winter Quarters in Omaha resulted in his “destitute condition.” To add further challenges, Riddle’s father left him in charge of the family in Omaha for two years when he was only 17 years old. After his arrival in Utah, Brigham Young called on Riddle and Jacob Hamblin to go on a mission to Southern Utah to improve relations with the native people.[21] Riddle’s exploration of Utah resulted in his acquisition of a vast estate throughout Southern Utah. In 1875, Riddle and his son, Isaac Jr., built ranches on the east fork of the Sevier River in Grass Valley.[22] Isaac and his son had explored the area the year before and assessed it to be perfect for cattle because of its abundant water and natural meadows. In addition to Riddle, John Hunt, Joseph Hunt, Gideon Murdock, and Walter Hyatt all used Antimony for cattle grazing.[23] Riddle was a shrewd businessman. To this end, he allotted a part of his ranches as a stopover for travelers on their way to Hole-In-The-Rock.[24] Riddle’s financial interests not only included ranches, but he also established many grist mills and sawmills throughout the region. After the dissolution of the United Order, Riddle owned thousands of cattle, sheep, and horses. He was also a polygamist with multiple wives, which resulted in his incarceration, along with George Q. Cannon, an apostle of the L.D.S. Church, from September 1887 to February 1888 for polygamy under the Edmunds Tucker Act. Riddle died on September 1, 1906.

Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle in Prison for Polygamy with George Q. Cannon (L.D.S. Apostle) Riddle is the in the second row, first person on left side

In 1878, around the Riddle Ranch, the town of Antimony began when thirty-three Mormon families—some of whom were friends of the Riddles—moved into the valley. The most noteworthy among the settlers were the Eliza Esther McCullough, Elizabeth Ann Callister, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, Lydia Ann Webb, and Culbert King families; the Eliza Syrett and Volney King family; the Helen Maria Webb and John King family; the Mary Theodocia Savage and John Dingman Wilcox family; the Esther Clarinda King and George Black family; the Polly Ann Ross and Culbert Levi King family; the Christina Brown and Mortimer W. Warner family; the Charles E. Rowen family; the Knute Peterson family; the Peter Neilson family; and the James Huff family.[25]

Antimony Post Office 1896

Of the first settlers in Antimony, one prominent member of the community, Culbert King, became the spiritual leader of the early Mormon settlers. King was born on January 31, 1836, in the state of New York. His parents joined the L.D.S. Church and moved to Illinois. In Nauvoo, the King family became acquainted with the religious leader, Joseph Smith. Following Smith’s murder they joined the migration of the Saints in 1846, arriving in Utah in 1851. Shortly after their arrival, Brigham Young sent the Kings to Fillmore, Millard County, where they erected the first house in the area. King served as a soldier during both the Walker and Black Hawk wars. Afterward, he became a friend to the Southern Paiutes and became somewhat proficient in speaking their language. After staying for 15 years in Kanosh, he moved to Circleville, Piute County, where he lived in the United Order for several years and served as a member of the ecclesiastical leadership there until the Order dissolved. He then relocated to Grass Valley and, in 1882, became bishop of the L.D.S. ward. From December 1885 to June 1886, he was imprisoned for polygamy. He continued to serve as bishop until 1901 when he was released and ordained a patriarch by Apostle Francis M. Lyman. He died on October 29, 1909. He and his wives were all buried in Antimony.[26]

Culbert King

Culbert King with Primary Assocation

The most prominent non-Mormon settler and early miner in Antimony was Archibald Munchie Hunter. After emigrating from Scotland to the United States through Boston in 1851, Hunter’s career took him across the nation. In 1874, he arrived in Utah and resided in Sevier County as a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. In 1879, he joined the settlers in Antimony. That he felt at home in Antimony is no surprise, given the communitarian beliefs of the town founders and Hunter’s prominence as a socialist. He spent the rest of his life there, supporting himself by providing supplies to various mining speculations, running a hotel, and raising and exporting his horses to Scotland. The successful mining efforts of Hunter and others gave the town its current name—Antimony—after the mineral that he and others mined in the canyons above the town. When he moved to Antimony in 1879, Hunter became chairman of the school board, and residents who experienced financial difficulties testified to Hunter’s generosity. Hunter cared for his sister, Jane Talbot, and her five children in his home, which he also ran as a hotel. He died in Antimony in 1931 and was buried in Salt Lake City.[27]

Archibald M. Hunter

Archibald Hunter with Family in front of his hotel

Archibald, as a school board trustee and benefactor, is significant to another group of Antimony pioneers: its earliest women. Female pioneers in Antimony influenced the town substantially, most notably as teachers and nurses. Carrie Henry, Lydia Tebbs Winters, and Esther Clarinda Black were the first teachers in Coyote. In 1882, at the home of George Black, the first schoolhouse was built, and in 1885, the school found its more permanent residence in the newly built church, until a dedicated school building was built in 1916. The school’s most remembered teacher was Esther Clarinda Black. One of her students, Lillian McGillvra Abbott, remembered her as having a “pleasant disposition.”[28] Black’s daughter, Esther Black Matthews, revered her mother. She recalled that Black began to teach out of necessity to provide for her family while her husband, George Black, served a mission for the L.D.S. Church in England.[29] Black’s impact on the community cannot be understated due to her effect on the town’s children. Black served for 23 years as the town leader of the youth organization of the L.D.S. Church, named the Primary Association, thus influencing the education and spiritual lives of the town’s children.[30]

Lydia Tebbs Winters with Antimony School Children

In addition to teaching, Esther was also a midwife. Midwifery and nursing were vital to the health of the young town. The first baby born in Antimony was Forrest King, son of John R. and Helen King, on April 1, 1879.[31] Some of the most esteemed nurses were Catherine Wilcox Webb and her two daughters, Helen Matilda Webb King and Lydia Webb Huntley,[32] among whom Catherine’s history is remarkable. Her first husband was Eber Wilcox, a member of Zion’s Camp, a Mormon militia organized by Joseph Smith to reclaim property stolen from members of the faith by Missourians. Wilcox died of cholera while on the Zion’s Camp expedition at Fishing River.[33] Joseph Smith officiated over Catherine’s marriage to her second husband, John Webb, in Kirtland, Ohio.[34] Catherine and her family came to Utah as original overland pioneers with the James Pace Company in 1850[35] and settled in Fillmore. After Catherine’s husband was killed guarding the fort at Fillmore during the Black Hawk War,[36] she joined her children in Coyote. She and her daughters were excellent nurses. Upon Catherine’s death, her obituary said of her that “her sphere of usefulness was unbounded as she assisted at the birth of many and at the bedside of the sick. She knew her profession well and was extensively known and well-beloved by all her acquaintances.”[37]

Catherine Wilcox Webb

From its humble pioneer beginnings, the town now known as Antimony made its mark on the Utah history in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The infamous Butch Cassidy and his group of criminal outlaws often frequented the area when it was known as Coyote and one-time marshal George Black encountered the gang there.[38] The telephone line arrived in Antimony in 1912, permanently connecting the town to the outside world.[39] That same decade, Antimony contributed in two ways to World War I. First, it sent eight of its young men to serve: Alonzo Black, Nelo Brindley, Loril Carpenter, Glen Crabb, Wilford Davis, Gus Lambson, David Nicholes, and Arnold Smoot. All eight returned home with honorable discharges. In addition to its soldiers, two antimony mines shipped ore to ammunition plants as part of the war effort. Following the war, the global influenza pandemic claimed four of Antimony’s residents: George Jolley, Arella Smoot, Thomas Ricketts, and Nephi Black.[40]

The official incorporation of Antimony as a town occurred in 1934, during the peak of its population. The 1880 census counted the town’s population as 125, and it rose in the 1920s and 1930s to its all-time peak of 290. It then precipitously declined until it began to rise again in 2000 and is just over 130 today. In 1938, The Works Progress Administration of the New Deal brought culinary water to Antimony.[41] Its population decline over the 20th century is a result of the difficulties of farming and mining in the region. The antimony mines closed after World War I. Without mining, Antimony had to rely solely on its agriculture. Antimony has always been a farming community, with the potato as its most common crop. The former importance of potato farming is demonstrated all over Antimony today in the potato cellar derelicts that dot the highway and roads throughout town.

Antimony Potato Cellar

While World War II was raging half a world away, L.D.S. Apostle Marion G. Romney spoke at the dedication of the newly built Antimony Ward chapel on April 23, 1944. In his dedicatory prayer, Romney prayed for those from Antimony and the rest of the U.S. who were serving overseas. He said, “Bless our boys and girls in the armed services who are spread out upon the earth in this great war.”[42] Antimony sent the following young men to battle in World War II: Lark Allen, Wayne Allen, Burns Black, Noel Black, Dean Crabb, Keith Crabb, Keith Gates, Robert Gates, Dahl Gleave, Marthell Gleave, George Jolley, R.J. Jolley, Arthell King, Darral King, Eugene King, Fount Lambson, Boyd Lindquist, Verl McInelly, Alton Mathews, Dasel Mathews, Gerald Mathews, Calvin Montague, Cecil Montague, Arden Nay, Clinton Nay, Harvey Nay, Merrill Nay, Guyle Riddle, Ted Riddle, James Sandberg, Lynn Savage, LaMaun Sorenson, Harmon Steed, Robert Steed, Arther Twitchell, Clarence Twitchell, Ephrium Twitchell, Grant Warner, Robert O. Warner, Warren Wildon, Carling Young, and Verl Young. All of these men returned home, except for three who were killed in action: Lark Allen, Ted Riddle, and Arther Twitchell. On Friday, May 30, 1947, the town held a service in honor of its war veterans. It was presided over by the president of the Panguitch L.D.S. Stake, Douglas Q. Cannon, and the bishop of the L.D.S. ward, Chester Allen, who had lost his son, Lark.

Antimony War Veterans Plaque – WWI & WWII

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Cover

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Inside

In 1946, electricity arrived in Antimony. The first home in which the Garkane Power Company installed its service was that of Avera and Ivan Montague.[43] Throughout the first half of the 20th century, dances were held in one of the canyons leading out of Antimony at the Purple Haze dance hall. When it opened, for 50 cents, people from towns around Antimony came to hear the live orchestra and dance late into the night as the sunset cast a purple haze over the canyon. The dance hall closed in the 1960s as the popularity of social dancing subsided.[44]

Throughout the last half of the 20th century, Antimony’s population dwindled, even dipping below 100 residents in 1990. One reason for this was the declining potato crop industry and other farming struggles.[45] Another reason was the pull factor that drew the younger generations of Antimony into larger cities. Population decline usually has a negative economic effect on rural towns. The impact of this is evident in the median income of Antimony households dropping to $22,500 in 2010, as reported by the 2010 census. However, since its lowest population point, Antimony is rebounding, largely due to its tourism and recreational significance, as the town is on the route to Bryce Canyon, a U.S. National Park. Antimony also has the advantage of being part of the American Discovery Trail, a non-motorized trail that one can use to travel across middle America. The trail is “a new breed of national trail—part city, part small town, part forest, part mountains, part desert—all in one trail. Its 6,800+ miles of continuous, multi-use trail stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California.”[46] Furthermore, Mayor Shannon Allen has brought popularity to Antimony with a fireworks display every Independence Day. Antimony is home to many highly popular attractions: the Antimony Mercantile, Otter Creek Reservoir, and the Rockin’ R Ranch. The “Merc” is well-known for its half-pound Antimony Burger, the Rockin’ R for its dude ranch experience, and Otter Creek for its unprecedented trout fishing. As its citizens attest, Antimony owns a special place in Utah’s history.

References

Primary Sources

Abbott, Lillian McGilvra. My Life Story. No Date. http://utahhistoricalmarkers.org/primary-source/1693/

Deseret News (July 1884): 16.

Garfield County News (April 1923): 6.

The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896).

The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 1 (1832–1839).

Fremont, Capt. J. C. Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44. Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845. https://books.google.com/books?id=W8ICAAAAMAAJ&oe=UTF-8

King, Culbert Biographical Sketch of Culbert Levi King. No Date. http://utahhistoricalmarkers.org/primary-source/biographical-sketch-of-culbert-king/

Mathews, Esther Black. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. 1947. http://utahhistoricalmarkers.org/primary-source/a-short-sketch-of-my-life-esther-black-mathews/

Riddle, Isaac. “Autobiography of Isaac Riddle.” In The Descendants of John Riddle, edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle, 2003. http://utahhistoricalmarkers.org/primary-source/autobiography-of-isaac-riddle/

Utah Department of Heritage & Arts. “Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers.” No date. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=462879#idm45468671543968.

Utah Digital Newspapers. ” Salt Lake Tribune | 1885-12-13 | The Second District Court.” No date. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=13144326&page=3&facet_paper=%22Salt+Lake+Tribune%22&date_tdt=%5B1885-12-13T00%3A00%3A00.000Z+TO+1885-12-13T00%3A00%3A00.000Z%5D.

Wallace, John Hankins. Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883).

Secondary Sources

American Discovery Trail. “INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMERICAN DISCOVERY TRAIL.” No date. https://discoverytrail.org/about/.

Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. No Date.

Brown, Harlow F. Grass Valley History. Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937.

Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days: A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News, 1949.

Crampton, C. Gregory. “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866.” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 145–161.

Gottfredson, Peter, Indian Depredations in Utah. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919.

Gunnerson, James H. The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920.

Janetski, Joel C., Mark L. Bodily, Bradley A. Newbold, and David T. Yoder. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah.” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

Jensen, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941.

Kelly, Isabel T. Southern Paiute Ethnography. Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964.

Louderback, Lisbeth A., Bruce M. Pavlik “Ancient potato use in North America.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29 (July 2017): 201705540.

Mormon Historic. “North America & Hawaii.” No date. http://mormonhistoricsites.org/zions-camp/.

Newell, Linda King, and Vivian Linford Talbot. A History of Garflied County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998.

Newell, Linda King. A History of Piute County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999.

Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville: Art City Publishing Co., 1971.

Periodic Table of the Elements. “Antimony.” https://mineralseducationcoalition.org/elements/antimony/.

Probasco, Christian. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 2005.

Reeve, W. Paul, and Ardis Parshall. Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.

“Catherine Webb.” Overland Travel Pioneer Database, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/5927/catherine-webb.

Warner, M. Lane. Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. Provo, Utah 2004.

[1] John Hankins Wallace, Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883): 625.

[2] Andrew Jensen, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941), 4.

[3] Lane M. Warner, Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. (Provo, Utah, 2004), 5.

[4] James H. Gunnerson, The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920).

[5] Joel C., Janetski et al. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

[6] Lisbeth A. Louderback and Pavlik M. Bruce, “Ancient potato use in North America,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29. (July 2017): 201705540.

[7] Isabel Kelly, “Southern Paiute Ethnography,” Anthropological Papers No. 69, Glen Canyon Series No. 21 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964)

[8] Periodic Table of the Elements, “Antimony,” https://mineralseducationcoalition.org/elements/antimony/.

[9] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 4.

[10] Linda King Newell and Vivian Linford Talbot, A History of Garflied County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 62.

[11] Harlow F. Brown, Grass Valley History, (Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937), 2.

[12] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 43.

[13] Brown, Grass Valley History, 2.

[14] Capt. J. C. Fremont, Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44 (Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845).

[15] Gregory C. Crampton, “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866,” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 159.

[16] Peter Gottfredson, Indian Depredations in Utah (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919): 324-330.

[17] The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896): 383.

[18] W. Paul Reeve and Ardis Parshall, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 287.

[19] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 119.

[20] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 127.

[21] Riddle, Isaac. 2003. Autobiography of Isaac Riddle in The Descendants of John Riddle. Edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle.

[22] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 4.

[23] Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. 1971. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville, UT: Art City Publishing Co. 196.

[24] Probasco, Christian. 2005. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Utah State University Press. 33.

[25] Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. 1949. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days – A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News. 124.

[26] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 185

[27] Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers, 1871-1933.  MSS B 68. Utah State Historical Society Archive, Salt Lake City, Utah

[28] Mathews, Esther Black. 1947. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[29] Abbott, Lillian McGillvra. My Life Story

[30] Garfield County News. 1923. April 20: 6.

[31] Linda King Newell, A History of Piute County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999), 129.

[32] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 120.

[33] http://mormonhistoricsites.org/zions-camp/

[34] The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, vol. 1 1832-1839.

[35] https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/5927/catherine-webb

[36] Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[37] Deseret News. 1884. July 30: 16.

[38] Warner, Antimony, Utah ,96.

[39] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 222.

[40] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 258.

[41] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 294.

[42] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 71.

[43] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 300.

[44] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 77.

[45] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 337.

[46] https://discoverytrail.org/about/

Antimony Mining Company Stock Certificate

Old This is the Place Monument

Write up by: Kauriana Kendall

Placed by: Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

GPS coordinates: 40.75319429362746, -111.81347150355577

Historical marker text (1):

THIS IS THE PLACE

BRIGHAM YOUNG

JULY 24 1847

Historical marker text (2):

THIS IS THE PLACE: A Rededication

In commemoration of a most significant historical event, this monument was first dedicated July 25, 1921. It marked the arrival in this valley of the Mormon Pioneers 74 years earlier, and more specifically, the moment when President Brigham Young rose from his sick-bed in Wilford Woodruff’s carriage and proclaimed to all the world: “This is the Place.”

Even in 1921, there was much disputation as to the exact location of the noted event. This monument was located here as the definitive answer as to where the event occurred. This answer came primarily from two speakers, very different in their presentations, but equally convincing in their conclusion.

The first speaker was 83-year-old W.W. Riter. As a lad of 9 years, he and his parents had followed Brigham Young to this valley. W.W. Riter was the living authority for the correct placing of the monument. In his early years, Wilford Woodruff had taken him to the spot and stated that this is exactly where Brigham Young had uttered those important words.

The second speaker was Brigham H. Roberts, aged 64, a prolific historian, theologian, congressman, eminent scholar, and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. He said, “There has been much discussion as to whether this particular spot just outside the mouth of Emigration Canyon was really the place.” Then, quoting often from the journal of Wilford Woodruff, Mr. Roberts proved conclusively that there can be no doubt that the spot now marked by this concrete monument is very near to the actual place. In fact, speaking of the question, he remarked: “Seventy four years ago yesterday an incident occurred on or near the spot where we now stand that is destined to live in the memory of men through the ages to come.”

The above comments have been taken substantially from three articles published in the Salt Lake Tribune and three in the Desert News of the period. The comments came before and after the event.

The project of refurbishing the monument jointly undertaken by the Mills Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and Zachary Mahoney, a Scout who used his skill and wisdom to make his Eagle Project not only memorable but lasting.

Site No. 129

July 21, 2007

Rededicated by Elder Boyd K. Packer

Historical marker text (3):

THIS IS THE PLACE MONUMENTS

The first marker to commemorate the arrival of the Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley was a wooden cross. The eight foot post carried the name “Brigham Young.” The crosspiece said “This is the place.” In 1921, the wooden cross was replaced with the obelisk monument. This spot is where Brigham Young, in viewing the valley, made the statement, “This is the right place. Drive on.”

Extended research:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a relatively new religious movement in 1847, but the persecution its members faced up to that point was great. They were driven out of three states, faced an extermination order in one, and had received little support from local and federal governments. Their first leader, Joseph Smith, was murdered, and the process of setting up new leadership led to major dissension within the Church. The new leader, Brigham Young, initiated an effort to move his followers outside of America (to what would later be known as Utah) to avoid more persecution and government restrictions on their worship. Starting in 1846, members of the Church began making the trek west in wagon companies and, later, some handcart companies.

Brigham Young and his wagon company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24 1847, where Young probably said something along the lines of, “this is the right place. Drive on.” According to his journal, at the top of Big Mountain, Brigham Young saw “the Spirit of Light…over the valley” and knew this was the spot the settlers were looking for. However, he made no note of the phrase “this is the place.”[1] Historians have debated whether Young actually said these words that became a monument and the name of a state park. Despite the certainty implied by the “This is the Place” monuments, there is no documentation of exactly what Brigham Young said that day. Pioneer Levi Jackman’s journal is perhaps as close as historians will get to Young’s actual words that day. Four days after Young’s arrival, Jackman paraphrased Brigham Young during a meeting called in order to decide “whear the city should be built.” As Jackman recorded it, “After a number had spoken on the subject a voat was calld for unanimosiley aggread that this was the spot. After that Pres Young said tha he knew that this is the place. he knew it as soon as he came in sight of it and he has seen this vearey spot before.”[2]

Wilford Woodruff, whose wagon the ill Young was riding in, made no comment on the words of his leader the day they entered the Salt Lake Valley; however, he is the one who eventually said the famous phrase during a Pioneer Day speech given in 1880—thirty-three years after the arrival of the wagon company and three years after Brigham Young’s death—that is so often repeated today. Here, Woodruff attributed to Young the words “This is the right place. Drive on.” Then, in 1888, Woodruff repeated the story, but quoted Young as saying “Drive on down into the valley; this is our abiding place.” Finally, in 1897, Woodruff told the story in another speech, this time quoting “That will do, drive on; this is the place.”[3] Clearly, there is no way to know exactly what Young said that day, but the catchy line written on the monument and advertised by the This is the Place Heritage Park continues to evoke feelings of pride from Utahns, especially every July 24th when Pioneer Day celebrations rival those of the Fourth of July.

Also despite the certainty of the text contained in the old monument’s longest plaque, historians do not all agree that the cement obelisk actually stands on the spot where Brigham Young looked out over the valley and declared that they had found the right place to settle. Historian W. Randall Dixon provides a description of the trails taken by the various groups of pioneers based on several journal entries. He explains that the Mormon Battalion took a vastly different route than Brigham Young’s wagon company into the Salt Lake Valley when they arrived five days later on July 29. Since this was the most direct trail to Emigration Road, where emigrants finally ended their trek and camped until finding a home, it is likely the one most of the later wagon companies used. Dixon concludes that “Most of the newcomers probably assumed that their trail was that which had been followed by their predecessors on July 22 and July 24. This may explain some of the later confusion on the matter of trails.”[4] W.W. Riter, named on the plaque as the “living authority for the correct placing of the monument,” was one such case, arriving in the valley 10 weeks after Brigham Young, according to his speech at the dedication of the monument. In this speech, he refuted claims that the first pioneers climbed over a hogback, but does not give any possible explanation for the “steep pitch” both Howard Egan and Heber C. Kimball, members of Young’s wagon company, mentioned ascending. Riter also claimed that he “crossed this same spot,”[5] meaning the location of the cement monument, probably not realizing that he would not have followed the same trail as Young, since a shorter, better blazed trail had been carved out for him by then. Therefore, even if he did cross that spot, it does nothing to prove that Young ever did.

Brigham H. Roberts, the second witness to the correct location listed on the monument plaque, is quoted a little misleadingly. In the speech he gave at the dedication of the old monument, he does in fact say that “an incident occurred on or near the spot where we now stand,” and he did quote Wilford Woodruff extensively, as the plaque says. However, his quote that “There has been much discussion as to whether this particular spot just outside the mouth of Emigration Canyon was really the place” is not from the same speech as the plaque suggests. In the dedication speech, Roberts was not at all concerned with the correct placement of the monument, but rather focused on the emotional aspects of the pioneers’ journey across the country and the mission of the saints in the valley.[6] Records such as the old This is the Place monument plaques and even the official history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published by the Church which present the location and words of Brigham Young on that historic day as certain facts show that many people, including historians, have accepted half-explained truths and uncertain quotes in order to keep alive the idealized image of Brigham Young rising from his sick bed to announce “this is the right place; drive on.” The truth is that we do not know the exact spot where Young first saw the valley, nor do we know the words he said when he saw it. There are several other testimonies that suggest that the Old This is the Place Monument is placed accurately to the north of Emigration Creek, and there are many other historians who are certain Woodruff’s wagon stopped to the south of the same creek. While we can assume that the famous event took place somewhere around the mouth of Emigration Canyon, we must accept that the This is the Place monuments are more about commemorating a day of new beginning rather than giving us a perfect historical record that does not exist.

Though the arrival of the pioneers who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley was important for a people trying to leave a country where they had faced persecution at every turn, they themselves then became the persecutors and the beginning of an end for the Native Americans inhabiting the same land. Brigham Young, consistent with his personality, wanted to be kind to the Native Americans and convert them to his religion, but was also wary and ready to mete out justice to any he believed deserved it. He said:

They [the Indians] are of the House of Israel, and the time has come for the Lord to favor Zion, and redeem Israel. We are here in the mountains, with these Lamanites for our neighbors, and I hesitate not to say, if this people possessed the faith they ought to have, the Lord Almighty would never suffer any of the sons of Jacob to injure them in the least; no never. But I am suspicious that this people do not possess the faith they should have, therefore I calculate to carry with me proper weapons of defence, that if a man should aim a blow at my person to take away my life, before he is aware, he himself is numbered with the dead.[7]

Even when attempting kindness, the Mormon pioneers inevitably changed the lives of the natives by settling on valuable lands and trying to end the slave trade. Then many white settlers grew tired of kindness, leading to attacks on Native Americans for stealing, which culminated in events like the Walker War and the Black Hawk War. All of these tensions eventually ended to the satisfaction of the settlers: the natives were federally ordered and violently rounded up onto reservations which by 1900 represented four percent of the land native peoples controlled before the Mormons arrived in 1847. In addition, between 1847 and 1900, the natives suffered an estimated 90% population decrease.[8] While the larger “This is the Place Monument,” placed in 1947, does a better job at commemorating more groups of people involved in the history of Utah, the small 1921 obelisk focuses only on the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While Utahns should be welcome to celebrate their heritage and the hardships their own ancestors endured, we would do well to remember that a home gained for one group meant a home lost for another.

[1] Jeffery Carlstrom and Cynthia Furse, The History of Emigration Canyon: Gateway to Salt Lake Valley (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2003), 32.

[2] Levi Jackman, Levi Jackman Journal, 1847 March-1849 April, microfilm, MS 138, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[3] Jeffrey Carlstrom and Cynthia Furse, The History of Emigration Canyon: Gateway to Salt Lake Valley (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2003), 32-33.

[4] W. Randall Dixon, “From Emigration Canyon to City Creek: Pioneer Trail and Campsites in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847,” Utah Historical Quarterly 65, no. 2 (1997): 163, accessed February 24, 2020, https://issuu.com/utah10/docs/uhq_volume65_1997_number2.

[5] W.W. Riter, “Correct Placing of the Monument, Pioneer View,” Improvement Era 24, no. 11 (1921): 969-973, accessed February 24, 2020, https://archive.org/details/improvementera24011unse/page/962/mode/2up/search/mouth+of+emigration+canyon.

[6] B.H. Roberts, “Monument at Pioneer View,” Improvement Era 24, no. 11 (1921): 963, accessed February 24, 2020, https://archive.org/details/improvementera24011unse/page/962/mode/2up/search/mouth+of+emigration+canyon.

[7] Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, (Liverpool : F.D. and S.W. Richards, 1854), https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/1805.

[8] Forrest S. Cuch, ed., A History of Utah’s American Indians (Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs/Utah State Division of History, 2003).

For further reference:

Primary Sources:

Jackman, Levi. Levi Jackman journal, 1847 March-1849 April. Microfilm, MS 138. Church History Library.. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Roberts, B.H. “Monument at Pioneer View.” Improvement Era 24, no. 11 (1921): 957-1049. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://archive.org/details/improvementera24011unse/page/962/mode/2up/search/mouth+of+emigration+canyon.

Riter, W.W. “Correct Placing of the Monument, Pioneer View.” Improvement Era 24, no. 11 (1921): 957-1049. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://archive.org/details/improvementera24011unse/page/962/mode/2up/search/mouth+of+emigration+canyon.

Young, Brigham, Journal of Discourses Vol. 1. Liverpool : F.D. and S.W. Richards, 1854. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/1805.

Secondary Sources:

Carlstrom, Jeffrey and Cynthia Furse, The History of Emigration Canyon: Gateway to Salt Lake Valley. Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs/Utah State Division of History, 2003.

Cuch, Forrest S., ed. A History of Utah’s American Indians. Utah State University, University Libraries, 2003.

Dixon, W. Randall. “From Emigration Canyon to City Creek: Pioneer Trail and Campsites in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.” Utah Historical Quarterly 65, no. 2 (1997): 100-195. Accessed February 24, 2020. https://issuu.com/utah10/docs/uhq_volume65_1997_number2.

Hales, Scott A., David C. Nielsen, Angela Hallstrom, Dallin T. Morrow, and James Goldberg. Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Edited by Matthew J. Grow, Jed L. Woodworth, Scott A. Hales, and Lisa Olsen Tait. Vol. 2. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2020.