Category Archives: Pioneer Settlement

Published / by Kenny Son / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Ben Chin

Placed by: Sons of Utah Pioneers, June 1988

GPS coordinates: Latitude: 40.708513, Longitude: -111.801820

Historical Marker Text:

William Stuart Brighton was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1829.  He married Catherine Bow (born in 1827 at Sterling, Scotland) in 1850.  He was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1844.  They immigrated to Missouri in 1855 with two children, one of whom was buried at sea during the passage.  They came to Utah in 1857 by handcart company.  They had four sons born in the United States- Robert, William, Thomas, Daniel and Janet, born in Scotland.

In 1871 William S. Brighton claimed over 100 acres at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  William and Catherine built the first hotel there at “Brighton” in 1874.  It was razed in 1945.  Later they added cottages, the original Brighton store, a post office, a telephone service, a dairy service, freight haulage, a bakery and a sawmill.  Catherine Bow Brighton named the lakes around Brighton- “Mary” after her infant daughter, “Catherine” after herself, “Martha” after a friend, etc.  About 1887 the Brighton sons built the first telephone line through Brighton to Alta.  The world famous ski resort and area is now permanently called “Brighton” after this early family.

William Stuart Brighton died in 1895 and Catherine Bow in 1894.  They are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Extended Research:

William Stuart Brighton originally immigrated from Liverpool to New Orleans before eventually making his way to Utah as part of the Israel Evans Company in 1857.[1] He kept a diary while on the voyage in which he describes some of the hardships and difficulties he and his family encountered, including the loss of his daughter, Mary. “Tuesday 19 Dec. 1854. Fine weather and a fair wind. My wife is again on deck with my assistance my children is still lying very bad this morning. The ordinance was administrated to my wife and children. The measles made their appearance on Mary this day and I was kept so busy attending my wife and children up to the 21 Dec. 1854 that I could not take an observation of our travels when at 1 o’clock on the 31st, my child, Mary departed this life…”[2] Aside from illness, Brighton and many others on the ship experienced food shortages to such an extent that nearly caused the captain to redirect course back to Liverpool.

When the ship finally did arrive in New Orleans on January 12th, 1855, Brighton and his family temporarily settled there before joining a group of Mormons pioneers to migrate westward to Utah. The Israel Evans company was the 6th handcart company that consisted of 149 individuals and 28 handcards. It started its journey at the outfitting post in Iowa City, Iowa on May 22nd-23rd, 1857. When the company made it to Utah on September 11th-12th of the same year, it was documented in the Deseret News: “Elder William Walker’s freight train was at Deer Creek on the 8th inst., and Elder Israel Evans’ hand-cart company would arrive there that evening. Elder Benjamin Ashby is with Elder Evans. There are 30 hand-carts, 2 teams and some 150 persons in the company; they are very lively and making good progress.”.[3]

Upon his initial entrance into the Utah territory, Brighton provided for his family by working temporary jobs such as driving teams, harvesting, and general labor. One of his early bosses, Daniel H. Wells, served as a connection for Brighton to construct a mill in Big Cottonwood Canyon, where he and his family eventually built a hotel and other businesses.[4]

William Stuart Brighton

When analyzing the life of William Stuart Brighton, it is apparent that his life is not unlike many of his peers during this period.  He, like most other Mormon pioneers, came to Utah territory because it suited his needs; the Brighton family could live among people who shared similar beliefs and values and it offered financial opportunity.  What sets Brighton apart from other pioneers and warrants a historical marker is the amount of area he claimed at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and its subsequent development into a popular ski resort named in his honor.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Brighton, William S. “Diary of William Stuart Brighton.” Saints by Sea: Latter-Day Saint Immigration to America, January 12, 1855, 5–16. https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/mii/account/244.

“William Stuart Brighton.” Pioneer database. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Accessed February 2, 2020. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/20835/william-stuart-brighton.

Secondary Sources:

Morris, Rod. “Salt Lake City Big Cottonwood Canyon and William Stuart Brighton.” Balsam Hill Cabin. Accessed February 2, 2020. http://balsam-hill-cabin.com/php/book/ch1.php.


[1]The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  William Stuart Brighton, 2018-09-01, https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/20835/william-stuart-brighton.  (accessed 2020-02-25)

[2] Brighton, William S.  Diary of William Stuart Brighton, Saints By Sea: Latter Day Saint Immigration to American, 1854-12-19, https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/mii/account/244.  (accessed 2020-02-25)

[3] “Arrival and Latest News”, Deseret News, 19 August 1857, https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/sources/9044/arrival-and-latest-news-deseret-news-weekly-19-aug-1857-188.  (accessed 2020-02-25)

[4] Balsam Hill Cabin.  Salt Lake City: Big Cottonwood Canyon and William Stuart Brighton, http://balsam-hill-cabin.com/php/book/ch1.php

Huntington Settlement

Published / by Chas Rafiti / Leave a Comment

Write-up by:  Chas Rafiti

Placed by:  The Daughters of Utah Pioneers, no. 105. 

GPS Coordinates:  

N 39°21’10.47” 

W 111°0’45.82” 

Historical Marker Text:  

In 1875 Leander Lemmon and James McHadden seeking a good range for their horses, found feed plentiful at the mouth of Huntington Canyon and vicinity. Mr. Lemmon brought sheep and cattle from Cottonwood, Salt Lake County. In the Autumn of 1876, he built the first log cabin on Huntington Creek, near this marker. An irrigation ditch was dug, taking water from the nearby creek. The town is situated on Huntington Creek, from which it receives its name. 

Extended Research: 

The history of Mormon colonization is generally separated into distinct phases.  In the first decade after Mormon arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, several important cities were founded to the North and South of Salt Lake City, such as Ogden (1848), Provo (1849), Parowan (1851), and Cedar City (1851).[1]  This north to south string of colonies provided the Mormon settlers with a solid base of control, along a route commonly referred to as the Mormon Corridor.  Many of these cities had become very important outposts for the Mormons. As the years passed, and as some of these southern settlements became prosperous and overpopulated, calls to venture east were made by the LDS Church hierarchy. Overpopulation had become a major problem for many Mormon settlements by the 1870’s, as a new generation of people had grown up in Utah.[2]  This issue, along with encouragement from the Church hierarchy in the early and mid 1870’s, led to the eventual colonization of Castle Valley, and therefore the city of Huntington among others.

The establishment of the first settlements near Huntington creek occurred in the 1870’s during the third decade, or phase, of Mormon colonization.  Different from the second phase, which was a result of the threat from the Federal Army under General Johnston in 1857, when colonists were called back from outlying areas such as San Bernardino and Carson Valley, the third phase saw a huge expansion of Mormon settlements all across the territory. This phase led to the development of ninety-three new colonies in Utah, including the Huntington settlement.[3]

The region where the town was eventually established had likely been named by the Huntington brothers, Dimick, Oliver, and William, who first explored the area in the 1850’s.[4]  However, it was not until 1875 when the first settlers of European descent arrived in the area. Four cattle herders, Bill Gentry, and Alfred Starr, as well as the two men referenced in the marker, James McHadden and Leander Lemmon, brought their herds to Huntington Creek in search of a place for their stock to graze and rest.  McHadden and Lemmon jointly developed the area along the creek, where the marker is placed. However, of these four men, only Leander Lemmon remained permanently to settle the town, his house likely becoming the first above ground building in the area, and still stands today.[5]  These men migrated across the La Sal Mountains, in Sanpete County, into the Huntington area, where they attempted to find new lands worthy of settlement. The prosperous towns of Sanpete County had become overpopulated and lacked available land and water, thus prompting their desire to seek new homes. Soon many other settlers made the same crossing, coming into Castle Valley in significant numbers in the late 1870’s. 

The original house of Leander Lemmon, built around 1901.

As Leander Lemmon built his house, dug irrigation ditches, and cared for his livestock, more families came into the area, largely from Sanpete County.  On August 22, 1877, Brigham Young issued a declaration to colonize and explore the areas of Castle Valley, including Huntington.[6]  This was in response to overpopulation in Sanpete County as well as an attempt to stake claims on available land before non-Mormon settlers could.  He sent an expedition from Sanpete County in 1877, led by Elias Cox to scout the region for arable land.[7]  This party would approve of the area and began construction on ditches and houses near the Lemmon homestead.  As this area opened up, more parties from Sanpete migrated to and settled the lands near Huntington Creek and Cottonwood Creek to the south, largely relying on agriculture and livestock. Initially, the settlement of the Huntington area was the result of one man, however only a few years later, entire families and other immigrants were entering the area and starting new lives. What began as Leander Lemmon’s need for land for his stock, led to a colony with a population of 126 by 1880, and eventually the city of Huntington.[8] 

Fast forward to the modern day and Huntington is the largest city in Emery County. In the decades after the initial settlement, coal mining and the railroad became the main industries of the area, while having significant agriculture and livestock production as well.[9] Although definitely small compared to larger and more well known cities in Utah, Huntington is important because it represents the late stages of Mormon colonization and this initial settlement helped spur the development of Castle Valley and the entirety of what would become Emery County. The creation of Huntington was a result of the successes of other cities throughout Utah, as more people emigrated to this area in search of unused land. This is an important area in Utah history because it was one of the last areas to be developed by colonists, and is a piece of the timeline of Mormon settlement. To this day the marker for the initial camp and the house of Leander Lemmon still stand, and Huntington remains a small town, secluded in the beautiful setting of Castle Valley.

[1]  Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1995. 106.

[2] Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. 108.

[3] Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. 107.

[4] Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. 264.

[5]  Geary, Edward A. A History of Emery County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1996. 52.

[6]  Taniguchi, Nancy J. Castle Valley America Hard Land, Hard-Won Home. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2004. 34.

[7]  Taniguchi, Nancy J. Castle Valley America Hard Land, Hard-Won Home. 33.

[8]  Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. 264.

[9] Powell, Allan Kent. Emery County: Reflections on Its Past and Future. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1979. 128.

For Further Reference: 

Primary Sources:

Berrett, William E., and Alma P. Burton. Readings in L.D.S. Church History: from Original Manuscripts. First ed. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955. 

Secondary Sources: 

Geary, Edward A. A History of Emery County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society,   1996.

Powell, Allan Kent. Emery County: Reflections on Its Past and Future. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1979.

Powell, Allan Kent. Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1995.

Taniguchi, Nancy J. Castle Valley America Hard Land, Hard-Won Home. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2004.

The Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian

Published / by Benjamin Judd / Leave a Comment

Write-up by: Benjamin Judd

Placed by: Mutual Improvement Associations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints and Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association

GPS Coordinates: 40º 46’ 04” N, 111º 54’ 00” W

Historical  Marker Text:

Great Salt Lake Base and Meridian

Fixed by Orson Pratt assisted by Henry G. Sherwood, August 3, 1847, when beginning the original survey of “Great Salt Lake City,” around the “Mormon” temple site designated by Brigham Young July 28, 1847. The city streets were named and numbered from this point.

David H. Burr, First U.S. Surveyor-General for Utah, located here in August 1855, the initial point of public land surveys in Utah, and set the stone monument, still preserved in position.

An astronomical station, its stone base still standing 100 ft. N. and 50 ft. W. of this corner was established by George W. Dean, U. S. C. & G. Survey, September 30, 1869, to determine the true latitude and longitude; it was used to obtain correct time at this point until December 30, 1897.

Extended Research:

In the summer of 1847 the first Euro-American settlers arrived in what would become Utah Territory. Mormon pioneers traveled West to escape persecution, ending their journey in the Salt Lake valley. After arriving in the valley, the saints quickly began building up the new city around a point designated by Orson Pratt as the base and meridian. 

This point marks the center of Salt Lake City. Many Utah cities share a similar grid system where the streets run north to south, criss-crossed with streets running east to west. Many of Salt Lake’s streets have no names, but rather obtain their labeling by their distance from this marker in each direction beginning with zero, and progressing by roughly 100 with each city block. Brigham Young, as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, started this system, with the city emanating from the temple lot, keeping it a focal point of their daily lives. “Here we will build the temple of our God,” Young said upon choosing the spot [1]. This point marked more than just the center of their city, it marked the center of their lives. 

In October of 1855, at the point surveyed by Orson Pratt, the surveyor general named David H. Burr placed a stone marker depicting the location of the base and meridian of Utah. Benjamin Thomas Mitchell received payment of $25 to carve the marker out of local sandstone. Mitchell, one of the designers and masons for the Salt Lake Temple, first worked on the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois. Mitchell designed the ‘sun stones’ which adorned the exterior of the Nauvoo Temple, and this experience qualified him for the new task. His marker stood for many years, but the sandstone eventually wore down and eroded until it needed to be replaced, even after receiving a protective Iron fence in 1932. [2].

In August 1989 a replica marker, carved in sandstone taken from the same area as the original, took the spot. Johann Huettlinger, a trained mason, matched the original design, and placed the new marker where the first stood all those years. In 1992, the original marker carved by Benjamin Mitchell then took up residence in the LDS Church History Museum located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. [3].

Notably, a discrepancy between Orson Pratt’s findings, and the actual coordinates of the “Initial Point,” shows roughly 27 degrees of difference. [4]. Pratt originally surveyed the area upon being the first to arrive in the valley. His work, found using astronomical observations and an array of tools and equipment brought West with him, guided the entire layout of the city. Newer GPS technology shows a minor difference between the points, though the mistake often goes overlooked due to the inaccuracy of the surveying equipment used. The point chosen by Orson Pratt remains the center of the city to this day, central to much of life in Salt Lake City and even surrounding areas.

Photo of  original sandstone marker carved by Benjamin Thomas Mitchell surrounded by a barrier fencing to protect the stone from further damage and deterioration.

(Photo Credit: LOC.gov accessed 02-15-2020)

[1] Marsh, W. Jeffrey. “Brigham Young: A Disciple Indeed.” Religious Educator: Perspectives onthe Restored Gospel 3, no. 3 (2002): 23.

These words were spoken by Brigham Young with the touch of his cane to the very grounds the temple sits on. It was at this points when the saints began to build Salt Lake City around the temple lot. This took place just days after entering the valley.

[2] “The Center of the City.” Church History. Accessed February 25, 2020. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/content/museum/museum-treasures-meridian-marker?lang=eng.

[3] De Groote, Michael. “How Everything in Utah Is Connected to Temple Square.” Deseret News. Deseret News,November 6, 2008. https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/2008/11/6/20284308/how- everything-in-utah-is-connected-to-temple-square

[4] “The Center of the City.” Church History. Accessed February 25, 2020. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/content/museum/museum-treasures-meridian-marker?lang=eng.

For further reference:

Primary sources:

Historic American Engineering Record, Creator. Great Salt Lake Base & Meridian, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, UT. Salt Lake City Salt Lake County Utah, 1968. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/ut0208/.

Nielsen, Quig. “1855 Base and Meridian Market on Display.” Davis County Clipper. March 20, 1992. Https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6rf8fgh/22539766.

“Tablet Honoring Surveyor Who Fixed S. L. Meridian to Be Placed.” Salt Lake Telegram, 6 June 1932. Utah Digital Newspapers. Accessed March 28, 2020. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s69k5k6s/15850082.

“Permission Given to Fence Marker,” Salt Lake Telegram, 9 June 1932. Utah Digital Newspapers. Accessed March 28, 2020. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6sj2thk/15851334.

Secondary sources:

“The Center of the City.” Church History. Accessed February 25, 2020. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/content/museum/museum-treasures-meridian-marker?lang=eng.

De Groote, Michael. “How Everything in Utah Is Connected to Temple Square.” Deseret News, November 6, 2008. https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/2008/11/6/20284308/how- everything-in-utah-is-connected-to-temple-square

Marsh, W. Jeffrey. “Brigham Young: A Disciple Indeed.” Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel 3, no. 3 (2002): 23.

“Utah Surveying History.” Utah Council of Land Surveyors. Accessed March 13, 2020. https://www.ucls.org/utah-surveying-history.

Wysong, Sheri. “The Mountain Men, the Cartographers, and the Lakes.” Utah Historical Quarterly 86, no. 2 (2018): 129-147.

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

The Old Fort

Published / by Aaron Stark / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Aaron Stark

Placed by: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, No. 253

GPS Coordinates: 40° 30’54.5″N, 111° 24’46.0″W

Historical Marker Text (Center Plaque):

THE OLD FORT In 1858 a group of men came from Provo, surveyed the valley into 20-acre plots, and selected the townsite of Heber. The following winter twenty families stayed here. As protection from the Indians, they built a fort 1 block south and 1 block west from this site. Homes built of cottonwood logs and joined together formed the outside walls of the fort. A schoolhouse 20 by 40 feet was built within the fort with two fireplaces and a stage. The building also served for church and socials. In 1860 the fort was enlarged to house forty-four families.

Center Plaque of Marker. Photo by Aaron Stark

Historical Marker Text (Left):

  • Elizabeth Carlile
  • George Carlile
  • John Carlile
  • C. N. Carroll
  • Jean Clotworthy
  • John Crook
  • William Davidson
  • James Carlile
  • James Davis Richard Jones
Left Plaque of Marker. Photo by Aaron Stark

Historical Marker Text (Right):

  • John Jordan
  • John Lee
  • James Laird
  • Hyrum Oaks
  • Thomas Rasband
  • Alex Sessions
  • Bradford Sessions
  • John Sessions
  • Charles Thomas Elisha Thomas
Right Plaque of Marker. Photo by Aaron Stark
Full Image of Marker in-front of a Smiths Marketplace. Photo by Aaron Stark

Extended Research:

During the 1850s some settlers at Provo, in Utah County, began to feel squeezed out of the best plots of land. The first settlers had claimed the prime spots which left newcomers looking for new opportunities. The settlement of Heber City, in Wasatch County, was thus a spillover of settlers from Provo. Most of Wasatch County’s early population thus came from Utah County as people moved from Provo to claim land in Heber Valley.

The major obstacles to settling Heber Valley were its cooler climate and the treacherous route through Provo Canyon which made it difficult to access. To make the settlement of Heber Valley possible, colonizers first had to build a road through Provo Canyon.

By 1852, a man by the name of William Gardner explored a hazardous route into Wasatch County and then proposed a road be built there. Just before the end of the Utah War in 1857, a group of men pitched a proposal to leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to construct a road into Heber Valley. In response, on 6 June 1858, Brigham Young, LDS president and former territorial governor, along with a group of volunteers, met in Provo and formed the “Provo Kanyon Company,” organized to build the road.

The company completed the construction of the road by 1859, thus making the settlement of Heber Valley possible.[1]


Layout of the Old Fort. Photo by Utah Centennial County History (Wasatch County)

In the winter of 1858, even before the road was finished, a group of men explored the land in Heber Valley and made plans for a new settlement. By the following year, the settlers built a fort as the initial communal structure. Over time the building became known as the “Old Fort.” The settlers chose a fort as their initial structure principally for the protection they believed it would provide. Their fort was rectangular in design with settlers’ cabins forming the outside walls. Native Americans were a common threat at the time and the fort served as a safe haven for the Mormon settlers. Ultimately, however, it was Native peoples who needed protection from Mormon settlers who displaced Native Americans and occupied their land. By late 1859, eighteen families had moved to the fort as their new home. Within the same year, settlers dedicated the fort to Heber C. Kimball, an LDS apostle, and the fort, the new community, and the surrounding valley thereafter carried his name. By 1860 nearly sixty-six homes had been built in the fort although the town remained isolated due to the challenges that deep snow and winter weather presented. By 1864, residents began to move from the fort and form a city outside its walls.

Growth came rapidly to the new thriving city of Heber. By 1868, the Desert News reported that Heber City was in a “very prosperous condition and that the facilities for farming and stock raising are excellent…”[2]

Excerpt from The Wasatch Wave in July 1957

Even though the “Old Fort” was eventually abandoned, it nonetheless represented the first Euro-American settlement of the valley. By the 1950s, community members expressed a desire to commemorate the town’s beginnings at the Old Fort. From 1957 to 1959, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP ) worked on marking the land where the Old Fort was originally built. It was their desire to forever commemorate those settlers who first came to Heber Valley and called it home. On 21 July 1959, the DUP placed a stone marker that holds the three plaques discussed here.

More from The Wasatch Wave in July 1959

In the twenty-first century, Heber City has grown from its beginnings at the Old Fort into a developed and thriving settlement. In 2003, CNN Money placed Heber City on its “Best Vacations” list. Calling Heber City “an uncrowded weekend haven,” CNN extolled the city’s scenic beauty and outdoor potential.[3] Only two years later CNN Money called  Heber  “a fast-growing metropolis at 15.1% growth.”[4] Even on TripAdvisor, Heber is marked as a popular location to visit. Overall, Heber has experienced steady growth since the days of its founding, the rate of which has only accelerated since 1940.

Heber City Census:

YearPopulationGrowthAnnual Growth Rate
19402,7480.00%
19502,9361880.66%
19602,9360.00%
19703,2453091.01%
19804,3621,1173.00%
19904,7824200.92%
20007,2912,5094.31%
201011,5124,2214.67%
Heber City today. Photo by Trip Advisory

[1] Embry, Jessie L. A History of Wasatch County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1996.

[2] “Deseret News: 1860-08-08: Improvements in Provo Valley.” Utah Digital Newspapers. Accessed January 29, 2020.

[3] “Best Vacations: Heber Valley, Utah.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network. Accessed April 1, 2020.

[4] Christie, Les. “The Nation’s Fastest-Growing Areas.” CNN Money.com, September 22, 2005.


For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

“Deseret News: 1860-08-08: Improvements in Provo Valley.” Utah Digital Newspapers. Accessed April 2, 2020. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=2584652&q=(Heber+City)&sort=rel&year_start=1857&year_end=1860.

Secondary Sources:

Embry, Jessie L. A History of Wasatch County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1996. https://issuu.com/utah10/docs/wasatchcountyhistory

“History: ‘Discovery, Paradise Land, and Timeline.’” History | Heber City, UT. Accessed April   1, 2020. https://www.heberut.gov/229/History.

Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Salt Lake City, UT: Printed by Deseret News Publishing Company, 1941.

Christie, Les. “The Nation’s Fastest-Growing Areas.” CNN Money.com, September 22, 2005. http://cnnmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?expire=&title=Nation%27s+fastest+growing+metro+areas+-+Sep.+22,+2005&urlID=15626342&action=cpt&partnerID=2200&fb=Y&url=http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/22/pf/fastest_growing_metropolises/index.htm.

“Best Vacations: Heber Valley, Utah.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network. Accessed April 1, 2020. https://money.cnn.com/2002/03/26/pf/saving/travel/bpvac_heber_valley/index.htm

Settlement of Hatch

Published / by Ashley Sawyer / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Ashley Sawyer

Placed by: The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, No 292

GPS Coordinates: 37°38’57.6″N 112°26’05.0″W

Settlement of Hatch Historical Marker

Historical Marker Text:

In 1872 Meltair Hatch settled at the head of Sevier River, near the junction of Mammoth and Asay Creeks. He engaged in stock raising and operated a water-power sawmill. Soon other settlers came. Land was surveyed and irrigation ditches dug. Lime was burned by Neils P. Clove. First School was in the Hatch Home, Abram Workman Teacher. 1888 the Asay Postoffice was transferred to Hatch, Neils Ivor Clove, Postmaster. In 1892 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized Mammoth Ward, Aaron Asay Bishop. 1899 The ward name was changed to Hatch. 1901 to 1904 the town was moved to the present site under the Leadership of Bishop Rosmus Lynn. Camp Hatch Garfield County, Utah

Extended Research:

In 1867, LDS Church Leaders called Meltiar Hatch and his two wives, Permelia and Mary Ann to settle the Dixie Mission, in Eagle Valley, in present day Nevada. At the time, settlers believed they were in the western part of Utah Territory. In 1866, Congress changed state boundaries, but surveyors did not determine the location of those boundaries until the fall of 1869, when Meltiar and his family learned that they were living in Nevada. In response to the news “Meltiar went to St. George to discuss with President Brigham Young about their situation. President Young advised Meltiar to move back to an area on the Sevier River near the forks of Mammoth and Asay Creeks, as there would be good range for their sheep, cattle, and horses which they had acquired while living in Dixie.”1

Meltiar Hatch, Courtesy of
LDS Church

 Given this directive from Young, Hatch moved his second wife Mary Ann and Permelia’s sons to Panguitch in Southern Utah. The next Spring, Permelia and the rest of the family also moved to Panguitch. As more families moved into Panguitch, the residents created a co-op and gathered a sizeable herd. The co-op decided to move the herd twenty miles south of Panguitch, to a ranch. “Meltiar and one of his sons took charge of this enterprise. They built a log home and corrals where Mammoth Creek tumbles down Cedar Mountain to join the Sevier River.”2

Meltiar moved his second wife, Mary Ann, and her family onto the ranch. Mary Ann cooked for the ranch hands and welcomed newcomers and travelers. Other settlers moved into the area of the Co-Op Ranch. The Hatch home thus became the center of what developed into a new town. The Hatch home held school sessions and LDS church services. The Co-Op Ranch was eventually renamed Hatchtown or Hatch. By 1880 about 100 residents lived in or near the community2.

As with most small agricultural communities in the semi-arid West, residents of Hatch had to worry about water. In October of 1901, The Upper Sevier Reservoir Company began building a large dam which would ensure plenty of water for irrigation purposes for the towns of Hatch, Panguitch, and surrounding areas. The new dam provided much needed water, but by March 1903, residents of the region expressed concern that the new dam would not hold. In March 1903, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that “The work on the reservoir is not far enough along to enable the water to run off through the spills as fast as it comes from the creek above, and there is grave danger of a break.”3  On May 19, 1903, those fears were realized when the dam broke. The breaking of the Hatchtown Dam only caused some damage to the ranchers of Circleville (42 miles north of Hatch) and fortunately did not directly impact Hatch, other than the loss of water it produced.

In May of 1907, the Inter-Mountain Republican Newspaper announced a call for bids to rebuild the Hatchtown Dam. On December 17, 1907, state engineer Caleb Tanner reported to the Inter-Mountain Republican, that the new dam would be ready by spring 1908. However, construction dragged on for several more years when tragedy struck again.

 On May 25, 1914, the new dam broke. The Ogden Daily Standard call it “the biggest dam break by far in the history of Utah” and reported that it occurred at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. “The breaking of the dam let loose a small ocean, as the reservoir, which was protected by the dam, contained approximately 14,000 acre feet of water,” the Standard explained.4 When the dam broke, more than 15 homes were swept away, and 75 people or more were left homeless. Some reports claimed that up to 300 residents of the Upper Sevier Valley, including some in Hatch ended up displaced by the flood. This was the second time the Hatchtown dam broke in less than ten years. For a quiet little town like Hatch these events were traumatic and proved to be major historical incidents.

Residents of Hatch eventually recovered and life returned to normal. In the twenty-first century, Hatch is a sleepy little town with several quaint restaurants and motels. The town mostly caters to travelers along scenic US 89 as well as lodgers looking for adventure in nearby Bryce Canyon National Park.

1 Hatch Historical Committee, Wandering Home: Stories and Memories of Ira Stearns Hatch, Meltiar Hatch, and John Henry Hatch and their Wives and Children, with Historical-Genealogical and Biographical data on their Ancestry and Descendants (Provo, Utah: Community Press, c1988.) Page 32

2 Linda King Newell and Vivian Linford Talbot. A History of Garfield County. (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society; Garfield County Commission, 1998.) Page 115, 117

3 “Danger of Dam Breaking” Salt Lake Tribune 27 March 1903. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6df823x/13563224

4 “Reservoir Breaks near Panguitch in This State” Ogden Daily Standard 26 May 1914 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62v3hx6/6743268

Primary Source:

“Bids Are Asked for Sevier River Dam” Inter-Mountain Republican 29 May 1907 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s63x94mw/3914343

“Hatchtown Dam Ready in Spring” Inter-Mountain Republican 17 December 1907 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6w103wt/3932113

“Hatchtown Reservoir to be Ready in March” Inter-Mountain Republican 15 January 1909 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60k36nh/3975787

“Panguitch Notes” Salt Lake Herald-Republican 26 October 1901 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60v9jgf/10376304

 “Reservoir Gives Way” Salt Lake Tribune 20 May 1903 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s66m4hnt/13533477

 “Utah Settlers Flee for Their Lives When the Hatchtown Dam Breaks” Salt Lake Telegram 26 May 1914 https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s64n0c9w/19935271

Secondary Source:

Hatch Historical Committee, Wandering Home: Stories and Memories of Ira Stearns Hatch, Meltiar Hatch, and John Henry Hatch and their Wives and Children, with Historical-Genealogical and Biographical data on their Ancestry and Descendants. Provo, Utah: Community Press, c1988.

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

Supplemental Photos

Photo of Hatch Ward Building and Bell Marker
Photo of Hatch Ward Building and Bell Historical Marker Close up
Hatch Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum

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

Kennedy Ditch

Published / by Jaclyn Foster / Leave a Comment

write-up by Jaclyn Foster

Placed By: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, no. 96

GPS Coordinates: N 40º44’021” W 111º51’554”

Historical Marker Text:

Photo via Waymarking.com

Daughters of Utah Pioneers
No. 96
Erected 1947

THE KENNEDY DITCH

The Kennedy Ditch was an early pioneer irrigation canal taken out of Parley’s Canyon stream near 17th East. The construction was achieved as a co-operative work project, and the new channel named after its first Water Master, Charles Kennedy, a Utah pioneer of 1848. The area thus brought under cultivation, covered 864 acres of small farm lands extending west of 13th East from near 21st South northward to 9th South, including this spot on Emerson Avenue.
Emerson Camp    Salt Lake County

Photo via Waymarking.com

Extended Research:

Early European explorers of Utah referred to the region as the “Great American Desert.” Most explorers believed the region was unsuitable for settlement, despite the fact that it had sustained Ute, Goshute, Paiute, and other tribes for thousands of years. In 1843, however, John Fremont published a report that suggested the western base of the Wasatch Mountains could be colonized by creating an irrigation system from mountain streams.1

When the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, creating a planned system of irrigation canals was one of their first priorities. Mormon leader Brigham Young sent an advance party of able-bodied men to the Salt Lake Valley in July of 1847, with the goal of planting crops and building shelters before winter. This advance party laid out city blocks, farmland, and irrigation canals. Subsequent waves of Mormon pioneers expanded upon this planned, communal settlement pattern. City lots were divided into wards, which were supervised by bishops. These bishops oversaw the process of creating irrigation ditches for each ward.

Charles Kennedy. Image via churchofjesuschrist.org.

Communal ownership of water was an important innovation for the Mormon pioneers. In the East, laws commonly mandated that water could not be taken from streams unless it was returned without a reduction in volume. This was clearly impossible in the Salt Lake Valley’s semi-arid environment. Instead, Brigham Young declared that there would be “no private ownership” of water; dams and ditches were constructed by ward communities, rights to use the water depended on whether the land was being cultivated, and public authorities were appointed to supervise and apportion water use. This public authority was called the Water Master, who was appointed by the high council. One Water Master oversaw multiple wards.2

Charles Kennedy was the Water Master of the Kennedy Ditch and surrounding area. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844 and was endowed in 1846. During the migration to Utah, Kennedy served as Commissary for 50 wagons, which meant he was in charge of distributing goods. He was part of the 1848 Brigham Young Company and settled in the Sugar House Ward, where he was appointed Water Master. Sometime between 1860 and 1867, Kennedy left the Mormon Church and moved to Missouri with two of his wives. He died in 1890.3

The missing historical marker

The Kennedy Ditch no longer exists. The current marker at the site of the Kennedy Ditch is missing. However, an online community called Waymarkers, where users log their visits to local landmarkers as a type of real-life scavenger hunt, provides clues about when this marker disappeared. Waymarkers documented the marker up until June 1, 2011; the next entry, on December 12, 2013, notes that the marker had been removed.4 It may be stored in the LDS chapel that currently occupies the site, but its whereabouts are uncertain.

For Future Reference:

Primary Sources

“Charles Kennedy,” Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel 1847-1868, churchofjesuschrist.org

Charles Kennedy,” Missouri Death Records 1834-1910, 1890.

Secondary Sources

Arrington, Leonard. Great Basin Kingdom: Economic History of the Latter-day Saints 1830-1900 (Harvard University Press, 1958).

Barlow, Jacob. “The Kennedy Ditch (Missing),” Waymarking.com (September 11, 2007).

Givens, Robert. “Life of Charles Kennedy,” Family Search (2012).

Footnotes:

1. Leonard Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: Economic History of the Latter-day Saints 1830-1900 (Harvard University Press, 1958), 44.

2. Arrington, 45-53.

3.Charles Kennedy,” Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel 1847-1868, churchofjesuschrist.org; Robert Givens, “Life of Charles Kennedy,” Family Search (2012).

4. Jacob Barlow, “The Kennedy Ditch (Missing),” Waymarking.com (September 11, 2007).