Category Archives: Walker War

Spring City

Published / by Jessica Guynn / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Jessica Guynn

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

GPS Coordinates:  39.4794986, -111.4965053

Historical Marker Text:

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

Extended Research:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[7] Ibid, 53

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

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

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

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

1853 Holladay Fort

Published / by Ben Hopes / Leave a Comment

By Ben Hopes, Masters of Education Graduate Student

GPS Coordinates: 40˚ 37’ 4.84” N, 111˚ 49’ 36.21”

Holladay Historical Marker

Extended Research About Holladay:

In July of 1847, Holladay became the first village established independent of Salt Lake City. At the time, Latter Day Saints Prophet Brigham Young sent out members of his congregation to colonize different parts of Utah, particularly areas rich in natural resources. Led by John Brown, the pioneers of the Mississippi Company founded the village, flourishing with an abundance of natural resources. A free flowing stream fed through the Holladay area, and provided the rich and fertile lands for farming and planting[1]. The area was known as Cottonwood or the Mississippi Ward, but would be named Holladay after a particularly influential bishop, John D. Holladay. The settlement would grow to include schools, churches, and the creation of a fort in 1853, intended as protection against Native American raids but instead became a place for the settlers to gather.

Marker at Approximate Location of Southeast Corner of Holladay Fort

The Mississippi Company itself had known hardship; they had existed in the Southern States Mission, where they were often met with vitriol and physical harm[2]. They had moved west nearly a full year before the Mormon exodus of 1847, wintering at Pueblo, Colorado. Many of its members volunteered to join the Mormon Battalion, formed to aid the United States’ incursion into Mexico: The men and their families knew sacrifice. The struggles that they encountered in trying to fulfill their Prophet’s, and ultimately their God’s, vision created in them a firm belief that they were truly a chosen people destined for eternal greatness. According to various accounts, the Saints of this era met each challenge with the strength of their convictions and the willingness to work together, united in their goals[3]. Pioneers saw obstacles, such as hunger or physical hardship on the trail, as trials to be conquered with the aid of an almighty God. The Mississippi Company acted admirably in much the same way.

The Mormon colonization efforts were remarkable. Because of their strong, central leadership and the complete cooperation of their congregations, a community infrastructure could be quickly established that led to economically competent planning, ensuring a town’s immediate survival. One can see the precision of the Mormon colonization machine in the fact that Holladay was founded only a month after the Brigham Young’s famous incursion into the Salt Lake Valley. The tenacity of their efforts would further be reflected in the founding of the San Bernadino Mission in California (1851) by some of the members of the Mississippi Company.

Six years after the Mormon migration of 1847, Chief Walker of the Ute tribe declared war on the Mormons in the valley, in immediate retaliation for the death of a Ute Indian in a small conflict in Utah Valley, and for the larger reason that the Mormon people had encroached on his tribe’s lands and did not seem to have any intention of letting up in their colonization efforts. While this is called the Walker War, there was not much conflict: it was mainly a series of Indian raids and small Mormon reprisals. There were no great battles and a peace would be declared in May of 1854, with few conciliatory negotiations to resolve the ideological conflicts between the two groups.[4]

About the Holladay Fort:

However, the fear of Indian attacks led to the creation of the Holladay Fort in 1853 (it is very likely that it was never completely finished). Built from adobe mud and straw, it provided some protection but the Indian threat (the attacks were focused mainly in central Utah) was not enough to convince Holladay’s 161 inhabitants to move in. A house within its walls would serve as the meeting place for school and church functions in the area, until a new school/church would be built on the fort grounds in 1861.

In 1873, a new church, separate from the school, was built on the grounds. This church would serve LDS needs until 1972. In 1876, a new school was constructed on the fort site, accommodating school children until 1893, when another school was constructed just south. This 2-story, 4-room school would become a gymnasium for the 3-story, newly renamed Irving Junior High School, created in 1905. Irving Junior High was built to the west of the 1893 building (the gymnasium) and would be renamed Olympus Junior High in 1943.

Approximate Location of the 1853 Holladay Fort (Now a Field for Olympus Junior High)

Olympus Junior High would be torn down in 2002 to make way for a new school, moved slightly to the west of the original site. Today the grounds of the fort roughly encompass the entirety of the field used by the school, in addition to a small business and the LDS seminary building that Olympus Junior students regularly attend. Despite resistance to the westward move[5], the new building has become a community landmark and important facet of family life in Holladay itself.

The creation of the Holladay Fort in 1853, while not initially significant, set aside an area that would become culturally and socially important to the community for nearly the next 100 years. Out of regional fears, the fort was designed to keep raiding Utes out and yet it proved to be a joyful place where the community gathered to celebrate their own culture and to continually devote themselves to their religion. By housing the educational and spiritual centers of Holladay, the fort provided the means for Mormon culture to survive and grow, fed by Spring Creek in the shadow of Mount Olympus.

Marker Placed by: The City of Holladay, Jay M. Todd (constructed in July 1996), surveyed by Kate Wacker (Utah State Historical Society)

 Secondary Sources:

  • Arrington, Leonard J. “The Mississippi Mormons.” Ensign June 1977: N.p. Web. 29 Mar. 2017
  • Bigler, David L., and Bagley, Will.Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives. 2000. Print. Kingdom in the West ; v. 4.
  • Christy, Howard A.The Walker War: Defense and Conciliation as Strategy.  Print.
  • Parrish, William E. “The Mississippi Saints.”Historian 4 (1988): 489-506.
  • Van Leer, Twila. “School Construction Gets F From Residents.” Deseret News, 23 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.
  • “City of Holladay.” City of Holladay. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017. http://cityofholladay.com/community/about/history/

Primary Sources:

  • Bullock, Thomas.The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock. Vol. 1. Arthur H Clark, 1997. Print.
  • Olsen, Alice M., Olsen, R. L, and Lewis, Ira Allen. Mount Olympus & Holladay, Early Years (1920-30) : Featuring the Photographic Art Taken 1920-1930+ by Ira Allen Lewis (b. 1877 Holladay, Utah-d. 1948 Holladay, Utah), Some of the Old Homes of Holladay, Mount Olympus, Cottonwood Creek & Holladay (photographed from 1940-2010 by Alice McDonald Olsen). Print.

[1] “City of Holladay.” City of Holladay. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

[2] Arrington, Leonard J. “The Mississippi Mormons.” Ensign June 1977: N.p. Web. 29 Mar. 2017

[3] Bullock, Thomas. The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock. Vol. 1. Arthur H Clark, 1997.

[4] Christy, Howard A. The Walker War : Defense and Conciliation as Strategy. 1979. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

[5] Van Leer, Twila. “School Construction Gets F From Residents.” Deseret News, 23 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.