The Bountiful Centennial Monument

Write-up by Audrey Knudson

View of the Monument from the west side, near the corner of Center and Main. The Bountiful Tabernacle can be seen in the background.

Placed By: The 1992 Bountiful Area Centennial Committee.

GPS Coordinates: 40.889204, -111.880969.

Historical Marker Text:

  1. West Side Base: BOUNTIFUL CENTENNIAL MONUMENT – Sponsored by the 1992 Bountiful Area Centennial Committee. Artists – Goff Dowding, Rose Ann Peterson. Artistic Coordinator – Colleen L Parker. Monument erected by Bountiful Memorial Art Co. 1995.
  2. North Side Base: CONTRIBUTORS – Bountiful Lions Club, The Bott’s Bountiful Memorial Art Co., Carr Printing Co. Est. 1890, Eastman & Co., Willey Ford-Willey Honda, Marion Don & Duff Willey, Ken Garff Bountiful Motors, Jack M. & Connie T. Bangerter, Have J. Barlow Family, Leo J. & Harriet W. Barlow, Lurae & Ronald Barlow, Milton A. & Gloria Barlow, Lee & Joyce Benard, Dallas & Margie Bradford, Lee W. Brown, Lloyd B. & Sandra J. M. Carr, Esra T. Clark, Mayor John Riley & Marco Mabey Cushing, Robert T. & Ida Lue Gardner Dewey, Delbert R. & Geneviere Duerden, Claudette & Dan R. Eastman, Dora D. & Legrand Flack, Albert S. Eddins, Keith Haight & Jassamine Smedley Ford, Don J. & La Ree Gine Family, David & Barbara Holt Family, David R. & Linda Hatch Irvine, Hatch & June Howard, Allen & Carlyn Jensen, Daniel T. & Rae Donna Jones, Jerry & Beth Lawrence, Richard & Evelyn Call Lemon, Mayor Bob & Lois Linnell, Rendell N. & Rachel Wilson Mabey, Harold D. & Lucile S. Muir, Laree & Kevin G. Olson, The “Swede” Olson Family, Don T. & Colleen L. Parker, Jerry Lorin & Evelyn Andersen Parkin, Jack W. & Lois T. Pickett, Richard S. & Geraldine T. Prows Family, John & Mary Stringham Rampton, Janet T. Schoenhals, Alvin Sessions Family, Orson Sessions Family, Roden G. & Naomi M. Shumway, Fred & Jeanene Stringham, Gregory & Jenny Skedros & Family, Dr. Juel E. & Dora V. Trowbridge, William V. & Kay F. Trowbridge, W. Brent & Ann Wilcox Family, Jerry L. & Lucile T. Vander Meyden.
  3. South Side Base: ANCESTORS HONORED BY DESCENDANTS’ CONTRIBUTIONS – Israel Barlow, Thomas & Ann Kirkham Briggs, Heber Irvin & Marianna Zesiger Burningham, Anson Call & Wives: Mary Flint, Ann M. Bowen, Margaretta U. Clark, Emma Summers, Henrietta C. Williams, Ann Clark. David & Eliza Dittmore Call, Israel & Medora White Call, Alma & Kate Hardy, Thomas Arold & Sarah Wright Harrison, Clyde A. & Myrtle B. Hatch, Jospeph E. Hepworth, Joseph Holbrook, Mark C. & Sarah Ann Rampton Holbrook, Thomas & Mary Lowe Howard, Gov. Charles Rendell & Afton Rampton Mabey,  Joseph Tomas & Sarah Lucretia Tolman Mabey, Russel Vincent Ord, Hyrum O. & Sylvia M. Pack, John & Elizabeth Wright Brown Parkin, Ivy Baker Priest, Henry Rampton, Patty Sessions, Perrigrine Sessions & Wives: Julia Ann Kilgore, Lucina Call, Mary Call, Fanny Emmorette Loveland, Sarah Crossley, Elizabeth Birdenow, Sarah Ann Bryson & Esther Mabey,  Angus & Margaretta Waddoups Smedley, James Samuel & Alice Chase Smedley, Richard & Elizabeth Stringham, Amos Pease & Minerva Jones Stone, Newton & Emily Stone Tuttle, Judson Tolman, Jeremiah Willey, David & Martha Garrett Wiseman, Judson Tolman, Jeremiah Willey, David & Martha Garrett Wiseman, Gottlieb & Elizabeth Zesiger, Calvin Sessions Family, Richard & Sharon Ford.
  4. East Side Base: Blank.
  5. East Side Spire (facing Main Street): BOUNTIFUL CITY, INCORPORATED DECEMBER 14, 1892- Perrigrine Sessions drove his wagon north to this area in September of 1847. Here Sessions’ settlement had its beginning. The Second settlement in the territory of Utah. In 1855, thirty-seven years prior to incorporation as a city, the name was changed to Bountiful.
  6. North Side Spire: EDUCATION – Education in this community was always important. As early as 1848 local pioneer children were taught by Hannah Holbrook in her wickiup school.
  7. West Side Spire: BOUNTIFUL HARVESTS – Orchards and gardens were planted in abundance, supplying produce to local pioneer families. Bountiful harvests brought the development of the growers market, allowing widespread distribution of produce.
  8. South Side Spire: PIONEER LIFE – Dances and drama, quilts and choirs, parades and brass bands, sleigh rides and horse races were all part of the culture and entertainment, so vital to pioneer life.

Extended Research:

Perrigrine Sessions, Founder of Bountiful

East side of the monument.

Perrigrine Sessions was born in Maine on June 15, 1814. In 1847, he led one of the first LDS pioneer companies to Salt Lake City, and was in charge of herding the party’s 400 cattle.[1] After arriving in Salt Lake in July of 1847, Brigham Young instructed Sessions to form a party that would take cattle outside of the city where they could not harm the newly planted crops. Sessions acted as captain of a herding company that drove cattle north from July to August of 1847.

On August 12, 1847, Sessions dismissed the herding company to explore the land on their own.[2] After searching for suitable grazing land for his own stock, in September, Sessions chose a campsite near what is today 300 North and 200 West in Bountiful.[3]  Sessions spent that winter at his camp with his cattle. For his living quarters, Sessions built a dugout by digging into an embankment and attaching his wagon to it.[4] Sessions’ initial campsite laid the groundwork for Sessions Settlement.

In the spring of 1848, Sessions gave up cattle herding for farming. He established the first farm in the settlement and built one of the settlement’s first permanent homes.[5] Sessions hosted religious gatherings in his house until the city could build larger venues, like the Bountiful Tabernacle in 1863.

Name of Settlement Changed to Bountiful

The early pioneers referred to the settlement strictly as Sessions Settlement for about a year. In 1849, the LDS Church divided it into tithing wards. The North Mill Creek Canyon Ward covered the settlement area, so many residents began referring to it by its ward name. In 1854, the Bishop of the ward was John Stoker, and after the residents named the settlement’s post office after him, they used the name Stoker for the settlement. In 1855, Bishop Stoker proposed the name Bountiful, after a city found in the Book of Mormon, an LDS book of scripture. From then on, the people called the settlement Bountiful, and later the town council incorporated it as a city under that name on December 28, 1892.[6]

Hannah Holbrook, Bountiful’s First School Teacher

North side of the monument.

Hannah Holbrook, maiden name Hannah Flint, was born on July 18, 1806, in Stanton, Vermont. In 1831, she moved from Vermont to Ohio with her parents, Rufus Flint and Hannah Hawes. It was there that she and her family converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1838, when the Church called for members to immigrate to Missouri, she took the trip with her sister Mary Flint and brother-in-law Anson Call. She again immigrated with them and the Church to Nauvoo Illinois, where she earned a living by teaching.[7]

Hannah Holbrook married Joseph Holbrook in Nauvoo in 1843, and the two of them trekked to Utah in 1848. In October, Holbrook’s husband travelled through Tooele and Davis counties to find suitable farmland for his family. He chose a 126 acre section of land on the outskirts of Sessions Settlement. There, he constructed a log home that he did not complete until 1850.[8]

Holbrook did not wait for her husband’s improvements to the land before she began teaching. As early as 1848 she taught the children of Sessions Settlement out of a “school made of bulrushes.”[9] She persevered through winter storms, isolated conditions on the edge of town, and a cramped schoolhouse to provide an education to settlers’ children.

In 1854, Sessions Settlement formed a committee which assessed a school tax and constructed a large adobe schoolhouse located at about 400 North and 200 West.[10] Holbrook was the first teacher to utilize the schoolhouse and “by the end of 1855 she had 50 students.”[11] Joseph Holbrook praised his wife in his journal, saying, “she is one of the most capable teachers and the most experienced in the country and keeps a good school.”[12] Today, Davis County has an elementary school named after her.

Bountiful Agriculture

West side of the monument.

The initial settlers in Bountiful found rich soil and mountain streams that facilitated profitable farming. In Bountiful, the average farms spanned 60 to 120 acres.[13] Farmers who could avoid the menacing cricket invasions enjoyed successful growing seasons in Bountiful’s relatively mild climate. With large farms in an ideal location, settlers produced impressive crop yields, which “averaged out per household at eighty-eight bushels of wheat, forty-six bushels of potatoes, sixteen bushels of oats, and fourteen bushels of corn. Farms also produced about 6 tons of hay ‘per harvester.’”[14] By 1852, Heber C. Kimball, one of the 12 apostles of the LDS Church, opened Bountiful’s first gristmill to serve the demand for local grain processing.[15]

Farmers grew more than staple crops. Anson Call brought sugar cane to the settlement. One farmer, Newton Tuttle, produced 152 gallons of molasses from his plot of sugar cane. Newton Tuttle also led the fruit drying industry. He established a small nursery that provided for Bountiful’s many orchards. Families who grew fruit dried it and took it to market to barter for everyday supplies like clothing.[16] In addition to sweets, many women kept kitchen gardens, which, aside from the traditional cooking vegetables, grew medicinal herbs that they used to administer healthcare services throughout the community.[17] Indeed, Bountiful’s settlers enjoyed a wide variety of tasty and healthful produce.

In addition to excellent produce, farmers kept livestock. To keep cattle out of unfenced fields, the community came together to establish common grazing grounds. With common grounds, the settlement needed fewer herdsmen to keep cattle in place. In addition to cattle, many of the original settlers experimented with sheep farming, and most families kept their own dairy cow, chickens, and sometimes pigs. Perrigrine Sessions built a livestock pound to keep escaped animals. If livestock escaped the farm, volunteer pound keepers captured the animals and placed them in the community pound.[18] Livestock keeping methods show the cooperative spirit of pioneers.

Early Bountiful Culture

South side of the monument.

Pioneer entertainment relied on community participation. Before the School House or Rock Hall were built, Perrigrine Session’s house was the largest structure available. He hosted dances for the town. Couples attending the dances paid a small admission fee in cash or in kind in order to cover the cost of the musicians.[19] As the city grew, youth began to participate in their own dances, supervised by local clergy.[20] Joseph Holbrook, Hannah Holbrook’s husband, built the Rock Hall, which frequently hosted LDS choirs, one of the most common forms of entertainment, and also served as a venue for social gatherings. Social gatherings regularly centered on adult education, such as intellectual debates and political, academic, or religious talks.[21]

The town commemorated summer holidays with raucous celebrations that often included fireworks, gun salutes, cannons, boisterous brass bands, and sporting events like baseball games and footraces.[22] James Weight founded Bountiful’s own brass band in 1863 using contributions from townsfolk to buy instruments.[23] This band played for events like Pioneer Day on the 24th of July, which was Bountiful’s largest holiday. Pioneer day always included a parade, and as tribute to Bountiful’s abundant produce, participants often decorated their wagon floats with ripe fruit.[24]

Bountiful residents celebrated winter holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, with horse races. The horses raced down an unofficial track, often the main road that stretched across the north of the town, breathlessly trampling the tracks left by winter sleighs.[25]

Further Reading:

Primary Sources:

Perrigrine Sessions Emigrating Company Journal, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints., Call Number: MS 256.

Joseph Holbrook Autobiography and Journal, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints., Call Number: MS 21793.

Secondary Sources:

Foy, Leslie. The City of Bountiful: Utah’s Second Settlement from Pioneers to Present. Bountiful: Horizon Publishers, 1975.

Leonard, Glen. A History of Davis County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999. Mabey, Joseph Thomas. Our Father’s House. Salt Lake City: Beverly Craftsmen, 1947

[1] Leslie Foy, The City of Bountiful, (Bountiful: Horizon Publishers, 1975), 9.

[2] Perrigrine Sessions Emigrating Company, Perrigrine Sessions Emigrating Company Journal, 1857 July-August.  

[3] Glen Leonard, A History of Davis County, (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999), 17.

[4] Foy, Bountiful, 46.

[5] Id., 48.

[6] Leonard, Davis County, 181.

[7] Joseph Holbrook, Autobiography and Journal, 30.

[8] Id., 65.

[9] Joseph Mabey, Our Father’s House, (Salt Lake City: Beverly Craftsmen, 1947), 101.

[10] Leonard, Davis County, 48.

[11] Foy, Bountiful, 80.

[12] Holbrook, Autobiography and Journal, 65.

[13] Leonard, Davis County, 100, and Foy, Bountiful, 94.

[14] Id., 102.

[15] Id., 104.

[16] Foy, Bountiful, 90.

[17] Leonard, Davis County, 107.

[18] Foy, Bountiful, 73.

[19] Id., 97.

[20] Mabey, Our Father’s House, 107.

[21] Foy, Bountiful, 100.

[22] Mabey, Our Father’s House, 203.

[23] Foy, Bountiful, 97.

[24] Mabey, Our Father’s House, 204.

[25] Id., 205.

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