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Mormon Settlement in Arizona
by James H. McClintock
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So it happened that it was upon Hamblin that Brigham Young placed dependence in a very serious situation that came through the killing of three Navajos, on the east fork of the Sevier River, a considerable distance into south-central Utah. Four Navajos had come northward to trade with the Ute. Caught by snow, they occupied a cabin belonging to a non-Mormon named McCarty, incidentally killing one of his calves. McCarty, Frank Starr and a number of associates descended upon the Indians, of whom one, badly wounded, escaped across the river, taking tidings to his tribesmen that the murder had been by Mormons. The Indian was not subtle enough to distinguish between sects, and so there was a call for bloody reprisals, directed against the southern Mormon settlements. The Indian Agent at Defiance sent an investigating party that included J. Lorenzo Hubbell.

Hamblin's Greatest Experience

In January, 1874, Hamblin left Kanab alone, on a mission that was intended to pacify thousands of savage Indians. Possibly since St. Patrick invaded Erin, no bolder episode had been known in history. He was overtaken by his son with a note from Levi Stewart, advising return, but steadfastly kept on, declaring, "I have been appointed to a mission by the highest authority of God on earth. My life is of small moment compared with the lives of the Saints and the interests of the kingdom of God. I determined to trust in the Lord and go on." At Moen Copie Wash he was joined by J.E. Smith and brother, not Mormons, but men filled with a spirit of adventure, for they were well informed concerning the prospective Navajo uprising. At a point a day's ride to the eastward of Tuba's home on Moen Copie Wash, the three arrived at a Navajo village, from which messengers were sent out summoning a council.

The next noon, about February 1, the council started, in a lodge twenty feet long by twelve feet wide, constructed of logs, leaning to the center and covered with dirt. There was only one entrance. Hamblin and the Smiths were at the farther end. Between them and the door were 24 Navajos. In the second day's council came the critical time. Hamblin knew no Navajo and there had to be resort to a Paiute interpreter, a captive, terrified by fear that he too might be sacrificed if his interpretation proved unpleasant. His digest of a fierce Navajo discussion of an hour was that the Indians had concluded all Hamblin had said concerning the killing of the three men was a lie, that he was suspected of being a party to the killing, and, with the exception of three of the older Indians, all present had voted for Hamblin's death. They had distinguished the Smiths as "Americans," but they were to witness the torture of Hamblin and then be sent back to the Colorado on foot. The Navajos referred especially to Hamblin's counsel that the tribe cross the river and trade with the Mormons. Thus they had lost three good young men, who lay on the northern land for the wolves to eat. The fourth was produced to show his wounds and tell how he had traveled for thirteen days, cold and hungry and without a blanket. There was suggestion that Hamblin's death might be upon a bed of coals that smoked in the middle of the lodge.



The Smiths tightened their grasps upon their revolvers. In a letter written by one of them was stated:

"Had we shown a symptom of fear, we were lost; but we sat perfectly quiet, and kept a wary eye on the foe. It was a thrilling scene. The erect, proud, athletic form of the young chief as he stood pointing his finger at the kneeling figure before him; the circle of crouching forms; their dusky and painted faces animated by every passion that hatred and ferocity could inspire, and their glittering eyes fixed with one malignant impulse upon us; the whole partially illuminated by the fitful gleam of the firelight (for by this time it was dark), formed a picture not easy to be forgotten.

"Hamblin behaved with admirable coolness. Not a muscle in his face quivered, not a feature changed as he communicated to us, in his usual tone of voice, what we then fully believed to be the death warrant of us all. When the interpreter ceased, he, in the same easy tone and collected manner, commenced his reply. He reminded the Indians of his long acquaintance with their tribe, of the many negotiations he had conducted between his people and theirs, and his many dealings with them in years gone by, and challenged them to prove that he had ever deceived them, ever had spoken with a forked tongue. He drew a map of the country on the ground, and showed them the improbability of his having been a participant in the affray."

In the end, the three were released after a discussion in the stifling lodge that had lasted for eleven hours, "with every nerve strained to its utmost tension and momentarily expecting a conflict which must be to the death."

The Indians had demanded 350 head of cattle as recompense, a settlement that Hamblin refused to make, but which he stated he would put before the Church authorities. Twenty-five days later, according to agreement, he met a delegation of Indians at Moabi. Later he took Chief Hastele, a well-disposed Navajo, and a party of Indians to the spot where the young men had been killed, and there demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Indians, the falsity of the accusation that Mormons had been responsible.

In April, 1874, understanding that the missionaries south of the river were in grave danger, a party of 35 men from Kanab and Long Valley, led by John R. Young, was dispatched southward. At Moen Copie was found a gathering of about forty. It appeared the reinforcement was just in time, as a Navajo attack on the post had been planned. Hamblin persisted in braving all danger and set out with Ammon M. Tenney and a few others for Fort Defiance, but found it unnecessary to go beyond Oraibi.

The Utah affair, after agency investigation, was brought up again at Fort Defiance, August 21, with Hamblin and Tenney present, and settled in a way that left Hamblin full of thanksgiving.

In 1875, Hamblin located a road from St. George to the Colorado River, by way of Grand Wash.

The Old Scout's Later Years

In May, 1876, Hamblin served as guide for Daniel H. Wells, Erastus Snow and a number of other leading men of Utah on their way to visit the new Arizona settlements. The Colorado was at flood and the passage at Lee's Ferry, May 28, was a dangerous one. The ferryboat bow was drawn under water by the surges and the boat swept clear of three wagons, with the attendant men and their luggage. One man was lost, Lorenzo W. Roundy, believed to have been taken with a cramp. His body never was found. L. John Nuttall and Hamblin swam to safety on the same oar. Lorenzo Hatch, Warren Johnson and another clung to a wagon from which they were taken off by a skiff just as they were going over the rapids.

In the same year, in December, Hamblin was assigned by President Young to lay out a wagon route from Pearce's Ferry, south of St. George, to Sunset on the Little Colorado. The Colorado was crossed at a point five miles above the old crossing. The animals were made to swim and the luggage was conveyed in a hastily constructed skiff. The route was a desert one, about on the same line as that to be used by the proposed Arizona-Utah highway between Grand Wash and the present Santa Fe railroad station of Antares. Returning, Hamblin went as far south as Fort Verde, where Post Trader W.S. Head advanced, without money, provisions enough to last until the party arrived at the Colorado, south of St. George.

An interview at St. George with President Young succeeding this trip was the last known by Hamblin with the Church head, for the President died the following August. In that interview, December 15, 1876, Hamblin formally was ordained as "Apostle to the Lamanites."

In the spring of 1877, Hamblin journeyed again into Arizona by the Lee's Ferry route to the Hopi towns, trying to find an escaping criminal. On this trip, the Hopi implored him to pray for rain, as their crops were dying. Possibly through his appeal to grace, rain fell very soon thereafter, assuring the Indians a crop of corn, squashes and beans. There was little rain elsewhere. When Hamblin returned to his own home, he found his crops burned from drought.

The estimation in which the Indians held the old scout may have indication in a story told lately in the Historian's office by Jacob Hamblin Jr. It follows:

"One day my father sent me to trade a horse with an old Navajo Indian chief. I was a little fellow and I went on horseback, leading the horse to be traded. The old chief came out and lifted me down from my horse. I told him my father wanted me to trade the horse for some blankets. He brought out a number of handsome blankets, but, as my father had told me to be sure and make a good trade, I shook my head and said I would have to have more. He then brought out two buffalo robes and quite a number of other blankets and finally, when I thought I had done very well, I took the roll on my horse, and started for home. When I gave the blankets to my father, he unrolled them, looked at them, and then began to separate them. He put blanket after blanket into a roll and then did them up and told me to get on my horse and take them back and tell the chief he had sent me too many. When I got back, the old chief took them and smiled. He said, 'I knew you would come back; I knew Jacob would not keep so many; you know Jacob is our father, as well as your father.'"

In 1878 Hamblin moved to Arizona and was made a counselor to President Lot Smith. He was appointed in 1879 to preside over the Saints in Round Valley, the present Springerville, living at Fort Milligan, about one mile west of the present Eagar.

He died of malarial fever, August 31, 1886, at Pleasanton, in Williams Valley, New Mexico, where a settlement of Saints had been made in October, 1882.

Hamblin's remains were removed from Pleasanton before 1889, to Alpine, Arizona, where was erected a shaft bearing this very appropriate inscription:

"In memory of JACOB V. HAMBLIN, Born April 2, 1819, Died August 31, 1886. Peacemaker in the Camp of the Lamanites."



Chapter Nine

Crossing the Mighty Colorado

Early Use of "El Vado de Los Padres"

The story of the Colorado is most pertinent in a work such as this, for the river and its Grand Canyon formed a barrier that must be passed if the southward extension of Zion were to become an accomplished fact. Much of detail has been given elsewhere concerning the means of passage used by the exploring, missionary and settlement expeditions that had so much to do with Arizona's development. In this chapter there will be elaboration only to the extent of consideration of the ferries and fords that were used.

The highest of the possible points for the crossing of the Colorado in Arizona, is on the very Utah line, in latitude 37. It is the famous "Vado de los Padres," the Crossing of the Fathers, also known as the Ute ford. The first historic reference concerning it is in the journal of the famous Escalante-Dominguez priestly expedition of 1776. The party returning from its trip northward as far as Utah Lake, reached the river, at the mouth of the Paria, about November 1. The stream was found too deep, so there was a scaling of hills to the Ute ford, which was reached November 8.

This ford is approached from the northward by natural steps down the precipices, traveled by horses with some difficulty. On the southern side, egress is by way of a long canyon that has few difficulties of passage. The ford, which is illustrated in the frontispiece of this work, reproduced from an official drawing of the Wheeler expedition, may be used more than half the year. In springtime the stream is deep when the melted snows of the Rockies are drained by the spring freshet. Usually, the Mormon expeditions southward started well after the summer season, when the crossing could be made without particular danger.

The Ute ford could hardly be made possible for wagon transportation, so there was early effort to find a route for a through road. As early as November, 1858, with some such idea in view, Jacob Hamblin was at the mouth of the Paria, 35 miles southwest of the Ute ford, but was compelled, then and also in November, 1859, to pursue his journey on, over the hills, to the ford.

Ferrying at the Paria Mouth

The first crossing of the river, at the mouth of the Paria, was made by a portion of a party, headed by Hamblin, in the fall of 1860. A raft was constructed, on which a few were taken across, but, after one animal had been drowned and there had been apparent demonstration that the dangers were too great, and that there was lack of a southern outlet, the party made its way up the river to the ford.

The first successful crossing at the Paria was in March, 1864, by Hamblin, on a raft. The following year there was a Mormon settlement at or near the Paria mouth. August 4, 1869, the first of the Powell expeditions reached the mouth of the Paria, this on the trip that ended at the mouth of the Virgin.

In September, 1869, Hamblin crossed by means of a raft. That the route had been definitely determined upon was indicated by the establishment, January 31, 1870, of a Paria fort, with guards. In the fall of that year President Brigham Young visited the Paria, as is shown in a letter written by W.T. Stewart, this after the President had seen the mouth of the Virgin and otherwise had shown his interest in a southern outlet for Utah. In this same year, according to Dellenbaugh, Major Powell built a rough scow, in order to reach the Moqui towns. This was the crossing in October, when Jacob Hamblin guided Powell to the Moqui villages and Fort Defiance.

In his expedition of 1871, Powell left the river at the Ute ford and went to Salt Lake. A few days later, October 22, his men, with a couple of boats, reached the Paria for a lengthy stay, surveying on the Kaibab plateau, in the vicinity of Kanab. It was written that the boat "Emma Dean" was hidden across the river. By that time ferry service had been established, for on October 28, 1871, Jacob Hamblin and companions, on their way home from the south, were rowed across.

John D. Lee on the Colorado

It is remarkable, in the march of history, how there will cling to a spot a name that, probably, should not have been attached and that should be forgotten. This happens to be the case with Lee's Ferry, a designation now commonly accepted for the mouth of the Paria, though it commemorates the Mountain Meadows massacre, through the name of the leading culprit in that awful frontier tragedy. Yet John Doyle Lee was at the river only a few years of all the years of the ferry's long period of use. The name seems to have been started within that time, firmly fixed in the chronicles of the Powell expedition, in the books of the expeditions later and of Dellenbaugh.

John D. Lee located at the mouth of the Paria early in 1872 and named it "Lonely Dell," by Dellenbaugh considered a most appropriate designation. Lee built a log cabin and acquired some ferry rights that had been possessed by the Church.

An interesting detail of the ferry is given by J. H. Beadle, in his "Western Wilds." He told of reaching the ferry from the south June 28, 1872. The attention of a ferryman could not be attracted, so there was use of a boat that was found hidden in the sand and brush. This was the "Emma Dean," left by Powell. The ferryman materialized two days later, calling himself "Major Doyle," but his real identity was developed soon thereafter. Beadle gives about a chapter to his interview with Lee, whom he called "a born fanatic." Beadle, who had written much against the Church, also had given a false name, but his identity was discovered by Mrs. Lee through clothing marks. Beadle quoted "Mrs. Doyle" as saying that her husband had been with the Mormon Battalion. This was hardly exact, though it does appear that Lee, October 19, 1846, was in Santa Fe with Howard Egan, the couple returning to Council Bluffs with pay checks the Battalion members were sending back toward the support of their families. The two messengers had overtaken the Battalion at the Arkansas crossing. But Beadle slept safely in Lee's house, which he left on Independence Day, departing by way of Jacob's Pools.

July 13, another of Powell's boats was brought down the river. Just a month later, Powell arrived at Lonely Dell from Kanab. August 17, he started down the river again from the Paria, leaving the "Nellie Powell" to the ferryman. This trip was of short duration, for the river was left, finally, at Kanab Wash.

In May, 1873, came the first of the real southern Mormon migration. This was when H. D. Haight and his party crossed the river at the Paria, on a trip that extended only about to Grand Falls, but which was notable from the fact that it laid out the first Mormon wagon road south of the river, down to and along the Little Colorado.

October 15, 1873, was launched at the ferry, by John L. Blythe, a much larger boat than had been known before, made of timber brought from a remote point near the Utah line. That same winter Hamblin located a new road from the Paria mouth to the San Francisco Mountains.

In June of 1874, an Indian trading post was established at the ferry and there was erection of what was called a "strong fort."

In the fall of 1874, Lee departed from the river, this for the purpose of securing provisions in the southern settlements of Utah. Several travelers noted in their journals that Lee wanted nothing but provisions in exchange for ferry tolls. It was on this trip he was captured by United States marshals in southern Utah, thereafter to be tried, convicted and legally executed by shooting (March 23, 1877), on the spot where his crime had been committed.

Lee's Canyon Residence Was Brief

Much of romance is attached to Lee's residence on the Colorado. The writer has heard many tales how Lee worked rich gold deposits nearby, how he explored the river and its canyons and how, for a time, he was in seclusion among the Hava-Supai Indians in the remote Cataract Canyon, to which, there was assumption, he had brought the fruit seeds from which sprang the Indian orchards. This would appear to be mainly assumption, for Lee made his living by casual ferrying, and had to be on hand when the casual traveler called for his services. Many of the old tales are plausible, and have had acceptance in previous writings of the Author, but it now appears that Lee's residence on the Canyon was only as above stated. J. Lorenzo Hubbell states that Lee was at Moen Copie for a while before going to take charge of the ferry.

In the summer of 1877, Ephriam K. Hanks was advised by President Brigham Young to buy the ferry, but this plan fell through on the death of the President. The ferry, later, was bought from Emma Lee by Warren M. Johnson, as Church agent, he paying 100 cows, which were contributed by the people of southern Utah and northern Arizona settlements, they receiving tithing credits therefor.

About ten years ago, Lee's Ferry was visited by Miss Sharlot M. Hall, Arizona Territorial Historian. She wrote entertainingly of her trip, by wagon, northwest into the Arizona Strip, much of her diary published in 1912 in the Arizona Magazine. The Lee log cabin showed that some of its logs originally had been used in some sort of raft or rude ferryboat. There also was found in the yard a boat, said to have been one of those of the Powell expedition. This may have been the "Nellie Powell."

Of the Lee occupancy, Miss Hall tells a little story that gives insight into the trials of the women of the frontier:

"When Lee's wife stayed here alone, as she did much of the time, the Navajo Indians often crossed here and they were not always friendly. A party of them came one night and built their campfire in the yard and Mrs. Lee understood enough of their talk to know she was in danger. Brave woman as she was, she knew she must overawe them, and she took her little children and went out and spread a bed near the fire in the midst of the hostile camp and stayed there till morning. When the Navajos rode away they called her a brave woman and said she should be safe in the future."

The first real ferryboat was that built by John L. Blythe, on October 15, 1873, a barge 20x40 feet, one that would hold two wagons, loads and teams. It was in this boat that the Jas. S. Brown party crossed in 1875, and a much larger migration to the Little Colorado in the spring of 1876.

In 1877, there was consideration of the use of the Paria road, as a means for hauling freight into Arizona, at least as far as Prescott, which was estimated by R.J. Hinton as 448 miles distant from the terminus, at that time, of the Utah Southern Railroad. Via St. George and Grand Wash, the haul was set at 391 miles, though the Paria route seemed to be preferred. It should be remembered that at that time the nearest railroad was west of Yuma, a desert journey from Prescott of about 350 miles.

Crossing the Colorado on the Ice

The Paria crossing had served as route of most of the Mormon migration south. The ferry has been passed occasionally by river explorers, particularly by the Stanton expedition, which reached that point on Christmas Day, 1889, in the course of a trip down the Colorado that extended as far as salt water. The ferryboat was not needed at one stage of the history of Lee's Ferry. The story comes in the journals of several members of a missionary party. Anthony W. Ivins (now a member of the Church First Presidency) and Erastus B. Snow reached the river January 16, 1878, about the same time as did John W. Young and a number of prospective settlers bound for the Little Colorado. The Snow narrative of the experience follows:

"The Colorado River, the Little Colorado and all the springs and watering places were frozen over. Many of the springs and tanks were entirely frozen up, so that we were compelled to melt snow and ice for our teams. We (that is J.W. Young and I), crossed our team and wagon on the ice over the Colorado. I assure you it was quite a novelty to me, to cross such a stream of water on ice; many other heavily loaded wagons did the same, some with 2500 pounds on. One party did a very foolish trick, which resulted in the loss of an ox; they attempted to cross three head of large cattle all yoked and chained together, and one of the wheelers stepped on a chain that was dragging behind, tripped and fell, pulling his mate with him, thereby bringing such a heft on the ice that it broke through, letting the whole into the water; but the ice being sufficiently strong they could stand on it and pull them out one at a time. One got under the ice and was drowned, the live one swimming some length of time holding the dead one up by the yoke."

Concerning the same trip, Mr. Ivins has written the Arizona Historian that, "the river was frozen from shore to shore, but, above and below for a short distance, the river was open and running rapidly." Great care was taken in crossing, the wagons with their loads usually pulled over by hand and the horses taken over singly. Thus the ice was cracked. Mr. Ivins recites the episode of the oxen and then tells that a herd of cattle was taken across by throwing each animal, tying its legs and dragging it across. One man could drag a grown cow over the smooth ice. Mr. Ivins tells that he remained at the river several days, crossing on the ice 32 times. On the 22d the missionaries and settlers all were at Navajo Springs, ready to continue the journey. It is believed that the Colorado has not been frozen over since that time.

There now is prospect that the Paria route between Utah and Arizona will be much bettered by construction of a road that avoids Paria Creek and attains the summit of the mesa, to the northward, within a comparatively short distance. At a point six miles below the ferry, the County of Coconino, with national aid, is preparing for construction of a suspension bridge, with a 400-foot span. Upon its completion, Lee's Ferry will pass, save for its place in history.

Crossings Below the Grand Canyon

Below Lee's Ferry comes the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, cut a full mile deep for about 200 miles, in a winding channel, with only occasional spots where trails are feasible to the river's edge. A suspension bridge is being erected by the United States Forest Service below El Tovar, with a trail northward up Bright Angel Canyon. A feasible trail exists from the mouth of Kanab Wash to the northward. To the southward there is possibility of approach to the river by wagon at Diamond Creek, but the first real crossing lies immediately below the great Canyon at Grand Wash, a point where there was ferrying, in 1862, by Hamblin and a party who brought a boat from Kanab. Return on this expedition was via the Ute ford. Hamblin, with Lewis Greeley, crossed again at the Grand Wash in April, 1863, and there is record of a later trip of indefinite date, made by him on the river from Grand Wash to Callville, in company with Crosby and Miller. Several of the Hamblin expeditions crossed at Grand Wash in the years thereafter, but it appears that it was not until December, 1876, that a regular ferry there was established, this by Harrison Pearce. The place bears the name of Pearce's Ferry unto this day, though the maps give it as "Pierce." A son of Harrison Pearce, and former assistant in the operation of the ferry, James Pearce, was the first settler of Taylor on Silver Creek, Arizona, where he still resides.

The next ferry was at the mouth of the Virgin, where there were boats for crossing at necessity, including the time when President Brigham Young and party visited the locality, in March, 1870. When the settlers on the Muddy and the Virgin balloted upon the proposition of abandoning the country, Daniel Bonelli and wife were the only ones who voted the negative. When the Saints left southern Nevada, Bonelli and wife moved to a point about six miles below the mouth of the Virgin, and there established a ferry that still is owned by a son of the founder. This is the same noted on government maps as Stone's Ferry, though there has been a change of a few miles in location. About midway between the Virgin and Grand Wash, about 1881, was established the Mike Scanlon ferry. Downstream, early-day ferries were operated at the El Dorado canyon crossing and on the Searchlight road, at Cottonwood Island. W.H. Hardy ferried at Hardyville. About the later site of Fort Mohave, Capt. Geo. A. Johnston, January 23, 1858, in a stern wheel steamer, ferried the famous Beale camel expedition across the river.

Settlements North of the Canyon

Moccasin Springs, a few miles south of the Utah line and eighteen miles by road southwest of Kanab, has had no large population at any time, save that about 100 Indians were in the vicinity in 1900. The place got its name from moccasin tracks in the sand. The site was occupied some time before 1864 by Wm. B. Maxwell, but was vacated in 1866 on account of Indian troubles. In the spring of 1870, Levi Stewart and others stopped there for a while, with a considerable company, breaking land, but moved on to found Kanab, north of the line. This same company also made some improvements around Pipe Springs. About a year later, a company under Lewis Allen, mainly from the Muddy, located temporarily at Pipe Springs and Moccasin. To some extent there was a claim upon the two localities by the United Order or certain of its members. The place for years was mainly a missionary settlement, but it was told that "even when the brethren would plow and plant for them, the Indians were actually too lazy to attend to the growing crops."

That the climate of Moccasin favors growth of sturdy manhood is indicated by the history of one of its families, that of Jonathan Heaton. At hand is a photograph taken in 1905, of Heaton and his fifteen sons. Two of the sons died in accidents within the past two years, but the others all grew to manhood, and all were registered for the draft in the late war. With the photograph is a record that, of the whole family, not one individual has tasted tea, coffee, tobacco or liquor of any kind.

Arizona's First Telegraph Station

Pipe Springs is situate three miles south of Moccasin Springs and eight miles south of the Utah line. It was settled as early as 1863 by Dr. Jas. M. Whitmore, who owned the place when he was killed by the Indians January 8, 1866. President Brigham Young purchased the claims of the Whitmore estate and in 1870 there established headquarters of a Church herd, in charge of Anson P. Winsor. Later was organized the Winsor Castle Stock Growing Company, in which the Church and President Young held controlling interest. It is notable that one of the directors was Alexander F. Macdonald, later President of Maricopa Stake. At the spring, late in 1870, was erected a sizable stone building, usually known as Winsor Castle, a safe refuge from savages, or others, with portholes in the walls. In 1879 the company had consolidation with the Canaan Cooperative Stock Company. The name, Pipe Springs, had its origin, according to A.W. Ivins, in a halt made there by Jacob Hamblin and others. William Hamblin claimed he could shoot the bottom out of Dudley Leavitt's pipe at 25 yards, without breaking the bowl. This he proceeded to do.

Pipe Springs was a station of the Deseret Telegraph, extended in 1871 from Rockville to Kanab. While the latter points are in Utah, the wires were strung southward around a mountainous country along the St. George-Kanab road. This would indicate location of the first telegraph line within Arizona, as the first in the south, a military line from Fort Yuma to Maricopa Wells, Phoenix, Prescott and Tucson, was not built till 1873.

Arizona's Northernmost Village

Fredonia is important especially as the northernmost settlement of Arizona, being only three miles south of the 37th parallel that divides Utah and this State. It lies on the east bank of Kanab Creek, and is the center of a small tract of farming land, apparently ample for the needs of the few settlers, who have their principal support from stock raising. The first settlement was from Kanab in the spring of 1885, by Thomas Frain Dobson, who located his family in a log house two miles below the present Fredonia townsite. The following year the townsite was surveyed and there was occupation by Henry J. Hortt and a number of others.

The name was suggested by Erastus Snow, who visited the settlement in its earliest days, naturally coming from the fact that many of the residents were from Utah, seeking freedom from the enforcement of federal laws.

Fredonia is in Coconino County, Arizona, with county seat at Flagstaff, 145 miles distant in air line, but across the Grand Canyon. The easiest method of communication with the county seat is by way of Utah and Nevada, a distance of over 1000 miles.

Fredonia was described by Miss Sharlot M. Hall, as "the greenest, cleanest, quaintest village of about thirty families, with a nice schoolhouse and a church and a picturesque charm not often found, and this most northerly Arizona town is almost one of the prettiest. The fields of alfalfa and grain lie outside of the town along a level valley and are dotted over with haystacks, showing that crops have been good." Reference is made to the fact that some of the families were descended from the settlers of the Muddy Valley. There had been the usual trouble in the building of irrigating canals and the washing away of headgates by floods that came down Kanab Creek. Miss Hall continued, "I am constantly impressed with the courage and persistence of the Mormon colony; they have good, comfortable houses here that have been built with the hardest labor amidst floods and drought and all sorts of discouragement. It is one of the most beautiful valleys I have seen in Arizona and has a fine climate the year round; but these first settlers deserve a special place in history by the way they have turned the wilderness into good farms and homes."

Concerning the highway to Fredonia, Miss Hall observes, "The Mormon colonists who traveled this road certainly had grit when they started, and grit enough more to last the rest of their lives on the road."

For years efforts have been made by Utah to secure from Arizona the land lying north of the Colorado River, on the ground that, topographically, it really belongs to the northern division, and that its people are directly connected by birth and religion with the people of Utah. As a partial offset, they have offered that part of Utah that lies south of the San Juan River, thus to be created a northern Arizona boundary wholly along water courses. The suggestion, repeatedly put before Arizona Legislatures, invariably has met with hostile reception, especially based upon the desire to keep the whole of the Grand Canyon within Arizona. Indeed, in later years, the great 200-mile gorge of the Colorado more generally is referred to as the Grand Canyon of Arizona, this in order to avoid confusion with any scenic attributes of the State of Colorado.



Chapter Ten

Arizona's Pioneer Northwest

History of the Southern Nevada Point

Assuredly within the purview of this work is the settlement of what now is the southern point of Nevada, a part of the original area of New Mexico and, hence, included within the Territory of Arizona when created in 1863. This embraced the district south of latitude 37, westward to the California line, west and north of the Colorado River. The main stream of the district is the Virgin, with a drainage area of 11,000 square miles, Muddy River and Santa Clara Creek being its main tributaries. It is a torrential stream, subject to sudden floods and carrying much silt. A section of its valley in the northwestern corner of the present Arizona, near Littlefield, is to be dammed in the near future for the benefit of small farms that have been cultivated for many years and for carrying out irrigation plans of much larger scope.

Especial interest attaches to this district through the fact that its area once was embraced within the now almost forgotten Arizona County of Pah-ute or was part of the present Arizona county of Mohave.

In the Bancroft Library at Berkeley, much information concerning the Nevada point was found in a series of pioneer maps. Of very early designation were old Las Vegas Springs and Beaver Dams, the latter now known as Littlefield. South of the 37th parallel, on a map of 1873, are found Cane Springs, Grapevine Springs and West Point, with Las Vegas (Sp., The Meadows) and Cottonwood as stations on the Mormon road, which divided to the westward at the last-named point.

The main road to Callville appears to have been down the Virgin for a short distance from St. Thomas, and then to have led over the hills to the westward. From Callville, a road connected with the main highway at Las Vegas.

A map of California, made by W.M. Eddy in 1853, has some interesting variations of the northwestern New Mexico nomenclature. The Muddy is set down as El Rio Atascoso (Sp., "Boggy") and Vegas Wash as Ojo del Gaetan (galleta grass?). Nearby was Agua Escorbada, where scurvy grass probably was found. There also was Hernandez Spring. There was an outline of the Potosi mining district. North of Las Vegas on a California map of 1864, was placed the "Old Mormon Fort." Reference by the reader is asked to the description of the Old Spanish Trail, which was followed partially by the line of the later Mormon road.

On a late map of the section that was lost by Arizona to Nevada, today are noted only the settlements of Bunkerville, Moapa, Logan, St. Joseph, Mesquite, Overton and St. Thomas. There is a ferry at Rioville, at the mouth of the Virgin, and another is at Grand Wash. The name of Las Vegas is borne by a railroad station on the Salt Lake and Los Angeles line, a few miles from the Springs. There are the mining camps of Pahrump, Manse, Keystone, El Dorado and Newberry. The westernmost part of the triangle, at an elevation of about 3000 feet, is occupied by the great Amargosa desert, which descends abruptly on the California side into the sink of Death Valley to below sea level. There has been no development of large value in this strip. Its interest to Arizona is merely historical.

Today, few Arizonans know that Pah-ute County once existed as an Arizona subdivision, or that Nevada took a part of Arizona, or that later, Nevada was given full sixty miles expansion eastward of her boundary line, at the expense of both Arizona and Utah. The natural boundary line in that section between Nevada and Arizona would have been the Virgin River.



The information contained in this chapter has been gathered from diverse sources, but largely from the records of the Church Historian at Salt Lake, wherein, practically, is the only history of the Mormon settlements of the southwestern section of what was and is known as "Utah's Dixie."

The southern Nevada point had some value in a mineral way. As early as 1857, Mormons worked the Potosi silver mines, eighteen miles southwest of Las Vegas. Little data is at hand concerning their value. In Bancroft is found this sober chronicle: "Believing the mines to be lead, Brigham Young sent miners to work them, in anticipation of war with the United States, but the product was found too hard for bullets and the mines were abandoned."

The Congressional Act of May, 1866, giving Nevada all that part of Arizona lying between the Colorado River and California, from about longitude 114, took from Arizona 31,850 square miles. This followed the extension of Nevada eastward for one degree of longitude. Annexed was appropriation of $17,000 for surveys.

Missionaries of the Desert

In the record of the Whipple expedition of 1853-4, is found evidence of Mormon influence already material in the Southwest. Whipple thought highly of the agricultural possibilities of the valley of the Colorado River, above the mouth of Bill Williams' Fork and wrote, "The Mormons made a great mistake in not occupying the valley of the Colorado." This Whipple expedition made a painful journey from the Colorado across the Mohave desert and, on March 13, 1854, struck what even then was known as the Mormon Road. The next day Whipple met a party of Mormons en route to Salt Lake. He told them of the murder of one of his Mexican herders by the Paiutes, but the travelers expressed no fear. They said they were at peace with the Indians, a statement over which Whipple expressed surprise.

About the earliest American occupation of the southern Nevada point available in the records upon which this office has worked, appears to have been the detail by Brigham Young in 1854 of a party of thirty young men "to go to Las Vegas, build a fort there to protect immigrants and the United States mail from the Indians, and to teach the latter how to raise corn, wheat, potatoes, squash and melons."

The missionary party arrived at Las Vegas June 14, 1855. Four days later was started construction of an adobe fort on the California, road, on an eminence overlooking the valley. This fort, 150 feet square, had walls, upon a stone foundation, fourteen feet high, with bastions on the southeast and northwest corners. Gates were not procured until the following year. Houses were built against the inside of the wall and lots were drawn to decide just where each of the brethren should erect his dwelling. There was a garden plot, just below, on the creek, and small farms were provided nearby. Inside the fort was a schoolhouse, in which meetings also were held, this indicating that families soon followed the pioneer missionaries. It is told that "the gospel was preached and that many Indians were converted and baptized."

One of these missionaries was Benjamin Cluff, who in later years became a prominent member of the Gila Valley settlements in Arizona. In his biography is found notation that the Las Vegas missionaries worked in lead mines, assumed to have been those in the Potosi section. Some of this lead undoubtedly went back to Utah but, happily, was not used at the time of the 1858 invasion.

Another notable member was Wm. C. A. Smoot who died in Salt Lake City in the spring of 1920, and who was one of the original Pioneers who reached Salt Lake July 24, 1847. Having been the last of the first pioneer company to enter the valley, it was quite in keeping that he was the last of the company to leave the valley for the celestial shores.

Here there might be notation that of the venerated Salt Lake Pioneers, the following-named later had residence in Arizona: Edmund Ellsworth, Charles Shumway, Edson Whipple, Francis M. Pomeroy, Conrad Klineman, Andrew S. Gibbons and Joseph Matthews.

Of the Pioneers of especial distinction, the following-named were later visitors to Arizona: Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Geo. A. Smith, Erastus Snow, Amasa M. Lyman and Lorenzo D. Young.

Missionaries John Steele and Wm. A. Follett were former Battalion members.

Rufus C. Allen, who was Private No. 1 of the First Company of the Mormon Battalion, returned from Chile to become a missionary in the Las Vegas section and in the Virgin River country. One of Allen's daughters, Mrs. Rachael Berry of St. Johns, represented Apache County in the House of Representatives of Arizona's Second State Legislature, in 1915.

Diplomatic Dealings with the Redskins

With the exception of the missionaries and the travelers between Utah and San Bernardino, the white man had little place in the southern point of Nevada in the early days. At hand, however, is a tale of the adventures of Ira Hatch, who was sent into the lonely, barren desert in the hope that something of missionary value might be done with the Indians. These Indians, Paiutes, were described as "always ready to attack the weak and defenseless traveler, including any opportunity to prey upon the animals of the watchful and strong." Nevertheless missionaries from southern Utah attempted Christianization. Whatever their degree of success, and though often in serious danger, they made the redskins understand that, personally, they were friendly. This missionary effort, it was hoped, would serve to make safer the through road.

Elder Hatch, in January, 1858, was sent alone into the Muddy Valley, 100 miles from the nearest settlement, Santa Clara. He was among the savages for two weeks, camped in a broken-down wagon left by one of the Crismons. His main trouble was in saving food from the Indians, who descended upon him like locusts and manifested their friendliness by stealing everything they could carry away. Hatch held the fort, however, translating and serving as guide for travelers, and occasionally having to threaten with his pistol redskins who menaced him with their bows and arrows.

After a fortnight, Jacob Hamblin sent him a companion, Thales Haskell, another noted pioneer, and together the two spent the balance of the winter in the lonely outpost. There was an interesting diversion in the passage of Col. Thos. L. Kane, the statesman who had done so much for the Mormon people at the time of exodus from Nauvoo and who later served so effectively as a mediator between Deseret and the national government. Kane, with a party, was on his way from California to Salt Lake. He had an idea of creating a haven of refuge for beleagured travelers in a cave about sixty miles northeast of Overton. In this cave he had placed bottles of medicine, which he wished the Indians to understand was good only for white men. This refuge he called the "Travelers' Home." It had been known as "Dr. Osborn's Cave."

A number of the Indians were gathered and a treaty was concluded. At this meeting there developed the unusual condition that Hatch had spent so much time with the Indians that his English was very imperfect and broken, while Colonel Kane's language was of cultured sort, unfamiliar and almost unintelligible to Hatch. So a third person (Amasa M. Lyman) had to interpret between Kane and Hatch and the latter then interpreted to the Indians, the return message going the same route back to the Colonel. Inasmuch as the treaty had been upon the basis of certain trade articles that were to have been furnished by the Utah Indian agent, and were not furnished, the contract was not completed. Ammon M. Tenney, a mere lad, spent several months in Las Vegas at that time. Hatch and Haskell returned to their homes in Utah in March, 1858.

Near Approaches to Indian Warfare

Continual trouble was known with the Indians, though, after a few years, was written, "many of the Indians are being taught to labor and are learning better things than to rob and murder."

When the first agricultural settlers came, they were visited by To-ish-obe, principal chief of the Muddy Indians, and a party of other redskins, who transmitted information that had been sent them to the effect that President Erastus Snow had planned to poison the Muddy and kill off all the Indians. The chief was disabused of the idea.

The same chief appears to have been decent enough. In February, 1866, there is record how he had declared outlaws two Indians who had stolen horses and cattle. One of these Indians, Co-quap, was taken prisoner and was killed at St. Thomas. About the same time, Indians on the Muddy, above Simonsville (a grist mill site), stole wheat from about thirty acres and left for the mountains, threatening the Muddy settlers. Within a month, 32 head of horses, mules and cattle were driven off by Indians, from St. Joseph and Simonsville. An expedition of 25 men started after the marauders, but failed to recapture the stock.

Andrew S. Gibbons (who had come in 1864), sought To-ish-obe on the upper Muddy, to interpret and make peace, if possible. In June at St. Joseph was a conference between Erastus Snow and a group of the leading Indians, representing the Santa Clara, Muddy, Colorado and other bands, in all seven chiefs and 64 of their men. The conference was an agreeable one and it was felt that some good had been done.



There was more trouble with the Indians in February, 1868, when the tribesmen on the upper Muddy, where a new settlement had been formed, came to the camp in anger, with blackened faces, armed with bows and arrows, to demand pay for grain lands that had been occupied by the whites. Gibbons acted as peacemaker, but told, "the fact that the brethren were all well armed appeared to pacify the Indians more than any arguments." The farmers formed in battle line, with Helaman Pratt as captain, Gibbons in front, interpreting.

The Indians of the region, mainly Paiutes, were a never-ending source of irritation and of potential danger to the settlers. They had grown fields of a few acres along the Muddy and hence resented the coming of the settlers who might include the aboriginal farms within their holdings. In accordance with the traditional policy of the Church, however, conciliation was used wherever possible, though the settlers sometimes, when goaded to the last extremity, had to exhibit firearms and make a show of force.

In 1868, Joseph W. Young wrote, "These Indians were considered about the worst specimens of the race. They lived almost in a state of nudity and were among the worst thieves on the continent. But through the kind, though determined, course pursued towards them by our brethren who have been among them, they are greatly changed for the better, and I believe I may safely say that they are the best workers of all the tribes. They are, nevertheless, Indians, and much wisdom is required to get along with them pleasantly. Brother Andrew Gibbons is worthy of honorable mention, because of the good influence that he maintains over these rude men."

In November, 1870, the Indians were reported "very hostile and saucy." The Chemehuevis and Mohaves were at war. A band of the former, about 100 or more, came into the Muddy Valley. In December a band of Wallapai came for a friendly visit.

Utilization of the Colorado River

The Colorado River drains nearly all the lands of present Mormon settlement, mainly lying betwixt the Rockies and the Sierras. The Colorado, within the United States is reckoned as only inferior to the Mississippi-Missouri and Columbia, with an annual flow sufficient to supply for irrigation needs about 20,000,000 acre feet of water. It has a drainage area of 244,000 square miles and a length of 1700 miles. It is of torrential character, very big indeed in the late spring and early summer and very low most of the remainder of the year. In years, not far distant, there will be storage dams at many points, to hold back the springtime floods from the melting of the snows of the Rockies, and from the river's flow will be generated electric power for the turning of the wheels of the Southwest. All this is in plans made by the League of the Southwest, a body now headed by Governor Campbell of Arizona. But these things are of the future, and it is the past we especially are considering.

Several attempts were made during and prior to the Civil War to make of the Colorado a highway through which Utah, southern Nevada and northern Arizona might have better transportation. The scheme was not a wild one by any means, though handicapped by the difficulties of both the maximum and minimum flows.

Inspector General J.F. Rusling had recommended that military supplies for the forces in Utah be brought in by way of the Colorado River.

Fort Yuma was visited late in 1854 by Lieut. N. Michler, of the Topographical Engineers, who wrote:

"The belief is entertained and strongly advocated that the Colorado will be the means of supplying the Mormon territory, instead of the great extent of land transportation now used for that purpose.

"Its headquarters approach the large settlements of Utah and may one day become the means of bearing away the products of those pioneers of the far West. With this idea prominent in the minds of speculators, a city on paper, bearing the name of 'Colorado City,' had already been surveyed, the streets and blocks marked out and many of them sold. It is situated on the east bank, opposite Fort Yuma."

From 1858 to about 1882, even after the Santa Fe railroad had reached Needles, there was much traffic on the Colorado. Supplies went by river to the mines, which sent downstream occasional shipments of ore. Military supplies went by water to Fort Mohave or to Ehrenberg, the latter point a depot for Whipple Barracks and other posts. Salt came down stream from the Virgin River mines, for use mainly in the amalgamation processes of the small stamp mills of the period.

Steamboats on the Shallow Stream

Traffic on the river had been established as early as December, 1852. Capt. Geo. A. Johnston, an early steamboat pilot, ferried the Beale party, in January, 1858, near where Fort Mohave later was established. Johnston made several trips far up the river with the Jesup and with a newer steamer, the Colorado. He is understood to have gone even farther than Lieut. J. C. Ives, of the Topographical Corps, in the little steamer Explorer. This stern-wheeler made the trip in January, 1858, and was passed by Johnston on his way downstream. The river was at low stage and the Explorer butted into snags and muddy banks continually. Finally there was disaster when Black Canyon was reached, when the boat ran upon a sunken rock. Ives rowed as far up as Vegas Wash.

In 1866, the Arizona Legislature, at Prescott, by resolution thanked "Admiral" Robert Rogers, commander of the steamer Esmeralda, and Capt. William Gilmore, for the successful accomplishment of the navigation of the Colorado River to Callville, "effected by the indomitable energy of the enterprising Pacific and Colorado Navigation Co.," a concern managed by Thos. E. Trueworthy, an experienced steamboat man from the Sacramento River of California. Both Arizona and Nevada Legislatures petitioned Congress to improve the stream.

Captain Johnston later formed the Colorado Steam Navigation Company and, more or less, controlled the river traffic for years. There were other noted Captains, including C.V. Meeden, Isaac Polhamus, A.D. Johnson, William Poole, S. Thorn, J.H. Godfrey and J.A. Mellen.

Captain Mellen told that sometimes schooner barges were used in the lower canyons, where the wind was either upstream or downstream. When it was downstream, the upward-bound craft moored until the breeze changed to astern.

The deck hands were Cocopah or Yuma Indians, amphibious, always ready to plunge overboard to help in lightening their craft over any of the numerous sand bars. Mellen told of lying 52 days in one bar and of often being held up for a week. There was no possible mapping of the river channel, for the bars changed from week to week. Even in the earliest times, steamboats were never molested by the Indians. They seemed in awe of the puffing, snorting craft that threw showers of sparks from the smokestacks. Not infrequently, a steamer had to tie up for a few days at a point where fuel conveniently could be cut from the cottonwood or mesquite thickets.

In June, the river is at flood, with danger always present in floating trees and driftwood, muddy torrents coming from the melting snows of the Rocky Mountains. In the autumn the river falls, until in places there are mere trickles around the muddy banks. Navigation, perforce, had to be suspended. These were the conditions under which it was proposed to make of the Colorado the great trade artery of the inter-mountain region.

The Colorado now absolutely has lost all possibilities for commerce. Pioneer conditions are about the same as far southward as the Laguna dam. This structure, built to divert water for the Yuma and Imperial valleys, absolutely bars the river channel for navigation. Above it and below it now are only ferries and a few power boats. The great Imperial canal system, at a point below Yuma, for much of the year drains the river flow. Where good-sized steamers once plied from tidewater, at the head of the Gulf of California, now, for months at a time, is only a dry sand wash. To this extent the advance of civilization has obliterated a river that ranks, in geography at least, among the greatest streams of the United States.

Establishing a River Port

Callville, established on the Colorado by Anson Call in December, 1864, for a while was the southernmost outpost of Mormon settlement. Call himself was a pioneer of most vigorous sort. November 24,1851, he was one of the founders of Fillmore, Millard County, 150 miles south of Salt Lake, a settlement for a while the capital of the Territory of Utah, created during the administration of President Millard Fillmore in 1850. In the following year he built Call's Fort in Box Elder County, in the extreme northern part of Utah.

In a compilation made by Andrew Jenson is found definite statement that the settlement made by Anson Call on the Colorado was "as agent for the Trustee in Trust (the President) of the Church in December, 1864, according to a plan which was conceived of at that time to bring the Church immigration from Europe to Utah via Panama, the Gulf of California and up the river to this landing." In conjunction with this, a number of leading merchants of Salt Lake City combined to build a warehouse on the Colorado, with a view to bringing goods in by the river route. This company also constituted Anson Call its agent. November 1, Call was directed to take a suitable company, locate a road to the Colorado, explore the river, find a suitable place for a warehouse, build it and form a settlement at or near the landing. All these things he accomplished. At St. George he employed Jacob Hamblin and son, Angus M. Cannon and Dr. Jas. M. Whitmore.

The journal of travel tells of leaving the mouth of the Muddy, continuing down the Virgin twelve miles, thence up what was named Echo Wash, twelve miles, and thence twenty miles, generally southwestward, to the Colorado, a mile below the narrows, above the mouth of Black Canyon, where, on December 2, was found a black rocky point, considered a suitable spot for the erection of a warehouse, above high-water mark. This later was named Callville.

With the exception of a small bottom around the warehouse site, the country was considered most barren and uninviting. Two and a half miles down the river was the mouth of Las Vegas Wash, up which Call and party traveled to old Fort Vegas, where a half-dozen men were found established. In the company's journeyings, El Dorado Canyon was found occupied by miners and there were some adventurers on Cottonwood Island, a tract of bottom land nearby. The expedition was ferried across the Colorado to Hardy's Landing, 337 miles above Yuma. Hardy had a rather extensive establishment, with a store, warehouse, hotel, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop and several dwelling houses. Possibly notable was the launching at that time of the barge "Arizona," fifty feet long and ten feet wide, sharp at both ends and flat-bottomed.

By river there was a visit to Fort Mohave. This, garrisoned by forty soldiers of the California Column, was of log and willow houses, the latter wattled and daubed with mud. There was reference by Call to the Colorado River mosquito, described as "very large."

Returning to Call's Landing, there were measured off forty lots, each 100 feet square, and a start was made by leaving Thomas Davids and Lyman Hamblin, on December 18, to dig the foundation of the warehouse.

This expedition made a preliminary survey of the Muddy and declared settlement upon the stream entirely feasible.

Wm. H. Hardy of Hardyville, or Hardy's Landing, was not at home when Anson Call visited in December, but returned soon thereafter and, January 2, 1865, started northward with his new barge, propelled by poles and oars and a sail. A distance of 150 miles by river was made in twelve days. Though later some jealousy was expressed over the activities at Callville, Hardy proffered all possible assistance and expressed belief that from July to November steamers could ply from the mouth of the Colorado to Call's Landing. The warehouse was built, but appears to have been little used. Capt. Geo. A. Johnston had submitted the Church authorities formal proposals to ship direct from New York to the mouth of the river, in barques of about 600 tons burden, preferably arriving at the river mouth in the fall. The cost of freight from New York to the river mouth was set at $16 a ton, and the cost to El Dorado Canyon at $65, but, figuring currency at 50 cents, the freight was estimated to cost $7.16 per 100 pounds in currency.

In March, 1865, Capt. Thos. E. Trueworthy, told of opposition at Hardy's Landing to the establishment of Callville. He had started for Call's Landing with 100 tons of freight, including 35,000 feet of lumber, to find that Call had returned to Utah. Trueworthy left his boat and cargo below Callville and went on to Salt Lake. He stated the trip from the mouth to Call's Landing would take a boat a month, there being difficulty in passing rapids and in finding wood for fuel.

Historian B.H. Roberts states:

"There was shipment of some goods from that point, though at first there were some disappointments and dissatisfaction among the Salt Lake merchants who patronized the route. Two steamboats, the Esmeralda and Nina Tilden made the trip somewhat regularly from the mouth of the Colorado to Call's Landing, connecting with steamships plying between the mouth of the Colorado and San Francisco. The owners of the river boats carried a standing advertisement in the Salt Lake Telegraph, thus seeking trade, up to December 1, 1866. Doubtless the certainty of the early completion of the transcontinental railroad from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean stopped the development of this southwest route for immigration and freight, via Utah's southern settlements and the Colorado River."

The port of Callville had only a short life. In June, 1869, the Deseret News printed an article that Callville then had been abandoned. This was in connection with the escape of three horsethieves from St. George. These men wrenched four large doors from the Callville warehouse for the construction of a raft, upon which they committed themselves to the river at flood time, leaving horses and impedimenta behind. Whether they escaped has not been chronicled.

As late as 1892, the walls of the old storehouse still were standing, the only remaining evidences of a scheme of broad ambition designed to furnish a new supply route for a region comprising at least one-fourth of the national expanse.



Chapter Eleven

In the Virgin and Muddy Valleys

First Agriculture in Northern Arizona

There can be no doubt that the first agricultural settlement in northern Arizona was by a Mormon party, led by Henry W. Miller, which made location at Beaver Dams, on the north bank of the Virgin River on the earlier Mormon road to California. On a tract of land lying six miles below the point where the river emerges from a box canyon, land was cleared in the fall of 1864, crops were put in "and then the enterprise was dedicated to the Lord," according to a report by the leader at Salt Lake. An item in the Deseret News tells that Miller was "called" in the fall of 1863 to go to the Virgin.

Early in 1865, another report told, "affairs in the settlement are progressing very satisfactorily. A large number of fruit trees and grapevines have been set out. Corn, wheat and other vegetation are growing thriftily and the settlers are very industriously prosecuting their several useful vocations, with good prospects of success."

There was notation of some trouble because beavers were numerous and persisted in damming irrigation ditches. In 1867 a river flood destroyed much of the results of the colonists' labors and there was abandonment of the location. Between 1875 and 1878 settlers began to come again and a thriving community now is in existence at that point, known as Littlefield. It is to benefit in large degree by plans approved by the Arizona Water Commissioner, for damming of the canyon for storage of water to irrigate land of the Virgin Valley toward the southwest. Littlefield is the extreme northwestern settlement of the present Arizona five miles south of the Utah line and three miles east of the Nevada line.

In the same fall conference of 1864 that sent Anson Call on his pioneering expedition, there was designation of a large number (183, according to Christopher Layton) of missionaries, to proceed, with their families, to the Muddy and lower Virgin, thereon to establish colonies that might serve as stations in the great movement toward the Pacific. Undoubtedly, full information was at hand concerning the country and its possibilities, for the colonists began to arrive January 8, 1865, before there could have been formulation of Call's report. Thos. S. Smith was in charge of the migration, and after him was named St. Thomas, one of the settlements. May 28, Andrew S. Gibbons settled at St. Thomas, sent as Indian interpreter. Joseph Warren Foote led in a new settlement at St. Joseph.

Villages of Pioneer Days

In what was known as the Muddy section, comprising the valleys of the lower Virgin River and its main lower tributary, the Muddy, were seven settlements of Mormon origin, during the time when the locality was included in the area of Arizona. These settlements were Beaver Dams on the Virgin, St. Thomas, on the Muddy, about two and a half miles from its junction with the Virgin, Overton, on the same side of the Muddy Valley, about eight miles northwest of St. Thomas, St. Joseph, which lay on the opposite side of the stream, five miles to the northward, West Point (now Logan), on the west bank, possibly fifteen miles west of St. Joseph, and Mill Point and Simonsville between St. Joseph and Overton. To these was addition of the port of Callville. Nearly westward from the last-named point was Las Vegas Springs, distant about twenty miles, a camping point on the road between San Bernardino and Salt Lake, and permanent residence of missionaries. In later days were established Junction City, otherwise Rioville, at the mouth of the Virgin, Bunkerville on the east bank of the Virgin, three miles west of the later Arizona line, and Mesquite, which lay east across the river.

The valley of the Virgin offered very limited opportunities for settlement, as the stream, an alkaline one, usually ran between deep cliffs. The Muddy, however, despite its name, was a clear stream of slight fall, with a lower valley two miles wide, continuing, upstream, northwesterly for eighteen miles. A number of swamps had to be drained by the first residents. These people constructed a canal, nine miles long, on the southwest side and were preparing to dig a similar canal on the opposite side when there was abandonment.

St. Thomas has been described as a beautiful village, its streets outlined by rows of tall cottonwoods that still survive. There were 85 city lots of one acre each, about the same number of vineyard lots, two and a half acres each, and of farm lots of five acres.

St. Joseph mainly comprised a fort on a high bluff, from which the town had been laid out on a level bench west and northward. It included a flour mill, owned by James Leithead. In August, 1868, the fort was almost destroyed by fire, which burned up nineteen rooms and most of their contents, the meetinghouse and a cotton gin also being included in the destruction. There was a stiff gale and most of the men were absent.

Every settlement along the Virgin and Muddy was organized into a communal system, the United Order. Of this there will be found more detail in Chapter Twelve of this work.

At St. Joseph, June 10, 1869, was organized a cooperative mercantile institution for the Muddy settlement, with Joseph W. Young at its head, R.J. Cutler as secretary and James Leithead as business agent.

There were the usual casualties of the desert country. In June, James Davidson, wife and son died of thirst on the road from the Muddy settlements to St. George, their journey delayed on the desert by the breaking of a wagon wheel.

On a visit made by Erastus Snow and company in the summer of 1869, the Muddy settlements subscribed heavily toward the purchase of stock in a cotton factory at St. George, and toward extension of the Deseret telegraph line. In the record of this company's journey it is told that the Virgin River was crossed 37 times before arrival at St. Thomas.

The condition of the brethren late in 1870 was set forth by James Leithead as something like destitution. He wrote that, "many are nearly naked for want of clothing. We can sell nothing we have for money, and the cotton, what little there is, appears to be of little help in that direction. There are many articles we are more in need of than the cloth, such as boots and shoes and tools of various kinds to work with."

Brigham Young Makes Inspection

President Brigham Young was a visitor to the Muddy settlements in March of 1870. Ammon M. Tenney states that the President was disappointed, for he found conditions unfavorable for agriculture or commercial development. The journey southward was by way of St. George, Utah, a point frequently visited by the Presidency. The return journey was northward, by the desert route. In the party were John Taylor, later President of the Church, Erastus Snow, Geo. A. Smith, Brigham Young, Jr., Andrew S. Gibbons and other notables. In the fall (September 10), was authorized the founding of Kanab. From St. George the President followed the rough road through Arizona to the Paria, personally visiting and selecting the site of Kanab. Very opportunely, from D.K. Udall, lately was received a photograph of the Young party (herewith reproduced), taken March 17 on a mesa overlooking the Colorado at the mouth of the Virgin. Here may be noted that every president of the Mormon Church, with the exception of Joseph Smith, the founder, and Lorenzo Snow has set foot on Arizona soil.

Nevada Assumes Jurisdiction

The beginning of the end of the early Muddy settlements came in a letter from the Church Presidency, dated December 14, 1870, addressed to James Leithead, in charge. It referred to the Nevada survey, placing the settlements within the jurisdiction of that State, the onerous taxes, license and stamp duties imposed, the isolation from the market, the high rate at which property is assessed in Nevada, the unscrupulous character of many officials, all as combining to render conditions upon the Muddy matters of grave consideration, even though the country occupied might be desirable. The settlers, it was said, had done a noble work, making and sustaining their outposts of Zion against many difficulties, amid exposure and toil. It was advised that the settlers petition the Nevada Legislature for an abatement of back taxes and for a new county, but, "if the majority of the Saints in council determine that it is better to leave the State, whose burdens and laws are so oppressive, let it be so done." There was suggestion that if the authorities of Lincoln County, Nevada, chose to enforce tax collections, it might be well to forestall the seizure of property, to remove it out of the jurisdiction of the State.

The Nevada Point Abandoned

December 20, 1870, the people of the Muddy met with John W. Young of Salt Lake and resolved to abandon the location and to look for new homes. The only opposing votes were those of Daniel Bonelli and wife. Bonelli later was a ferryman on the Colorado and his son now is a prominent resident of Mohave County. Among those who voted to move were a number who later were residents of the Little Colorado settlements of Arizona.

In accordance with the suggestion from Salt Lake, the Nevada Legislature was petitioned for relief. It was told that seven years before had been established St. Joseph and St. Thomas. Thereafter Congress had taken one degree of longitude from Utah and Arizona and attached this land to Nevada. Taxes had been paid in Utah and Arizona. For two years the authorities of Lincoln County, Nevada, had attempted to assess the back taxes. To the Nevada authorities was presented statement of a number of facts, that $100,000 had been expended on water projects, that the settlers had been compelled to feed the Indian population, outnumbering their own, and that they had been so remote from markets that produce could not be converted into cash. It was asked that a new county, that of Las Vegas, be organized, taking in the southern point of Nevada. Attached to the petition were 111 names of citizens of St. Joseph, Overton and St. Thomas.

A similar petition was sent to Congress. There was detail how lumber had to be hauled 150 miles at a cost of $200 per 1000 feet. There had been constructed 150 dwellings. Orchards and vineyards had been planted and 500 acres of cotton fields had been cleared. In all 3000 acres were cultivated. Nevada had imposed a tax of 3 per cent upon all taxable property and $4 poll tax per individual, all payable in gold, something impossible. It therefore was asked that Congress cede back to Utah and Arizona both portions of country detached from them and attached to Nevada.

At that time, the State gave the Muddy-Virgin settlement a population of 600. St. Joseph had 193, St. Thomas about 150, West Point 138 and Overton 119. In other settlements around, namely Spring Valley, Eagle Valley, Rye Valley, Rose Valley, Panaca and Clover, were 658, possibly two score of them not being of the Church. Thus was shown a gross population of 1250.

Most of the settlers on the Muddy left early in 1871, the exodus starting February 1. On returning to Utah, very largely to Long Valley, they left behind their homes, irrigating canals, orchards and farms. The crops, including 8000 bushels of wheat, were left to be harvested by an individual who failed to comply with his part of the contract and who later tore down most of the remaining houses.

Political Organization Within Arizona

Including practically all the Mormons then resident within the new Territory of Arizona, the first Arizona county to be created by additional legislative enactment, following the Howell Code, was that of Pah-ute, in December, 1865, by the first act approved in the Second Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly. The boundaries of the county were described as: Commencing at a point on the Colorado River known as Roaring Rapids; thence due east to the line of 113 deg. 20 min. west longitude; thence north along said line of longitude, to its point of intersection with the 37th parallel of north latitude; thence west, along said parallel of latitude, to a point where the boundary line between the State of California and the Territory of Arizona strikes said 37th parallel of latitude; thence southeasterly along said boundary line, to a point due west from said Roaring Rapids; thence due east to said Roaring Rapids and point of beginning. Callville was created the seat of justice and the governor was authorized to appoint the necessary county officers.

The new subdivision was taken entirely from Mohave County, which retained the southernmost part of the Nevada point. It may be noted that its boundaries were entirely arbitrary and not natural and the greater part of the new county's area lay in what now is Nevada. October 1, 1867, the county seat was moved to St. Thomas. November 5, 1866, a protest was sent in an Arizona memorial to Congress against the setting off to the State of Nevada of that part of the Territory west of the Colorado. The grant of this tract to Nevada under the terms of a congressional act approved May 5, 1866, had been conditioned on similar acceptance by the Legislature of Nevada. This was done January 18, 1867.

Without effect, the Arizona Legislature twice petitioned Congress to rescind its action, alleging, "it is the unanimous wish of the inhabitants of Pah-ute and Mohave Counties and indeed of all the constituents of your memorialists that the territory in question should remain with Arizona; for the convenient transaction of official and other business, and on every account they greatly desire it." But Congress proved obdurate and Nevada refused to give up the strip and the County of Pah-ute, deprived of most of her area, finally was wiped out by the Arizona Legislature in 1871. At one time there was claim that St. George and a very wide strip of southern Utah really belonged to Arizona.

Pah-ute's Political Vicissitudes

In the Second Legislature, at Prescott, in 1865, at the time of the creation of Pah-ute County, northwest Arizona, or Mohave County, was represented in the Council by W. H. Hardy of Hardyville and in the House by Octavius D. Gass of Callville. In the Third Legislature, which met at Prescott, October 3, 1866, Pah-ute was represented in the Council by Gass, who was honored by election as president of the body, in which he also served as translator and interpreter. He was described as a very able man, though rough of speech. He explored many miles of the lower Grand Canyon. He was not a Mormon, but evidently was held in high esteem by his constituents, who elected him to office in Arizona as long as they had part in its politics. Royal J. Cutler of Mill Point represented the county in the House of Representatives.

In the Fourth Legislature, which met at Prescott, September 4, 1867, Gass, who had moved to Las Vegas, was returned to the Council where again he was chosen president, and Cutler, who had moved to St. Joseph, again was in the House. On the record of the Legislature's proceedings, Gass is styled "ranchero" and Cutler "farmer."

Though most of the area of Pah-ute County already had been wiped out by congressional enactment and given to Nevada, Gass again was in the Legislature in 1868, in the fifth session, which met in Tucson, December 10. The House member was Andrew S. Gibbons of St. Thomas, a senior member of a family that since has had much to do with the development of northeastern Arizona. A very interesting feature in connection with this final service in the Legislature, was the fact that Gass and Gibbons floated down the Colorado River to Yuma and thence took conveyance to Tucson. They were in a fourteen-foot boat that had been built at St. Thomas by James Leithead. Gibbons' son, William H. (now resident at St. Johns), hauled the craft to Callville, twenty miles, and there sped the legislators.

At the outset, there was necessity for the voyageurs to pass through the rapids of Black Canyon, an exciting experience, not unmixed with danger. Gibbons knew something of boating and so was at the oars. Gass, seated astern, firmly grabbed the gunwales, shut his eyes and trusted himself in the rapids to providence and his stout companion, with at least one fervent admonition, "For God's sake, Andy, keep her pointed down stream." The passage was made in safety, though both men were soaked by the dashing spray.

The start was made November 1. By day all possible progress was made, the boat being kept in midstream and away from bushes, for fear of ambush by Indians. At night a place for camp would be selected in a secluded spot and a fire would be lighted only when safety seemed assured.

There was some delay in securing transportation eastward from Fort Yuma. Indians had been active along the stage route and had just waylaid a coach and killed its driver. Thus it came that the members from Pah-ute were six days late in their taking seats in the territorial assembly.

At the close of the legislative session, Gibbons journeyed home on horseback, for much of the way through districts infested by wild Indians of several tribes, a trip of at least 500 miles. Gass went to California before returning home. Such a return journey is not mentioned, however, in an interesting record, furnished the Author by A.V., Richard and Wm. H. Gibbons, sons of the pioneer.

Royal J. Cutler, on April 3, 1869, came again into official notice as clerk of the Probate and County Court of Rio Virgen County, which had been created out of the western part of Washington County, Utah, by the Utah Legislature. The first session of the court was at St. Joseph, with Joseph W. Young as magistrate. This county organization is not understood, even under the hypothesis that Utah claimed a sixty-mile strip of Nevada, for St. Joseph, on the Muddy, lies a considerable distance south of the extension of the southern Utah line, the 37th parallel.

A tax was levied of one-half of 1 per cent, this later increased to three-quarters of 1 per cent. Direct taxes in 1869 had been received of $156.19, and the amount transferred from Pah-ute County was $24.10, a total of $180.29, which hardly could be considered an onerous levy or fat treasury for the support of a political subdivision. The treasurer had on hand $28.55 in cash, $20 in flour and $12.45 in wheat.

Later Settlement in "The Point"

Bunkerville, settled January 6, 1877, was named for Edward Bunker, a member of the Mormon Battalion. Latterly to a degree it has become connected with Arizona through the fact that lands in its vicinity are to be irrigated from a reservoir to be established upon the Virgin within Arizona. January 24, 1877, there were visitors of notable sort, Capt. Daniel W. Jones and company, on their way to a location in the Salt River Valley of Arizona. Bunkerville had elaborate organization under the United Order, and it is agreed that the large amount of irrigation work accomplished hardly could have been done under any other plan. The organization lasted until the summer of 1879, it being found that some of the members, "through their economy and industry were gathering and, laying up in abundance, while others, through carelessness and bad management, were wasting the funds of the company, each year being increasing in debt." This was very unsatisfactory to those whose ambition was to assure at least the necessaries of life.

The Mesquite settlement, across the Virgin from Bunkerville, was established in 1880, but was abandoned a few years later, again to be settled in 1895, from Utah.

There was a returning of the Saints to the Muddy Valley early in 1881, the Patterson ranch, which included the town of Overton, being purchased by Mrs. Elizabeth Whitmore of St. George. Among the names of the settlers was at least one of Arizona association, that of Jesse W. Crosby. In 1892, when visited by Andrew Jenson, in the locality of the main four settlements of the older occupation were only a score of families.

Salt Mountains of the Virgin

Arizona lost one asset of large value in the transfer of the Virgin River section to Nevada. Therein is an enormous salt deposit, locally called the Salt Mountain, though three such deposits are along the Virgin between St. Thomas and the Colorado River. One of them is described as cropping out along the foot of a high bluff of brown clay, exposed for 80 feet in height from the base of the hill, though the depth below its surface is unknown. The salt is obtained by blasting, as it is too hard to dig with picks. It is of excellent quality and of remarkable purity. In early days, from this deposit was obtained the salt needed in southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and much of Arizona, steamers carrying it down the Colorado southward. W. H. Johnson was in early charge of the salt mines. His widow now is resident in Mesa.

Peaceful Frontier Communities

Writing about Overton, an early historian gives details of the happiness that comes to an individual who relies wholly upon the produce of his land and who lives apart from what is called civilization and its evils. He tells of the sense of comfort, security and satisfaction felt by the brethren who own the land whereon their homes are set and are not afraid of a little expense of bone and muscle to sustain themselves comfortably.

They dress as well or better than those in more favored circumstances, set a plentiful table and enjoy such peace and quiet that seldom falls to the lot of people in these troublous times. No profaning is heard; the smoking, chewing and drinking habits are strangers to the "hope of Israel" here; no racing of horses at breakneck speed through the streets is endured in our peaceful little town; in fact the only complaint is, and not without just cause, that it is rather too quiet.

Along this same line, Dellenbaugh wrote of the southern Utah settlements:

"As pioneers the Mormons were superior to any class I have ever come in contact with, their idea being homemaking and not skimming the cream off the country with a six-shooter and a whiskey bottle. One of the first things the Mormon always did in establishing a new settlement was to plant fruit, shade trees and vines and the like, so that in a very few years there was a condition of comfort only attained by a non-Mormon settlement after the lapse of a quarter of a century. Dancing is a regular amusement among the Mormons and is encouraged by the authorities as a harmless and beneficial recreation. The dances were always opened by prayer."

In the journal of Major J.W. Powell, under date of August 30, 1869, there is special mention of the hospitable character of the Mormons of the Virgin River section. They had been advised by Brigham Young to look out for the Powell expedition and Asa (Joseph Asay) and his sons continued to watch the river, though a false report had come that the Powell expedition was lost. They were looking for wreckage that might give some indication of the fate of the explorers when Powell's boats appeared. Powell was very appreciative of Asaqy's kindness and wrote enthusiastically of the coming, next day from St. Thomas, of James Leithead, with a wagonload of supplies that included melons.



Chapter Twelve

The United Order

Development of a Communal System

At one stage of Church development there was disposition to favor the establishment in each village of the Saints of communal conditions, wherein work should be done according to the ability of the individual. Crops and the results of all industry were to be gathered at a common center for common benefit. Something of the same sort was known among the Shakers and other religious sects in eastern states. Thus in Utah was founded the United Order, which, however, at no time had any direct connection with the central Church organization.

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