Utah’s First Fort
On this ten acre square during the years 1847-1849 stood the first fort, historic Mormon bastion, sometimes called the “Plymouth Rock of the West.” Homes were erected of logs or adobe, side by side, with the rear walls forming a protective barrier; enclosed by a nine foot mud wall. By December 1847, over two thousand people were living in the fort which was extended one block north and one block south. The first school convened here in October 1847. A bowery, built in the center, served as a meeting place. Within its walls Anglo Saxon civilization was first brought to the Great Basin and the ensign of our Republic raised over this domain, then Mexican territory. Here, on December 9, 1848, the first petition to establish self government in the Rocky Mountain West was signed. It became a public park July 24, 1898.
Three women came in the first company of pioneers; Harriet Page Wheeler, Wife of Lorenzo D. Young; Clara Decker, Wife of Brigham Young; Ellen Saunders, Wife of Heber C. Kimball. During the rugged journey the services performed by these heroic women were of incalculable value.
The first children who journeyed with the first company of pioneers were: Lorenzo Sobieski Young, age six years, son of Lorenzo D. and Persis Goodall Young, and Isaac Perry Decker, age seven, son of Harriet Page Decker Young. Both boys proved themselves courageous and helpful during the historic trek across the plains.