A short time after the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, many began settling other areas of the Territory of Deseret. In 1858 Orrin Porter Rockwell bought sixteen acres of land near Crystal Hot Springs, south of Salt Lake City, which later became the City of Bluffdale. He built and operated a hotel/tavern, stable, brewery, and Pony Express station. Soon others followed. Jens and Rise Sophie Neilson Madsen homesteaded on the east side of the Jordan River in 1862. They lived in a dugout until they could build a log house. A Petersen family lived in the dugout with them. Timothy Gilbert settled on the west side of the river that same year.
Dr. John Lewis Dunyon traded his Salt Lake home for the Rockwell property in 1865. John and Robert Spencer arrived in 1868. David Rees Jones brought his family in 1871. Alfred John Dansie came in the fall of 1879, and Jedediah G. Casper arrived in 1880.
The Salt Lake County Court created the Bluffdale Precinct on December 14, 1883. Willam Wallace Merrill, who had come in the spring of 1880, was chosen as the first Justice of the Peace. Louis Petersen, a settler in 1883, was the first constable. The community had grown to twenty-three families by September 1887.
Mr. Merrill and John Spencer donated property for a church. The church, built in 1887-1888 out of adobe bricks, served as a meetinghouse for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), as a gathering place for community socials, and as a schoolhouse. Hyrum Brown was the first schoolteacher, followed by Edward Orgill, Ernest A. White, and George P. Garff.
A post office was established in 18888 in the home of William Wallace Merrill who served as the postmaster. The post office was first called Mousley in honor of the first LDS bishop, Lewis H. Mousley.
Check out all of the historic markers placed by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers at JacobBarlow.com/dup