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The Promise of Peoa

In May of 1857, an exploring party, under the direction of W.W. Phelps, visited this area seeking locations for future settlements. After selecting this as a place appropriate for such a settlement, he said a prayer of dedication over the area.

Phelps reported in the Deseret News: The place was dedicated, as all the earth will eventually be, for the benefit of Israel, and whoever loves there must love by faith and works in spirit and in truth, for no one else can hope to live there on any other principle.

When settlers arrived three years later in 1860, living close together was necessary for their mutual protection. initially, they built their log homes next to each other, forming a rectangular fort.

This fort was built straddling the creek, thereby providing the occupants with a fresh source of water within the confines of the fort. The creek was thereafter called Fort Creek. The location of this fort is at the present junction of Woodenshoe Lane and State Road 32.

The area to become Peoa was laid out as a town site with each settler taking a strip of land some 12 rods wide, making about 12 acres, running approximately east and west from the road toward the West Hills. (A rod is a unit of measurement 16 1/2 feet.)

On the top of each farm were two buildings lots right next to the road. As the entire town site was not used up, there was a strip on the south end that was divided into what was called “meadow claims” of about 6 acres each. These claims ran perpendicular to the original claims south from what is now Marchant Lane. After these claims were taken (one claim for each family), the portion to the west and south was called “The Undivided” and used in common by the entire community for grazing.

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