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Pioneers of Lehi

The pioneers of Lehi settled in this vicinity in the fall of 1850. Thirteen families located at Sulphur Springs, later Snow’s Springs, forty rods east of here where a fort was begun. ANother group formed the Lott Settlement, to the southeast. Others located nearby.

The following year most of the families moved to higher ground on Dry Creek, selected in July 1850 by Canute Peterson and six companions, and established Evansville, named for Bishop David Evans. By legislative enactment, February 5, 1852 the “City of Lehi” was incorporated. It included the area between Utah Lake and the north foothills. The name Lehi was taken from the Book of Mormon. This monument was erected as a part of Lehi’s Centennial Celebration.

Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association Marker #118

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Lehi Fort One. Sulphur Springs

In addition to a new name, two monuments were also dedicated in the community. Honoring Lehi’s first permanent settlement at Sulphur Springs, later called Snow Springs, the Centennial Committee set a twelve ton boulder into a cement base near the site of the springs on Saratoga Road. A Bronze plaque provided a brief history of the area. Two dats later the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers unveiled their monument at the site of the town’s first cemetery on State Street.

Sulphur Springs History

Sulphur Springs was explored by the Canute Peterson party who came to Lehi. The party was sent by Brigham Young to explore the north end of Utah County. The party included Canute Peterson, David Savage, Charles Hopkins, Henry Royle, William S. Empey, William Wadsworth and Surveyor Lemmon. They set out on an exploration expedition to Utah Valley in July of 1850.

The party initially went to the American Fork area, but became involved in a dispute with Washburn Chipman, Arza Adams, and others over land and water rights. They soon left the area.

Peterson and his followers immediately left and stopped at another stream about three miles west. They named it Dry Creek due to the difficulty in finding adequate water for their horses. After camping on the approximate site of the present Wines Park, they spent the remainder of the day in exploring the surrounding country. They explored as far south as Utah Lake, and as far west and the Jordan River.

A spring was also discovered about three-fourths of a mile north of the lake, and one mile east of the river. It was christened Sulphur Spring on account of the peculiar taste of the water. This spring later became the center around which the first settlers located. The area later became known and Snow Springs. The springs were known as Sulphur Springs until William Snow took possession of the land in 1853.

After the parties exploration of the country, they became impressed by the land and its possibilities. They surveyed and located an extensive tract and determined to return and settle there permanently. Afterwards they returned to Salt Lake.

On September 5th, 1850, David Savage met a band of immigrants who had crossed the plains in Captain Aaron Johnson’s company. Among them were Joel W. White, the brother-in-law of David Savage. Savage urged them to proceed to Sulphur Springs and make it their home because it was the best place to obtain water for domestic use. He sent them on their way but promised he would follow the next day and overtake the party.

In the company traveling to Sulphur Springs were the families of Joel William White, John Griggs White, Claiborne Thomas and Elizabeth Moorehead. Ms. Moorehead was a sister to Claiborne Thomas. The next day David Savage and two hired men were soon followed by Samuel D. White, brother of Joel W. White and son of John Griggs White.

Daniel Cox arrived at Sulphur Springs in September and camped there. Their party was joined in November 1850 by Charles Hopkins, Israel Evans, and their families. William Fotheringham and his aged parents came next. They were followed by Thomas Karren and family. They had crossed by Alpine over the mountains and proceeded to Sulphur Springs. Last of all was Jehiel McConnell and that completed that first colony.

The first challenge was to erect swellings to protect them during the winter. Immediately the settlers began felling the native Cottonwood trees which were found some miles up the creek. Until they could complete their dwellings, the setters used their wagon boxes as temporary homes.

Most homes built had one to two rooms depending on the size of the family. The walls of the homes were approximately seven feet tall. The roof was a leaky inadequate mixture of willows and dirt gabled at the end.

There were only fifteen cabins completed. The cabins faced south. The north fort wall protected them from the north winds. The Spring was in the center. The full extent of their plan was not completed because of the low numbers of settlers. There were eight cabins on the north, four on the east, and three on the west.

They formed a group area to house the animals and a quantity of grass was cut for hay. The first group to arrive was able to put up the hay for the group. The first winter, while cold, was such that the stock could run at large until spring.

The first deaths in Lehi were at Sulphur Springs. In the month of February John Griggs White passed away. David Savage made a respectable coffin from a wagon box. They took his body and buried him at a nice spot north of the Dry Creek area. This was the beginning of the Pioneer cemetery above State Street.

Most of the Sulphur Springs settlers did not have shoes and their clothing was patched and mended. But most went through the winter in good health.

Religious services were performed regularly under the direction of David Savage and Charles Hopkins. In these services they expressed their gratitude to their God for helping them through these hard times of coming to Utah.

NMost of the people traveled the next spring and summer and joined groups that came: Evansville under the direction of David Evans; Lotville led by widowed Mrs Permilia Lott; and the Dry Creek with Canute Peters.

In 1851, soon after the Sulphur Springs Settlers joined with the other existing groups, the first ward in the area was created. The Dry Creek ward Bishop was David Evans with David Savage and Charles Hopkins as counselors.

These markers and monuments are located in Snow Springs Park in Lehi, Utah.