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Near this location on the south side of Summit Creek, the first pioneers from Salt Lake, led by John P. Wright, began the settlement Smithfield. The land was surveyed and lots assigned. By May 10, 1859, they commenced to plow, plant crops and gardens, but did not build homes. In June, a horseman brought word that the families should return to Peter Maughn’s Fort, located at Wellsville, because of the threatening activities by the Indians.

On October 10, 1859, brothers Robert and John Thornley, Jr. and cousin Seth Langton arrived and built the first log cabin on the shore of Summit Creek. The cut and stacked wild grass to feed their animals throughout the winter. They returned to Salt Lake and brought their families with ten wagons, arriving December 1, 1859, and camped near their cabin. They were greeted by seven of the original families who had planted gardens earlier in the spring. The winter was spent living in wagon boxes, tents, or dugouts, and cooking over campfires.

The first birth was Harriet Ann Hunt, daughter of Marshall and Sarah Ann Runnion (Runyon) Hunt. She was born in a wagon box during a snowstorm on November 20, 1859.

An Indian attack in 1860 prompted the settlers to build a fort 1/2 mile east of this location, which aligned with the main street in Logan. Sixty-eighth cabins were associated with the fort. In 1864 it was thought safe for individual dwellings, and the fort was abandoned; farming commenced , cattle were raised, and businesses flourished.

By 1868 the settlement had a leather tannery; flour, shingle, and molasses mills; a limekiln; and a mercantile store, Smithfield Cooperative Association. The store was operated in John and Margaret Stringfellow Thornley’s home, where farmers, customers, and travelers were made welcome.

John G. Smith was called by Apostles Orson Hyde and Ezra T. Benson in November of 1869 to serve as the first bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Summit Creek. The town was renamed Smithfield in his honor. For several years, the town was referred to as both Summit Creek and Smithfield.

This is D.U.P. Marker #550 (see others on this page) and it is located on the Smithfield walking path in Heritage Park at about 335 West Center Street in Smithfield, Utah.