First Mormons of record in the valley were 40 emigrants, miners from England, employed in 1858 by F.W. Lander to work on the Lander Cut-Off of the Pacific Wagon Road. By 1870 Church cattle were summer pastured in the valley. In 1879 the Church directed the colonization of the valley. In August 1880 apostles Moses Thatcher and Charles C. Rich renamed Salt River Valley to Star Valley and dedicated it for settlement by organizing a branch of the Bear Lake Stake with Charles Drake Cazier as president with 21 members in 5 households in the valley. 1880 census shows 45 persons in the valley. 1900 census shows 2,219. In 1892 the Star Valley Stake was formed with 7 Wards. The rock meeting house in Auburn was built in the winter of 1889 and the tabernacle in Afton in 1905. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Sesquicentennial year 1997 there exists the Afton and Thayne Stakes. There are 15 wards including Smoot, Osmond, Fairview, Salt River, Afton 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, Grover, Auburn, Bedford, Thayne 1st and 2nd, Freedom and Etna/Alpine, with a combined membership of 6,214. Welcome to Star Valley.