On June14, 1870, Levi Stewart, who had been called from Salt Lake County by President Brigham Young to head a group of pioneers in settling this area, brought a party with seven wagons from Pipe Spring, where they had camped temporarily, to Fort Kanab which had been built a year before by Jacob Hamblin and Indian missionaries.
Kanab Ward was organized September 11, 1878, with Elder Stewart as Bishop. Other settlers arrived, homes were built and plans made for a permanent community. A fire in the Fort on December 14, took the lives of Mrs. Margery Wilkerson Stewart and five sons.
Born April 2, 1819 – Died august 21, 1886. The great Mormon Frontiersman and Indian missionary settled in Tooele Valley, Utah in 1850 and began peaceful negotiations with the red men. He was so successful that the officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent him to establish residence among the Indians at Santa Clara, Utah in 1854.
A fort was erected on this site in 1865 into which he moved in 1869. He assisted Maj. J. W. Powell and party 1869-72. He was transferred in 1878 to Arizona, and later to New Mexico. He is buried at Alpine, Arizona. His friendship with the Indians saved many lives.
This is historic marker #21 in this series by the U.P.T.L.A. (which was later adopted into this series by the S.U.P.) Located in Levi Stewart Memorial Park at 89 North 300 West (Highway 89) in Kanab, Utah.
In the winter of 1869, he accompanied Brigham Young to southern Utah to seek out locations for new Mormon settlement. In 1870, Young directed him to form a settlement at the abandoned outpost of Kanab. Stewart arrived in June. He led a number of families to the area. Levi Stewart became the first Mormon Bishop of Kanab, Utah in September 1870. Over the next several years he directed the construction of dams and roads in the area, and he helped build a good relationship with the local Indians.
The Kanab Library was built between 1939 and 1940 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The library is one of 226 buildings constructed in Utah under the WPA and is important in documenting the impact of New Deal programs in the state. Utah was one of the most severely affected states during the Depression, having a 25 percent average unemployment rate during the era. For this reason, the state was ninth among the 48 states for per-capita federal spending.
Although the Kanab Library was founded in 1915, it was not at first housed in a permanent structure but was rather moved around to various temporary accommodations. In 1938, an $8,000 bond election was approved to build a permanent library, and plans drawn by the architect Carson F. Wells were acquired from the city of Salina, which had just constructed a library, The Kanab Library is basically identical to the Salina building and combines features of both the Prairie School and Art Deco styles. Wells’s design combines a symettrical facade with abstract geometrical embellishments which tones down the rigidly formal appearance of the building.