It is often said that the name of the town derives from its location at the center of Utah, because the name is navel spelled backwards. Several other origins have been suggested for the name, from French, Latin, or Ute.
Church leader Erastus Snow helped select a new site for Chicken Creek Settlement, relocated due to unfavorable living conditions. Brigham Young named it Levan. Snow appointed W. Morgan and James Wilson as supervisors. Early in 1868, Wm. Dye built a dugout home. Other first families to move were Jabes Broadhead and Jacob Hofheins. James Wilson, first schoolteacher, taught in one room of the Seth Ollorton home. Wm. Tunbridge, town physician.
In July 1853, a trade of fish for flour between an Indian and Mrs. James Ivie, ended in a skirmish; one Indian died, Chief Walker refused peace offer of ponies, beef, flour and blankets unless Mr. Ivie stood trial by Indians; raids began. Colonel George A. Smith supervised defense. War cost lives of many Indians, 19 settlers and the massacre of Captain Gunnison’s military exploring party. May 1854, Pres. Brigham Young and Chief Walker signed peace treaty at Chicken Creek, 3 miles S.W. Levan.