The Thunderbird opened in 1940, making it one of Utah’s oldest restaurants that is still around. The sign outside this family-owned restaurant advertises “ho-made” pies because the first owner, Ed Myers, couldn’t find a board big enough to write out the whole word. Now his grandson operates the restaurant.
Here on March 30, 1874, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized a modern Order of Enoch, called the United Order, Israel Hoyt, first president. A community dining hall with bakery was constructed, also a garden house for seeds and tools. They built a carpenter, blacksmith and shoe shop, tannery, gristmill, sawmill, molasses mill, bucket factory, a woolen and cotton factory; engaged in the silk industry, dairying, broom and hat making. The people planted farms, orchards and gardens, raised sheep and cattle. The cooperative ended in 1886.
Located at 20 South Center Street in Orderville, Utah
The first written account of the exploration of Long Valley was given by John D. Lee in 1852. Coming from Parowan, the explorers were under the direction of Bishop John R. Smith. James Lewis kept the records. The others were John D. Lee, John Steel, John Dart, Solomon Chamberlain, Francis T. Whitney and Dr. Priddy Meeks.
The party entered the Sevier Valley, followed the Sevier River south, over the divide and down the east fork of the Virgin River through Long Valley. Stopped from going further by Zion Canyon on the west they retraced their tracks returning to Parowan.
In the summer of 1862, a group guided by Dr. Priddy Meeks, John and William Berry came to Long Valley looking for grazing and farm land. In the spring of 1864, this group with others again returned to the valley. Priddy Meeks became the first white settler in Lower Long Valley when he and his family built a dugout in the hill behind this marker. The town was first called Windsor then changed to Mt. Carmel by Joseph W. Young because the cedar covered hills resembled the country of Mt. Carmel in Palestine.
Sarah Deseret, daughter of Dr. Meeks and Mary Jane, was born in 1864 in Berryville. She was the first child born in Long Valley and present day Kane County. The settlers had to leave Long Valley during Indian difficulties, but returned to stay in March of 1871.
DR. PRIDDY MEEKS
Pioneer Doctor, Community Leader
Born: August 29, 1795, South Carolina – Died: October 7, 1886, Orderville, Utah
Converted to the LDS Church in 1840 in Brown County, Illinois where he served as Bishop. Joined the Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois from 1842 to 1847. Blessed by the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith that he would have children and sons to carry on his name. They requested that he name his sons after them. Donated his ox team and wagon to the vanguard Mormon pioneer company. Later outfitted, he arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October 1847. Assisted with settlement of the city. Served as first presidency of “Society of Health” which trained the saints in better medical practice.
The remainder of his life was spent in colonizing Southern Utah. He assisted in the first settlements in Parowan (1850), Leeds – Harrisburg (1862) and Berryville, now Glendale (1846). His family was the first in Mt. Carmel (1864) living in a dugout at this site. They joined the United Order and moved to Orderville in 1879. He was the father of nineteen children including sons named Joseph and Hyrum. Descendants of Dr. Meeks and former patients continue to use many of his herbal remedies.
Mary “Polly” Bartlett Meeks
Died: January 24, 1824, Spencer, Indiana
Married Priddy Meeks in 1815. He was 20, she age 22. He called her “my beloved Polly”. Together they carved out a farmstead out of Indiana Territory. She died at age 31 having sacrificed all to build a better life for her family on the American Frontier.
Children Lovin, Eliza, Athe, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth married Edward Dalton, Marcy 6, 1848 in Salt Lake City. They moved with Priddy Meeks to Parowan, Utah in 1851, where they helped settle that city.
Sarah Maurin Meeks
Born: December 12, 1801 Grayson County, Kentucky
Died: August 17, 1900, Orderville, Utah
The widow of Anthony Smith. Married Priddy Meeks December 24, 1826. Sarah’s daughter, Susan Smith, joined the Meeks family and later married Orson Adams. Sarah made a splendid step-mother to Priddy’s children.
The Meeks and Adams family were converted to the LDS religion and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842. They were part of the Mormon pioneer trek to the West, arriving in Salt Lake Valley October 1847.
Priddy said of Sarah, “I must pay a tribute of praise for my ‘better half’. She never left anything unturned that would contribute to our comfort, either in body or mind. She neither murmured or scolded. She bore everything in patience like a Saint of God. She truly proved a helpmeet (sic) to me.”
Children Sarah Jane, Sarah Angeline, Steven Mahuren, Hilda, Margaret Jane.
Margaret Jane married Samuel Hamilton.
Mary Jane McCleve Meeks
Born: August 21, 1840
Died: January 19, 1933, Orderville, Utah
Baptized a member of the LDS Church in the Irish Sea at age of 10. In 1856, her family sailed to America and joined the second Mormon Handcart Company. She painted “9” on their cart as the number trekking in her family. Her father, John McCleve, died two days before they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Married to Dr. Priddy Meeks, November 14, 1856, by President Brigham Young.
Priddy wrote of her “Mary Jane was nearly seventeen and I sixty-two. If there was ever a match consummated by the providence of God, this was one; she has borne me ten children and they were well formed and intelligent. If I had picked the territory, I could not have suited myself as well as in Mary Jane.”
She learned the art of healing from Priddy and delivered over 700 babies without loss of life. Mary Jane was widowed at age 46. She did not remarry.
Children Joseph, Nancy Jane, Hyrum Smith, John Priddy, Sara Deseret, Mary Ellen, Heber Jesse, Charles Mason, Elizabeth Dalton, Alfred Randall.
Mount Carmel Junction sits at the junction of U.S. Route 89 and State Route 9 in southwestern Utah. Mount Carmel is one mile north of the junction. Mount Carmel Junction is set in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.
Mount Carmel Junction and Mount Carmel are unincorporated communities located 12 miles east of Zion National Park and 17 miles north of Kanab in Kane County, Utah, United States. They lie in close proximity to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
The Virgin Anasazi were the prehistoric settlers in the area. Among other areas, nearby Parunuweap (East Fork of the Virgin River) contains evidence to their presence. This group occupied the area until about the 13th century. The people were agriculturalists who maintained a diet of mostly maize.
Doctor Priddy Meeks settled the town of Winsor in 1864, at the site of present day Mount Carmel Junction, as part of Brigham Young’s plan to settle all of Utah Territory. In 1865 more settlers were sent by the church. Nearby Orderville and Glendale (called Berryville at this time) were also being settled. Before long, Indians forced them to leave the area. It was not until 7 years later in 1871 that the settlers returned and this time settled down permanently. This time the town was settled in the name of Mount Carmel to honor the mountain in Palestine. In 1875 Elder Howard O. Spencer presided over Mount Carmel and Glendale. He reported that most homes were temporary, but permanent structures were underway. Doctor Meeks moved to Orderville in 1876 where he died at the age of 91. He left behind two wives and several children.
Only two families ever settled in Mount Carmel Junction, and one was Jack and Fern Morrison. Jack contemplated the idea that a road must be built connecting Zion Canyon to the east side of the park. Jack explored the area and came to the conclusion that the road must come down in the area now known as Mount Carmel Junction. There were old wagon trails that Jack used to navigate his way down to the valley. The hills were steep forcing Jack to attach a Cedar tree to the back of his Model-T-Ford. Jack was patient and in 1931 he was able to homestead the land now known as Mount Carmel Junction. The land was unkind. It was covered with gullies, quicksand and many layers of sand. The area was also prone to violent flash floods. Jack and Fern lost two children in the flash floods of the East Fork of the Virgin River that runs through the junction. The East Fork of the Virgin River is now known as Parunuweap. Jack died in 1961, from cancer after serving in the war and spending much of his life working in the coal mines. Fern, a strong willed and hard working woman continued to build. She lived to the age of 90, dying in 1998.