Yuba Lake (technically Yuba Reservoir) is in Yuba State Park and is popular for boating, fishing and all types of watersports.
Yuba State Park got its name from the individuals who built the dam. Local farmers and ranchers had to build the dam themselves or risk losing their water rights. The men working on the structure called it the U.B. Dam. As they worked they sang a song that stated they were damned if they worked and damned if they didn’t. The phonetic sound of the reservoir’s name was eventually spelled Yuba.
After taking lumber out of Pleasant Creek Canyon in late 1851, a band of Mormon colonists from Manti led by Madison D. Hambleton returned in the spring of 1852 to establish the Hambleton Settlement near the present site of Mt. Pleasant. During the Walkara (Walker) Indian War, the small group of settlers relocated to Spring Town (Spring City) and later to Manti for protection. The old settlement was burned down by local Native Americans, so when a large colonizing party from Ephraim and Manti returned to the area in 1859, a new, permanent townsite was laid out in its present location—one hundred miles south of Salt Lake City and twenty-two miles northeast of Manti.
Among the founding settlers were Mormon converts from Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and the eastern United States. By 1880, at which time Mt. Pleasant was the county’s largest city, with a population of 2,000, more than 72 percent of its married adults were foreign born. This ethnic diversity had an important impact on village life during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For decades, five languages were commonly spoken in town, creating confusing and sometimes amusing communication problems.
Spring City was first known as “Allred Settlement”. The original settlers in 1852 were under the leadership of James Allred and most of them were his family members. When an LDS ward was organized there in 1853, Ruben W. Allred was appointed the first bishop. The settlement was abandoned in the summer of 1853 because of ongoing conflict with the indigenous people of the area, the Ute people, including San Pitch Utes (Sanpete county derives its name from the San Pitch Utes). The village was reestablished as “Springtown” in 1859 by William Black, George Black and Joseph S. Black. Christen G. Larsen was made bishop of a new LDS ward in 1860. Beginning in 1853, the Allred family and other church leaders had begun to encourage Danish immigrants to settle in Sanpete County, and, particularly after the community was reestablished in 1859, to join the Allred Settlement. By the mid-1860s locals referred to the north side of town as “Little Copenhagen” or “Little Denmark”. Spring City was also a site of fighting during the Black Hawk War.(*)
The Manti Utah Temple (formerly the Manti Temple) is the fifth constructed temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Located in the city of Manti, Utah, it was the third LDS temple built west of the Mississippi River, after the Mormons’ trek westward. (The St. George and Logan Utah temples preceded it.)
Hideaway Valley is a community of four hundred and fifty lots ranging in size from two to 35 acres. There is twenty-seven miles of road and access is year round for most properties.These lots are nestled in the mountains and surrounded by breathtaking views. There are approximately fifty full-time residents and many weekend and summer vacation owners. Located in rural tranquility with majestic mountains under the clearest blue skys in Utah, you will discover that Hideaway Valley is one of the most beautiful communities on earth. Hideaway Valley is located in the middle of terrific fishing and hunting and many of our weekend warriors enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and all terrain vehicle fun. Check out the links page for a list of resources regarding Sanpete County and local attractions.
This two-story brick home was constructed in 1877 by Hans Peter Olsen. A Mormon convert who left his native Denmark in 1853 at the age of twenty, Mr Olsen was a farmer and director of the Fountain Green Co-Op Store.
Manti was one of the first communities settled in what was to become Utah. Chief Wakara (or Walker), a Ute Tribe leader, invited Brigham Young to send pioneers to the area to teach his people the techniques of successful farming. In 1849, Brigham Young dispatched a company of about 225 settlers, consisting of several families, to the Sanpitch (now Sanpete) Valley. Under the direction of Isaac Morley and George Washington Bradley, the settlers arrived at the present location of Manti in November. They endured a severe winter by living in temporary shelters dug into the south side of the hill on which the Manti Temple now stands. Brigham Young named the new community Manti, after a city mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Manti was incorporated in 1851. The first mayor of Manti was Dan Jones. Manti served as a hub city for the settlement of other communities in the valley.
Relations with the local Native Americans deteriorated rapidly and the Walker War soon ensued. The war consisted primarily of various raids conducted by the Native Americans against Mormon outposts in Central and Southern Utah. The Walker War ended in the mid-1850s in an understanding negotiated between Brigham Young and Wakara. Shortly thereafter, Welcome Chapman and Wakara oversaw the baptism of scores of Wakara’s tribe members. Although immediate hostilities ended, none of the underlying conflicts were resolved.
In 1865 Utah’s Black Hawk War erupted when an incident between a Manti resident and a young chieftain exploded into open warfare between the Mormon settlers and the local Native Americans. Forts were built in Manti and other nearby communities. Smaller settlements in the area were temporarily abandoned for the duration of the war. In the fall of 1867, Chief Black Hawk made peace with the settlers, but sporadic violence occurred until 1872 when federal troops finally intervened. Many Mormon settlers who fought and died in the wars are buried in the Manti Cemetery. Most of the Utes were eventually relocated to the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Eastern Utah.
Indianola is east of US-89 on Thistle Creek. Twelve miles southeast of Faiwiew. An early Indian village existed there. In pioneer times the site was selected for farms assigned to Indians protected by the Mormon Church. The Indians mere permitted to file on land and own it if it was taken care of. This plan was discontinued when the Indian reservation in the Uintah Basin was established by tbe federal government.
L.D.S. Ward organized: 1877-1881 L.D.S. Ward reorganized: 1897-1926 Population at its maximum; About 20 families, over 200 people Electricity came to Freedom: 1935
The fruit orchards in Freedom were known as the best in Sanpete County. They grew apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, pears and plums. At the top of the street at the foot of the mountain there was a large piece of ground planted in strawberries and raspberries.
William L. Draper, known as “Doc Draper”, moved his family to Freedom in 1870 because it was a very lush, fertile valley where grain would grow very tall. William’s brothers Henry, Grant, Parley and Albert followed him to homestead in Freedom. They originally called this place Draper. The postal authorities made them change the name because there was already a town called Draper, Utah, south of Salt Lake. They then renamed it Freedom because freedom was what they wanted and they felt free now to do anything they wanted. Freedom became a County Precinct in 1875. The Drapers filed on their homesteads in 1878. The town was never incorporated. William Draper died in Freedom.
Freedom grew as many people found it a desirable place to live. At one time there were as many as twenty families making a population of over 200 people residing in Freedom. There were approximately 30 houses in Freedom during the depression. Many of the families were polygamist families. There are those who say Freedom, in the springtime, looked like the Garden of Eden.
The railroad was run from Nephi through Freedom to the coal mines in Wales. Martin Van Buren Taylor had a contract to build some of the grade for the railroad. He took his boys and some other people and built the grade from Fountain Green to Wales. There was a little shack about a mile south of Freedom which was a depot where they could flag down the train so people could get on.
The town of Freedom had a school house, church, town hall, and a small store that was connected to Dorcey Draper’s home. At first they had to go to town for their mail but eventually they had their own Post Office.
Freedom had its own school house. In the front of a book that belonged to Glen Taylor’s sister, in the possession of Margaret Taylor at this time, it states that school started October 6, 1902. Her husband Glen Taylor told her his memory of the school as it was when he attended in 1906. The school was built of lumber and was approximately 30 feet by 50 feet in size. It was built between the old home of Joseph Draper (Dorcey’s Dad) and Frank Eliason’s fence line.
The one room school house had two large windows on the west side and had two windows on the opposite side. There were also two smaller windows on the entrance side of the school. The heating stove was located in the center of the room. The school benches and the desks were lined up on each side of the stove. There were two students to a desk and they were seated according to the grade they were in from beginner to sixth grade. Later on single desks were purchased. There was a blackboard at the front of the room and the teacher’s desk. The children wrote on slates. There were between eight and sixteen children at various times in attendance depending on the number of eligible aged children. The children started school at the age of six and there were six grades taught in the Freedom School House.
The children of Freedom walked to school as well as the children from Jerusalem, which is a mile or more to the north of Freedom. They took their lunches with them. School started at 8:00 a.m. and let out at 4:00 p.m. They had a morning and afternoon recess at which time they played marbles, baseball, tag and other sports.
Some of the teachers were Mary D. Taylor, Hannah Hardy, Myrtle Thorpe, Sarah Sumsion, Delphia Rees and Marie Anderson. Most of them lived with families in Freedom during the school year.
After the sixth grade the children rode in a covered wagon to Moroni to school, but the children from Jerusalem still had to walk to Freedom to ride in the wagon to school. They had blankets and heated rocks to keep them warm on the trip during the winter. The trip took two hours with the horses at a fast trot. It was dark when they left Freedom and dark when they returned. The children did their studies at night by lamplight. Lather on they got a school bus. The one room school house in Freedom was closed down in about 1918. The children were then bused to Moroni and it was only a ten to fifteen minute ride.
Freedom’s L.D.S. Church
When the Sanpete Stake of Zion was organized July 4, 1877, the saints of Draper were organized into a ward called Freedom, with Henry Draper as Bishop. He acted as Bishop until 1880, soon after this the ward organization was discontinued, and the members were transferred to Moroni.
When the polygamist family of Martin Van Buren Taylor moved to Freedom a new ward was organized on May 5, 1897, with Martin Van Buren Taylor as Bishop. The church house was on the north east corner where the road turns to go to Maple Canyon. It had a nice organ in it, which the people of Freedom purchased. The organ, pulpit and clock from the church are in the DUP room in Moroni. In 1926 the Freedom Ward was dissolved because so many families had moved away. The few remaining families were put in the Moroni West Ward.
After Doc Draper lost a four month old son and a five year old girl in 48 hours he buried them side by side on his farm. This was the beginning of the Freedom Cemetery in 1885. Doc Draper’s father then came to live with them in Freedom, and he died one year later on May 28, 1886. He was the next person to be buried in the cemetery. The Doc, himself, died May 2, 1887 and was buried there too. There are many children buried in the cemetery because there was an epidemic of Diphtheria which took the lives of many of them.
There is one Indian buried in the cemetery and his name is “Indian Jim” or Jin Wanup. The Mt. Pleasant DUP put a beautiful marble headstone on his grave in 1975 but his name is misspelled on it. It is spelled James Onump on his headstone. He was a full blooded Ute Indian. Indian Jim was a good friend to the people of Freedom and he would spy for them and let them know when the Indians were going to attack. The people of Freedom built him a dugout to live in on the west side of Freedom.
The cemetery is still visited by many people each Memorial Day and other times during the year. It is still a very peaceful and quaint little cemetery where those that come can remember what Freedom used to be like.