History of American Fork, Utah

Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
American Fork was also known for a time as McArthursville, taking the name in all probability from Duncan McArthur, who owned a farm between American Fork and Pleasant Grove, and after whom the McArthur irrigation ditch was named.

The first settlers of American Fork located at various points along the creek, and when the townsite was surveyed only a few people moved to the town lots. However, in 1853 General Daniel H. Wells of the Nauvoo Legion gave orders that forts should be built for the protection of the settlers if trouble broke out with the Indians. On 23 July of that year a meeting was held in the schoolhouse. Parley P. Pratt and Lorenzo Snow were present and counseled the people, who then unanimously agreed to take immediate steps for the building of a fort.

Most of the log cabins built on the nearby farms were moved within the confines of the proposed fort, which was eighty rods long and seventy-four rods wide, containing approximately thirty-seven acres. Some parts of the wall were built to a height of eight feet, but no part attained the planned height of twelve feet. As the local Indians became less aggressive and more peaceable, the necessity for the wall decreased and the work was never pushed to full completion.

The original purpose of settlement was to establish cattle and sheep ranches in the lush meadow lands. As additional newcomers arrived, crops were planted and an agrarian lifestyle was begun. During the three years that the majority of the settlers lived within the walls of the fort, they raised their crops and tended their herds on individual farm or range plots, returning to the safety of the fort each evening.

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