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History of Ephraim, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Since the 1850s, Sanpete County's history has revolved around the rivalry of its four leading towns--Mt. Pleasant, Gunnison, Manti, and Ephraim. Ephraim, long portrayed as the epitome of "the Utah farm village," refused to concede primacy of place to its nearest competitor, even though Manti captured both the county seat and one of Utah's first four Mormon temples. In the 1950s, Ephraim finally eclipsed all its rivals in size and two decades later passed the Census Bureau's magic 2,500 mark to become Sanpete's only urban place.

Outwardly, Ephraim still resembles its Sanpete rivals and the classic Mormon village, but inwardly it has always differed in significant ways. From its founding in 1854 until the end of the Black Hawk War in 1868, Ephraim functioned as Sanpete's most important fort. Platted across one of the San Pitch River's largest tributary "creeks," Fort Ephraim arose next to a sizable Indian settlement, "presenting the appearance of two cities, side by side, with entirely different manners and customs" according to one early observer.

Its function as a fort drew a very diverse population to Ephraim, with Danes forming a bare majority by 1860. Divisions naturally developed, prompting the church to appoint outsiders as bishops. The fourth, a Norwegian named Canute Peterson, arrived from Lehi in 1867 and, after signing a peace treaty with the Indians, helped bring stability and prosperity to a newly incorporated (1868) City of Ephraim. By 1872 the city had built two imposing structures a block apart on opposite sides of Main Street--a co-op store and a tabernacle.


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