Kanab, 1921 Kanab,
Utah, is a city celebrated for its breathtaking scenery, temperate climate,
and sturdy settlers. A sort of oasis in the surrounding desert environment,
Kanab's wide, tree-lined streets and substantial architecture create
a favorable atmosphere. The word "Kanab" comes from a Native American word for a willow basket used to carry an infant on its mother's back.
The first attempt by Anglo-Americans to establish a permanent settlement
was made on 7 June 1858. The story of Kanab's first two decades is one
of a series of unsuccessful efforts at colonization, each discouraged
by attacks from hostile Native American tribes who were clearly opposed
to white settlement of the area. Originally, the area was considered
suitable for cattle raising. But equally important was the extension
of Mormon dominion into northern Arizona.
Jacob Hamblin played a key role in negotiations with the Native Americans that eventually
opened up the area to white occupation. LDS Church President Brigham
Young appointed Hamblin president of the Santa Clara Indian Mission
on 4 August 1857. Hamblin organized a series of expeditions to the Paiute,
the Moquis, and the Navajo to negotiate terms of peacefully sharing
the land. Nevertheless, through the 1860s raids and confrontations occurred
regularly between the two groups. Initial attempts at settlement of
Kanab included a fort built in 1864-65 (soon vacated), another in 1868,
and a third attempt in 1870 by a colony of seventeen settlers who came
to the area from Cottonwood, south of Salt Lake City.