History of Paria, Utah
Taken from the Utah Place Names. (Links Added)


Paria also known as Pahreah, is located about forty-two miles northeast of Kanab. The name comes from the Paria River which runs nearby. The first white man to settle in the area was Peter Shirts who arrived in 1865. Five years later William Meeks and a group of Mormon missionaries arrived to bring the gospel to the indians. Indian raids upon the white settlers soon forced them to move upstream in 1870. Under the direction of Meeks, presiding elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church and school buildings, even a post office were established. Progress was made in stock raising and farming but relentless flooding of the Paria River and droughts eventually took its toll. The post office closed in 1914, and the settlers moved to other areas. Today Paria is a ghost town. Because of the beauty of the surrounding area, Paria experienced a sort of revival when it became a favored site for western movie making. The original movie buildings also had problems with being flooded out and have since been recontructed by volunteers in a safer spot.

See: John W. Van Cott, Utah Place Names; Plaques near site.

G. Wiliam Wiersdorf

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