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History of Sanpete County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The area's prehistoric inhabitants include the Fremont-Sevier agriculturalists who disappeared around A.D. 1300. Mounds have yielded small stone- and mud-walled structures, as well as pottery, points, and metates, but Sanpete has not been systematically studied as have areas to the south and east. Ute chief Wakara enslaved local San Pitch Indians, who gathered and hunted in the local marshes and canyons. The Utes had adopted the horse and other trappings of Plains Indian Culture and ranged widely from an apparent winter base in Sanpete County. Wakara at first invited Mormon settlement, perhaps for the resources it would bring, and then opposed it in a war of 1853-54, which caused a period of "forting up" and the abandonment of area towns. The Black Hawk War of 1865-68, a more serious and prolonged series of guerrilla raids, also disrupted county settlement.

The first Mormon settlers arrived in the area in the fall of 1849. They chose the Manti site because of a nearby warm spring, the extensive limestone quarries (later exploited commercially), and the fine farming and grazing lands nearby. The county's larger towns were established in the first decade of settlement. Scandinavian immigrants soon made up a sizable minority, and elements of their culture and humor remain today. The towns peaked in population from about 1900 to 1910, and then declined until the 1970s. The county was created in 1850, enlarged, and then later reduced in size.


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