History of Vernal, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
When Dodds retired, he moved Ashley Valley to raise livestock, along with agency workers, Morris Evans and John Blankenship. They arrived on 14 February 1873 and settled on Ashley Creek. Dodds built the first cabin in the valley, located about four miles northwest of present day Vernal. Many single men--trappers, prospectors, home seekers, and drifters--arrived in Ashley Valley, and some stayed. However, there wasn't a woman in the area until 1876.

The area where Vernal is now located was called the Bench, and it was described as a large barren cactus flat. The David Johnston family moved onto the Bench on 6 June 1878. It was reported that when they stopped their wagon, David took his shovel from the wagon and cleared off the cactus so the children could stand without getting cactus needles in their feet. He put the wagon on logs to keep it off the ground as there were many lizards, horned toads, scorpions, mice, and snakes in the area. Alva Hatch came to the valley looking for a place to locate in May *1978. He returned later with his family and his father, Jeremiah Hatch, along with Jeremiah's two wives. The fall of 1879 brought many settlers to the valley.

Read: *1878
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