Mormon Colonization

Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

During the 1860’s. Church Historian’s Office has this picture entitled: Wagon train assembled (or camped) in the area of Coalville, UT.

A number of communities sprang up along the road: some were supply stations for the bands of travelers, and others were permanent settlements of farmers anxious to try agriculture in the Great Basin.

The location of one such settlement, Coalville, was chosen by chance. In the fall of 1858 on a freight run between Salt Lake City and Fort Bridger, William Henderson Smith stopped to camp near Chalk Creek. He noticed that wheat that had fallen to the earth from earlier travelers’ wagons had taken root and ripened without any attention. He took samples of the wheat with him into Salt Lake City and by the next spring had convinced two other men, Andrew Williams and Leonard Phillips, to join with him in the area’s settlement. By April 1859 they were joined by Henry B. Wilde, Joseph Stalling, and Thomas B. Franklin and their families.