Kanab, Utah in the News

Historical news stories about Kanab, Utah collected by Vivian Karen Bush

Deseret News, Vol. Xix, No. 22, July 6, 1870, p. 1:

Dixie.--Brother W. G. McMullin of Harrisburg, Washington County, writing to us under date of June 18, says: "The season thus far has been very dry, in consequence of which, feed for stock is very scarce near the settlements.

The people of our Southern settlements have formed a co-operative stock herd, which is kept at Maxwell's old ranch at Kanab, and is doing well.  The people of Kanab have plowed and planted a hundred acres of land there.  Wheat in this county, is ripe and is being harvested, and more in quantity than at any one season previous.  Apricots are ripe, and grapes, apples, and peaches and plums, bespeak a bountiful fruit harvest.  Cotton corn and cane also look promising for an early and good crop.  The Health of the people in the different settlements is good.  the weather up to this date has been hardly as warm as usual at this season.  There are no grasshoppers here, and we do not want any, we had a plenty last year.  Peace, prosperity and contentment prevail in our Dixie Settlements."

From the Deseret News, Vol. XIX, No. 32, September 14, 1870:

We have received the following news from President Young and party through the Deseret news from President Young and party through the Deseret Telegraph Line, by the kindness of Supt. A.M. Musser: Fort Kanab, 11th, via Toker, 12, 4.15 pm. President Young and company arrived here Friday evening all well.  We have visited Panquitch, Upper Kanab, Scutempah and Paris.

The President located a site here yesterday for a city.  Gen. Fox surveyed a few blocks and located some cardinal lines on the new site.  A meeting was held to day and this place was organized into a branch; Levi Stewart was appointed Bishop.  Presidents E. Snow, D. H. Wells and B. Young gave some most excellent instructions for whites and Indians.

Deseret News, Vol. XIX, No. 35, October 5, 1870, p. 1:

From Kanab.-- Bishop Levi Stewart, of Kanab, called to-day.  He expresses himself well pleased with his new home, and thinks that with energy and perseverance, it will soon become a very desirable place to live in.  The climate is mild and healthy.  The heat is not excessive in summer and the winters are mild, there being but little snow at any season.  The crops have done well, yielding a fair average. The Bishop looks as if that country agreed with him, as he appears quite robust.  The machinery for a new steam saw mill arrived at Kanab on Tuesday last.

Deseret News, Vol. XX, No. 19, June 4, 1871, p. 9:

"At Kanab the hoppers have taken a part of the little wheat that was growing, but the crop was very light at best.  It was put into the ground with a "lick and a promise," and then not watered until too late to make much.  The cause of this poor farming we will presume to be the same that is always noticeable in the new settlements, that is, so much to be done that nothing is done as it ought to be.  The brethren were very busy planting corn and potatoes, and I trust they will raise food enough to do them." -- J. B. Roper

The Deseret News, Vol. XXI, NO. 18, June 5, 1872, p. 7 "Local and Other Matters":

Kanab - "J.L.B." [James Lovett Bunting] writes from Kanab, May 16th:

"The weather has been unusually cold this spring, and vegetation is rather backward, but our wheat is looking well and bids fair for a good harvest.  We have had several rain and snow storms this season, the last one fell yesterday and watered the earth to a depth of several inches.  All hands are busy plowing, and planting corn, cane, etc. with a prospect of good crops.  The health of the people is generally good.  There have been eleven births, ten boys and one girl, and one death since last Christmas."

Two days' meetings were held last Saturday and Sunday, at Long Valley, by the home missionaries, which were well attended and much good instruction given.  Similar meetings will be held in this place next Saturday and Sunday, when Presidents E. Snow and J. W. Young will be present."

The Deseret News, Vol. XXL, No. 19, June 12, 1872, p. 8 "Local and Other Matters"

From Kanab.  Bro. James A. Little called on us today, looking well and young.  He left his residence at Kanab May 22nd.  On his journey he saw a few grasshoppers on the Upper Kanab and in Juab Valley.  Everywhere the waters were higher and the country appeared more blooming than ever he saw them before, crops generally looking uncommonly thrifty.  He spoke in high terms of the beauty and magnificence of the scenery down that way, instancing particularly the head of Long Valley and the Upper Sevier-- tall stately pines, water, grass, hills, vales, defiles and mountains combining to present most striking scenery.  He is of the opinion that when the railroad reaches those regions many persons will visit them for the sake of seeing the country and admiring its natural beauty and grandeur.

The Deseret News, Vol. XXI, No. 28, August 14, 1872, p. 7, "Local and Other Matters":

Kanab, U.T., July 25th, 1872.

Editor Deseret News:

The 24th was duly celebrated in our city by firing of musketry at day dawn, meeting of Sunday School children at 8:30 a.m., procession at 10 a.m., which marched to the spacious bowery erected for the occasion, where addresses and speeches suitable to the memory of the day were delivered by Elders Thomas Robertson, James A. Little, M. F. Farnsworth and Levi Stewart, interspersed with songs, toasts, etc.

The evening was spent in "tripping the light fantastic toe," and all seemed to enjoy themselves hugely.

Committee -- James A. Little. James Lewis and C. H. Oliphant.
M. F. Farnsworth, Reporter

The Deseret News, Vol. XXI, No. 29, August 21, 1872, p. 12, "Correspondence"

Kanab, Kane Co., Aug. 5th, 1872.

Editor Deseret News:

Wheat harvest is now over with us.  The winter wheat is tolerably good, that which was sown in season; spring wheat is greatly discounted by smut.  We have been favored with frequent light showers, augmenting our shallow, ever-vaporizing stream, so that there has been no particular loss for want of water thus far.  Bone and sinew, mixed with a little enterprise and capital, are much wanted to develop the capabilities of the country.  Pumps by wind power would do much to bring to light the "hidden treasure" to water the land, as well as stock.

Maj. Powell, after a three months' stay at Washington, has returned with a commission to gather and place on reservations some eight or nine small tribes or bands of Indians inhabiting this region of country.  This afternoon he had a "talk" with "Frank," chief of the Kibabs and some seven of his "cabinet" at this place.  brother Jacob Hamblin interpreter.  "Frank" expressed a degree of willingness to go into reservation, but wanted time to deliberate and consult with surrounding tribes, &c., so it was concluded that three months be given for consideration.

We had two shocks of earthquakes at this place on the night of the 27th ult., at half past ten o'clock, shaking beds sufficiently to awaken some occupants.  There was also one in June.

Father Ellsworth, of this place, told me that he saw, on the night of the 30th ult., about 2 o'clock a.m., two swords of bright red color, in an upright position-- one in the west, and other near the north a little west of north; also a sickle on the night of the 31st ult., in the northwest, of the same color.  JOHN OAKLEY.

The Deseret News, Vol. XXI, No. 30, August 28, 1872. p. 12, "Local and Other Matters"

Kanab-- A letter from Bishop Levi Stewart, Kanab, Aug. 9th, says:

"Our wheat crops came out light.  The worms are making great havoc among the corn. A general time of health prevails.  We have had three light shocks of earth quake. We need more men here to assist in the work before us."

The Deseret News, No. 42, November 20, 1872, Vol. XXI, p. 7, "Local and Other Matters"

Kanab. -- Bro. James L. Bunting writes from Kanab, Oct 29, as follows: "The weather has been remarkably fine this fall, but rather dry; frost on the night on the 26th, just one month later than last year.  The health of the people is good, and all hands, as usual, are very busy taking care of late crops and putting in fall wheat.

"A new School House, 24x34, to be built of rock, has just been commenced, which is expected to be completed by New Year's.

"We have had several visits from the Navajoes this fall, in small bands.  Their conduct has been peaceable and good, and I think it but just to state that he article copied from the Pioche Record in the NEWS is not true, in that it charges the Navajoes with stealing the band of horses from Parawan.  It was at first supposed they were Navajoes, but they afterwards proved to be Elk Mountain Utes, or Indians from that vicinity.

"Lieutenant Wheeler's expedition is busily engaged exploring and mapping this country."

Deseret News, Vol. XXI, No. 45, December 11, 1872, p. 9 "Local and Other Matters"

From Friday's Daily, Dec. 6, 1872.

Kanab County. -- Mr. C. H. Oliphant reports things moving favorably at Kanab and in that region.  He thinks highly of the mild and equable climate of that locality, and of the resources and prospects.  The settlers raised good crops there the past season, the Indians are peaceable, more so than many white folks.  He speaks of a fine country around there, good soil water and grass, and many inducements to settlers.

The Deseret News, Vol. XXII, No. 3, Feb 19, 1873, p. 1, "Utah and Colorado"

Kanab, Jan. 31, 1873.

Editor Deseret News:

The people of Kanab feel first rate, as their crops for the past year were good. General good health prevails. As yet we have had no snow, but instead fine pleasant weather, mild as spring, and it almost makes us forget our northern brethren, who have to wade through slush and mud. In fact Kanab has the most delightful and genial climate of any place I ever visited.

The people have commenced plowing and will soon be putting in grain. we have had considerable rain and the prospect is good for a plentiful harvest.

We have just finished surveying and laying out a large field south of Kanab, containing 500 acres, to be fenced in by the 20th of February, early enough to put in crops this year. We have also surveyed the entire bottom containing over 2000 acres of good No. 1 land for cultivation and pasture. So that we have enough land to divide with all who wish to come and dwell with us.

We have also a good school, which is partially graded, numbering over 50 young men and women. The school is in a flourishing condition and the pupils all take a lively interest, and your humble servant has the honor of being their instructor.

The trustees are now moving to get up another school-house for the smaller children, there being enough here for two schools.

Last night the people of Kanab met and organized a co-operative store, and today bought out a small store started here awhile back.

Prospects in all for Kanab look more favorable than last year, although we are still weak handed.

W.D. Johnson, Jr.

The Deseret News, Oct. 1, [1873] p. 11


Kanab, Kane Co., Sept. 6th, 1873.

Editor Deseret News:

Kanab has got through her heated term--the weather was hot and dry till near the end of August, many days ranging near 100 in the shade.  Had a beautiful shower, one inch of gentle rain, on Sunday last.  Climate now very beautiful.  The same day we had preaching from a goodly company of missionaries from St. George, consisting of Elders A. F. McDonald, P.C. Liston, J. M. Moody, Jos. Orton, Erastus Snow, jr., and Hayden W. Church.  They gave us much valuable instruction, urging progress and the benefit and necessity of union; that without it we were like a yoke of cattle, "pulling off" against each other's shoes and hoofs; that it were better to be united on a third rate plan than be disunited.

Fencing of our Co-op. farm has been finished.  Wheat, oats, corn and potatoes have been grown with promising results.  Credit is due J. L. Bunting for his persistent effort in proving the capacity of the soil.

As in all this mesa country, good land is much more abundant than water.  But much can be done to obviate the lack of water, by draining marsh land; piping the water through the sand to prevent waste, loosening the soil, breaking contact around the growing vegetation to prevent the heat from drying out the soil and over-heating the roots, for we know that an adobie will dry out ten times faster than loose soil, it being a conductor of heat, proportionate to its density; besides by loosening, the moisture of the air can penetrate the soil.  Our gardens should be laid out so that horse-power can be used. Much can be done by being prepared to direct the small floods of July and August.  Much can be done by mulching.  Very much can be done by utilizing the wind to draw water from wells. As the water in Kanab field is only a few feet from the surface, ten thousand wind mills could be run and still there would be a great surplus of this cheap power, which abounds here and which we will have to guard against by a system of wind breaks, of evergreen trees, for side walks and hedge plants, to make fruit growing a success and palliate our land drifting and cutting, a great torment to vegetable as well as animal life.

Facilities for herds can be increased by digging wells where there is good range.

I have fruited the Black Hamburg, Lady downs, White Chasselas and Syrian this season.  They bid more promisingly than at St. George.  All, except the Syrian are ripe now. According to last season, we have yet two months of ripening suns; no killing frosts till November.  Father Ellsworth of this place, has fruited near to ripeness the Isabell and Romain (white raisin). they promise well.  Plums and some varieties of apples and pears and cherries give evidence of good promise.  Gypsum which abounds here, seems hurtful to some varieties.  The peacock pear, a variety introduced in Dixie by Bro. J. E. Johnson, a local pear from N.Y. State, grows with great vigor and healthiness.

I am nursing trees, vines, roses, &c., to plant in the arid wilds of Arizona, to do what I can to "make the desert blossom like the rose."

Kanab as yet is undeveloped, its facilities are scarcely known.  Rattle-snakes, scorpions and tarantulas infest out city plot; some have been killed on my lot this season.

My brethren, the Lamanites here, are slow to drink in the "newfangled" (to them) idea.  However, they will receive presents from Agent Ingalls and Commissioner Powell.


The Deseret News, NO. 23, January 28, 1874, p. 7:

Snow at Kanab. -- "J.L.B." [James Lovett Bunting] writes from Kanab, Jan. 7, as follows:

"The water has been unusually cold this season.  About the 10th of December last the rain began to fall, but it soon turned to snowing, which continued for several days, until it had fallen to a depth of about thirty inches.  This however, was soon reduced to eight or ten inches, and we indulged in sleighing for about two weeks for the first time in Kanab. The snow has not been near so deep since the winter in which Whitmore was killed by the Indians.  Since New Year's the atmosphere has been very clear and the days warm.  The snow is fast disappearing, and the ground southward will soon be bare again.  We will anticipate the coming season will be excellent for grain and grass.  Or stock are doing well, and the health of the people is good."

Deseret News, Vol. XXVI, No. 31, Sept. 5, 1877, p. 4, "Local and Other Matters":

News from Kanab. -- Our Kanab correspondent writes under date of August 22nd--

From the warm weather we have here one could easily imagine himself near the equator.  The thermometer often ranges from 100 deg. to 106 deg. in the shade.  We are experiencing a drouth this year, and the Indians say they cannot remember when the springs ever became so dry as some of the them have this summer.  Our grazing in places seems almost burned up. Stock look badly for this time of year.  Crops, as a general thing, will be below the average; potatoes are nearly ruined by the Colorado potato beetle, and late corn, which the people plant depending on rain, will be almost a complete failure.  We have had only one good rain this season, still the water for our town has held out remarkably well.  For the first time we are enjoying the blessing of a full crop of grapes, and a small proportion of other fruit.

On account of the dryness of the atmosphere much sickness prevails, although not of a very serious character.

Under the direction of Bro. J. G. Brown, the United Order has raised a good crop of wheat, and this, for Kanab, is quite an achievement, as heretofore we have hauled our breadstuffs from the north, or from "Egypt," as long Valley is familiarly called.  Had it not been for our brethren at Orderville, Kanab would have been out of bread many times.  The sight of many large stacks of wheat, of an excellent quality I think will create a stimulus that the people hereafter will raise their own bread, and then our town will begin to grow and prosper.

Times among us are lively, as we have plenty to do, but we have little or no money.  The mines near us give us a little, enough for our pressing wants, and I think we are well off without it.  Since the more complete organization of this Stake of Zion is much better spirit and feeling exist among the people.

Deseret News, Vol. XXVI, No. 44, Dec. 5, 1877, p. 1:

Veteran Departed -- Sickness -- Dull -- Discovery. -- Our Kanab correspondent forwards the following under date of November 16th.:

On the 13th inst., at 8 p.m., an old and respected citizen, Philip B. Lewis, breathed his last.  He was seventy-four years old, died from the effects of an attack of bilious fever, was active and energetic as a young man, and made the remark two weeks before his death that he was good for twenty years yet.  He leaves a wife and child.  He was one of the noblest works of God-- and honest man.  For the last six months he had been preparing to go to the Temple to work for his kindred, but did not have the time granted to accomplish it.  He died firm in the faith, loved and respected by all who knew him. He was a patriarch in the Church, and a man of faith and good works.  He joined the Church forty years ago, was well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph, and had labored with him.  In the early days of the Church he was chosen as one of the Council of Fifty, and has held many high and honorable positions.  He was buried on the 15th inst.

There is much sickness in our midst, mostly among the adult portion of the community.  In the western part of the county, at Rockville and Grafton, the people are afflicted with ague and fever, nearly half of the inhabitants of theses settlements being sick with the malady.  The cold weather coming on seems to have a beneficial influence over the complaint.

Times in this county are very dull.  We have plenty to do so we have no time for outside issues.  The coming and going of our Arizona missionaries gives us a little change in our dull routine.

Our weather is exceedingly fine and dry, but very cold and clear at nights.  The Fall crops are all in.

Reports form the different wards in this Stake show that the Stake organization has done much good.

Kane County Independent

April 11, 1912

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 Last Updated: 06.06.2015