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Piute County Local History Resources

Piute County Reading Room

A 1931 view of Circleville history

(Salt Lake Telegram, 18 February 1931)

Notice: This article is reproduced as written, but you should be aware that several details of

the earliest history are reported inaccurately.

Know Utah

by Albert F. Philips

There is one section in the state that has no unemployed, Piute county. Everybody in that county has plenty to do, said Charles R. Dalton, representative in the legislature, whose home is in Circleville. The talk was on general conditions in the state.

"Tell you something about Circleville and Piute county? Well, once the county included all of Wayne county. That was in 1865, when the legislature described the boundary lines and placed the county seat in the town of Circleville. Then the county town was moved to Bullion, and later, through the influence of the settlers living in the northern part of the county, to Marysvale. Still the people were not satisfied, and by act of the legislature, February 22, 1878, just fifty-three years ago, the county seat was established in Junction, where it has remained since.

"The first settlement in the county of which there is any record was in 1858, when the Indians drove all the settlers from Circleville. The inhabitants were few in number and those who braved the redmen lived in dugouts. The only building in Circleville in 1876 was an adobe house. In the construction of this building no nails were used -- only wooden pegs and thongs of rawhide. The window sills and door sills were from hewn logs. The first settler was Charles A. Dalton and four families, and of the latter seven were bachelors. These settlers were en route from California to Kansas, and among their other possessions was a band of sheep which they were driving through. They were fascinated with the valley wherein Circleville is located and decided to remain."

The pioneers consisted of the families known as the Yackelys, Thomas James, Worthy Bridges, and Charles W. Dalton, grandfather of the present representative. The single men were Ransom Mitchell, Joe Ward, George Lumbright and John Hage. In the spring of 1876 several additional families joined the colony and each homesteaded a quarter section of land. These included Charles A. Dalton, wife and sons; Thomas C. Smith, Rhode McDonald, Elias Pierson, Orson Dalton and Elias Dalton. Most of the settlers were from Beaver.

It was in 1878 that the United Order was established in Circleville, on the east side of the river. There was the old trouble of who had the river rights and the question is still a source of trouble. The King brothers were the organizers of the United Order, but it finally went to pieces.

Today the principal industry in the county is livestock. In Circleville there is a cheese factory with a pay roll of about $1500 a month. The county shipped twenty carloads of certified seed potatoes in 1930.

About 40 percent of the area of Piute county is in Fish Lake, Fillmore and Sevier national forests, and most of this land is used for grazing purposes. There are a number of valuable mining claims in the county, which are to a great extend undeveloped.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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