Leota


Photo: Leota "Old Folks"
The name of Leota (Indian Virgin) was given to this little settlement by Vern Collett and William Smart.

The first family to move into this section was the William Ellsworth family who came from Soldier, Idaho. They came in 1912 and were the only ones there for three years. Then came James Hutchens, Marion Rogers, Elisha Bryant, Edward Bryant, John Henry Bryant, Floyd Bryant and Jess Birtcher. They started a canal in the hopes of getting water for the land. At this time they were under the Glines Ward.

Other families that soon came into the community were Frank Jenkins, John Graham, John Henry White and John McDugal. The post office was operated by Frank Roberts.The first public building was built in 1912 and was made of blocks and had a dirt roof. This was used for church and school. The first school had fifteen students attending who ranged in grades first to the eighth. Miss Ruth Steinaker was the first teacher. The building was of rough, hewn logs, with one door and one window and equipped with the old style benches. A huge stove was used and the boys had to split wood and cut it into long pieces for fuel. When the pupils graduated from the eighth grade they left Leota and found homes in Vernal or Roosevelt where they could board and attend high school.

In 1915 a new frame schoolhouse was completed and used for all public gatherings until it burned down. A brick structure was erected by the county for the school and this was used for social and church gatherings.Leota was a garden spot of great beauty from about 1916 when they got water onto the land, until the drought completely drove them out. Many of the families moved away, but those that loved their homeland the most moved down on the Leota Bottoms on the Green River and tried to raise crops by pumping water onto the land. It was a hard life with alkali, floods and drought, new homes to put up and fewer people to do the work. The old townsite by 1947 was completely deserted.-Excerpted from the "Builders of Uintah",
~courtesy of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

Last Updated: 06.16.2015