LaVerkin, Washington County, Utah
LaVerkin was another Washington county town that was settled because of a water project. Water was a valuable commodity in the desert climate of the county. A company was formed and the LaVerkin canal project was begun. As with other projects in the county this was not an easy prospect and all did not go well, but with the help of cement to keep the canal from leaking the project was completed and individuals began to farm the area. The following quotation is from the LaVerkin marker placed by the Crystal Cave Camp of the DUP:
"Indian For Beautiful Valley"
In 1891, Thomas Judd, promotor, I. C. Macfarlane, engineer with others completed an 840 ft. tunnel and 1 1/4 mile canal to bring water from the Rio Virgin into this fertile valley. Excavations opened a large crystal cave ot stalactite and stalagmites. In 1903, the first Post Office opened with H. W. Gubler as postmaster. June 23, 1904, an L. D. S. Ward was organized under a bowery with Morris Wilson as bishop. In 1904, the first schoolhouse was built.
Among the first settlers who came to this desert area, later called LaVerkin, with the idea of making this barren waste bloom as the rose, were Henry and Joseph Gubler, Thomas Judd, William Hardy, William Sanders and Morris Wilson, who became the first bishop. The first major project-in this section of the country must necessarily be the building of a tunnel and canal. All the dirt for this mammoth task had to be moved by manpower. After the tunnel and canal were finished, they found that the gypsum through which they had dug the tunnel had dissolved and allowed the water to break through. Finally, after heavy financial obligations and hard work the tunnel was cemented and the project known as the LaVerkin Irrigation company completed. It was the mother of the irrigation system which lies to the south across the river and brought about the settlement of Hurricane, Utah. Thomas Judd figured prominently in the building of this project, and also in planting the orchards and laying out the system for this community.
In June 1904, the L. D. S. Ward was organized with sixty-five members holding their meetings in the bowery. Today, this thriving town, with its orchards, industries and fine homes truly fulfills the Indian name and interpretation, "LaVerkin-Beautiful Valley."
This marker was dedicated September 29, 1949, La Verkin, Utah
As with other areas in the burgeoning county the early pioneers wouldn't recognize the LaVerkin of today but many descendants of the LaVerkin canal builders and early settlers still live in the area and so honor the memory of their valiant ancestors. --CBA
aerial view of town of LaVerkin - picture and text from www.surweb.org
Note to all:
If you have histories of the LaVerkin pioneers (on a website or that you
would like to have published on the web), other genealogy help for this town,
or know of related links please let me know.
Copyright © 2006 by Cynthia B. Alldredge