Washington City, Washington County, Utah
Washington City was one of the first settlements in southern Utah by the Mormon Pioneers. Thirty-eight families, all originally from the south, were sent to the area in 1857 to try to grow cotton and other southern crops. Ten families came with Samuel Adair in April and 28 came with Robert Covington in early May.
The pioneers to this area really struggled. They lived in wagon boxes and
dugouts at first. Disease was a rampant with many suffering with malaria,
dysentery, and/or typhoid. All of which were caused by the water supply.
The summer heat was almost unbearable and between floods, insects, and drought
it was almost a losing battle. Many of the families left but some stayed
on and were able to proved that cotton and other crops could be grown in
the area. They did the best they could being so far from civilization and
having to provide all of their food and clothing. Six years later the
early pioneers to St. George were distressed at the sight of the people as
they passed through Washington on their journey.
One of the St. George pioneers, Robert Gardner,
says in his journal:
"...here we found some of our old neighbors who received us very kind...but the appearance of these brethren and their wives and children rather discouraging, nearly all of them had the fever and ague or chills as they called it in this country. They had worked hard and had wore out their clothes and had replaced them from the cotton they had raised on their own lots and farms which their women had carded, spun and wove by hand. Colored with weeds, men's shirts, women's dresses and sunbonnets were all made of the same piece; and their clothes and their faces were of the same color, being a kind of blue as most everyone had the chills. This tried me more than anything I have seen in my Mormon experience. Thinking that my wives and children, from the nature of the climate, would have to look as sickly as those now around me..."
Washington City was pioneered by great people who quickly established schools, government, and church. Many of their descendants still live in the area and are proud of their ancestors who worked so hard to settle the area. They have a celebration each year in their memory.
Washington is now a thriving city with many retired citizens and lots of families who enjoy the pleasant surroundings which were once a hardship to the early pioneers. -CBA
History of Washington City - found on City site
Washington History - This site is no longer online, the link will take you to the internet archive of the page.
Utah's "Dixie" Birthplace - This book site has a nice history of the Washington area with an excerpt, pictures, and the index of the book written by Harold and Priscilla Cahoon.
Pictures and Text relating to Washington City found on www.surweb.org:
Dinosaur tracks found south of Washington by Sheldon Johnson this year (2000).
Note to all:
If you have histories of the Washington City 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