Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) came west in 1847 and settled in the Salt
Lake Valley. Their leader, Brigham Young, was interested in establishing a trade route to the Pacific
developed settlements along this route where travelers could
obtain food, water and other needed supplies. This
route roughly follows parts of Interstate 15 from Salt Lake City.
One of the key players in the settlement of St.
George and southern territory
was Jacob Hamblin.
Born in Ohio 1819, Jacob joined the Mormon church
in 1842 and followed the saints West to Salt Lake
City. In 1854 Brigham
Young assigned Jacob to be a
missionary to the Indians in the southern
the territory. He was considered a great friend by
the Indians because of his great integrity, and was
heavily involved in keeping the
settlers and Native Americans.
Why Do They Call Southwestern Utah "Dixie"?
During the civil war
it was nearly impossible to obtain cotton from the
southern states and in 1861,
Brigham Young sent
309 families to the St. George area with the express
purpose of growing cotton
(to sell to the northern troops) and other products
conducive to the climate.
Many of these early
settlers were from America's southern states and the area soon became know as "Dixie" because of its
inhabitants, location, climate and agricultural products. Cotton, silk, dried fruit, molasses, and
pecans were just
some of the many products produced in the area.
The Utah territory was officially declared a state of the United States in 1896 and the St. George area is still
widely known as "Utah's Dixie".
Life in this arid climate was very difficult for the early pioneers. With intense
summer heat and just a few inches
of annual rainfall, farming was a difficult endeavor at best. Unusually heavy rains or flash floods often destroyed
crops and buildings, but the settlers persevered and began to build
cities, most of which are still inhabited today.