This was posted by Lee Anderson on the Lehi Historical Society and Archives Facebook page:
While browsing through some of the old newspapers, I came across this article from the 3 May 1851 edition of the Deseret News. It is some extracts from the journal of Thomas Bullock who was serving as the clerk to Brigham Young. He wrote about President Young’s trip to visit the communities in Utah Valley. It was interesting to read about the very beginnings of what would later become Lehi and American Fork.
Getting from the Salt Lake Valley to the Utah Valley was not near as easy as it is today. He wrote that they “pursued our journey around the hill, which requires much labor to make it a safe road. On entering the Utah valley, we beheld the increasing industry and improvements in rescuing the waste lands from their desolate condition. Twelve months ago not a house or fence was to be seen on the north side of the Provo; but now we behold villages springing up, fences to enclose thousands of acres of excellent land, and detached farm houses, with the busy sounds and hum of happiness; passed through Evansville and McArthursville, and we arrived at Pleasant Grove as the sun was setting.”
The Provo he was talking about was the Provo river, Evansville, which would later become Lehi in 1852, was named after David Evans who was the first bishop there. McArthursville was probably named after the early settler Duncan McArthur. It was later named Lake City and finally American Fork in 1860. They continued on to the Utah Fort in Provo, and then went to the Springville fort, crossed the Spanish Fork river, and on to Payson.
I think it would be fun to be able to visit those early days, and see the way it used to be at the beginning of the settling of this valley.
I was interested to read this account because the Martin Bushman family crossed the plains with the Easton Kelsey company of 1851, arriving in Salt Lake sometime between September 22 and October 7, 1851. They traveled south to Evansville, now Lehi, where they first lived in the Lehi Fort (pictured above).
That year Martin was 49 years old.
Elizabeth was 48 years old
Jacob was 20 years old
Sarah Ann was 18 years old
Martin Benjamin was 10 years old
John was 8 years old
Elias, the miracle baby, was 1 year old