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Springville City

Springville City Hall is located at 110 South Main Street, Springville City, UT 84663; phone: 801-489-2700.

Beginnings [1]

Springville City, in Utah County, Utah, was settled in September, 1850 by a company of pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) led by Aaron Johnson. The colonizing families had crossed the plains during the summer as part of a train of 135 wagons captained by Johnson. Upon arriving in Utah, they were called by church leader Brigham Young to establish a permanent community on the banks of Hobble Creek, in Utah Valley. The suitability of the area for settlement and agriculture had been noted earlier by William Miller and James Mendenhall, who had traveled the length of Utah Valley during the winter of 1849.

The first community undertaking was the construction of a fortified compound in preparation for the coming winter. Encompassing about 1 1/2 acres, the fort consisted of log cabins arranged end-to-end so as to form the perimeter of a rectangular courtyard. All cabin windows and doors opened onto the secure central enclosure.

During the winter of 1850-51, Aaron Johnson was appointed first bishop of Springville by Brigham Young. William Miller and Myron N. Crandall were appointed counselors. Johnson also was appointed District Judge of Utah County.

Through the 1850s, Springville established itself as a viable pioneer community. The spring of 1851 brought the beginnings of agricultural development in Springville. Farm plots were laid out and, through community effort, irrigation systems were quickly constructed to divert the waters of Hobble Creek onto the fields. Plat A of the city was surveyed, and home lots measuring 206.25 feet square were assigned to families by lottery Allocations of irrigated crop land were restricted initially to 20 acres per family, owing to limitations on the availability of water from Hobble Creek. During these early years a number of new settlers came to Springville, augmenting the original population of Mormon colonists. The Springville city charter was approved by the Utah legislative assembly of 1852, and the first municipal election was held on April 4,1853. In this election, Gideon D. Wood was elected the first mayor of Springville.

Industrial and commercial enterprises during the pioneer period tended to be small in scale, locally-based, and oriented toward supplying the utilitarian essentials of the community. In Springville, as in other early settlements established by the LDS church in Utah, emphasis was placed upon cooperative efforts which ensured the viability of the community as a whole. Material luxuries and private monetary gain to a back seat (officially) to the good of the community during this period of Utah's history.

  1. Kent D. Johnson and Nelson W. Knight, Springville CLG and Smith Hyatt Architects, Historic Resources of Springville, Utah County, Utah, nomination document, 1996, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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