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Grantsville City

Tooele County, Utah

Grantsville City Hall is located at 429 East Main Street, Grantsville, UT 84029.
Phone: 435‑884‑3411.


Beginnings [1]

The first permanent settlers reached the site of present-day Grantsville on 10 October 1850. These settlers were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. The area had prior to that time provided camping sites for local nomadic Native American bands. Mormon cattle herders had also camped in the area as early as 1848. Nevertheless, when James McBride and Harrison Severe came with a total of 8 family members in 1850, they came with the intent of establishing a permanent home. They settled near a creek and the tiny community became known as Willow Creek.

Conflict soon arose between the new settlers and the local Indians. In the spring of 1851 Indians took settlers' cattle and the Mormon settlers felt threatened enough to leave their settlement for the shelter of Pine Canyon to the east of Willow Creek. When they returned to the settlement in December 1851 they brought five other families to help bolster their numbers. The families built a wooden stockade, but conflict with Indians continued. In 1852 a town site was surveyed and in 1853 the name of the community was officially changed to Grantsville in honor of George D. Grant, who had led a company of the territorial militia in protecting the community from Indians. In the fall of that year the settlers began planning to build a fort and moved their homes close together for that purpose. The fort wall was finally constructed the following year of mud, adobe, and stone. The fort was centered around the present-day intersection of Cooley and Clark Streets. The walls enclosed a collection of log houses in an area of 30 square rods. Conflict with Indians apparently subsided, because the fort was soon abandoned and homes built elsewhere in the town.

Nevertheless, the town's survival remained tenuous. In 1855 and 1856 drought and grasshoppers destroyed crops and food was scarce. In the spring of 1858, during the Utah War, most residents abandoned the town and moved south to Utah County. Settlement of the conflict that summer allowed the refugees to return to Grantsville. As part of the agreement ending the conflict, federal troops set up Camp Floyd on the west side of Utah Lake, south over the mountains from Grantsville. This army camp provided a new market for Grantsville's agricultural products. According to the 1870 census enumeration, the majority of men were farmers, but six also specialized in sheep, stock and dairy cattle. There was one lumberman and two blacksmiths. The 1860 census lists five builders in the area. There were four carpenters: William M. Allred, Reed Barrus, Daniel M. Burbanks, Wilford Hudson; and one master mason: Reddin A. Allred.

In 1864 a post office was established at Grantsville, an indication of the increased stability and permanence of the community. Up until 1867, local Mormon Church leaders acted as de facto civic leaders. The incorporation of Grantsville that year created a separate, though closely linked, municipal authority. The establishment of a civil government marked a milestone in the development of the community.

The structures erected in Grantsville in the early part of this settlement period were primarily log buildings. These buildings were seen as temporary structures to provide shelter until more substantial buildings could be erected. These simple log buildings included various houses, agricultural buildings, and a community hall built in the fort area and used as a schoolhouse, meetinghouse, and social hall. Log homes could be relocated, as was done in 1853 when a number of houses were moved to a central site in order to surround them in the fort. One early log house is preserved as part of a museum surrounding the historic Adobe Schoolhouse and Meetinghouse.

  1. Alan Barnett and Korral Broschinsky, Grantsville Historical Commission, Historic and Architectural Resources of Grantsville, Utah: 1850-1955, nomination document, 2005, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.