The settlement of the Dry Creek/Sulphur Springs area of northern Utah County in late 1850 marks Lehi as one of Utah's oldest cities (pioneers first arrived in Utah in 1847). In 1850 a group of permanent settlers headed for the site of Lehi, a place passed over earlier because of the limited availability of water, a problem that would plague the community for several years. Fifty-two pioneers, all of them members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (L.D.S., or Mormon Church) stayed in the area during the mild winter of 1850-51. They arrived as independent families, individuals, or small groups of families rather than a single, "called" colonizing party, as often happened in Utah's early settlement. Sometime in 1851, the little community was named "Evansville" after its most prominent figure, David Evans, who was appointed first bishop of the Dry Creek Ward. Farming commenced in 1851 and flourished after digging a seven-mile water ditch from American Fork Creek. Lehi's first public building (not extant), known as the Log School, was built in 1851. The town was incorporated as Lehi City in 1853. The first mayor, Silas Barnes, lasted only one year before being replaced by David Evans.
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The year 1853 also saw the construction of a new toll bridge over the Jordan River and a large fort which provided protection to settlers during the Walker War with local native Americans. The 75 by 75 rod (1237.5 feet by 1237.5 feet) enclosure consisted of sixty log cabins moved in from scattered locations. The boundaries were: 3 rods (49.5 feet) north of Main Street, 3 rods (49.5 feet) west of 300 West, midway between 200 and 300 South, and midway between Center and 100 West. In 1854, a larger mud wall was erected to enclose the fort. It was six feet wide at the bottom, three feet wide at the top, and 8 to 12 feet high. That same year the town was surveyed and sixteen blocks were laid out, each twenty rods square (330 feet square) with streets 99 feet wide. In 1855, despite hardships such as a grasshopper invasion and a severe winter, construction commenced on the first church meetinghouse, a substantial adobe building.
Nearby Towns: Alpine City • American Fork City • Bluffdale City • Highland City •