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Beehive Stories: Fayette

Drilling New Well 2018

Video of Fayette Summer of 2020

Guy Mellor wins Best Warrior


History of Warm Creek - Fayette, Utah

Original manuscript by Martha Wintsch Bartholomew*[1]    Warm Spring near Fayette, Utah.

Photo by Mat Trotter

In the spring of 1861, a party consisting of Joseph Bartholomew Sr, James Mellor Sr., Jacob McCurdy, Ira Draper, and Wellington Wood with their families left Springville, Utah, and arrived at the place where Fayette now stands, April 8, 1861. They planted crops that same spring.

Later that season, three of the families became disheartened and left. The Mellor family built their dugout south of the stream and the Bartholomew’s built theirs on the north side, a short distance west of where the highway now runs. The main creek bed run approximately through the center of the present town-site. They called the settlement Warm Creek because the water came from a warm spring in the foothills about one mile east.

They built shelters of willows to supplement their wagons for living quarters until their crops were planted.[2] The creek ran from a warm spring in the foothills about one mile east, in a natural channel, which is marked by the fence line between the present homes of Elijah James and Ray C. Bartholomew. When it reached the meadow, it spread out on its way to the Sevier River. The Bartholomew’s dugout was just west of where the highway now is.

In the autumn they were counseled by church authorities to build in Gunnison, called “Hogwallow,” inorder [sic] to be safe from Indians, who, although not on the war path at the time, were not to be trusted at places where numerical strength of the whites afforded opportunities for theft and murder on the part of the savages. “Hogwallow” was not where Gunnison now stands but in the swampy section south and west of the Rocky Point. None remained at Warm Creek during the winter of 1861 and 1862, but in the spring of 1862 the place was re-settled and farming operations began in greater earnest that [than] in the previous year, and a pretty good crop was raised.

The Indians claimed the spring and the meadow so the settlers bargained with Chief Arrapene[3], giving two fat oxen for ownership of the spring and they traded calves for the meadows.

The Bartholomew and Mellor families had many similarities. They were both English, they were nearly the same ages, they both had large families, and each had a pair of twin girls. The Mellor twins were seven and the Bartholomew twins were six when they came to Fayette. When Elizabeth Bartholomew Bown was an elderly lady she used to tell about the old days. She said that she and her twin sister, Eliza, were very unhappy on the trip from Springville because their mother made them ride in the wagon all the way, while the Mellor twins, Clara and Emma, who were only one year older, were permitted to walk some of the way and help the boys drive the cows. She said that this valley was like a paradise. There was an abundance of wild life such as ducks and geese and all kinds of small birds. Trout were plentiful in the Sevier river, which flows through the valley about a mile west of the settlement. Deer came from the mountains to drink from the spring and to brouse [browse] in the meadows. A profusion of wild flowers grew over the foothills and among the meadow grass. The river banks as well as the banks of the creek were covered with vegetation including bull berry bushes, cane, wild roses, wild currants and sage brush.

Even though they lived in dugouts the women took pride in their houskeeping [housekeeping]. They would sprinkle water on the dirt floor, then tamp it with a wooden tamper until the surface was smooth and then when it had dried they would mark artistic designs on it with charcoal and limestone.

“The tamper was made of a round section sawed from a log[4]. A handle was inserted in the center and stood upright. It looked much like one of their churn dashers.

Anthony Metcalf Dugout built before 1870,

photo taken in 1912 by V. Lloyd Bartholomew. 

Boy is Lloyd’s brother Blaine.

“This dugout was built by Anthony Metcalf in the late '60s. The roof was of poles covered with willows, straw and then dirt. All poles were held in place with wooden pegs driven in three fourth inch auger holes. The inside walls were plastered and liberally whitewashed, as was also the underside of the roof. The floor was of smooth flat rock laid closely together and was kept scrubbed clean. After each cleaning it was marked with a geometric design, using soft limestone.

“The bed occupied one corner of the twelve by eighteen foot room and was built by setting four posts securely and mortising a small pole frame into the posts. Then green rawhide was laced back and forth, crosswise and lengthwise, and this when dry, made a fine bed. The fireplace was in the back end of the room.” V. Lloyd Bartholomew.

Many people used straw ticks for mattresses on their beds. These were delightfully fragrant when filled with fresh straw at housecleaning time. The more fortunate had "feather beds." A feather bed was a large heavy bag filled with feathers and used as a mattress. Some even had two: one under as a mattress and one on top in place of quilts. To make the bed look immaculate the housekeeper would smooth it as much as possible by hand, which was not an easy job. Then she finished the smoothing process by means of a long straight heavy willow, which she laid across the bed, then pressing gently she moved it up and down across until the desired smoothness was obtained.

During the spring and summer of 1862 other families moved in, and in that year a branch of the Church was organized with Branch Young as President. He acted under the direction of the Gunnison Ward Bishopric. He was succeeded in 1864 by John E. [Edward] Metcalf Sr., who after the Indian troubles of 1865 to 1869, was succeeded by John Bartholomew as Presiding Elder.

Original Mill Stones from Warm Creek.

Photo by Mat Trotter

In 1863, John E. [Edward] Metcalf was called by Brigham Young to move from Springville to Warm Creek, to build and operate a gristmill. On this warm creek the mill would be able to operate the year around.

The Metcalf family was similar to the Mellors and Bartholomews, both as to ages and numbers and [in] English [heritage]. As the Metcalfs neared Warm Creek, Eliza, age 13, setting [sic] at the front of the wagon with her father, said, "I see the fields, but where are the houses?" To which her father answered, "The houses are there, you will soon be seeing them." Soon they came near enough to see the wisps of smoke curling up from the chimneys of the dugouts. Yes, sure enough, there were the houses, not like the log and adobe houses they had known in Springville, but they were homes and people lived in them.

The Metcalf family camped about three-fourths of a mile east of the other settlers, at the site where they decided to build the mill. Besides their few provisions they had brought a pick, a shovel, an axe, a steel bar, two augers, a hammer and a chisel; also faith, ambition and perseverance. They hauled rock from the nearby hills and built their dugout and mill house. The millstones and burrs they chiseled and fashioned from some granite boulders they found in the Cedar Ridge east of the Painted Rocks about twelve miles north of Warm Creek. They used wagon tires to hold the sections of the burrs together.

Modern cement lined ditch, originally dug

by pioneers Mellor, Metcalf, and Bartholomew

near Fayette, Utah.

Photo by Mat Trotter

The ditch from the spring to the mill had been dug by hand with pick and shovel around the brow of the hill, in order to create a waterfall. It had been tested. The water ran through it. The wooden water wheel had been fashioned and assembled and set in place, and aside from leaking, it worked. The burrs had been moved into place and everything was ready for the test.

Mother Metcalf had helped her husband and the boys, but now that the water was turned into the flume to pour over the wheel, she stepped back a few steps and stood with uncovered head and arms folded. The water wheel was soon in motion, but nothing happened with the burrs. Father Metcalf hurried into the cellar and adjusted the rawhide belt that transferred the power from the waterwheel shaft to the burr shaft. Then slowly the burr commenced to turn just a little. Soon it was scraping its face against its mate stone burr. One of the children called out, “Maw, it's turning, It works, Maw. It works!” Mother Metcalf turned and walked slowly toward the dugout, and with bowed head she said something, and what she said only God, the angels, and she knew.

The mill was soon turning out meal and flour, all day long every day, and the products were taken to settlements to the south in Sevier Valley and elsewhere. It was operated for quite a few years[5].

The general authorities of the Church visited the people in their outlying communities to give counsel and encouragement. The Apostle, George A. [Albert] Smith visited in Warm Creek and counseled the settlers to divide the land into ten-acre lots and building lots enough to accommodate twenty more families, promising that if they would do this the water would be increased. In faith and obedience they made the division and other families moved in. One day about noon, they heard a sound of rushing water and they discovered that the stream had increased and was flooding over the banks. The promise of the apostle had been fulfilled.

During those early years Brigham Young divided the territory of Deseret into large divisions and gave the apostles charge of these different areas[6]. It was in 1858 that Orson Hyde was given the responsibility of the settlements in Sanpete and Sevier Counties. He made his home in Spring city.

Orson Hyde, another apostle, who had been a personal friend of the Bartholomews when they had lived in Nauvoo, came to visit them.  He suggested that they change the name of Warm Creek to Fayette, after Fayette, New York, where the Church was organized.

In 1864 the first meeting house, a small log building, was erected. It was used for all kinds of public gatherings until 1866, when it was moved to Gunnison and re-erected in the fort. After the Indian war this meeting house was moved back to Fayette and used until 1874, when the red rock meetinghouse was built. This [The] latter was dedicated August 1, 1875, by Robert G. Frazer.

Joseph Bartholomew Sr. held a spelling school in his home, evenings, until the log meeting house was built in 1864[8]. He also enjoyed the distinction of owning and operating the first store. By this time most of the settlers had built log cabins near their dugouts. When the Black Hawk war broke out in 1865 the meetinghouse was taken down, moved to Gunnison and re-erected in the fort. It was in this building that Gunnison's first Sunday School was organized. After peace was declared, it was moved back to Fayette and used until the red rock meetinghouse was completed and dedicated August 1, 1875, by Robert G. Frazer.

It was in 1864, that the Phillip Dack family arrived in Fayette. In his family history we read that [on April 12, 1865[9]] he carried the message of the killing of William Kearns by Indians to Nephi, making the trip on horse back, in three hours and forty minutes.

According to information received from the Post Office Dept. [Department] at Washington D.C., a post office was established in Fayette on December 7, 1864 with Henry I. Young as Postmaster.

He was the father of Branch Young, who was the first presiding elder of this place. They were not close relatives of Brigham Young[10].

It [The post office] was discontinued on May 25, 1868 and re-established April 4, 1872 with James Mellor Sr. as postmaster.

In 1866 several of the families moved away for fear of Indians, who had become hostile. The rest returned to the fort at Gunnison for protection. Similar temporary removals took place in 1867 and 1868, and while their families were safe in the larger settlement, the men returned in companies to attend to their farms. They herded some of their stock in Juab that year.

September 4, 1867 John Hayes, a militia man belonging to the Wm. L. Binders Company of Salt Lake on duty here was killed by Indians about one and a half miles east of the town.

When Indians began stealing horses and cattle in the vicinity of Fayette, several of the families became frightened and moved away; the rest moved to the Gunnison Fort for protection. In 1867, by advice from Bishop Kearns of Gunnison and also by orders of General Pace, who was in charge of the Sanpete militia, Fayette people moved some of their log cabins into the fort, and while their families were safe in the larger settlement, the men returned in companies, assisted by the militia, to attend to their farms.

On September 4, 1867, about a mile and a half east of Fayette, three militiamen of the Wm. L. Binders Company of Salt Lake City, on duty here, were burning lime for the bastion at Gunnison. Indians stole up in the darkness and by the light of the fire, were able to single out John Hay, whom they shot and killed. Three Indians had been down west of Fayette, trying to catch some horses that were pasturing in the meadow. They tried all evening but couldn't catch them and when at last they gave up they were angry. They had seen the fire at the limekiln, so they went up there to see what was going on.

The two men who had been tending the fire had left for a moment to gather wood, and John Hay had left the position he had occupied while standing guard and sat down by the fire figuring on his boot. This made him a good target for the frustrated Indians. His comrades gave the alarm to eight other men stationed nearby, and taking the dead man with them they retreated to the settlement. Next morning a group of volunteers joined the militia in following the Indians. They tracked them as far as the Sanpitch River and then had to give up.

During the winter months danger from Indians quieted down and some would venture back to their homes in Fayette, but when summer came again all precautions had to be repeated. Following is a copy of a letter written by Captain C. A. Madsen to his superior, Co. N. S. Beach at Manti:


"Gunnison July 8, 1868

Sir. . . . . . . The families who resided at Fayette are removed to Gunnison. The herds at Gunnison and Fayette are put under guard; and at the latter place are also guarded at night in the corrals lately put up. A picket guard is kept at Gunnison on Point Lookout. And smoke signals are to be given from both places in case of attack. Our force at Gunnison is 43 able bodied men, at Fayette 11 men. I have made our guards as strong as our limited number will permit."

Able bodied men and boys over sixteen served their turns as "citizens of Fayette, Sanpete County Territory of Utah, employed in the suppression of Indian hostilities in the county." Fayette men were mustered in Platoon with their own officers, but served under command of Captain C. A. Madsen of Gunnison. The older men were appointed as Home Guard and called Silver Greys.

In 1868 grasshoppers came in great numbers and destroyed most of the crops in Sanpete County.

In 1868 teams and weapons were sent to the terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad after immigrants. Their names were not available at the time of this writing.

In 1869, James Mellor Sr., influenced by the preaching of George D. Watt, had organized a society to produce silk and had started a mulberry plantation.

President Brigham Young had said previously that this country was a good place to raise silk[11]. In 1868, he built a large cocoonery near Salt Lake City, in which to raise silk worms. He also had a grove of mulberry trees planted in that area. People in all sections of the territory were encouraged to plant mulberry trees and raise silkworms. The cocoons were sent to the factory in Salt Lake City.

The silk produced and manufactured in Utah was of such high quality that the Board of Lady Managers of the Colombian Exposition invited the women of Utah to place an exhibition of their silk in the World's Fair, held in Chicago in 1893, with the hope that it might lead to the encouragement of sericulture in the United States. The first Utah legislature after statehood in 1896, passed "An Act for the Establishment of Sericulture," and provided for a bounty to be paid on cocoons. Many thousands of trees were planted throughout the Territory and many cocoons produced, but in a few years people lost interest. The law was repealed and the industry died out.

For many years cocoons were kept as mementos and were finally used up by children taking them to school for exhibitions and demonstrations. It was intriguing to see a cocoon placed in a pan of hot water and then to watch while an end of fine, fine filament was found and then wound from the cocoon onto a spool while the cocoon turned and bobbed in the water. The trees were not a total loss. Their beautiful glossy leaves made them attractive and the delicious berries made excellent jam. The black and red berries were used in combination with other fruits to lend both color and flavor.

In 1869 John James Sr. and his family arrived in Fayette. He was a practical doctor, and had had a great deal of experience taking care of animals in the old country (Wales). He was especially efficient at setting broken limbs. He and his wife gave much assistance to the sick, both humans and animals.

Windom, their oldest son, was a small child when they came here[12]. He said that bands of Indians used to go north in the springtime and back south in the fall and they always stopped off here to rest. He would go to their camp east of town and wrestle and play with their boys in the sand hills. When the sun started going down the old chief put his hand on Windom's shoulder, pointed at the sun and said, "Hike away." Then he turned and pointing to the east, told the boy that when the sun came up he could come again.

One day when Windom went to the field he discovered a calf that had been so badly gored that its entrails were hanging out. He ran home for his mother. She told him to make a guinea peg, such as the boys used in their games. With her scissors she cut away all of the entrails that were cold; then she slipped the guinea into the warm entrails, pulling the two warm ends together and sewed them. He asked her how she was going to get that piece of wood out of there and she said that would be easy. She slipped the guinea out, sewed up that slit, replaced the entrails and then sewed up the tissues and the hide. The calf lived and when it was about two years old they sold it for sixty dollars.

The Indian troubles were considered at an end after the close of the Black Hawk War, in 1869.

When the Black Hawk War ended in 1869, the Fayette people moved back home to stay. They appreciated the protection and hospitality given them at Gunnison, but were glad and grateful to be back in their own homes.

At a session of the Sanpete County Court held at Manti June 21, 1869, in answer to a petition, Fayette was organized into a precinct and school district and at the next meeting, September 6, 1869, its boundaries were determined. James Mellor Sr., was appointed Magistrate, Anthony Metcalf, constable and John Bartholomew, road supervisor.

At that time it took nine to eleven days for a letter from Salt Lake City to reach Fayette[13]. This was due to its locality not being generally known. In the Deseret News was this item; "the settlement of Fayette, also called Warm Creek, is in Sanpete County, six miles north of Gunnison on the main road from that place to Chicken Creek, Levan and Fillmore." Chicken Creek was a mail station about two miles north of Juab railroad Station.

In the early 1870s, the mail was carried tri-weekly on ponies by boys and men, from Nephi via Moroni through Sanpete County to Gunnison. This was a long round about route and the people were dissatisfied. In 1876, a petition was sent to the United States Post Office Department for a direct mail route from Nephi through Levan and Fayette to Gunnison, asking for a daily coach to carry mail. This petition was not granted. In 1891, a branch line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad was completed from Thistle to the border of Gunnison. Mail was then delivered to the Gunnison depot and a star route was established by way of Gunnison to Fayette.

Joseph Bartholomew Sr. held a spelling school in his home evenings. He also enjoyed the distinction of owning and operating the first store.

Wm. C. Mellor, a son of James Mellor Sr., was five years old when they crossed the plains with the belated Martin Handcart Company. By the time they came to Fayette, he was eleven. Following are some of the stories he told of those early days:

When they arrived in Fayette, he said, their clothing was ragged and they nearly perished from the cold. To make more bed covering, his father put a cowhide over the children’s bed, but it was so stiff it did not help much.

One day when he and George Bartholomew Sr., were herding cows and sheep along the river they saw some Indians coming.

Sevier River in the summer time[14]. The feed was good; the grass and bushes were thick and high. One day they saw some Indians on horse back coming toward them and they were scared.

There were lots of beaver along the river in those days, and those boys could swim about as well as beaver. Of course, they had very little clothing on, so into the water they dived. They came up in a beaver house and stayed there until they thought the Indians were gone. They [The Indians] had gone, but they had taken several fat sheep with them.

William loved music and with the help of Guard Doxford he made a fiddle from a dry goods box on which he played for dances for some two years. He saved up his money until he had sixty dollars which he sent to Philadelphia to buy a violin. It was winter when it arrived and he had to go to Juab with an ox team to get it. He had his first lesson from James Fjeldsted of Gunnison. The violin was a good one and brought joy and happiness to three generations of people in this valley. His fee was usually one dollar. If the dance lasted all night he sometimes received two dollars. His family loved this violin and at the time of this writing they treasured it as an heirloom.

A dance ticket might be a squash, some potatoes or any other kind of produce[15]. If no cash was taken in, the fiddler took his pay "in kind." When the time came that they had money to pay, they charged 25 cents a ticket. Each gentleman was given a number as he entered and the floor manager would call out eight numbers enough for two sets of quadrilles, and the couples all had to be in position before the music started. The numbers were rotated so that everyone got a chance to dance. They had much respect for the floor manager and any one who misbehaved was put out. No one under sixteen was allowed, but dances for the children were held on Christmas, New Years and the Fourth and Twenty-fourth of July, with floor mangers. The day when babies were taken along to dances and put to sleep on the benches, came years later.

For timber, the men went in companies to the mountains northeast of the valley. Good timber was available in both Hell's Kitchen Canyon and Timber canyon. That from Hell's Kitchen however, had to be hauled out by way of Second Canyon, which was later called Mellor's Canyon.

They also logged in Twelve Mile Canyon and on one trip up there a tragedy occurred that plunged the whole community into mourning; seventeen-year-old William Bartholomew was accidentally shot and killed.

Besides farming, the nem [men] fished, hunted, trapped for beaver and other furbearing animals. They went to the mountain for logs to build homes and other buildings. They sometimes set their fishhooks on the river in the evening and went home, returning in the morning to collect their catch. They often went great distances to fish, hunt and trap. On one occasion, when a group had gone to Fish Lake, it snowed on them during the night. In the morning all the vegetation was heavily covered with snow. One of the boys was sent out to find the horses. As he walked along among the bushes all shrouded in snow, he could not see far in any direction. All at once, he was face-to-face with a big bear. The bear was as surprised as the boy. He [The bear] gave a startled growl and a jump, and they both turned and ran in different directions.

One day, when Joseph Bartholomew Jr., returning from his trap line north of town, discovered a huge black bear asleep in a willow patch. It had killed a calf and eaten most of it and then laid down for a nap. He hurried home for help. He and others went ahead to kill the bear, while still others followed with a wagon drawn by an ox team. This was a very exciting day. When they returned with the bear on the wagon the rest of the community was out to greet them. The hide was tanned for a rug and the fat was rendered to make soap, shoe grease, harness oil, etc., for the whole community.

John Bartholomew was on his way to Flat Canyon one day. As he was passing through what is known as the greasewood patch, a short distance from the road, on the ground sat a large eagle. There has been a tremendous rain storm and its feathers were soaked so that it could not fly. John decided to capture the bird as he came nearer to it he decided that he would grab it around the neck so it could not bite him. As he did so, the eagle brought both big claws up and socked them into his hands. John discovered that the eagle had more than one means of defense. He had to choke the bird before he could remove its talons from his hands and wrists.

Whyndom James, a son of John James Sr. and Elizabeth Williams James, said that the Indians used to go north in the spring and south in the fall. Usuallu they would stop off for a rest in Fayette. Once when they camped east of Fayette for a while, he went to their camp and played with their boys. They wrestled and played games together and had lots of fun. When the sun started going down the old Chief put his hand on Whyndom’s shoulder, pointed at the sun and toward the boys home and said, “hike away.” Then he turned and pointed to the east and told him that when the sun was in the east he could come again. Many years later he saw some of these same Indians camped below Spring City. They recognized each other and were glad to meet again.

When he was a boy, one day he went down to the field and discovered a calf that had been so badly gored that its entrails were hanging out. He ran home for his mother. She told him to make her a guinea pig, such as the boys used in their games. With her scissors she cut away all of the entrails that were cold. Then she slipped the guinea into the warm entrails, pulling the two warm ends together over the center of the guinea and sewed them together. He asked her how she was going to get the wood out of there and she said it would be easy. She slipped the guinea up to the place that was uninjured, cut a slit, replaced the entrails and then sewed up the tissues and the hide. The calf lived, and when it was about two years old they sold it for sixty dollars.

Whydom said that his mother had a most beautiful singing voice, and that everybody loved her. The Indians especially loved her because of her goodness to them. 

The women washed the wool. dyed it the desired color with home made dyes, then spun it and wove it, sewed, made candles, dried fruit, made quilts and helped each other in every way possible, according to their special talents. Clara Mellor Hill was an expert at making yeast, and she generously divided with anyone in need. Polly Benson Bartholomew was an artist at creating beautiful rugs, carpets, and bedspreads, etc. One of the bedspreads she made is now on display at the Bureau of Information in Salt Lake City.

Roxie Bartholomew Christensen was old enough to help with the cooking when her mother bought her first glass fruit jars[16]. The instructions that came with them said to wrap a cloth wrung out of cold water, tightly around the jar while pouring in the boiling hot cooked fruit. Needless to say many bottles broke and before long they discarded that part of the instructions.

Some of the social events were sewing bees, quilting bees, apple-drying or squash-drying bees, corn-husking bees, and dinner dances. [The youngsters especially enjoyed the candy pulls at molasses cooking time. Nearly every family had a patch of sugar cane[17].] These early settlers had to make their own amusement, but they were very united and happy.

The home of Joseph Bartholomew Sr. built in 1870, of red sand stone quarried in the hills southeast of Fayette. The timbers were red pine from Hell's Kitchen Canyon. The iron nails were square. The doors were heavy and each window had eight small glass panes. Each of the two front rooms had a fireplace. The walls were eighteen inches thick.

The home of James Mellor Sr. built in the early 1870s, before 1875. He made the brick himself with the help of his sons. It was a spacious house. The front door opened into a large hall, which led to all rooms and had an ornate stairway leading to the second floor. Each of the two large front rooms had a fireplace.

John Mellor, brother to James Mellor Sr. arrived from England with his wife and family in 1872. His wife became known and loved throughout Sanpete County as Aunt Amy. She was a midwife and practical nurse who gave freely of her services. She loved to tell stories to children while she crocheted and made hair flowers.

A Sunday School was organized in 1873 with James Mellor as Superintendent. No records for and earlier date than 1881 have been preserved. In that year (1881), John Swain acted as Superintendent with Joseph Bartholomew as first and William Bown Sr. as second assistant.

On May 1, 1874, the Fayette branch of the United Order was organized.

As in every community, a cemetery was necessary. On July 3, 1974, the Fayette Cemetery was dedicated.

James Mellor Sr. was called on a mission to Great Britain, and was set apart April 11, 1875. He was the first Elder called on a foreign mission from Fayette. John Metcalf was the second and also went to Great Britain in 1877. By 1890 there had been eleven elders sent on foreign missions from Fayette, and by 1956 this small ward has sent fifty-one missionaries into the world.

Before modern embalming, it was difficult to keep dead bodies in condition before burial. When Joseph A. Young, president of Sevier Stake, died, August 5, 1875, his body was placed in ice and reached Salt Lake City in good condition. Ice was also used to keep meats fresh and in the nineties when drug stores began dispensing ice cream it was a necessity. In those day it seems that ice from ponds and streams was very much thicker than it is today around here. It was known to reach a depth of fourteen to eighteen inches. Men would drive teams on the thick and stout frozen surface of reservoirs or lakes-while others sawed blocks of ice, making each block about eighteen by twenty-four inches and whatever depth there was. After loading, these blocks would be hauled to ice houses and laid layer upon layer with sawdust in between. Many loads were hauled, enough to last through the summer. Chunks of it would be for sale.

The Fayette Relief Society was organized September 12, 1875, with Jane Ann Bown as president, Jane Cooper first counselor, and Polly Bartholomew second counselor.

As early as April 1, 1876, a Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association was organized, by Milton H. Harley and B. Morris Young but the records were lost.

Fayette was a branch of Gunnison Ward in Sevier Stake, until July 4, 1877[18]. On that day the Sanpete Stake was organized. On the same day Fayette became a ward and was attached to Sanpete Stake.

When the Sanpete Stake of Zion was organized, July 4, 1877, John Bartholomew was made Bishop of the Fayette Ward, which was organized that same day. John James Sr. was his first counselor and Joseph Bartholomew Jr. was his second counselor, and Wm Bown Sr. was Ward Clerk.

Counting the years that John Bartholomew served as presiding elder and then as bishop, he presided over this community continuously for forty-seven years[19].

On April 27, 1977, Presiding Elders, Bartholomew of Fayette, and Olesen of Mayfield, received orders from Stake President Thurber to "hold in readiness respectfully, forty three men mounted and equipped, to escort President Brigham Young and party from Salina to Manti. . ." The men were fitted out under the command of Lieutenant James Metcalf. They accompanied the party from Salina to Manti, stopping en route to hold a meeting in Gunnison. Brigham Young dedicated the Manti Temple ground on April 15, 1877.

June 20, 1877, delegates were appointed to build barracks for the workers on the Manti Temple and sheds and corrals for their work animals. They were Joseph Bartholomew and William Gee from Fayette, James Hansen and C. A. Madsen from Gunnison C. C. Olesen from New London (South Mayfield), N. C. Anderson from Mayfield.

On August 12, 1879, the Fayette Ward Primary was organized by Emmeline S. Wells with Aulda Catherine Palmer as President.

On August 12, 1879, a meeting was called and a corporation formed of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints residing in the Fayette Ecclesiastical Ward of the Sanpete Stake of Zion, at Fayette in Sanpete County, Utah Territory. Said corporation was to exist for the term of fifty years. There were thirteen By-lays or Sections which were signed by 78 members of said ward, and the corporation was presided over by Bishop John Bartholomew, John James Sr., first vice president, Edward Reid, Secretary and Treasurer, John Redington, William Robinson, Wallace E. Potter, William Bown Sr. and Joseph Bartholomew Sr. Directors.

In August 1879, a Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association was organized. Mrs. Emma Marintha Bartholomew was president and Miss Annie Mellor was secretary.

About 1880 the Clark Bridge was built across the river northwest of Fayette[20]. Chris Olston was the builder and Jim Metcalf, the architect. It was the second bridge built across the Sevier River in this area. When the railroad was built into Utah many men learned the use of the pile driver. Some of the heavy pile driver hammers were used in the construction of this bridge.

In 1884, the Relief Society women decided to build a house of its own. Most of the work done on the Relief Society Hall, as they called it, was paid for by the society, quilts, knitting, sewing of various kinds as well as the donation of Sunday eggs. The officers took turns boarding the masons and carpenters. The walls were built up to the square and then they decided to make it a two-story building, so the house stood unfinished for several years and was finally completed in 1895.

On July 26, 1885, Wilford Woodruff, President of the Twelve Apostles, was staying at the Bishop's home in Fayette[21]. As usual he had stopped off here for a rest on his way to St. George. A rider came from Juab and notified him that President John Taylor had died that day. Brother Woodruff returned immediately to Salt Lake City.

In the darkest days of controversy over polygamy, the government went so far as to disincorporated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, dissolving the Perpetual Emigrating Company and confiscating church property by means of the Edmunds Tucker Law, in 1887, and deprived polygamists of the right to vote. When Wilford Woodruff became president of the Church in April 1889, he issued the "Manifest," a proclamation suspending plural marriage. On January 4, 1893, President Benjamin Harrison (President of U. S.) issued a proclamation restoring the franchise and the property to those from whom they had been taken.

On November 16, 1893, under the direction of John Nuttall, who represented the General Authorities of the church, the Fayette Ward Relief Society held a meeting at which they elected a board of five directors and three trustees, to manage their affairs and hold legal title to their property. In doing this they elected the standing officers of the society. From that time on they were instructed to conduct their meeting in parliamentary order, also to be governed by "Articles of Association" which had been ratified and signed by the members.

An old newspaper clipping reads; "July 1, 1896-Fayette. Flood came down from hills. Almost entire settlement flooded. Bridges washed out, fences wrecked, cellars filled with water in some houses. Crops destroyed and haystacks washed away. New canal damaged in many places and filled with debris."

There was a terrific hailstorm followed by a cloud burst over the hills above the spring. It filled the spring with mud and shut off the water supply. The people were without water until they cleaned the mud out of the spring. The hail stones were as large as small bird eggs and were flooded into packs so hard that there was still ice enough to freeze ice cream on the Twenty-fourth of July.

Irrigation interests were supplemented and protected by the Gunnison-Fayette Canal Company, which was incorporated March 12, 1896, with capital stock of $2340.00, fully paid up by the corporation ownership plan. The canal they built was an extension of the Robins and Kearns Canal which came from the Sevier River west of Axtell. This Fayette extension went as far north as the McCarty Ford, about eight miles north of Fayette. It was surveyed by Joseph Bartholomew Jr. who made his own surveying devices. The men who helped in the construction of the canal received water rights as pay for their labor. Many took up homesteads along the canal as soon as it was surveyed and developed fine farms and ranches. About four miles north of Fayette the river makes a complete horse-show shaped bend. At this place the canal came out above the farm fences and made a good camping place for weary travelers to stop to rest and water their animals.

Up until about this time all the water from the spring ran past the gristmill and was the power used to run the mill; beyond that it was divided for irrigating the fields and gardens and for culinary needs. Since the Gunnison-Fayette Canal would provide the water necessary to irrigate all the land west of the community, the water from the spring was used to irrigate the each land both north and south. The mill ceased to operate because it was considered more important to bring the bench land into production, besides, flour could now be obtained at other mills that had been established in nearby communities. This mill with John Edward Metcalf and later his son, Anthony Metcalf had a successful run of about thirty-one years.

In 1902 the Relief Society Hall was rented to the Trustees of the Fayette School District and here they held school for eight years. In 1910, bins were built in the ground floor room to store the Relief Society wheat. In order to increase the store of wheat it was rented or loaned out to farmers who paid it back with interest at the end of each season, until it was finally sold, according to instructions from the General Authorities of the Church, and money placed in care of the Presiding Bishop’s Office, on September 8, 1923.

From 1910 to 1912, while the white brick school house was under construction, school was held in the Meeting House and in the home of Lucy Anderson. The School house was finished in time for a Christmas party and after that, besides school and its functions, all of the Church Auxiliaries excepting the Relief Society, held forth in the new building.

The earliest formal schoolteacher of whom we have any record was a Mr. Syckle[22]. Many faithful teachers followed. A Mr. Potter taught the children the Morse Code and telegraphy, and much to the consternation of many parents he predicted wireless telegraphy.

In January 1927, Bishop George M. Bartholomew received permission of the Relief Society to remodel the Relief Society Hall for the use of the Auxiliaries. Class rooms were arranged upstairs and the building equipped with electric lights.

In 19  , all of the schools in southern Sanpete County were consolidated into the South Sanpete School District, and for several years the school board allowed the Ward to continue to rent the school house for use of the auxiliaries, but in 1926 the board requested that the ward make other arrangements.

About that time the school house was remodeled and a third teacher employed. Then in 1931 they transported the Fayette [children] in eight grade to Gunnison. Soon they took the seventh and sixth grades and in 1940 they took the whole school. The price of progress is high sometimes. It was a great adventure for the older students, but for the little ones and the shy ones the challenge was almost more than it was worth, and to lose its school almost takes the heart out of a community.


Head of Fayette Springs, taken before

improvements have been made. 

From Edna J. Gregerson’s 1961 Thesis.

Irrigation interests were supplemented and protected by the Gunnison-Fayette Cancl Company, which was incorporated March 12, 1896, with a capitol stock of $2340.00, fully paid up by the co-operation ownership plan. The canal they built was an extension of the Robins and Kearns canal which came from the Sevier River. This Fayette extension went as far north as the MacCurty Ford. The men who helped in the construction of the canal received water rights as pay for their labor. Many took up homesteads along the canal as soon as it was surveyed and developed fine farms and ranches.

In 1904 the Fayette Irrigation System was incorporated to govern the use of Warm Creek water.

In 1908 the telephone line was extended from Gunnison to Fayette.

In 1911 the pipeline was laid carrying water from the spring to the homes. The electric power line was built from Gunnison to Fayette and the lights were turned on in May 1913. In 1917 as [an] extension on the Piute canal was built to furnish water for the bench land west of the Sevier River. Also, about that time many of the farms along the river were sold to the Yuba Dam Company for the reservoir site.

August 30, 1910, Carl A. Erickson submitted a plan for the proposed pipe line system.

The people of this community have always believed whole-heartedly in education, and a great percentage of the youth have gone out in the fields of higher learning.

In World War I, three of our young men enlisted. In World War II, forty-four members of Fayette were enlisted in the services of our country--forty-two boys and two girls. Several of our young men participated in the Korean War.

On February 5, 1948, the Fayette town was incorporated, with J. Blaine Bartholomew as Town President, V. Lloyd Bartholomew as Secretary, Maurine Mellor as Treasurer, Norval Mellor and Edwin Mellor as board member.

The Fayette camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers was organized in March, 1947, with Rilla G. Johnson as Captain. Captains of Fayette Daughters of the Utah Pioneers following Rilla G. Johnson were Lillian Bartholomew, Florence Bartholomew and Ella Bown.

In 1955 they erected a Marker, In the marker are the burrs or millstones made by John E. Metcalf in 1863. They stand back to back. The other stones built around the burrs were chosen, not because of their size or shape or for the beauty of their color, but because of their historic value, having been used in the construction of that first mill.

 The Marker was dedicated Sunday, December 4, 1955, at which time the following program was presented.

  1. Opening remarks, Captain Florence Bartholomew.
  2. Vocal duet, “That Pioneer Mother of Mine”, Milton and Celia Bartholomew.
  3. Unveiling of the Marker, Roma Bartholomew and Opel Kellor [Keller].
  4. Dedicatory Prayer, Ray C. Bartholomew.
  5. History of the place to be marked, LaReta Mellor.
  6. Remarks, Mrs. Bessie T. Frandon, Captain of the South Sanpete County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.
  7. Special speaker, V. Lloyd Bartholomew
  8. Closing song, “Come, Come Ye Saints”, congregation.

Head house 1934 and large pipe laid to upper street.

Water works began Oct 31, 1956.

Water turned in upper street December 31, 1956. The water was turned in the lower street on January 19, 1957.

There was a tornado whip through Fayette on June 16, 1955.

This history was compiled by Martha Bartholomew historian of Fayette Camp D.U.P., from information furnished by Elle Bown, V. Lloyd Bartholomew, Lilly W. Mellor, W. T. James and others.