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Doris Karren Burton, Author
Settlements of Uintah County: Digging Deeper
by Doris Karren Burton
The Ute Indians were the first settlers of Uintah County ages before recorded history. They set up temporary quarters in tepees, moving them to better food sources or for hunting convenience. Encampments were always made near water sources when possible. The first white settlement was made in 1828 in Whiterocks when trappers and traders arrived. The Reed Trading Post was opened for Indian and white fur traders. It was purchased by Antoine Rodidoux in 1832. When the fur trade ceased in 1842, the post was burned by disgruntled Indians.
Indians continued to dwell in the area, but white men did not return until December 1868 when the Uintah Reservation Agency opened in Whiterocks. During 1869, a white settlement was also reestablished in Whiterocks.
Pardon Dobbs, the Uintah Reservation Indian agent, drove his cattle to Ashley Valley after completing his term in 1873. He was accompanied by Morris Evans and John Blankenship. Dodds built a small cabin, housing an Indian trading post, on the north fork of Ashley Creek. Blankenship built a cabin on the south fork. The small settlement, northwest of Vernal and known as Ashley, was sometimes called Ashley Fork.
Other settlers arrived in the valley, including cowboys bringing in herds of cattle, frontiersmen looking for greener pastures, Mormom polygamists looking for a safe haven, and other Mormons trying to secure settlement of the Uinta Valley for the LDS Church. After the reservation was opened for white settlement in 1905, an influx of homesteaders spread across the Uinta Basin. With cabins built, sagebrush grubbed, and crops planted, settlements with schools, churches, post offices, and stores evolved. First in Wasatch County, the settlements grew until Uintah County was formed in 1880.
Hardback, Revised & Expanded, c2003, xi, 692 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.