A Young Folks' History of the Church
December 5, 1847? 13. Where was Kanesville? 14. What took place during the summer
Great Salt Lake City
The 25th of July, 1847, came on a Sunday, therefore the pioneers rested and held
Monday morning work began in earnest. Plowing and planting had to be hurried.
Exploring parties were also sent out in different directions to become acquainted with the
On the evening of July 28th President Young, accompanied by the Apostles, went some
distance from the camp to select a spot from which to begin building the city. Arriving at
a good location, President Young stopped, and, striking his cane in the earth, he said:
"Here will be the temple of our God"—and on that spot the temple stands today. It was
then decided to lay out the city north, east, south, and west from the temple site, in ten
acre blocks, the streets to be eight rods wide and the sidewalks twenty feet. Some time
after this it was named Great Salt Lake City.
You will call to mind that some of the Mormon Battalion, owing to sickness, did not
march through to California. This company, together with some Saints from the state of
Mississippi, arrived at the pioneer camp on July 29th, thus making quite an addition to
the company. The first building of any kind erected in the valley by the Saints was a
bowery built on the temple block by the Battalion men. This was used for some time in
which to hold meetings.
It was decided not to settle on the city lots at first, but build a fort with houses in as a
protection from the Indians. The houses were built of logs, and stood in a row, close
together, which formed one side of the fort. The other three sides were built of adobe
walls. The roofs of the houses were made of soil. The windows and doors faced the
inside. Though better than living all the winter in tents and wagons, you may imagine
these houses were not very comfortable, especially when the rain came through the roofs
onto beds, tables, stoves, etc.
A conference was held in the bowery on Sunday, August 22nd, where considerable
business was attended to. The Salt Lake Stake of Zion was organized, with John Smith as
president. It was shortly after this that President Young and his company went back to
The next addition to the settlement was the Mormon Battalion from California.
At the coming of winter all moved into the fort. That season the winter was mild, so quite
an amount of work was done outside.
The spring of 1848 opened with fine prospects ahead. Five thousand acres of land were
planted, and the grain was growing rapidly; but another trial was at hand. In May and
June great swarms of crickets came from the mountains and began to devour every
growing thing. The settlers fought them as best they were able, but what could be done
with such countless millions of insects! It seemed hopeless. Their crops were fast
disappearing, and with them their means of living through the next year. Remember, they