History Of Taylor

James Pearce and his wife Mary Jane arrived at the site that would become Taylor (in honor of John Taylor, who succeeded Brigham Young as the President of the LDS Church) on a cold January day in 1878. Silver Creek was clear, cold, and swift; however the little river valley through which it flowed showed promise of fertility to the Pearces despite the icy winter day. Just a couple of miles downstream, they visited with rancher James Stinson who had, in 1876 or 1877, settled along Silver Creek where the Town of Snowflake would soon begin taking shape. Stinson had obtained his place by means of a squatter's claim and offered to sell it to Pearce, but his asking price was several thousand dollars more than William Flake was able to pay.

Mary Jane Pearce told her husband that the lovely valley was too much for one man. Prophetically, James said, "It won't be more than two years before our people have a place in this valley."

In March of 1878, John Henry Standifird arrived with his 13-year old daughter Anne, and Pearce and Standifird decided to join forces. They settled a little upstream from the present downtown Taylor where irrigation water could easily be ditched to crops on land purchased with two milk cows from a man named Felix Scott. Initially, James built a dugout cave to house his family, and in July of that year, the first white child, Elizabeth Pearce, was born on the creek. Standifird and Pearce raised a good crop on that upstream place in 1878 and in 1879, but their winters were spent helping to lay out the town of Taylor, where a family named Bagley and possibly the Walkers had settled. In that first year, Pearce planted peach and plum pits, and some of those trees still produce today.

In early 1879, the Lorenzo Hill Hatch and William II Solomon families arrived in Taylor. Solomon was the first shoemaker in the territory and over the years was credited with saving many "soles."

Many Latter-Day Saint families from Utah arrived on the "new frontier" along Silver Creek in 1879. They were the Kays, Walkers, Brimhalls, Cardons, Clawsons, Thomases, Dustins, McCleves, Ellsworths, Winsors, Westovers, Scotts, Hunts, and Wests. These pioneers built a dam and an extensive system of ditches capable of watering crops on both sides of the creek.

In a historical account written for a 1978 Taylor Founders Day program, Laura Saline referred to James Pearce and Henry Standifird as "our two strong founding pioneers." They were brave and spiritual men who had demonstrated their exceptional leadership qualities and great endurance on many pioneering endeavors, previous to their founding and developing of the community of Taylor.

Visit the Town of Taylor's website at www.tayloraz.org

To view a map of Snowflake/Taylor - Click Here

To see an article written in the Ireland Evening Herald about Taylor - Click Here


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