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Morgan Valley Memories of Richville

Article Date: 
30 March, 2012 (All day)

Submitted by The Sons of the Utah Pioneers

First Letters

In the year 1859, David E. Henderson, Issac Morris and Jonathan Hemmingway families formed the nucleus for the town of Richville. Lured to this spot in 1861 come Thomas Rich (1817-1884) who had the honor of having the town named after him but moved to Porterville. David Henderson built the first log house down by the east canyon creek. When other families came they were advised by David Henderson to build on higher ground because of the flooding, which he had experienced from the 1860 spring runoff. This same year John H. Rich, Gillerpie Waldron and Solomon Conley joined the group, followed by Albert Douglas Dickson and a year later his two brothers, William and John and his father, Billa Dickson in 1862. Add to the list names of George W. Taggart, George Seaman, Henry and Morgan Hinman, and later on the Oluf Rose, Sanford Colson Porter, Baltzar Peterson, John Wood, Fredrick Clark, George Brough, and William Smith families and others who were attracted to this beautiful place. I have often wondered how they were able to communicate with each other as many were Scandinavia and others were English.

The first houses for many of these families were dugouts which let the rain in through the dirt roofs. As I have read the journals of many of the early settlers this was a common thing. Many have told of the mother giving birth to a child and having to have a blanket or canvas extended over her to keep the dripping water off of her as she would give birth to the child.

One story is told of a snake falling from the ceiling onto the dinner table as the family was eating. 

A lot of industry was going on at this time the Railroad, building of homes putting in an irrigation system and the saw mills in Hardscrabble. There was also a Stone Query were the stones for the Morgan Theater and for many other early homes which are still in use today. Richville irrigated company was formed and a Canal was dug by hand. 

They used a plank and a saucer of water to set the grade. The canal became the “Mill Race” for the Grist Mill later on.