Early History of Kane County

Early History of Kane County

Pioneers of the Early Days

In the spring of 1865, Lorenzo W. Roundy, Jerad C. Roundy, Myron S. Roundy and William Ford, settled in upper Kanab in that part of the county now called Alton.  Walter Smith, William Smith, Charles Partridge and their families, together with a few other families also settled here about this time.  These pioneers built log cabins just west of the place where the Kane county dairy was afterwards erected.  That fall the Roundy brothers returned to Centerville, Davis County, to get the rest of their families.  Soon after they were gone, the remaining families at upper Kanab were called to strengthen lower Kanab.  These settlers left everything and did as they were bid.  Lorenzo Roundy and his families came on to Kanab a little later that fall.

John D. Parker, who was also one of these pioneers, was delayed on account of sickness, but started south from Levan, Juab county, the last of November.

On account of the hostility of the Indians along the Sevier river, he went by way of Fillmore, Beaver county, Toquerville, Rockville and Pipe Springs.  He arrived at Kanab the third day of January, 1866, through three feet of snow.  The snow has never fallen so deep in Kanab since that winter.  The same evening Brother Parker arrived his little four year old son died of scarlet fever.  Three days after the Parkers had nooned at Pipe Springs, Robert Whitman and James McIntyre were murdered by Navajo Indians.

The sad news of this terrible murder was written on an envelope by a herd boy who had escaped, and was brought to Kanab by a Piute Indian.

The people looked to L. W. Roundy as a leader, although he was not a bishop at that time.  However, he called for volunteers to carry the message to President Snow at St. George.  Byron D. Roundy and Oran Clark answered to this call and were soon equipped.  They started from Kanab at 9 p.m. and reached St. George the next morning at 10 o'clock.

Byron Roundy afterward often said that it was the fear of that dark night's ride, expecting every moment to be surrounded by Lamanites, that caused him to be bald headed.

The bodies of the two murdered men were taken to St. George where they were cared for by loving friends.

That winter the people of Kanab fought savages on one side and death by scarlet fever on the other.  John D. Parker buried two children that winter and L. D. Roundy buried one.  The Smith family also lost one.

The four little graves lay due west from the north east corner of the old fort on the hill between two cedar trees.

In January a company of men were sent to Kanab from the settlement in Dixie to help guard the fort as the Indians were very hostile at this time.  The fort was guarded night and day.  However, every dark of the moon the Indians got their booty.  The settlers were never molested at full moon.  However, in every raid they made they succeeded in stealing cattle, horses and sheep.  The men were unable to catch them, although once the savages were forced to leave their meet broiling on the coals in order to escape.  Colonel Andrews told the men not to fire the first shot, and so to the regret of some, no Indians were killed.

In February of that year a little son was born to the wife of Charles Pinney in a dug-out.  It proved to be as nice as any baby.

The first of March the settlers of Kanab were asked to leave and go to Long Valley to strengthen that place.  It took them five days to travel the distance of fifteen miles. The teams were poor and the loads heavy.  One oxen dropped dead on the Mt. Carmel hill when Mr. Parker, one of the company, took off the yoke.

The night they camped at Three Lakes a baby girl was born to the wife of Oran Clark, who was one of the express riders.  Crops were planted as soon as they arrived at Mt. Carmel.

That spring the Berry boys and one of their wives were killed near Short Creek. Joseph Berry, when found, was leaning between the wheels and the wagon bed dead.  Robert and the woman were lying dead on the ground.

An Indian brought the news to Grandma Berry, written on an envelope by William Berry, a brother of the victims, and who had gone to meet them.

The dead were taken to St. George and buried by sorrowing friends.

This same month, B. D. Roundy and Orley Bliss were called to go on a mission to the Missouri river to escort a poor company of immigrants to Zion with ox teams.

The last week in June, hardly three months after arriving in Mt. Carmel the final call came for the people living in Mt. Carmel and Long Valley to move to Dixie.  The crops they had planted looked beautiful, but they made ready and were soon on wheels again.

The first day out, a little four year old boy of brother Spencer's of upper Long Valley fell from a horse and was run over by a wagon and killed instantly.  The company stopped for a day to bury him beneath a large tree.

President Snow sent a company of men from the Dixie country to guard the people on the way.  At Short Creek they stopped to water their teams, when Colonel Andrews saw two Indian chiefs, Charlie Howed and Coal Creek John, riding down the canyon.  Colonel Andrews and L. W. Roundy met them at a little distance from the company.  They shook hands and talked until the wagons were corralled and the women placed in them.  All of a sudden, a shot was heard; one of the boys had laid his gun in the wagon and it had exploded.  This caused a great deal of excitement among the company, as the nerves of everyone was strained to the limit.  In the tumult it caused, William Berry got his gun and threatened to kill the two chiefs because he thought they had killed his brothers.  It took four men, his two wives, and his mother, to calm him and to take his gun away from him.  The tumult subsided.  The Indians promised to go back up the canyon and let the company pass in peace.  The men decided not to stop to eat, but everyone took a sandwich and were soon on the way again.  As darkness began to hover around them, the captain, Andrews, discovered three flickering lights on top of the mountain in a triangular shape.  Andrews was an Indian scout and knew the meaning of the fire signals of the Indians.  He informed the company of the signals and advised them not to stop that night for fear that they might be massacred.  So on they went.  All the women who were able were asked to drive a team that night, so that the men and boys might guard the stock and teams.  Several mothers drove teams that night with babes in their arms. By morning the company had reached Rockville unharmed.

They crossed the Virgin river near St. George where they camped three days to rest.  Word was sent to L. W. Roundy to take his part of the company and go to Kanarra, Iron county, and help build up that village.  The rest of the company were allowed to go to their former homes in the Dixie settlements elsewhere.

The Roundy company got to Kanarra the second of July just in time to celebrate the fourth of July.  That fall President Snow took L. W. Roundy to Salt Lake City and ordained him bishop of Kanarra, which position he held until May 27, 1876, when he was drowned in the Colorado river.

In 1872 the author of this sketch was married to William Heber Roundy and with her husband and his brother Byron, returned to upper Kanab where permanent homes were established.

I still feel that I am a pioneer of the Kanab Stake of Zion.

Malinda Parker Roundy.

[Source: Garfield County News, Panquitch, Utah, June 6, 1930, p. 4]

Last Updated: 06.06.2015