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St. Mary's County


seven mountain ranges and seven valleys in the westward trek; and the other, led by William Dame, explored extensively in Meadow Valley (including the vicinities of Panaca, Caliente, and Pioche). Some of the men prepared irrigation systems and planted crops at the present site of Panaca; others began a small settlement near Barclay in Clover Valley, and still others cultivated some land on Snake Creek near the present site of Garrison, Utah. The peace settlement reached in the late spring of 1858 made the work of the White Mountain Expedition unnecessary, and their enterprises were quickly abandoned. Some fifty-four acres had been planted in Meadow Valley and smaller areas near Barclay and Garrison, but virtually no permanent improvements resulted. Yet the White Mountain men explored almost as far west as Railroad Valley, as far north as Cherry Creek, and as far south as Pahranagat—regions which had not yet been approached by the mining frontiersmen from the west. There was one tangible sequel to this episode; the Mormon leadership established a permanent settlement in Panaca (Meadow Valley) in 1864, and those settlers used the ditches and fields that had been prepared by the White Mountain men.^° Clifford Stott says: In spectacular fashion, the White Mountain Expedition explored a large portion of the last virgin territory in the United States south of Alaska. Large areas of present-day western Utah and eastern Nevada were charted and mapped for the first time.^^


It was in this region that the crucial contests between mining men and agriculturally oriented Mormons—and ultimately claimants between Nevada and Utah Territory—were waged in the mid-1860s. In the spring of 1864 William Hamblin, a southern Utah Mormon missionary, was guided by Indians to outcroppings of the silver ledge in a canyon that later became the site of the mining town of Pioche. In short order he showed the claims to Stephen Sherwood and J. N. Vandermark, who had entered the region from Utah. Not long thereafter, about ten miles further south, the Francis Lee family and James Matthews took up land in Meadow Valley and laid out the town of

lolbid., pp. 220-21. iilbid., p. 216.

Profile for Utah State History

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987