Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"No Pent Up City Controls Our Powers. The Whole Mountain Territory Is Ours.

Under date of June 8, 1861, the Deseret News published

the following article signed "Item."

"Mount Pleasant, June 8, 1861.
"Mr. Editor:­
"Did you ever visit this little town, not city? If not, you have lost a treat. Here on a nice rolling piece of ground, commanding a fine view of the surrounding country, and of the mountains and hills, covered with timber to their base, stands a superior fort, built two years ago, under the direction of Mr. James Ivie. Many persons still live in the fort, either fearful of Indians or else they like the proximity of house to house. The citizens are, however, generally locating on their lots outside, and some evidences of taste are being displayed in their buildings and improvements.
"Five creeks contribute their water to irrigate the land. Pleasant Creek is made to turn machinery every few rods, and so strong and rapid is the current that mills could advantageously be located along the stream very near to each other.
"We have good peace here and the usual spirit of industry is manifested. A fatherly care is exercised in the control of affairs, but there is little to control, the people seem to control them­selves. We have no liquor saloons, no liquor manufacturers, neither stores to take away our grain; but we have an abundance of sheep and stock. We have two tanneries, and need more. Shoe­makers are wanted; furniture is much needed, and a potter would be found delighting us, while he turned his clay into gold (wheat). We have only one flour mill, and need more. We have three saw mills and need more. We have an abundance of land, and need more farmers. The range for stock is excellent; timber of most kinds plentiful, and there are chances untold for the poor of the Saints to find a home where they can say:
    'No pent up city controls our powers,
                       The whole mountain Territory is ours.'
"The citizens of Mount Pleasant have petitioned the County Court of Sanpete to add one thousand dollars to the appropriation
made by the Legislature, last winter, for the purpose of improving the road through Spanish Fork Canyon, but no response has as yet been made, and nothing has been done in relation to the Legislative appropriation. Why this apathy and indifference? A good road through the canyon is much needed by the people of this valley, and why is it that we must go round thirty miles further to reach Great Salt Lake City; shall we ever see a better  nearer road?
“A strong effort will be made this season to improve this place, m advantageously located, and thus make it what its name denotes, a pleasant place.
               "It is gratifying to say that what articles are manufactured
are highly creditable to all concerned.
"Our Big Field, which is nine miles in circumference, is well fenced, and contains some of the finest soil in the Territory. The low and uplands are admirably suited for the various grains. We lack some vines, but for the great staple of life (wheat), I believe
Sanpete is second to none in the Territory. The man of family would do well to look here before he locates anywhere, if he desires a cheap home, and in fact any and all who will, can get their living by the sweat of their brow. I am satisfied that from the harmonious workings of affairs here, a future awaits this place as bright as that of any star in the constellation of Deseret, and that as much honey will be found in our portion of the hive as in some more favored ones nearer the center.
      "It would do you good to see the anxious expectants gather around the agent's office, on the days of arrival, awaiting the News, richly feighted as it is with news items. The 'Extra' … ­how glad we are to see it! Your city folks know not the value of paper like that. The sermons as well as the war news, are read and re-read by your subscribers here.
       "Our postal arrangements are not satisfactory. We need a post office at this place, and hope to get one at no distant day. We are talking about erecting a meeting-house, and establishing a small library in one room, that our youth may have a chance to im­prove their minds, as well as to become proficient in the art of dancing; in short, to keep up with the spirit of the times and the progress of Zion.

"Should you ever vacate the editorial chair for a residence in the country, I hope that you, though a northern man, will come south to Mount Pleasant, where secession is never breathed, but where, on the glorious Fourth, we hope to hoist the genuine Stars and Stripes and show that they and the Constitution are still revered in the midst of the mountains. I wish orders had been just sent for our teams to have freighted the Union out here. We could have preserved it so well in this salt country.
                                                                   (Signed) "Item"

History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf  pp70-72

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