|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Volume XIV Issue XVII The Ogden Valley news Page 11 November 15, 2007 Bingham’s Fort By Jackie Westergard Bingham’s Fort was central in the lives of many Ogden community founders. It was the largest fort, both in area and population. Hundreds of settlers stopped over at this fort before moving into permanent homes. The first settlers of what would become Bingham’s Fort came to the area in 1849. Settlers dotted the land with cabins, cultivated fields, and devised irrigation systems. After an incident in 1850 in which Chief Terrikee and a settler were killed at Four Mile Creek in Harrisville, and because of Indian uprisings in Central Utah in 1853, Utah colonizer Brigham Young advised the settlers in Weber County to “fort up.” [The Chief Terrikee account is told in the book Beneath Ben Lomond’s Peak, by Milton R. Hunter.] Bingham’s Fort was located on both sides of what is now West Second Street and mainly west of Wall Avenue. Wall Avenue approximates the east wall of the fort, while 2nd Street west of Wall Avenue was known as Bingham’s Lane, a roadway which connected the east gate to the west gate of the fort. The west wall of the fort was located east of current day 301 West 2nd Street. The physical boundaries and dimensions of the fort are detailed in Gordon Q. Jones’ book, Pioneer Forts in Ogden Utah. The fort measured on the west and east ends 60 rods or 990 feet wide, and on the north and south sides 120 rods or 1,980 feet long. Compared to Brown’s Fort in Ogden, which was 57 feet by 66 feet, Bingham’s Fort was quite large. Between 730 to 1000 residents lived within Bingham’s Fort. Only after Brigham Young came to the fort and told the families to move into Ogden, did the other areas begin to grow. Isaac Newton Goodale laid out lots, and settlers moved their cabins using animal teams, or took the cabins apart and reassembled them inside the fort. Isaac Newton Goodale was the son-in-law of the fort’s namesake, Erastus Bingham. Goodale later built the first road from Ogden to Huntsville, what is now Ogden Canyon Road. He built the first irrigation system for Ogden; he laid out the irrigation system now known as the Lynne Ditch, which is still in use. The early settlement was fashioned under the ecclesiastical organization of the Mormon colonizers. In 1851 Erastus Bingham became bishop of the entire area north of the Ogden River, while Isaac Clark became bishop of the area south of the Ogden River. Lorin Farr became the Stake President, presiding over both men, and serving as the mayor of Ogden. Erastus Bingham had two previous farms before he ultimately resided at the site of current day 301 West 2nd Street. Erastus and his sons had found ore in Bingham’s Canyon and were advised by Brigham Young not to pursue mining, but to farm. Erastus moved to the Ogden settlement and set up a farm approximately where the Ogden Temple square is now located. He was asked once again by Brigham Young to move so that a city square could be laid out at that central location. Bingham’s farm at 301 West 2nd Street remains the only original pioneer farm within the Ogden City limits. The Bingham log cabin remained on the farm site until 1953 when it was purchased by the Sons of Utah Pioneers for a recreated Pioneer Village in Salt Lake City. The cabin was moved to that site until it was ultimately sold to Lagoon where it is displayed today as part of Lagoon’s Pioneer Village. Erastus Bingham served as a member of the first Territorial Legislature in 1854. From 1856 to 1868 he served as bishop of the First Ward. In 1857 he built the first cabin in Ogden Valley, about 11½ miles east of the present city of Eden. He used that area as summer grazing grounds. Erastus Bingham eventually followed Brigham Young’s counsel to build up Ogden and moved his residence there, but retained his farm and cabins in Bingham’s Fort. Some of his sons and their families continued to live in the fort. Bingham’s Fort walls were built of rocks and mud; principally mud. Each family was assigned to build a portion of the wall that was about four rods from the houses. Thomas Richardson, a pioneer boy who lived in Bingham’s Fort, tells how the walls were constructed: “We did not have lumber to put up to hold the mud, so we placed upright poles tapering from about eight feet at the bottom and three feet at the top. We set stakes between the poles and wove willows in like a willow fence, then filled the space with mud. We made a ditch nearby to run water down to make the mud. While wet, we threw it in with shovels, spaces of anything we had. The wall was about twelve feet high. The fort had an entrance on the west side large enough to drive a team through, with a gate constructed of heavy timber which stood as high as the wall.” The walls of the fort were torn down when the fort was no longer needed for safety. Nine year old Fred Pierce remembered helping the men tear down the remaining walls in 1888. Bingham’s Fort was a site of Brigham Young’s experimental program in Indian relations. Brigham Young’s policy of “it is cheaper to feed them than to fight them” was carried out by Bingham’s Fort residents. Pioneer journals and stories provide supporting evidence of the Indians living in and around the fort relying on help and support mother was. She said, “Mother, Bush Head is sitting on your bed.” Her mother picked up the broom and went over into the adobe house and told Bush Head to get right out of there or she would hit him. Evidently he understood her. . . . [H]e got up quickly and went out although he talked back to her, but they couldn’t understand him. When her father came home he was much concerned about it because he said they were all liable to be scalped if Bush Head was angry, but nothing happened. One day Mary’s father, William B. Hutchins, came in laughing and said, “Eliza, do you know what the Indians are calling you? They call you a fighting squaw. How do you like that?’ As a result of the close association between the white settlers and the Natives, the Bingham’s Fort settlers were recruited for Brigham Young’s Salmon River Mission, also called the Fort Lemhi Mission in Idaho. This was because the pioneers in the area learned some of the Indian language and coexisted with Chief Little Soldier’s Shoshoni people and other natives. At one time, approximately the late 1860s, there were as many as seven different tribes of Native Americans camped to the west of the fort alongside Millcreek. That Indian camping area later became farms, and then Defense Depot Ogden, and now currently Business Depot Ogden. According to pioneer records, there was repeated Indian interaction with Mormon settlers, with Shoshone Chief Little Soldier acting as the peacemaker between the Indians and white settlers of Weber County, Bingham’s Fort history teaches [the] example of different societies intermingling and succeeding. Note: Information for this article came from “Ogden, Utah: The first 150 years.” Historical Photo An LDS church gathering from about 1890. This photo can be seen in “History of the Eden Ward Ogden Stake Utah, 1877 - 1977.” Shown above, front row (left to right): Belle Walker, Maggie Stallings, Rose Wilson, Thurza Fackrell. Roy Wilbur, Hyrum (Hy) Carver, Frank Shelton, John Stallings, John Walker, George Stallings, A.M. Ferrin. Second Row: Unknown, Nora Gould, Maggie Pritchett, Roseltha Burnett, Ida Shupe, Unknown, Della Walker, Christabell Eccles. Third Row: Effie Walker, Ren Colvin, Minnie Fackrell, Jesse Wilbur, Becky Farrell. Orley Wilbur, Fred Andreason, Lester Froerer, Heber (Tine) Carver, Maggie Colvin, Matthew Burnett, Lizzie Ritter, William (Billie) Colvin, Mary Shelton. Fourth Row: John Lindsay, Parley McBride, Unknown, Joseph Ferrin, Thomas (Tom) Burnett, An?? Andreason. If you have a copy of an original, please contact Jeannie or Shanna at the Ogden Valley news, 801-745-2879 or 801-745-2688. Celeste C. Canning PLLC Attorney at Law 2590 Washington Boulevard, Suite 200 Ogden, Utah 84401 Local: (801) 791-1092 from the settlers. The fort was first built as a protection from the Indians, but because of the food shortages [in] the winter of 18541855, some of the Indians gave up their arms and also lived inside and around the fort. One recorded incident illustrates how the white settlers in Bingham’s Fort interacted with the Indians. Mary Elizabeth Hutchens was born in 1857 to William Hutchens (pioneer of 1848 from South Carolina) and his wife Mary Eliza Stone (pioneer of 1851 from England). Mary left an account of her life, recorded by her daughter. Mary wrote: “Bush Head’s hair stood upright all over his head and was strung with beads of intervals. All his tribe had the same kind of hair. “He also wore a beaded and fringed buckskin suit . . . the beadwork in the form of one large diamond, black and white beads being used—all of the tribes had different emblems beaded on their clothes. Bush Head . . . was a very mean Indian. He used to bring his tribe to the meadows near Baird’s (building 12 A Defense Depot). His lodge poles were strung with scalps, not all of Indians either. Some scalps were of long light brown and brown hair and some of short soft light hair taken from babies’ heads. Her father told the children to never go alon[e] out of the place until Bush Head’s tribe had gone. One day Mary’s mother had just house cleaned the log and the adobe house. Mary was making the beds in the adobe house and her mother was cooking in the log house. Mary heard someone walk along the entry of the half torn down part of the house, then try the door. She turned quickly and in walked Bush Head, the Chief. He said something which Mary couldn’t understand, and sat down on her mother’s bed. Mary was horrified as even the children weren’t supposed to touch the beds daytimes, least of all her mother’s bed. She rushed out of the room and over into the log house where her Office: (801) 612-9299 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Meeting the Legal Needs of Small Business and Their Owners FREE Initial Thirty Minute Consultation. Appointments in Ogden Valley upon request.