Fairview, Utah

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Fairview is a city in Sanpete County, Utah, United States. The population was 1,160 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Located at the confluence of the San Pitch River and Cottonwood Creek, Fairview is the largest town in the northeast end of the Sanpete Valley. Founded in 1859, soon after the resettlement of nearby Mount Pleasant, Fairview was one of the first new towns established during the second wave of Mormon settlement in Sanpete County.

Impressed with the possibilities of the area while gathering wild hay there in early 1859, Warren P. Brady and Jehu Cox wrote to Brigham Young asking for permission to create a settlement. The pragmatic church president responded, "If there is water for thirty families, you have my permission." At an organizing meeting held on 1 October 1859 in Mt. Pleasant, James N. Jones was chosen to lead a band of about twenty families interested in the new colonizing opportunity. The town site was surveyed and by the end of 1860 a large log meeting house had been completed to house church, school, and social functions. Rows of poplars were planted, streets were graded, and fences were constructed as Fairview took on the appearance of the ubiquitous "Mormon Village." In 1864 the town obtained a post office and forsook its original name of North Bend in favor of the more descriptive name Fairview, because it "commands an excellent view of the great granary extending south even beyond Manti, thirty miles distant."

During the Black Hawk War of the mid-1860s, some Fairview residents moved to Mt. Pleasant for protection after a few men were killed in deadly skirmishes. Those who remained complied with Brigham Young's instructions to build a fort. By the end of 1866 a thick rock wall ten feet high enclosed the center of town. Within a few years, the conflict was essentially over and aggressive settlement and community development commenced. In the course of the ensuing decade, Fairview's population burgeoned to more than 1,000, making it the fourth largest in Sanpete by 1880. In 1900 and again in 1940 the town exceeded 1,700 people; however in 1980 the population was just 900, ranking Fairview sixth in size among the county's nineteen communities.

Fairview shared with its neighboring villages the fact of its Mormon origin and governance, together with its significant ethnic makeup. Yet by 1880 Fairview had the smallest percentage of foreign-born, married adults (50.3 percent) of any of the major towns in a county which averaged 72.2 percent foreign-born. Fairview was distinctive in other ways as well. Initially the "child" of larger Mt. Pleasant, only six miles to the south, Fairview eventually became its rival, competing vigorously for land, water, timber, grazing rights, and a fair share of church and government funds. The town's Mormon bishops sometimes found themselves in the center of bitter disputes with leaders of other communities, much to the dismay of local apostle and stake president Orson Hyde, who was assigned to arbitrate disputes and settle contentions.

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