WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
SOUTHERN INDIAN MISSION
HISTORYAt the general conference of the Church of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October of 1853, a group of 21 men and two young men with their fathers, were called to go to southern Utah to establish the Southern Indian Mission. They were given the winter to prepare.
On April 14, 1854, the company under the leadership of Captain Rufus C. Allen and Lieutenants David Lewis and Samuel F. Atwood started their mission. They included:
Rufus C. Allen (age 26) - Captain
Samuel F. Atwood (age 29) - Lieutenant
Thomas D. Brown (age 46) - Recorder and Historian
Hyrum Burgess (age 17)
Robert M. Dickson (age 46)
Elnathan Eldridge (age 42)
Jacob Hamblin (age 35)
Augustus P. Hardy (age 23)
Thales H. Haskell (age 20)
Ira Hatch (age 18)
William Henefer (age 30)
Benjamin Knell (age 19)
Samuel Knight (age 21)
David Lewis (age 40) - Lieutenant
John Lott (age 26)
John Murdock (age 27)
Robert Richie (age 47)
Isaac Riddle (age 24)
Richard Robison (age 23)
Lorenzo Roundy (age 34)
Amos G. Thornton (age 21)
On the way down, they were halted several times by bands of Indians, whom they satisfied by giving them bread, flour, and tobacco.
They arrived at Harmony on May 2 and started their missionary work. Food and seed had been donated to them at Parowan and at Cedar City. They were advised to feed and clothe the Indians as well as to teach them.
Labor among the Indians of Santa Clara began as early as June. In December of 1854, Samuel Knight and was called to go to Santa Clara to serve. There is a record of Samuel being there on January 11, 1855. The missionaries built a diversion dam on Santa Clara Creek to get water for their crops.
In the fall of 1855, Jacob Hamblin brought his family, some of his brothers, and their families down from Tooele. These were the first women and children to join the missionaries there and comprised ten families.
During the winter of 1855-1856, a stone fort was built at Santa Clara. About 30-40 acres of land was cultivated and good crops were grown. It was noted that cotton grew well in this climate.
During the summer of 1856, additional families were brought to Santa Clara. These included Weir Leavitt, Lemuel Leavitt, three more brothers of Jacob Hamblin (Franklin, Alsen, and Frederick), Zadoc K. Judd, and Andrew S. Gibbons. The colony was the big enough that some of the families lived outside the fort.
Jacob Hamblin was appointed President of the Southern Indian Mission in 1857. He chose Samuel Knight and Dudley Leavitt as counselors and they served from 1857 to 1859.
In 1858, emigrants from San Bernardino stayed temporarily with the residents of Santa Clara and some took up permanent residence. With the advent of the Swiss Company, Indian Missionaries were called to other parts of the Territory and the Southern Indian Mission passed out of existence. Jacob Hamblin stayed until 1869 before moving on to Kanab.
REFERENCES" Journal of the Southern Indian Mission: Diary of Thomas D. Brown"
Issue 4 of Western Text Society series, Western Text Society
by Thomas Dunlop Brown
Edited by Juanita Brooks
Published by the Utah State University Press, 1972
" A Sketch of the Life of Samuel Knight, 1832-1910"
by Arthur Knight Hafen - A Grandson
St. George, Utah: March 1960