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WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY     (Washington County, Utah)

PINTO, UTAH

Pinto on the Old Spanish Trail was settled in 1856 by people from Fort Harmony.


LOCATION

Topo map of Pinto         Road Map of Pinto


        37° 32' 16" North Latitude,   113° 30' 59" West Longitude
        37.5378° North Latitude,   113.5164° West Longitude
        Elevation: 6,061 feet (1,848 meters)

        12 miles westnorthwest (250°) of New Harmony
        11 miles eastsoutheast (77°) of Enterprise
        10 miles northeast (35°) for Central

        Pinto Road is at approximately MM 34 east off of SR 18

Aerial photo of Pinto


HISTORY

In the summer of 1864, John Pato, Thales Haskel, and Benjamin Knell settled on a creek which they called Pato Creek. The name soon changed to Pinto Creek which is now the town of Pinto.

Pinto, with its lush meadows and clear stream of good water, was a natural stopping place on the Old Spanish Trail. The chief products carried over this trail, before the coming of the Mormons, were Indian slaves and peltries. When the Mormons first arrived in southern Utah they found a well-beaten trail through the streets of Pinto. At the April conference in 1854, President Young called a group of missionaries to the Indians of Southern Utah. Under the leadership of Rufus C. Allen, they commenced operations at Harmony, Utah. About the end of May, the same year, President Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt and others of the General Authorities, visited there, President Young gave much instruction regarding conducting the mission and building up the settlements in southern Utah. In December 1854, Jacob Hamblin with Ira Hatch, Samuel Knight, Thales Haskell and A.P. Hardy went down the Rio Virgin and settled Santa Clara. In the summer of 1855, Isaac Riddle, Jehu Blackburn and Robert Richey left Harmony and settled Pine Valley. In the fall of 1856, six or eight Indian missionaries camped on Pinto Creek by a hay stack owned by Brother Gould, who, however, was not a permanent settler on the creek, but had come out from Parowan to cut hay. The missionaries, who were in charge of Rufus C. Allen, were on their way from New Harmony to Santa Clara. Benjamin Knell, one of the missionaries writes: "Rufus C. Allen was our president, or captain, and was with us most of the time, trying to get the Indians to come to our camps that we might let them know we were their friends. A few of the older men would come in, but were very shy. From our visit to the Santa Clara we went to Pinto and camped at Gould's hay stack in the summer of 1856. Brothers Dixon, Richard S. Robinson, Amos G. Thornton, Prime T. Coleman and David Wilson Tullis were a part of the company. That year we made our homes on the Pinto Creek hauling hay from the Mountain Meadows for our stock. The winter of 1856-57 was quite mild. Jehu Blackburn and I went on horseback up Pinto Creek to ascertain if we could get a team up the Canyon as he wanted to get into Pine Valley from New Harmony. We found the pass impossible. We drove two yoke of oxen and a heavy wagon on the trail to the head of the middle fork of Pinto creek and then climbed the ridge, getting into Pine Valley that night. Heavy freight teams enroute from Los Angeles, California to Salt Lake City would frequently camp on the Pinto Creek. The mountains were covered with grass. Jacob Hamblin was appointed our captain in a short time and he frequently came to Pinto to give us council. Another account says that a meeting was called in the fall of 1856 by Rufus C. Allen who proposed, on account of the shortage of water, that the settlers at Harmony should take the water out from the Kanarra Creek, and the missionaries take the water from Harmony as this arrangement would give enough water for both parties. John D. Lee was opposed to this plan and the company divided, some going to the Santa Clara and others to Pinto. The following named brethren went to Pinto: Rufus C. Allen (captain), Samuel F. Atwood,Lorenzo W. Roundy, Richard S. Robinson Amos G. Thornton, Prime T. Coleman, Benjamin Knell, Robert Dixon


PHOTOS

The main street of Pinto
WCHS-03130     Photo of the main street of Pinto in 1875

Other WCHS photos:
WCHS-00093     Photo of the entry arch to the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00094     Photo of the entrance to the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00095     Photo of the front of a marker at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00096     Photo of the back of a marker at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00097     Photo of an area of graves at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00098     Photo of an area of graves at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00099     Photo of a group of graves at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00100     Photo of a marker at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00101     Photo of an old headstone at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00102     Photo of an old headstone at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00103     Photo of a grave and headstone at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00104     Photo of a headstone at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00105     Photo of a grave with headstone and footstone at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00106     Photo of an internally fenced burial plot at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00107     Photo of an internally fenced burial plot at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00108     Photo of a tall marble marker at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-00109     Photo of a tall marble grave marker at the Pinto Cemetery
WCHS-02324     Photo of the DUP "Pinto" monument, Number 204 erected 1954
WCHS-02325     Photo of the DUP "Pinto" monument, Number 204 erected 1954

Other photos on the web:
8/1970 photo of a bench on the porch at the old hotel at Pinto
8/1970 photo of the old hotel at Pinto
7/1960 photo of the meadows along the stream bottom in Pinto Canyon, just south of the town of Pinto
5/1937 photo of three men with horses inspecting deer grazing damage on the range near Pinto
Photo of acting ranger, Wayne Cloward (D-1) checking artificial revegitation near Pinto
Photo of acting ranger, Wayne Cloward (D-1) checking artificial revegitation near Pinto
Photo of plows at a Pinto area reseeding project
1967 photo of a man with a white flag guiding an airplane coming on a reseeding project near Pinto
Photo of PJ type artificial revegitation resulting from a reseeding project near Pinto
Photo of PJ type artificial revegitation resulting from a reseeding project near Pinto
Photo of along road from Pinto to Iron Mountain - artificial revegetation, Pinto reseeding project, denuded PJ type
10/11/1967 photo of "chaining" to remove pinyon juniper trees near Pinto
8/19/1911 photo of Pinto Creek showing wash which was once a road and a meadow
1913 photo of an unidentified man standing in Pinto Creek wash
10/1/2006 photo of Pinto Road on the Northern end of the Pine Valley Mountains
10/1/2006 photo of some rocks near Kane Point on Pinto Road in the Pine Valley Mountains
10/1/2006 photo of a rock (Kane Point?) seen from Pinto Road
10/1/2006 photo of the Pine Valley Mountains viewed from Pinto Road
10/1/2006 photo of a view from the Pinto Road (probably of the town of Pinto)
10/1/2006 photo an old barn seen from Pinto Road
10/1/2006 photo of some abandoned buildings along the Pinto Road on the Northern end of the Pine Valley Mountains
10/1/2006 photo of an abandoned home in Pinto
10/1/2006 photo of the Pine Valley Mountains viewed from the Pinto Road near Pinto


REFERENCES

History of Pinto, Utah
by Rulon Knell
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection

History of Pinto, Utah
by John W. Van Cott on OnlineUtah.com

Pinto, Utah Ghost Town
from St. George Online

Washington County Chapter, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, " Under Dixie Sun".
1950 with 1978 Supplement.
Pages 125, 213-218, Supplement Pages 22-23.

Southern Utah Memories: Pinto, Utah was a popular stop along the Old Spanish Trail,
by Loren R. Webb,   August 6, 2013

Pinto Town and Family Histories
Blog by by Rulon Knell

Pinto or Pato - Historians Split Over Town's Name

Short paragraph about the names Pato and Pinto

Sons of Utah Pioneers Hear of Ghost Towns