Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

From Kings Peak to Bryce Canyon, meet 26 of the faces behind Utah places (26 items)

By , Deseret News

May 19, 2014

The names of many Utah places, from Book of Mormon-based names like Lehi and Nephi to Native American names like Kanab and Panguitch, are frequently steeped in history and have stories behind them.

Here's a look at 26 Utah places and the faces — and stories — that go along with them.

1 of 26. Peter Skene Ogden: Ogden

According to historytogo.utah.gov, Peter Skene Ogden was born in 1794 and worked for the Hudson Bay Company as a trapper and mountain man. In April 1824, Ogden and a brigade of 131 people reached the Bear River, and Ogden then continued into Cache Valley.

"Records seem to indicate that Ogden himself did not enter the area of the present-day city which now bears his name, nor is it positively known if he even saw the Great Salt Lake at this time," the website states. "However, men of his brigade did return from their trapping with accounts of those areas, and it is quite possible that Ogden did observe them."

2 of 26. Clarence King: Kings Peak

The highest summit in Utah is Kings Peak, measuring in at 13,528 feet. The peak is named for Clarence King, an American geologist and mining engineer who was born in 1842 in Rhode Island. King organized and directed the U.S. Geological Survey of the 40th parallel, discovered Mount Whitney (the highest summit in the U.S.) and explored the deserts of California and Arizona, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. King became the first director of the U.S. Geologic Survey in 1879.

3 of 26. Parley P. Pratt: Parleys Canyon

Parley P. Pratt was born in New York in 1802 and was baptized into the LDS Church in 1830. He became an apostle in the church, joined in the migration to Utah and became an explorer of the Utah territory.

According to Don Strack on the utahrails.net website, Parleys Canyon was originally named Big Canyon (or Kanyon). Pratt explored the canyon and into Park City, later reporting that there was land for timber, grazing, and quarrying in and around the canyon. He recommended building a road through the canyon and later did so, with the road that is now part of the I-80 freeway originally coming to life as a toll road constructed by Pratt.

4 of 26. Howard Stansbury: Stansbury Island

Howard Stansbury was born in New York City in 1806 and went on to become a civil engineer and a lieutenant — and later captain — in the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers. He spent 1849-1851 on the Great Salt Lake expedition and published an account of his work titled, "An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah." The work included a description of the Great Salt Lake's geography, natural history and minerals, a water analysis and an account of a Mormon settlement, among other things. Multiple sites in Utah bear his name including Stansbury Island, the second largest island in the Great Salt Lake.

5 of 26. Capt. John W. Gunnison: Gunnison

According to the National Park Service, John W. Gunnison was born in 1812 in New Hampshire, attended West Point Military Academy, served in the military under future President Zachary Taylor and later transferred to the Corps of Topographical Engineers. Gunnison was part of Howard Stansbury's expedition to the Great Salt Lake and wrote a book titled, "The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake: A History of Their Rise and Progress, Peculiar Doctrines, Present Condition, and Prospects, Derived from Personal Observation During a Residence Among Them."

On an 1853 expedition, Gunnison traveled over the Rocky Mountains and into the (then) Grand River Valley, where the town of Gunnison is located today.