Early settlers' determination bore fruit in St. George, says Public Power magazine article
Originally published February 11, 2013
The earliest settlers of the southeastern corner of Utah found a tough, nearly uninhabitable home. In the subtropical arid climate that came with its location at the edge of the Mojave Desert, they faced limited access to water and weather unlike that of Salt Lake City, over 250 miles to the north.
Yet in the face of constant hardship, their pioneer spirit never wavered, writes David Blaylock in an article for Public Power magazine.
St. George has become Utah's largest city outside of the greater Salt Lake City area.
"So much of what has made this city work to get where it is has been that pioneer spirit," said Phillip Solomon, energy services director for the St. George Energy Services Department. "They came here to achieve something, they saw where it worked and didn’t, and they did what they could to make it all work in the end."
The early settlement was built off of a gamble by Brigham Young, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Young saw the land as an option for cotton production while the Civil War raged in the East. Because of this, the region was christened "Dixie," even as production failed to match expectations.
The earliest attempts at city services involved much trial and error, with water distribution testing the pioneers’ patience and constitutions. There were problems with the infrastructure and the health effects of water dipped from ditches that were downstream from livestock.
Learn more about St. George’s growing pains and triumphs in an article, "That Pioneer Spirit." The article is posted on publicpower.org.
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Senior Vice President, Publishing
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
Editor, Public Power Daily
Fallon W. Forbush
Manager, Integrated Media
David L. Blaylock
Integrated Media Editor
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