Taylorsville, Utah - History

History

The area called Taylorsville today is made up of three historic communities in the central part of Salt Lake County: Taylorsville, Bennion, and Kearns. Taylorsville, Bennion, and part of Kearns became the City of Taylorsville during the centennial anniversary of Utah statehood, 1996.

The land on which Taylorsville is located is part of an interconnected alluvial plain that was formed by the wearing down of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains to the east and west. Beneath the surface Taylorsville sits on more than a kilometer of unconsolidated rock, sand, and clay. The inactive Taylorsville Fault has been traced down the center of the Salt Lake Valley. Lake Bonneville shaped the topography of the area and deposited lake bottom clay and sand. As Lake Bonneville dried up over the past 14,000 years, the salt from the breakdown of rock remains, making the soil alkaline. Like most desert soils, it has little organic material and is hard to work.

A broad, east-west running ridge called "Bennion Hill" rises perhaps a hundred and fifty feet above the surrounding area. Bennion Hill is the eastern end of a wide ridge which rises toward Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.

The first (unnamed) people in the region appeared during or after the last ice age on the shores of what remained of Lake Bonneville. Less than five miles (8 km) from Taylorsville evidence of people killing and eating a mammoth have been found. Some of this region’s first named visitors were Fremont people who used the area to hunt and gather food along the Jordan River more than a thousand years ago. A large Fremont settlement on City Creek used the land where Taylorsville is located as hunting and foraging especially along the river. In more recent times Ute bands passed through the valley between the marshes of the Great Salt Lake and Utah Valley. Most of the area was dry sagebrush-covered land without any natural water sources except the Jordan River. A well-used Ute trail wound along the west side of the river at approximately 1300 West which the Ute used in spring and fall. Early settlers observed small encampments of Ute in the cottonwoods along the Jordan River. At least one local settler called these people the "Yo-No'". Whether the name is his own creation or an approximation of something they said is unknown.

There are poorly documented suggestions that Spanish missionaries, soldiers, and explorers came through the area beginning in the mid-1600s. The whole region was called "Teguayo" and "Lake Copalla" (Utah Lake) appear on maps of Spanish Nuevo Mexico. Spanish and then Mexican land claims remained until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican War in 1853 and ceded the whole of northern Mexico to the United States including a few thousand Mormon settlers who had taken up residence in July 1847.

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