[Geo. A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson to Editor of the News, G. S. L. City, 27 Feb. 1855, Deseret News, 5:6]
Our Home Correspondence
Office, G. S. L. City,
Feb. 27, 1855
Editor of the News:— We left this city on Saturday the 24th inst., at 4 1-2 p.m., and arrived at Sessions’ [Settlement] at 6 1-2, and to our surprise, found the snow 7 inches deep, we stayed with elder Perrygrine Sessions, and after taking some refreshments, elder G. A. Smith went to the Lyceum Association of the North Kanyon ward, and by request, addressed them on the subject of Church History, and advised them to establish a library for mutual improvement.
Sunday 25th—meeting at 11 a.m., preached to the saints at the North School House, a building 30 feet by 20, which was crowded; the windows were raised, and many remained outside. We preached about 2 3-4 hours, dividing the time equally, on education, walling cities, and building up and beautifying Zion, when bishop John Stoker proposed to name their city Bountiful, and it was unanimously voted. The city plot is surveyed 200 rods by 97, and 416 rods of earth wall have been built 6 feet high, and 6 feet thick. About 30 houses have been erected within the limits of the wall. The ward is divided into two school districts, and two adobie school houses have been built; the north one is 30 feet by 20, and the south 26 by 20, and both are well finished. The north school has 60 scholars taught by Mrs. Hannah Hollbrook, an experienced and very efficient teacher, and the other has 40 taught by Mr. David B. Styles. The ward contains about 150 families, who raised 20,000 bushels of wheat last year.
Prest. H. C. Kimball’s large and excellent flouring mill is doing good business; this and 3 saw mills, 2 shingle and lath mills, a hemp and flax breaker, propelled by water, and owned by Benjamin Buchanan who manufactures ropes, and a thrashing machine factory. There are 30 houses within the city, and the whole ward is dotted with splendid mansions, and comfortable farm houses. Bishop Stoker informed us that union and good order existed among them. At 6 1-2 p.m., we arrived at Centerville, a ward containing 40 families, with elder Sanford Porter for their bishop. The village plot is 110 rods by 81, and 150 rods of adobe wall 8 feet high and 18 inches thick have been built. A school house 30 feet by 21 was finished in January last. A grist mill, and a lathe and shingle mill are in operation. Messrs. Hollis Jepson, & Co., have built a paper mill which will be in operation in four weeks. A school of 50 scholars commenced on the 1st of February, taught by Samuel Madden. Meetings are held on the Sabbath, and on Thursday evenings, and are well attended.—We preached about 3 hours on the gathering of the saints, the law of tithing, and its connection with ordinances for the dead, and the necessity of education, and were listened to with the most profound attention. Tarried for the night with elder Anson Call.
Monday, stormy, we bade farewell to our kind friends, praying for the blessing of heaven to rest upon the city Bountiful, and all the Israel of God, and returned.
There has been a good improvement in the road at the Hot Springs which are lowered 2 feet by a ditch cut to pass the water to the lake.
Two large ditches have been cut at the Warm Springs, preparatory to making a good road through that hitherto bottomless pit.
Ezra T. Benson