TO CENTERVILLE PIONEERS
also known as Deuel Creek and Cherry Creek in the early days, was first settled
in 1848 by Thomas Grover and Osmyn and William Deuel. They, along with
other early settlers of Centerville, were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints.
The first homes built in
Centerville were made of logs dragged down from the steep mountains. These
home were held together by wooden pegs and rawhide thongs, because they did not
have nails in those early days. Later, some homes were made of adobe (clay
and straw dried in the sun). Other more substantial homes were constructed
out of rocks washed down from the hills or found in the stream beds.
Water for the new community was
diverted from four mountain streams. These streams were named after some
of the early settlers; Deuel, Parrish, Barnard and Ricks. In 1854, a grist
mill was built on Deuel Creek.
In 1853, the residents of
Centerville began constructing a fort to protect themselves from the
Indians. The Indian threat lessened, so it was never completed.
In 1851, a log schoolhouse was
built. In 1852, Sanford Porter was called as the first bishop of the
Centerville Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In
1855, William R. Smith became the second bishop of the Centerville Ward.
Bishop Smith served in that position until he was called in 1877 as the first
stake president of the Davis County area.
In 1866, William Reeves built a
stage coach station in Centerville. He later converted it into the Elkhorn
Hall to be used as an amusement hall for dances and local dramatic
performances. The Elkhorn Hall is still standing and is used today as a
residence. The schoolhouse and hall were also used for religious
gatherings until 1879 when a church building was constructed at 1st South and
Brigham H. Roberts, a pioneer
and General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, made
his home in Centerville. Another Church leader, Charles C. Rich, an
apostle, lived in Centerville for a short time.
The Bamberger Railroad line that
ran between Ogden and Salt Lake City served the residents of Centerville from
1894 to 1952. There was also a trolley line between Centerville and Salt
Lake City from 1913 to 1926.
In 1915, a few local men of
vision petitioned the county to incorporate the settlement into a town, so a
culinary water system could be developed. This first water system was
constructed of wire-wrapped, wood stave pipes that frequently sprang
leaks. In 1936, the wood stave pipes were replaced by metal pipes.
Centerville became a city in 1956.
Centerville has survived two
devastating floods - in 1923 and 1930 - that brought mud, rocks, and debris down
the steep canyons. These floods washed away homes and roads and inundated
much of Centerville's valuable farmland.
- Vestil Harrison, Centerville
Site No. 66
Sponsored by the Centerville Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers
Dedicated July 3, 1994