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Dry Fork, Utah - Thomas Bingham Sr.

In 1877, Thomas Bingham Sr. and a group of settlers left Huntsville, came to Ashley Valley, and settled first on a site on the Green River. That same year Teancum Taylor came to Vernal, then called Hatch Town, and described the little valley of Dry Fork where he had his cattle. He asked some of the men to come to Dry Fork and settle there. He had taken up land in Dry Fork and offered to divide it and give lots to all who would build on them. Chellus Hall, who had settled near the Green River, decided to go. On February 8, 1878, he took a camp outfit, and he and his wife and daughter went to Dry Fork to make their home. Thomas Bingham Sr., Frederick G. Williams, Enoch Burns, Alma Taylor, George Keary, John Nelsen, and their families all followed. They soon had a road built on the mountain to obtain timber for their homes. Alma Taylor hauled the first load of logs from the mountain, and Chellus Hall hauled the second load. They, in turn, helped each other and soon there were living quarters for all. They next built a schoolhouse which also served as a meeting house.

Thomas Bingham Sr. was the first bishop with counselors Thomas Bingham Jr. and Silas Jerome Merrell. The Relief Society president was Lizzie Bingham. Mark Hall was the first school teacher. Al Johnson had the first sawmill, located east of the Dan Adams home. Chellus Hall and Billie Woodward owned one of the first threshing machines which was powered by horses.

The little valley was rich with good soil and plenty of water, timber, and range land. There was an abundance of wild game in the area. Dry Fork had the best choir in the county, directed by Billie Woodward. During the year of the "hard winter," Chellus Hall and his brother Lee left Dry Fork to go to Green River City, Wyoming, to obtain flour to eat, leaving one day after Jim Henry and his company. They arrived at Green River crossing on their way back and found Jim Henry and his company camped for the night. But Chellus Hall knew the stream as he had done so much freighting, and he knew that it would be so high by morning that it would be impossible to cross it for several days or longer. With much persuasion, he finally got the company up, and they crossed the river after dark. All were frightened, but they made it safely. They used their shovels for oars to paddle with, and the crossing took most of the night. The next morning the water was several feet higher. It was a welcome sight to the wives and children waiting in Dry Fork when the men arrived home with flour for their bread.

In its early years, the people of Dry Fork all helped one another. They had picnics, quilting bees, and rag rug bees, and they were like one large family. There was very little sickness, but Lola Hall and Mary Bingham Hall were always on hand to help those who were ill. William Caldwell was one of the largest sheep men in the county and one of the best judges of sheep. Matthew Caldwell was the first postmaster. At one time it was a flourishing little town with twenty-seven families, a post office, and a store.


Pioneer Pathways

Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Volume 3. Pages 387-388


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