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Where is it at?
GPS 37' 32.117N  113' 36.464W   Altitude 5832    (UTM 11269659E 4157359N)


Dr. Steve Heath


The little cemetery stands deserted, many of the graves unmarked and some unknown to any of the living. The only other evidence of a town which remains are the two locust trees which seem huddled together on the slope north of the cemetery, seeming to give comfort and warmth to each other. On the almost impassible road the Forest Service have put a marker reading, Old Hamblin Town site. Here in summer, the lush green meadows spoken of by the early settlers and immigrants, can be seen, but they are not so lush as they once were because of the overgrazing and erosion of the land. Here on the rim of the Great Basin the water divides, that on the north running north onto the Escalante desert and that on the south flowing south through the Santa Clara Creek to the Virgin River and on to the mighty Colorado.

The Mountain Meadows are located in the northwest corner of Washington county in southern Utah, thirty-five miles northwest of St. George. The altitude is about 6000 feet and the place is windy and has a heavy snowfall in the winter.

Here in the north end of the Mountain Meadows in 1856 Jacob Hamblin brought his wife, Rachel and children to get out of the heat of the summer at Santa Clara where Jacob was head of he Southern Indian Mission. He built a cabin in the north end of the valley and the family kept their cattle there. They made butter and cheese and sold some of these and other produce to the immigrant trains which passed this way on their way to California over the Old Spanish Trail.

It was here on Sept. 11, 1857 that the 18 small children, survivors of the terrible massacre in the south end of this valley, were brought to Rachel Hamblin for her to care for them until they could be placed in foster homes by Jacob Hamblin and the Indian authorities. Jacob Hamblin was at the time in Salt Lake City with some of the southern Indian chiefs conferring with Brigham Young. Rachel Hamblin had been told of the terrible thing that was going on in the south end of the valley by their Indian son, Albert, who had seen it from the top of a bill. Rachel barricaded herself and her children inside the home until the wagon arrived bringing the children for her care.

Soon after Jacob Hamblin located his family at the Meadows other families came to join them. In 1866 Erastus Snow suggested that the settlers gather together and build a fort. They built their homes close together along one street with the building which served as a church and school at the far east end of the street. The town became known as Fort Hamblin, named thus for Jacob Hamblin, the intrepid Indian Missionary. Later the fort was dropped from the name and the place known just as Hamblin.

In 1877 the census of the Pinto Ward, of which Hamblin was a branch, showed 9 families consisting of 50 souls, at Hamblin. These were evidently the families of Richard Gibbons, Edwin R. Westover, David Canfield and three of his sons, Simpson Emett, John Day, and Jacob Mica Truman. Jacob M. Truman had been the youngest enlisted member of the Mormon Battalion on their history making march across the continent. He is buried beside his wife in the little cemetery at Hamblin, where a fitting marker notes his membership in the Mormon Battalion.

In 1867 James Holt had come to Hamblin to visit his brother-in-law, Simpson Emett, and had stayed several years, until he located his home some five miles north in the canyon which bears his name today.

Simpson Emett, was a son of James Emett, and had left Nauvoo, illinois with his father and a party of people, after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They had wandered several years in the northern part of Iowa among the Indians. He had married Caroline Overton sister of James Holt*s wife, Parthenia Overton Holt.

David Canfield had lived at Santa Clara and in 1864 lived on a ranch just below Central, in Washington County. He moved to Hamblin shortly after this where he and three of his sons all built homes and had farms. Two of these families the Canfields, and Emetts married, also joining with the Day family and the Westovers.

In the late 1860*s Jacob Hamblin moved his family to Kanab and left this little namesake town.

The townsite of Hamblin was surveyed in 1873.

Richard Gibbons was the first Presiding Elder at Hamblin, and was followed by Jacob M. Truman, who died November 26, 1881. He was succeeded by George A. Holt who presided until 1891 when he was called on a mission for the Church.

How long a school was conducted for the children of Hamblin is not known, but most of the settlers lived there year round at Hamblin and a school would have had to be provided for the children. In 1893-1894 Mary Ann Cottam, later the wife of Albert E. Miller, of St. George, taught school at Hamblin and boarded with the John Day family. The following year Sarah Meeks Morris taught school at hamblin, later in the spring of 1895 she moved to Enterprise where here husband, Ben, had been building one of the first homes in that town.

Water for culinary use for Hamblin was provided by a small spring on the northeast slope above the little town. Water for irrigation for gardens and farms came from springs in the wash further down the slope to the southwest. In the late 1890*s the floods washed the was so deep that the water could not be brought onto the land and the families at Hamblin drifted away, most of them settling in Enterprise to the northwest where a new town was just being started.

Today Emma Day Hunt of Enterprise, Utah and the Canfield men, Milo, Burr, and Duane, of St. George are the only surviving citizens of Hamblin. As far as is known all of these people were born at Hamblin. Today all is quiet at Hamblin. Only an occasional visitor to the little cemetery stands and looks over the land and wonders about the few people who lived there in the little ghost town of Hamblin.

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