La Verkin, Utah
Early History [edit | edit source]
La Verkin is a town with pleasant homes, situated about two miles northeast of Hurricane, nine miles southeast of Toquerville and 20 miles, by nearest road northeast of St. George. La Verkin is known for its beautiful location, its splendid orchards and shade trees, and its fine private residence. La Verkin is near the Cedar-Zion Canyon highway, its fields joining said road. The LaVerkin Hot Springs, a popular bathing resort, is situated in the Rio Virgen Canyon, immediately south of town. The temperature of the healthy mineral water in these springs is about 108 degrees Fahrenheit. La Verlin obtains water for culinary purpose from the springs situated about ten miles away, a short distance above Toquerville, from which source the water is piped to the LaVerkin town site, where it is taken into just about every house in the town.
In November, 1888, Thomas Judd and Thomas P. Cottam, both of St George, Utah, considered the feasibility of getting water from the Rio Virgen onto the LaVerkin bench. A satisfactory survey of a canal needed for that purpose was made and work on the canal commenced in 1889. In June, 1889, the LaVerkin Fruit and Nursery Company was incorporated with Thomas Judd as president, and working on the canal and the tunnel at the head was pushed through at a cost of about $25,000 and completed in April, 1891. In the spring of 1891 orchards and vineyards were planted and during the following year the company continued their cooperative labors, making many improvements. A town site was surveyed about 1898, and the first Families moved onto it in 1900.
As the population of the settlement increased they were organized into a bishop’s ward June 23, 1904, with Morris Wilson, jun., as Bishop. Meeting were held in a bowery and in private houses, but the rock meeting house with belfry on the west end was built in 1907, which served for all meetings, school and social purpose until a new meeting house was erected in 1925-1926. Morris Wilson, jun., acted as bishop of the La Verkin Ward until 1928, when he was succeeded by Ovando Gubler, who was president Dec 31, 1930. On that date the LaVerkin ward had 231 members, including 63 children. The total population of the La Verkin town was 236 in 1930.
Additional history of Utah and the early Latter-day Saint settlers there can be found in: Andrew Jenson. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Company, 1941, p. 418.