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Front Page » May 7, 2002 » Lifestyle » How Emery County Cities were Named
Published 5,408 days ago

How Emery County Cities were Named

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"George Biddlecome and his wife and family came to Castle Valley in about 1878. They first lived at the junction of Straight Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon. Later they moved to the Wilsonville area and located a homestead about a mile below the Wilson homestead. The exact date when they arrived in Wilsonville is unknown." This excerpt is taken from page 28 of the history, "Emery County - 1880-1980," which sheds light on how Castle Dale earned its name.

It goes on to say that "Emanuel Bagley and his two wives came to Castle Valley in the fall of 1878.

After the mail station had been established at Wilsonville, the settlers had to ride horseback or go with a team and wagon to "Wilsonville" (five to eight miles) to pick up their mail. This was an inconvenience to them, so during the winter of 1878-79, a committee was formed, consisting of John K. Reid, Orange Seely, Jasper Peterson, David Latimer and James Peterson. They wrote a petition and sent it to the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., requesting the creation of a post office upstream that would be known as Castle Vale. On June 1, 1879, the U.S. Post Office Department approved the petition and commissioned John K. Reid as postmaster; the mail station was located in his dugout. However, the name on the official papers had been changed to "Castle Dale" instead of Castle Vale. Rather than send the papers back for a name correction, they just kept the name Castle Dale.

Castle Dale has since become the county seat, where the courthouse and sheriff's offices are, plus two wonderful museums, many fine businesses, and several very nice residential areas, besides several homes and buildings on the National Historic Register.

The early history of Orangeville in the "Emery County - 1880-1980" (pages 60-61) is actually taken from the "History of Sanpete and Emery Counties" written in 1898 by L. H. Lever.

"Orangeville is a pleasantly located town on Cottonwood Creek, first settled by E. Curtis, Sr., J.K. Reid, Andrew Anderson, Joseph Burnett, Theodore H. Housekeeper, Joseph Jackson, and Samuel Jewkes and sons. The place was called Castle Dale until the new town was founded when the present name was adopted. A post office was established in '79 with J.K. Reid as post master."

"The town was named in honor of Orange Seely, the first man to be called to settle Castle Valley, and his notable record as a pioneer is still a credit to the place. With a small beginning of only four families in '79, the town has increased and prospered until in '98 (1898) the population numbered 800 industrious and enterprising citizens engaged in farming, stockraising, and kindred pursuits, enjoying the comforts of home and pleasant surroundings. There are three well-conducted public schools maintained during the regular school months. The business interests are well represented by four stores, roller mill, sawmill, shingle mills, blacksmith shops, foundry, and other necessary houses. Orangeville town and fields are well watered from the Clipper, the Star, and Great Western, the Blue Cut, and the Mammoth canals."

"Orangeville has the largest social hall in Emery County, and first-class entertainments have always been furnished by the Home Dramatic company. Co-operation has enabled the people to build public houses, construct canals and bridges and form companies for the general advancement of the people's interests. Many new and commodious residences adorn the town, and beautiful shade trees and fruit trees decorate the streets and town lots. ...Orangeville has a future of prosperity equal to any similar sized village in the state of Utah." The people of Orangeville are still progressive as evidenced by the new parks, clean yards, beautiful homes, and warm friendly people who love their town.

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May 7, 2002
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