A Brief History of Ogden Valley Episode 1 Welcome to scenic Ogden Valley. Making up just less than 50% of Weber county, the Ogden Valley has a history as beautiful and storied as it’s wonderful vista’s. The Ogden Valley is unique in the fact that four different indian tribes frequented this area as a summer hunting ground. The Shoshone people were the most prevalent but had to compete with the Cheyenne who ventured south-west in search of game, the Ute who ventured north for game, and the blackfeet who ventured south-east in search of game. This valley was originally part of the Shoshone tribal regional migration. As nomads, the Shoshone people would travel seasonal migration routes in search of food and game and the Ogden valley was well traveled by this well-adapted people. The Shoshone people were versatile enough to traverse the mountain passes with ease that would later be the bane of the western pioneers and mormon settlers. Many accounts exist of the hardships that white travelers and settlers experienced while trying to traverse into and out of the Ogden Valley.
The first white travelers to experience the bounty of our beautiful valley were a group of fur trappers led by Peter Skene Ogden in 1825 while following tributaries and streams from the Bear Lake area southwest through the mountain valleys. Though other white trappers and travelers also followed, the first settlers to migrate to the Ogden Valley were a collection of seven different Mormon families from the Farmington area led by Jefferson Hunt at the behest of Brigham Young. These families moved here to establish farms and capitalize on the flat and lush valley floor with its abundant water supply fed by the north, middle and south forks of the Ogden River.
Not unlike other westward expansion, this new settlement had to try and make peace with the native peoples to continue to exist. Instead of waging war on the Shoshone people, these families “fed instead of fought” the indian travelers in an effort to make peace, though relationships were often strained, at best. This tactic was also a directive from Brigham Young who desired to see his Mormon pioneers prosper in the west alongside the indigenous peoples untils tensions boiled over between Mormons in southern Utah and some of the Ute indians which started the Blackhawk War between Mormons and Ute indians but which increased tension between Mormons and any indian that was presumed a threat. Along with learning to live with the Indians, these early settlers had to learn to live with the grizzly and black bears that populated the area as well as the wolf packs that roamed in and out of the valley. But the hardest obstacle,by account was the long and cold winters that were endured living in the Ogden valley. While only 8-10 degrees fahrenheit cooler on average than the valley to the west, the Ogden Valley has and still does experience much cooler lows during the winter months than the Ogden and Salt Lake areas with temperatures routinely reaching into the -20 and -30 degree range.
Resources: Huntsvilletown.com/history Utah American Indian Digital Archive, History of the Northern Band of the Shoshonee “Pioneers Life in Utah’s Ogden Valley”, Andrew H.Hedges Utah History to Go, The Blackhawk War Written by Seth Miller