Industrious Utes

In his 1885 report, Agent Elisha Davis noted that some Utes worked as freighters, hauling supplies by wagon from Provo City to the agency, a distance of 150 miles. He reported they had delivered 48,148 pounds of annuity goods and supplies and earned $1,444,44. They also hauled 30,350 pounds of freight for traders, at 3 cents a pound, from Salt Lake City to the agency. Agent Davis noted the Utes did this work with their own teams of horses and “they make careful freighters.”
          The agency had a stock of three stallions and 20 bulls for breeding plus a herd of 400 cows and heifers. The agent reported some Utes had developed their own herds. One Ute had “470 head of as good stock as there is in Utah, worth $12,000; another has 300 head; and others have 50 to 100 head.” Despite these successes, the agent reported “the number who own cattle is very small.”
          A large irrigation ditch was built to support “an immense tract of land” which the agent reported was “proving a success beyond my most sanguine expectations.” He noted that many Indians had built “several quite substantial houses, mostly of sawed logs.”

From “Reports of Agents in Utah,” Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1885

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Published in: on March 18, 2013 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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