Extract from the Journal of Judge George W. Bean

Almost a Life-Long Indian Interpreter

This article originally appeared in Vol.58 N.2 (2011) issue of Pioneer Magazine

Excerpt from the journal of George W. Bean:

Early in the spring of 1849 a move was made to commence a settlement at Provo, among the powerful tribe of Timpanodes (Timpanogos). John S and Isaac Higbee and Alex Williams gathered up a company of about thirty families, James Bean among the rest. They reached the river Provo the 1st of April. About three miles out they were met by a young brave, Angatewats by name, who placed himself on horseback across the trail in front of the foremost wagon and forbad them from proceeding farther. Interpreter Dimic B. Huntington, who was with the Company, pleaded for them to try the emigrants awhile and see if they could not live in peace together, and after about an hour’s delay they were allowed to proceed in peace.

They located on the south side of the river, near the lower crossing. They built their houses in a parallelogram, about 20 to 30 rods, enclosing an ancient mound near the center. Most of the houses were built of cottonwood logs, in solid continuous line, and where vacancies occurred, the space was filled in with pickets, about 12 feet long, set in the trough close together, for protection in case of attack from hostile . They had a general stock corral on the East side of the fort outside, beside several private corrals behind the respective houses, with gates or back door openings, the farming was conducted on the east, south and west of the fort, mostly on the west side towards the lake. They got along pretty well with the natives the fore part of the season, although some of the worst Indians of this western region belonged to this tribe, and they soon found that Provo was the great annual gathering place for all the Ute bands of the valleys for two hundred miles, east and south, on account of the wonderful supply of fish, moving up the stream from the lake to their spawning grounds every spring.

The Indians were anxious for traders to bring guns, ammunition and various merchandise to barter for their skins and furs, horses and such things as they had, sometimes buffalo robes, as those Ute Indians were an enterprising race.

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