PAYSON–THE FIRST 100 YEARS
PART 2–JAMES PACE
by Payson Historical Society
" With James Pace as head of the colony, it started to progress. A meeting was called and school trustees appointed. They were: Joseph and George Curtis and James E. Daniels. Immediately steps were taken to build a school house which was finished and school started in April of 1851.
A picket fence made of large stakes, nine feet high, the first fort was built around the dwellings for protection against the Indians. The colony increased so that a larger fort was layed out about the middle of March.
In the Deseret News of 1851 we find: "On Friday, March 21, 1851, at 3 o'clock p.m., President Brigham Young and party, who were on a visiting tour through the settlements of Utah County, arrived in Payson and stopped over night with fames Pace. Parley P. Pratt and Charles C. Rich's camp came up and formed a corral on the west side of the fort. The following day, March 22, many of the brethren on their way to California, arrived and joined the main camp. On Sunday, March 23rd, a meeting was held in the fort addressed by Charles C. Rich, Heber C. Kimball and Amasa M. Lyman. (President Young being sick.) In the evening another meeting was held in the' house of James Pace, on which occasion Benjamin Cross was ordained a high priest and set apart as bishop of Payson. On the 24th, President Young and Kimball organized all the camps destined for California, after which the president's party started on their return journey to Great Salt Lake.
The first child born in this new colony was Jerushia Morrison Searles, daughter cf John Courtland and Jerusha Morrison Hill Searles, on January 30th. She died Feb. 8, 1851, living just nine days. Pheobe Hancock owned the first loom in Payson and wove the first cloth in this year.
Their first summer (in 1851) they had good crops of wheat, potatoes and garden vegetables on their newly plowed farms.
In the Church Chronology by Andrew Jensen it states that early in die year of 1852, post offices were established at American Fork, Springville, and Payson, in Utah County. As far as can be ascertained, John T. Hardy was the first postmaster in Payson. The post office being one room in his home. In August of 1851, Benjamin F. Stewart was elected Justice of the Peace, being the first to hold this office.
On the 28th of August 1852, James Pace and Elias Gardner were called on missions to England, being the first missionaries sent out of Utah. James McClellan succeeded to the presidency. It may be well to state here that the name of Peteetneet was changed to "Pacen" as it was first spelled, in honor of James Pace and sons. The spelling was later changed to Payson.
January 21, 1853, the Legislature of the Territory passed an act incorporating Payson City, by which name the place has been known since. The following boundaries of the new city as stated in its charter, Viz: "Commencing at a point of the east bank of Utah Lake due west from the center of the public square in the city of Payson, in Utah County, thence south one mile, thence east to mountains, thence along the base of the mountains to a spring known as "Goose Nest Spring" thence northerly to a point where the bridge crosses the Pond Town Slough, thence, down said slough to Duck Creek, thence west to Peteetneet Creek, and down the main channel of said creek to Utah Lake, thence south along the shore of said lake to the place of beginning." These boundaries were changed March 6, 1882, to read as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of Township 9 south of Range 2 east, Salt Lake Meridian, in Utah County, thence east three miles, thence south two and three-fourths miles, thence west three miles, thence north two and three-fourths miles; thus leaving an area for the city government of eight and one-quarter miles." *
*Quoted from “The Payson Story” pages 2-3, published by the Payson Centennial Committee, October 1950