was Utah's first territorial capital and was named for
U.S. President Millard Fillmore in recognition of his
courage in appointing Brigham Young Utah's first territorial
governor. On 4 October 1851 the Utah territorial legislature
passed a joint resolution creating Millard County from
a portion of Iron County known as "Pahvant Valley";
they named its county seat Fillmore City. This resolution
also relocated the territorial capital to the new community
and appropriated $20,000 toward that effort. On 21 October
two companies set out from Salt Lake City for the Pahvant
Valley. Brigham Young headed a delegation of lawmakers
making the site selection of the territorial capital.
The other company, under the direction of Anson Call,
was chosen to make a settlement. On 28 October territorial
lawmakers selected a spot located on the hunting grounds
of the Pahvant Indians, 150 miles south of Salt Lake City.
monumental statehouse was planned to be constructed to
house the territorial government. Truman O. Angell, architect
of the Salt Lake Temple, designed an elaborate structure
of four wings in the form of a cross with a Moorish dome
at the center. Local red sandstone and native timber were
to be used in its construction. The first wing was completed
for the fifth annual session of the Utah territorial legislature
which convened in Fillmore on 10 December 1855. The sixth
legislative session also met at Fillmore, but soon adjourned
to reconvene in Salt Lake City. Because the development
of southern Utah was slow and accommodations in Fillmore
inadequate, the capital was moved to Salt Lake City. The
statehouse was never completed, but the first wing remains
Utah's oldest governmental building and now serves as
a state museum.
Call and thirty families began the settlement of Fillmore
City. By February 1852, about thirty houses and a log
schoolhouse were completed in the form of a fort. In 1852
a post office was established, and by 1853 the population
of Fillmore was listed as 304. Farming and stock raising
quickly became its principal industries. Because of Indian
problems, a fort was constructed in 1853-54 of stone and
adobe, and all local people were located within its walls
for safety. On 26 October 1853 a team of U.S. Army topographical
engineers headed by Lieutenant John W. Gunnison was massacred
by Pahvant Utes not far from Fillmore. Seven were killed.
first settlers were principally American, but later an
influx of English, Scots, Welsh, and Scandinavians arrived
in the area. Today, Fillmore is a community of 1,956 people.
It is a tightly knit community which has won numerous
beautification awards and is dedicated to community development.
It is the home of the Chief Kanosh Pageant as well as
one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in Utah.
Its citizens are strong supporters of high school athletics.
In 1985 the former Fillmore Hospital was purchased by
Fillmore City, and by the fall of 1986 it had been remodeled,
with city offices in the east wing and the President Millard
Fillmore Library in the west wing. Fillmore is also the
home of a multimillion-dollar mushroom plant located in
the city's industrial park where 100,000 pounds. of mushrooms
are harvested each week. During the 1980s, Cambodian and
Vietnamese immigrants began to work in the mushroom factory.