Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for June 3, 2009
Celebrate Kanab's Heritage during Jacob Hamblin Days June 18-20
Kanab Heritage Symposium: Thursday, June 18, 6-9:30 p.m., Crescent Moon Theater. Free. Sponsored by the Kanab Heritage Museum.
*Jacob Hamblin: Kanab Legend Hartt Wixom
Although the name Jacob Hamblin is well known to those acquainted with history of frontier southern Utah and northern Arizona, he is more a mystery man than most realize. He is described as explorer of landscapes, missionary and peacemaker, the first white man to circumnavigate the Grand Canyon and one who blazed pathways still in use today.
But what about his personal and family life? Was he successful in business, farming or other common pioneer methods of providing the basic needs of life? He is known to have lived among Indians, learning their ways and effecting peace between them and white settlers, but what did he leave his family beyond a great name and legacy to live up to?
Why has this man, who spent more time trying to understand and make peace with native Americans than Daniel Boone and Kit Carson combined, received so little public recognition? Hartt Wixom, author of the recent book Jacob Hamblin: A Modern Look at the Frontier Life and Legend of Jacob Hamblin, will sift through legends to explore the question, “Who was Jacob Hamblin and what did he have to do with Kanab?”
The paper will help us understand this humble, yet complex, man who devoted so much of his life to serving fellowmen and God, saving lives of others, both white and Indian, helping bring peace to the Kanab region, while seeking little, if any, glory for himself.
•Unheralded Heroes: The Contributions of the Early Kanab Settlers to Westward
Expansion and the Legacy of John Wesley Powell Dr. Jim David
As the leader of the first expedition to navigate the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, John Wesley Powell attained near mythic stature in the American Southwest. In addition to being an explorer and adventurer, the multi-talented Powell also distinguished himself as a surveyor, cartographer, and geologist.
However, behind the achievements of every great man is a cast of highly skilled but unheralded heroes who make those achievements possible. Nowhere is this truer than in the relationship between J.W. Powell and the early settlers of Kanab, Utah. Powell’s exploits would not have been possible without the contributions of the local settlers who without fanfare tirelessly and anonymously devoted their time and talents to achieve the explorer’s objectives.
Former Kanab resident Dr. Jim David will describes an academic and spiritual journey to finish a story that started well over a century-and-a-half ago. He will describe: (1) how Powell’s original maps and documents came into his possession; (2) the role of the early Kanab settlers in the creation of the maps and documents; and (3) why these maps and documents are so important to the legacy of J.W. Powell and to the community of Kanab. David will explain why he embarked on this journey and where he hopes it might eventually lead.
He will extend an invitation to participants to share stories and information that might shed additional light on the contributions of the early Kanab settlers. Finally, he will propose a plan not only for locating the essential artifacts relative to the Kanab-Powell connection but also for “bringing them home” and making them accessible to all citizens of and visitors to the community of Kanab.
•Zane Grey along the Honeymoon Trail
This paper explores the relationship between Zane Grey and selected members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1906 through 1911. Prior to these visits to the Kanab, area, Grey had written two historical novels that had been rejected multiple times by publishers. After his visits, he wrote Heritage of the Desert and Riders of the Purple Sage, which launched his career as the most read author of the 20th Century. Key to these novels was an exploration of values presented within the framework of the Mormon religion.
Grey made at least two trips to the Kanab area specifically to conduct research about the Mormon lifestyle. This paper will address the timeline for his visits, where he may have stayed and key Mormon men and women who befriended him.
•A. E. Douglass‚ Path to Fame passed through Kanab
Von Del Chamberlain
An astronomer who had just lost his job at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona passed through Kanab in November 1901. He photographed some people in Kanab and Fredonia, then went back home by way of Jacob Lake, then down the steep drop from the east side of Kaibab Plateau to the Painted Desert. This particular route proved to be serendipitous in the life of Andrew Ellicott Douglass, leading him to fame in the annals of science.
•Trails on Buckskin: A Panel Discussion:
The above speakers will be joined by Dale Spencer and J. R. Jones to discuss trails over the Buckskin Mountain with focus on a portion of the “Honeymoon Trail.” This will include preparation for the motorized tour of a portion of this trail to take place on Friday morning. Those going on the tour should be in attendance.
•Motorized tour along the “Honeymoon Trail” Friday, June, 19 7:30 a.m. to early afternoon. Sponsored by the Kanab Heritage Museum.
Drive over the Buckskin with guide Dale Spencer. Participants should attend the June 18 symposium and must enroll in advance by contacting Von Del Chamberlain at (435) 644-3303. This tour will be repeated on Saturday if needed to accommodate those interested.
•Public lecture: Friday, June 19, 2009, 7:00 p.m., Crescent Moon Theater. Free.
Sponsored by the Kanab Heritage Museum.
•Condemned to Die
By Hartt Wixom
Jacob Hamblin met constantly with warring Indian tribes, but while others were killed in the frontier violence of the middle and late 1800s near Kanab, he was never harmed in any way. He expressed no fear of Native American people, for he followed a policy he believed to be mandated from Heaven: if he did not shed the blood of an Indian, they would not shed his.
This resulted in some interesting encounters with the Navajo Indians when they blamed him for the death of three of their braves and vowed to kill him on sight, and also raid the settlements of southern Utah.
This lecture will describe how Hamblin’s life was spared and how he made peace with previously hostile tribes to benefit the town of Kanab and the rest of the southern Utah and northern Arizona frontier. We will see that how Jacob Hamblin faced adversity could be a lesson for all of us.
Wixom, author of the recent book Jacob Hamblin: A Modern Look at the Frontier Life and Legend of Jacob Hamblin, will also address Hamblin’s association with Major John Wesley Powell and how he took the explorer throughout the southwest to meet with tribes which had previously killed three of Powell’s men. The Major said he had no fear as long as Hamblin was with him. The lecture will include comments made by pioneers and Indian people from Kanab and the surrounding area, who knew Jacob Hamblin.
•Campfire celebration of the summer solstice: Saturday, June 20, 2009, 1021 Country Club Drive (across the street from the Coral Cliffs Golf Course maintenance shed), 9:00 p.m. Free.
Gather around the fire for spontaneous sharing of stories about life in and around Kanab.
•Museums open with special exhibits: Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20, 2009, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Free.
Enjoy special exhibits and activities at the Kanab Heritage Museum, Heritage House and Juniper Fine Arts Gallery.