Mendon, Utah —
Mendon, Utah is located in northern Utah’s beautiful Cache Valley, its many snow-fed streams keeping the valley a lush, cool green for much of the year. Cache Valley, as named in the early 1830’s by the fur trappers who first worked these same streams and cached-up their goods near here, has long been a favored resting place. The settlement that would come to be know as Mendon, is nestled tightly against the western flank of the snow capped mountains that ring the valley, much as a young child tucked into the arms of its mother. With the surrounding valley floor covered in a thick native grass and several nearby streams that could be diverted to water crops, Mendon looked to be an ideal location to establish a new settlement. It is here then, that a small group of Mormon colonist pioneers from the Mill Creek, Big and Little Cottonwood areas of the Great Salt Lake Valley would strike out for in late April of 1859.
Mendon was to be the first of the new cities established in the Cache Valley, during this year of renewed expansion and colonization, following the peaceful conclusion of the so called, “Utah War” of 1858. As the second community to be founded in Cache County, she was for a long time the gateway into and out of the Cache Valley. The majority of the pioneers entering the Cache Valley during this time, would do so over the low divide, just north of Mendon proper. Cache County was establised a few years prior, a product of the 1856 legislature sessions at Fillmore, Territory of Utah. Maughan’s Fort or Wellsville as it would later come to be known, was established previously in the valley, during the fall of 1856. However this settlement was soon abandoned and left to the devices of the native Indians, animails and the cold harsh elements of a Cache Valley winter, until the return of the settlers in April, of 1859. Thus Mendon has the dinstinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in all of the Cache Valley, currently comprised of Franklin County, in southeastern Idaho and Cache County, Utah.
Mendon was at first referred to as the “North Settlement,” in those early times, being north of Maughan’s Fort. No other settlements were organized in the valley at this time. The name of North Settlement was used more or less until December 19, 1859 when Apostle Ezra T. Benson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, named her Mendon. He was part of a traveling group organizing and naming the new towns in the Cache Valley, into what was to become the Cache Stake and thus had the honor of christening the newly formed ward and settlement, Mendon. It is thought that this was in honor of his hometown of Mendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts which is located in the Blackstone Valley. There are of course other versions of where the name Mendon came from, as all good history stories will…