Spanish Fork, UT


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Spanish Fork is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 31,497 as of the 2008 census estimate.
Spanish Fork was settled by LDS pioneers in 1851. Its name derives from a visit to the area by two Franciscan friars from Spain, Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez in 1776, who followed the stream down Spanish Fork canyon with the objective of opening a new trail from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Spanish missions in California, along a route later followed by fur trappers. They described the area inhabited by native Americans as having "spreading meadows, where there is sufficient irrigable land for two good settlements. Over and above these finest of advantages, it has plenty of firewood and timber in the adjacent sierra which surrounds its many sheltered spots, waters, and pasturages, for raising cattle and sheep and horses".
In 1851 some settlers led by William Pace set up scattered farms in the Spanish Fork bottom lands and called the area the Upper Settlement. However a larger group congregated at what became known as the Lower Settlement just over a mile north-west of the present center of Spanish Fork along the Spanish Fork River. In December 1851 Stephen Markham became the branch president of the LDS settlers at this location.