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History of South Jordan, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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When the Mormon pioneers emerged from Emigration Canyon in July 1847, they saw before them a vast windswept valley stretching thirty miles to the southwest. Less than two years later, as communities began to spring up in various locations around the valley, a small number of settlers ventured across the Jordan River in order to establish homes and farms.

Alexander Beckstead and his family were among the original few who commenced homesteads "over Jordan" in 1849. Beckstead's first home was in West Jordan, but he permanently moved his family to South Jordan in 1859. It is interesting to note that several of the early pioneers to the area of South Jordan lived initially in earthen dugouts fashioned "under the hill" just above the Jordan River. The wilderness of South Jordan had previously been inhabited by coyotes, jackrabbits, and hardy Native Americans.

The South Jordan area was originally purchased by George A. Smith, and Beckstead purchased his land from Smith. The Beckstead land extended from 9000 South ("the Sandy Road") to 12,500 South ("the Draper Road"), and from the Jordan River to about 1300 West ("the Lower Road"). Beckstead, along with seven of his sons and their adjoining neighbors, brought water from the Jordan River in 1859. They diverted the water by constructing a ditch using picks and shovels, with a bucket of water used as a level. The ditch was still utilized for irrigation in contemporary South Jordan.

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