is located six miles northeast of St. George in Washington County and
had a population in 1990 of 4,198. Its form of government is a mayor
and city council with a city manager.
was settled by the first missionaries to the Cotton Mission in 1857.
The growing and processing of cotton were the major reasons for its
settlement and existence until the turn of the century. Ten families
under the leadership of Samuel Adair and twenty-eight families led by
Robert Covington arrived in May 1857. The settlement in this raw, barren
valley in Utah Territory was organized as a branch of the Harmony Ward
by Isaac C. Haight, who presided over the Parowan LDS Stake. At this
time, the name Washington was chosen in honor of the nation's first
president, and civic and religious leaders were sustained.
The pioneers prepared the ground for corn and went to work making dams and
ditches while they lived in tents, wagons, or dugouts. Most of the settlers
were Mormon converts who had formerly lived in the South where cotton
was the chief crop. Their call was to grow cotton to ensure the independence
and self sufficiency of Zion.