Founding of Fairview
Determined to create colonies throughout the proposed State of Deseret, Brigham Young called hundreds of Latter-day Saints (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to settle valleys throughout the Intermountain West. With daily concerns of constructing adequate shelter and securing sufficient food for family, Mormon pioneers in Utah Territory learned to balance each of the most important aspects of their lives, including their religious organization. The religious setup and gradual alignment of unit leadership in Sanpete County provides an exceptional time and place to highlight the early evolution of ecclesiastical organization in the Utah Territory.
On October 1, 1859, Stake President (local ecclesiastical leader who oversees a number of "ward" congregations) Welcome Chapman called together a body of Latter-day Saints in Mount Pleasant to discuss the settlement of North Bend. He selected a group to form a new settlement and chose a leader to preside over them. “Appointed brother James N. Jones to act as President, or Bishop, for the present time,” Welcome Chapman recorded. The Saints then sustained Jones “by a vote of the people.” Jones, along with fifteen other men and their families, spent the next nine months building the Fairview settlement.
After Fairview achieved sufficient population stability, on 25 June 1860 LDS Apostle Orson Hyde officially organized the settlement and ordained James N. Jones as the presiding local religious authority. In a letter to Brigham Young, Orson Hyde reported that “James N. Jones was selected and ordained Bishop of that ward.” Several years later, “On the morning of the 25th [of April 1863] at North Bend in San Pete County, the chiefs Anterro, Tabby, George and old Sowiett and many other chiefs and braves, visited President Young and company at the house of Bishop Jones.