Filed Under Settlers

Settlement of northwest Morgan Valley

Northwest Morgan Valley

Charles Shreeve Peterson and his family were some of the first Mormon settlers in Morgan County. Over a century after their arrival, the city they founded was renamed in their memory.

Peterson is a city in Morgan County. The city was renamed from Weber City to Peterson in honor of the town's first family, the Petersons. 

Morgan County was first settled by a man named Thomas Jefferson Thurston. Thurston first saw Weber Valley in 1852, as he and his sons were cutting down logs in the mountains. However, the canyon only had a narrow opening which the Weber River cut through. Despite the inaccessability of the valley, Thurston was determined to settle there. At first, the men had to lower wagons down with rope to get them into the valley. Eventually, a road was made through the canyon.

In 1855, Charles Shreeve Peterson, one of the first settlers, brought his family to the area. Along with him came Roswell Stevens Jr., his son-in-law, and Edward Jackson, who later became his son-in-law after settling in the valley. They brought a herd of cattle owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, during a harsh winter much of the herd died. As was the custom, the women of the settlement boiled the bones of the cattle and used the grease to make soap. 

Another calamity befell the settlement in the summer of 1856. Grasshoppers devoured the settlers’ grain fields, leaving many of the settlers without flour or bread for the winter. The people subsisted on wild roots, fish, and game and were able to add dandelions and sego lilies to their meals during the warmer months. 

Peterson served as a representative in the Utah Territorial Legislature from 1864 to 1866. He had five wives: Ann Denis, Mary Ann Patten, her half-sister, Ann, Margaret Crispin, and Marry Thompson. In his early sixties, Peterson moved to Fielding, Utah, in hope of setting up a large farming operation for his families. Shortly after moving to Fielding, the family left for Mesa, Arizons, where Peterson passed.

The settlement was originally called Weber City and was the county seat from February 1862, when Morgan County was organized by Peterson, to February 1972. When the county seat was moved, the area was renamed Peterson in honor of Charles Peterson, the area's first settler. 


Charles Shreeve Peterson
Charles Shreeve Peterson Source: "Charles Sreeve Peterson." September 26, 1889. Via Wikimedia Commons.
Peterson, Utah
Peterson, Utah Source: "Sign for Peterson." 2018. Photograph by Colbie Hyman, used with permission from photographer.
The Peterson Station for the Union Pacific Railroad
The Peterson Station for the Union Pacific Railroad Source: "Union Pacific Railroad Station-Peterson, UT P.1." n.d. No. 5841; 725.3. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.
A Farm in Peterson
A Farm in Peterson Source: "Farm in Peterson." 2018. Photograph by Colbie Hymas, used with permission from photographer.



Teresa Millet, Weber State University, “Settlement of northwest Morgan Valley,” Intermountain Histories, accessed April 16, 2024,