“President Hinckley Honors St. George Pioneers,” Ensign, Dec. 1998, 66
The Latter-day Saint pioneers who settled what is now St. George, Utah, arrived on 1 December 1861. On 9 October 1998 President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed about 4,000 people gathered for the dedication of a monument honoring those early pioneers. Located in Dixie College’s Encampment Mall and listing the names of more than 900 original settlers, the monument features five life-size bronze sculptures by L’Deane Trueblood and Jerry Anderson.
“Brigham Young had a great vision of making [this area] a self-sufficient community,” said President Hinckley. “If the people were to eat, they had to grow it. … If they were to be sheltered, they had to cut the lumber, mill it, put it in place to form houses.”
Many of the settlers left homes in the Salt Lake Valley. “It was hard to leave those little farms in Cottonwood and come down into this inhospitable and miserable place, as it was at that time,” President Hinckley said. “The heat of summer never seemed to relent. There was no relief from it.”
Despite the harsh circumstances, the pioneers placed a high priority on culture, education, and worship. “They danced, they played, they put on theatricals,” President Hinckley said. “They planted flowers to make their homes more beautiful. They built the magnificent temple and the beautiful tabernacle.”