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History of successful rancher is classic pioneer story

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In studying the pioneer history of Nine Mile Canyon Shadrach (sometimes spelled Shedrach or Shedrack), commonly known as “Shed” Lunt is credited with being the first to establish a ranch in the canyon.

He and his older brother wintered cattle in the Price area in the winter of 1876/1877 and in the summer pushed the herd into Nine Mile Canyon for grazing.

They established a camp at Minnie Maude Creek. Shadrach moved on down the canyon to just above Gate Canyon and established the first ranch in Nine Mile Canyon.

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This ranch shows up on an 1878 U.S. Survey map by Augustus Ferron. This ranch was later sold to William Brock and eventually became the Nutter Ranch. All that is a fascinating story for another time.

The story of Lunt family migrating to Utah is classic Mormon history. Edward Lunt and his wife Harriet converted to the LDS faith in Willenhall, England. They traveled from Liverpool to New York between Feb. 18 and March 27, 1856 on the ship Caravan with 457 LDS passengers.

The Lunt family of six traveled to Salt Lake City as part of the Israel Evans Handcart Company, departing Iowa City, Iowa May-23, 1857 and arrived Sept. 12. In 1859, the Lunt family moved to Nephi.

The adjacent fields were green and the range land free. The Lunt family acquired some cattle and were on their way to developing a large herd.

In 1865 while herding cattle in the Eureka area Shadrach Lunt was the first to discover gold ore. The Mormon community wanted that information kept quiet and Shadrach was a loyal church member. It was four years later, in 1869, when a non-Mormon cowboy by the name of George Rust rediscovered the Shadrach find.

The weather and the economic climate favored the ranchers in the late 1800s. Lunt’s cattle herd reportedly exceeded 2,500 head. Shadrach expanded his range land by exploring the Tavaputs Plateau, and Desolation Canyon. In 1886 the U, S. Army improved the foot trail through Nine Mile Canyon and Gate Canyon to a become a wagon road and major transportation route. This further increased the development of Nine Mile Canyon. Shadrach Lunt was a major pioneer influence. He was obviously a successful rancher based on the small mansion he had built in 1893. Shadrach was 43 years old when the house was built. The house was designed and built by Nephi architect Oscar Booth. It appears no expense was spared. The house has four large bedrooms and two baths. While Shadrach spent most of his time, spring through fall, as a cowboy and herd manager, his wife and children all lived in Nephi. Shadrach Lunt died Aug. 21, 1933 at the age of 83. (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)

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