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What’s in a name? History of Milton area names

Article Date: 
12 July, 2013 (All day)

Milton has a rich history of pioneering spirit and fortitude.  The early settlers left current Milton residents more than stories, folklore, examples and histories, they also left names that have endured over the course of time,  some more than a century.  On the other hand, Thurstonville and Morganville have long since been renamed.  
With the 24th of July quickly approaching, step back in time and take a quick look at one of the earliest  communities settled  in Morgan County:  Milton.
Milton is generally considered the area of Morgan from Smith Creek to what is considered the “Y.”                   
There are two versions of the origin of the name Milton. A logical story is that a sawmill was operating at the mouth of Line Creek. Due to this fact, the name Milltown became attached to the area. This was later shortened to Milton. The other version states that Milton was named in honor of Amos Milton Musser, a prominent church official of that time.
Thomas Jefferson Thurston was not only the first settler of Morgan, but also the driver of establishing the area.  Thurston first saw the Morgan Valley from the mountaintops east of Centerville in 1852 and worked to find a way to access the fertile area.  In 1855 he finally realized his dream as he moved into the lush area, far different from the desert area of Salt Lake.  Other families joined him and built their homes in fort fashion to protect themselves.   This settlement was known as Thurston’s Fort, later called Thurstonville.   
Joseph Mecham settled in Milton in the fall of 1860.  His property was just across the creek from Thurstons.  They named the creek Line Creek because it was the dividing line between the two properties. 
Line Creek Road intersects Morgan Valley Drive on the northwest side of the Milton LDS Church.  The lower area of the Line Creek Road is lined with houses of close-knit neighbors.  At the top of the county road a gate stands as an access point to owners of the private land beyond that point.  The undeveloped area is used for grazing and recreation.     
Littleton is a somewhat obscure area on North Morgan Valley Drive. Littleton is designated at latitude 41.039 and longitude -111.718, which is just north of Deep Creek.  Today, Littleton is typically combined with Milton.  
Littleton was named in honor of Col. Jesse C. Little, who was a prominent factor in its early settlement.    Little entered the state with the pioneers on July 24, 1847.  A few years later, Little made his way to Morgan, entering the valley around 1855 or 1856 as one of the earliest settlers. He owned a large tract of land in Weber Valley, in addition to his holdings in personal property and real estate. 
The first person to winter in Littleton was John T. Richards, who had come from Wales. That first lonely winter was in 1959.  The rest of the Richards family joined him the next season.  Over the next few years other families united in settling the beautiful area. 
Ephraim Swan moved to Milton in 1861 and settled on a creek called Swan Creek in his honor.  
When the Swans moved to Croydon in 1864, William Smith and his brother-in-law Ted Dalton moved to Milton soon after. 
Smith settled on Swan Creek and the name was changed to Smith Creek. Dalton settled on the creek farther north. This stream was given the name Dalton Creek.
By enactment Jan. 2, 1856, the Utah Legislature granted to Jedediah Morgan Grant, George Grant, and Thomas Jefferson Thurston, a large section of land lying between Line Creek, where Milton is located, and Deep Creek, where Littleton is located.
Morganville no longer exists as a settlement in the county.  The name had been in honor of Jedediah Morgan Grant, major contributor to settling Morgan due to his influence and interest in the progress of this new settlement in the area now known as Milton.  As time went on, the name 
Morgan spread over the whole county and the first settled area became known as Milton.