Santaquin is located in Utah County, about seventy miles south of Salt Lake City in a picturesque and beautiful site with a view of Utah Lake and Mount Timpanogos to the north. Originally called Summit City because of its location at the summit dividing line between Utah and Juab valleys, it was settled in late 1851 by pioneers who were helping settle Payson, located about six miles to the north. Abundant water, plenty of fertile land for farming, and abundant groves of trees for firewood, fence posts, and cabin logs made this an ideal place for a community.
“A friendship developed between local Indian chief Guffich and Benjamin F. Johnson, leader of the original pioneers, which enabled the whites to settle peacefully in the area. By 1853 the settlement had grown sufficiently to become known as Summit Creek Precinct No. 7. Soon after, however, the Walker War broke out, and the settlers were forced to move for safety to Payson, where they remained until 1855.
“Around this time a fort was built according to plans furnished by architect Truman O. Angell. After its completion, the settlers moved back to the town in the spring of 1856. One night soon after resettlement Chief Guffich came secretly to warn Johnson of an impending raid by young braves, including his son Santaquin. The settlers quickly left, and when the raiders found the fort deserted Chief Guffich explained to them that the white men were good people and that the Great Spirit had warned them of the attack. It was claimed that from that day peace was made between the local Indians and the Mormon pioneers. It was decided to name the town after Guffich, but he declined the honor and asked that the settlement be named ‘Santaquin’ for his son (Santaquin).
(Source: Myron V. Olson, compiler, “Give Me This Mountain, A History of the Santaquin Utah Stake,” 1984.)