W. W. Henderson

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Full Issue

Publication Date



In the written history of Utah, especially that which is reflected in diaries and journals of the pioneer settlers and that found in the oldest publications, there is ample evidence that one of the most serious handicaps to progress in this "far-western" territory was the cricket and its near kinsman, the grasshopper.

Three basic resources on which the first permanent settlers counted were: (1) Good soil suitable for raising crops to sustain life; (2) suitable climate to make possible the maturing of wheat, corn, and vegetables; and (3) sufficient water of good quality not only for home uses but for the purpose of irrigating crops which could not thrive in a desert. The first company of travelers had not seen their first springtime in Utah before they were convinced of the presence of the three necessary conditions. They soon felt, therefore, that the colonization of Utah and contiguous territory could be promptly and successfully carried out. They had thought carefully of the wild and savage man who lived here and who might constitute a serious enemy, but they thought they knew ways of getting along on friendly terms with him. They had thought of the possibility of dangerous wild beasts and poisonous reptiles and were prepared for such events. But crickets and grasshoppers in such numbers as to bring on plagues and pestilences constituted a surprising obstacle of which, apparently, no one had thought.