Founded 1857. This monument is erected in honor and memory of the founders of Washington City. The settlers who arrived 1857 were sent here by Brigham Young, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the purpose of growing cotton to clothe Mormon pioneers and to colonize the territory. Those early pioneers named their city on May 5 or 6, 1857 in honor of George Washington and also called the area "Dixie" in rememberence of their former homes in the South.
Living in the arid desert proved extremely difficult. Reoccuring challenges such as malaria (egue or chills and fever), the lack of food, poor water and other diseases disabled and disseminated the setters.
The Virgin River, providing water to irrigate fields, was crucial to the settlers. However, frequent flash floods washed out the dams built to divert the water from the river to the fields. This resulted in stavation and undue hardship. It took the pioneers thirty-four years to conquer the mightly "Rio Virgin" doing so with the completion of the Washington Fields Dam in 1891.
(List of settlers follows)