The town of Harrisburg was founded by Moses Harris in 1859. By 1868, twenty-five families had made their homes in this little valley along Quail Creek, located three miles south of Leeds and twelve miles northeast of St. George. The town thrived almost fifty years and included some thirty homes surrounded by vineyards and orchards. Cane for sorghum and molasses was raised by bringing water from Quail Creek. Wagon freighters, plodding from Salt Lake to St. George, made Harrisburg a favorite stopping place.
When spring water diminished, or the once rushing water was diverted to other communities, many of the families were unable to continue farming and moved to other locations. They left behind a newly built dam along with the orchards and vineyards. Water, or the lack of it, spelled the fate of this community. Harrisburg has also suffered much destruction by grasshoppers in 1869.
The ruins of Harrisburg show evidence of homes, including two stone houses without roofs, and a little cemetery surrounded by a wrought iron fence. By 1928 there were only two families still living in the once thriving town of Harrisburg.
Named here are the heads of families who settled in Harrisburg between 1859 and 1928:
1859 Moses Harris
1860 James Lewis - Hosea Stout
1862 William Leany - Dr. Priddy Meeks - John Brimhall - Orson Adams - Elijah K. Fuller - Samuel Hamilton - William Robb - Rufus Allen - Allen J. Stout - Mosiah L. Hancock - Alfred J Randall
1863 Willard G. McMullen - Samuel Gould - John Newton - David Ellsworth - John McCleve - Allen Taylor - William Taylor
1865 Henry E. Harrington - Milton Daily - Wilson Daily - Thomas Adair - Wilbur Earl - William Stirling - Al Carpenter - Jerome Asa - Robert Richardson - Frank Owens
Site No. 57, Cotton Mission Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers April 1993