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Early Antelope Island: From Daddy Stump to Church Island to Alma Peak

Imagine Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake with no buffaloes, only wild horses and cattle, plus with only boat access and even some different names in use. Plus, there’s also the tale of a mysterious early settler on the island.

Miles Goodyear wasn’t the only white settler who lived in northern Utah when the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847. There was another, far-lesser-known man.

Daddy Stump was living on Antelope Island when the Mormon pioneers started exploring the island in 1848. That’s also the first mention of the man.

Stump, believed to be a mountain man and perhaps also known as a bear killer, had built a small cabin and had a small orchard of peaches on Antelope Island.

The LDS Improvement Era magazine from 1907 mentions Stump twice in its Vol. 10 contents in March and July. First, he is called an “old mountaineer.” Secondly, several pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported that Stump’s rustic camp was located in a little canyon near a spring of water on the south end of the island. Stump is referred to as an “old trapper.”

The somewhat mysterious Stump was not mentioned by government explorer John C. Fremont and crew during their expedition of the island in 1843. Thus, Stump may have only been in Utah a few years before the Mormon pioneers.

A history of Fielding Garr (first Mormon settler on Antelope Island in 1849) on WikiTree.com quotes a visit to Daddy Stump’s camp by Brigham Young on Antelope Island:

“In 1856 Brigham Young visited Antelope island. ‘The time was pleasantly spent in driving over the Island and in visiting places of interest-bathing, boating and inspecting their horses and sheep. Old Daddy Stump’s mountain home was visited. They drove their carriage as near to it as possible and walked the remainder of the way. Everything was found just as the old man had left it. …”

Some sources indicate that Stump, a solitary man, may have left Antelope Island by 1849, after the Fielding Garr Ranch was established there by the Mormon pioneers.

It is also generally accepted that he is believed to have disappeared six years later, in 1856 — with the…

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