Jedediah S. Smith was one of the first men to set foot in Davis County. He led a party of trappers in August, 1826 through the Bountiful area. Jim Bridger was the first explorer to discover the Great Salt Lake. Later, in 1845, Captain John C. Fremont visited Antelope Island. Captain Fremont is said to be the one responsible for naming the Island after the herds of antelope he saw grazing there. His second and third expedition to this area took him into Bountiful. Kit Carson, a mountain man, later joined his party as a guide.
The Indians, trappers, and explorers were temporary visitors who only stayed a while. The Mormon pioneers were permanent settlers who stayed to work the land and build cities. The first Mormon pioneer to view what was to become Davis County was Orson Pratt. Peregrine Sessions brought his family into the area in 1847. They set up a campsite in Bountiful. Other families soon came into the area settling in Bountiful, Centerville, and Woods Cross.
Agricultural and Industrial Development
Mormon pioneers and other early settlers used Davis County for animal grazing and access to the Great Salt Lake. As Brigham Young sent settlers into the area, they discovered the rich soil and ideal climate. Crops were soon planted. Davis County became known as "The Garden Spot of Utah". Many main crops were produced: sugar beets, tomatoes, alfalfa, grain, corn, potatoes, onions and extensive fruit orchards of peaches, pears, cherries, and apricots. Through the years, dairy farming has also been important in Davis County.