First Winter in MantiIN JUNE 1849 CHIEF WAKARA (OR WALKER), A UTE INDIAN, JOURNEYED TO SALT LAKE CITY
from the Sanpitch (Sanpete) valley to invite a group of Mormon settlers to come and live in the area. Chief Wakara wanted the settlers to teach his tribe how to farm. Brigham Young agreed to this arrangement and sent an exploration party to the Sanpete valley in August 1849. The present site of Manti was selected for settlement. In November, Isaac Morley led fifty pioneer families into the area.

The first pioneers faced deep snows and heavy burdens, but by 1851, Manti received an official charter and had 356 residents.

Mormon pioneers had a complex relationship with the Native Americans. Early settlers revered the Indians as a chosen people, believing that the Native Americans were descendants of the ancient people written about in the Book of Mormon. The initial interactions between the pioneers and the Ute Indians were harmonious, but the blending of cultures ultimately resulted in many years of conflict and war.