History of Alton, Utah
Courtesy of Utah Place Names.

Alton (Kane) is a livestock and ranching community near the head of Long Valley, twenty miles northeast of Glendale at the base of the beautiful Sunset Cliffs. These cliffs are part of the west boundary of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Alton's earliest name was Roundys Station after Lorenzo Wesley Roundy and his family. Roundy built two log cabins there but was forced to abandon his ranch site because he was having trouble with the Indians. He drowned in 1876 while ferrying supplies across the Colorado River. The site was later named Graham for Graham Duncan MacDonald, a pioneer of nearby Ranch. MacDonald was a bookkeeper for an adjacent sawmill; he also helped haul lumber for the construction of the St. George Mormon temple. Alton was an outgrowth of nearby Upper Kanab and was considered part of that settlement at one time. As time passed, various names were discussed for Alton-to-be, but none were accepted until a drawing was held at a community social in 1912. Among the names put into a hat for the drawing was one suggested by Charles R. Pugh who had been reading a book about the Alton Fjord in Norway, known for the height of its surrounding mountains. A two-year-old child drew the name from the hat.

John W. Van Cott

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