Within the state of Utah there are numerous beautiful mountain valleys; few are as picturesque as Heber Valley, some fifty highway miles east of Salt Lake City. Historically, the first white Americans to visit the area just east of Mount Timpanogos were members of a fur trapping brigade led by Etienne Provost in 1824. For many years the valley was referred to as Provo or upper Provo; the river running south through the valley still bears the name of that explorer.
It was the completion of a wagon road through Provo Canyon in 1858 that brought the first Mormon settlers to the area. The following spring, a number of families (most from Utah County) began locating farther to the west along Snake Creek, establishing two small communities. The first was a mile and a half south of present Midway; the second was about three miles north of the first. The more northern settlement was called Mound City due to the numerous nearby limestone formations. Among the early family names of settlers were Robey, Epperson, Bronson, McCarroll, and Smith. By 1861 there were approximately fifty families living west of the Provo River.
In 1866, because of Indian hostilities, territorial governor Brigham Young encouraged settlers to construct forts for protection. The two Snake Creek settlements reached an agreement to build a fort halfway or midway between the two existing communities--hence the name Midway. During the 1860s and 1870s a large number of Swiss immigrants arrived. Swiss names such as Gertsch, Huber, Kohler, Probst, Zenger, Durtschi, and Abegglen, among others, are still found in Midway.