MT PLEASANT—A monument depicting Chief Sanpitch, Sanpete County’s namesake, will be unveiled in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday 6 p.m. at a site fronting U.S. 89 between the historic train depot the Mt. Pleasant rodeo grounds.
The dedication will include a tribal blessing from Forrest S. Cuch, Ute elder, and Larry Cesspooch, Ute filmmaker, storyteller and spiritual leader.
Funded by the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA), the statue was created by local sculptor and Snow College professor Brad Taggart.
“It is paramount that we are reminded of this land’s first stewards,” said MPNHA director Monte Bona. “The few words recorded from Chief Sanpitch suggest that he promoted peace and coexistence between settlers and natives.”
Taggart’s best known local work is probably the statue of Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, namesakes of Snow College, located in the central college plaza between the Noyes Building and the Huntsman Library.
Early in project planning, the North Sanpete Arts Council approached Taggart about the Sanpitch statue. “I created a small preliminary design model, followed by a more detailed one-quarter life-size model,” Taggert said. The arts council accepted the model and Taggart went to work on a life-size rendition.
Taggart said he was invested in the project on both a personal and professional level.
“I’ve had a deep love for the Native American people for as long as I can remember,” he said. “Many of my friends throughout my life have been members of native tribes. As a young man I had the privilege of having members of the Zuni and Navajo tribes live with me in my home for many years.”
Bona noted that the monument will be viewable from the walking trail in the southeast part of Mt. Pleasant, which also passes by the rodeo grounds, city park, cemetery, rail car motel and historic train depot.