MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC4 News) – On the week of Utah’s Pioneer Day, the city of Millcreek dedicated one of its city streets to honor Utah’s first Black pioneers, Samuel and Amanda Chambers.
On Monday, the street 3205 South, in between Highland Drive and Brickyard Plaza was renamed “Chambers Avenue” Millcreek Mayor, Jeff Silvestrini welcomed the community along with African American leaders throughout the Salt Lake Valley for the special occasion.
Silvestrini said, ” with it being the start to Pioneer week, what a better time to recognize one of the first families to settle in the city of Millcreek.”
As the site of the Legacy of the Black Pioneer monument, Millcreek had numerous Black pioneers settle in the area, including the Chambers family.
“While many eventually moved elsewhere, Samuel and Amanda grew a prosperous farm in Millcreek that covered 30 acres,” said Mayor Silvestrini. “For over half a century they were stalwart settlers in this area and well respected in the community,” he said. “These pioneers are well deserving of a place of honor in the heart of our new City Center.”
The Millcreek Mayor believes the renaming shows that, when they celebrate Pioneer Day, Millcreek celebrates the heritage of all people who settled in Millcreek.
Samuel Chambers is considered the most successful black farmer in Utah from about 1880 through the first decades of the 20th century. Born in 1831, in Alabama, he was separated from his mother as a boy and taken to Mississippi where he was kept as a slave until the end of the Civil War. He and his wife, Amanda Leggroan Chambers, came to Utah in 1870 as Mormon converts.
Jeannetta Williams, President, NAACP Salt Lake Branch said “we have to make sure that we continue the dream and the legacy of the chambers, and what a great way to honor them today with the street naming” she also added that it’s important to continue to support black businesses in Utah.
Kellen Perkins is a Chambers family descendant. Perkins says while it’s an honor to receive the recognition for the family, the progress shouldn’t end with the street renaming. He wants to make sure the city of Millcreek continues to be a home for all communities moving forward.
As the country is in a current fragile state, plagued with racial divide and protests, the street naming accomplishes a major goal for the Millcreek city according to Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. “Letting people of color in Utah and in Millcreek know that they are welcome here while addressing issues of the times,” said Silvestrini.
That street was the only unnamed avenue in Millcreek’s new City Center project between Highland Drive and Richmond Avenue.