"The Canyon was named after William Granstaff, an American cowboy of mixed race. He claimed it in 1877 to prospect for valuable ores and to serve as a homestead as he raised a modest herd of cattle. His business partner was a Canadian trapper known only as -- Frenchie. Mr. Granstaff was forced to flee the Moab area in 1881 when he was accused of a serious crime -- that of providing bootlegged alcohol to Native Americans in the regionHis guilt or innocence in the matter was never determined. Nevertheless, Mr. Granstaff lost his home and virtually all of his belongings due to the accusation. But worst of all -- he lost his beautiful Canyon. In post-Civil War America, Mr. Granstaff 's conclusion that his racial heritage would place him at a significant legal disadvantage was not unreasonable in the least. Thus, he left Moab.
The name -- Negro Bill Canyon ---has been, and remains today, a source of controversy. The Canyon was originally known until the 1960's as -- Nigger Bill Canyon -- a name reflective of the African American struggle for racial equity in the late 1800's. In recent years, Bill's Canyon has been the focus of considerable discussion -- including a petition to modify the name even further to eliminate the racial reference entirely.
The argument for altering the name to Granstaff Canyon to avoid offense has merit. However, rebuttal opinions argue that one should not attempt to rewrite history -- and instead should preserve the name Negro Bill to thus honor the struggle for African-American racial equity. As further rebuttal, the NAACP has advised that the term -- Negro-- is neither pejorative nor derogatory and as such, should raise no feelings of offense. A final decision has not yet been reached by the community.
Mr. Granstaff spent his remaining days in nearby Colorado. He left this life filled with memories of his majestic canyon." NegroBillCanyon.com
Utah is a state located in the westcentral region of the United States of America. Utah is the 13th largest state by area, ranks 34th by population and 10th by population density of the 50 United States. Utah was the 45th state to be admitted into the Union, on January 4, 1896. Utah is landlocked, being bordered by the states of Idaho to the north, Wyoming to the northeast, Nevada on the west, Colorado on the east and Arizona to the south. Utah is very mountainous and is a popular outing destination of the outdoorsman. The state population is about 2.82M with 95% being Caucasian, 2.4% Asian, 1.7% Native American and 1.3% Black. The state capital and largest city is Salt Lake City.Source: wikipedia