Fredonia is located in the “Arizona Strip”, a large plateau between the Grand Canyon and the cliffs of the “Grand Staircase” of southern Utah. Sagebrush, grasses and other desert plants cover the flat country around the town, while junipers cling to the cliffs in the distance. Irrigated fields cover areas close to the town. The Utah border is just three miles to the north.
Fredonia was settled in 1885 by Mormon pioneers from Kanab, which is located several miles to the north, on the other side of the Utah border. In the spring of 1885, Thomas Frain Dobson built the first log cabin, two miles south of Fredonia. Henry J. Hortt and others settled the next year, after the townsite was surveyed. The name Fredonia was suggested by Erastus Snow. “Dona” being the spanish word for “wife”, it suggests that their polygamist wives could live there, free from persecution of federal officers. The practice of polygamy was later abandoned by the Mormons, but the name has survived.
Fredonia is characterized by wide streets, laid out on a grid, typical of Mormon settlements. Trees planted throughout the town separate it from the surrounding desert. As of 2000 the population is 1,036. U. S. Highway 89A comes south from Kanab and continues southeast to Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. State Highway 389 goes west toward St. George, Utah.
For More Information:
Fredonia’s official site is at www.fredoniaaz.net. See also Wikipedia's Fredonia article. The book Mormon Settlement in Arizona by James McClincock describes Fredonia in chapter 9, and includes a historic photograph in chapter 10.