Bingham Canyon was named for Erastus Bingham and sons, Sanford and Thomas, Utah Pioneers of 1847, who in 1848 took up grazing land in this vicinity, first for private herds and later as a community enterprise. They built a small cabin at the mouth of the canyon, where Sanford, his bride Martha Ann Lewis, and Thomas, a member of the Mormon battalion, made their home.
Accidental discovery of mineral-bearing rock led to some prospecting with promising indications. Advised by Brigham Young that production of food for the settlers and thousands who were coming was more urgent than mining, the Binghams abadoned prospecting with the intention of development later.
In 1850, the Bingham family moved to Ogden and established Bingham's Fort as protection from hostile Indians and assisted in pioneering Weber County. They did not return to Bingham Canyon.