The west-bound pony rider proceeded south along today’s State Street to the next station which was located just south of the Utah State Prison. This was at Porter Rockwell’s Hot Springs Brewery Hotel. The hotel and brewery made this a popular stopping point for travelers. A large adobe barn stood at the site well in to the previous century. A stone monument (N40 29 10.0 W111 54 01.0), largely vandalized of plaques, can be found at the south-east corner of the prison compound and north of the highway.
Orrin Porter Rockwell was one of the most colorful characters on the Mormon frontier. He was a Danite (member of the Mormon protection group, organized in Missouri to protect against terrorist activities) and became a close friend and adherent of Joseph Smith while still in his teens. He served as bodyguard for both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In Utah, Rockwell served as a territorial law-man, with a reputation for relentless pursuit, and swift and final justice. Whether he was in fact a loyal defender of his Church and its leaders, or a cold blooded murderous villain, Porter is said to have asserted that he “never killed a man who didn’t need killing.” Photographs and drawings of Porter Rockwell show him with long, flowing hair and beard. It is said that Joseph Smith promised him that as long as he never cut his hair, a bullet would not take his life. Indeed, Porter died of heart failure in 1878, at age 65.
Sources generally refer to the station as Rockwell or Rockwell's, named after Orin Porter Rockwell, a Mormon Danite in Missouri and former bodyguard for Brigham Young in the 1830s, who was the stationkeeper at the stone structure. Kate B. Carter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers disagrees about Rockwell's role as stationkeeper, arguing that he served as a special agent for the Overland Mail Company during the Pony Express era and then acted as Brigham Young's bodyguard. (NPS)