Soon after the first white families settled at Box Elder, they were disturbed by Shoshone Indians who begged for food and other commodities and were sometimes hostile. Church leaders commonly advised settlers to gather scattered inhabitants into safe places when threatened with Indian conflicts.
In the fall of 1851, a temporary fort was built to protect the people from Indian attack. This first fort, called Davis Fort for leader William Davis, was located about a mile northwest of the present city center. It consisted of a row of simple log cabins and measured 264 feet in length from north to south and about 99 feet in width from east to west.
Arriving with his wife and two children on October 6, 1851, George Hamson found the Davis Fort under construction. The Hamsons set to work adding their cabin to the fort. On December 8, George Hamson Jr. was born in the unfinished cabin, the first white child born in Box Elder. The cabin had no floor, and the dirt roof did not prevent the rain and sleet from dripping through. To complicate the problem, water from the creek overflowed and ran into the open dwelling.
Drainage was inadequate for high waters that spring, and the houses became infested with bed bugs and other insects. In the spring of 1852, the people were delighted to break up the fort and move out onto their individual farms.