Payson is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,294 at the 2010 census.
Pioneers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by James Edward Pace Jr. first settled what is now Payson, Utah. On Sunday, October 20, 1850, Pace with his family and the families of John Courtland Searle and Andrew Jackson Stewart, totaling 16 settlers in all, arrived at their destination on Peteetneet Creek.
The settlement was originally named Peteetneet Creek, after which Chief Peteetneet was named. Peteetneet is the anglicized corruption of Pah-ti't-ni't, which in the Timpanogos dialect of the Southern Paiute language means "our water place". Chief Peteetneet was the clan leader of a band of Timpanogos Indigenous Americans whose village was on a stretch of the creek about a mile northwest of Payson's present city center. The village, when fully occupied, housed more than 200 of Chief Peteetneet's clan and near kinsmen. It served as a base from which seasonal hunting and foraging parties moved to the mountains each summer and fall.
Five months later, on the morning of March 23, 1851, Brigham Young, having lost confidence in the leadership of James Pace, released him from his calling and reorganized the community under Bishop Benjamin Cross. Then, in the afternoon, in a secular meeting, Brigham Young acting as Territorial Governor, designated the settlement on Peteetneet Creek as Payson, Utah County, Utah Territory.