Grand County's story begins long before the first white settlers entered the valley. The land holds ruins, artifacts, and remnants of many ancient peoples, including Ute, Navajo, Anasazi, and others. Spanish missionaries--who were seeking gold as much as souls--were followed by French fur traders into the mid-1800s, and the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 brought the land to be known as Grand County into the Union. Soon, the valley was teeming with settlers. In 1880, the name "Moab" appeared in the US Postal Register; it was chosen by William Peirce, a businessman who became the town's first postmaster, and was a reference to the Biblical desert. In 1902, Moab, Utah, was officially incorporated. The coming railroads brought more settlers from around the world. Basque sheepherders, Chinese laborers, and African American cowboys joined followers of Brigham Young to become residents of the growing county. Towns like Thompson, Cisco, and Stateline sprang up along with fruitful orchards, and peaches from Moab were being served at restaurants in Paris.