Historical Facts about Utah County, Utah

Utah County, with a population of over 40,000, with only 51 per cent of 234,717 acres of its finest farm land under cultivation, is the first county in the State in agricultural wealth. Its scenic beauty is unrivaled, and the County ranks second in population and fourth in manufacturing and metal mining.

The assessed valuation is approximately $42,000,000.00.

Utah Lake is the second largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi, and is filled with the finest fish.

The County has one of the largest electric power plants in the west, which is located at Provo, a matchless climate, the largest university in the State and the largest woolen mills in the west.

Within the county are to be found deposits of a most beautiful grade of onyx, unlimited amounts of gray sandstone and marble, while the mountains are full of lime stone, slate and cement manufacturing material.

We are proud of Utah County and the boosting spirit of its citizens which so characterizes the community generally.

The following articles have been submitted by the various commercial clubs of the county and represent each community accordingly:

Provo City Government
City Hall, 76 E Center (1916)
City Officer

City Commissioners, J E Daniels, H J W Goddard, LeRoy Dixon
Mayor, J B Daniels (2 years)
Auditor, Mrs. Alice Brown
Recorder, Fred Evans
Chief of Police, Jesse Manwaring
Treasurer, Mrs. Margaret Stubbs
Attorney, Jacob Coleman
Justice. R R Thorne
Physician, H G Merrill
Supt Water Works and Sewers, Roswell Snow
Sexton, Nels Johnson
Chief of Fire Dept., Joseph W Loveless
Engineer, Geo C Swan
Pound keeper, Joseph W Loveless
Water master, T C Thompson


Possessed of a fund of natural resources as varied as they are extensive, and only awaiting the time for them to be converted into untold wealth, Provo stands pre-eminent among the rapidly growing cities of the Inter-Mountain west.

Centrally located upon two trans-continental railroads with a well-developed and splendidly equipped Inter-Urban system, and a city street car system, Provo is adapted by location as well as resource to the marketing of the product of her hundreds of fine orchards and farms. This city is rapidly becoming identified as the produce shipping center of the State. As a natural sequel to these conditions the canning industry will soon become an important factor of the city's development. Already there are two establishments of this nature and plans are freely being discussed as to the advisability of establishing a large evaporating plant also.

Those people who purchase real estate in Provo do so almost invariably with the intention of making- their homes upon it, and as a result are soon interested in the city's welfare and prosperity. There never was a time when greater opportunities were available to all classes of investors than at present.

Provo is most ideally situated for all kinds of manufacturing; her water power is ample, and is now a most decided feature of the economy of her present industries.

As a school town the educational and artistic temperament of her citizenship is exemplified in the hearty -manner in which are welcomed those engaged in the teaching, display and practice of every known form of the arts, and sciences, and what is still more commendable from this standpoint is the fact that the students attending her schools and universities are devoid of contaminating influences brought about by contact with undesirable elements. Provo is a clean town, both morally and physically and therefore is a most ideal place in -which to live and bring up a family.

Provo has room for and will -welcome all legitimate enterprises and many fine opportunities are awaiting development upon the part of those whose good judgment lead them this way. The poultry industry, and dairying, offer special inducements, on account of the splendid facilities afforded for rapid transportation of these products to Salt Lake, and the near-by mining camps. Truck gardening also is profitably engaged in, and there are hundreds of acres of the finest land imaginable available for this purpose, which may be purchased at very conservative prices.

Climatic conditions, location and the beauty of her environment makes of Provo, a most ideal "home town." With churches of every denomination, splendid public school system, magnificent university, public library, shady streets and beautiful parks, it is ideally perfect; and her citizens possessed of that whole-souled hospitality, so characteristic of the west, will most cordially -welcome the capitalist, artisan, farmer, professional man or manufacturer who desires to share with them the many splendid opportunities for future betterment herein to be obtained. W. M. Wilson.

Spanish Fork

Spanish Fork la the second city in size In Utah County, with a population of 4,000. Spanish Pork has had no boom, and consequently fears no reaction, with resulting periods of business depression. Her citizens are of the sober, steady, industrious type generally to be found among those who gain a livelihood from the soil. The chief industry, of course, is farming, and sugar beets is the principal crop, nearly eighty thousand tons being produced each year. In order to handle this immense tonnage, the Utah Idaho Sugar Company have found it necessary to erect, at the cost of nearly one million dollars, one of the biggest beet sugar factories in the United States. This refinery will be completed this summer. Second in importance to the farming industry is the raising of sheep and cattle. The sale of dairy products, also, forms a considerable portion of the annual revenue. Grain, hay, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables which can be grown in any locality of the same average temperature do well here. The elevation is 4,570 feet.

The Strawberry Irrigation project has reclaimed 60,000 acres of arid land in and about Spanish Fork and the Salt Lake & Utah Railway with its 20 daily trains has put Spanish Fork into closer touch with Salt Lake, which greatly facilitates the marketing of this added productive acreage.

Spanish Fork has two banks, two hotels, three drug stores, three general merchandise houses, three grocery stores, two furniture stores, two farm implement stores, two bakeries, millinery and three confectionery stores. Two lumber yards are kept busy and the weekly newspaper keeps the people in touch with things that are going on.

There is an excellent dance hall, opera house and picture show, which furnish the people with amusement.

Five beautiful public school buildings accommodate thirteen hundred pupils, with a corps of well qualified teachers to look after their training. There are four Mormon churches and a, Presbyterian.


"Opportunity knocks at the door of every man once," is an old proverb. It has knocked at the door of Payson, and the portals have been thrown wide open to receive it. The last year has made Payson a railroad terminus, brought it some extensive railroad shops, and has made it the center of a great irrigated area comprising practically 35,000 acres, this latter gain being due to the completion of the government's great reclamation undertaking, the Strawberry Irrigation project, costing approximately $3,000,000.00.

These advantages with a host of others, among them a sugar factory turning out each season more sugar than the people of the State of Utah can consume in two years, gives Payson a bright looking future. "Payson has the brightest future of any city In the State."

Payson nestles close to the foot of the beautiful and majestic Wasatch Range. It has new dwellings of the latest and most modern type and the citizens are happy and prosperous. Payson was one of the first towns in the county to install an electric lighting system and receives its electricity now from the government plant. Good sidewalks and roads are hobbies of Payson.

The city has a water system which cost $65,000.00. The source is from pure, cool, mountain springs, which have been enclosed and protected against pollution.

To the east stands lofty Mt. Loaffer, to the south Mt. Santaquin and the rugged old Mt Nebo, and nestling close to the foot of these majestic peaks makes Payson a very desirable town to live in.

Farming is the principal occupation. The soils rich and wonderfully productive. Wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, potatoes and alfalfa are raised in bumper crops. Sugar beets is an important crop, the saccharine content and purity being above the average and the tonnage near the top. The Utah-Idaho Sugar Company has a large factory in Payson and last year this factory produced 15,400,000 pounds of sugar.

Dairying, live stock and cattle raising are profitable pursuits.

On account of its favorable location, Payson is the business hub of this region. Much trade is drawn from Salem, Santaquin, Spring Lake, Benjamin, Lake Shore and Goshen.

Payson has a good public school system and recently built a new high school which cost $50,000.00.

Any article about Payson would be incomplete without at least a short description of the great Strawberry Irrigation Project. Few people realize the magnitude of this enterprise. It may be said to be the only government irrigation project in the State. Think of water being diverted a distance of 60 miles for irrigation purposes. The Strawberry valley, in the tops of the mountains, 60 miles to the east formed a great natural reservoir site. The water supply which was drained into the Colorado River system was abundant, but it was too great an undertaking for any private concern. The government was prevailed upon to do the work and at a cost of approximately $3,500,000.00 completed the system. A dam was built at the narrows of the Strawberry River, making this valley a great storage lake. A tunnel nearly four miles long was bored through the Wasatch Range to tap this reservoir and convey its waters through the Spanish Fork River into the beautiful and productive Utah valley. A diversion dam at the mouth of this river throws the greater part of the water into the high line canal which supplies a vast area, east, southwest and northwest of Payson. Over 70 miles of main canal and laterals are concrete lined and the whole system is built for service and to stay. At the present time the reservoir is filled to over flowing. This means, should we have three years of drought without a drop of rainfall, the crops in Payson would in no way suffer. This reservoir acts like the store houses of Egypt, in which over-supplies of the seven fat years are laid up for the seven lean ones. The reservoir now holds a three-year supply of water on tap ready to be delivered at the farmers' orders.

Payson has always been a steady community, composed of high class conservative citizens. Prosperous as she is with her 1800 acres of irrigated land and but little income from the arid regions, who can fail to see what vast changes are inevitable when the thousands of acres of contiguous land with its fertile soil is all being irrigated and intensively cultivated. The new railroad shops, the social and business advantages, the many new settlers, that must come to help meet the immediate demand make Payson truthfully the "City with an immediate future."

American Fork

While American Fork has recently become a center of interest to mining people, she also has good opportunities in farming, sheep and cattle raising. The people of American Fork pride themselves on having fine residences and homes and the city itself presents a very beautiful picture to the stranger who comes within its gates. The industrious and enterprising citizens of American Fork all say that "American Fork is a good place to live." The city has a good water system, an abundant supply of electric lights, good school buildings, massive church structures, spacious administration buildings, amusement halls, parks, etc., while the business district is supplied with solid banks, good business blocks and a publishing company. There is an opening for a canning factory, evaporating plant, cement plant, condensed milk factory and a starch factory. There are 4000 people within a radius of three miles, and John Hunter is the present Mayor, who is always anxious to answer any inquiries regarding American Fork and her resources.


Lehi is the first town in the northern part of, Utah County and is 30 miles south of the state capital and 18 miles northwest of Provo. Lehi has for a great many years been known as the "Sugar City," deriving this expression from the fact that the mammoth sugar factory of the, Utah-Idaho Sugar Company is located in Lehi.

The principal occupation of the 3500 people in this town is, of course, the raising of sugar beets. The town is up-to-date, situated on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and the electric line running through the county. There is a weekly newspaper, telephone system and electric lights in addition to good substantial stores, banks and places of amusement. Why shouldn't the people of Lehi be prosperous and optimistic?

Pleasant Grove

If you want a good place to farm. Pleasant Grove is it. The town is twelve miles north of Provo and is situated on the Salt Lake Route, also on the electric line which extends through the county. Being only 33 miles south of Salt Lake, the marketing problems are practically minimized. There are two banks, good churches and 2400 enthusiastic people in Pleasant Grove.


Salem is a beautiful little town located 15 miles south of Provo and three miles east of Payson, the nearest banking point. General farming and sugar beet raising are the general pursuits of the people in this locality. Salem is on the electric line connecting Provo and Salt Lake City and has a population of 1300 enthusiastic and energetic citizens.


Mapleton is a thriving little town about eight miles southeast of Provo, the county seat, and has a population of six hundred. The district of Mapleton is one of the most fertile spots in the county, the soil being of a sandy loam, which is suitable for almost any kind of crops. The principal industries are: beets, fruit, grain, hay and rattle raising. The assessed valuation of Maple ton property is about $650,000.00. They have good schools and the people are generally prosperous and happy. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company touches Mapleton boundary. The town is up-to-date and has a live bunch of boosters such as C. W. Houtz, Jos. Jenson, Jas. Wiscomb, W. I. Holley, Loren Nielson and others.


Springville, a town of 3500 population, Is located five and one-half miles southeast of Provo and the principal business of this section is .stock raising, fruit growing and diversified farming. The town supports two banks, has adequate public schools, a weekly newspaper and is one of the leading towns in the state advocating prohibition.


Santaquin Is located on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, six miles south of Payson, which is the nearest banking point. General farming and beet raising are the principal industries, and as Santaquin and vicinity come under the Strawberry canal, a very bright future is certain for the people of this town, who number 1100.


Goshen, whose population is 700, is just twelve miles from Payson, the nearest banking station. There are good churches, schools, and stores, with a good hotel and electric light plant. Goshen also comes under the Strawberry canal and forms a part of that 35,000 acres to be irrigated by this immense undertaking. People of Goshen are prosperous and optimistic and have every reason in the world to be happy.



Source: Farmers and Merchants Directory, Utah County, Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1916. 



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