Millard County, Utah
A Brief History of Millard County*
Millard County is bordered on the east by the Pahvant Range. West to the Nevada border lie the broad valleys and desert mountain ranges typical of the Great Basin. The Sevier River, which begins in mountains east of Cedar City, drains into the sometimes dry Sevier Lake in central Millard. A huge granitic upthrust in the House Range, volcanic cones, and numerous fossil beds provide clues to past geologic activity and prehistoric animal and plant life.
The county is known for a Folsom Early Man site in the Sevier Desert occupied 7,000 or 8,000 years ago. In addition, the Fremont Culture which disappeared ca. A.D. 1300 lived in small villages with semi-subterranean dwellings. Historic Indian groups include Southern Paiutes, Pahvant Utes, and Goshutes. A small Indian reservation is located at Kanosh.
In October 1851 two groups left Salt Lake City for east Millard County. Some 30 families led by Anson Call made the first permanent white settlement, while territorial officials, including Gov. Brigham Young and surveyor Jesse W. Fox, selected a site for the capital, Fillmore being near the geographical center of Utah Territory. The legislature met in Fillmore a few times, but in December 1856 it voted to move the capital to Salt Lake City because Fillmore was too far from major cities.
On October 26, 1853, seven members of a transcontinental railroad survey team led by Lt. John W. Gunnison of the Topographical Engineers were killed southwest of Delta by Indians, a tragic incident in the Walker War (1853-54) that was apparently triggered by the hostile actions of a group of emigrants against the Indians.
Ranching and farming developed slowly. In the early 20th century Millard was second to Tooele in the number of sheep on its ranges, but later cattle became the major livestock interest. The establishment of the Union Pacific line through west Millard County and the founding of Delta in 1907 led to the most important agricultural development -- large-scale alfalfa seed production amounting eventually to three-fourths of the state's crop. The Yuba Dam and other water projects made this venture possible.
During World War II the federal government forcibly relocated 110,000 Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to special camps. Topaz, a relocation center near Delta, housed some 8,700 internees, making it the largest "city" in Millard for a few years.
Mining and smelting have contributed to economic growth with Millard producing significant amounts of fluorspar, copper, manganese, sulphur, gypsum, beryllium, and salt. The most important industrial development, however, began in the 1970s when plans were made for the Intermountain Power Project's huge coal-burning plant near Delta. Southern California buys much of the electricity generated here.
*Used by permission. Beehive History 14: Utah Counties. 1988. Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1182, 801/533-3500.
- 2010 Utah County Fact Book
The information in this book describes the economic, demographic, public safety, and financial characteristics of each of Utah’s 29 counties. Published by the Utah Association of Counties (UAC). Previous versions are available from UAC as well.
- Census 2000 Demographic Profile: Millard County
General population characteristics, social characteristics, economic characteristics, and housing characteristics for the county. From American FactFinder, the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Economic Profile: Millard County
Information on county industry and employment. From the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah).
- Millard County Facts
Labor force, economic and wage information from the Department of Workforce Services County and Statewide Information.
- Millard County Profile
Census, demographic, genealogy & vital records, crime, educational, economic, government, and county data. From ePodunk.
- Millard County QuickFacts
Find quick, easy access to facts about people, business, and geography from the U.S. Census Bureau's State & County QuickFacts.
- Religious Membership Report: Millard County
Religious denomination for the county. From the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA).
- 2002 Census of Agriculture County Profile: Millard County
Census data on farms, crops, and livestock. From the Census of Agriculture, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Millard County Agriculture Profile
Data on land ownership, crops, and livestock. From the Utah State University Extension.
- Millard County Chronicle - Archives
Available issues from Utah Digital Newspapers: 1914-1947. Search all newspapers, select a specific newspaper or browse by county. This project was funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and digitized at the University of Utah.
- Millard County Chronicle Progress - Current Issue & Archives
Online version of the Chronicle Progress.
- Millard County Progress - Archives
Available issues from Utah Digital Newspapers: 1894-1939. Search all newspapers, select a specific newspaper or browse by county. This project was funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and digitized at the University of Utah.
- Topaz Times - Archives
Topaz internment camp near Delta, Utah, during World War II. Topaz was one of ten camps where people of Japanese ancestry were forced to live during the War. Available issues from Utah Digital Newspapers: 1942-1945. Search all newspapers, select a specific newspaper or browse by county. This project was funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and digitized at the University of Utah.