Emery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. The population was 10,976. Its county seat is Castle Dale, and the largest city is Huntington. The county was named for George W. Emery, governor of the Utah Territory in 1875. Emery County is a county equivalent area found in Utah, USA. The county government of Emery is found in the county seat of Castle Dale. With a total 11,583.6 sq. km of land and water area, Emery County, Utah is the 110th largest county equivalent area in the United States. Home to 10,631 people, Emery County has a total 4481 households earning 52763 on average per year.
Early Settlement Of Emery County
Occupation of the San Rafael region dates back thousands of years to include people of the Desert Archaic Culture who were followed by those of the Fremont culture who inhabited present-day Emery County from about A.D. 500 to about A.D. 1300. Evidence of these people can still be found in numerous pictograph and petro glyph panels, such as those in Temple Mountain Wash, Muddy Creek, Ferron Box, Black Dragon Canyon, and Buckhorn Wash-all sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Ute Indians also occupied sites in Castle Valley.
Emery County was created by the Utah Territorial Legislature in February 1880 and included what later became Carbon County, Utah. The census of 1880 showed 556 people and 84 farms in Emery County, but this figure is likely short as many prominent settlers were inadvertently left off the county rolls. By 1890, the population of Emery County had risen to 2,866, and towns had grown from groups of ramshackle cabins to communities with schools, stores, and churches. Between 1880 and 1900, many significant canals were constructed, including the Huntington Canal (1884), Emery Canal (1885), Cleveland Canal (1885), and the Wakefield Ditch (1880). Many of the early canals are still in service. In the early 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad began investigating rail routes through the Emery County region. Early plans to locate the railroad through the heart of Emery County were thwarted when the route over the Wasatch Mountains proved to be too steep. The alternative route took the rails through the North-Eastern corner of the county, by-passing most of the settlements in the county.
While most of the county did not immediately benefit from the railroad, Green River, on the eastern edge of Emery County boomed almost overnight following arrival of the rails. By 1900, the population of Emery County had reached over 4,600 people. Over 450 farms were operating in the county, growing crops on over 25,000 acres (100 km2). Irrigation systems were being expanded to bring new lands into production, bringing with them problems which would plague the region for several decades. Water rights conflicts frequently arose, and water theft, known as “midnight irrigation,” became common. Most disputes were settled by decree, but a few were contested by violence. The underlying soils in Emery County consist of ancient sea beds which contain high levels of salts. Poor drainage and over-irrigation causes the salts to collect on the surface, rendering large areas of land unsuitable for agriculture. The problem first appeared in the 1890s, and in 1903, a Department of Agriculture report stated that over 30% of the developed farmland in Emery County had been abandoned due to degradation. With expanded irrigation development came expanded settlement as several new towns were established.
In addition, the coal industry, which had consisted of a few small mines which provided for local demand expanded, and several large scale operations began. The entry of the United States into World War I created a minor boom in Emery County as agricultural prices rose and manpower shortages caused wages at the mines to rise. Following the war, prices dropped significantly, leading to hard times throughout much of the 1920s. Things improved somewhat during the later years of the decade, but an even more significant collapse came with the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s. In addition, severe drought in 1931 and 1934 intensified the economic hardship in the county. The decade of the 1930s was difficult for the residents of Emery County. The population of the county dropped from over 7,400 in 1920 to a little over 7,000 in 1930, and remained steady through the 1930s. Agricultural prices dropped 40% from their 1929 level, and coal production dropped by half. Water shortages and land degradation continued to be problems. In 1935, only 16,462 acres (66.62 km2) out of 41,725 acres (168.86 km2) produced crops.
The residents of Emery County benefited from many depression-relief programs, including the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Several CCC camps were established in Emery County. Company 959 established a camp in Joes Valley in May 1933. The camp moved several times in the following years before establishing a permanent camp near Ferron in 1935. A second camp was established at Castle Dale in 1935, and another camp was established at Green River in 1938. During its tenure in Emery County, the CCC built road, bridges and trails as well as building ranger stations and other projects on public lands. Many enrollees settled in Emery County after their discharge from the Corps. Following the end of World War II, service men from Emery County returned home to find relative economic prosperity.
Lawyers in Emery County Utah
Here are some of the areas of law that the attorneys at Ascent Law LLC practice for their clients in Emery County Utah:
County farm income in 1946 was double that of 1940, and the coal mines were operating at fairly high levels. During the post-war years, the county matured and modernized as modern water and sanitation systems were constructed, roads were improved, and many of the luxuries enjoyed by people in less rural areas, like telephones, reached Emery County. While many things in Emery County improved, some things did not. The agricultural sector still suffered from inconsistent water supplies and a lack of significant long term storage. And in the mid-1950s, the region again suffered from a period of low precipitation. It was also during this time that the long sought after reservoir in Joes Valley would become a reality. Riding the crest of national economic growth during the 1970s Emery County’s population grew significantly as a result of the construction of large coal-fired power plants in Castle Dale and Huntington by Utah Power & Light Company (PacifiCorp) and the expansion of coal mines to fuel these important power plants. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,472 square miles (11,580 km2), of which 4,462 square miles (11,560 km2) is land and 9.5 square miles (25 km2) (0.2%) is water.
The Green River forms the eastern boundary. The Wasatch Plateau, a mountainous area, sits along the western boundary. The main population of the county lives along the base of these mountains. The San Rafael Swell occupies most of the area to the east. The western side of the county is the most populated and contains numerous small communities residing in an agricultural valley that roughly parallels the Manti National Forest to the west. Streams originate in the Wasatch Plateau on the forest and their headwaters are stored in several reservoirs. Agricultural areas depend on these reservoirs and waterways for survival and some farmland communities struggle with excess salinity. The east side of the county is dry with rough terrain. Green River, the largest community on this side of the county, is more closely tied to the communities and economy of Grand County. Emery County’s maps show the importance of the forest lands to the local communities as there are very few significant groundwater aquifers in the area.
Emery County is bordered on the north by Carbon County (which was created from Emery in 1894), on the west by the Wasatch Plateau and the original settlements in Sanpete and Sevier counties from which most Emery County settlers came, on the south by the remote artificial boundary with Wayne County, and on the east by the Green River the natural boundary with Grand County (which was created from Emery county in 1890). Emery County includes three geographical areas: the mountains of the Wasatch Plateau; Castle Valley, where the major settlements are located; and the desert of the San Rafael Swell, the San Rafael Reef, Cedar Mountain, and the remote stretches of land west of the Green River. The San Rafael River, the life blood of the county, originates in the Wasatch Plateau where the headwaters are stored in several reservoirs for agricultural and industrial use. It flows into Castle Valley in three branches, Huntington Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Ferron Creek which unite to form the San Rafael River after they pass the communities and adjacent farm land. It then twists its way through the rock and desert to its junction with the Green River.
Geographical names feature Native American, Spanish and English influences. Two of the Ute Indian names which are still with us Wasatch, meaning a gap in the mountains and Quitchupah which means a place where animals fare poorly. Wasatch is the name of the mountains between Sanpete Valley and Castle Valley. Quitchupah is a small creek south of Emery. The Spanish name which is still used is San Rafael which means Saint Ralph. During Spanish times the name Rafael was also given to the present Ferron Creek. In 1873, A.D. Ferron, the surveyor, named this creek after himself, but prior to this time it was known as Rafael. The Ute Indians called the Ferron Creek the Cabulla which refers to the small edible part of a cactus pear. The Huntington Creek was originally called San Marcus. The Indians called Cottonwood Creek by the name Sivareeche Creek and the Spanish called the creek Mateo. The Indians called Castle Valley Tompin-con-tu or rock house land which relates to the present Castle Valley. The Spanish named the valley St. Joseph’s Valley. There were 10,860 people, 3,468 households, and 2,798 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²).
There were 4,093 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.64% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 1.87% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. 5.23% of the populations were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 3,468 households out of which 45.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.80% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.30% were non-families. 17.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.10 and the average family size was 3.53.
In the county, the population was spread out with 35.40% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 20.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 100.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $39,850, and the median income for a family was $44,086. Males had a median income of $39,059 versus $18,929 for females. The per capital income for the county was $14,243. About 9.40% of families and 11.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.00% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those ages 65 or over.
Emery county Utah cities, town and neighborhood
• Castle Dale
• Green River
Other Populated Places in Emery County
• Ferron Mill
• Horse Canyon
• Lone Tree Crossing
Emery County Utah Court Directory
District Courts in Emery County
• 7th District Court – Emery County
1850 North 560 West, PO Box 635, Castle Dale, UT 84513
Juvenile Courts in Emery County
• 7th District Juvenile Court – Emery County
1850 North 560 West, PO Box 635, Castle Dale, UT 84513
Justice Courts in Emery County
• Emery County Justice Court – Castle Dale
1850 North 560 West, PO Box 555, Castle Dale, UT 84513
Emery County Justice Court – Green River
• 48 Farrer Street, PO Box 328, Green River, UT 84525
Emery County Website : www.emerycounty.com
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