Utah History

By | October 1, 2021

Utah is a state located in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States; It is bordered to the north by the state of Idaho, to the northeast by Wyoming, to the east by Colorado, in the extreme southeast by New Mexico, to the south by Arizona and to the west by Nevada, approximately 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of the coast of California has two large natural lakes, the Great Salt Lake and Lake Utah. Utah is one of the most important transportation and telecommunications centers in the American West. Approximately 88% of Utah’s population lives in an urban concentration in the state’s capital and largest city, Salt Lake City. See topschoolsintheusa for best high schools in Utah.

Name’s origin

Utah takes its name from the Spanish word Yuta. Yuta is the name by which the Spanish called the Shoshone-speaking Indians who lived in the present-day Utah Lake Valley. This place name is the modification of the indigenous word Qusutas, with which the Franciscan father Gerónimo de Zárate Salmerón designated this town in 1620. Probably derived from western Apache languages


Two Amerindian tribes lived in the region that constitutes the present-day US state of Utah thousands of years before the arrival of the first European explorers. These tribes were the Anasazi and Fremonte. These Native American tribes were subgroups of the Amerindian Ute-Aztec ethnic group, and they were sedentary. The Anasazi built their residences through excavations in the mountains, and the Fremontes built thatched houses before disappearing from the region around the 15th century. Another Native American group, the Navajos, settled in the region around the 18th century. In the middle of the 18th century Other Uto-Aztec tribes, such as the Gosiute, Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute, also settled in the region. These five groups were present when the first European explorers arrived.

Formerly, the population consisted of the Utah, the Gosiutos, the Southern Paiutes, and the Navajos. The first Europeans to visit the area were Spanish missionaries from Santa Fe, who in 1776 traveled north to Utah Lake. The region was claimed by Spain and, later, by Mexico. In the winter of 1824, James Bridger, a fur hunter, discovered the Great Salt Lake.

In 1846, the Mormons, who had been persecuted in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois for their religious beliefs, resolved to move west into what was then Mexican territory. The first group arrived at present-day Salt Lake City in July 1847. In 1852, Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, numbered 15,000 in Utah, and they created the Perpetual Emigration Fund to encourage the arrival of European converts to the state. Although Congress refused to admit the state to the Union because Mormons allowed polygamy, in 1850 it was established as the Utah Territory, and Brigham Young, who had led the first group to Salt Lake City, was appointed governor of the territory.

After the American Civil War, the inauguration of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 led to the arrival of non-Mormon immigrants to the territory. In 1887, Congress passed another law against polygamy. The state entered the Union in 1896 and its Constitution prohibits polygamy.

In 1910, the year in which the state’s population exceeded 370,000 residents, the Mormons’ demand for the rights of their territories triumphed.

In 1906, the exploitation of the world’s largest open-pit copper mine, at Birmingham Canyon, fostered the development of the foundry industry, while increasing agricultural production in parallel. After World War II, the federal government, which owned about 60% of Utah’s land, expanded its military installations there, and by the late 1950s Utah stood out for its missile production. The economy further prospered when uranium, oil, and natural gas fields were discovered, and, in the late 1980s and 1990s, with the establishment of high-tech industries. At the end of this last decade, Utah, under the conservative influence of the Mormons, continued to be a bulwark of traditional values.


Utah acquired its current borders in the 1860s. Throughout the 1860s, the US government ceded part of the Utah Territory to newly created new territories, such as Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming. In 1868, Utah acquired its current territorial limits. In 1865, the Black Hawk War began, again between the Mormons and the Native American Ute tribe, led by the indigenous chief Black Hawk. The war lasted for two years, until 1867, a period in which other Native American tribes joined the cause of the Utes: to reconquer the lands captured by the Mormons.

Salt Lake City became a communications center in 1860, with the start of the Pony Express mail transport between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, with a stopover in Salt Lake City. On October 24, 1861, two telegraph lines, one from Washington DC and the other from San Francisco, were connected in Salt Lake City, inaugurating the first transcontinental telegraph line in the country.

Utah History