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Location in Beaver County and the state of Utah
Location of Utah in the United States
|Incorporated||January 10, 1867|
|Named for||Beaver River|
|• Total||6.5 sq mi (16.8 km2)|
|• Land||6.5 sq mi (16.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||5,902 ft (1,799 m)|
|• Density||480/sq mi (185.2/km2)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC-6)|
|GNIS feature ID||1438510|
Settled by Mormon pioneers in 1856, Beaver was one of a string of Mormon settlements extending the length of Utah. These settlements were, by design, a day's ride on horseback apart, explaining the regularity of today's spacing: either 30 miles (48 km) apart, or 60 miles (97 km) apart where intervening settlements failed or were absorbed.
Beaver is the birthplace of two well-known persons: Philo T. Farnsworth and Butch Cassidy. Farnsworth was the inventor of several critical electronic devices that made television possible, including the cathode ray tube. He was also the first to create table-top nuclear fusion. Cassidy was a notorious western outlaw.
Beaver also has the distinction of being the first town in Utah to be electrified. A hydroelectric generation plant was constructed on the Beaver River early in the 20th century. The plant continues to provide a large part of Beaver's power requirements today.
In 2006, Beaver won a contest for best rural water taste in the United States. In 2010, Beaver took top honors in the world for best tasting water. These accomplishments are proudly displayed on billboards along I-15.
Beaver County has a number of identified prehistoric sites, dating to the Archaic and Sevier Fremont periods. A prehistoric obsidian quarry site has been identified in the nearby Mineral Mountains. Southern Paiutes inhabited the region at the time of the first European explorers, the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante Expedition.
Beaver was first created in 1856 from Iron and Millard Counties. Twelve men with families were sent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to settle Beaver by an LDS leader named George A. Smith (not to be confused with his grandson George Albert Smith). It was decided[by whom?] to organize a company and start a settlement on the Beaver River. Those selected to pioneer this work included Wilson Gates Nowers, Simeon F. Howd, James P. Anderson, Horace Alexander, Charles Carter, Barney Carter, Joseph Goff, James Low, John Knowles, John M. Davis, Beason Lewis, James Duke, and John Henderson. Before Utah was an official state, Beaver was established as a county in 1886 by the legislature of the Utah Territory.
Fort Cameron was established two miles from Beaver in 1873 by US troops because of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and Indian raid of the surrounding settlements. Because of its distance and jurisdictional struggles, the Second Judicial Court of the Utah Territory was placed in Beaver from 1870 until 1896 when Utah became a state. Also included in this court's jurisdiction were Iron, Washington, Kane, Garfield, and Piute Counties. A few cities worth mentioning in the development of Beaver County are Beaver, Minersville and Milford, known for their agriculture, mining and livestock endeavors, which directly added to the county's development.
Members of the LDS Church entered Beaver Valley from Parowan to the south. A council meeting was called by George A. Smith in February 1856 in which Simeon F. Howd was made presiding elder and Edward W. Thompson, clerk. In 1858, a great population of people from San Bernardino, California, arrived to settle. In December 1859, W.W. Willis and P.K. Smith were authorized to build a sawmill and gristmill on North Creek, along with control of all water on the mill site. By 1869, Beaver had enough Mormon settlers, primarily engaged in livestock grazing, to organize a stake. The first stake president was John Murdock. During the 1870s, settlers made an effort to establish a woolen mill, a tannery, and a dairy industry. Fort Cameron was established by the U.S. Army in 1873. Mining and the 1880 arrival of the Utah Southern Railroad also increased development in the area. However, by World War I, Fort Cameron was abandoned and the mining industry declined.
Beaver is located in eastern Beaver County, along Interstate 15, the main artery for the state of Utah. To the east of Beaver lie the Tushar Mountains. The peaks in these mountains rise to over 12,000 ft (3,700 m). The Beaver River flows out of the mountains and through the city of Beaver, passing south of downtown before continuing west towards Minersville and the Escalante Desert basin. The Mineral Mountains rise to the west of Beaver, and the South Hills are to the south.
Interstate 15 runs along the western edge of Beaver, with access from exits 109 and 112. I-15 leads north 22 mi (35 km) to the western end of Interstate 70 at Cove Fort, 55 mi (89 km) north to Fillmore, and 53 mi (85 km) south to Cedar City. Utah State Route 153 heads east from Beaver across the Tushar Mountains 40 mi (64 km) to Junction, and Utah State Route 21 runs west through the Beaver River Valley 17 mi (27 km) to Minersville.
An important Beaver landmark is the hillside letter B, which is visible from the freeway ( ).
The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, with adequate rainfall year round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Beaver has a marine west coast climate, Cfb on climate maps.
As of 2010, the total population of Beaver was 3,112, which is 26.81% more than it was in 2000. The population growth rate is higher than the state average rate of 23.77% and is much higher than the national average rate of 9.71%. The Beaver population density is 479.56 people per square mile, which is much higher than the state average density of 32.56 people per square mile and is much higher than the national average density of 81.32 people per square mile. The most prevalent race in Beaver is white, which represent 88.37% of the total population. The average Beaver education level is lower than the state average and is lower than the national average.
As of the census of 2000, 2,454 people, 856 households, and 653 families resided in the city. The population density was 535.5 people per square mile (206.9/km²). The 1,021 housing units averaged 222.8 per square mile (86.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.74% White, 0.53% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 3.06% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.05% of the population.
Of the 856 households, 41.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.0% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were not families. About 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84, and the average family size was 3.33.
In the city, the population was distributed as 32.9% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,646, and for a family was $37,933. Males had a median income of $29,485 versus $17,159 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,412. About 6.7% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Beaver
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Beaver city, Utah". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Table-top nuclear fusion
- Lee Benson (November 18, 2009). "Beaver's water is worth a stop". Deseret News. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Sketches from Life and Labors of Wilson Gates Nowers by Reinhard Maeser, PD.B.B.D Beaver City, Utah, 1914.
- A History of Beaver County, Martha Sonntag Bradley, Utah Centennial County History Series.
- Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 53
- Climate Summary for Beaver, Utah
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