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Approaching Hildale from the north on State Route 59
Location of Hildale, Utah
|Became a city||March 20, 1990|
|• Total||2.9 sq mi (7.6 km2)|
|• Land||2.9 sq mi (7.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||5,049 ft (1,539 m)|
|• Density||1,000/sq mi (380/km2)|
|Time zone||Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC-6)|
|GNIS feature ID||1450387|
Hildale is a twin city to the better-known Colorado City, Arizona, both of which straddle the border between Utah and Arizona. Hildale is the headquarters of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many adults in the community practice plural marriage. The United Effort Plan, the financial arm of the FLDS owns most of the property in the town. Since most government officials — including the police force — are FLDS members, some critics have likened the community's atmosphere to that of a prison, which is the result of attempts to discourage any of the town's women from attempting to leave the polygamous lifestyle.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.6 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,895 people, 232 households, and 215 families residing in the city. The population density was 644.2 per square mile (248.9/km²). There were 243 housing units at an average density of 82.6 per square mile (31.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.41% White, 0.21% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.63% Pacific Islander, 0.84% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.00% of the population. At 66.9% English Americans, Hildale is the most English city in the United States.
There were 232 households out of which 76.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 82.3% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 6.9% were non-families. 6.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 8.17 and the average family size was 8.10.
In the city the population was spread out with 63.6% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 18.4% from 25 to 44, 6.3% from 45 to 64, and 2.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 13 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,679, and the median income for a family was $31,750. Males had a median income of $25,170 versus $16,071 for females. The per capita income for the city was $4,782. About 37.0% of families and 41.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.0% of those under age 18 and 31.8% of those age 65 or over.
The Colorado City/Hildale area has the world's highest incidence of fumarase deficiency, an extremely rare genetic condition which causes severe intellectual disability. Geneticists attribute this to the prevalence of cousin marriage between descendants of two of the town's founders, Joseph Smith Jessop and John Yates Barlow. At least half of the double community's inhabitants are descended from one or both men.
Hildale has a history of polygamy. LDS Church leaders reportedly sent John D. Lee to the area in 1871 to hide him from federal authorities. The FBI raided Colorado City in 1944 to break up a local polygamy ring, arresting 15 men. In 1953, law enforcement officials again raided Colorado City, arresting 23 men. In January 2004, FLDS leader and prophet Warren Jeffs expelled a group of twenty men, including the mayor, and "gave" their wives and children to other men. Jeffs said he was acting on the orders of God, but the men he expelled claimed they were penalized for disagreeing with Jeffs. Observers say this is the most severe split to date within the community. Jeffs was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and was eventually apprehended on August 28, 2006 in Las Vegas. On September 25, 2007, Jeffs was convicted of being an accomplice to rape for performing marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. According to the Associated Press, Jeffs is rumored to have children from numerous wives.
In 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that welfare fraud is widespread in both Hildale and Colorado City. As many as half of plural wives are on government assistance. The fraud arises from the women's claims that they do not know the whereabouts of the children's fathers. Former State Senator Ron Allen remarked "The social costs of polygamy are quite high. The things I'm most worried about in polygamy are physical and sexual abuse of children, forced marriages among minors, welfare and tax fraud, and the diminished educational opportunities, especially among girls. None of this is acceptable."
On April 6, 2010, law enforcement officials in Mohave County, Arizona and Washington County, Utah served five search warrants seeking records from town officers. The warrants were served on government officials and departments, including Town Manager David Darger as well as Colorado City's fire chief. As a result of the initial warrants, the Hildale-Colorado City Department of Public Safety was shut down, and emergency responders were prohibited from responding to calls without the approval of county officials. Firefighter Glen Jeffs indicated that the warrants referenced "misuse of funds."
Government and infrastructure
Hildale is within the Washington County School District.
Students are zoned to:
- Three Falls Elementary School
- Hurricane Intermediate School
- Hurricane Middle School
- Hurricane High School
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- "Forbidden Fruit" by John Dougherty, Phoenix New Times, December 29, 2005.
- Dobner, Jennifer (April 6, 2010). "Warrants served on polygamous towns in Utah, Ariz.". Associated Press via MyFoxAL. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- Demasters, Tiffany (April 6, 2010). "BREAKING NEWS: Officials shut down Hildale public safety department". The Spectrum & Daily News via . Retrieved April 6, 2010.[dead link]
- "Post Office™ Location - COLORADO CITY." United States Post Office. Retrieved on March 20, 2011.
- Zoellner, Tom (June 28, 1998), "Schools: Local Control, But Little Local Money; Much of the funding used for education comes from beyond the boundaries of polygamous border towns", The Salt Lake Tribune, Archive Article Id: 100F39868A5608CB (NewsBank), archived from the original on 1999-11-14.
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