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Emery County is a county located in the state of Utah. Based on the 2010 census, 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.
The county was named for George W. Emery, governor of the Utah Territory in 1875.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Occupation of the San Rafael region dates back thousands of years to include people of the Archaic Period who were followed by those of the Fremont Culture who inhabited present-day Emery County from about A.D. 500 to 1300 Evidence of these people can still be found in numerous pictograph and petroglyph 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. In historic times Ute Indians occupied sites in Castle Valley, and travelers along the Old Spanish Trail also passed through the present county.
In 1875 livestock growers from Sanpete County, recognizing the settlement potential of the region, brought cattle and sheep into Castle Valley to graze. With a shortage of sufficient land and water in Sanpete County and a strong desire by Mormon church leaders to acquire unoccupied land in the region before non-Mormons did, young families began moving into Castle Valley in the fall of 1877 to take up homesteads in what would become the settlements of Huntington, Ferron, Castle Dale, and Orangeville.
Although livestock and farming remained the mainstay of the county's economy throughout most of its history, two related events affected the region's economic stability: the completion of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad through Emery in 1883 and the development of the coal mines at Scofield, Castle Gate, and Sunnyside in Carbon County by 1895. The railroad provided the transportation for produce and livestock, while the mines provided a nearby market for animals and vegetables and an opportunity for some Emery residents to work in the mines during winter and farm during summer. The D&RGW also led to the establishment of the town of Green River, although the site had been an important part of the Old Spanish Trail and a mail station had been established there before completion of the railroad. During the 1970s Emery County's population grew significantly because of the construction by Utah Power and Light Company of large power plants in Castle Dale and Huntington and the opening of large coal mines to fuel the power plants.
*Source: Beehive History 14: Utah Counties. 1988. Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1182.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,462 square miles (11,555 km2), of
which, 4,452 square miles (11,530 km2) of it is land and 10 square miles (25 km2) of it (0.22%) 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.
Bordering counties are as follows: