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Millard County is a county located in the state of Utah. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 12,503. Its county seat is Fillmore, and the largest city is Delta. The county was created in 1851.
The county and its seat were named for Millard Fillmore, thirteenth President of the United States
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Millard County is bordered on the
east by the Pahvant Range. West to the Nevada border lie the broad valleys and
desert mountain ranges typical of the Great Basin. The Sevier River, which
begins in mountains east of Cedar City, drains into the sometimes dry Sevier
Lake in central Millard. A huge granitic upthrust in the House Range, volcanic
cones, and numerous fossil beds provide clues to past geologic activity and
prehistoric animal and plant life.
The county is known for a Folsom Early Man site in the Sevier Desert occupied 7,000 or 8,000 years ago. In addition, the Fremont Culture which disappeared ca. A.D. 1300 lived in small villages with semi-subterranean dwellings. Historic Indian groups include Southern Paiutes, Pahvant Utes, and Goshutes. A small Indian reservation is located at Kanosh.
In October 1851 two groups left Salt Lake City for east Millard County. Some 30 families led by Anson Call made the first permanent white settlement, while territorial officials, including Gov. Brigham Young and surveyor Jesse W. Fox, selected a site for the capital, Fillmore being near the geographical center of Utah Territory. The legislature met in Fillmore a few times, but in December 1856 it voted to move the capital to Salt Lake City because Fillmore was too far from major cities.
On October 26, 1853, seven members of a transcontinental railroad survey team led by Lt. John W. Gunnison of the Topographical Engineers were killed southwest of Delta by Indians, a tragic incident in the Walker War (1853-54) that was apparently triggered by the hostile actions of a group of emigrants against the Indians.
Ranching and farming developed slowly. In the early 20th century Millard was second to Tooele in the number of sheep on its ranges, but later cattle became the major livestock interest. The establishment of the Union Pacific line through west Millard County and the founding of Delta in 1907 led to the most important agricultural development - large-scale alfalfa seed production amounting eventually to three-fourths of the state's crop. The Yuba Dam and other water projects made this venture possible.
During World War II the federal government forcibly relocated 110,000 Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to special camps. Topaz, a relocation center near Delta, housed some 8,700 internees, making it the largest "city" in Millard for a few years.
Mining and smelting have contributed to economic growth with Millard producing significant amounts of fluorspar, copper, manganese, sulphur, gypsum, beryllium, and salt. The most important industrial development, however, began in the 1970s when plans were made for the Intermountain Power Project's huge coal-burning plant near Delta. Southern California buys much of the electricity generated here.
*Sources: 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 17,684 km2 (6,828 sq mi). 6,589 square miles
(17,066 km2) of it is land and 239 square miles (619 km2) of it (3.50%) is water. The Sevier Desert covers much of
Millard County, being the seafloor of ancient Lake Bonneville. Near the center of the county lies Sevier Lake, a
mostly dry remnant of Lake Bonneville. Mountains rim the area, some of which harbor beautiful forests, contrasting
with the deserts below, especially the Pahvant Mountains, which form the county's eastern boundary. Fillmore and
other farming communities lie at the base of the Pahvant Mountains. Delta sits several miles from the banks of the
Sevier River in the middle of the basin.
Bordering counties are as follows: