Grand County is situated on the Colorado Plateau in eastern Utah. The plateau includes two-thirds of the state of Utah as well as parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Composed mostly of sandstone and limestone, the plateau has been eroded by large rivers and other water and wind sources into huge canyons and other complex erosion forms that make it a rugged but scenically spectacular region. Much of the Colorado Plateau in prehistoric times was inhabited by the Anasazi. Arriving perhaps as early as the time of Christ, the Anasazi disappeared sometime around A.D. 1300, perhaps fleeing a period of prolonged drought or hostile Navajo invaders. Today, the remains of their cliff houses and their rock art delight more recent visitors to the land. The first white men to enter the present area of Grand County were Spanish explorers who discovered a crossing of the Colorado River at the site of the present highway bridge at Moab.
Later Spanish traders and American fur trappers developed the route known as the Spanish Trail, of which that crossing and another ford across the Green River above the site of the present Emery County town of that name were a part. The first attempt by Mormon colonists to settle the Moab area was a failure. The Elk Mountain Mission reached Moab Valley in 1855 and established a small community, but the Indians who were already farming the fertile Colorado River bottoms regarded them as competition and drove them out after they had been there only a few weeks. Not until the late 1870s and the 1880s did a few Mormon families find it possible to build permanent homes in the area.
Most of the history of Grand County has been the story of small family farms and orchards, of mining for potash and uranium, and of livestock. Large sheep and cattle companies have found abundant forage for their livestock in the canyons and in the La Sal Mountains, and cowboys and outlaws figure prominently in the area’s folklore. The uranium boom of the 1950s brought the first real population expansion to the area and witnessed the creation of a few large fortunes as well as many failures. Most recently, the income from tourism has been the county’s major economic resource. Arches National Monument was established in 1929, and consistently increasing numbers of visitors led to its being upgraded to national park status in 1971. During the 1970s and 1980s Moab became perhaps the most important center for river-running, mountain bicycling, and four-wheel drive recreation in Utah, and the prospects seem good that tourism and recreation will remain important to the county for the foreseeable future. Evidence of indigenous occupation up to 10,000BCE has been seen in Grand County. The present city of Moab is the site of pueblo farming communities of the 11th and 12th centuries. These groups were already vanished when the first European explorers entered the country; instead, nomadic Ute tribes were here. The European-based settlement of the area began with arrival of Mormon pioneers in 1847. By 1855 they had sent missionary-settlers into Eastern Utah Territory. An Elk Mountain Mission was established, but closed after a few months due to Indian raids. For several decades thereafter, the future Moab area (known as “Spanish Valley”) was visited only by trappers and prospectors. Permanent settlement began in 1877.
These early settlers, coming in from the north, encountered the deep canyon walls of the Grand River and were unable to take wagons over, or around, the steep canyon walls. They unloaded their supplies, dismantled the wagons and lowered them by rope to the river valley. They then drove their oxen over a canyon rim, down deep sand dunes. After the wagons were reassembled and supplies reloaded, they made their way through the deep sand to the river. They found a place to ford the river, below the present bridge in north Moab. They later established a ferry at the crossing site, which remained in use until the first bridge was built in 1921. In 1881 the area was known as Grand Valley, and Moab was a “wild west” town. A 1991 visitor to Moab later said it was known as the toughest town in Utah because the area and surrounding country has many deep canyons, rivers, mountains and wilderness areas, becoming a hideout for outlaws. The local economy was initially based on farming and livestock. Mining came in at the end of the 19th century, and the railroad arrived. The first school in the county was started in 1881. Mormon settlers began planting fruit trees by 1879, and by 1910 Moab was a significant fruit-production center. Due to the distances involved, the settlers of eastern Emery County found it difficult to conduct county business in that county’s seat. By March 13, 1890 their petitions caused the Utah Territory legislature to designate the eastern portion of the county as a separate entity, to be named Grand County, named for the Grand River (whose name was changed to Colorado River in 1921). The county boundaries were adjusted in 1892 and in 2003.
Exploration for deep petroleum deposits began in the 1920s, and this industry has made significant contribution to the economy since that time. Other significant industries include uranium mining, and filmmaking Archeological evidence suggests that the Moab area and surrounding country was inhabited by a tribe of ancient Indians, the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi), perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago. The present town of Moab sits on the ruins of pueblo farming communities dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The Indians left in the middle of the 13th century for unknown reasons. Nomadic Ute tribes greeted the first Europeans to arrive in the Canyonlands area. In 1855 Mormon missionaries attempted to settle the area and established the Elk Mountain Mission but a Ute Indian attack forced the mission to close after only 3 months. For the next 3 decades the future site of Moab was used intermittently by trappers, prospectors, and cattleman. Permanent settlement was not achieved until the 1870s. The first people to settle in the fertile Spanish Valley, named after the “Old Spanish Trail,” which ran through it, were the Mormon pioneers in 1877. These early settlers, coming in from the north, encountered the deep canyon walls of the Grand River (officially renamed the Colorado River in May, 1921) and were unable to take wagons over, or around, the steep canyon walls. They unloaded their supplies, took their wagons apart, and lowered them by rope over the ledge 1 piece at a time. They then drove their oxen over a high, rocky canyon rim and lead them down deep sand dunes to the wagon parts.
After the wagons were reassembled and supplies reloaded, they made their way through sand almost 1 foot deep until they came to the river. They then had to find a place that was free of quicksand, yet shallow enough to permit them to cross this large and treacherous river. This crossing was made below the present river bridge and it is where settlers later put in a ferry, which served as the only means across the river, until a bridge was built in 1911. In 1881 the area was known as Grand Valley and early on Moab was typical of a “wild west” town. A prospector who visited Moab in 1891 remarked that it was known as the toughest town in Utah because the area and surrounding country has many deep canyons, rivers, mountains and wilderness areas. It became a favorite hideout for many outlaw gangs. Among the most infamous of outlaws to hide out in the area were Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch.
The settlement grew slowly, its economy based on farming and ranching. During the 1890s as mining began and the railroad was built, the valley’s population grew to about 19 different Communities and villages. In 1881 construction began on the first school in Grand County. It was a rough hewn log cabin, with a log and willow roof. In the winter a potbellied stove served as the only heat. By 1890, Moab had 2 schools and in 1896 a high school was built. Today, Moab has 1 elementary schools, 1 middle school,1 high school and an extension campus of Utah State University. The fruit growing industry began about 1879 when Mrs. A. G. Wilson, one of the early Mormon settlers. Planted some peach pits that she had brought with her. By 1910 Moab was producing some of the biggest and best fruit in the west. Today, melons, peaches, grapes, apples and pears grow in abundance.
Formation of Grand County
Grand County was formed from part of Emery County and legally become Grand County on March 13, 1890. Moab became an incorporated city in 1902, but was not recognized by the State of Utah as such until 1937 when it had grown to a population of 800. Oil exploration in the 1920’s led to the development of the Moab Oil Field. Riches from the black gold failed to materialize, but oil exploration was continued and has contributed significantly to the local economy. Discovery of uranium in 1952 began an era of mineral extraction in the county, swelling the population from 3,000 to nearly 10,000 residents in just 3 years. Potash, salt mining and uranium milling operations added to the local economy until 1983 when the market for uranium dropped. Most uranium mining and milling operations ceased at that time. However, potash, salt and oil & gas industries are still active.
Lawyers in Grand County Utah
Here are some of the areas of law that the attorneys at Ascent Law LLC practice for their clients in Grand County Utah:
Grand County Utah Population
Grand County, Utah’s estimated population is 9,640 with a growth rate of -0.02% in the past year according to the most recent United States census data. Grand County, Utah is the 22nd largest county in Utah. There were 8,485 people, 3,434 households, and 2,170 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 4,062 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.65% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 3.85% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.66% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. 5.55% of the populations were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 3,434 households out of which 29.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.80% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.06. In the county, the population was spread out with 26.90% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,387, and the median income for a family was $39,095. Males had a median income of $31,000 versus $21,769 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,356. About 10.90% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those ages 65 or over. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,684 square miles (9,540 km2), of which 3,672 square miles (9,510 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (0.3%) is water. The Green River forms the western boundary and Colorado lies on the eastern boundary. The Colorado River flows through the southeast corner. Deserts, cliffs and plateaus make up the scenery, with few settlements apart from the city of Moab, a Colorado River oasis. Arches National Park lies in the southern part of the county, just north of Moab. Also, the northernmost extension of Canyonlands National Park lies in the southwest corner of the county.
The county population contained 26.90% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,387, and the median income for a family was $39,095. Males had a median income of $31,000 versus $21,769 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,356. About 10.90% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those ages 65 or over.
Grand County has been described as the Utah County with the lowest percentage of LDS Church members in the state. Utah’s population overall is about 62% Mormon, while Grand County is about 26% Mormon.
Grand County UT Cities, Towns, & Neighborhoods
• Castle Valley
• Thompson Springs
Other Populated Places in Grand County
• Crescent Junction
• Three Pines
• West water
Grand County Utah Court Directory
District Courts in Grand County
• 7th District Court – Grand County
125 East Center Street, Moab, UT 84532
Juvenile Courts in Grand County
• 7th District Juvenile Court – Grand County
125 East Center Street, Moab, UT 84532
Justice Courts in Grand County
• Grand County Justice Court
125 East Center Street, Moab, UT 84532
Grand County Website: https://co.grand.co.us
Grand County Utah Lawyer Free Consultation
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