Tooele County is a county in the U.S. state of Utah. Its county seat and largest city is Tooele. The county was created in 1850. Tooele County is part of the Salt Lake City, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area. The western half is mostly covered by the Great Salt Lake Desert. The eastern half, across the Cedar Mountains, contains small towns outside Salt Lake City as well as the Dugway Proving Ground. Evidence of several indigenous Native American groups has been found in Tooele County, but only the western Shoshone-speaking Goshute tribe claims the desolate lands as their ancestral home.
The Goshute’s traditional territory includes most of modern Tooele County. The Great Salt Lake Desert, which comprises much of the northern portion of the county, provided a major stumbling block for the ill-fated Donner-Reed Party in 1846. Its crusty sand slowed the group’s wagons to such an extent that the group spent six days crossing its 80-mile length, severely sapping the group’s resources and leading to their eventual disaster. In 1847, Mormon pioneers settled in the neighboring Salt Lake Valley. Initially, Tooele Valley was used as a major grazing ground for Mormon cattle owners from Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. In 1849 the first white settlers established permanent roots in the Tooele Valley. Building a saw mill, the settlement was called “E.T. City” after LDS leader E.T. Benson. The territorial legislature first designated Tooele County—initially called “Tuilla”—on January 31, 1850, with significantly different boundaries. Its government was not organized at that time, and the area was attached to Salt Lake County for judicial and administrative purposes. It is speculated the name derives from a Native American chief, but controversy exists about whether such a chief lived.
Alternate explanations hypothesize that the name comes from “tu-wanda”, the Goshute word for “bear”, or from “tule”, a Spanish word of Aztec origins meaning “bulrush”. The Goshutes did not accept Mormon encroachment on their traditional homeland. The Mormons occupied the best camping sites near reliable springs, hunted in Goshute hunting grounds, and overgrazed the meadowland, leaving it unfit for sustaining the animals and plants used by the Goshutes. Mormons believed that Utah was a promised land given to them by God, and did not recognize any Goshute claim to the land.
Goshutes began confiscating Mormon cattle that trespassed onto their property. In response, the Mormons ordered their armies to kill the Goshutes. In 1850, they ambushed a Goshute village, but the Goshutes were able to defend themselves without casualties. Later that year, a contingent of at least 50 men attacked the Goshute camp, killing nine and suffering no casualties. In 1851, General Daniel H. Wells took 30 people prisoners. After they tried to escape, Wells executed them. Similar attacks occurred throughout the 1850s with Goshutes typically being on the losing side. By June 10, 1851 the county government was organized. On that date the county attachment to Salt Lake County was terminated. By 1852, Grantsville, Batesville, and Pine Canyon (later named Lincoln) were settled. In 1855 the town of Richville was designated county seat, but it soon became clear that Tooele was much larger. In 1861 the territorial legislature allowed the county to select a new seat, and Tooele was selected. Twenty-two overland stagecoach outposts were built in Goshute territory, often on the sites of rare natural springs. Goshute attacks on mail outposts escalated in 1860, resulting in dozens of deaths in alternating waves of raids. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, federal troops left the area leaving defense in the hands of the Nauvoo Legion until General Patrick E. Connor arrived in Salt Lake City from California in 1862.
Tooele County as originally defined extended into present-day Nevada. The county’s borders were adjusted in 1852, in 1854, in 1856, in 1861, and in 1862. When Nevada Territory was created in 1862, the county’s borders were impacted, and when the Territory became a state (1864), Tooele County was formally divested of all its Nevada area. Two more boundary adjustments were made in 1870 and 1880, after which it has retained its boundaries to the present. From 1874 to 1879, non-Mormon politicians from the Liberal Party of Utah gained control of Tooele County, the first time any non-Mormons had success in Utah politics. Whimsically, they called the county the Republic of Tooele. The 1874 election marked the first success of the anti-Mormon Liberal Party, which was organized in 1870. The party viewed the large non-Mormon mining population in the county as a natural environment for electoral success and campaigned fiercely in Tooele’s mining districts leading up to the June 1874 election. The non-Mormon appointed governor of Utah Territory, George L. Woods, campaigned for the Liberals in Tooele County.
The incumbent Mormon People’s Party observed several Tooele polling places on election day and lodged complaints of fraud after the Liberal Party triumphed by about 300 votes out of 2200. The People’s Party alleged Liberal Party supporters had voted more than once, that many had not been residents for the required six months, and they were not taxpayers—according to territorial law, only taxpayers could vote in elections. The People’s Party called attention to the 2200 votes cast in the election although only 1500 Tooele County property taxpayers were on record. Incumbents refused to yield control of the Tooele County recorder’s office and the Tooele County Courthouse because of the alleged fraud. Governor Woods dismissed the complaints and certified the Liberal victory. Third District Court Judge James B. McKean ruled that no evidence showing illegal activity had been presented. McKean construed poll tax as within the meaning of being a taxpayer. Since no evidence was provided there were over 300 carpetbaggers or repeat votes in the election, McKean sustained the tally and authorized deputy U.S. Marshals to install the Liberal candidates. The recorder’s office was seized when it was momentarily abandoned, but a contingent of People’s Party supporters and incumbents held the county courthouse night and day. The marshals and Liberal Party candidates, outnumbered, attempted to negotiate with the armed and barricaded Mormons. Aware that a show of aggression could spark a battle, the parties were nonetheless unable to come to an agreement to hand over power.
Judge McKean issued an even more strongly worded injunction, and Brigham Young advised his followers that they had an obligation to obey the federal courts. The county courthouse was abandoned, thus beginning about five years of Liberal Party rule. However, the Utah territorial legislature, which had the last say on the qualifications of its members, refused to seat the Liberal Party representative from Tooele County. In 1876, the territorial legislature passed bills requiring voter registration and requiring women’s suffrage for local elections—women had been voting in territorial elections since 1870. The Liberal Party, typically supported by male miners casually interested in politics, opposed both measures. In 1878 the Liberal majority in Tooele County disappeared, and the People’s Party regained control in 1879 after more than six months of Liberal procedural delays.
The Republic of Tooele era was characterized by subsequent politicians as one of excessive spending. The county was left with about $16,000 debt, significantly more than it started with.
Mining continued to play an important part in Tooele County into the 20th century, but the county benefited from two major military bases located in the western portion of the county. Wendover Air Force Base, now closed, was the training base of the Enola Gay crew, which dropped the first atomic weapon in 1945. The Tooele Army Depot, built in 1942, formerly housed the largest store of chemical and biological weapons, forty-five percent of the nation’s, in the United States, at the Deseret Chemical Depot. Starting August 1996, the store was reduced by destruction in a controversial weapons incinerator, at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility; the last such weapon was destroyed in January 2012. Since the 1980s, much of Tooele County’s economic prospects have centered around private hazardous waste disposal facilities. Between 1988 and 1993, hazardous waste landfills and incinerators have been installed at Clive and Aragonite. This, coupled with uranium mine tailings from Salt Lake County which were disposed in Tooele County in the 1980s, the presence of the Deseret Chemical Depot, and a high-polluting magnesium facility in Rowley, have contributed to a general perception of Tooele County as a “sacrifice zone” for unwanted wastes.
On September 8, 2004 the Genesis spacecraft crashed into the desert floor of the Dugway Proving Ground in Tooele County. The county’s western portion is home to the Bonneville Salt Flats, traversed by Interstate 80 and the Wendover Cut-off, the former routing of the Victory Highway.
Tooele County lies on the west side of Utah. Its west border abuts the east border of the state of Nevada. Its northeast border abuts the Great Salt Lake. Three significant mountain ranges run north-south through the county. Its east boundary line is delineated by the Crestline of the Oquirrh Mountains, which separate the Tooele Valley from the Salt Lake Valley. The Stansbury Mountains parallel the Oquirrhs in the eastern part of the county, and the Cedar Mountains also run parallel to the other two through the east-central part of the county. There are also isolated prominences across the county, especially at its SW corner. The county terrain is largely arid and unused for agriculture unless irrigation water is available. The county generally slopes to the north. Its highest elevation is Deseret Peak in the Stansburys, at 11,031′ (3362m) ASL. The county has a total area of 7,286 square miles (18,870 km2), of which 6,941 square miles (17,980 km2) is land and 345 square miles (890 km2) (4.7%) is water. Covering vast amounts of the Great Salt Lake desert west of Salt Lake Valley, Tooele County is the second largest county in Utah and among the driest. The Skull Valley Indian Reservation lies in Cedar Valley, between the Cedar and Stansbury mountain ranges.
The Community Development Department strives to improve the quality of life in Tooele by improving the development process, boosting neighborhood livability and appearance, emphasizing quality housing and commercial design, construction and choice, and supporting building safety. In addition, Community Development works to strengthen community economic vitality through facilitating redevelopment, business attraction, and business retention. The Community Development Department is committed to providing excellent customer service to the public. The Community Development Department helps the City achieve both long- and short-term goals and objectives for management of growth and development. Optimistic about having the right partners committed to a shared vision for growth, Mecklenburg County, N.C. is looking toward the next 35 years with confidence, rather than unease. With a half million new residents projected to make the county their new home by 2050, it was time to get everyone on the same page when they set their course for the future. In the end, what became the Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan formulated a wide-ranging and clear vision for how to move ahead as the county grows. The county’s planning department identified more than 200 plans in progress by local governments, nonprofits and businesses in the county, but few, if any, were coordinated with others. There were a lot of conversations going on, but they weren’t all about the same things,” said Marcus Carson, the county’s sustainability manager. “Organizations were un-intentionally competing and they would all wind up with gaps in service.
In 2013, a feasibility study gave the go-ahead for eight local jurisdictions and the Foundation for the Carolinas to prepare a plan that would be driven by the community with input from stakeholders and ultimately endorsed by local governments. It would consider input from all of those sources and aim to represent a synthesis of their shared goals. The first step was asking every-one, ‘what does our community value?’”. “Identifying those things started the conversation that built this plan. We knew what we wanted to preserve and where we wanted to go. The strategies range from vague (manage resources wisely) to specific (promote the redevelopment, reuse and rehabilitation of declining and vacant properties). The department advocates incorporation of the diverse interests of our community to reduce barriers to continue to improve the quality of life for all residents. In concert with the values and spirit of the community, the Community Development Department is committed to proper and professional guidance for development of the City, protecting and enhancing the quality of life for all Tooele residents, bringing about efficient and effective delivery of services, implementing technology that will provide accurate data to assist in making informed decisions, and promoting community pride and cooperation. The Community Development Department provides support staff for City elected officials, boards, and commissions as well as citizen committees such as the Board of Adjustment and Board of Appeals.
Lawyers in Tooele County Utah
Here are some of the areas of law that the attorneys at Ascent Law LLC practice for their clients in Tooele County Utah:
Tooele County UT Cities, Towns, & Neighborhoods
• Rush Valley
• Stansbury park
Other Populated Places in Tooele County
• Angels Grove
• Gold Hill
• Lake Point
• Lake Point Junction
• Mills Junction
• Saint John
• Tad Park
• West Mercur
Tooele County Utah Court Directory
The Utah trial court system consists of District Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Justice Courts. Below is a directory of court locations in Tooele County.
District Courts in Tooele County
• 3rd District Court – Tooele County
Gordon R. Hall Courthouse
74 South 100 East, Suite 14, Tooele, UT 84074
Juvenile Courts in Tooele County
• 3rd District Juvenile Court – Tooele County
Gordon R. Hall Courthouse
74 South 100 East, Suite 15, Tooele, UT 84074
Justice Courts in Tooele County
• Grantsville City Justice Court
429 East Main Street, Grantsville, UT 84029
• Stockton Justice Court
18 North Johnson Street, PO Box 240, Stockton, UT 84071
• Tooele County Justice Court – Tooele Valley
Gordon R. Hall Courthouse
74 South 100 East, Suite 12, Tooele, UT 84074
• Tooele County Justice Court – Wendover
920 East Wendover Boulevard, PO Box 665, Wendover, UT 84083
Tooele County Utah Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help in Tooele Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We can help you with family law. Business Law. Real Estate Law. Estate Planning. Asset Protection.
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84088 United States
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