30 of Utah’s most uniquely named cities and towns

30 of Utah’s most uniquely named cities and towns

  • Daily Herald
  • 15 hrs ago
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According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010, the state of Utah had 243 incorporated municipalities with populations as low as two dozen and as high as nearly 200,000. With so many cities and towns spanning the state, there were bound to be some with interesting names.

Here are 30 of our top picks and some details about them:

Amalga, Utah

Odd Utah names - Amalga

Settled in 1850, Amalga got its name, no joke, from the Amalgamated Sugar Company that agreed to build a factory in the town in the early 1900s. Though the factory is no longer there, the city, which was incorporated in 1938, most certainly still is!

First settled: 1860

Total area of Amalga: 3.5 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 525

County of origin: Cache

Bicknell, Utah

Odd Utah names - Bicknell

Bicknell is a tiny town in south-central Utah with a very unique history. Bicknell was originally called Thurber after A.K. Thurber, who built the first house in the area in 1879. Though the town actually moved to a new location in 1897 due to poor land and water conditions, the name stuck until 1914 when Thomas W. Bicknell came around. According to Wikipedia, Bicknell was a wealthy historian and author who offered a thousand-book library to any town willing to be renamed after him. Though Thurber jumped at the chance, the small town of Grayson also wanted the library. In a 1916 compromise between Bicknell and the two, Thurber became Bicknell and Grayson became Blanding after the maiden name of Bicknell’s wife. The two towns shared the library with each one receiving 500 books.

First settled: 1879

Total area of Bicknell: 0.6 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 321

County of origin: Wayne

Circleville, Utah

Circleville, UT

You would think with a name like Circleville, the town boundaries would be a circle or something fun like that. But nope, that’s not the namesake of the little Piute County town. The namesake actually comes from the shape of the valley in which its located, Circle Valley. So, close, right?

First settled: 1864

Total area of Circleville: 9.07 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 480

County of origin: Piute

Cornish, Utah

Cornish, UT

Nope, this has nothing to do with Cornwall in the U.K. Cornish is an old railroad town originally named Cannon, then renamed Cornish in honor of William D. Cornish, who was vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad at the time.

First settled: 1907

Total area of Cornish: 4.85 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 320

County of origin: Cache

Duchesne, Utah

Odd Utah names - Duchesne

If you saw the spelling of this city and pronounced it “DO-CHEZ-NEE,” you AREN’T alone, but you ARE wrong. Pronounced “DO-SHANE,” this city is the county seat of Duchesne County and got its name from the Duchesne River near where it’s located. According to Wikipedia, possible origins for the river’s name include a Ute word “doo-shane” which means dark canyon, the French name “Du chesne” which means “of the Oak tree,” the French historian Andre Duchesne or the French trapper Du Chasne. Regardless of the origin, though, this name is tricky, tricky.

First settled: 1904

Total area of Duchesne: 2.3 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 1,779

County of origin: Duchesne

Elmo, Utah

Odd Utah names - Elmo

When we first saw this name, our minds immediately turned to the friendly red muppet from “Sesame Street.” Sadly, that’s not actually where the town of Elmo got its name. According to the Emery County website, Elmo was settled in 1908 and was named after the first four families that settled there: “E” for Ericksons, “L” for Larsens, “M” for Mortensens and “O” for Oviatts. Though that’s the official explanation, Wikipedia notes that Elmo’s etymology could also include “St. Elmo,” the 1866 novel by Augusta Jane Evans.

First settled: 1908

Total area of Elmo: 0.6 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 407

County of origin: Emery

Elsinore, Utah

Elsinore, UT

Danish pioneer settlers such as James C. Jensen and Jens Iver Jensen were the first to settle the small Sevier County town. One of the LDS stake presidents at the time thought the town reminded him of Elsinore, Denmark, and so, named it after the Danish city.

First settled: 1874

Total area of Elsinore: 1.27 square miles

Total population (as of 2017): 874

County of origin: Sevier

Enterprise, Utah

Odd Utah names - Enterprise

Though it really should have been named after the starship in “Star Trek,” Enterprise, according to Wikipedia, was actually named because of the ingenuity and ability of its early settlers to adapt. Founded in 1902, a large portion of the city’s original population were settlers of the nearby town of Hebron, who mov


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