30 of Utah’s most uniquely named cities and towns
- Daily Herald
- 15 hrs ago
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:
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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