Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Chart of County Formation in Utah

The first Mormon pioneers in Utah established several counties near the Great Salt Lake under their provisional government known as the State of Deseret. Utah Territory was created in 1851, and the first territorial legislature met from September 1851 to March 1852. The first territorial legislature formally re-created several counties begun by the State of Deseret. New counties also were created by the territorial legislature in that and later sessions. Boundaries were subject to frequent change, often as the result of forming other counties in Utah or other territories such as Nevada and Idaho from land initially in Utah Territory. Remote counties were often organized later than first created, and counties with low populations were often attached to others for political representation. Counties formed after 1913 were not created by legislation, but by popular election and gubernatorial proclamation.

This chart shows the date of initial creating legislation for the various counties, the parent county if the county specifically was split from an existing county, cited legislation (from the Laws of Utah, Series 83155 or Governor's Executive Orders and Proclamations, Series 85039), and the current county seat.

Counties Date Formed Laws of Utah (or other action) Parent County Current seat
Beaver 5 Jan 1856 1855-56, p. 7   Beaver
Box Elder 5 Jan 1856 1855-56, p. 6-7   Brigham City
Cache 5 Jan 1856 1855-56, p. 6   Logan
Carbon 8 Mar 1894 1894, p. 82-83 Emery Price
Daggett 7 Jan 1918 Acting Governor Bennion, 16 Nov 1917 Uintah Manila
Davis 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 162   Farmington
Duchesne 4 Jan 1915 Governor Spry, 13 Aug 1914 Wasatch Duchesne
Emery 12 Feb 1880 1880, p. 4-5   Castle Dale
Garfield 9 Mar 1882 1882, p. 99-100 Iron Panguitch
Grand 13 Mar 1890 1890, p. 92-93 Emery Moab
Iron 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 164   Parowan
Juab 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 163   Nephi
Kane 16 Jan 1864 1863-64, p. 18-19 Washington Kanab
Millard 4 Oct 1851 1851-52, p.161 Iron Fillmore
Morgan 17 Jan 1862 1861-62, p. 50   Morgan
Piute 16 Jan 1865 1864-65, p. 16 Beaver Junction
Rich* 16 Jan 1864 1863-64, p. 18; 1868, p. 1-2 Cache Randolph
Salt Lake† 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 163; 1868, p. 2   Salt Lake City
San Juan 17 Feb 1880 1880, p. 10-11 Kane, Iron, and Piute Monticello
Sanpete 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 164   Manti
Sevier 16 Jan 1865 1864-65, p. 16 Sanpete Richfield
Summit 13 Jan 1854 1853-54, p. 15   Coalville
Tooele 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 163   Tooele
Uintah 18 Feb 1880 1880, p. 11-12   Vernal
Utah 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 163   Provo
Wasatch 17 Jan 1862 1861-62, p. 48   Heber
Washington 3 Mar 1852 1851- 52, p. 164   St. George
Wayne 10 Mar 1892 1892, p. 78-81 Piute Loa
Weber 3 Mar 1852 1851-52, p. 162   Ogden

* known as Richland until 29 Jan 1868
† known as Great Salt Lake until 29 Jan 1868

Extinct Counties

Some of the following counties were abolished over the years or became parts of other counties or territories.

County Date Formed Date Dissolved Laws of Utah Present Location of lands
Carson 17 Jan 1854; 17 Jan 1859 14 Jan 1857; 2 Mar 1861 1853-54, p. 19; 1856-57, p. 13-14; 1858-59, p. 19-20; federal creation of Nevada Territory Nevada
Cedar 5 Jan 1856 17 Jan 1862 1855-56, p. 7; 1861-62, p. 51 Utah County
Desert 3 Mar 1852 17 Jan 1862 1851-52, p. 162; 1861-62, p. 51 Box Elder and Tooele Counties and Nevada
Greasewood 5 Jan 1856 17 Jan 1862 1855-56, p. 6; 1861-62, p. 51 Box Elder County
Green River 3 Mar 1852; 17 Jan 1859 22 Dec1857; 16 Feb 1872 1851-52, p. 162-163; 1857-58, p. 5; 1858-59, p. 19-20; 1872, p. 28 Cache, Weber, Morgan, Davis, Wasatch, Summit, Duchesne, Carbon, and Utah Counties, and Wyoming and Colorado.
Humboldt 5 Jan 1856 2 Mar 1861 1855-56, p. 5-6; federal creation of Nevada Territory Nevada
Malad 5 Jan 1856 17 Jan 1862 1855-56, p. 7; 1861-62, p. 51 Box Elder County
Rio Virgin 18 Feb 1869 16 Feb 1872 1869, p. 7; 1872, p. 28 Washington County, Nevada, and Arizona
St. Mary's 5 Jan 1856 2 Mar 1861 1855-56, p. 6; federal creation of Nevada Territory Nevada
Shambip 12 Jan 1856 17 Jan 1862 1855-56, p. 7-8; 1861-62, p. 51 Tooele County