Magna, Utah

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Magna is a census-designated place (CDP) and township in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The population was 22,770 at the 2000 census, a moderate increase over the 1990 figure of 17,829. Magna is home to the Kennecott Smokestack, the tallest free-standing structure in the United States west of the Mississippi River according to the Kennecott website.[citation needed]




Settlement of the area began in 1851 shortly after the Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley. Early farmers settled in 1868 at the base of the northern Oquirrh Mountains and called their community Pleasant Green. By 1900, there were about 20 families in the area. One of the first Pleasant Green pioneers was Abraham Coon, who established a livestock ranch and settlement called “Coonville” in a canyon mouth at about 5400 South. The canyon is now known as Coon Canyon, and Coon Creek flowing out of it, is one of the major Oquirrh Mountain drainages. Coon Creek flows north and west through Magna to the Great Salt Lake.

In 1897, the first LDS Ward, Pleasant Green Ward, was constructed. Prior to the construction of the ward house church was held in the homes of the settlers. The Pleasant Green Cemetery located in the Oquirrh foothills, about 3500 South, where many community pioneers are buried, was established in 1883. In 1890, in response to a law requiring all children to receive free public education, the first school was built in the community.


In the early 1900s, copper mining activity in the Oquirrhs began transforming the Pleasant Green area from an agricultural hamlet to an industrial community. D.C. Jackling established the Utah Copper Company, which later became Kennecott Copper Corp. In 1906, the company began constructing its Magna Mill. He chose the name “Magna” from the Latin word meaning “great” or “superior".

Boston Consolidated Copper constructed a second mill in the area in 1909. In 1911, the companies merged and the mill was renamed Arthur Mill. Construction workers lived in a temporary settlement known as “Ragtown". Several substantial homes were built in the tent city and later moved to the present community. As the mills began operating, some local farmers traded in their plows for a steady company paycheck and began moving in to work at the mills.

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