Beaver, Utah

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Beaver is a city in Beaver County, Utah, United States. The population was 2,454 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Beaver County[3].

Settled by Mormon pioneers in 1856, Beaver was one of a string of Mormon settlements extending the length of Utah. These settlements were, by design, a day's ride on horseback apart, explaining the regularity of today's spacing: either 30 miles (48 km) apart, or 60 miles (97 km) apart where intervening settlements failed or were absorbed. To wit: Brigham City to Ogden (30 miles) to Salt Lake City (30 miles) to Provo (30 miles), etc.

Beaver is the birthplace of two well-known, but very different, people: Philo T. Farnsworth and Butch Cassidy. Philo T. Farnsworth was the inventor of several critical electronic devices that made television possible, including the cathode ray tube. He was also the first to create table-top nuclear-fusion[4]. Butch Cassidy was a notorious western outlaw.

Beaver also has the distinction of being the first town in Utah to be electrified. A hydroelectric generation plant was constructed on the Beaver River early in the 20th century. The plant continues to provide a large part of Beaver's power requirements today.

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History

Beaver county has a number of identified prehistoric sites, dating to the Archaic and Sevier Fremont periods. A prehistoric obsidian quarry site has been identified in the nearby Mineral Mountains. Southern Paiutes inhabited the region at the time of the first European explorers, the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante Expedition.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered Beaver Valley from Parowan, Utah to the south. By 1869 Beaver had enough Mormon settlers, primarily engaged in livestock grazing, to organize a stake. The first stake president was John Murdock.[5] During the 1870s, settlers made an effort to establish a woolen mill, a tannery and a dairy industry. Ft. Cameron was established by the U.S. Army in 1873. Mining and the 1880 arrival of the Utah Southern Railroad also increased development in the area. However, by World War I, Ft. Cameron was abandoned and the mining industry declined.

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