Home Rule : The Struggle to Create Duchesne County and Its County Seat
Utah Historical Quarterly
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Historical Society
"During the later stages of struggle between residents of Heber Valley and recent homesteaders on the former Uintah Indian Reservation to carve out a new county from the eastern portion of Wasatch County, Heber City's Wasatch Wave editorialized in 1914 in support of the creation of Duchesne County: "Counties are created for the convenience of the people residing withing their territorial boundaries in the transaction of civil business and to facilitate local self-government." The creation of Duchesne County and the location of its county seat would take years of meetings and discussions among Heber Valley residents, Uinta Basin homesteaders, local leaders, Wasatch and Uintah County officials, and involve several legislative enactments and state-wide plebiscites. Several important issues brought Utah's attorney general, state engineers, county surveyors, and others, to help broker compromise among interested parties. Mixed in were cultural differences among the homesteaders on the former Indian reservation and a power struggle to control the county through the location of the county seat. This paper will review the background and reasons why Uinta Basin residents sought to establish a county of their own, and the issues and problems they faced in the creation of Duchesne County."