Like most of Utah, Brigham Young extended the call and Mormon settlers moved to Millard County. Fillmore, the county seat was settled in 1851. In an effort to gain favor with the president, Brigham Young named the area after Millard Fillmore. No other county carries both names of an American president. Since it was centrally located in the state, Brigham Young wanted the territorial government to be established there and directed the construction of the first government building in Utah. However, those appointed to take over the government were not of the same mind and chose to remain in the more settled Salt Lake City area. Only one legislative session was held in the Territorial State House which is now a historical museum housing artifacts from the era of the early settlers and local Indian tribes. The museum and surrounding park hosts the Old Capitol Arts Festival the weekend after labor day. Fillmore, located on Interstate-15, is also the center of activities for the annual ATV Jamboree and the National Lapidary Museum.
The City of Delta, established in 1906, is the hub of activity for western Millard County. Delta claims the widest main street in Utah which is Highway 50/6 and our business district provides shoppers with a variety of stores to meet most every need. The Millard County Fair is one of the best for rural atmosphere and is held in Delta where the Legacy Mural Project is housed. The open desert country west of Delta is famous for meandering jeep trails leading to ancient fossil beds, Indian petroglyphs and other rock hounding delights. Delta is also known as the gateway to the Great Basin National Park and is a gathering place for migratory birds like the Snow Goose.
Monuments to such historical treasures as Cove Fort, the Topaz Relocation Center and the Great Stone Face abound throughout the county. The Great Basin Museum in Delta has many fine exhibits of pioneer memorabilia, early western farm equipment and pioneer home artifacts from the area.
In 1859, shortly after the Gunnison Massacre near the present day town of Deseret, settlers who had gone to the rescue of the survivors were called to return and establish a new town site. Because the land was so desolate, they felt the necessity of blessing it and in doing so, a remarkable prophesy was given. It was said that the land would become so productive that the valley would be known as the granary of the state. Today, Millard County leads the state in growing alfalfa and has received top honors nationally for quality. In agriculture production, Millard County ranks third in the state.
Millard County is bordered on the east by the Pahvant Range, while west to the Nevada border lie the broad valleys and desert mountain ranges typical of the Great Basin. The Sevier River, which begins in mountains east of Cedar City, drains into the sometimes dry Sevier Lake in central Millard County. A huge granite upthrust in the House Range, as well as volcanic cones and numerous fossil beds, provide clues to past geologic activity and prehistoric animal and plant life of the area.
The county's prehistoric residents, part of the Sevier Culture which disappeared ca. A.D. 1300, lived in small villages with semi-subterranean dwellings. Historic Indian groups of the area include Southern Paiutes, Pahvant Utes, and Goshutes. A small Indian reservation is located at Kanosh.
|Area: 6,818 square miles;
Population: 11,333 (in 1990);
County seat: Fillmore;
origin of county name: after President Millard Fillmore;
Principal cities/towns: Delta (2,998), Fillmore (1,956);
Economy: alfalfa seed, cattle, electric power generation;
Points of interest: Territorial Statehouse in Fillmore, Cove Fort, Old Fort Deseret, Topaz Relocation Camp, Gunnison massacre site, Clear Lake Waterfowl Management Area, Intermountain Power Project.
Events of interest: Old Capitol Arts Festival, Snow Goose Festival, Delta Car Show, ATV Jamboree, Old fashioned Fourth of July Celebration.