History

history_shoshone

Western Shoshone

The Western Shoshone occupied what is today northern and western Utah.

Davis County is ready for new businesses and development.  The transformation from rural to residential to office/retail has happened.  Utah’s major educational institutions have a presence in Davis County.  Our youth have access to the best state-of-the-art educational opportunities and they create a qualified work force for incoming businesses.

We have come a long way since 1847 and we are ready to connect with you!

Davis County is bounded by Weber County on the north and Salt Lake County on the south, by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains on the east and Great Salt Lake (which covers 365 square miles of the county) on the west. 

Although Davis County consists of about 630 square miles, it has the smallest land area of the 29 counties, since only 223 square miles is actually usable land. Antelope Island adds another 42 square miles to the land area. The remainder is part of the Great Salt Lake.

The county was one of the first regions to be settled in both the territory and state of Utah, and was among the first to be organized as a county on October 5, 1850. Davis County is named for Captain Daniel C. Davis of the Mormon Battalion, a pioneer leader and early settler in the area. 

The Indians were the first people in Davis County. The Indian tribes that came here were the Paiute, Ute, and Shoshone. These Indians were nomadic and came to the area in search of food. The Indians called this area "Neutral". That meant that they would not fight to control the land.

Jedediah S. Smith was one of the first men to set foot in Davis County. He led a party of trappers in August, 1826 through the Bountiful area. Jim Bridger was the first explorer to discover the Great Salt Lake. Later, in 1845, Captain John C. Fremont visited Antelope Island. Captain Fremont is said to be the one responsible for naming the Island after the herds of antelope he saw grazing there. His second and third expedition to this area took him into Bountiful. Kit Carson, a mountain man, later joined his party as a guide. 

The Indians, trappers, and explorers were temporary visitors who only stayed a while. The Mormon pioneers were permanent settlers who stayed to work the land and build cities. The first Mormon pioneer to view what was to become Davis County was Orson Pratt. Peregrine Sessions brought his family into the area in 1847. They set up a campsite in Bountiful. Other families soon came into the area settling in Bountiful, Centerville, and Woods Cross.

Agricultural and Industrial Development

Mormon pioneers and other early settlers used Davis County for animal grazing and access to the Great Salt Lake. As Brigham Young sent settlers into the area, they discovered the rich soil and ideal climate. Crops were soon planted. Davis County became known as "The Garden Spot of Utah". Many main crops were produced: sugar beets, tomatoes, alfalfa, grain, corn, potatoes, onions and extensive fruit orchards of peaches, pears, cherries, and apricots. Through the years, dairy farming has also been important in Davis County.

Jedediah-Smith

Jedediah S. Smith

One of the first explorers to set foot in Davis County.

Many commercial and industrial companies are located in Davis County including numerous nationally-known manufacturers. The Freeport Center (created during World War II) is the largest distribution center in the United States. Warehouses provide over nine million square feet of covered storage with an additional five million square feet of open storage space. (See also tab on Business and Industry) 

Davis County is also home to Hill Air Force Base. The Base is a vital, economic component of the community. Concern for the possible closing of the base in 2005 is a key political issue to address. The proposed storage of nuclear waste on Goshute Indian tribal lands in the west desert severely compromises Hill's test and training fly zone. It is important to the Base that this fly zone is kept clear.

Famous People

There have been a number of notable people in Utah who have come from Davis County. Charles R. Mabey was Utah's fifth governor. He was born October 4, 1877 in Bountiful. Utah's seventh governor Henry Blood was born in Kaysville on October 1, 1872. Calvin Rampton was Utah's eleventh governor. He was born in Bountiful on November 6, 1913. LeConte Stewart was a famous landscape artist that lived in Kaysville. George Dibble was a famous abstract artist who was born in West Layton. Hod Sanders began Clover Club Foods Company in Kaysville.​

Many women have contributed to the growth and development of Davis County. Some of the early mid-wives were Emma Sargent Nichols, Mary Ann Presdee Phillips, Sarah A. Crockett Layton, Mary Elliott Webster, and Mrs. John Firth. Ruby Price was the first Black school teacher in Layton, and in Utah. Mary Bonnemort Bowring was an editor for the Weekly Reflex (now the Clipper newspaper). Lucille Reading was editor of the LDS children's magazine, The Children's Friend.

history-laconte

LaConte Stewart

Davis County master artist of urban and rural scenes (1891 - 1990).

Contact Information

Physical Address
Davis County Admin Building
61 South Main Street (Suite 304)
Farmington, Utah 84025

Mailing Address
Davis County Economic Development
P.O. Box 618
Farmington, Utah 84025

Phone Numbers
(801) 451-3279 - Economic Dev.
(801) 451-3237 - Tourism
(801) 451-3281 - Fax

Email
edinfo@daviscountyutah.gov

Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(except legal holidays)

Copyright © 2015 Davis County Government