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<== Tooele, Utah ==>

Tooele City is the county seat of Tooele County. The 2010 Census recorded a population of 32,115 which was a sizable increase from the reported 22,502 residents recorded in 2000.

Tooele County covers 7286 square miles in Western, Utah with a sparse population of 58,218. The County is currently currently in Utah's 2nd Congressional District.

History

The area is the traditional home of the Goshute branch of the Shoshone Indians. The Hastings Cutoff on the Oregon Trail crossed the Bonneville Sslt Flats. Poor conditions on the flats delayed the Donner-Reed Party in 1846 which failed to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains before historic November snows trapped the party.

The first white settlers arrived in Tooele arrived with the Mormon pioneer migration of 1849. The area was organized as on of the first counties of Utah (then called "Deseret") in 1850. The county was originally spelled"Tuille." The origins of the name are unknown. The county may have been named for a Native American Chief.

Transportation History

The deserts of Tooele County was a treacherous stretch of many overland routes including the Hastings Cutoff of the Oregon Trail. The county housed many stops for stage coaches and Pony Express.

In 1906-1907, The Western Pacific Railroad built a railroad to the South of the Great Salt Lake to compete with the Overland Route of the Southern Pacific Railroad that runs on the North. The Western Railroad continues to be the route of the California Zephyr.

In 1917, locals built the Wendover Route which became part of the Lincoln Highway (US 40) in 1925. The road was briefly labeled US 50. Construction on Interstate 80 took place from the 1950s to the 1970s.

In 1862, the US Army sent Union General Patrick E. Connor (1820 - 1891) [Wikipedia] to quell hostilities with natives along the overland route. The hostilities took the lives of about 300 natives and 16 stage coach drivers.

Political History

General Connor encouraged mining and non-Mormon settlement in Tooele. In 1870 a Mormon publisher named William S. Godbe helped set up a political party called "The Liberal Party of Utah" to oppose the policies of Brigham Young. This party was soon controlled by Non-Mormons. In response, Mormons formed a group called "The Peoples Party.".

The Liberal Party won a disputed election in Tooele in 1874. There were 2200 ballots cast in a county with only 1500 taxpaying residents. Only taxpaying residents were allowed to vote. So, either some of the miners voted or some people voted twice. Citing probable election fraud, members of the Peoples Party occupied the County Courthouse.

The Territorial Governor George Lemuel Woods, a non-Mormon who was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant, sided with the Liberal Party and sent US Marshals to enforce the election.

As the Tooele election of 1874 was the first Utah vote won by non-Mormons, The Liberal Party referred to Tooele as "The Republic of Tooele."

Fortunately, as a condition for statehood, the National Democratic and Republican Parties established franchises in Utah ending the absurdity of parties alligned primarily with religious affiliation. Both the Liberal and People's Party faded into history.

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