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Established in 1852, its county seat and largest city is Tooele. Covering vast amounts of the Great Salt Lake desert west of Salt Lake Valley, Tooele county is the second largest county in Utah and among the driest.
The western Shoshone-speaking Goshute tribe claim the desolate lands as their ancestral home. The Goshute's traditional territory includes most of modern Tooele County. It is thought that the county name derives from an Native American chief.
In 1849, the first whites, Latter-day Saints led by Ezra T. Benson established permanent settlement in the area. Building a sawmill, the settlement was called "E.T. City" after Benson. The territorial legislature first designated Tooele County—initially called "Tuilla"—in January 1850 with significantly different boundaries. Tooele was one of the six original counties in Deseret, which would become Utah Territory.
By 1852, Grantsville, Batesville, and Pine Canyon (later named Lincoln) were settled.
In 1855 the town of Richville was designated county seat, but it soon became clear that Tooele was much larger. In 1861 the territorial legislature allowed the county to select a new seat, and Tooele was selected unanimously.
Cities and Towns
Grantsville -- Ophir -- Rush Valley -- Stockton
Tooele -- Vernon -- Wendover
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