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American Fork, Utah
—  City  —
Location of American Fork, Utah
Location of Utah in the United States
Coordinates: 40°23′3″N 111°47′31″W / 40.38417°N 111.79194°W / 40.38417; -111.79194
Country United States
State Utah
County Utah
Settled 1850
Incorporated June 4, 1853
Named for American Fork River
Area
 - Total 7.5 sq mi (19.5 km2)
 - Land 7.5 sq mi (19.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 4,606 ft (1,404 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 21,941
 - Density 2,910.7/sq mi (1,123.5/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 84003
Area code(s) 385, 801
FIPS code 49-01310[1]
GNIS feature ID 1438194[2]

American Fork is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States, at the foot of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range, north of Utah Lake. It is part of the ProvoOrem, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 21,941 at the 2000 census, while the 2008 estimates placed it at 27,064.[3]It has been rapidly growing since the 1970s.

Contents

Geography

American Fork is located at 40°23′3″N 111°47′31″W / 40.38417°N 111.79194°W / 40.38417; -111.79194 (40.384200, -111.791963)[4].

The elevation is 4,566 feet (1,392 m) above sea level.[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.5 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 21,941 people, 5,934 households, and 5,109 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,910.7 people per square mile (1,123.5/km²). There were 6,108 housing units at an average density of 810.3/sq mi (312.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.24% White, 0.16% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.

There were 5,934 households out of which 54.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.2% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.9% were non-families. 11.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.64 and the average family size was 3.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 38.3% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,955, and the median income for a family was $55,118. Males had a median income of $41,682 versus $24,073 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,293. About 3.2% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

History

The area around Utah Lake was used as a seasonal hunting and fishing ground by the Ute Indians. American Fork was settled in 1850 by Mormon pioneers, and incorporated as Lake City in 1852. The first settlers had been Stephen Chipman (grandfather of Stephen L. Chipman, who was a prominent citizen around the start of the 20th Century), Arza Adams, Ira Eldredge, John Eldredge and their families.[5]

The first settlers of American Fork had lived in scattered conditions along the American Fork River. However, by the 1850s, tensions between the settlers and Native Americans was increasing. In 1853, Daniel H. Wells, the head of the Nauvoo Legion (the Utah Territorial Militia at the time), instructed settlers to move into specific forts. At a meeting on July 23, 1853 at the schoolhouse at American Fork, Lorenzo Snow and Parley P. Pratt convinced the settlers to follow Wells' directions and all move together into a central fort. A fort was built of 37 acres to which the settlers located, although only parts of the wall were built to eight feet high, and none were built to the original plan of twelve feet high.[6]

Settlers changed the name to American Fork in 1860. It was renamed American Fork after the American Fork River which runs through it. They also did this to avoid confusion with Salt Lake City. Most residents were farmers and merchants during its early history. By the 1860s, American Fork had established a public school, making them the first community in the territory of Utah to offer public education to its citizens.[7] In the 1870s, American Fork served as a rail access point for mining activities in American Fork Canyon. There were also several mercantile businesses in American Fork, such as the American Fork Co-operative Association and Chipman Mercantile. For several decades in the 1900s, raising chickens (and eggs) was an important industry in the city.

During World War II the town population expanded when the Columbia Steel plant was built. An annual summer celebration in the city is still called "Steel Days" in honor of the economic importance of the mill, which closed in November 2001.[8] The steel mill was located approximately six miles (10 km) southeast from town, on land on the east shore of Utah Lake.

American Fork built a city hospital in 1937. A new facility was built in 1950, which was sold to Intermountain Health Care in 1977, which in turn replaced that hospital with a new facility in 1980.[6]

Religious history

The First ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in American Fork was organized in 1851 with Leonard E. Harrington as bishop. In 1901, the ward was split into four wards at the same time the Alpine Stake was organized. This was in order to cover Utah County north of Provo, with American Forker Stpehen L. Chipman as president. American Fork with the Alpine Stake Tabernacle located there remained the LDS Ecclesiastical headquarters for northern Utah County until 1928 when the Lehi and the Timpanogs (headquarterered in Pleasant Grove, Utah) stakes were split off from it.

In 1963, the American Fork Stake was organized, with the Alpine Stake at that time becoming largely connected with the city of Alpine, Utah as well as Highland, Utah between American Fork and Alpine, which would not have a stake of its own until 1980. In 1973 the American Fork North Stake became the second stake identified with American Fork by name. By 1994 there were four stakes in American Fork and as of 2009 there are six stakes headquartered in the city.[9]

The Community Presbyterian Church of American Fork was organized in 1877. In 1973 St. Peter's Catholic Parish was organized in American Fork.[6]

Current development

The city has worked to maintain the downtown Main Street area. This includes construction of several new city buildings, including a library, district court and police complex, and a fire station. Recently, large-scale retailing has come to the west side of American Fork with the Meadows shopping area, and it has become a shopping attraction for North Utah County. The Interstate 15 freeway traverses the traditional southern and western borders of the city. As build-out approaches for the city north of the freeway, it looks to carefully manage expansion and development in the area south of town, between the freeway and Utah Lake.

Education

Public schools in American Fork are part of the Alpine School District. Private schools include the American Heritage School (located at 736 N 1100 E.)

Recreation

  • The Fox Hollow (formerly Tri-City) golf course is a public golf course located in American Fork.
  • American Fork's proximity to the Wasatch Range gives numerous recreation opportunities.
  • It also has a recreation center, a variety of parks and open fields.

Notable residents

Miscellaneous

  • The 1992 film The Sandlot was mostly filmed on the Wasatch Front. The carnival scene was filmed in American Fork on State Street by Robinson Park.[10]
  • The 1984 film Footloose was filmed on location in Lehi and surrounding communities of the Provo-Orem area.
  • An estimated 80 percent of the city's population is Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) which gives it one of the state's highest percentages. Mormonism has seen a steady increase, however, in the multi-religious Salt Lake area.
  • American Fork has an inter-city exchange program with Indio, California, U.S. in a way similar to an international Sister City.
  • The town and surrounding area of Utah Valley is nicknamed "Happy Valley" in part of the popularly depicted high standard of living (i.e. lower crime rates, less pollution, a more stable economy in terms of wages and job opportunities, a more social conservative culture, etc).
  • The American Fork High School Band has marched in parades and band competitions across the country, including Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2007.[11]

References

Both the Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams at American Fork H.S. won the Utah State Championships. The boys team is currently ranked #2 in the nation in this sport.

External links








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