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South Jordan, Utah
—  City  —
South Jordan Towne Center
Location of South Jordan, Utah
Coordinates: 40°33′42″N 111°57′39″W / 40.56167°N 111.96083°W / 40.56167; -111.96083Coordinates: 40°33′42″N 111°57′39″W / 40.56167°N 111.96083°W / 40.56167; -111.96083
Country United States
State Utah
County Salt Lake
Established 1859
Named for Jordan River
 - Total 21.0 sq mi (54.5 km2)
 - Land 20.9 sq mi (54.0 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 4,439 ft (1,353 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 29,437
 Density 1,410.6/sq mi (544.6/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes 84065, 84095
Area code(s) 385, 801
FIPS code 49-70850[1]
GNIS feature ID 1432728[2]

South Jordan is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Salt Lake City, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 29,437 at the 2000 census. South Jordan has been one of the fastest-growing cities in Utah since the early 1990s; a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate put its population at 51,131.[3] Kennecott Land, a land development company, has recently begun construction on the master-planned Daybreak Community for the entire western half of South Jordan. This community could potentially double South Jordan's population. South Jordan is also the first city in the world with two LDS temples (Jordan River Temple and Oquirrh Mountain Temple).



South Jordan is located at 40°33′42″N 111°57′39″W / 40.56167°N 111.96083°W / 40.56167; -111.96083 (40.561598, -111.960889).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.0 square miles (54.5 km2), of which, 20.9 square miles (54.1 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2) of it (0.76%) is water.

South Jordan is located in the southwestern portion of the Salt Lake Valley. The city lies between the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, West Jordan to the north, the Jordan River and Sandy to the east, Draper to the southeast, Riverton to the south, and Herriman to the southwest. However, most of the western half of the city remains undeveloped. The elevation of South Jordan ranges from approximately 4,300 feet (1,310 m) near the Jordan River in the east to about 5,200 ft (1,580 m) in the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains.

The main roads through the city are Redwood Road (State Route 68), and the Bangerter Highway (State Route 154), an expressway which serves the entire western and southern portions of the Salt Lake Valley. Interstate 15 and State Street (U.S. Route 89) lie just to the east of the city. Rapid residential development in South Jordan and the south side of the valley has spurred economic development in the city, while the Daybreak Community will eventually count South Jordan among Utah's largest cities.

Extensive recreational development is occurring in western South Jordan as part of the massive Daybreak Community. The focal point of development will be the artificially-created Oquirrh Lake. This lake will be 85 acres (340,000 m2) in size and will offer varied recreational opportunities, supporting an ecosystem of its own. The lake will be filled in three stages, with final completion expected by 2010. The first phase was completed in 2006.

South Jordan is also home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Jordan River Temple located on 1300 W, built in 1981. On October 1, 2005, The LDS Church announced that another temple would be built in the Daybreak Community. This temple made South Jordan the first city in the world to have two LDS temples.



The first named inhabitants were the Fremont people who inhabited the area from 400 A.D. to around 1350 A.D. Some Fremont people were farmers, others were hunter-gathers, but others shifted between lifestyles.[5] A combination of changing climatic conditions and the ancestors to the Ute, Paiute, and Shoshoni pushing the Fremont out of the area, caused the Fremont people to disappear.[6] At the time of settlers arriving in South Jordan, the area bordered several tribes. The territory of the Northwestern Shoshone to the north.[7], the Timanogots band of the Utes to to the south in Utah Valley,[8]and the Goshutes to the west in Tooele Valley.[9]

The only recorded trapper who led a party through the area was Étienne Provost, a French-Canadian trapper, who was lured into an Indian camp somewhere along the Jordan River north of Utah Lake. The people responsible for the attack were planning revenge against Provost's party for an unexplained incident involving other trappers earlier. Provost's men were caught off-guard and fifteen of them were killed, Provost escaped with his life.[10]

Early Mormon settlement

In July 1847 the Pioneer Company of the Mormons entered the valley and immediately began to irrigate land and explore the area for new settlements. Just two years later Mormon settlers began to spread out into the western part of the Salt Lake Valley.

Alexander Beckstead moved his family to the West Jordan area in 1849. While there, he became the first blacksmith in the south Salt Lake Valley and helped dig the first ditch to divert water from the Jordan River. The ditch ran Archibald Garnder's flour mill.[11] In 1859, Beckstead became the first settler of South Jordan by moving his family along the Jordan River, at about 9000 South, and lived in a dugout cut into the west bluffs above the river. The Beckstead land extended from 9000 South to 12500 South, and from the Jordan River to about 1300 West.[12] The flood plain of the Jordan was level and needed only to be cleared to begin farming if water could be taken out of the river and brought along the base of the west bluff in a ditch. Beckstead and others created a two and a half mile ditch, called "Beckstead Ditch", that stretched eventually from 12500 South to 9000 South.[11] Portions of the ditch are still used today.

In 1863, the South Jordan LDS Branch was organized as a branch of the West Jordan Ward, giving South Jordan its name.[13]. The Branch consisted of just 9 families. A school was built in 1864 out of adobe and measured just 14' by 18'. The building also served as the LDS Meetinghouse for the South Jordan Branch.[14]

As South Jordan grew, a new and larger building was constructed on the east side of the current cemetery site in 1873. It measured 30' by 46' and had an upper and lower entrance with a granite foundation using left over materials brought from the granite quarry at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The upper story was made of over-sized adobe bricks.[14] The main hall had curtains which could be pulled to section off the hall for classes. The meetinghouse also served as the "ward" school when it was held during the fall and winter months. It came to be known as the "Mud Temple".[11] The building was used until 1908 when South Jordan Ward moved into a new building on the Lower Road.

In 1876, work was completed on the South Jordan which took water out of the Jordan River in Bluffdale and bought it above the river bluffs for the first time.[12] This canal parallels 1300 West and in time joined the North Jordan Canal in Taylorsville. As a result, most of the families moved up away from the river onto the "flats" above the river which they could now irrigate. Several homes along 1300 South which were built during this time can still be seen. In 1881, The Utah and Salt Lake Canal was completed. The canalal parallels the west side of today's Redwood Road. With the completion of the canal system, greater acreage could be farmed, thus increasing the area's population.[14]

Twentieth century

In the late 1890s, a new crop was introduced in South Jordan. Alfalfa hay took the place of the tougher native grasses which had been used up to that point for feed for livestock. Alfalfa had to be irrigated and in good years three crops could be cut and stored. Sugar beets were introduced to South Jordan around 1910. Farmer liked sugar beets because they could be sold for cash at the Utah-Idaho sugar factory in West Jordan. Older residents can remember the beet dump at Redwood and 10400 South where the beets were weighed and then taken to the "new" sugar factory in West Jordan.[11] Sugar beet farming became so integral to the region, the area's high school, Jordan High School's mascot was named the 'beetdigger'.

The Depression was indirectly responsible for the incorporation of South Jordan. The city needed a water tank to store water for residents living along Redwood Road. The only way to get government money was to incorporate. Citizens voted to incorporate on 8 November 1935 and immediately bonded itself to get money for the water tank.

In 1981 the LDS Church announced the construction of the Jordan River Temple, on property donated by the descendants of William M Holt.

Kennecott Copper began an enormous development in South Jordan called Daybreak. It will eventually be a planned community that will more than double South Jordan's population.

In 2007 a second LDS temple was announced in western South Jordan at Daybreak; the only city in the world with two LDS temples. And that temple was dedicated in August 2009.

Bus crash

The worst railroad crossing crash in United States history occured on Thursday, December 1, 1938, at approximately 9:00am. A bus loaded with 38 students from South Jordan, Riverton, and Bluffdale crossed in front of an oncoming train obscured by fog and snow. The bus was broadsided killing the bus driver and twenty-three students.[15][16] The concern about bus safety led to changes in state and eventually federal law mandating that buses stop and open the doors before proceeding into a railroad crossing.[17]

The same railroad crossing was the site of many other crashes in the following years. The main reason being the road runs parallel on the west side of to the railroad tracks, makes a short (100 feet) bend to cross the tracks and continues running parallel on the east side of the tracks. The last deadly crash occurred on December 31, 1995, when three teens died while crossing the tracks in their car.[18] The crossing was finally closed, but not until crashes occurred in 1997[19] and 2002.[20]


South Jordan lies within Jordan School District. In South Jordan, the District has 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools (South Jordan Middle and Elk Ridge Middle) and Bingham High School.[21] In addition, there is Paradigm public charter high school and three private schools (American Heritage, Mountain Heritage Academy and Stillwater Academy).

The private universities in South Jordan are Neumont University and the University of Southern Nevada.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1940 869
1950 1,048 20.6%
1960 1,354 29.2%
1970 2,942 117.3%
1980 7,492 154.7%
1990 12,220 63.1%
2000 29,437 140.9%
Est. 2008 51,131 73.7%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 29,437 people, 7,507 households, and 6,771 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,410.6 people per square mile (544.6/km²). There were 7,721 housing units at an average density of 370.0/sq mi (142.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.51% White, 0.30% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.01% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 1.29% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.27% of the population.

There were 7,507 households out of which 58.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 83.3% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 9.8% were non-families. 7.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.92 and the average family size was 4.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 39.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 4.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $75,433, and the median income for a family was $76,809 (these figures had risen to $85,311 and $88,232 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[22]). Males had a median income of $52,165 versus $30,260 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,938. About 0.9% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.

Famous people


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ U.S. Census Bureau - 2008 population estimate
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Powell, Kent, ed (1994). "The Fremont". Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 978-0874804256. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ Madson, David B. (2002). Exploring the Fremont. Salt Lake City: Utah Museum Natural History. ISBN 978-0940378353. 
  7. ^ Madsen, Brigham D. (1985). The Shoshoni Frontier and the Bear River Massacre. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. pp. 6 and 7. ISBN 978-0874804942. 
  8. ^ "The Northern Utes of Utah". A History of Utah's American Indians. State of Utah. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Goshute Indians of Utah". A History of Utah's American Indians. State of Utah. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ Alter, Cecil (1941). "Journal of W.A. Ferris 1830-1835". Utah Historical Quarterly 9: 105-106. 
  11. ^ a b c d Bateman, Ronald R. (1998). Of Dugouts and Spires: The History of South Jordan, Utah. South Jordan City Corporation. 
  12. ^ a b Powell, Kent, ed (1994). "South Jordan". Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 978-0874804256. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Andrew, ed (1941). "South Jordan Ward". Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Company. pp. 816. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c Jensen, Andrew (1889). "South Jordan Ward". The Historical Record: A monthly periodical, devoted exclusively to historical, biographical, chronological and statistical matters. 5: 335. 
  15. ^ "Casualty Toll in Bus Tragedy Mounts to 24". Pittsburgh Press. December 2, 1938.,590460&dq=south+jordan+bus+crash&hl=en. 
  16. ^ "New Crash Death Boosts Bus-Train Fatalities To 23". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). December 2, 1938.,3646677&dq=south+jordan+bus+crash&hl=en. 
  17. ^ "Bus crash in 1938 led to train laws". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). October 20, 2009. 
  18. ^ "New Year's Wrecks Kill Six, Including 3 in Train Collision". Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City). January 2, 2006. 
  19. ^ "S. Jordan driver walks away from train wreck". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). July 29, 1997. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Man critical after truck-train crash". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). January 15, 2002. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  21. ^ "List of Schools by Area". Jordan School District. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Fact Sheet". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 

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