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Tooele, Utah
—  City  —
Location of Tooele, Utah
Coordinates: 40°32′11″N 112°17′52″W / 40.53639°N 112.29778°W / 40.53639; -112.29778
Country United States
State Utah
County Tooele
Settled 1851
 - Mayor Patrick Dunlavy
 - Total 21.2 sq mi (54.8 km2)
 - Land 21.1 sq mi (54.8 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 5,043 ft (1,537 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 22,502
 - Density 1,064.4/sq mi (411.0/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 84074
Area code(s) 435
FIPS code 49-76680[1]
GNIS feature ID 1433590[2]

Tooele (pronounced /tuːˈɪlə/ or /tuːˈɛlə/) is a city in Tooele County in the U.S. state of Utah. It is part of the Salt Lake City, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 22,502 at the 2000 census, and 30,120 as of the 2008 estimates.[3] It is the county seat of Tooele County.[4] The city is well known for Tooele Army Depot, privately-owned waste-disposal facilities west of Tooele Valley, and TOCDF, a government-owned chemical weapons incinerator south of Tooele Valley.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.2 square miles (54.8 km²), of which, 21.1 square miles (54.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.09%) is water.

Tooele is located on the western slopes of the Oquirrh Mountains in the Tooele Valley, the next valley west of the well-known Salt Lake Valley. Many popular camping and picnic areas surround the city.

The unusual name for the town is thought by some to have evolved from an old Ute Indian word for tumbleweed. This is only one of many unverified explanations, as the name's usage predated the introduction of the Russian thistle to the United States. Other explanations include that the name derives from a Native American chief, but controversy exists about whether such a chief lived. Others hypothesize that the name comes from "tu-wanda", the Goshute word for "bear", or from "tule", a Spanish word of Aztec origin, meaning bulrush.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 415
1870 958 130.8%
1880 1,096 14.4%
1890 1,008 −8.0%
1900 1,261 25.1%
1910 2,841 125.3%
1920 3,619 27.4%
1930 5,135 41.9%
1940 5,001 −2.6%
1950 7,269 45.4%
1960 9,133 25.6%
1970 12,539 37.3%
1980 14,335 14.3%
1990 13,887 −3.1%
2000 22,502 62.0%
Est. 2008 30,120 33.9%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 22,502 people, 7,459 households, and 5,825 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,064.4 people per square mile (411.0/km²). There were 7,923 housing units at an average density of 374.8/sq mi (144.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.96% White, 0.74% African American, 1.32% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 3.84% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.09% of the population.

There were 7,459 households out of which 46.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.1% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,862, and the median income for a family was $48,490. Males had a median income of $37,373 versus $24,175 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,580. About 5.0% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.


Tooele is located in the Tooele County School District and contains 7 elementary schools (Copper Canyon, East, Sterling R. Harris, Middle Canyon, Northlake, Overlake, and West), 2 junior high schools (Tooele and Clarke N. Johnsen) and 2 high schools (Tooele High School, and South Tooele High School). There are also Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College extensions.


  • A major private employer in the area is Kennecott Utah Copper which operates the Kennecott Bingham Copper Mine, the world's largest open-pit excavation mine on the other side of the Oquirrh Mountains from Tooele's location. 240- and 320-ton capacity trucks deliver copper ore to the in-pit crusher, where the material is reduced to the size of soccer balls before being loaded onto a five-mile (8 km) conveyor that carries the ore to the Copperton Concentrator
  • EG&G, the company which operates TOCDF in Rush Valley, south of Tooele Valley
  • Energy Solutions (formerly known as Envirocare), a waste-storage facility in Clive, west of Tooele Valley.
  • Federal governmental agencies
  • State government agencies
  • Tooele county governmental agencies
  • Tooele Industrial Depot - A portion of the previous Tooele Army Depot has been turned back to the local area, and many of the government-constructed buildings in that area are now filled with manufacturing facilities, warehouses and offices. The area is administered by a consortium known as Tooele Industrial Depot.
  • Miller Motorsports Park is a state-of-the-art road racing facility for automobiles, motorcycles and karts located just 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City in Tooele, Utah. It is considered the finest facility of its type in North America. Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports Park hosts many of the world’s most significant racing series, including the American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, NASCAR Grand National West Series, AMA Superbike and Supersport Championship and, new for 2008, the FIM Superbike World Championship, one of the top three racing series in the world. Miller Motorsports Park also hosts the National Auto Sport Association National Championship Races.

Arts festival

Since 1985, the Tooele Arts Festival, an annual 3-day event since 1998 falling on the last weekend in June, has drawn visitors from around the country who are looking for one-of-a-kind artwork, including paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photographs, sculptures, and live musical entertainment. Children's playground equipment and entertainments are also provided. There is no admission fee for this festival, which is held at a city-owned park west of the city center. For the first several years of its existence the Festival was held near the end of May, but it seemed to coincide with late-spring cold spells, which were disastrous since all the Festival's activities are held out of doors. Due to this unpredictability, sponsors finally decided to move it into June, although this decision puts it in direct competition with the much larger Utah Arts Festival, held in Salt Lake City on the same dates.

County fair

Until 2000 the annual Tooele County Fair was held during the first week of August at the Tooele County Fairgrounds, inside Tooele City limits. After that date it has been held at the Deseret Peak Complex, located in the Tooele Valley midway between Tooele City and Grantsville City.

Sister cities

Tooele has a sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also


  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. ^
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

-Mentioned in Prison Break (Seasons 1 and 2)

External links



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