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Although individuals filed on federal lands in the Milford Valley prior to
the arrival of any permanent settlers, the actual settlement of Milford
occurred in fall of 1870. Arvin M. Stoddard built the first house at the
bottom of a small hill near 200 South and 100 West. Milford Valley was
originally settled for agricultural reasons, but mining soon became of
paramount economic importance. In 1870 prospectors led their burros
into the barren sunbaked Picachio Range west of Milford and found
valuable deposits of lead, silver, and gold. In 1875 the region's most
famous mine, the Horn Silver Mine at Frisco which eventually
produced a total gross metal value of $60,000,000, was discovered

In the fall fo 1873 a ten stamp mill was erected in Milford to process
ores from mines in the area. Other mills and smelters were built but
proved unsatisfactory. With the arrival of the railroad in 1880, the
mined ores were shipped to other locations for processing.

It was the Utah Southern Railroad, which established a division station
at Milford, that brought a permanent economic base to the community.
On May 15, 1880, the first passenger train arrived in town, and the
following month the railroad was completed fifteen miles west to Frisco.

The railroad greatly stimulated business activity as ores from the
mines of southwestern Utah, southeastern Nevada, and northern
Arizona were hauled to Milford for rail shipment. Milford was also
important as a freight outfitting station for the shipment of supplies and
equipment to the mines. Milford has continued as a railroad
community as the Union Pacific Railraod has provided employment
for a large part of the population.

Agriculture developed slowly in Milford Valley and until an adequate
water supply was found, the land was used chiefly to graze sheep and
cattle. The construction of a reservoir on the Beaver River near
Minersville further reduced Milford's water supply, but when electrical
power was provided to Milford Valley, farmers were able to pump
water from underground sources and bring hundreds of acres under

On November 30, 1903, the Beaver County Commission approved a
petition by Milford's 400 residents allowing them to organize as a
town. Milford continued to grow, and on August 21, 1947, the
community was incorporated as a city.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Milford, Utah in 563 images.