Eureka, Utah, c. 1923
Eureka is located approximately seventy miles southwest of Salt Lake
City in Juab County. Incorporated as a city in 1892, Eureka became the financial
center for the Tintic Mining District, a wealthy gold and silver mining
area in Utah and Juab counties. The district was organized in 1869 and by
1899 became one of the top mineral producing areas in Utah. Eureka housed
the "Big Four" mines -- Bullion Beck and Champion, Centennial
Eureka, Eureka Hill, and Gemini-and later the Chief Consolidated Mining
Company. The Chief was developed by the Walter Fitch family, who not only
had their own mine in Eureka, but also the company headquarters, family
residences, and family cemetery -- a most unique feature in any western
As with other mining towns, Eureka developed from a camp to a settlement
then town. It benefited from competing transportation services of the Union
Pacific (1889) and the Denver and Rio Grande Western (1891) railroads. Census
statistics indicate the following population figures through 1930, when
the impact of the Depression changed its fortunes: 1880 - 122; 1890 - 1,733;
1900 - 3,325; 1910 - 3,829; 1920 - 3,908; 1930 - 3,216. That Eureka's population
exhibited ebbs and flows between census years was attributed to the transitory
character of a mining town. By the 1980s the population fell below 700.
Eureka's role as the central financial point for the district insured its
survival. It housed business establishments, financial institutions, local
and county governmental buildings including Eureka City Hall (1899) and
a Juab County Courthouse (1892), various churches, and the meeting places
for numerous labor, social, and fraternal organizations. Eureka became especially
active as a successful political field for Utah's Socialist party. Mining
entrepreneurs such as John Q. Packard, John Beck, Jesse Knight, Walter Fitch
Sr., and others loomed as important figures in Eureka and Tintic history.
A relative calm and peaceful labor environment marked Eureka's past.
The Chief Consolidated operated during the 1930s and into the 1950s, helping
to keep Eureka's economy afloat. Small scale mining operations have continued,
but most residents work in valley towns and for government services, such
as the Tooele Army Depot. Being located on Utah Highway 6, Eureka is on
a main trail to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes area. In 1979 Eureka was placed
in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Tintic Mining
District Multiple Resource Area, recognizing the importance of remaining
buildings and sites.
See: Beth Kay Harris, The Towns of Tintic (1961); Alice P. McCune,
History of Juab County (1947); Philip F. Notarianni, Faith, Hope
and Prosperity: The Tintic Mining District (1982).
Philip F. Notarianni