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The region was first explored for Spain by Franciscan friars Escalante and Dominguez in 1776. In 1824 the famous American frontiersman Jim Bridger discovered the Great Salt Lake.
Fleeing religious persecution in the East and Midwest, the Mormons arrived in 1847 and began to build Salt Lake City. The U.S. acquired the Utah region in the treaty ending the Mexican War in 1848, and the first transcontinental railroad was completed with the driving of a golden spike at Promontory Summit in 1869. See also Utah History Page for more Details
The State of Utah was organized as territory on Sept. 9, 1850 and entered the union as the 45th state on January 4, 1896. It has 29 Counties. The capital is Salt Lake City and the official state website is www.utah.gov.
The state's 2010 population was 2,763,885 and the largest cities (2010) are Salt Lake City (Capital), 186,440; West Valley City, 129,480; Provo, 112,488; West Jordan, 103,712; Orem, 88,328; Sandy, 87,461; Ogden, 82,825; St. George, 72,897; Layton, 67,311; Taylorsville, 58,652.
The State of Utah was named for the Ute Indians. The nickname is " Beehive State ". The State Motto is " Industry ".