Roy Utah
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 Utah Travel Center Cities RoyHistory

Roy is six miles southwest of Ogden, abutting Hill Air Force on the east and the town of Hooper on the west. Roy was settled in 1873, twenty-five years after Ogden, and most of the surrounding communities had been settled prior to that time. No one really wanted this dry, sandy land. Yet, eventually a trickling of settlers came and endured harsh conditions to tear a living from the resistant soil. The only fuel available for heat and cooking was the tamped sagebrush. The thorns of growing cacti were cut off and the plants were then fed to the animals.

William Evans Baker made the decision to settle this unseeming land. Many asked "Why?" Baker, then living in a green, water-fed place, later named "Hooper," said only that he wanted "to see what he could make of it." He eventually persuaded three of his brothers-in-law to test the existence of his choice. One was Henry Field, who followed William Baker to the area six months later. The other two brothers-in-law were Justin Grover and Richard Jones. There was also one ox and one horse belonging to William Baker.

The four men measured off the land for what they hoped would be a permanent settlement. They laid out four streets in an east to west orientation and three streets north to south. These are still the main arteries used today. Years later, when the area was officially surveyed, there was found to be very little error in the original measurement. The road near Roy's south boundary was affectionately known as "Cousin Street," until 23 July 1957, because all the residents on the road were cousins. This was the area where the four brothers-in-law originally settled.

A well was dug fifty feet deep by installing open barrels in the ground as it was dug to keep the loose sand from caving in. The meager water available was colored and brackish. The settlers trudged each day to Muskrat Springs in Hooper for acceptable water to satisfy their personal needs and to provide for the animals they owned. This procedure continued until 1882 when the settlers realized that if this place were to grow, they needed to find better water sources. An idea was born. Walking up to sixteen miles up Weber Canyon, the settlers--men, women, and children--dug a canal by hand to bring water from the nearby mountains. The canal was lined with rocks that the women and children amassed as the route was cleared.

The canal was surveyed and leveled by simple but effective means, and, when it was finished, the water scuttled through the rows the settlers had made. Prospects for the town were at once improved.


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