In 1856 the territorial
legislature created Box Elder County from part of Weber County. Its
boundaries were redefined in 1880 when the legislature divided the water
and islands of the Great Salt Lake among Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Tooele,
and Box Elder counties.
The most significant
event in Box Elder County history took place on 10 May 1869 at Promontory
when the driving of the Golden Spike joined the Central Pacific and
the Union Pacific railroads to complete the transcontinental line. Corinne,
a feisty, non-Mormon boomtown, became the freight transfer point for
goods shipped to Idaho and Montana. In July 1870 Corinne residents spurred
the founding of the Liberal party to oppose the Mormons' People's party.
always played an important role in the economy of Box Elder County.
Some 43 percent of the county's land is used for agricultural purposes.
Besides the standard crops of hay, grain, and alfalfa, beginning in
1901 sugar beets were also raised, and kept two sugar factories, one
in Garland and the other in Brigham City, operating for many years.
Abundant fruit orchards and garden crops continue to contribute to the
local economy. Since 1957, when Thiokol Chemical (now Morton-Thiokol)
began its Brigham City operation, defense and aerospace have dominated
the local economy and presently employ some 5,000 people. Morton-Thiokol
built the Minuteman missile and the space shuttle booster rockets.