Ferron is a town in western Emery County with a 1990 population of 1,606. The original townsite occupies a series of rising terraces on the north side of Ferron Creek, but more recent residential developments have spread to the flats south of the creek as well. Both the creek and the town were named for Augustus D. Ferron, whose 1873 survey opened the region to entry under the homestead laws.
Settlement began in the late 1870s, when stockmen from central and western Utah discovered that Ferron Creek was favorably situated in a natural grazing drift between the 11,000-foot Wasatch Plateau to the west (locally known as Ferron Mountain) and the winter range on the San Rafael Swell to the east. Among the first to move their livestock into the region were Mike Molen and the four Swasey brothers-- Joe, Charles, Sid, and Rod--whose names are attached to numerous landscape features in the area.
The first homesteaders, the Larson and Peterson families from Ephraim, Sanpete County, located on Ferron Creek in the fall of 1877. The Ferron LDS ward was organized in 1879, and the 1880 census listed a population of ninety. Earlier Mormon colonies in Utah had typically begun as compact, sometimes fortified, villages. Ferron, however, was settled under laws designed primarily for the agricultural regions of the Midwest, which required homesteaders to reside on their farms in order to obtain title to the land. Thus, from the beginning, Ferron represented a mixed settlement pattern combining elements of the Mormon village with the dispersed pattern encouraged by the homestead laws. A majority of the settlers established homes in town after they legally established their homesteads, but a significant number elected to remain on their farms.