American Fork Information
Interested in learning more about American Fork, Utah? If so, read on
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American Fork is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States, at the foot of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range, north of Utah Lake. It is part of the Provo–Orem, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 21,941 at the 2000 census, while the 2008 estimates placed it at 27,064.It has been rapidly growing since the 1970s.
The area around Utah Lake was used as a seasonal hunting and fishing ground by the Ute Indians. American Fork was settled in 1850 by Mormon pioneers, and incorporated as Lake City in 1852. The first settlers had been Stephen Chipman (grandfather of Stephen L. Chipman, who was a prominent citizen around the start of the 20th Century), Arza Adams, Ira Eldredge, John Eldredge and their families.
The first settlers of American Fork had lived in scattered conditions along the American Fork River. However, by the 1850s, tensions between the settlers and Native Americans was increasing. In 1853, Daniel H. Wells, the head of the Nauvoo Legion (the Utah Territorial Militia at the time), instructed settlers to move into specific forts. At a meeting on July 23, 1853 at the schoolhouse at American Fork, Lorenzo Snow and Parley P. Pratt convinced the settlers to follow Wells' directions and all move together into a central fort. A fort was built of 37 acres to which the settlers located, although only parts of the wall were built to eight feet high, and none were built to the original plan of twelve feet high.
Settlers changed the name to American Fork in 1860. It was renamed American Fork after the American Fork River which runs through it. They also did this to avoid confusion with Salt Lake City. Most residents were farmers and merchants during its early history. By the 1860s, American Fork had established a public school, making them the first community in the territory of Utah to offer public education to its citizens. In the 1870s, American Fork served as a rail access point for mining activities in American Fork Canyon. American Fork had 'a literal social feud' with the town of Lehi due to the Utah Sugar Company choosing Lehi as the factory building site in 1890, instead of American Fork. There were also several mercantile businesses in American Fork, such as the American Fork Co-operative Association and Chipman Mercantile. For several decades in the 1900s, raising chickens (and eggs) was an important industry in the city.
During World War II the town population expanded when the Columbia Steel plant was built. An annual summer celebration in the city is still called 'Steel Days' in honor of the economic importance of the mill, which closed in November 2001. The steel mill was located approximately six miles (10 km) southeast from town, on land on the east shore of Utah Lake.
American Fork built a city hospital in 1937. A new facility was built in 1950, which was sold to Intermountain Health Care in 1977, which in turn replaced that hospital with a new facility in 1980.
Several scenes from the 1984 movie 'Footloose' were also filmed in American Fork including the opening scene inside the church, the front porch scene with Kevin Bacon and his family, and the gas station scene in which Bacon refuels his Volkswagen.
The elevation is 4,566 feet (1,392 m) above sea level.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.5 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,941 people, 5,934 households, and 5,109 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,910.7 people per square mile (1,123.5/km²). There were 6,108 housing units at an average density of 810.3/sq mi (312.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.24% White, 0.16% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.
There were 5,934 households out of which 54.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.2% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.9% were non-families. 11.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.64 and the average family size was 3.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 38.3% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,955, and the median income for a family was $55,118. Males had a median income of $41,682 versus $24,073 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,293. About 3.2% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.
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