Helper, Utah


Downtown Helper
In Downtown Helper, Utah
Helper City Hall
Helper City Hall

Helper was founded as a mining town in 1880 but the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1881-1882 is what really fueled the growth of the town. The name came from the town being located at the foot of the rise up Price Canyon to Soldier Summit: trains going west needed additional "helper" engines to make the steep grade.

The D&RGW designated Helper as a division point on the run between Ogden, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado and built a depot, hotel and other buildings in town in 1892. Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay stayed in Helper on the night of April 20, 1897, then next day they went over to Castle Gate and robbed the Pleasant Valley Coal Company.

Helper grew from a mix of immigrants who came to work in the coal mines. However, like all other coal mining regions in the US in the early 1900's, labor unrest was a problem. Strikes were happening every few years and as a non-company town, Helper was in the middle of everything. With an active train depot in town, Helper was a disembarkation point for both union organizers and national guardsmen. That made for some interesting situations back in those days.

As a railroad center, Helper wasn't as hard hit by the Great Depression as many other places were. Coal production rose during World War II and stayed strong into the 1960's. Then big upturns and downturns set in with a nasty bottom hit during the early 1990's. The Union Pacific Railroad owns the tracks now and Amtrak runs their California Zephyr through Helper daily in both directions (Emeryville to Chicago).

Helper is located on US Highway 6, also known as the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway.

In downtown Helper
In downtown Helper
In downtown Helper
In downtown Helper
In downtown Helper
Another view in downtown Helper

Fast Facts about Helper, Utah

Helper, Carbon County, NM 84526
Latitude: 39.6885°N
Longitude: 110.8576°W
Founded: 1881
Incorporated: 1907
Elevation: 5,817'

Education:
High School or Higher: 78.0%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 9.8%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.6%
Cost of Living Index for Helper: 83.3

2015 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $41,650
Median Home Value: $91,500
Median Resident Age: 38.9 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Lodging & Food Services, Mining, Utilities, Health Care, Construction, Grocery & Food Stores, Transportation Services, Government, Finance & Insurance Services, Waste Management Services
Unemployed (March 2015): 7.6%
 

Population Demographics: 2010

Total Population
2,201
Males
1,084
Females
1,117
Population by Age
Under 18
543
18 & over
1,658
20-24
134
25-34
332
35-49
328
50-64
476
65 & over
337
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino
296
Non Hispanic or Latino
1,905
Population by Race
White
2,060
African-American
7
Asian
6
Native American
39
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2
Other
45
Two or more
42
 

Carbon County Pages

Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License