Howell, Utah

The Howell Elementary School
The new Howell Elementary School
The LDS church in Howell
The Howell LDS Church

Howell is in an area once traveled by the Shoshone as they journeyed to and from their summer and winter camps, between the Great Salt Lake and the Idaho mountains. The late 1860's saw the transcontinental railroad being built about 10 miles south of present-day Howell near Promontory, Utah. One of the backers of that railroad was Charles Crocker of California. About the same time the Golden Spike was being driven at Lampo (connecting the two railroad lines and making one truly transcontinental railroad), Crocker was forming the Promontory Land and Livestock Company. This company owned most of the land from the Great Salt Lake north into Idaho and west to Nevada. They ran up to 30,000 head of cattle on the property with ranch headquarters in Howell (the Bar M Ranch), Promontory and at the Dilly Ranch. In those days, the headquarters of the Bar M (at Howell) consisted of a bunkhouse, storeroom, milk cellar, barn and a machine shed. North of the Bar M were the fenced horse ranches of William Andersen and James Hansen.

In 1909, Promontory Land & Livestock sold all their Utah and Idaho properties to the Promontory-Curlew Land Company. The name of Howell came from Utah Congressman Joseph Howell, one of the principals in the Promontory-Curlew company.

In 1910, Nephi Neeson bought 1,000 acres of land from Promontory-Curlew and built the first permanent, private residence at what became the town of Howell. A school opened in one of the Bar M Ranch buildings that same year, then moved into a newly built 2-room schoolhouse in 1911.

A reservoir had been built a few years before on Blue Creek and the Blue Creek Irrigation Company was formed in 1913. Canals were dug and the capacity of the reservoir was increased. In December, 1926, the Promontory-Curlew Land Company deeded the town site and the water system to the Howell Ward of the LDS.

In 1918, Jack Rich and Elmer Sorenson bought most of the Bar M Ranch property, including the livestock, the meadow land, the ranch house and the corrals. Then Jack Rich sold his part of the property to Elmer in 1927.

Howell became incorporated in 1941 and electricity arrived in 1946. There had been a local telephone network in place for years but everything was modernized and the old hand-crank phones were replaced with dial telephones by 1949. But even today, Howell is well off the beaten path... I had to take a side road off a side road to get there. And even then I wasn't sure...

The former district school in Howell
The former Howell District School
Fast Facts about Howell, Utah
Howell, Box Elder County, UT 84316
Latitude: 41.7932°N
Longitude: 112.4597°W
Incorporated: 1941
Elevation: 4,560'

High School or Higher: 90.9%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 0.9%
Cost of Living Index for Howell: 83.0
Median Resident Age: 25.9 Years

2015 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $46,200
Median Home Value: $143,200
Major Industries:
Metal & Metal Products, Transportation Equipment, Computer & Electronic Products, Construction, Health Care, Social Services, Agriculture, Miscellaneous Manufacturing
Unemployed (March 2015): 8.6%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population
Population by Age
Under 18
18 & over
65 & over
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino
Non Hispanic or Latino
Population by Race
Native American
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Two or more
Map of Box Elder County, Utah

Box Elder County Related Pages

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