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History of Provo, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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In 1875 Brigham Young Academy was founded. From humble beginnings, this institution has grown into Brigham Young University, the largest church-affiliated university in the United States today. The city and the university have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship and have grown together. Today, the university has helped generate a fledgling high-technology industry in the Provo area and sometimes attracts national attention through its academic and sports programs.

Historically, Provo has served as the focal point of Utah Valley industry, commerce, and government. Agriculture and the Provo Woolen Mills (which had its origin in the Mormon cooperative movement of the late 1860s) served as Provo's commercial staples in the late nineteenth century. Mining magnates such as Jesse Knight, made rich by nearby precious-metal mines, made their homes in Provo and helped create a thriving financial industry in the city. The coincidence of a major water source and the intersection of two railroad lines led to the completion in the Provo area of the Ironton steel mill in the early 1920s and later the much larger Geneva steel plant. The railroads brought in needed raw materials and transported finished steel products from Provo. Area residents currently argue about whether the Geneva plant, which many assert is a major cause of Provo's serious air pollution problems, should continue to be operated or whether Provo should rely on new high technology as its industrial base. As county seat of Utah County, Provo is the home of county offices and courts. Since the mid-1880s Provo has been the home of the State Hospital, originally the Territorial Insane Asylum.

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