Area: 3,255 square miles; population: 12,537; county seat: Duchesne City; origin of county
name: after the Duchesne River which was possibly named for a French
Canadian trapper; principal cities/towns: Roosevelt (3,842), Duchesne
City (1,677), Myton (500), Altamont (247), Tabiona (152); economy: livestock,
alfalfa and hay, oil, natural gas; points of interest: High Uinta Wilderness Area, Starvation Reservoir, Big Sand Wash Reservoir.
Much of present-day
Duchesne County was once part of the sprawling Uintah and Ouray Indian
Reservation. Today most of the county is owned or controlled by individual Indians or the Ute Indian Tribe.
The Uintah Reservation
was created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln for the permanent home
of the Uintah and Whiteriver Utes. Later, the Uncompahgre Utes were
moved to the Uintah and newly created Uncompahgre Indian Reservations.
At the turn of the century, both Indian reservations were thrown open
to homesteaders under the Dawes Act. This was done after allotments
of land were made to Indians of the three tribes. On 1 September 1905
homesteading began in earnest on the former Uintah Indian Reservation.