Loa, the county
seat of Wayne County, was established
in 1878 by approximately forty families. The name Loa was suggested
by Franklin W. Young, who had once resided in the Hawaiian Islands and
had been impressed with Mauna Loa, Hawaii's second highest mountain,
whose name means high, large, and powerful. The city is located in a
broad valley west of the Fremont River, 205 miles south of Salt
Lake City and 50 miles east of Richfield;
its elevation is approximately 7,000 feet.
Until 1880 the
settlers were scattered throughout the valley. Under direction of the LDS church leadership, they were encouraged
to build a more organized town upon the present site. The town was marked
off in six-acre blocks, sixteen rods apart, and was dedicated in 1885.
It was not until 1890 that residents of Loa received government title
to the land. Alvin L. Robinson, a probate judge appointed by President
Grover Cleveland, secured title to the town's lands and sold individual
land owners their appropriate titles. Loa was incorporated on 17 April
1919 with W.S. McClellan serving as first president of the town board
of trustees. Loa's early water supply came from open ditches or from
settlers hauling barrels of water long distances from Brian Springs
on Spring Creek. As the human and animal populations grew, concerns
over contamination increased; the result was a fresh-water pipeline
from Road Creek which was completed in 1911.