History of Rich County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

Area: 1,034 square miles; population: 1,725 (in 1990); county seat: Randolph; origin of county name: two versions exist--(1) named for the fertility of the Bear River Valley (the county was first called Richland), (2) named for Charles C. Rich, a Mormon apostle, instrumental in the settlement of the Bear Lake area; principal cities/towns: Randolph (488), Laketown (261), Garden City (193); economy: agriculture, cattle, sheep, recreation; points of interest: Bear Lake State Park, Rendezvous Beach State Park, Randolph LDS Tabernacle.

Rich County, located in the upper northeastern corner of Utah, occupies a long, narrow area approximately eighteen miles wide and fifty-six miles long, extending north of Echo Canyon. It is bordered on the east by Wyoming, on the north by Idaho (with the southern half of Bear Lake extending into the county), on the west by several Utah counties and the Wasatch National Forest, and on the south by Summit County.

Fur trappers visited the Bear Lake Valley as early as 1811 when Joseph Miller reportedly discovered the Bear River. The area around the Bear River became a favorite spot for trappers, and the annual trappers' rendezvous was held on the south shore of Bear Lake in 1827 and in 1828. The Oregon Trail cut through a corner of the county. Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, the famous Oregon pioneers, traveled on this trail in 1836. The first permanent white settler in the area was Thomas L. "Peg Leg" Smith, who operated a cattle business along with a trading post and horse exchange for Indians and Oregon Trail immigrants on the Bear River where Dingle, Idaho, is located today. Brigham Young unsuccessfully attempted to purchase his business in 1848, but Smith remained in the area until 1863 when he became discouraged and left.

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