Francis Town History
Francis Town is located at the southern end of Kamas Valley. Kamas Valley is the gateway to the Uintas and to the Wasatch National Forest. Surrounded by mountains, the valley is a scenic getaway that is growing but still has a rural atmosphere. Hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking in the surrounding area makes Francis a great destination.
When Francis Town was settled, it was used mostly for pasturing cattle and sheep. It is believed that except for a few springs, there was no water available for irrigation. In 1865, on the Thommy Davis homestead, a well was dug 110 feet deep but they found no water. Canals were surveyed and built; and the water started to flow on the bench from the Provo River on August 7, 1873. The Town now has a high water table.
The first settlers were called by the LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, to settle the country. By the time Grover Cleveland’s administration came to an end, most of Francis had been homesteaded.
On November 11, 1899 Francis M. Lyman, a member of the LDS Church Council of Twelve Apostles, was sent to the area from Salt Lake City to organize a ward of the LDS Church. The ward was named Francis after Brother Lyman.
Francis Town was incorporated in December, 1939. Francis continued to grow. The forming of the Jordanelle Dam and reservoir, resulting in a better highway and a more direct route to Salt Lake City, contributed to a lot of the growth. Francis Town is now only about 45 minutes driving time from Salt Lake City.
On Labor Day, 1983 a small rodeo was held at the Francis Town Park. From those humble beginnings, Francis Frontier Days has grown to a three-day celebration that attracts crowds from all over the State. Frontier Days is held each Labor Day weekend and includes horse pulls, a rodeo, and bull wars. A parade is held Friday afternoon and a Craft Show is open all day Saturday and Monday. There is a co-ed ball tournament held Saturday and Monday attracting teams from all over the region. A horseshoe tourney is also held on Saturday and Monday. A spectacular fireworks display can be enjoyed at the end of activities on Friday and Saturday nights. The celebration is growing each year but still affords a great time for the whole family with a real western down-home atmosphere.
In 2004 Francis Town annexed forty acres on the north end of the Town. Twenty-five acres of that parcel will be for commercial development bringing businesses to Francis Town that will round out an already ideal community. The plans for this development are still in the approval phase, but it should be a welcome addition for Francis.
The population of Francis Town as set by the 2000 census was 698. The population continues to grow each year. The Wild Willow and Uinta Shadows subdivisions have contributed to this growth. A new subdivision will be part of the development at the annexation mentioned above.
Francis Town Council meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. The meetings are held in the Francis Town Community Building at 2319 South Spring Hollow Road. Planning Commission meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of each month. A yearly schedule will be posted on this site at the beginning of each year after the schedule is set. Any changes to that schedule will also be noted on this site.