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Herriman Journal

Herriman celebrates 25th anniversary of incorporation

Jun 04, 2024 09:43AM ● By Elisa Eames

The carnival at Herriman Towne Days features rides, games and food. (Courtesy Herriman City)

This month, Herriman recognizes its 25th anniversary of becoming a city. Officially incorporated on June 1, 1999, the small farming settlement that began in 1851 has grown to a population of approximately 60,000. 

“As we celebrate 25 years of incorporation, Herriman stands as a testament to what community and forward-thinking can achieve,” Mayor Lorin Palmer said. 

Born in Massachusetts in 1804, Henry Harriman was the city’s namesake. He was a prominent leader within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and moved west with other church members to escape persecution. 

First relocating to Kirtland, Ohio, he and others then moved on to Missouri and Nauvoo, Illinois, finally arriving in Utah Territory in 1849. Harriman was accompanied by fellow pioneers Thomas Jefferson Butterfield, Robert Cowan Petty and John Jay Stocking. The group first settled in the West Jordan area near the Jordan River. 

“While hunting one day in 1851, Butterfield came across a small stream flowing from a canyon… (present-day Butterfield Canyon),” Herriman City said via Instagram. “Having faced less-than-ideal growing conditions in the West Jordan Settlement, he determined this area, present-day Herriman, would make a good location to move to.”

The four men resettled in Herriman in 1852 with their families, though at first, the area was called the Butterfield Settlement. 

A year later, church leader Brigham Young directed 20 families to join the settlement to provide protection and create a population large enough to establish a town.

At Young’s behest, construction on a fort built of hay, mud, grass, gravel and straw began in 1855. The fort was located at what is now 12733 Pioneer Street in present-day Herriman at the site of the current community garden. 

At the fort’s gate, John Stocking planted two black locust trees, which still stand today. Settlers built homes within the fort, but many abandoned the structure in 1857 to pursue other opportunities. 

“After Fort Herriman was built… the town started being referred to as Herriman. Spelling in the mid-nineteenth century was fluid, and… eventually, the official spelling of the town became Herriman with an ‘e,’” city officials wrote on social media. Only a handful of self-sufficient families stayed to continue the establishment of the town.

During the ensuing decades, residents overcame many challenges to survive. The town remained small and largely agricultural for nearly 150 years. It wasn’t until 1998 that residents faced a monumental decision. 

“The community felt that Riverton was expanding toward the Herriman community, which made them [consider] whether they should incorporate as part of Riverton (and potentially give up their Herriman heritage), incorporate as their own town… or stay unincorporated in Salt Lake County,” Communications Manager Jon LaFollette said. 

Unincorporated regions are not governed by any municipal corporation, meaning they don’t have their own governments. They are outside the boundaries and jurisdictions of incorporated cities, are not self-governing bodies and do not have elected officials. The region does not enact laws but follows those of the county. 

Incorporation under state law generally means that the city wields corporate powers, has a charter from the state, has an established city council, controls local services and elects its own officials.

 After residents launched a door-to-door campaign to obtain signatures for a petition to incorporate, Herriman officially became a city on June 1, 1999, with around 800 residents, opting for a city council form of government. 

“Under this form, residents elect a governing body consisting of city councilmembers and a mayor… similar to a corporate board of directors. The governing body appoints a city manager,” the city’s website says. The city manager in turn hires staff. 

“We honor the vision of those early leaders and community members whose dreams laid the foundation for the vibrant city we know and love,” Palmer said, referring to settlers as well as those who enabled the incorporation. 

Since then, Herriman has grown exponentially. From a population of about 1,500 in 2000, Herriman has ballooned into a third-class city with nearly 60,000 residents in 2022. U.S. Census Bureau data shows Herriman was the fastest-growing city over 10,000 residents in the United States between 2010-2019, according to the city. 

In April 2021, credit reporting app WalletHub proclaimed Herriman the No. 1 city in the U.S. for accessing resources to start a business. 

City personnel have done a variety of things to commemorate the anniversary. Beginning in April, officials posted a short series of snapshots of Herriman’s history on social media. 

“As we gear up for Herriman City’s 25th anniversary celebration this June… we’ll explore Herriman’s journey from its humble beginnings as a farm community in 1851 to its formal incorporation as a city in 1999,” the city wrote via Instagram. 

In May, the city offered 25% off entry fees for the Herriman Yeti Run 5K & Ruck Race and the 1 Mile Fun Run in honor of the occasion. The races will take place on Saturday, June 15. The city also filmed a video in May with members of the original incorporating city council. The video will be released this month. 

In addition, this year’s annual Herriman Towne Days will take place June 15–22 and is slated to be bigger than ever to mark the anniversary. 

Along with the Yeti and Fun Runs, activities include a carnival, parade, talent show, vendor market, fireworks, face painting, games, pony rides, food trucks and stage entertainment. Residents will also face off in a disc golf challenge, chalk art contest, speed puzzling, Spikeball, pickleball and cornhole tournaments. For more information, visit 

“Our journey has been remarkable, and as we look back with pride on our city’s achievements, we also look forward with excitement to the future,” Palmer said. λ

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