Elwood Town Planning History

Town Planning History of Elwood

Jim Bridger, a trapper is credited with being the first European to see present day Box Elder County and the Great Salt Lake during the winter of 1824. John C. Fremont did much government surveying in 1843, but it wasn’t until 1849 that the Elwood area was slowly being discovered. It was a Mr. Davidson who was the first Elwood settler in the year 1853.

The Town of Elwood was first incorporated as a legal municipality in Utah in 1933. The history goes father back and is part of the settling of the Bear River Valley. The Bear River Valley was formed as the Historical Lake Bonneville receded after it had broken through Red Rock Pass near Swan Lake in Southeastern Idaho. The fertile lakebed deposit of Lake Bonneville that remained is part of an important agricultural area within Box Elder County of Northern Utah.

Two rivers form the approximate boundaries of Elwood, the Bear River on the East and the Malad on the West. The Malad River joins the Bear River a short distance south of Elwood near Bear River City. Elwood’s river boundaries show what a lush and fertile valley it is. Elwood is bordered by Tremonton City on the north and Bear River City on the south. The area had been used in the early years for grazing cattle and sheep. It was very fertile ground with grasses growing high and little sagebrush. But as more herds of cattle and sheep came onto the area they ate the grasses down. Sage Brush, which is an invasive plant, then began to increase so when the first permanent settlers came, grass and sage trees were the principal products.

The area known as Elwood did not start out as most of the settlements at that time. Many of the earliest settlers had already established homes in settlements such as Bear River City and a few from Honeyville. After acquiring the land they would clear and prepare small area to be farmed, then return to a core community for the winter, then return and plant the cleared land and clear another piece to be farmed the next summer.

The 1880’s were indeed a time of beginning. Though we never had a core community as some areas did, we have always been a close community that has survived from its early beginnings.

The 1890’s were a time of building; a time of accomplishments that helped lay the foundation of our community. During these years the families who had been living on their farms only during the summer months, built permanent homes and started to live on their farms year around.

Following are the dates of building and improving.


School was held in small log house.


The first schoolhouse, Fairview School was built.


The second schoolhouse, Bonita School was built.


The South Elwood School was built.


The North Elwood School was built.  They added an extra room in 1912.  Students remained in school in Elwood till the 1960’s.


The Bear River Canal was finished.


The people of Elwood applied for a Post Office.  The Elwood Post Office was established in the home of Charles Kroksh.  It remained there until rural free delivery was established.


Fairview Branch


Fairview Branch became Manila Ward.


Manila Ward was changed to Elwood Ward.


The first phone came to the store in Elwood


The Hall was built


Electricity lines were put through Elwood


A new chapel was added to the Hall of the Elwood Ward


US 30 South was constructed in Elwood. It was the first hard surfaced road in Elwood.  After I-15 was completed, the highw3ay became State Highway 13.


First Town Charter


Water was brought to Elwood from a spring flowing from Coldwater Canyon on the mountain above Honeyville


Natural Gas comes to Elwood


The Elwood Cemetery District was created


Interstate 15 was continued West through Elwood which completed the division through Elwood, dividing the north end from the south end.  I-15 ran to SR 13 in the 1960’s and dispersed traffic onto other state highways before joining I-84 Westbound and continuing at Plymouth.


Local Chapel is vacated, and a new building is built in Tremonton to house the Stake and Elwood Ward.


Ground donated for the Raymond M. Hansen Park.


Elwood Town Hall was dedicated


New Elwood LDS church was built


Sewer System was completed for the northeast side of Elwood.