Originally Coalbed or Coal Bed, Utah – Brigham Young sent saints from Wales (the country) to settle the area and mine coal, the first coal mines in Utah were here in Coalbed. Coalbed was renamed Wales in 1869, ten years after they arrived.
A D.U.P. Historic Marker I found in Wales says:
In 1854, at Fort Ephraim, an Indian, Tabiona, gave President Brigham Young a black rock, saying “Heap burn.” Two Welsh coal miners, John Rees and John Price, were sent with the Indian to located the coal vein, which was found in Coal Canyon about 1 mile south and 1/4 mile west of this marker. Until 1860, Welsh pioneers were directed to settle near coal bed (Wales) to develop the mines. In 1872, twelve coke ovens were built, and in 1875, a branch railroad line was built from Nephi to ship the coal to market. It carried U.S. mail for all Sanpete County.
Wales, Utah Sign
First Coal Mine in Utah