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In 1849, eight families were sent to settle what would become Union. According to A Union, Utah, History by Steven K. Madsen, “Jehu Cox, the first settler of Union, donated ten acres of his farming land for the establishment of [a] fort.” “By 1854, a total of 23 homes had been built inside the fort – the population stood at 273,” Madsen continued. The population according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 484 in 1880, 602 in 1890, and 757 in 1900. Between 1848 and 1872, other settlements included Butler Bench, Poverty Flats, and Danish Town.

What was once Union is now parts of Cottonwood Heights, Midvale, and Sandy. Within the Cottonwood Heights area, Butler and Union Precincts (a basic form of county government) were established in 1877, as were Butler School District 57 and Union School District 23. The Unified Jordan School District would not be created until 1905.