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Roosevelt, Utah
Location in Duchesne County and the state of Utah
Location in Duchesne County and the state of Utah
Country United States
State Utah
County Duchesne
Founded 1905
Named for Theodore Roosevelt
 • Total 6.76 sq mi (17.50 km2)
 • Land 6.76 sq mi (17.50 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
5,095 ft (1,553 m)
 • Total 6,046
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,070.13/sq mi (413.21/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 435
FIPS code 49-64670
GNIS feature ID 1431989

Roosevelt is a city in Duchesne County, Utah, United States. The population was 6,046 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 7,070 in 2018.

The proper pronunciation of the city's name is based on how President Theodore Roosevelt pronounced his name: according to the man himself, "pronounced as if it was spelled 'Rosavelt.'"


The city is on the eastern edge of Duchesne County, adjacent to the border with Uintah County. The town of Ballard borders Roosevelt to the east. U.S. Routes 40 and 191 pass through Roosevelt as Main Street, leading east 30 miles (48 km) to Vernal and west 28 miles (45 km) to Duchesne.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Roosevelt has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.4 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 820
1920 1,054 28.5%
1930 1,051 −0.3%
1940 1,264 20.3%
1950 1,628 28.8%
1960 1,812 11.3%
1970 2,005 10.7%
1980 3,842 91.6%
1990 3,915 1.9%
2000 4,299 9.8%
2010 6,046 40.6%
2020 6,747 11.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,299 people, 1,380 households, and 1,095 families residing in the city. The population density was 818.6 people per square mile (316.2/km2). There were 1,566 housing units at an average density of 298.2 per square mile (115.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.58% White American, 0.19% Black or African American, 8.14% Native American, 0.21% Asian American, none Pacific Islander American, 1.74% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.88% of the population.

There were 1,380 households, out of which 51.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.12 and the average family size was 3.51.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 39.5% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,190, and the median income for a family was $32,328. Males had a median income of $32,117 versus $18,043 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,945. About 19.2% of families and 22.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


As of 2015 the largest self-reported ancestry groups in Roosevelt, Utah are:

Largest ancestries (2015) Percent
English England 25.0%
American United States 8.9%
German Germany 7.2%
Irish Republic of Ireland 5.1%
Danish Denmark 4.4%
Scottish Scotland 3.5%
Swedish Sweden 2.5%
Italian Italy 2.2%
Norwegian Norway 1.4%
Welsh Wales 0.9%


In 1905, by an act of Congress, the unallotted land of the Ute Indian Reservation was opened to homesteading. Several thousand hopeful 20th-century pioneers congregated in Provo and Grand Junction with the hope of successfully drawing lots for a homestead in a fertile region of the soon-to-be-opened lands. Throughout the fall and winter of 1905-06 the settlers came to the Uinta Basin.

The town of Roosevelt was founded in early 1906 when Ed Harmston turned his homestead claim into a townsite and laid out plots. His wife named the prospective town in honor of the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was originally called "Dry Gulch City", taking its name from a nearby gulch which only carries water during the early spring runoff season. Within a short time a store, a post office, and the Dry Gulch Irrigation Company were in business in the new town. In 1907, the Harmstons donated 2 acres (8,100 m2) of ground for the town's citizens to build a school. The first class had about fifteen pupils, who had to provide books from their homes. Roosevelt soon became the economic center for the area, eclipsing Myton and Duchesne.

Roosevelt is situated on U.S. Route 40 in the northeast corner of the state, south of the Uinta Mountains, at an elevation of 5,250 feet (1,600 m). The town was incorporated at a mass meeting of 44 citizens on 21 February 1913. From 1906 to 1914 Roosevelt was in Wasatch County, but in 1914 Duchesne County was formed from part of Wasatch County, and, as the largest town in the county, Roosevelt anticipated becoming the county seat. However, when the total county-wide vote came in, the seat went to Duchesne.

Religion and local culture

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the dominant religious denomination in Roosevelt, with three stakes centers in town; the community also includes Roman Catholic, Christian Assembly of God, Baptist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other smaller denomination congregations.

Located near the Uintah/Ouray Indian Reservation headquarters of Fort Duchesne, Roosevelt is a multicultural and polyethnic community, with Caucasians and Native Americans being the most numerous. Roosevelt is situated in lands designated as the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation and there are many Pow-Wows and Indian Ceremonies held throughout the summer and falls months.

The UBIC (Uintah Basin in Celebration) is Roosevelt's annual celebration. What started in the early part of the century as a yearly display of the latest in farming and industrial technology has developed into a yearly gala complete with parade, talent show, concerts, and dances.


The population of Roosevelt is approximately 6,700 people, but the town serves as the business center for several times that number from the many small towns and farming communities in the area.

Roosevelt is located in an area of vast oil reserves spanning the northeast corner of Utah and extending into western Colorado. The town "booms" whenever oil prices go up and falls on harder times when oil prices decrease. The proposed Uinta Basin Rail project would build a new railroad line into Roosevelt for transporting oil drilled in the area.

The city used to have an oil refinery, "Plateau", named for the geographic location of the area, the Colorado Plateau. The oil from this area is known as "Uinta Basin Black Wax Crude" and has to be refined differently than most types of oil. Those in the oil business and land owners who profit from oil shares indicated during the high oil prices of 2005–2006 that refineries were cutting their profits by limiting the amount of Uinta Basin Black Wax they would refine.

Various types of farming, including beef cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, honey and hay, are prevalent in the outlying areas around town.

Roosevelt is also home of the only hospital in the county, Uintah Basin Medical Center.


It is within the Duchesne County School District.

Roosevelt has become the county's educational center with Union High School, Uintah Basin Technical College, and Utah State University's Uintah Basin Regional Campus all located there. Union High School is on the east end of town and straddled the border between Duchesne and Uintah Counties, thus the name "Union".

Union High School was then partially demolished in favor of a newly built school; still named Union, but located on a road just behind the old school and a little further west. It was still on the east end of town but not crossing the border how it was. This new school was necessary as the old one could barely accommodate all of the students and was unlikely to have enough space for the next generations to come.

Roosevelt is part of the Duchesne School District. Other schools in the area include: Eagle View Elementary (Public/K-8), East Elementary School (Public/K-5), Kings Peak Elementary (Public/K-5),Centennial Elementary (Public/K-5), Roosevelt Junior High School (Public/6-8), and Thompsen School (Public/3-12).

Notable people

  • Edgar “Ed” F. Harmston, Roosevelt city founder
  • Reed Cowan, Emmy-winning news anchor, film-maker and philanthropist
  • Laraine Day, actress
  • Emilis Ruzveltas, software engineer
  • Charley Jenkins, country music singer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Roosevelt (Utah) para niños

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