This is the tenth in a weekly series of stories highlighting interesting facts about cities in Utah County.
Santaquin was incorporated on Jan. 4, 1932, making the city 86 years old. But how much do you know about the southern Utah County city? Here are 10 things you may not know.
-- Stacy Johnson, Daily Herald
Santaquin was originally known as Summit City.
When pioneers originally settled in the area in late 1851, the area was called Summit City, because it was located on the summit line dividing Utah and Juab counties, according to Santaquin City.
There was a fort built where Santaquin now stands.
According to Santaquin City, by 1853, the settlement had grown significantly, but the Walker War broke out, and the settlers had to move to Payson for safety reasons.
About this time, a fort was built in the Santaquin area, and settlers moved back to the town in the spring of 1856.
Santaquin was named after an Indian chief’s son who originally wanted to raid the town.
A local Indian chief Guffich became friends with settlers in the area. According to Santaquin City, the chief warned settlers in 1856 of a raid that was being planned by young braves, including his son.
The settlers left the fort and when the young braves found the fort deserted, Guffich convinced them that the settlers were good people that the Great Spirit warned them of the attack, according to historical reports from Santaquin City.
The settlers wanted to name the town after Guffich, but he refused and instead asked them to name the town after his son — Santaquin.
Many residents moved to Santaquin in the 1900s to plant orchards.
When the Geneva Steel plant was constructed in the mid-1900s, the population of Orem and Provo began to grow. According to Santaquin City, this caused many of the fruit farmers in the county to move to Santaquin to plant large orchards. Cold storage facilities for the fruit were constructed.
Each summer, the city celebrates the history of the orchards in the area with its Orchard Days celebration.
The city is home to more than 11,000 residents.
According to U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 population estimates, Santaquin is home to 11,062 residents. It is smaller than 11 other Utah County cities and towns, but is larger than 12 other Utah County cities and towns.
The city is experiencing a high population growth.
In 2010, Santaquin’s population was recorded at 9,128 residents, giving the city a 20.9 percent growth since 2010. It has the seventh-highest growth rate of cities in Utah County, behind Vineyard, Saratoga Springs, Elk Ridge, Eagle Mountain, Lehi and Salem.
The city covers 10.39 square miles of land.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Santaquin covers 10.39 square miles of land, making it the 11th-largest city in Utah County by land size. That gives the city a population per square mile of 878.5.
The city has the fourth-highest household sizes of Utah County.
Santaquin records an average of 4.08 people per household, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is the fourth-highest average number of people per household of cities in Utah County, behind Highland, Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs.
The city has the fifth-youngest population in Utah County.
The average age of residents in Santaquin is 23.1, giving the city the fifth-youngest average age of cities in Utah County, behind Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, Cedar Hills and Highland.
According to U.S. Census Bureau numbers, 13.3 percent of the city is under the age of 5 and 42.6 percent of the city is under the age of 18.
Santaquin was home to a famous actor.
Gary Goleman, an actor best known for his role as Arnold Jackson in Diff’rent Strokes, lived in Santaquin from 2005 until his death in 2010. He died after falling down the stairs at his Santaquin home and hitting his head. Doctors say he may have suffered a seizure.