Payson, Utah

Payson, Utah

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Payson, Utah
settlement_type = City

imagesize =
image_caption =


image_blank_emblem =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Utah County and the state of Utah

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Utah
subdivision_name2 = Utah
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Burtis Bills
established_title = Founded
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date = 1850
established_date2 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 17.6
area_total_sq_mi = 6.8
area_land_sq_mi = 6.79
area_land_km2 = 17.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_water_percent =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 12716
population_metro =
population_urban =
population_density_km2 = 722.7
population_density_sq_mi = 2431
timezone = Mountain
utc_offset = -7
timezone_DST = Mountain
utc_offset_DST = -6
latd = 40 |latm = 2 |lats = 20 |latNS = N
longd = 111 |longm = 43 |longs = 59 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 1418
elevation_ft = 4700
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 84651
area_code = 801
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 49-58730GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1444252GR|3
footnotes =

Payson is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 12,716 at the 2000 census. The mayor is currently Burtis Bills.


The Latter-day Saints first settled in Payson in 1850. [Jenson, Andrew. "Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 644]

The Payson Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff in 1872. [Dixon, Madeline Cloward. "Peteetneet Town: A History of Payson, Utah". (Provo, Free Publishing Ltd., 1974) p. 25]

In 1873 a High School was established in Payson, the first such institution in Utah south of Salt Lake City. It closed down in 1876 due to the rise of Brigham Young Academy. [Dixon. "Peteetneet Town". p. 25]

An opera house was built in Payson in 1883. [Dixon. "Peteetneet Town". p. 27]

In the late 19th Century a factory making horse collars operated in Payson. [Dixon. "Peteetneet Town". p. 30]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 12,716 people, 3,654 households, and 3,058 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,871.8 people per square mile (723.1/km²). There were 3,855 housing units at an average density of 567.5/sq mi (219.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.02% White, 0.13% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 3.52% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.79% of the population.

There were 3,654 households out of which 51.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.8% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.3% were non-families. 14.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.47 and the average family size was 3.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 38.3% under the age of 18, 12.8% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 14.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 101.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,539, and the median income for a family was $47,491. Males had a median income of $32,244 versus $20,869 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,588. About 7.0% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

Payson has doubled in the past decade, although the 1990 population was 8,700 and is on the southern end of Utah valley's real estate boom. The Utah County government estimates the population in Payson is over 15,000, a majority of newcomers came from Salt Lake City.


Payson is the site of the annual Scottish Heritage Festival, held every July. Other annual festivities include a salmon supper, held every August, and the Onion days festival, held every Labor Day weekend. The city also has band concerts in the Memorial Park, and has had such concerts since the early 1950s.

Payson is where most of the 1984 hit movie 'Footloose' was filmed, in setting such as Payson High School and 'Sudsie's', an old and local carwash. The town is also a film favorite for seminary videos, filmed by the LDS Church. Popular Mormon film 'Baptists at our Barbecue' was also shot on Payson's historic Main Street.

Payson was originally named Peteetneet, after a Ute Indian chief who lived near Payson's current location. However, the pioneering residents decided to change the name to Payson, after James Pace, due to the fact that no one out side of Payson knew how to spell or say Peteetneet. A monument still stands to Chief Peteetneet at the Peteetneet Academy, originally the first school in Payson, but now a museum. Peteetneet Academy is a historical gem in the community and is know for its historical significance, beauty, and great sledding. (www.

Payson is a very historical city that celebrates its heritage through monuments such as the historic main street, Peteetneet Academy, Historical Society that marks houses over a hundred years old, and with several museums.

The city is known for being the birthplace of singer-songwriter Jewel and novelist Gerald N. Kappler. Payson was the setting of the 1975 children's movie "Banjo the Woodpile Cat" it tales of a cat leaves his woodpile home on his owners' farm for the urban life of Salt Lake City and then returns to Payson with his new and old friends.

The city has large numbers of persons with and Scots-Irish ancestry. However, the expansion of the Salt Lake metropolitan area into Payson has changed the city's ethnic and religious makeup.Fact|date=February 2007 Also the imprint of Scandinavian settlement is found in thousands of residents with Scandinavian (i.e. Danish and Swedish) surnames. Fact|date=April 2008


Payson is served by Nebo School District. Public schools in this district within Payson include the following: Payson High School, Payson Junior High School, Mt. Nebo Jr. High, Barnett Elementary, Parkview Elementary, Springlake Elementary, Taylor Elementary, Wilson Elementary.


External links

* [ City's Official Website]
* [ Payson Scottish Festival]

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