the county seat of Wayne County, was established in 1878
by approximately forty families. The name Loa was suggested
by Franklin W. Young, who had once resided in the Hawaiian
Islands and had been impressed with Mauna Loa, Hawaii's
second highest mountain, whose name means high, large,
and powerful. The city is located in a broad valley west
of the Fremont River, 205 miles south of Salt Lake City
and 50 miles easy of Richfield; its elevation is approximately
1880 the settlers were scattered throughout the valley.
Under direction of the LDS church leadership, they were
encouraged to build a more organized town upon the present
site. The town was marked off in six-acre blocks, sixteen
rods apart, and was dedicated in 1885. It was not until
1890 that residents of Loa received government title to
the land. Alvin L. Robinson, a probate judge appointed
by President Grover Cleveland, secured title to the town's
lands and sold individual land owners their appropriate
titles. Loa was incorporated on 17 April 1919 with W.S.
McClellan serving as first president of the town board
of trustees. Loa's early water supply came from open ditches
or from settlers hauling barrels of water long distances
from Brian Springs on Spring Creek. As the human and animal
populations grew, concerns over contamination increased;
the result was a fresh-water pipeline from Road Creek
which was completed in 1911.
town developed quickly. The town meeting house, completed
in 1880, served as a school and social hall; a separate
rock schoolhouse constructed in 1902. The first telephone
line was completed in 1907. The local LDS stake tabernacle
was completed and dedicated on 24 October 1909, and a
public library was completed in 1919. The People's Power
and Light Company was formed in 1929 and brought lights
and electric power to the entire county. A thriving movie
theater was completed in 1938 and continued operation
until a rival theater opened in Bicknell in 1947.
Loa Co-op Store began in 1902 to serve the growing agriculturally
based community. Other businesses soon followed. The State
Bank of Wayne, established in 1920 and a survivor of the
Great Depression, constructed its present building in
1939. In 1947 the first cold storage plant was opened.
The city constructed three parks and pavilions as well
as a town office, fire house, and community center, and
it took over maintenance of the city cemetery from the
LDS Church in 1985. Curb and gutter improvements were
added to Main Street in 1987 and the streets were paved
at that time. Loa's population has fluctuated between
a high of 499 in 1920 and a low of 324 in 1970. The 1990
census listed 444 residents of Loa.