The town of Oakley, Utah, just north of Kamas, was first called Oak Creek as the land had a stream that ran through a nearby canyon thickly covered with scrub oak brush. This part of the valley was a summer paradise for Native Americans, led by the Ute Indian Chief Washakie, who came to hunt, fish, and gather fruit and sego bulbs.  As it was called, the Weber River Indian Trail skirted the east foothills to Oakley Canyon, then crossed the river at the old Kamas Fort, 3½  miles to the east, and proceeded to Henry’s Fork and Brush Creek in the eastern Uinta Mountains. This trail was used by the Native Americans, Scouts, and Pioneers and is marked in part by roads today.  Then there were the explorers Weber and Evans who came through as well.

In 1850, Parley P. Pratt was sent with an exploring party to scout settlement sites along the Weber and Provo Rivers.

Parley P. Pratt

He reported that the valley had grass in abundance with plenty of water.  The valley is within twenty miles of the heads of four major Utah rivers: the Weber, Bear, Provo, and Duchesne.  Permanent settlement did not come until 1868, when William and Emma Crowder Stevens came to the valley and encouraged their children to follow them.

However, a man named Thomas Rhoades did winter his cattle near Oakley as early as 1853.

Between 1886 and 1887, when William Stevens made an application to the US Government to officially name Oak Creek, the forms that came back were for the name Oakley, and Oakley it has stayed.  

Oakley is made up of four distinct sections. 

Weber Canyon is one section named as the Weber River heads here.  

A farming section, known as New Field, has some of the richest and most fertile farmland of the entire Kamas Valley.  

Oakley, another section, is built partly in the river bottoms and partly on the bench, which is a long narrow strip of relatively level or gently inclined land that is bounded by distinctly steeper slopes. The land is valuable for good pasture for dairy farming.  

The last section is Boulderville, where land is rocky and a great deal of water is required.

This history was compiled by Nancy Stark.


Mrs. Leora Franson – A History of Oakley, Utah

Lin Floyd Brief History of Oakley, Utah and the William Stevens Family