Adapted from: Geary, Edward A. A History of Emery County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1996; “Elmo, Utah.” https://www.heraldextra.com/elmo-utah/article_93f6e701-a585-5365-a505-0037c3860585.html. Accessed April 24, 2020.
The early settling of Elmo began in 1904, when several Cleveland residents filed for homesteads four miles northeast of the town. Other settlers followed and by 1908 there were the beginnings of the town that would become Cleveland. There are conflicting reports on the origin of the town name, including the possibility that it was named after Augusta Jane Evan’s novel, St. Elmo, but the prevailing tradition is that the name was taken from the first letters of the names of four of Elmo’s early families, the Ericksons, Larsens, Mortensens, and Oviatts. The settlers purchased the old Cleveland school house in 1911, disassembling it, and reassembling and improving it once they had successfully brought it to Elmo.
The location, with lots of surrounding farmland and a close proximity to Price meant that Elmo grew steadily in the first half of the twentieth century. Elmo suffered, however, with the rest of the county in the 1950s and 60s as the county struggled with economic problems and population decrease as residents moved elsewhere, but seeing a sharp increase with the rest of the county in the 1970s, with the population growing from 141 in 1970 to 300 in 1980. The population today is about 420.