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Clearfield was one of the last communities to be settled in the northern part of Davis County (1877). Hunters and Native American Warriors knew this land before the first white man settled here. They referred to it as the land of wind and sand. But it was the roar of the train’s engine that first awakened the area in 1869 and stirred the sleeping Sand Ridge, which it was once known as until the name was later changed to Clearfield in order to attract agricultural settlers.

There was no water for those early families until wells could be successfully dug. The only water available at first had to be hauled in large barrels from Kays Creek in East Layton. But the great event that did more to transform the bleak Sand Ridge into a fertile garden spot was the coming of the Davis and Weber Counties Canal in 1884. This caused an immediate population boom in the area as people plowed up the sagebrush, cactus, and prickly pears, and homes and farms began to appear throughout the area.

Many Clearfield children went to school in nearby Syracuse by walking several miles a day. In 1907, the new Clearfield Elementary School opened its doors to those same children. The school taught first through eighth grades and operated until 1923 when it was destroyed by fire. The new building later acquired the name Pioneer School.

North Davis Junior High School was built and opened its doors in 1939. The building cost approximately $170,000 to build. That first year, there were 18 faculty members and 585 students.

Throughout the following years, Clearfield was known as a peaceful farming community. However, the addition of defense installations in the areas changed the agricultural community. Construction began on Hill Field (Hill Air Force Base) in 1940 and the facility eventually stretched along the eastern border of Clearfield. The base has since provided many jobs for civilians and is one of Utah's major employers.

On the southwestern side of Clearfield, the U.S. Navy installed the Clearfield Naval Supply Depot in 1943. Clearfield was considered a prime location for the depot because of its relative security from enemy attack, nearby air transportation at Hill Air Force Base, and the proximity of railroads and highways. The dry climate was ideal for storage, and there was a good supply of manpower.

Another more modern school, South Clearfield Elementary, was added during 1950 to help keep pace with the growing population.

The early winter of 1959 saw the beginnings of Clearfield High School, the first high school in northern Davis County.

The Clearfield Naval Supply Depot was eventually phased out by 1962 but the facility did not stay empty for long. Private firms soon began moving into the large warehouse buildings. The area became known as the Freeport Center and today is a major western hub for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution.

Hill Field Elementary opened in 1963 and is located just west of the west border of Hill Air Force Base.

The Clearfield Job Corps Center was established in 1966. This facility is located west of the Freeport Center on Antelope Drive. It was established to provide training to unemployed and unskilled youth 16 to 21 years old.

Clearfield City dedicated a new city hall building in 1969 and a new state-of-art Clearfield Fire Station opened in 1980, adjacent to city hall.

In 1981, Holt Elementary opened at the northwest corner of the city, near Steed Park.

The newest Clearfield City Municipal Building, located on 55 South State Street, was dedicated in December 1999.

Clearfield’s premier office and commercial center, Legend Hills, is also the largest office development space in north Davis County. The first phase of Legend Hills was built in 2002 on the city’s east side, just east of the frontage road along Interstate 15.

Clearfield Aquatic Center, built in 2006

In 2004, ground was broken for the Clearfield Aquatic Center. In 2005, the old Clearfield City Swimming Pool was demolished to make way for the new center, and for an updated Bernard Fisher Park. The new skate park at Fisher Park was also added the same year. The Clearfield Aquatic Center opened in 2005 adjacent to the newly built North Davis Junior High, which until 2005 had been the oldest standing junior high building in Davis County. An outdoor splash pad feature was added to the Clearfield Aquatic Center in 2006.

Beginning in 2006, many improvements were made to Clearfield High School, including renovation of the main auditorium, addition of a new media center, brand-new tennis courts, new labs in every science classroom, as well as seven computer labs, additional classroom wings, landscaping, new parking lots for students and teachers with solar-powered light poles, remodeled weight room, and new exterior paint.

The opening of the Utah Transportation Association (UTA) FrontRunner commuter rail stop in Clearfield in 2008 helped the city emerge as a centralized location of business, public and community development.

Davis County opened a three-story, 45,000 square foot office building housing the administrative offices of the Davis County Health Department in 2010. The Heritage Senior Activity Center closed its Clearfield Community Center location in 2011. It reopened as the North Davis Senior Center in its new location adjacent to the new county health building.

In 2012, the former Clearfield Community Center was renamed, becoming the Clearfield Community Arts Center. Located east of the Clearfield City Municipal Building north parking lot, the center is expected to become a hub for arts classes, theatre productions, and more.