Founded in 1859 by Mormon settlers and historically an agrarian town, South Jordan has become a rapidly growing bedroom community of Salt Lake City. Kennecott Land, a land development company, has recently begun construction on the master-planned Daybreak Community for the entire western half of South Jordan, potentially doubling South Jordan's population. South Jordan is the first city in the world with two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jordan River Utah Temple and Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple. The city has two TRAX light rail stops, as well as one commuter rail stop on the FrontRunner. South Jordan is also a growing tech hub with headquarters of companies like IT software company Ivanti.
Located in the southern end of Salt Lake Valley, the first people of European descent to live in the area that is now Riverton settled in the mid-1850s. These early settlers scattered widely along the river bottom in crude dugout homes. Although the early accounts disagree, Archibald Gardner may have been the first to settle Riverton land. The town was originally referred to as “Gardnerville” prior to changing its name to Riverton. Riverton's initial growth was slow because of the lack of water for irrigation. When more water became available, the town began to grow. Eventually three canals were built to extend water from the nearby Jordan River to the benchland areas, providing irrigation for agricultural uses to the larger area.
By the beginning of World War I in 1914, with its additional irrigation water and influx of people, Riverton prospered as an agricultural community. Its thriving business district was also evident at this time.
Herriman was established in 1851 by Henry Harriman, Thomas Jefferson Butterfield, John Jay Stocking, and Robert Cowan Petty. A fort was established where the community garden is today. The only remnants of Fort Herriman are the two black locust trees that stand where the entrance to the fort once was. The Fort was abandoned in 1857 as the Johnston Army came West.
Bluffdale, named for its geography of bluffs and dales, was first settled in 1848–1849 when the area was originally part of West Jordan. On July 29, 1858, Orrin Porter Rockwell paid five- hundred dollars to Evan M. Green for sixteen acres of land near to the Crystal Hot Lakes. This land included Hot Springs Hotel and Brewery with dining facilities, stable, brewery, and pony express station. As the community expanded, the Bluffdale area became part of South Jordan, then Riverton. In 1883 the Bluffdale School Precinct was formed from parts of Herriman, South Jordan and Draper. On August 1, 1886, the Bluffdale Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized with Lewis H. Mousley as Bishop. For a short time the town was called Mousley. There are seven irrigation canals that originate at the Jordan Narrows in the Bluffdale area and serve the Salt Lake Valley. One of the earliest was the Utah and Salt Lake Canal started in 1862. Some of the early buildings included an adobe church, built in 1887–1888, a tithing house, and a three-room schoolhouse constructed in 1893. The city incorporated in 1978.