Gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc were found at Alta, Park City, and Tintic in the years 1864 to 1869. Since no smelting was done in the state or the surrounding area, smelters had to be built. Billy Morgan built the first smelter at 5189 South State Street on American Hill in 1869. The Woodhall brothers built the first furnace on State Street by Big Cottonwood Creek June 1870. In 1871 the Germania Refinery & Wasatch Smelter were erected west of State Street on opposite sides of Little Cottonwood creek. The Hanauer Smelter was built in 1872. The Horn Silver Smelter at 200 West 4800 South and the Highland Boy Plant 800 West Bullion came on stream 1880 · 1886. American Smelting and Refining Company took over the Germania plant operations and later built a plant at 5200 South State St. which began operations in 1902.
Smelting and ore refining grew from 8 tons to thousands of tons of ore per day. The need for smelting eventually decreased and in November 1950, the great smelting operation at Murray faded into history. Smelting in Murray had directly employed 10,000 people and, indirectly thousands more. Many of these people were pioneers who settled in the Murray community prior to the coming of the railroad.