Originally established in 1903, Ruth was a company town for the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. The town boomed until the Great Depression, reaching a peak population of about 2,300 residents. Typical of company-owned towns at the time, saloons and brothels were not permitted within town limits.
In 1955, Kennecott Copper (the owner of the mines and the town at the time) sold off the Ruth home sites and the town was no longer company-owned. Ruth was moved from its original location to a new location to make room for additional open-pit mining. The copper mine closed in 1978, then reopened from 1996 to 1999. The mine once again closed in 1999, and again reopened in 2004 and continues operation to this day.