An Early History of Cache County…

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Compiled by M. R. Hovey, Secretary, Logan Chamber of Commerce. January 1, 1923 to January 1, 1925. Also as printed in the Logan Journal, beginning August 4, 1923.

Mendon Utah Logo

TelegraphTelegraph Key

October 18th, 1861, the Pacific Telegraph Company was completed from the east to Salt Lake City. The Civil War in the nation had commenced and President Brigham Young sent the following message to the president of the telegraph company at Cleveland, Ohio, “Utah has not seceded but is firm for the constitution and laws of our once happy country.” The message was courteously answered. The same day Secretary and acting Governor Frank Fuller of Utah thus saluted President Abraham Lincoln: “Utah, whose citizens strenuously resist all imputations of disloyalty, congratulates the president upon the completion of an enterprise which spans the continent. May the whole system speedily thrill with the quickened pulastions of the heart, as the parricide hand is palsied, treason is punished and the entire sisterhood of states join hands in glad reunion around the national fireside.” The president answered: “The government reciprocates your congratulations.”

By the end of the year the line was completed westward to California. The charge to send a message to New York was at the rate of $7.50 for ten words.

Brigham Young had already decided to connect the leading settlements of Utah by means of a home telegraph system. The matter, however, was not brought prominently before the people until the autumn of 1865. The people responded promptly and contributed funds and labor and about one year later the Deseret Telegraph Company was in operation. The line was connected with Ogden and soon afterwards with Brigham City and then with Logan, by way of Wellsville Canyon. By January 1867, five hundred miles of wire had been strung, extending from Logan on the north to St. George on the south.

Later the line was extended to Franklin, Idaho and in 1870, it was extended east through the canyon to Paris, Idaho. Some of the old poles through this canyon are still standing.

The first telegraph office at Logan was in the store of C. B. Robbins at the rear of the present First National Bank Building. Mr. Joseph Goddard was the telegraph operator. Soon afterwards the office was moved to the old tithing office of the Preston Block where Mr. Kanute Torgeson became the operator. Mrs. Julia Budge Nibley was the first operator at Paris, Idaho, and Mr. He. E. Hatch was the first operator at Franklin, Idaho.

Mr. Harry B. Cox was the chief man in charge of construction of the line and Mr. George Usher Smith was the local foreman. It this construction of the line to Bear Lake from Franklin, the snow was so deep in places that the wires had to be strung on the pine trees. After the advent of the railroad the line was abandoned through Wellsville Canyon and was built along the railroad track into Logan. This was another home enterprise and served the people very well and was used until the Western Union line replaced it.

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The Horton D. Haight Company of 1866 brought the telegraph wire to Utah from the Missouri River.