Leland Stanford, president of the Central Pacific Railroad, visited Ogden, Utah, at least twice in 1869. My post of July 7, 2014, discussed research efforts at the California State Railroad Museum’s library proving Stanford visited Ogden in April 1869. The evidence consists of three telegrams and a handwritten letter from Stanford to Collis P. Huntington, the CP’s lobbyist in Washington, DC, all dated at Ogden. These documents prove California’s former governor visited the city a month before the Central Pacific joined with the Union Pacific at Promontory Summit on May 10.
[media-credit name=”Utah Digital Newspapers” align=”aligncenter” width=”640″][/media-credit]Recently, I found a document that confirms Stanford also visited Ogden two days before the driving of the Golden Spike. The Deseret News began publication in Salt Lake City in 1850 and is Utah’s oldest, continuously published newspaper. The masthead of the weekly edition of Wednesday, May 12, 1869, containing the proof, appears above. On my visit to Ogden earlier this year, I could not find evidence that Stanford had ever visited the city. Now, the following, along with my Sacramento research, proves he was there twice:
“Ogden, May 8, 1869.
Ed. Deseret News.
Gov. Stanford and numerous gentlemen from California are here, and on Monday at noon the representatives of both the C. P. and U. P. Companies will lay the last rail and drive the last spike of the two lines.”
May 8, 1869, was a Saturday. The Golden Spike was driven on Monday, May 10. I found the above, short notice while searching Utah Digital Newspapers, a website created by the University of Utah that provides digital access to many of Utah’s historical newspapers. I am indebted to Charles Trentelman of Ogden’s Union Station research library, for pointing me to their website: http://digitalnewspapers.org/ .
It is gratifying to be able to prove that Stanford was where I hoped he would be to make the plot of the book on which I am now working historically believable. You will have to read Golden Spike, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Three, to learn why. I’m still writing book three, so I can’t tell you when that will be. Keep following this blog for the answer.