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Brigham City History


Local History Highlights of Brigham City

1851- In the spring, homeseekers located on Box Elder Creek in west field about a mile northwest of the present center of Brigham City. The location became known as "Reeder Grove".

1851 -Fall brought more settlers, and a fort was built called "Davis Fort", later it was known as "Old Fort".

1852- 1853 - Settlers began to move out of the fort onto their surveyed farms. Pres. Brigham Young directed the settlers to move again into the fort because of danger from Indians. A second fort was built about three blocks north and two blocks west of the present courthouse. Log homes built close together enclosed the fort on three sides.

1853 - In the fall, Lorenzo Snow was called with fifty families to come and strengthen the settlements at Box Elder. The families came, a few at a time.

1854 - In the spring and fall, families came. By December of 1854, there were 60 families in Box Elder.

1855-The townsite was surveyed by Jesse Fox. The survey commenced at the site of the mill which was underway at the northeast corners of the city plat. Settlers left log homes in the fort and built on the city lots. During the summer and fall, log cabins were erected. The first one was built by Thomas Mathias. John D. Reese built the first adobe house on the city plat. Grasshoppers destroyed crops in many parts of Utah. The winter of 1855/56 was especially hard.

1856- Box Elder separated from Weber County, by the Fifth session of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah. Boundaries of Box Elder County were defined, and "Brigham City" was designated as the county seat. Jonathan C. Wright was elected by the Legislature to be the Probate Judge of the County.

1856- Winter was an extremely hard one. Bread was scarce and 75 percent of the beef cattle starved to death which provided plenty of meat.

1856- Construction commenced on the courthouse, the first public building in Box Elder County. The structure was destroyed by wind, and the second structure was completed in the 1860's.

1858- The Militia of Box Elder County was organized. Mass meetings were held to plan the move south due to the approach of Johnston's Army. In May of 1856, the people of Brigham City moved south. By July 1958, they were allowed to return to their homes in the north.

1863- This was the beginning of the cooperative movement in Brigham City. The Cotton Thomas Hotel and Store was the first to form the base of the co-op enterprise.

1863-1896- This was the Co-op period. During that time, many industries became part of the movement, and over 40 departments were organized including a tannery, shoe and harness shop, woolen mills, and a dairy at Collinston, etc.

1865- In May, Brigham Young placed the corner stone for the Mormon Tabernacle. Building work was delayed because of work on the railroad. The walls were begun in 1876 and the roof completed in 1878. The building was first used in1881. On October 26, 1890, it was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. On February 9, 1896, the tabernacle burned. It was rebuilt and dedicated on March 21, 1897 by President George Q. Cannon. In 1951, the Reuter organ was installed. In 1986, restoration was done on the building, and it was again dedicated on April 12, 1987 by Elder Boyd K. Packer.

1867 - In January 1867, Brigham City was incorporated by an act of the Utah territorial Legislature.

1869 - On May 10th the transcontinental railroad was completed. The "Golden Spike" was driven at Promontory Summit.

1871 - The Utah and Northern Railroad was built through Box Elder County and by 1874 opened from Ogden to Franklin.

1877- August 19th Brigham Young organized the Box Elder L.D.S. Stake with 17 wards from Brigham City to Malad.

1890- Women's suffrage was organized in Brigham City with 100 members. Eugenia S. Peirce was chosen as president.

1890- Ground was set aside for streets, parks, a city hall, etc. Rees Public Park was purchased. A sprinkler wagon was purchased to cut down the dust in the business section of the city. In September, Deseret Telegraph was established in Brigham City.

1892- Electric power/street lights in Brigham City. Twenty acres were purchased for a "poor farm." The city was bonded for culinary water works in 1891-1893 and improvements and landscaping at the courthouse.

1895- B.C.C. & M.A. (Co-Op) went into receivership. In 1878-1879, the Co-Op had carried on only the mercantile business in the Social Hall. In 1890, the new Co-Op store was built with tax funds returned in 1887. The store opened May 25, 1891.

1896- Utah became the 45th state in the Union on January 4th. The state constitution was ratified in November 1895.

1899- On December 3, a telephone franchise was given to Rocky Mountain Bell.

1904- The franchise was approved to operate street car system. By 1910, the first electric cars operated on Main Street.

1905- Independent Telephone operated in Brigham City, competing with Rocky Mountain Bell.

1907- The Union Pacific Railroad Depot was built at about 815 West Forest

1911-1912- New front was built with large pillars on the existing courthouse, and sidewalks were paved to the depot.

1913- A new fire station replaced the old frame building. The fire station became city hall in 1932.

1914- Electric Railroad (OL and later 1918) U.I.C.R.R.

For more Brigham City history or other cities in Box Elder County, you may purchase a Box Elder County Photo Tour Book.


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