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    The History of Ogden City

    Ogden was settled in 1845 by the building of Fort Beunaventura on The Weber River in what is now West Ogden. The fort, which at the time was nothing more that a small picket enclosure, was built by Miles Goodyear, a mountain man. In 1847, he sold the fort and his claim, which encompassed most of modern day Weber County, to Mormon pioneers, sent by Brigham Young to settle the area. It was renamed Brown's Fort, but in 1851, the name was changed again to Ogden in honor of Peter Skene Ogden, a trapper for the Hudson's Bay company.

    A number of small agricultural settlements sprung up in the area in the following years, giving Ogden a rural atmosphere. However, Ogden's environment changed considerably in 1869 with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to increased commerce, the railroad brought many non-Mormon's to Ogden and there was a struggle for political control between the Mormons and non-Mormans. This friction was reduced in 1889 when the first non-Mormon, Fred J. Kiesel, was elected as mayor of Ogden.

    From 1870 on, Ogden was a major railroad town which operated as both a north-south and east-west hub. It soon became the crossroads of the intermountain west and was known by many as Junction City. The central location of Ogden, and the access provided by the railroads, facilitated the growth of many industries in the Ogden area. These included livestock yards, canneries, flour mills, breweries, iron works, banks, woolen mills, hotels, telephone, telegraph, and power companies. It also made Ogden an ideal place to establish Government installations during World War II. The Army's Ogden Defense Depot, the Clearfield Navel Supply Center and Hill Air Force Base all employed thousands of people.

    Today, Ogden is a center for the Areospace Industry, with Hill Air force Base and Thiokol (makers of the space shuttle engines) as two of the area's largest employers. Ogden is also the most diverse of Utah's cities, with a non-Mormon population exceeding 50%.




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