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.

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Early Logan City Government

January 17th, 1866, the Utah Legislature passed an act to incorporate Logan City and a charter was granted. The charter specified the boundaries of the city, the form of city government, elections, meetings, duties of the officers, handling of the public funds, assessment and collection of taxes, sanitary regulations, licenses, weights and measures and many other provisions. It was a rather comprehensive document.

The charter having been enacted, the first election was held March 5th, 1866 and the following persons were elected: Alvin Crockett, mayor; John B. Thatcher, C. B. Robbins and T. X. Smith, aldermen; James H. Martineau, Thomas C. Ricks, W. K. Robinson, P. Cranney and Charles O. Card, councilors.

The first session of the City Council was held at the home of Ezra T. Benson when the organization was duly effected and H. W. Isaacson was appointed a City Recorder.

Councilor P. Cranney resigned as councilor and was appointed as City Marshal, Benjamin Woolfenstein was appointed to succeed P. Cranney as councilor. H. K. Cranney was appointed city attorney; Paul Cardon, city treasurer; H. Sadler, assessor and collector; B. M. Lewis, city supervisor; John Jacobs, city sexton, James H. Martineau city surveyor; George Hymes, sealer of weights and measures; and William H. Shearman, inspector of liquors.

John Paul was appointed as captain of police with the following policemen: First Ward: Jonathan Ricks, Asron Thatcher, Elijah Steens and Charles Maughan; Secnd Ward: John Paul, Thomas Irvine and Joseph Thatcher; Third Ward: William Partington and Robert Davidson; Fourth Ward: John Smith, Mark Fletcher, Hans Monk and Frederick Hurst; Fifth Ward: Alexander McNiel, James Beverland and Charles Frank.

City Recorder H. W. Isaacson was appointed as the agent of the city for the sale of liquors as the council deemed it necessary to control liquor sales. Prior to that time there were a number of private distilleries at which the modern “homebrew” was made.

In an effort to carry all classes of goods, the Logan Branch of the Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution, under the management of Mosses Thatcher, Sr., carried a stock of wines and liquors and by force of example almost every store in the Valley did likewise.

Moses Thatcher gave the matter serious consideration and when President Brigham Young was visiting the Logan Branch, Moses Thatcher said, “President Young how can we reconcile the inconsistency of “Holiness to the Lord” on the outside, while selling whiskey to the brethren inside the doors?” After a few minutes reflection President Young answered, “Brother Moses Thatcher, the man who holds to his brother’s lips the tempting cup, repents not but continues, will be Damned and go to Hell.” From then on no more wines or liquors were sold in the Logan Branch and the stores in the Valley immediately followed the good example.

Subsequently the establishment of saloons took place as well as the erection of a brewery owned by Mr. Vogel and located near the intersection of First South and First East where the old red frame building stood in which the Logan Stone and Monument Company operated. Another brewery owned by Mr. Jacob Theurer, known as Jake’s was built on the north side of the present state highway and south side of the Johnson grove. A number can still bear witness that it was a rendezvous for many.

In the year 1882, under the administration of Mayor Robert Campbell, an agitation was started for an ordinance to prohibit the sale or manufacture of liquor in the city. It was passed. The people were not prepared to accept such a reform at that time and as a result there were many violations of the law and many “Blind Pigs” established from which the city received no revenue. The next year the ordinance was repealed and licenses were granted for the sale of and manufacture of liquors.

As the city increased in population more saloons were opened up and the liquor evil became so great that in 1909 there were about nine saloons doing business in Logan. The agitation for the abolishment of the saloon evil became so intense that on December 23rd, 1909, an ordinance was passed by the City Council which prevented the sale or manufacture of liquors of any kind in Logan City. The ordinance became effective January 3rd, 1910, and Logan was the first settlement in the Valley and one of the first in the state to adopt such a reform. Later the county passed a similar ordinance, then the Utah Legislature passed a prohibition law and finally, the National Prohibition Law was passed October 28th, 1919. It is interesting to note that as early as 1882 the citizens of Logan started the movement for prohibition and were among the first to get it adopted.

March 7th, 1870, the third election was held and William B. Preston was elected as mayor and Moses Thatcher, Sr. as one of the aldermen. 265 votes were cast for each candidate and 50 of these were cast by women. The Woman Suffrage Bill had just passed the Utah Legislature. In this respect Utah was far in advance of the other states of the Union. The National Woman Suffrage Bill has not yet been passed by Congress (1923), although a number of the states have adopted this progressive measure.

That the citizenship of Logan and Cache Valley and the State as well, was of the highest type, is evidenced from the fact that the citizens advocated and worked for these geeat public questions of prohibition and woman suffrage at that early date and were among the fist to lead out.

October 17th, 1874, Moses Thatcher, Charles O. Card and Robert Davidson, trustees for the Logan Branch of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, appeared before the City Council and petitioned for the land now known as the Tabernacle Square. It contained a little more that eight and one-half acres and as some of the settlers had already occupied and improved a number of the lots, the Trustees in Trust for the Logan Branch were asked to pay $5.00 per acre for the land. This was done and the Church came into possession of this valuable piece of land. That it has been well utilized and the cause of much favorable comment by all tourists and strangers who come here, because of its attractive appearance, is apparent.

At regular session of the County Court held at Wellsville in March 1860, it was ordered that the next regular term of the court be held at Logan, and at this meeting Logan was designed as the County Seat.

A report of the census of Logan City taken in 1868 showed the population to be 2, 217 souls. The Charter provided that a school district should be formed so that in August 1872, a school election was held and the following were the first school trustees elected for the district: Charles O. Card, Robert Davidson and Alvin Crockett.