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Historical Tidbits
Information from the Virginia Hanson Special Collections
Founding of Brigham Young College
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Founded in September 1878, Brigham Young College was owned and operated by the LDS church, the valley's majority religion even to this day. It was dedicated to fulfill Brigham Young's vision of creating a school where men and women could receive hands-on career training. It's greatest strength proved to be training professional teachers. It operated until 1926, and it's campus and buildings were donated to the City of Logan. Logan High continues to this day on the site of the old college.

For more information about the college, explore a USU digital collection.

~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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When did Brigham Young visit Cache Valley?
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Most people with even a cursory knowledge of American history know something about Brigham Young: President of the LDS Church, Governor of Utah Territory, and the "Great Colonizer" (for his role in settling the mountain west). He held a vital role in the pioneer settlement of Cache Valley and encouraged its growth, saying "So far as I know, no other valley in this territory is equal to this."

After a careful perusal of a variety of sources, I can find that he visited at least 7 times:


  • 1855 - In the November 7, 1855 issue of the Deseret News we learn that he and others traveled to Cache Valley on an exploratory trip.

  • 1860, June - Brigham Young and others came to Cache Valley to witness the dramatic growth and settlement of the area, nearly 10% of the population of the entire territory! Young spoke in a bowery built on the south east corner of 100 West and Center.

  • 1863, August - Brigham Young and others spoke in a bowery (likely the same as 1860) and announced his feeling that there would someday be an LDS temple built in Logan.

  • 1869, June - Little is known about this visit, but he and others came and toured the Valley.

  • 1873, June - Although the Logan Tabernacle foundation was already begun, Brigham Young spoke on the need to construct a larger building. This meeting was held in a bowery constructed on the southeast corner of Tabernacle Square.

  • 1874, May - Brigham Young traveled north for a meeting in Franklin, Idaho to celebrate the completion of the railroad to that town. While enroute from Logan, the train jumped a track and he returned to Logan in a wagon. He also toured the church farm in southeastern Logan and announced plans for Brigham Young College.

  • 1877, May - While visiting the valley, he is remembered to have taken his grandson, George W. Thatcher, Jr. by the hand and said "Come on, Georgie, let's go pick a spot for the temple." The present site was selected and Young spoke to several crowds on the need to sacrifice to complete this temple.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these visits, please contact me.

~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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Cache Valley Fallen Officers
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In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

In commemoration of this, we remember the officers of the law who have died while serving the citizens of Cache Valley and elsewhere. The following is a list of those that I'm aware of in the Valley:


Officer Willard R. Dahle, Logan City Police Department, died May 4, 1929.

Deputy Alma P. Sorenson, Cache County Sheriff's Office, August 27, 1959.

Officer Edwin L. Edwards, Logan City Police Department, August 27, 1959.

Lieutenant James R. Merrill, Cache County Sheriff's Office, January 5, 1974.

Deputy Charles H. Dickey, Jr., Cache County Sheriff's Office, March 18, 1984.

See the following sources:


~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:Announcements / News
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International Firefighter's Day
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International Firefighters Day is observed on May 4th. This recognition began after an email was sent out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a wildfire in Australia.

The Logan Library would like to recognize the service that our local firefighters provide to the community every day, sometimes even at the risk of their own lives

Click here for more information on the history of local firefighting.

~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:Event
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First Four LDS Wards in Logan, Utah
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Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was directly responsible for permanent settlement of European settlers in Cache Valley, it may not be a surprise to know that there were organized congregations very early in the valley.

On November 14th 1859 William B. Preston was called to be the first LDS bishop in Logan. He served until April 14th 1861 when growth in Logan demanded that the one ward be subdivided into four wards with bishops called for each: Benjamin Lewis (1st Ward), Henry Ballard (2nd Ward), John B. Thatcher (3rd Ward), and Thomas X. Smith (4th Ward). Each of these wards continue to be integral in the religious and cultural makeup of our city to this day.

Check out the following sources to learn more:


~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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Logan History Index
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Several years ago we began to create an online Logan History Index. As part of this project, we have gradually been entering in the indexes or creating indexes for the various local histories, biographies, genealogies, and other materials in our collection. There are now over 90,000 index listings from 65 different sources. Some of the books have never been indexed before!

Why is this important? We have found a treasure trove of historical facts locked away in these various materials, sometimes extremely difficult to find. We hope that by creating this index researchers will be able to locate valuable pieces of their family and local history.

Come and try it out or volunteer YOUR time to this effort.

~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:Announcements / News
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150 Year Old Minute Book
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The City of Logan will celebrate its sesquicentennial on January 17th as the city's charter was granted by the Territorial Assembly on January 17, 1866. The first council minute book details the efforts to organize the first administration: an election was held on March 5, 1866 and on March 14th the elected officials met to officially organize under the charter.

Over the past year an effort was made with Utah State University to digitize this minute book which covers the years 1866 to 1886, the first twenty years after the incorporation of the city under charter. In addition, the original council book is now on display in the Virginia Hanson Special Collections room of the Logan Library.


Thanks goes to the Digital Public Library of America and the Mountain West Digital Library for funding the digitization of this minute book.

~ Jason Cornelius, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:Announcements / News
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Twentieth Anniversary of Local Historian's Death
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This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the loss of Andrew Jeffrey "A.J" Simmonds, prominent Cache Valley historian. For 28 years, Simmonds served as the curator of archives and special collections at Utah State University's Merrill-Cazier Library. He died on the morning of June 18, 1995 in his home in Trenton, Utah.

Mr. Simmonds contributed greatly to the understanding of Cache Valley history. Among his publications found in our library:


~ Jason, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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Edith Bowen and the Library
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Edith Bowen is a name that is well known throughout Cache Valley. She was an influential early educator, and her name is well known today for her namesake, the Edith Bowen Laboratory School on USU campus.

Recently my interest was peeked when I learned that she was also a long serving board member for our library. While combing through the board minutes, I discovered a letter, dated October 2, 1939, tendering her resignation from the board. I was touched by her handwritten words of support for libraries!

~ Jason Cornelius, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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Cache County Relic Hall
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Logan and Cache Valley in general is blessed with strong pioneer history. This heritage is often represented in buildings, many of which are still standing all around us. However, some have been razed through the years as is the case for the old Cache County Relic Hall.

Recently I communicated with Elisabeth Carroll of Salt Lake City who has written a history of this structure. Beginning as an old stone barn in the late 1860s, the building later became part of Brigham Young College campus, and finally a Relic Hall for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in 1927. It may have been heavily damaged after the 1962 earthquake and subsequently razed, but the exact date is unknown.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further information you would like to share.

~ Jason Cornelius, Special Collections Librarian

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Posted By Logan Library - Logan History in Category:History Tidbits
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