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Genealogy and Local History at the Virginia Hanson Special Collections
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DateJul 30 2014
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Federal Land Patent of Logan, Utah

A recently examined document deserves some explanation and highlight on this blog.

Researching the document revealed that a federal land office was not established in Utah until 1869. Previous to that year private ownership of land in the valley was technically illegal and settlers were considered squatters on federal land. However, people had come by the hundreds and it had been necessary for the settlers to establish their own laws with respect to land ownership and transfer. Entire towns were founded under this territorial law system.

In March of 1867 the federal government began to establish laws which would lead to legal private ownership of land in Utah. When laws were in place, William Preston, second mayor of Logan, traveled to Salt Lake City to receive a federal land patent for the entire city. Logan was properly incorporated according to federal law by 1870, the patent was recorded with the Cache County probate judge, and individuals were then able to go and properly record their land ownership with the said judge.

Mayor Preston's actions were acknowledged with a certificate that left Washington, D.C. in September of 1872 and finally arrived in Logan in December 1872. The document previously mentioned is this certificate, and it reveals much about the early establishment of Logan, Utah.

[Select here for a better image of the patent.]

See the following sources:
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