Dates in Office: 1870-1882
Terms in Office: 3
Age when Elected: 40
William B. Preston was born on November 24, 1830 in Franklin County, Virginia to Christopher Preston and Martha Mitchell Clayton. He married Harriett Ann Thatcher on February 24, 1858 and Birthe Marie Andersen and had ten children. He settled in Logan in 1859 but later died in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 2, 1908. He was buried in Logan.
Highly involved in the early development of Logan, Mr. Preston made the plans for laying out and digging the Logan irrigation canal and assisted with the original survey of Logan. From 1862 to 1865 he was twice chosen to represent Cache County in the Lower House of the Utah legislature. In 1869 he was chosen as a director of the Logan Cooperative Mercantile Institution. Later, he was appointed a trustee and one of the directors of Brigham Young College and subsequently became chairman of its executive committee.
On March 7, 1870 he was elected mayor of Logan. Beginning in 1871, Mr. Preston devoted much of his time to building the Utah Northern Railway which was completed in May 1874. In 1879 Logan built it's first culinary water system which ran along all of the principle streets in the city. Mr. Preston served 3 terms as mayor and filled the office for twelve years.
1. "The Herald Journal Centennial Edition". William B. Preston was One of Logan's Builders. Logan, Utah: January 1, 1952, page 82.
2. Jensen, Andrew, ed. "Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia". Salt Lake City, Utah: Publishing Press, 1971, 1:232.
3. Noble, Warrum, ed. "Utah Since Statehood: Historical and Biographical". Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1919, 2:150.
4. Ricks, Joel E., ed. "The History of a Valley : Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho". Logan, Utah: Cache Valley Centennial Commission, 1956.
December ~ Logan City secured its townsite with the federal act for the Relief of the Inhabitants of Cities and Towns upon the Public Lands. Prior to this time, settlers in Logan and other communities were considered squatters on public lands. 7
March ~ 50 women voted in the Logan City election as a result of the Woman's Suffrage bill that had just passed the Utah Territorial Legislature. 39
August ~ Brigham Young organized the Utah Northern Railroad Company to lay railroad tracks northward to Cache Valley. Ground was broken at Brigham City, Utah on August 26th to build a railroad from Ogden, Utah to Soda Springs, Idaho. 47, 50
~ A survey line was drawn at the 42nd parallel which created the Utah-Idaho state line, and divided the valley. Before this time all of the Cache Valley settlements were considered to be in Utah, including much of Franklin County, Idaho.. 51
~ The Logan City School District was created and an election was held for trustees of the new city-wide school. Logan has the distinction of being the first school system in the state to develop a pattern of consolidation and city-wide control of the school program. 577 children between the ages of 6 and 16 were recorded in the first school census. 39, 49
~ Reverend Daniel S. Tuttle organized St. John's Episcopal Church in Logan. The church has been an active part of the affairs of the city since that time. 54
~ The population of Logan was 2,033. 54
~ The First Post Office in Logan was established with C.B. Robbins as postmaster. Before this time, mail was distributed from the tithing office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for all of Cache Valley. 39
~ Lindquist Hall became Logan's first city hall, located at 201 North 100 East. The hall was built by Niels Lindquist, a Swedish emigrant, in 1868. 4
~ The first organization of higher education in Logan, LDS Church owned and operated Brigham Young College was established. 54
~ The first appropriations for a Cache County Fair were recorded. 2
~ In Logan, an ordinance authorizing and regulating a Fire Department was read and adopted. E.W. Curtis was appointed chief engineer of the Fire Department. 7