William B. Preston: 2nd Mayor of Logan

preston_lgDates 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 its first culinary water system which ran along all of the principal 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.
  • 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. 31
  • July ~ According to the Federal Census, the population of Logan was 1,757.
  • 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. 47
  • ~ The Liberal Party was formed by non-Mormons, and the People's Party was formed by the Mormon residents. 53
  • ~ A dairy cooperative, headed by Lorenzo Hansen, began which gathered a herd of between 50-700 head of cattle during the summer months. The cheese produced from these cattle was produced in a plant between Cache and Box Elder counties. The cattle were returned to the owners in the fall and half the cheese produced was given as rental for the cows. This plant operated until 1888. 8
  • August ~ Brigham Young organized the Utah Northern Railroad Company with the goal to lay tracks from Ogden, Utah to Soda Springs, Idaho. Ground was broken at Brigham City, Utah on August 26th. 26, 53
  • ~ Dr. Oliver C. Ormsby, the first formally trained physician in the valley, was persuaded to move here by prominent residents of Logan. He started the first drug store, performed the first major surgery, and operated the first regular clinic. 31
  • February 15 ~ 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. 42
  • August ~ 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. 31, 38
  • ~ The population of Logan was 2,033. 45
  • February 17 ~ Charles Benson is lynched by a mob after he's arrested for the shooting of David W. Crockett. 51
  • June ~ In a visit to Cache Valley, Brigham Young encouraged residents to enlarge the tabernacle construction plans, finish the railroad to Franklin, and build a temple in Logan. 43
  • Summer ~ The old foundation of the Logan Tabernacle was taken out and it was enlarged to 125 1/2 feet long (exclusive of vestry and buttresses) by 65 1/2 feet wide. Charles O. Card was elected superintendent of the works. 47
  • August ~ The St. John's Episcopal Church was established in Logan by Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle, Reverend Father William H. Story and Joseph Richardson. Their first meetings were held in a small adobe building known as "the bakery". 22, 31, 45
  • August 26 ~ The Utah and Northern Narrow Gauge Railroad, which was started at Brigham City on January 31st, was completed as far as Logan. 26, 31, 47
  • ~ 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. 31
  • Spring ~ Brigham Young visited Cache Valley, inspecting land which he owned between Logan and Wellsville. These 10,000 acres would be used to establish a free educational institution "four to six years in acquiring a liberal and scientific education as complete as can be found in any part of the world." This institution was opened in September 1878 as Brigham Young College. 43
  • June 3 ~ A meeting was held to organize the "General United Order of Cache Valley", with Brigham Young, Jr. as president. 26
  • ~ Lindquist Hall became Logan's first city hall, located at 201 North 100 East. The hall was built by Niels Lindquist, a Swedish immigrant, in 1868. 23
  • January 27 ~ The first conference in the Cache Stake Tabernacle was held in the basement because the building was incomplete. 22, 26
  • May ~ During his visit to Cache Valley, Brigham Young organized the first stake of the LDS Church. Moses Thatcher was sustained as president with William B. Preston and M.D. Hammon as his councilors. 26
  • May ~ Just prior to his death, Brigham Young visited Logan as part of a tour of Northern Utah. He stayed with his daughter who had married George Thatcher. One morning, he took his grandson by the hand, saying "come on Georgie, let's go pick a spot for the temple." 43
  • May 18 ~ Ground was broken for construction of the Logan Temple, a significant building in Logan to this day and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 26, 31,  53
  • ~ The first appropriations for a Cache County Fair were recorded. 22, 31, 36
  • ~ A Presbyterian church and school were started in Logan by the Reverend Calvin Parks and his wife which continued until 1934. The school was called the Cache Valley Seminary but later it was renamed the New Jersey Academy. In 1934 the Academy merged with the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant and had approximately 210 boarding students. 22, 31, 37
  • Fall ~ The first organization of higher education in Logan, LDS Church owned and operated Brigham Young College was established with Miss Ida Ione Cooks as principal. Its first location was in rooms rented from Logan City in the Old Logan City Hall which was located just west of the Thatcher Bank and Opera House on Center Street. 22, 31, 45
  • August 3 ~ Construction on the Logan Tabernacle that began in 1865 was completed to the upper story and opened for LDS church services. 22, 31
  • Sept. 9 ~ Brigham Young College first opened for classes with Ida Ione Cook as principal at Lindquist Hall at 201 North and 100 East. 7, 51
  • ~ The first newspaper, the Northern Light, was established. It was printed half in English and half in Danish. 31
  • September 11 ~ The first issue of the Logan Leader, the second newspaper in Logan, was printed. 31
  • June ~ According to the Federal Census, the population of Logan was 3,398.
  • September ~ The first incandescent electric light plant in Utah was established in Logan by Christian Garff and Gustave Lundberg. The hydro-electric plant was located at about 10 West 100 South. 24, 31, 47
  • November 4 ~ 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. 36
  • ~ The first telephone service was installed in Logan. It was a private line between the office of George W. Thatcher and the railroad office. 7