Monday, April 5, 2010

Wessman 14: Philip Pugsley, Part 5 of 5

[If you are not too interested in the history of industrial development, you may want to skip the long paragraph quoted from the Salt Lake Herald.]

Pugsley returned from the Islands [Hawaii] and arrived home in October 1865, and again turned his attention to home manufacturing industries. In 1867 Randall, Pugsley & Co. built a woolen factory near the mouth of Ogden Canyon, of rock, at a cost of $60,000. They commenced the manufacture of linseys, jeans, cassimeres, and all kinds of domestic goods. The water right was bought of Lorin Farr for $6,000; Lorin Farr and W. C. Neal were the Co; Randall was the managing partner for awhile, but James Whitehead was the practical man in charge of the factory. Pugsley put into the concern $20,000; and with President Young, R. T. Burton, and Abraham O. Smoot may be classed as the industrial list as one of the first importers of woolen machinery into our Territory. Randall continued with the firm about four years, after which, the firm became Pugsley, Farr & Neal, by whom the concern is still owned.

Our enterprising citizen has also been largely identified with the Utah iron and coal interests. About eight years ago he bought out the Salt Lake Foundry from a New York company and organized a new company, with George Atwood, William Howard, Philip Pugsley, George W. Thatcher, John W. Young, R. J. Golding and Albert Dewey as the incorporation [sic]. William Howard was president; George Atwood, vice-president; Philip Pugsley, treasurer and secretary; William Silver, superintendent and manager. 

Having this industry in view Pugsley went into Iron City, Iron County, and bought $76,000 worth of stock in the Great Western Iron Co. For the foundry he purchased the first iron made in the company's works—about 400 tons. This company tried to get the privilege for making the water pipes of the city and finally failed for lack of public patronage necessary for so vast an undertaking. 

Relative to the Salt Lake Foundry it is to be observed that Howard bought out the original company and sold it to Thomas Pierpont, but a law-suit occurring between the partners, Pugsley and others came to the help and the company was re-organized under the name of the Salt Lake Foundry and Machine Company. Richard B. Margetts was president; Elias Morris, vice-president; P. Pugsley, secretary and treasurer; directors, William White, William Howard, Thomas Pierpont, and C. F. Culmer; Pierpont, superintendent of the works.

Richard B. Margetts and Philip Pugsley also purchased coal lands of the Government in Pleasant Valley and patented it [sic]. At the onset there were associated with them W. S. Godbe and others who, however, went out of the concern, leaving the coal claims in Pleasant Valley to Margetts and Pugsley. Under Pugsley’s direction the first coke ovens were built and started up. The coke was brought to the city and sold to the smelters [via a railroad running directly to the coal beds, owned by the railroad company]. Margetts and Pugsley next agitated the question of the iron and coal enterprises in the Salt Lake Herald. Their project was digested [compiled or written] by both, but the communications were in the name of Richard B. Margetts. A few extracts will illustrate their projects. He wrote:
It is a very remarkable thing that there is scarcely one industry in this Territory that is worked upon the natural productions of the country. True, we have our foundries and machine shops, our blacksmiths and wagon makers, and various other industries in our midst, but the material they work on is mostly imported.
To come to the point: The first question to be asked in this case is, what stands in the way and where is the hindrance to the development of our home industries? The answer flashes back like lightning—the lack of cheap fuel! We have abundance of the raw material. We have at hand very large deposits, I might say mountains, of rich iron ore carrying from 40 to 65 per cent. of metallic iron; we have very large deposits of good coal, suitable for all purposes, right in this Territory, and much better than that imported; we have a railroad running directly to the coal beds; this coal can be put on the cars at say 75c. or $1 per ton; the cars will run at least fifty miles of the distance without a puff of steam, and yet we lack cheap fuel. The question arises, why is this? The answer is very plain, and will be understood by all—the railroad companies own coal land; other parties own coal land also, containing as good coal as that owned by the railroad companies, and in some cases easier of access, but the railroad companies are not common carriers and will not transport coal over their roads for other parties, hence all competition is shut off. The only alternative is to pay the price demanded, or go without and "grin and bear it." I do not hesitate to say if we could get a good quality of coal put down in this city, or the nearest point to iron ore, at a reasonable price, iron smelting would be commenced, and when started on a proper basis who can form any idea how it would extend? and then would start up many other industries equally dependant [sic] for success on cheap fuel.
The only way to accomplish this is to build a railroad of our own from this city to the coal fields of Pleasant Valley. Experience has taught us that no private enterprise of this kind can be long held in the interests of the people, and it appears to me the only way to obtain relief from the burdens we are now oppressed with, it is for Salt Lake City to obtain a special grant from the Legislature to built a railroad and issue bonds for the construction of the same; then run the road for all parties, not so much for large profits, but for the benefit of the people; it would require very little, if any, extra taxation to pay the interest on the bonds. If any were necessary it would only be during the construction of the road, and who would not gladly respond to a demand of that kind, when the benefits to be derived therefrom are understood?
The partners, however, were not able to accomplish this public enterprise, and Richard B. Margetts dying during their efforts, the Pleasant Valley coal claims were sold by Pugsley to the Utah Central [Railroad] directors for $33,900 in behalf of himself and the heirs of his late partner.

Tomorrow... Part 6 of 5 (!)

Part 6

Article from Edward W. Tullidge, Tullidge's Quarterly Magazine. "Philip Pugsley," Vol. 2 (1883).

Photo of the train tracks in Pleasant Grove, Utah, from Photo of the coke ovens (in Arizona, not Utah due to copyright restrictions) from

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