Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back when many newly married women automatically quit their jobs

ONE of the most significant societal changes World War II produced was getting more American married women into the work force. That was previously a rarity – working married women.
Before the war, the majority of married women did not work outside the home.
A 1936 government survey had revealed that 80 percent of the population believed wives should not work if their husbands had jobs.
In fact, according to Bureau of Labor statistics, only 15.5 of married women worked in 1940. Federal law restricting married women from working was talked about, but never proposed. Still, before World War II, a husband and wife could not both have federal government jobs.
Some private companies were just as restrictive.
“Only single women need apply” is a subhead on page 76 in the on-line history of Questar Gas company,
Formerly, Mountain Fuel Supply, this company history recounts how until World War II, the company didn’t employ married women. It was simply a traditional rule that once married, a woman then had her husband as a breadwinner. Thus, she was expected to quit her job after marriage.
If a married woman was still working, then that woman was believed to be keeping some married man out there from having a job.
“Of course, you couldn’t be fired if the company didn’t know you were married,” the Questar history states.
However, by the end of the war, most companies had abandoned that concept and as a result, married women enjoyed more independence and security in working outside the home (even though it was almost always for less money than for men, working the same job).
By the end of World War II, one in four married women were working. That was the first time ever that married women outnumbered single women in the workforce.
More historical tidbits:
-“First woman juror” was a Dec. 17, 1915 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
Just less than a century ago, Ella M. Hall of Tremonton was reported as being selected as the first woman juror ever for Box Elder County. The story also suggested that she has to be one of Utah’s first-ever woman jurors too.
-In another historical note, “Ogden couple wed in coffin room” was a Nov. 13, 1911 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
The story reported how the marriage ceremony of Mary Ludwig and Karl Friedland took place in E. W. Hall’s mortuary chapel at 167 South West Temple Street, Salt Lake City.
The bride was not excited by this strange marriage location and had to be coaxed by her husband-to-be that it would be OK.
After a minister had performed the marriage, the bride stated, “Till death do us part. Let’s get out of here. There’s a ghost tickling me on the shoulder.”
Then, the story stated that a door at the other end of the mortuary loudly slammed shut and then a nearby chair fell over.
“Let’s get out of here,” The bridegroom then proclaimed. “Some of these ghosts might get too fresh!”
The couple then went to a wedding supper at Hotel Utah.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Jan. 29-30, 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back when a single airplane flying over delighted Utahns

                                  One of the air shows at Hill Air Force Base.

RESIDENTS in Northern Utah commonly see aircraft fly over, but almost a century ago it was far different.
“One of racing airplanes passes over Ogden, causing a craning of many necks” was an Oct. 13, 1919 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
Major Harry Smith flew his gray plane over Ogden that morning on his transcontinental trip that would also fly over Salt Lake City and eventually reach San Francisco.
Smith was the first to fly a route along the Union Pacific railroad tracks. Thus, he exited Weber Canyon and then veered northwest into Ogden at about 115 mph.

                               Hill Air Force Base Air Show.

Most residents heard the “whirr” of the airplane’s motor long before they spotted it and were delighted at the sight.
“Flying to Salt Lake in twenty-one minutes is a big deal and his mark will no doubt stand for some time,” The Standard story reported.
It apparently wasn’t the first time some residents had seen an airplane, but Smith’s visit was an unexpected one.
In other historical notes:
-“Road to peak held feasible” was an Aug. 13, 1920 Standard headline.
Ogden Mayor Frank Francis and other area leaders had recently taken an automobile trip from Huntsville toward Mount Ogden and as far as the south edge of Wheeler Basin.
“It was our opinion that without great difficulty a road could be constructed that would lead to the saddle just below Mount Ogden,” Mayor Francis stated. “From there  to the summit would be a delightful jaunt.”
Ogden leaders seemed desperate in that era to attract more tourism.
Of course, that road was never built, but decades later, Snow Basin Ski Resort did develop dirt roads that today do access the summit of Mount Ogden.
-“Automobiles without lights” was a May 31, 1911 Standard headline.
In those early years of autos, an increasing Ogden area problem was driving the machines at night with no lights.
Several accidents were reported from this deficiency and some arrests had been made.
A lack of speed limits was another shortcoming.
In addition, the Standard reported on July 19, 1915 that all autos on the road needed state license numbers.
The minimum fine for not so doing was $5 and W. Adams of Layton was the latest to be arrested and fined. The confusion of the day was that some purchased their autos outside the Ogden area and because they paid no tax here, mistakenly believed they didn’t need to pay for a license here.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on January 22-23, 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A 1914 proposal to disband Davis County

WHAT if Davis County didn’t exist today?
Just over a century ago, there was a strong proposal to do away with it.
“Davis County may be wiped off the map” was a May 7, 1914 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
“G.W. Palmer of Farmington threw a small bomb into the state board of education meeting  yesterday afternoon by asserting that Davis County should be split in two, half added to Salt Lake County and half to Weber County,” the report stated.
“Geographically there is no excuse for the county and socially it is no county,” Palmer argued “Half of the residents  look to Salt Lake as their principal city and the other half to Ogden.”
Many at the meeting said they were too loyal to Davis County to permit any such arrangement. Palmer argued that this was “false patriotism” and that his proposal was a logical move.
Part of the controversy also centered around whether the small high schools in Bountiful, Kaysville and Syracuse should continue, or establish one large, strong county high school instead.
-In other historical tidbits:
-“No boxing in the town of Hooper” was an Aug. 10, 1910 Standard headline.
Weber County Sheriff Wilson had canceled the August 15th twenty-round boxing match scheduled between Joe Harbertson and Kid Williams. He said that was not only because so many Hooper residents opposed it, but also because its existence would mean that Weber County communities would be claiming prize fights too.
Also, “every boy in the county that felt he was ‘scientific with the gloves’ would be putting in his time training for a boxing contest.”
J.D. Hooper was the local chairman of the committee who opposed the boxing match on the “grounds the morals of the community were in danger.”
Notwithstanding, a previous boxing match had been held in Hooper on July 24th of that year, though residents felt that illustrated the dangers of the sport.
-“State Highway to be constructed to Hooper” was a June 1, 1917 Standard headline.
This road was constructed from West Ogden through Kanesville. The report stated the present highway to Hooper was in poor condition.
“… With heavy travel from this populous farming district, southwest of Ogden, there is need for the road being built at once,” the Standard reported.
The same story also stated that the other great highway need in Weber County was a road through Liberty to the top of the divide, to connect Weber and Cache counties.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on January 14-15, 2015 by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:  

Friday, January 9, 2015

When Garner Cave was first explored by Boy Scouts

                      Coldwater Canyon, as viewed from the northwest in North Ogden.

BOYS explore huge cavern. Scouts of Troop 20 visit little known cave near Ogden Canyon” was an August 22, 1922 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
This was the first public look into what would eventually become known as “Garner Cave” in North Ogden.
Charles E. Fisk, scoutmaster of the troop, knew of the cave before and his troop’s visit there launched it into popularity. The troop used “electric searchlights” and candles to see inside the dark, natural treasure.
The story also stated that the scouts not only encountered numerous nests of hornets in the canyon, but also killed 10 rattlesnakes there.
“Ogden Cavern explored for long distance” was an Aug. 27, 1922 headline in the Standard.
 (This 1922 story also stated incorrectly that the Coldwater Canyon of North Ogden was also known as Garner Canyon. Coldwater and Garner are actually separate canyons, with One Horse Canyon found in between the two.)
 That “that cave will become one of the popular attractions of Ogden” was highlighted in the story.
A few weeks later, Boy Scout Troop 5, from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, also visited the cave.
Sadly, vandalism has since destroyed all the formations on the inside of the cave, but visits are still made to this cave today.
Scoutmaster Fisk took his troop on many local adventures. In the Oct.23, 1922 Standard, it was reported: “Endurance hike made by scouts” of Troop No. 20. Two dozen boys hiked from the mouth of Wheeler Canyon to Mount Ogden and down into Ogden, a distance of 25 miles during a 13-hour hike.
Some of the scout’s trek was reported to be off trail and over steep ledges.
“Great numbers of blue grouse and willow grouse were seen and the track of a timber wolf was seen in various places,” the story stated.
The boys encountered two inches of snow on the north slope of the mountain and also hiked through a small snowstorm that “gave the boys great glee.”
-The Standard of Sept. 17, 1953 also mentioned a separate cavern, Eagle Cave, east of 22nd Street.
“Several youngsters have been killed or seriously injured in recent years trying to reach the cave,” the report stated.
Attempts to use dynamite to close the dangerous cave had failed, so scouts mobilized and created stairs to the cave’s entrance to at least make it safer.

(-Originally published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on-line and in print on January 8-9, 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A campground proposal for Ogden's Taylor Canyon and more …

       Taylor Canyon, left, is just north of Malan's Peak, center. Waterfall Canyon is on the right side..

A major campground and loop road were proposed for Ogden’s Taylor Canyon back in 1936.
“Road proposed toward Taylor camping site” was a May 1 headline in the Standard-Examiner that year.
At that time, some thousands of acres in Taylor Canyon were owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. Creating a road to the mouth of the canyon and developing public camping sites was a proposal by the Utah Motorists Association.
In addition, a one-way, four-mile long road along the mountainside was proposed too, toward Waterfall Canyon.
Plus, a previous proposal by F.A. Huish of Ogden was also mentioned as a possible sidelight. This involved building a concrete dam at the brink of the waterfall in Waterfall Canyon, so that the falls would be more spectacular and seen by more of the general population of the area.
(Relocating this waterfall had already been tried in 1922 with a metal pipeline as a way to move the falls to the northwest and make it more visible. However, after six months the piping was reported destroyed by vandals.)

                     Some Ogdenites enjoying Waterfall Canyon in the 1920s.

This ambitious campground/road/waterfall enhancement was all so that it “would give Ogden a scenic attraction,” according to the story.
The Association believed just $50,000 would be needed to do much of the project and that some of the construction could qualify as a federal work project.
Unlike Waterfall Canyon (or even the South Fork area east of Huntsville), there’s no year-round stream in Taylor Canyon. Also that canyon is quite narrow and so the campground proposal there seems somewhat illogical in hindsight. In any event, none of it ever happened.
However, Huish had tried unsuccessfully earlier to have special artwork sale in 1936 to try and finance a diversion flume at the top of Waterfall Canyon.
According to the Standard of July 31, 1944, he was still pushing to have a diversion of the falls in Waterfall Canyon that year too.
It is worth noting too that at least one of those reports about Huish reported that the initial rerouting of the waterfall wasn’t destroyed by vandals, but by a “flood.”

                       The bottom of the  Ogden Waterfall in a typical spring.

-In a related historical note, back when Mount Ogden Park was first considered, Huish proposed the name of “Waterfall Park” as  its moniker.
In the Standard of July 28, 1944, “Residents show interest in mountain project” was the headline for that prospective park story.
-In a final historical note, “Ogden lady breaks her nose” was a June 23, 1911 headline in the Standard.
On a slow news day, this was a four-paragraph-long report of how an unnamed woman broke her nose in a single automobile crash, south of Brigham City.
The driver, traveling “at a high rate of speed,” had lost control of the vehicle after his hat blew off, and the car crashed into a tree. The woman’s child suffered minor bruises in the impact, as both mother and child were thrown to the front of the auto.

 (-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Jan. 1-2, 2015.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: