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The Ogden standard. (Ogden City, Utah) 1913-1920, July 20, 1916, PIONEER CELEBRATION EDITION, Image 13

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058396/1916-07-20/ed-1/seq-13/

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31 . ; n tR&ogden standard? ogden, IjtXr TrTuftMAYn 19r
I The Railroad Center of the Western lLmpire I
! l MANY RACES SAW THE EAST AND WEST
! I LINKED TOGETHER IN CHAIN OF STEEL
How a United Nation Was Made a Reality Reviewed in His-
11 n tory by Late General Dodge on Completion of First Trans-
ft continental Railroad by Drivhig of Last Spike at Promon-
J tory Point, May 10, 1869.
lill Perhaps no greater importance is
attached to any event in history than
I f the driving of the last spike in the
lilt' : performance of the -work that united
I f: ! the Central and Union Pacific rail-
I lit roads and the first transcontinental
I f ; line. This event occurred at Promon-
I torv Point on May 10, 1SG9, and was
: marked by appropriate ceremonies in
h which people of the east and people
llli of the west, together with native Jn-
1! dians, Mexicans, Chinese, negroes,
lilt presenting an air of cosmopolitanism
1 f took part. Because it marked an
I f i epoch in industrial progress the act
I II haB been likened in historical impor-
II iff tance t0 the sinin& oE the Declaration
) of Independence.
llli In his history of "How We Built the
3l ; Union Pacific Railway," which was
t ' published as a senate document on the
31 ' fortieth anniversary of the completion
llli of the first ocean to ocean railway
i f route, the late Major-General Grenville
lr s M. Dodge, former chief enginer of
I f the Union Pacific, devotes an entire
I f ; chapter to the driving of the last spike
I f , at Promontory Point and its signifi-
I f cance with the history of the nation.
w r The chapter follows:
Ills' The DUiiaing oi ji rciuiwv; aicum iu
llfl to connect the streams flowing into
Hit the Atlantic and Pacific was advocated
ft as earlv as 1819, before a mile of
Hit railroad was built in any partNof the
WW world. Tt took practical form when
llf! Asa Whitnev, in 1S45, in petitioning
if Congress in behalf of a Pacific rail-
lllf road, said: "You will see that it will
Hfl change the whole world." Senator
111 Thomas H. Benton in 1849 pleaded
U that the great line when built should
IIS "be adorned with its crowning honor,
If the colossal statue of the mass of a
III! peak of the Rocky Mountains.overloolc
lift ing the road, the mountain itself, the
lllf pedestal, and the statue a part of the
Hit mountain, pointing with outstretched
Iff arm to the western horizon, and say-
I ing to the flying passenger 'There
Is the East! There India!
Charles Sumner in, 18o3 said: The
I railroad from the Atlantic to the Pa-
HI ciflc, traversing a whole content and
binding together two oceans, this
llfl mighty thoroughfare when completed
(I will mark an epoch of human progress
I second only to that of our Declaration
of Independence. May the day soon
cornel"
All Prophesies Fulfilled.
And it did come, and all the
prophecies were fulfilled when the I
first transcontinental line was com-
pleted and the tracks joined at Prom-i
ontory Point. Utah, on May 10, 1869. j
The ceremony was one of peace
and harmony between the Union Pa
cific, coming from the east, and the
Central Pacific coming from the west.
For a year or more there had been
great contention and rivalry between
the two companies, the Union Pacific
endeavoring to reach Humboldt Wells,
on the west boundary of Utah, and
the Central Pacific rushing to reach
Ogden, Utah, to give them an outlet
to Salt Lake City.
In the building of a Pacific steam'
road to connect the two oceans two
linos were graded alongside of each
other for 225 miles between Ogden and
Humboldt Wells. Climbing Promon
tory Mountain, they were not a stone's
throw apart.
When both companies saw that
neither could reach its goal, they came
lUjjCLUVl W1U 1 J IUUUO till b'
to join the tracks on the summit of
Promontory Mountain, the Union Pa
cific selling to the Central Pacific 56
miles of its road back within five
miles of Ogden and leasing trackage
over that five miles to enable the
Central Pacific to reach Ogden. These
five miles were not only a part of the
Union Pacific but used by their line
J north to Idaho. This agreement was
ratified by Congress. Each road built
to the summit of Promontory, leav
ing a gap of about 100 feet of rail to
be laid when the last spike was driven.
The chief engineers of the Union and
Central Pacific had charge of the cere
mony and the work, and we set a day
far enough ahead so that trains com
ing from New York to San Francisco
would have ample time to reach Prom
ontory in time to take part in the
ceremonies.
A Cosmopolitan Gathering.
On the morning of May 10, 1S69,
Hon. Leland Stanford, governor of
California and president of the Cen-
. ,
Constant Vigilance Keeps the Roadbed
In Perfect Condition.
tral Pacific, accompanied by Messrs.
Huntington, Hopkins, Crocker, and
trainloads of California distinguished
citizens, arrived from the west. Dur
ing the forenoon Vice President T. C
Durant and Directors John R. Duff
and Sidney Dlljon and Consulting En
gineer Silas A. Seymour of the Union
Pacific, with other prominent men,
including a delegation of Mormons
from Salt Lake City, came In on a
train from the east. The national
government was represented by a de-.
tachment of "regulars" from Fort
Douglass, Utah, accompanied by a
band, and 600 others, including Chi
nese, Mexicans Indians, half-breeds,
negroes and laborers, suggesting an I
air of cosmopolitanism, all gathered
around the open space where vlhe
tracks were to be joined.
Telegraphic wires were so connect
ed that each blow of the descend
ing sledge could be reported instantly
to all parts of the United Slates. Cor
responding blows were struck on the
bell of the city hall in San Francisco,
and with the last blow of the sledge
a cannon was fired at Fort Point.
General Safford presented a spike of
gold, silver and iron as the offering
of the territory of Arizona. Gover
nor Tuttle, of Nevada, presented a
silver spike from his state. The con
necting tie was of California laurel,
and California presented a spike of
gold in behalf of that state. A silver
sledge had also been presented for the
I ' I
OVER THE GREAT INLAND SEA ON "THREADS OF STEEL"
occasion. A prayer was offered. Gov
ernor Stanford, of California, made a
few appropriate remarks on behalf
of the Central Pacific and the chief
engineer responded for the Union Pa
cific. Then the telegraphic inquiry
from the Omaha office, from which
the circuit was to be started, was
answered:
They Seldom Hit the Spike.
To everybody: Keen quiet. When
the last spike is driven at Promon-
1 1 ' " -
by the lusty cheers of the onlookers,
accompanied'by the screams of the lo
comotives and the music of the mili
tary band. Many other spikes were
driven on the last rail by some of the
distinguished persons present, but it
Overland Limited Crossing the Ogden.
Lucln Cuf-off on the Line of the
Southern Pacific Railroad.
tory Point w'e will say "Done." Don't
break the circuit, but watch for the
signals of the blows of the hammer.
The spike will soon be driven. The
signal will be three dots for the com
mencement of the blows.
The magnet tapped one two three
then pause "Done." The spike was
given its first blow by President Stan
ford and Vice President Durant fol
lowed. Neither hit the spike the first
time, but hit the rail, and were greeted
ii, j . j hit r'.'ii ir I 1 j in in limniMmMC
was seldom that they first hit the
spike. The original spike, after being
tapped by the officials of the com
panies, was driven home by the chief
engineers of the two roads. , Then
the two trains were run together the
two locomotives touching at the point
of junction, and engineers of the two
locomotives each broke a bottle of
champagne on the other's engine.
Then it was declared that the connec
tion was made, and the Atlantic and
Pacific were joined together, never IH
to be parted. H
The wires in every direction were
hot with congratulatory telegrams,
President Grant and Vice President
Colfax were the recipients of the H
especially fellcitlous messages. On H
the evening of May 8, in San Fran
cisco, from the stages of the theaters
and other public places, notice was H
given that the two roads had met and H
were to be wedded on the morrow. H
The celebration there began at once
and practically, through the tenth. IH
The booming of cannons and the ring-
ing of bells were united with other
species of noise making of which jubil
ant humanity finds expression for its H
feelings on such an occasion. The IH
buildings in the city were gay with IH
flags and bunting, business was. sua- IH
pended and the longest procession.
that San Francisco had ever seen at- jH
tested the' enthusiasm of the people. IH
At night the city was brilliant with IH
illuminations. Free railway trains
filled Sacramento with an unwonted jH
crowd, and the din of cannons, steam IH
whistles and bells followed the final
message. IH
Inspired Bret Harte Poem.
At the eastern terminus in Omaha
the firing of a hundred guns on Cap.
itol Hill, more bells and steam whis
ties, and a grand precession' of fire
companies, civic societies, citizens and
visiting delegates echoed the senti
ments of the ' Calif ornians. In Chica- H
go a procession of four miles in length,
a- lavish display of decoration in the
city, and on the vessels in the river,
and an address by Vice President
Colfax in the evening were the evi-
dences of the city's feeling. In New
York, by order of the mayor, a salute
of a hundred' guns announced the
culmination of thegreat undertaking.
In Trinity church the Te Deum was IJ
chanted, prayers were offered, and
when the services were over the
chimes rang out, "Old Hundred,"
"The Ascension Carol," and National
airs. The ringing oi bells of Inde
pendence Hall and the fire stations
of Philadelphia produced an unusual
concourse of citizens to celebrate the
national event. In other large cities
of the country dhe expressions of jM
public gratification were hardly less
hearty demonstrative. Bret Harte was
inspired to write the celebrated poem
of "What the Engines Said." The IH
first verse is:
What Was It the engines said, H
, Pilots touching, head to head,
Facing on the single track,
Half a world behind its back?
; This is what the engines said,
; Unreported and unread.
Not forgetting my old commander,
, Gen. W. T. Sherman, who had been
such an aid in protecting us in Lulld
l (Continued on Page 15).
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