Incorporated in 1850, Ogden was first settled by Mormon pioneers. In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed and Ogden became known as the “Junction City.” With the rise and fall of the railroad as a backdrop, Ogden’s legendary locals emerged in business, politics, and culture. Famous entrepreneurs, like David Eccles and the Wattis brothers, left their mark across the West, while actors like Robert Walker, Moroni Olsen, and Gedde Watanabe took on Hollywood. Richard Richards left Ogden to shape national politics as chairman of the Republican National Committee, while Fred Kiesel challenged the local majority to become Ogden’s first non-Mormon mayor. Through it all, Ogden’s everyday citizens have helped shape the community as well. From Willie Moore, whose barbershop has stood on Ogden’s infamous 25th Street for decades, to the women of the Red Cross who served food to over a million servicemen in transit during World War II, Ogden’s history is full of local legends.
Author Bio: Sarah Langsdon and Melissa Johnson both work in the Stewart Library Special Collections at Weber State University. In Legendary Locals of Ogden, they bring together some of the library’s best images to tell the stories of fame and infamy in Ogden’s community.
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