A mystery in history – Why wasn’t Ogden named Goodyear City? | News, Sports, Jobs

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If I answered this question too early in this article, it would be very short. Before I get to that, I would like to review one of the most colorful periods in American history – the day of the mountain man.

Mountain Man Day

This whole era was created by a European and East American demand for beavers to make elegant fur hats. Beaver was abundant in the Old West and their pelts, or plews, were needed to make them.

In 1822 the fur trade was born when the Henry-Ashley Trading Co. was organized. The company placed an ad in the Republic of Missouri for 100 young men to go deep into the mountains of the Wild West to hunt beaver.

In summer, these mountain dwellers brought their skins to Saint-Louis to be paid for their winter work. This trek was over 1,000 miles, so it was decided that it would be more efficient for the fur companies to come and see the trappers.

The rendezvous of the birth of the mountain dweller

This gave birth to the mountain man date. The trappers came out of the mountains to meet the supply wagons at a place and time fixed at the end of the previous meeting. The first mountain men were French, so it was not surprising that the French term for meeting at an agreed time and place was used.

Deniane Kartchner, special to standard examiner

Action captured during the annual Easter gathering at Fort Buenaventura.

What started as a convenient gathering to trade pelts for supplies and reorganize trapping units turned into a month-long carnival in the middle of the wilderness. Mountain man James Beckworth described the festivities as a scene of “merriment, songs, dancing, shouting, trading, running, jumping, singing, racing, target shooting, threads, frolicking, with all manner of extravagance that white men or (Native Americans) could invent. The first mountain rendezvous was in southern Wyoming in 1825 and continued until 1840, when the last supply train was sent from St. Louis.

This era produced two mountaineers who had a direct impact on the county seat of Weber – Miles Goodyear and Peter Skene Ogden. Ogden was from Quebec, Canada, and was baptized as an infant in 1790. Goodyear was born American in Hamden, Connecticut, in 1817.

Peter Skene Ogden

Ogden was born into a wealthy family steeped in legal issues. At the age of 4, his family moved to Montreal, where his father was appointed judge. His two brothers were lawyers.

Montreal, as a city, was the hub of the fur trade in Canada. While young Peter was exposed to the intricacies of the law, he had little interest in it. After a short stint at the American Fur Co. in Montreal, he joined the North West Co. as an apprentice clerk in April 1809. Thus began his introduction to mountain life.

Accused of murder

In 1814 he was in charge of a post in Saskatchewan at the north end of Green Lake. Due to an incident there in 1816, an indictment was brought against him for murder four years later in Lower Canada. To be put out of reach, he was assigned to Fort George in Astoria, Oregon.

Six trapping expeditions

Deniane Kartchner, special to standard examiner

Brad Timothy is a key player for the Mountain Men of Fort Buenaventura. He is working to have A and B streets in Ogden, just west of the Fort, named after Goodyear and his wife, Pomona.

Later he was assigned to Spokane House where he was assigned to lead a trapping expedition in Snake River Country. He led six separate expeditions in an area covering present-day Oregon, Idaho, and parts of California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

An incident on his first expedition brought him to present-day Mountain Green in 1825. His Hudson’s Bay Company trappers clashed with American traders led by Johnson Gardner. A disagreement over land rights led to a parting of the ways, with Ogden’s party losing a number of its trappers to a more lucrative offer from the Americans.

Ogden was never a resident of Ogden

By the end of his last expedition in 1830, he had better knowledge of the region than any other explorer. While Ogden explored northern Utah and a river and valley are named after him, he did not establish a residence and never visited the place Ogden now occupies.

Miles Goodyear

Miles Goodyear was orphaned at the age of 4. He served much of his youth as an indentured servant. His conditions of servitude prompted him to travel west to seek his fortune. In 1836, at the age of 19, he joined the Whitman-Spaulding Missionary Party traveling west on the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri.

He went all the way to Fort Hall when he decided to leave the business and go freelance. Describing the young Goodyear’s departure, William H. Gray said, “His idea of ​​freedom was limitless. Restraint and obedience to others were what he disliked at home; he would try his fortune in the mountains; he cared neither for missionaries, nor for Hudson’s Bay men, nor for Indians; he was determined to be his own man.

Goodyear becomes a mountaineer

Goodyear was a successful mountaineer for the next 10 years. He trapped and traded through the Rocky Mountains and attended the various gatherings of mountaineers and American Indians.

Fort Buenaventura

Miles could see that the fur trade was not going to last. As forts like Fort Bridger began to spring up along the land trails in 1842, he decided to build his own enclosed fort in what is now Ogden on the banks of the Weber River, about 2 miles south of where the Weber River joined the Ogden River.

When building the fort, he erected poplar logs upright to enclose about half an acre. When completed in 1846, it included four cabins at each of the four corners, sheds, a corral and a garden.

The fort housed his family, other trappers and Native American helpers. His hope was that he would be useful to immigrants on the trail. It is now known as Fort Buenaventura.

Mormons buy the fort

In 1847 he met the first Latter-day Saint pioneers and tried to convince them to settle on the Weber River. He was unsuccessful, but later that year James Brown was sent by the same people to buy the fort. It was then a settlement with the name of Brownsville. After the fort was sold, Miles Goodyear left for California where he mined gold and traded horses until his death in 1849.

The mystery is solved

So with Goodyear having an established residence, even building the first home in Ogden, why wasn’t it named Goodyear? The answer is simple – President Brigham Young of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the area in 1849 and said it should be Ogden and it was so named in 1851 when it was incorporated . It took three years for the US Post to change the name to Brownsville.

A similar event took place in the town of Chicken Creek, south of Nephi. Brigham Young visited the place and changed the name to Levan, although it is important to point out that the name Ogden was familiar as Goodyear continually referred to the river as the Ogden River and nearby Ogden’s Hole for visitors.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at [email protected]


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