Thomas D. Dee: Founder, Builder, Public Servant
a commemorative lecture presented at the
2007 Utah Construction/ Utah International Symposium
The Beginning of an Era
Professor John Sillito
Thursday, October 18, 2007 1
Well I’d like to thank Gene for that generous introduction. He read it exactly the way I wrote it for him. No thank you, I do appreciate it. Can you hear me okay? I’ve got more wires on me than the last time I had a test at McKay Dee Hospital let me tell you and if things start going off you’ll know I’m in real trouble here today. Let me repeat something I said a little bit earlier, you don’t know how pleased I am to be one of this years Utah International Fellows. It’s been a marvelous experience for me to be involved in the research on a most interesting individual and I won’t do that individual even remotely justice today, but will just touch the surface. As part of that process I have had the pleasure of having two fellows to assist me in research. Stan said earlier that we were both spoiled by this to have someone to actually find things, and keep us on track, and catch an error occasionally. I really appreciate those two fellows. Brett Peterson is one of my fellows. Brett has graduated from Weber and gone on to law school. My other fellow Marci Farr is with us today and Marci stand up. I appreciated everything Marci did to help and again keeping on track and it’s been a great experience.
My paper today is entitled Thomas D. Dee: Founder, Pioneer and Public Servant. In Ogden Utah on July 12th 1905 grocers and butchers closed their shops, school children lined city streets, public officials turned away from their duties and hundreds of prominent and ordinary citizens gathered at the Ogden Tabernacle. On the diocese were Utah Governor John C. Cutler and LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith who had traveled north to speak at the funeral of a man the Ogden Standard called, “ The city’s foremost citizen,” Thomas 2
Duncombe Dee. As the paper reported that day, no other man in Ogden was identified with so many and diverse enterprises as he. Indeed in a career spanning fifty- five years, Dee lead in business, church, education, political and governmental affairs. During his life time Dee accomplished many things. He was a devoted husband and family man, the father of eight children.
He was a friend, business partner and political ally of David Eccles and the two men along with several other created, organized and expanded a wide range of commercial ventures. Simultaneously, Dee pursued a career in politics as an office holder and judge. He chaired the Ogden Board of Education, served in a variety of capacities in his local ward. And as the twentieth century began Dee became the first president of the Utah Construction Company which sprouted from humble root and flowered into international prominence. Today it is my challenge and opportunity to address the many facets in the life of this important Ogden figure. While time will not permit an in depth examination of each aspect, I purpose to survey the breath of his career and hopefully down the line will be able to explore the many strands in detail.
To begin let us examine Thomas D. Dee’s roots and the series of event that in 1860 brought him to Ogden. Two important facts lead our inquiry. First the history of the Dee family is deeply rooted in the soil of Wales, and second, the family was part of what William Mulder has called “ a unique element in the total stream on American migration,” the relocation of thousands of Mormon converts to their Zion in western America’s Great Basin. Thomas Duncombe Dee was born on November 10, 1844 in Llanelly South Wales, the second son and third 3
child of Thomas Hill and Elizabeth Reese Dee. We know very little of Thomas and Elizabeth’s early lives, but they seemed typical of many citizens of nineteenth century Great Britain who faced a hard scrabble existence. We do know that the young couple, both age twenty- five married in 1837. Thomas Hill Dee sought work where ever he could find it practicing the trades of potter, gardener, plate maker and likely others. The couple moved frequently, no doubt in search of economic opportunity and their first two children Annie and James were born in Staffordshire England. At some point prior to young Tom’s birth in 1844 the family returned to Wales where the couple’s last child, Elizabeth, was born in 1851.
Six years later in July 1857 the Dees made a decision which would alter and shape their lives and those of their decedents. When they joined the American based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints and became part of that intense conversion period sweeping the British Isles between 1837 and 1870. Not long after their baptism Thomas and Elizabeth decided to come to America. Apparently Tom’s parents and siblings were baptized into their new faith earlier than he. As church records indicate he was baptized and confirmed just a few days prior to leaving England. His daughter Maud records that family lore held that “ young Tom would stay at home reading and studying while the other attended church services. In the end,” Maud added, “ he was a better Mormon than any of them, because he understood what he believed.”
Many English Latter- day Saints during that time drew upon the church’s Perpetual Emigrating Fund, the PEF, to provide the necessary financial 4
assistance to make the trip. From 1850 to 1887 that fund brought some 30,000 converts to America in the eighteenth century, including the family of David Eccles. The system allowed them to repay their loan over time through their labor once they had settled here in Utah. While some sources indicate that the Dees came with the help of PEF British mission records housed at the LDS Church Archives do not support this claim. It is possible that they may have received some assistance from some local church members in Wales or that the PEF aided them later in their journey.
The Dee family left Liverpool on March 30th 1860 aboard the Underrider. Carrying as many provisions as possible or required by law, and paying the fare of some twenty- four English pounds. The ships manifest lists Thomas Hill Dee as a potter, Elizabeth as his wife, James as a plasterer and Tom as a joiner. Annie just barely twenty is listed as a spinster, tough crowd. A local band serenaded the departing vessel as the 600 passengers from Wales, England and Switzerland left port. The group was under the leadership of James D. Ross who was returning from his second mission to England and his counselors James Taylor, who will marry into the family, and John Croft. The Underrider arrived in New York on May 1st. During the voyage according to the Mormon publication the Millennial Star, “ there were four deaths and four marriages and upon their arrival the health of the saints was generally good.”
Two days later the Dees set out for their destination of Florence, Nebraska not far from Omaha. From there the saints prepared for the final leg of their journey to the Great Basin. The company of 240, including both British and Swiss 5
immigrants as well as some U. S. citizens, left Florence on June 17th 1860, again under the leadership of James D. Ross. According to Church records the Dees were among those traveling on a church wagon train as opposed to a hand cart which the church was discontinuing during that period of time. The Ross Train arrived in the Salt Lake Valley three months later on September 3rd 1860.
Unfortunately fifteen year old Tom kept no journal describing his trip across the plains. We do have however the reminiscence of Charles W. Nibley an eleven year old member of the same party. Nibley would immerge as an important church leader and business man and in later years a very close friend and business associate of Tom Dee’s. Nibley recalled, quoting from his reminiscences, “ The journey across the plains was of the usual ox team kind. There was little of special note that transpired. We traveled about ninety miles a week, which was an average of fifteen miles a day for six days a week. No traveling was done on the Sabbath. Of course there are inconveniences and more or less hardships in that mode of travel but I was a child and do not remember the hardship, on the contrary,” he said, “ I rather enjoyed the whole trip.” In his reminiscences which were complied while Nibley was in his mid- 80’ s he still vividly recalled walking barefoot across the plains sighting herds of buffalo and feasting as he says on their sweet meat. He also remembered the circling of the wagons, unrolling and rolling the bed rolls, and the Indians who were plentiful and sometimes he said “ a little troublesome although we never had any conflict whatever with them.” 6
No doubt Tom Dee shared similar memories of that trip, including the journeys end. The party camped near Parley’s Summit and were greeted by Apostles George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and other leading brethren. The next Nibley recalled, “ We came out of the canyon and on to the bench near Fort Douglas, and I could very well remember with what joy and pleasure each one of our company looked upon the growing city in the wilderness. We felt that all of our troubles and trial were practically at an end when, as a matter of fact, they had only just begun. The immigrants camped near what is presently the Salt Lake City and County Building then prepared to either stay there in Salt Lake City or move to one of the other outposts along the Mormon corridor. The Nibley family like the Dees headed north past the Great Salt Lake, which he noted “ was very low that year.” The wagon road from Salt Lake City lay considerably west of any green fields, right out in the alkali lake bottoms, as dry as a bone. While Nibely admitted he had no recollection of Ogden the Dees stopped to make their home. Tom Dee would spend the rest of his life here.
Another aspect of the journey westward bears noting. About the time the Ross train made its final preparations for its final trip to Utah, another English convert, John Taylor, arrived at winter quarters with his wife Ann Faulkner Taylor, their two children and John’s two daughters nine year old Mary and seven year old Annie, born to his first deceased wife Ann Standard. It is not clear whether Tom Dee and Annie Taylor met at this time. Annie records however that her train discovered a bleached buffalo skull which read, “ Captain Ross Train passed here 7
July 15th. All is well.” As we will see the paths of these two young people will definitely cross in the future.
After getting settled Tom worked as a carpenter at times along with his brother in law James Taylor. He had learned carpentry skills as an apprentice in Wales and as noted he was listed on the Underrider’s manifest as a joiner. Over time Dee became a successful building contractor as well, constructing both residential and commercial structures. Hard working and ingenious the young man began to make a mark in his community, but Tom Dees mind was not only on work. Tom had lived in Utah for a decade or so before he seriously considered Annie Taylor as a possible spouse. The two had met from time to time and according to some accounts at one family gathering Tom told the young Annie he was “ gonna wait for you to grow up and then I’m gonna marry you.” The Dee and Taylor families were close in part because as noted not long after their arrival in Utah Tom’s sister Annie Dee had married James Taylor, Annie Taylor’s uncle. Now gets a little confusing here, okay. Annie Dee Taylor and Annie Taylor Dee, hang with me here. In any event their courtship evidentially became serious around 1868 or so.
In her charming book Memories of a Pioneer, Annie wrote that as a young girl she went to a Washington’s Birthday dance in Salt Lake City where the dashing officers from Fort Douglass and their ladies added to the beautiful atmosphere. Tom Dee escorted Annie to this memorable party clad in his territorial militia uniform. Annie also recalled another Salt Lake event in January of 1870 celebrating a branch of the railroad from Ogden Tom and his mother 8
were in attendance. Annie remembered “ Thanks to complimentary tickets from the railroad.” At the conclusion of the celebration Annie and her sister rode the train to Ogden stayed a few days with the Dees and then returned to their Salt Lake home. The railroad she said, “ Made people nearer neighbors.” Reading between the lines, perhaps the railroad also facilitated a budding romance for on January 15th Thomas D. Dee wrote Annie’s father John Taylor to request Annie’s hand in marriage.
We have this delightful letter and the reply to it in our Dee family collection here in the library and it’s displayed in the back just for today. It goes back into the archives after today, in that cabinet back there. Tom wrote, “ It has been known to you that for some time your daughter Annie and myself have been corresponding with each other, and that I have made occasional visits to her; well such things generally lead to something more important, and the object of this letter is to ask your consent for us to get married.” Tom said that he didn’t need to add more but hoped your favorable consideration. Actually I think it was the uniform. A few days later the perspective bridegroom had his answer when John Taylor replied that he could “ find no reason why I should not give my consent to her to becoming your wife.” Taylor told his future son in law he wished Annie to have a husband of her own choice, a man she could honor and respect. Therefore he wrote, “ You have my permission and are at liberty to make your own arrangements.” The marriage was performed on April 10, 1871 in a ceremony in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City when Brigham Young’s counselor Neil H. Wells united twenty- six year old Thomas D. Dee and eighteen 9
year old Annie Taylor in marriage. The young couple then traveled to and settled in a two room adobe house on 22nd street, their home for the next decade. Over time as the family grew they need more space and relocated in Annie’s word, “ Out in the country” in a home near today’s 8th street and Washington Boulevard.
Even though he was working hard to support his family Tom Dee also took an interest in Ogden’s civic affairs. Between 1879 and 1893 he served as assessor, alderman, Justice of the Peace, constable, and city councilman sometimes simultaneously. He became a municipal judge and thus was often referred to as Judge Dee. As his good friend Warren L. Wattis observed, “ Dee served as a judged in the early days when the position had perplexities then financial rewards. He first allied with the Mormon controlled People’s Party, but when politics was Americanized in the 1890’ s Dee became a democrat. His daughter Maud called him, “ a good democrat who discussed the Democratic Party as though it were a religion;” long time ago.
During his adult life Tom Dee was an active and faithful Latter- day Saint. He spent more then thirty years serving as superintendent of the Sunday school in two different wards, but his efforts were not limited to Sunday alone. In June 1881, for example, Superintendent Dee led the saints of Ogden’s third ward on a pleasant excursion to Lake Shore. The Ogden Standard reported that on the breezy shore of the Great Salt Lake ward members quote, “ spent a most agreeable day sporting in the saline billows and on the grounds which have been much improved and embellished. Dancing was indulged in with vim, Watkins’ band furnishing the musical accompaniment. The sports were diversified; 10
bathing, boat sailing, rifle shooting, swinging, etc,” must have had a different meaning then. “ And the pleasant party returned home in excellent spirits.” In November of 1881 the Dee family relocated to the Mount Fort ward. Where Tom continued his service the Sunday school and later as a councilor to his brother in law Bishop James Taylor. His removal from the third ward was a sad day for ward members as a result they issued an elaborate framed scroll headed conomorea, and it too it to is displayed right here and if you have a chance I encourage you to take a look at it. It’s really amazing. Dee was also active as a Weber Stake home missionary and as a high priest.
As one considers Dees commitment to the Mormon faith, two questions arise. First it is interesting that he never served as a full time missionary a common occurrence for faithful men of the time. More importantly at a time when Latter- day Saint men were encouraged to take additional wives, some say as a sign of solidarity, Tom remained monogamous. This seems more than happenstance for Annie’s father had three wives, including sisters he’d married after his first died. Tom’s good friend David Eccles had entered into the principle as did many other local men. But it never seemed to have been on Tom’s agenda. In any event Dee’s commitment to the faith was never in doubt.
Over time this friend David Eccles became a central figure in Tom Dee’s professional life. It is not exactly clear when the two men first met. An article in the Deseret News implies that they became business partners as early as 1876, but other sources differ on that date. It is possible that the two men met around 1882 as Tom was leaving Ogden’s third ward and David was moving in. Ogden 11
wasn’t a huge town in those days, with a population of some 6,000 or so they may have known each other from a number of activities. They clearly known to each other by 1885 however, as both had served as Ogden alderman, Dee representing the fourth ward, Eccles representing the third.
Business easily trumps civic service however as the many Dee- Eccles partnerships took shape. As Bertha Eccles later recalled, “ Judge Dee occupied the closest association with David Eccles, More so that any other one.” Initially their partnership evolved around lumbering, a natural for Dee as a carpenter and contractor. Overtime their business association broadened. A couple of things should be taken into account considering Dee’s role in these business activities. First as vice president of Ogden’s First National Bank he played a central role in the financing of many of these ventures. Second as I’ve examined the scope of Dee’s business involvements I concur with the observation again from his good friend Warren Wattis, “ No detail was too trivial, no task was too large to receive his personal attention.” While it would be impossible to even list the many Eccles- Dee partnerships, not to mention others that involved Dee alone or with other partners, let me highlight just a few.
One of the most important involved the Utah Canning Company. Organized by Isaac M. Pierce in 1888, the company grew steadily for several years but then went into bankruptcy in the recession of the mid- 1890’ s as I think Tom mentioned earlier today was probably the second most severe depression in American history. Lots of people lost everything as a result. Toward the end of the decade in 1897, a group led by Eccles and Dee bring in a capital outlay of 12
$ 12,000 purchased the property and equipment and built a better facility and operated the company under the same name. Dee served as president of the reorganized company until his death eight years later. The company marketed its products under a number of brand names. One of the most prominent was Peirce’s with red, blue and gold striped cans containing tomatoes, and catsup, and juice, and vegetables. But Utah Canning was perhaps best known for Peirce’s Pork and Beans, sometimes called the daddy of them all. The company was also known for its rolly polly peas and temple brand tomatoes.
At the same time Dee and Eccles also consolidated their holding in sugar, along with several other church and business leaders they created the Ogden Sugar Company on December 6th 1897 at a meeting held at the Weber County Courthouse. Upon the motion of H. H. Spencer, Dee was elected to chair this organizing meeting and later became the company’s vice president. Additionally these men along with other created Logan Sugar and Lewiston Sugar Companies between 1897 and 1901. In 1902 the various companies were combined into Amalgamated Sugar. At that point the company produced 60,000 100 pound bags annually, while returning attractive dividends to investors. In 1900 Eccles and Dee formed the Ogden Rapid Transit Company, purchasing the Ogden Electric Railway Company which had gone into receivership. Under their control the company pushed ahead with a program of repair and modernization. Over the years this successful company expanded and improved the city street railways and extended service beyond the city itself. 13
For most of us here today however, it is Dee’s involvement in Utah Construction that is of particular interest. He was the company’s first president, a major shareholder and as the minutes demonstrate actively involved in company affairs. Moreover as Gene Sessions and Sterling Sessions write the immergence of Utah Construction brought Dee and Eccles into direct partnership with the Wattis brothers and marked the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship that would stretch across generations. Company records and other sources also reveal Dee’s important relationship with all three brothers that stretch well beyond business to real friendship as well.
While pursuing a successful business and political career Dee was also interested in improving the educational climate of his home town. Even though his own formal education was limited ranging from six week to two years depending on which source you consult, his daughter Maud noted that, “ he was really an educated man because he was dedicated to self improvement and study. He loved literature, especially the classics and devoured good books.” Not surprisingly he took an active role in developing a public library system here in Ogden. More over Tom Dee became the father of public education in this town, serving as a member of Ogden’s school boards for thirty- five years.
In 1890 Ogden schools were consolidated by the Utah Legislature into one district. Dee became a member of that first board and served as president of the board at the time of his death. It is also clear that Tom Dee was very popular with Ogden residence because of his efforts to further education. In fact as the Ogden Herald noted, “ As Dee faced reelection to the board in November 1904 14
though a democrat, he would have gained the endorsement of Ogden republicans if the call from their convention had not distinctly specified that a republican candidate must be nominated.” He won. As the Utah State Journal observed, “ Dee always took a deep interest in educational matters, giving freely of his time and means to promote the welfare of public schools and his unselfish devotion to this great cause is at the root of the high standard of excellence of Ogden’s schools.”
But Thomas D. Dee’s life was not all work. Despite his many business, civic, political, and church responsibilities along with an abiding commitment to family he also really enjoyed life. His daughter Maud often describes him as “ often buoyantly happy and a wonderful mixture of down right practical and idealistic. Though he could be a stern disciplinarian he delighted in his children and encouraged them in their pursuits.” “ He was,” Maud admitted, “ Not much of a dancer, but he danced just the same. Not much of a singer, but he sang just the same.” And Dee played and loved to watch baseball. What more needs to be said?
Despite this zest for living, Dee’s life was not free of sadness and pain. Both of his parents died reasonably young, and he out lived his three siblings including his Elizabeth who died at the age of fifteen and the loss of his oldest child and his name sake Thomas Reese Dee who died in his early twenty’s was devastating. Perhaps these sorrows these personal sorrows not only redoubled his efforts to uplift his family, but to improve Ogden as well. But his commitment to all of these concerns came to an abrupt end in July of 1905. While we do not 15
have any documentation to support it, one suspects that Tom, Annie and the children joined with other residence to observe that years July 4th celebrations according to the Ogden Standard, “ the day broke clear and fine with scarcely a cloud in the sky and early parties could be seen working their way toward the canyon or boarding the street cars for a trip to the country,” that would be the Dee- Eccles street cars you understand. Perhaps the Dees joined the largely attended celebration of Lester Park, which featured patriotic speeches and songs. If Tom picked up the Standard he would have seen and likely been offended by accounts of a meeting of radical unionist in Chicago, they had drafted a document favoring the general strike as the only means by which the working class could displace the capitalist class.
He may have seen an account in the standard reporting the Western Pacific was considering dropping making Salt Lake City the eastern terminus of the railroad they projected building from Oakland to Oroville California and then east across Nevada. Perhaps in favor of Ogden, at least the paper reported the prospect of Ogden securing the road seemed brighter. Ultimately the Feather River route that we’ve talked about today became a major project that put the Utah Construction Company on the map as builders of western railroads.
We do know that on Wednesday July 5th Dee along with H. H. Spencer and Mathew S. Browning took the latter’s car to South Fork Canyon near Huntsville to look for additional sources of water for the growing city. As historians F. Ross Peterson and Bob Parson write, “ As Ogden grew it suffered numerous epidemics of contagious disease and often people blamed the water 16
supply.” In late 1879 the city council located a small reservoir on the bench to collect water from the springs there. A year later they constructed a reservoir on 24th street to collect more spring water. Pipes conveyed these waters to businesses along Washington Boulevard. In 1881 the Ogden Water Company controlled by the city piped water from Ogden Canyon to the city. Ogden’s council bought out the water company in 1884 and then bought water rights to the streams coming from Strong and Waterfall Canyons east of the city.
The fact that Dee and his colleagues were searching for additional water sources is understandable. For Dee had been interested in the question for many years. As early as 1881 he was nominated by Mayor Lester J. Herrick as a capable person to sit on the board of the Ogden Water Company and the council concurred. In 1900 the Ogden City council again called upon him to serve with a number of prominent citizens to advise them in matter of purchasing or building water works in Ogden City. Ultimately in October of that year, Dee was part of a group headed by David Eccles that purchased the financially strapped Ogden Water Works Company for an amount that would be paid in bonds of a reorganized company and ultimately the water works would be sold by Eccles to the city in 1908.
Unfortunately Dee’s commitment to Ogden indirectly led to his untimely death. A decade later Warren L. Wattis remembered the circumstances, “ while undertaking assignment made for him, by him for the up building of Ogden,” he wrote, “ Dee slipped into a stream and contracted a sever cold. Initially Dee’s condition did not seem grave and in fact his illness was not generally know, by 17
Friday July 7th however, when it became obvious that he was to ill to attend a regularly scheduled meeting of the board of education people were concerned. And in fact Dee’s condition became the sole topic of conversation amongst the cities businessmen.” In the early morning hours of July 9th surrounded by his wife and children, his physicians Edward M. Conroy, and Dr. Chester E. Coulter and two long time business associates H. H. Rolapt and C. C. Richards, Thomas D. Dee in Warren Wattis’ words in the home he had builded with pride passed into the silent shadows of the dreamless sleep.”
Once the news of Dee’s death was made public Ogden’s citizens mourned as one. The funeral was held on July12th, using the words of Warren Wattis, “ The mourners were of all creeds and conditions. The rich and the poor, the young and the old, the learned and the unlearned, the high and the humble, all united to do him honor.” As mentioned, eulogies were given by Utah’s Governor Cutler and LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith and others. The pallbearers included several of Dee’s business associates, David Eccles, H. H. Spencer, C. W. Nibley, W. H. Wattis, and Neil Flygare.
For Eccles Dee’s death closed an important era of friendship and business success. In his taciturn way Eccles recorded the death in his day book for July 9th, simply noting, “ Judge Dee died 1: 15 a. m.” But the depths of his feelings were revealed in a death notice sent out by the First National Bank, “ In the death of Mr. Dee this community suffers and almost irreparable loss.” Dee’s unexpected death also shook the leadership of companies like the Utah Construction Company and Amalgamated Sugar. 18
A special meeting of Utah Construction’s board of director was held on August 7th 1905 at request of vice president W. H. Wattis to make an official announcement of Dee’s death and to elect a successor. Adam Patterson was unanimously elected a member of the board and David Eccles upon the motion of James Pingree was elect president and he would direct the company until his own sudden death in 1912. At the same meeting W. H. Wattis suggested that a committee be appointed to draw resolution to respect to the memory of the late Judge Dee. Composed of Eccles, Joseph Clark and Warren L. Wattis the committee drafted a resolution to be embodied as part of the meeting and transmitted to the Dee family. It said in part that the company directors deplored the untimely death of their late president and cherishes his worthy of constant emulation. His ideals of personal and business honor, his unswerving loyalty to every trust and business obligation imposed upon him as an officer. And that they recognized the splendid ability and loyalty which he brought to the affairs of Utah Construction Company as important elements in the company’s success. The resolution was signed by Warren L. Wattis and W. H. Wattis as secretary and vice president respectively. A month later a sadden board now under the direction of David Eccles met to approve the minutes and resolution of respect and to move on with company business, particularly the construction of that Feather River Route.
Similar sentiments are found in the minutes of Amalgamated Sugar. This time Joseph F. Smith announced that, “ On the ninth day of July A. D. it pleased providence to remove from our midst the honorable Thomas D. Dee.” Smith 19
noted that, “ The board had learned to appreciate and respect Judge Dee because of his many attributes and his decisive methods. He was an excellent supervisor of corporate interest because of his clear, just and impartial judgment. He was a distinctive conservative mind, building successfully where others hesitated or failed. He was a desirable associate because of his loveable and cheerful disposition. He was an esteemed citizen because of his broad mindedness and his devotion to his fellows and the interest in developing the country’s resources.” Smith went on to say that, “ Dee’s devotion to his wife and children had become proverbial among all who knew him and as a Christian his love for his neighbor was limited only by the universe.” A committee consisting of H. H. Rollap, Fred Keisel, Adam Patterson, Joseph Howell and H. H. Spencer was appointed to deliver the resolution to the family. Stockholders Mathew S. Browning and W. H. Wattis were appointed to the board of directors to replace Dee as well as his long time friend Charles W. Nibley, who had resigned his post previously. H. H. Spencer who had moved to elect Dee chair at the company’s original organizing meeting that I mentioned and recommended that he be his first vice president was selected to replace Dee himself as vice president. These appointments constituted the only items of business conducted at the meeting.
Thomas D. Dee’s tragic and untimely death did not forever end his impact on the Ogden community. In the years since his family has expanded on his commitment through a wide range of civic and philanthropic activities. Here in the Stewart Library we are particularly proud of our Thomas Dee reading room which is behind you. The Dee Events center, the site of sports, cultural and civic 20
activities, is prominent and popular. Perhaps the best known however is the hospital that bears the family name. Since its founding in 1911 this hospital has served the health needs of the local community, responded to new medical realities and provided employment to Ogden citizens. While we do not have sufficient time today to examine the many ways the decedents of Thomas D. Dee have acted in this communities best interest, it is abundantly clear that they too have been founders, builder and public servants. Thank you.
© 2007 WSU Stewart Library, All rights reserved.
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