Rio Grande in Salt Lake City in Salt Lake County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Pioneer Telegraph Office
At this location on October 18 1861 stood the telegraph pole, shown on above plaque, on which telegraph wires were joined which spanned a continent and united two oceans.
On that date the first two telegrams transmitted were as follows: Great Salt Lake City, U.T. Oct. 18, 1861 “Hon. J. H. Wade, President of the Pacific Telegraph Company Cleveland, Ohio:
“Sir: Permit me to congratulate you upon the completion of the overland telegraph line west to this city, to commend the energy displayed by yourself and associates in the rapid and successful prosecution of a work so beneficial, and to express the wish that its use may ever tend to promote the true interests of the dwellers upon both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes on the continent.
“Utah has not seceeded, but is firm for the constitution and laws of our once happy country, and is warmly interested in such useful enterprises as the one so far completed. Brigham Young.”
The reply was as follows: Cleveland Oct. 19, 1861 “Hon. Brigham Young, President Great Salt Lake City: Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your message of
“With just consideration for your high position and due respect for you personally. I am your obedient servant, J. H. Wade, Pres. Pacific Telegraph Company”
GSL City, Oct 18, 1861 ”To the President of the United States: Utah, whose citizens strenuously resist all imputations of disloyalty, congratulates the president upon the completion of an enterprise which spans the continent, unites two oceans, and connects with nerve of iron, the remote extremities of the body politic with the great government heart. May the whole system speedily thrill with the quickened pulsations of that heart, as the parricide hand is palsied, treason is banished, and the entire sisterhood of states join hands in glad reunion around the national fireside. Frank Fuller Acting Governor of the Utah Territory.”
Washington D. C., Oct. 20, ’61 “Hon. Frank Fuller, Acting Governor of Utah Sir: The completion of the telegraph to Great Salt Lake City is auspicious of the stability and union of the republic, the government reciprocates your congratulations. Abraham Lincoln.”
Erected 1955 by Sons of Utah Pioneers Memorial Foundation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Notable Events. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 18, 1861.
Location. 40° 46.055′ N, 111° 53.455′ W. Marker is in Salt Lake City, Utah, in Salt Lake County. It is in Rio Grande. Marker is on Main Street north of 100 South, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 79 S Main St, Salt Lake City UT 84111, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Security Branch of Wells Fargo (a few steps from this marker); McIntyre Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Eagle Emporium Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Clock (within shouting distance of this marker); City Creek (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Salt Lake Tribune (about 600 feet away); The Pony Express (about 600 feet away); Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salt Lake City.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for First Transcontinental Telegraph.
The first transcontinental telegraph (completed October 24, 1861) was a line that connected the existing telegraph network in the eastern United States to a small network in California, by means of a link between Omaha, Nebraska and Carson City, Nevada, via Salt Lake City. It was a milestone in electrical engineering and in the formation of the United States of America. It served as the only method of near-instantaneous communication between the east and west coasts during the 1860s.(Submitted on October 2, 2021.)
2. Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line. This Day in History entry on History.com. Excerpt:
The push to create a transcontinental telegraph line had begun only a little more than year before when Congress authorized a subsidy of $40,000 a year to any company building a telegraph line that would join the eastern and western networks. The Western Union Telegraph Company, as its name suggests, took up the challenge, and the company immediately began work on the critical link that would span the territory between the western edge of Missouri and Salt Lake City.(Submitted on October 2, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 16, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,865 times since then and 713 times this year. Last updated on August 30, 2010, by Bryan R. Bauer of Kearns, Ut 84118. It was the Marker of the Week October 10, 2021. Photos: 1. submitted on October 2, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 27, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 6, 7. submitted on October 2, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.