Biography of David Eccles
Utah Biographies





DAVID ECCLES
David Eccles, one of the most prominent, progressive and best known citizens of the entire inter-mountain region, was born at Paisley, Rentfrashire, Scotland, on the 12th day of May, 1849, the same year that gold was first discovered in California. He is the son of William Eccles, who was a wood turner by trade, and of Sarah Hutchinson Eccles.

Mr. Eccles received a common school education in Scotland; and in the spring of 1863, when fourteen years old, emigrated with his parents, brothers and sisters to America, arriving at Ogden City, Utah, in October of the same year. Mr. Pecks first made his home in that city, but soon moved to Ogden Valley, and became the sole support of his father's family, working for wages in the timber and on the farms.

In 1867 Mr. David Eccles decided to go farther West and went into Oregon. After looking around for a location, he finally settled at Oregon City, and thereupon went to work for a couple of years in the adjacent forests of Oregon and Washington. In 1869 Mr. Eccles returned to Ogden Valley, resumed his work in the timber, until in 1873, by thrift and economy he had saved enough money to be able to invest in a sawmill. He thereupon entered into partnership with Messrs. Gibson and Van Noy, who in 1874, under the firm name of Gibson, Eccles & Van Noy opened a lumber yard upon the present site of the greet lumber business now owned by Mr. Pecks in Odgen City. This firm continued in existence until 1880, after which Mr. Eccles continued the business alone until 1889. when he organized the present Eccles Lumber Company.

In the meantime, however, Mr. Eccles had not lost sight of the very promising lumber prospects of the State of Oregon. He felt satisfied that the forests of that State and of the State of Washington presented excellent opportunities for profitable investments; and, acting upon that idea. Mr. Eccles again went to Oregon in 1886. and there began the many lumber and other interests he now owns in the State. Among other things, Mr. Eccles built two railroads in the State of Oregon; one (the Sumpter Valley Railroad) running from Baker City into the John Day country, and the other (the Mount Hood Railroad) running from Hood River City toward Mount Hood.

Mr. Eccles' interests in the West are so many and so varied that it is perfectly safe to assert that no other man in Utah is engaged in so many important and successful business enterprises as he is. Mr. Eccles is president of several banks, prominent among which are the First National Bank of Ogden and the Ogden Savings Bank, besides being heavily interested in many other banks throughout the State. He is also president or principal director of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, the Lewiston Sugar Company, the Ogden Rapid Transit Company. the Sumpter Valley Railroad Company, the Eccles Lumber Company, the Oregon Lumber Company, the U. O. Valley Company, the Mount Hood Railroad Company, and man other smaller industrial and mercantile institutions. Lately Mr. Eccles and his associates purchased the Sparks-Harrell ranches in Nevada and Idaho, at a cost of about a million dollars, and organized the same under the name of Vineyard Land and Stock Company, of which corporation Mr. Eccles is president and principal stockholder. Mr. Eccles is also president of that gigantic and well known railroad constructing corporation, the Utah Construction Company, which is now building a railroad for the Western Pacific from Utah to California, constituting the largest railroad contract ever let to any one company west of Chicago; and this immense undertaking was largely made possible by Mr. Eccles' financial standing and personal integrity, which was and is so well known in railroad circles both East and West.

On December 27th, 1875, Mr. Eccles married Miss Bertha N. Jensen, a native of Denmark, and he is now the father of a large family of boys and girls. Despite Mr. Pecks' many interests, he has nevertheless found time to serve the community in which he has resided. From 1885 to 1887 he served as alderman, and from 188f to 1889 he was mayor of Ogden City, and it was because of his push and enterprise that the present City Hall was built during his administration.

Though Mr. Eccles is accounted among the wealthiest men in the State of Utah, he is quite unassuming and easy to approach. He is a man with a generous and kind disposition; one who bears malice toward none, and his charities are many and unostentatious. Indeed, he is in every respect a model citizen, a splendid business director, and a man of great value to the community.

From:
Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States
1847 - 1909
Utah Idaho Nevada
Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah 1909


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