Biography of Col. Thomas G. Webber
Utah Biographies





COL. THOMAS G. WEBBER
Colonel Thomas G. Webber has been for nearly forty years one of the most progressive and busiest of men in Utah. He has led an active business life and, as director and general manager of the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, and many other important interests in and about Salt Lake City, he has done much towards the upbuilding of Utah.

Colonel Webber was born in Exeter, England, September, 1836, of an old Devonshire family living for centuries in the vicinity of that ancient town. His parents were Thomas Bray Webber and Charlotte B. Webber. His father was a scientific man, a civil engineer and government superintendent of the telegraph lines in Devon and Cornwall, and the son followed the father's profession, and was trained in that line, being placed in an engineer's office shortly after the death of his mother when he was sixteen years of age. While studying his profession the opportunities of the new world appealed to him and he made up his mind to go to the United States. Therefore, in 1855, he sailed for America and shortly after he arrived he opened an engineer's and surveyor's office. In 1857, when the Government troops, under General Albert Sydney Johnston, were ordered to Utah, Colonel Webber, then a youth of twenty, entered the United States army. He served in Arizona and California until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he went by way of Panama with a portion of his regiment, marching to Fortress Monroe, and, under McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade, he participated in the Peninsular and other campaigns, including the battles of Yorktown, Williamsport, Gaines Mill, White Oak Swamp, Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Williamsport, and saw plenty of active service. He remained with the army until the fall of 1863, passing through the various grades and becoming commissary quartermaster and adjutant of his regiment.

Colonel Webber first came to Salt Lake City in 1864, by stage coach from Atchison. Kansas. On May 25, 1867, he was married to Miss Mary E. Richards, a daughter of Franklin D. Richards, who was a patriot and a brigadier general in the Utah Militia. Colonel Webber afterwards became a lieutenant colonel of artillery, and later adjutant of the Second Brigade and a member of General Richards' staff.

In 1864 he became, with T. B. H. Stenhouse, one of the founders of "The Salt Lake Daily Telegraph." the first issue of which appeared on the Fourth of July, of that year. Mr. Webber was business manager and remained with the paper until its removal to Ogden in 1869, when he left to accept a position with Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution. He was destined for early promotion, and in October, 1871, he was chosen secretary, and shortly after, treasurer of the Z. C. M. I. In 1876 Colonel Webber went abroad on a religious mission, and toured England France, and Italy, returning to America in 1878 to assist in the settlement of the late Brigham Young's estate. he again took up the position of secretary and treasurer of the Z. C. M. I., was afterwards elected manager, and has been actively identified with its interest up to the present time.

Colonel Webber is president of the Zion's Benefit Building Society, director in the Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, Home Fire Insurance Company, Postal Telegraph Company. and Utah Light and Railway Company. He was councilman from the Second Municipal Ward for two years, and alderman for four years. He was president of the Salt Lake and Ogden Gas and Electric Light Company from 1896 to 1898. and of the Salt Lake Public Library from 1897 to 1904; vice president of the Utah Light and Power Company from 1898 to 1903, and a director of the Utah Sugar Company from 1899 to 1902.

Colonel Webber is the father of six children. William T. F., Shirley T. B., Charlotte B. R., Georgiana M. B., Ethelyn E. L. F., and Mildred R. Webber. He is a member of the Alta and Commercial clubs, and resides at 131 Second Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah. Colonel Webber is public spirited, liberal and charitable, and a man of sterling qualities and kindly disposition, and a credit to any 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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