George Washington Thatcher

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About George Washington Thatcher

Biographical Summary:

"...George Washington Thatcher was born in 1840 in Springfield, Ill., and moved to Utah with his family amid the initial wave of Mormon pioneers in 1847. He began to acquire business savvy at an early age working for his father as a hotel keeper, rancher and merchant during the California Gold Rush. After returning to Utah in 1857, G.W. Thatcher was first employed as an Indian agent and then a Pony Express rider.

In 1861, G.W. Thatcher’s financial fortunes became tied those of Brigham Young, who was then the territorial governor of Utah and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when he married Eunice Caroline Young, the third daughter of the LDS prophet and his second wife, Mary Ann Angell Young. As a result of that union, G.W. Thatcher managed the Young family’s properties and business enterprises in the Salt Lake area until 1867, then supervised construction projects for the Union Pacific and Utah & Northern railroad companies for five years.

After serving a one-year mission for the LDS Church in Great Britain, Thatcher formed a partnership with John W. Young and H.P. Kimball to construct the Utah Western Railroad in 1874. That same year, G.W. Thatcher was elected to a two-year term on the Salt Lake City Council. The Thatcher family moved to Logan in 1876, where its patriarch proceeded to found a small business empire. He served as superintendent of the Utah & Northern Railroad Company until 1882. G.W. Thatcher was also named a trustee of the Brigham Young College, which was then located on 100 South at the present site of Logan High School. In 1883, he partnered with Moses Thatcher, H.E. Hatch, W.D. Hendricks, S.T. Josselyn and W.A. Rossiter to establish Logan’s first banking enterprise, the Thatcher Brothers & Banking Company. G.W. Thatcher would serve as president of that financial institution until 1902. Other Thatcher family holdings in Cache Valley included the Thatcher Milling and Elevator Company; the ruins of that business can still be seen at 68 West 100 South in Logan. By 1890, the Thatcher banking business was successful enough to construct a three-story headquarters at Center and Main streets. Until its destruction by fire in 1912, that structure housed the Thatcher Brothers Bank on its lower level and the nationally renowned Thatcher Opera House on its upper floors.

In the 1890s, G.W. Thatcher became heavily involved in Cache Valley politics. He was elected mayor of Logan in 1894; served on the Utah Statehood Commission from 1893 to 1896; and was active in the local Democratic Party until his death in 1902..."

SOURCE: Charlie Schill; "In the Heart of the City"; Cache Valley Magazine; February 16, 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.cachevalleymagazine.com/?p=378

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George Washington Thatcher's Timeline

1840
February 1, 1840
Springfield, Sangamon, IL
1861
April 4, 1861
Age 21
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
April 4, 1861
Age 21
April 4, 1861
Age 21
1864
1864
Age 23
1867
March 1867
Age 27
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
1902
December 23, 1902
Age 62
Logan, Cache, UT
December 1902
Age 62
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