Saturday, December 29, 2012

David Eccles 1849 - 1912

Emma Bachman (Scholl): One of their neighbors was the Eccles family and a son, David, who was worth thirty millions at the time of his death, was a frequent visitor at their house. He and father often walked over the mountains to Ogden and carried home some flour and molasses on their backs. Father managed to get a stove before Eccles'sdid and they came over and baked their bread on it.

In June 1912 I spent my vacation at Newport Beach at the home of Robert and Sarah Eccles Baird. He was a Chiropractor. She was our neighbor in Eden before I was born, I think. Her brother David Eccles,
owner of Oregon Lumber Company, where Will Ingles worked, died in
Utah and left estate, etc, valued at thirty millions. Royal and Bertha Eccles went to Ogden High School when I was there. Hyrum
Baird was home and he and I spent a lot of time on the beach. It
was a beautiful beach with many shells. It was also surrounded
on one side by hills, which added to the beauty of the scenery.
Hyrum had been married and was divorced.

2014 David Eccles Homebuilder from Kent on Vimeo.

David Eccles was born in PaisleyScotland to William and Sarah Hutchinson Eccles. In 1863 his family moved from Glasgow to the United States of America, eventually settling in Ogden Valley located in easternWeber County, Utah. The move was made because of their joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their desire to be near the body of the church. He lived in both Eden and LibertyUtah.
After struggling to make a living, the family moved to Oregon City, Oregon. There they worked in a new mill. He worked for the mill for a year, then for a lumber corporation, and the Oregon and California Railroad. The family moved back to Ogden, Utah in 1869 after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad hoping it would bring them work.
In the Ogden area, he worked cutting wood and building homes. He worked as a freighter and for theUnion Pacific coal mines. He also worked at a sawmill at Monte Cristo east of Ogden.
In 1874 he attended Louis Moench's school in Ogden. It was there he met Bertha Marie Jensen and married her in 1875. They had 12 children from this marriage.
While he had been working, he saved up a considerable amount of money and put it to other uses. He started the Eccles Lumber Company and several other enterprises. Through supplying ties for railroads, he knew the local circumstances of where the railroads were building and the opportunities available. He opened lumber mills, shingle mills, planing mills, an electric plant, and other entities. He followed the railroads and opened mills in other locations in Oregon and Washington states. He and his associates built the Sumpter Valley and Mount Hood railroads. It was through these and other railroads that Eccles shipped the lumber and other goods to Utah.
Eccles met Ellen Stoddard, the daughter of his partner, John Stoddard. Under the practice of polygamyat the time, David married Ellen, and they made their home in Logan, Utah where he built a lavish yellow brick mansion for his new bride using lumber imported from his corporation in Oregon. (The home is on West Center Street.) Marriner Stoddard Eccles is a son of this marriage.
Eccles was a hard worker. He reported himself to have traveled over 44,000 miles (71,000 km) in 1904. While friends encouraged him to slow down, he preferred to "die in the harness." One of his hallmarks was integrity and self-reliance. His companies prospered on his no debt plan, and view of achieving success rather than money.
David always put his children to work early in life. They worked along with the crews on the railroads, mills, and lumber yards. They were taught as many aspects of the businesses as they were willing to learn. Several went and served missions for the LDS Church. One son graduated fromUniversity of Michigan Law School, another from Columbia University, others from Brigham Young CollegeUtah State University, and the University of Utah.
With the estimated 4-7 million dollars he made, mostly from his Oregon enterprises, he invested heavily in Utah. He purchased stock in banks, canneries, insurance companies, railroads, factories, mills, mines, and various other companies. The Utah Construction Company built over 700 miles (1,100 km) of track for the Western Pacific Railroad and led the Six Companies in constructing the Hoover Dam. David Eccles served as the second president of Utah Construction Company after the death of long-term associate Thomas Dee. He also served as founder of a number of companies, one of which was the Amalgamated Sugar Company.
Eccles served on the Ogden City Council and as their mayor from 1888-1890. He was known for his aid to the LDS Church for lending large amounts of money to the church at no interest. At the time of his death, he was the president of 16 industrial corporations and 7 banks. He also was serving as a director in 24 other banks and industries. He is Utah's first multimillionaire.[1]
He died of a heart attack in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 6, 1912 at the age of 63.
There are a host of businesses named after Eccles and his descendants. The David Eccles School of Business is at the University of Utah. The David Eccles Conference Center is in downtown Ogden, Utah.
Oregon Lumber Company: 

THE TIMBERMAN – September 1933

Pioneer Eastern Oregon Lumber Firm

David Eccles Cuts Ties for Oregon Short Line in 1887 and Founds Oregon Lumber  Co. in 1889

In 1868 the late David Eccles made a trip by wagon into the Oregon Country, travelling as far west as Oregon City. During the two years he was in this territory he had a very excellent opportunity to look over many fine tracts of timber, both pine in the Inland Empire and Douglas fir in the coastal region. He returned to Utah determined to install a lumber manufacturing operation in Oregon whenever the railroad necessary to the marketing of his product was built through the country. After his return to Ogden he started a milling operation at Schofield, Utah.

In 1887 when the plans were definitely made to construct the Oregon Short Line Railroad as a connecting link between the Union Pacific and the lines of the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co., Mr. Eccles returned to Oregon and installed two small tie mills, one at North Powder, 20 miles west of Baker, the other at Pleasant Valley, 13 miles east of Baker, and manufactured the ties necessary for construction of the Oregon Short Line railroad.

Two years later, in 1889, he discontinued the small operations and constructed the first sawmill located at Barker, Oregon, at the same time incorporating the company under the name of The Oregon Lumber Co. This was among the few pine mills in this country.

Prior to the incorporation of Oregon Lumber Co. Mr. Eccles had secured the timber holdings which today are still supplying logs for the pine operations of the company.  Available timber land was unlimited at the time and Mr. Eccles sound judgment in securing the Middle Fork of the John Day River tract has been amply proven to be, more than 40 years of continuous operation.

In 1891 Mr. Eccles decided to expand his operation to include the manufacture of Douglas fir as well as ponderosa pine, or Oregon white pine as it was called at that time, and located at shipping point at Viento, Oregon. The lumber shipped from that point was milled at Chenowith, Washington, and flumed to the Columbia River, from where it was transported by barges to the Viento shipping point on the Oregon side of the river. This rather complicated system wasnecessary because there was no railroad on the Washington side of the river at that time.

In 1903 Mr. Eccles purchased the Lost Lake Lumber Co. with operations at Hood River, Oregon, and in the same year purchased timber and started a mill operation at lngles, Oregon, on the lower Columbia River, as part of the Lost Lake Lumber Co. In 1905 Lost Lake Lumber Co. was merged with Oregon Lumber Co. with operations at the several points mentioned above.

Oregon Lumber Co. had large holdings of Douglas fir timber located around the base of Mount Hood, and in 1906 built a mill at Dee, Oregon, discontinuing the operations at Hood River and Chenowith - Viento. This mill was originally constructed for the production of ties and timber, and it was with this type of business in mind that the timber was selected. In 1913 the mill at Dee was destroyed by fire and a modern mill for production of all types of lumber was built in its place.

At the present time Oregon Lumber Co. has an annual capacity of better than 150,000,000 feet of "Mt. Hood" Douglas fir and hemlock, and "John Day" ponderosa pine. The company has operated continuously since its inception, and has been through all those years controlled by the estate of the original founder.

At the present time Oregon Lumber Co. has approximately 3,000,000,000 feet of timber tributary to its operations, and is, according to the classification of the forestry department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a perpetual operation, meaning that the natural growth of the forest tributary to its operations is sufficient to replace the timber cut and manufactured into lumber.

The quality of the pine timber located along the middle fork of John Day River is known all over the country, and is the principal reason for the splendid quality and texture of "John Day" ponderosa pine. This timber grows at an altitude of from 4000 to 5000 feet, under ideal soil and climatic conditions.

Timber on the base of Mount Hood is a slow growth type of Douglas fir, developing an excellent quality of dimension and structural lumber having a greater number of annual rings to the inch than the general run of Douglas fir .

James N. Canse became associated with the company in 1890, one year after its incorporation, starting to work in the general office, located at that time at Ogden, Utah. From 1890 to the present Mr. Canse has been continuously employed by Oregon Lumber Co., and in the 43 years has capably and loyally represented the company.  He has occupied positions of various capacities and responsibilities and at present is district sales manager, in charge of the Portland office.  Mr. Canse is known and highly regarded by the trade throughout the United States.

1910 March 31 Box Elder News: