WSU’s Stewart Library Celebrates Legacy of Local Company

OGDEN, Utah –The public is invited to a white-glove event hosted by Weber State

University’s Stewart Library to mark the arrival of a large historical donation, adding to the Utah Construction/Utah International Collection. The new donation makes the collection one of the largest in the United States.

Signing of the Hoover Dam contract,1930
On Oct. 20 beginning at 2 p.m., guests are invited to experience history, hands on, by donning a pair of archival gloves and getting up close and personal with historically significant items. They can also view two new photograph exhibits and tour the new collection storage space.

The Utah Construction Company, founded in Ogden in 1900 by Thomas D. Dee, David Eccles, and brothers Edmund, William and Warren Wattis, got their start constructing railroad lines, then expanded to build 58 dams between 1916 and 1969, including the Hoover Dam, the Pineview Dam and the Grand Coulee Dam. The company later developed mining operations around the world.

In 1999, Ed Littlefield, former president of the company, spearheaded efforts to donate the Utah Construction/Utah International Collection to the library. Another 1,200 boxes of records were donated in the summer of 2011 to supplement the collection.

“This company had such a remarkable history,” said Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections. “We’re so glad to have this collection and to have opportunities like this event to share that history with the community and with the descendents of the company founders.”

Two photograph exhibits, celebrating the history of the company, will be open to the public through December. “Dee, Eccles, and Wattis: The Ogden Experience” explores the influence of the founding families on the Ogden Community. “One Dam Thing After Another: Water, Dams and Utah Construction Company” focuses on the company’s contribution to regional dam building, and is part of WSU’s Water Works series.

 Hoover Dam construction

“When you look at the early history of Ogden, again and again these families are some of the key players,” Langsdon said. “While they were busy with construction projects around the country, they were also involved with other local businesses and serving in the community.”

Visit for more information about the Utah Construction/Utah International Collection, for more information about the Water Works series, and for more news about Weber State University.

Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections
801-626-6337 •
Kelsy Peterson, University Communications
801-626-7295 •