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Chester Loveland

From Brigham City History Project

Chester Loveland
1st Mayor of Brigham City
In office
January 1867 – February 22, 1875
Personal details
Born December 30 1817
Ohio
Died April 5, 1886(1886-04-05) (aged 68)
Call's Fort



Born in Madison, Ohio, on December 20, 1817, Loveland joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1838 and had experiences typical of many early church members and of several Brigham City mayors who succeeded him. In Carthage, Illinois, a mob burned his home and household goods. Another time someone tried to shoot Chester, but the bullet only grazed his face. He was an easy target as he was six feet two inches tall and weighed 240 pounds. He entered the principle of plural marriage practiced in the Church in the 19th century, marrying six wives who bore him a total of 30 children. The Loveland family came to Utah with the Warren Foote Company in 1850, burying a son on the journey.[1] They settled in Bountiful. To support his family, Chester traveled to an area near the Weber River to burn wood for charcoal. He sold the charcoal to blacksmiths in Salt Lake City.

In 1853, Chester was appointed Lieutenant Colonel by Brigham Young and asked to organize a military regiment in the northern part of the territory. On an exploration to Walker Lake, Chester and his family ran out of water. The situation was so dire their swollen tongues were hanging out of their mouths. Some Indians came to their aid with water, and they were rewarded with clothes.

Chester and his family moved to the Brigham City area in 1860 where he established a farm and also ran a hotel for transient miners and emigrants. Chester Loveland became Brigham City's first mayor in January 1867 after the Utah Legislature approved the city's incorporation and authorized a municipal election. Chester Loveland began his term of office as Brigham City Mayor just two years after Lorenzo Snow organized the Brigham City Cooperative. Local residents were also engaged in railroad building during his administration. He was Mayor when the transcontinental railroad was completed at Promontory Summit in 1869 and when the Utah Northern and Utah Central railroads were joined at Ogden in 1874. As the town's first mayor, Loveland had the responsibility of establishing local laws and ordinances.

An unnamed descendant described Chester Loveland, stating that: “He was six feet two inches high, weighed 240 pounds, had blue eyes, a high forehead and brown curly hair. When in his military suit and mounted on his high horse, he was the admiration of all. He was a stranger to fear, and he never shunned positions of danger when duty called to rescue either friend or foe. He acquired considerable wealth during his life.” [2]

He died on March 5, 1886.

Notes

  1. In Mayors of Brigham City, he is listed as coming with the Willie Handcart Company (in 1850). This was not the case, as the Willie Handcart Company did not come to Utah until 1856. Further, Loveland is not recorded as being a part of that company, but is recorded (with his family) in the Warren Foote Company. Loveland himself is recorded as being a member of three other companies over the years, including two he lead himself. See the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database.
  2. “Chester Loveland Life Sketch.” Biographical Files, Brigham City Museum. Note that this sketch contains some incorrect information. A more accurate source of information is this Life History of Chester and Fanny Call Loveland.