Editor's note: With the election season winding down and a new president about to take office, the Deseret News has decided to review the presidents who have visited Utah and explain what they did while they were on their trip through the Beehive State.
Rutherford B. Hayes was one of the last presidents to visit the Utah Territory before it became a state.
On Sept. 5, 1880, the 19th president visited Ogden and Salt Lake City. He, along with Gen. William T. Sherman, met with President John Taylor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to KSL. He also visited Fort Douglas during his stay. Hayes’ trip began in early September, as he made his way across the country by way of the transcontinental railroad. He stopped in Wyoming before arriving in Utah.
Hayes gave two speeches while he was in town, one in Salt Lake City and one in Ogden, according to the Presidential Library and Museums.
His speech in Salt Lake City took place at the Walker house.
“Fellow citizens of Salt Lake: Under other circumstances, and upon another day, meeting you as I meet you now, I would be very glad, in somewhat extended remarks, to give expression to the sentiments which I am sure all strangers feel when they come into this wonderful city of Salt Lake," he said. "But as it is, considering the occasion and the day, you will excuse me. I am sure, if I content myself simply by saying that for this welcome and reception I heartily thank you.”
He said something similar while speaking at the train station in Ogden.
“FELLOW CITIZENS — I should be glad if the circumstances were such that I could make your acquaintance more thoroughly and favorably than I am now permitted to do. The character of our journey, by special train, necessarily a flying one, the occasion and the day (Sunday) all admonish me to be silent rather than to make a speech; I thank you for your very hearty and kind reception and welcome,” he said.
After visiting Utah, Hayes visited Nevada, California and Oregon.
NEXT: Theodore Roosevelt, 1903
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.