The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY, a city, capital of Utah territory and of Salt Lake co., situated at the W. base of a spur of the Wahsatch mountains, 4,320 ft. above the level of the sea, about 12 m. from the S. E. extremity of the Great Salt lake, 2 m. E. of the river Jordan, and 600 m. E. by N. of San Francisco; lat. 40° 46' K, lon. 112° 6' W.; pop. in 1860, 8,236; in 1870, 12,854, of whom 5,250 were foreigners; in 1875, about 20,000, of whom about one third are gentiles and apostate Mormons. It is connected with the Union and Central Pacific railroads at Ogden, 37 m. N., by the Utah Central railroad. The Utah Southern railroad is completed to York, 78 m. S., and the Utah Western 25 m. W. Camp Douglas, a United States military post, is about 3 m. distant. Great care was displayed in selecting the site and in laying out the city. The streets are 128 ft. wide, and cross each other at right angles. There are 260 blocks, each one eighth of a mile square and containing 10 acres. Each block is divided into 8 lots, 10 by 20 rods, and containing 1¼ acre. Several of the blocks have been cut by cross streets laid out since the founding of the city. Shade trees and ditches filled with running water, brought from City creek for the purpose of irrigation, line both sides of every street, while almost every lot has an orchard of pear, apricot, plum, peach, and apple trees. The city is divided into 20 wards, nearly every one of which has a public square. The dwellings and business structures are built principally of adobe. The former are generally small and of one story, with separate entrances where the proprietor has a plurality of wives. Among the public buildings are the city hall, costing $70,000, used as the territorial capitol; the tabernacle, capable of seating about 15,000 persons, covered by a self-supporting roof; and the Mormon temple, in course of construction, estimated to cost $10,000,000. The theatre is very large. The government is vested in a mayor and common council, but they are really controlled by the president of the Mormon church. Recently 5 m. of street railroad have been built and gas works have been put in operation. The laying of about 5 m. of water pipes is in progress (1875). The city contains two national banks, a savings institution, and three private banks. There are no public schools, but many good private ones. The principal institutions of learning are the university of Deseret (Mormon), St. Mark's school (Episcopal), a Roman Catholic nunnery, and the Methodist and Presbyterian schools. There is a public library, under the auspices of the ladies of the city. Three daily (two Mormon and one gentile) and five weekly (two Scandinavian) newspapers and two monthly periodicals (devoted to religion and education) are published. A miners' hospital is supported mainly by the mining camp near the city. There are about 30 churches, of which all but 6 are Mormon. Salt Lake City was settled in 1847 by the Mormons, under the lead of Brigham Young.