Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Letter: Railroad tycoon’s money had much to do with ‘magnificent’ Utah Capitol
First Published Apr 10 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Apr 10 2014 10:40 am

I read with interest the center front page Tribune article on April 5 ("Ceremony marks 100th anniversary of Utah Capitol cornerstone," Tribune, April 4) in which the sitting and a former Utah governor "praise a small state for building a magnificent structure."

When elected officials engage in curious historical theater, it appears that any praise of the absent and deceased is expected to redound to present company.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The magnificence of the Utah State Capitol may have had something to do with courage. However, on March 1, 1901, Utah received a check for $798,546.85 from the estate of E.H. Harriman, the Union Pacific railroad tycoon. Mr. Harriman lived in New York, but managed to declare his estate taxes in Utah — avoiding higher taxes back home.

According to Utah’s own website: "This payment formed the basis for building a capitol building." Without the extra cash, one can only suspect the Utah Legislature would have settled for something less than magnificent.

The small state’s "courage" appears to have been stiffened by this timely but rather random windfall.

McKay Edwards

Salt Lake City

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.