Deseret Telegraph Company

Order to Begin Construction


Publication: The Deseret News

Salt Lake City, Territory of Utah, United States
vol. XV, no. 5, p. 637 (5), col. 1


The following circular from President Brigham Young to the Bishops and Presiding Elders of the various Wards and Settlements of Utah Territory, from St. Charles, Richland County, in the North, to St. George, Washington County, in the South, needs no comments, the subject to which it refers being admittedly one of great interest to all in the Territory:


The proper time has arrived for us to take the necessary steps to build the Telegraph Line to run North and South through the Territory, according to the plan which has been proposed. The necessity for the speedy construction of this Work is pressing itself upon our attention, and scarcely a week passes that we do not feel the want of such a Line. Occurrences frequently happen in distant Settlements which require to be known immediately in other parts of the Territory; and, in many instances, public and private interests suffer through not being able to transmit such news by any quicker channel than the ordinary Mails. We are rapidly spreading abroad, and our Settlements extend to a great distance on every hand. We now require to be united by bonds which will bring us into more speedy and close communication with one another; the centre should be in a position to communicate at any moment with the extremities, however remote; and the extremities be able, with ease and speed, to make their wants and circumstances known to the centre. Instead of depending altogether upon the tardy operation of the Mails for the transmission of Information, we should bring into requisition every improvement which our age affords, to facilitate our intercourse and to render our communication more easy. These requirements the Telegraph will supply, and it is well adapted to our position and the progress of the age in which we live.

This Fall and Winter will be a very suitable time to haul and set the poles along the entire line to carry the wire; and we wish you to take the proper stops immediately in your several Wards and Settlements to have this part of the labor efficiently and entirely accomplished, so that we may be able to stretch the Wire as soon as it can be imported and put up next season. From Settlement to Settlement let the men of judgment select and mark the route for the Line to run, so as to have it as straight as possible and yet convenient to the road. The poles should be 22 feet long; 8 inches at the but and 5 inches at the top; and, to be durable, they should be stripped of their bark; and they should be set 70 yards apart and be put 4 feet in the ground.

The collecting of the means needed for the purchase of Wire has been deferred until the present time, through the representations of many of the Bishops to the effect that after harvest the people would be in a better position to advance the money. The grain is now harvested, and the time suggested as being the most convenient for the collecting of this means has arrived. We with each one of you to take immediate measures throughout your various Wards to collect the necessary means to purchase your share of the Wire, and it should all be paid in by the First of February, 1866, as by that time it will be needed to send East.

Wherever there is a Telegraphic Station established along the Line there will be one or two operators needed, and every Settlement, that wishes to have such a Station, should select one or two of its most suitable young men and send them to this city this Winter, with sufficient means, to go to School to learn the art of Telegraphy. There will be a School kept here al the time for this purpose. And every Settlement which expects to have a Station should also make its calculations for purchasing an Instrument for operating with, and the acids and all the materials necessary for an Office.

The wire, insulators, &c., will probably weigh fifty-five tons, or upwards, and to bring these articles from the frontiers, teams will have to be sent down from each Settlement this Spring with the teams which we send down for the poor.


Keywords:Deseret Telegraph Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Glenn Drummond
Date completed:January 23, 2010 by: Glenn Drummond;