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Utah Construction Company/ Utah International

Identifier: MS-100

Scope and Contents

Manuscript Collection 100 (MS 100) comprises 275 boxes of records chronicling the activities of Utah Construction Company/ Utah International. From these files comes a history of worldwide construction and mining activities undertaken by the company for nearly a century. Records of the Administrative Departments: Meeting announcements, minutes, agendas, and financial files pertaining to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The collection also includes organizational charts, financial data, annual reports, daybooks, journals, ledgers, legal documents and company histories. Records of the personnel department are included and contain memos, printed files, directories, house magazines, and brochures. Records of the Construction Division: Project files of the construction division including domestic heavy construction such as railroads, dams, bridges, and military facilities; industrial and residential construction, and overseas construction. Included are the reports and photographs from Utah subsidiaries such as Compania Utah South America, Utah Peru Inc., Utah Australia Ltd., Utah Development Company, and Utah Africa Construction Ltd. Dredging Operations along with scrapbooks of various projects are also present. The records of the Business Development Office and the Construction Controller are also contained in this section. Records of the Mining Division: Project files of mining operations and support activities. Included in the records are files on Cedar City Mines, Navajo Mine and Lucky Mc Uranium Mine. Records of the exploration department, technical services, and controller’s office are also housed in this section. Records of subsidiaries and affiliated companies such as Utah Company of the Americas and Argonaut Mining Co., Marcona Mining Co., Utah Mines Ltd., Utah Development Company and Utah Mining Australia Ltd. round out the collection. Records of Land Development Division: Project files of the commercial and urban land development undertaken by the company from 1950-1970. Elderly housing, apartment projects, industrial and rural land, and The San Francisco Bay Area are all documented by this division. Records of Historical Collections: Included in this section are various items that were classified as company memorabilia or items of historical interest. Company profiles, biographical files for company personnel, newspaper clipping files, archives materials, reel-to-reel films and videotapes of Utah Construction, microfilm, and audiotapes are all documented in this section.


  • Creation: 1900 - 1976

Biographical / Historical

Utah Construction Company was incorporated in Ogden on January 8, 1900, with Thomas D. Dee as president. Other major stockholders included E.O. Wattis, Warren L. Wattis, William H. Wattis, Marie D. Wattis, and David Eccles. The principal business of the company in its early years was railroad construction. Most of the work involved improving lines which radiated from the Ogden area. In 1905, Utah Construction secured the contract for the 942-mile Western Pacific Railroad from California to Utah. The company’s first contract outside the United States was for a 110-mile railway constructed in Mexico in 1923. From 1916 to 1969, Utah Construction Company built 58 dams. Most were in the Western United States providing hydroelectric power and irrigation for farming in that region. In 1931, Utah joined Six Companies Inc. to raise the surety required to bid for the Boulder (Hoover) Dam contract. One of the world’s largest dams, Hoover Dam was completed in 1936 at a cost of $49 million. When the demand for railway construction tapered off, Utah Construction Company turned its interests to mining. In 1944, it acquired its first mine, Iron Ore Springs, in Utah. The growth of the company’s mining business was rapid and in 1959 the company changed its name to Utah Construction and Mining Company. Among the major mining operations were Lucky Mc Mine, the second largest uranium mine in the US; Navajo Coal Mine in New Mexico; Island Copper Mine in British Columbia; and, Samarco Iron Ore Mine in Brazil. In 1969, Utah sold its construction business to Fluor Corporation and mining became its sole business. In 1971, in acknowledgment of the company’s expanded mining interests, there was another name change to Utah International, Inc. Over the next few years activity centered on developing existing mines to peak production. In 1976, Utah International, led by Edmund W. Littlefield, brokered a merger with General Electric. Terms of the merger included that stockholders of Utah would get 1.3 shares of G.E. for each Utah share totaling $1.9 billion. Also, Utah would continue to operate as relatively independent with its own Board of Directors. Since 1981, Utah International has opened mines in Chile, Mali, West Africa, Indonesia, and Australia. In 1984, Utah International was sold to Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd. where Utah operated as an independent entity until 1987.


348 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Utah Construction Company/Utah International Archives was donated to the Special Collections Department of the Stewart Library by Edmund W. Littlefield of San Francisco in October 1999. The acquisition consists of records pertaining to the construction and mining activities of the company. In the manuscript records, the Board of Directors and employees often refer to Utah Construction Company as “Utah.” The Thomas D. Dee Family donated “An Inventory of Corporate Records: 1906 to 1961” in 1988. Information on this collection (MS 50) can be found in Special Collections. Arrangement of the archives (MS 100) is based on the original arrangement from the Utah International Archives. The records are broken down into five categories: Administration, Construction, Mining, Land Development, and Historical Items. Photographs (MS 100-p) have been recorded in a separate register. The records range in date from 1898 to 1984 with most of the collection dating from 1920 to 1960. Included are agendas, minutes, journals, ledgers, financial statements, banking records, correspondence, memoranda, subject files, reports, plans and drawings, and scrapbooks. Approximately 70% of the collection consists of loose photographs and photograph albums, primarily of projects conducted by Utah from the 1880's to 1970.


Boxes 1-64 Records of Corporate Management

Boxes 65-150 Records of the Construction Division

Boxes 151-220 Records of the Mining Division

Boxes 221-235 Records of Land Development Division

Boxes 236-280 Historical Collections

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the WSU Stewart Library Special Collections Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408