Utah History to Go
Pony Express in Utah
Overland Migrations
Bartleson-Bidwell party
Nancy Kelsey
Bryant-Rusell Party
Harlan Young Party
Hastings Cutoff
Donner Party
This is the Place
Mormon History
Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company
Handcart Companies
A Girl Triumphed Over Handcart Tradegy
Many Mormon Immigrants Delayed Their Journey
Settlement and Exploration
Colonization of Utah
Salt Lake City
The Founding and Naming of Moab
Hole-in-the-Rock Trek Remains an Epic Experience
What Made the Mormon Landscape Unique?
Snowslides Devastated Northern Utah in 1875
A Fatal Snowslide in Provo Canyon
Those Pioneering African Americans
The Lives of Six Pioneer Girls
He Was an Outsider in Utah But Not For Long
Forty-Niners in Salt Lake Valley
Utah Farmer and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush
Emma Lee Endured Many Hardships in Pioneer Utah
Alice Parker Isom Faced Challenges WIth True Grit
19th Century Utah Women Spun Yarn and Dug Ditches
Hilda Anderson Erickson, Working Woman
Oliver B. Huntington and His Bees
A Policeman's Lot in Early Salt Lake CIty
A Blind Man and His Harp
Fanny Brooks Helped Establish the Jewish Community
Reverend McLeod and Building of Independence Hall
Jenny Baker Stanford Bridged Mormon-Gentile Gap
Welshman Dan Jones Was One of Zion's Busiest Bees
The Case of Grave Robber Jean Baptiste
Slavery in Utah
History of Polygamy
The History of a Pioneer Utah Cottage
The Pioneer's Cost of Living Versus Today's
Coins and Currency
The Sego Lily, Utah's State Flower
Pestiferous Ironclads: Grasshopper Problem in Utah
From Pioneer Fort to Pioneer Park
Ensign Peak
Temple Square
Virgin River Doused Cotton Mission Settler's Hopes
Gardner Mill and the Birth of the Valley's West Side
The United Order Movement
The Beginnings of the University of Utah
Arrival of the Episcopal Church
Ben Holladay, the Stagecoach King, in Utah
The Pony Express Added a Colorful Chapter in Utah
Mark Twain's Utah
Pony Express in Utah
The Telegraph Was Information Highway of the 1860's
The Steamboat Era Was Glamorous But Brief in Utah
Cowboys and the Cattle Industry
Old La Sal Was Once a Thriving Cow Town
Preston Nutter Made Utah Home of His Cattle Kingdom
Robbers' Roost Was a Haven For Outlaws
Utah Had Hollywood Style Western Gunfights
Just Who Was the Outlaw Queen Etta Place?
Josie Bassett-Jensen's Remarkable Woman Rancher
Military in Utah
Utah War
The Civil War in Utah
Mountain Meadows Massacre
Fort Douglas
Fort Duchesne
Camp Floyd
The Colonel Orders a Grand Review
Jay M. Haymond
Utah History Encyclopedia

The Pony Express mail service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, was a short-lived business venture operated by the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell. The firm was well known as a freighting outfit using the central route in
east-west transportation, which followed the general path of present-day Interstate 80. For freighting, the company worked under the name of Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.

Under the leadership of William H. Russell, the Pony Express system planned to relay mail carried by horseback riders. Each rider rode from 75 to 125 miles during a day or night run. Way stations, ten to fifteen miles apart, furnished fresh horses and whatever the riders needed. There was 190 stations between Missouri and California. The system was designed so that each rider changed horses at each station until his shift or segment was covered. The cost to send a letter was five dollars per ounce. The goal of the company was to carry the mail across the country in ten days, half the time established by stagecoach. Business leaders initially expressed enthusiasm when hearing the promise of improved mail service.

The sectional competition between the central route over the southern route also was important. The southern route was favored by the southern states of the Union and by Secretary of War John B. Floyd, a southerner, who was in a position to influence the route selection. People opposed to slavery were anxious to show that some route other that the southern route was best.

The Pony Express was inaugurated 3 April 1860 with high hopes for eventual government subsidy. The venture was a publicity success but a financial failure, lasting only eighteen months. Losses mounted to $500,000 before the books were closed. The ponies and their riders could not compete with the Overland Telegraph, which was completed on 6 April 1861.

Ruts worn in limestone on old stage road between Camp Floyd and
Faust Station

In Utah, under the leadership of Major Howard Egan of the Nauvoo Legion, the Pony Express operations ran rather smoothly. The route east to west started with the Needle Rock station, and then moved west to the following stations: Head of Echo Canyon, Half Way, Weber, East Canyon, Wheaton Springs, Mountain Dale, Salt Lake House (143 South Main), Travelers Rest, Rockwell's (100 yards south of Utah State Prison, Draper), Dugout, Camp Floyd (East Rush Valley), Rush Valley, Point Lookout (Government Creek), Simpson Springs (Riverbed), Dugway, Blackrock, Fish Springs (Boyd's), Willow Springs, and Deep Creek. At the time of operation, 20 of the 190 stations were in Utah. Utah companies also supplied many of the horses for the Pony Express.

The route crossed the Jordan River where the river cuts through the Transverse Mountains at Point of the Mountain. The route then went west to the south of the Oquirrh Mountains, to Faust, continued west, north of Vernon, and on to Fish Springs before crossing into the Nevada Territory.

See: William M. Egan, Pioneering the West (1917); and Raymond W. Settle and Mary Lund Settle, Saddle and Spurs: The Pony Express Saga (1955).


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