Patricia Brown McNamara
Interviewed by Richard Sadler and Gene Sessions
31 May 2006
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Patricia Brown McNamara
Richard Sadler and Gene Sessions
31 May 2006
Copyright © 2011 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
The Oral History Program of the Stewart Library was created to preserve the institutional history of Weber
State University and the Davis, Ogden and Weber County communities. By conducting carefully
researched, recorded, and transcribed interviews, the Oral History Program creates archival oral histories
intended for the widest possible use.
Interviews are conducted with the goal of eliciting from each participant a full and accurate account of
events. The interviews are transcribed, edited for accuracy and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewees
(as available), who are encouraged to augment or correct their spoken words. The reviewed and
corrected transcripts are indexed, printed, and bound with photographs and illustrative materials as
available. Archival copies are placed in Special Collections. The Stewart Library also houses the original
recording so researchers can gain a sense of the interviewee's voice and intonations.
The Utah Construction Company/Utah International Inc. Oral History Project was created to capture the
memories of individuals associated with the company. Several of the interviewees are family and
relatives, others are personalities involved with Utah Construction Company/Utah International Inc. and
some of the company’s prominent figures.
Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews between a
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with
the goal of preserving substantive additions to the historical record. Because it is primary material, oral
history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a spoken
account. It reflects personal opinion offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as such it
is partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable.
All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to
the Stewart Library of Weber State University. No part of the manuscript may be
published without the written permission of the University Librarian. Requests for
permission to publish should be addressed to the Administration Office, Stewart
Library, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, 84408. The request should include
identification of the specific item and identification of the user.
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Patricia Brown McNamara, an oral history by
Richard Sadler and Gene Sessions, 31 May
2006, WSU Stewart Library Oral History
Program, Special Collections, Stewart
Library, Weber State University, Ogden, UT.
Patricia Brown McNamara
with President F. Ann Millner
Patricia Brown McNamara
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with Patricia Brown McNamara. It
was conducted by Dr. Richard Sadler and Dr. Gene Sessions on May 31, 2006.
Ms. NcNamara is a granddaughter of W.H. Wattis, and in the interview she
discusses her recollections of her grandfather and the Wattis family. Lisa Largent
was also present during the interview.
RS: Patty, we would like you to start by talking about where you grew up in Ogden,
and the people you knew as a child.
PM: I was born in the Dee Hospital. My father was a doctor. My mother and father
had a home in North Ogden that was sort of like a farm. I really loved it there
and I have pictures of me washing dishes to play. I was two or three years-old
when we lived there and I liked that. Then my parents moved into Ogden on Van
Buren Avenue, near 30th Street. I can remember playing with the kids next door.
They were trying to take a mole off of me with a paring knife. I remember that. I
guess I yelled and hollered. I can vaguely remember that I used to go to
strangers’ houses and I would say, “I’ve come to visit you.” Nobody could find
me. I was lost. I think that I was just looking for companionship because my
mother had my sister Helen. That is my theory. I would say, “I’ve come to have
tea,” or something like that, and I enjoyed it. They were nice to me and they
didn’t realize that I could be lost.
Then we moved down and lived with my grandmother and grandfather at
Debbie Wattis’ house. I remember that. There were big family dinners. My
grandmother supervised the kitchen, but we had Sarah that did the cooking.
There was a big table and grandfather had a big chair that he sat in. There were
a lot of people there besides me. I was told, “You have to eat all of your
vegetables,” but I would shove them under the table. Sarah never told on me.
We used to have family dinners at the Weber Club. Certain people were
invited by my grandfather and certain people were not. There was a girl who
lived with my aunt as a helper and was an orphan. I felt really bad when my
grandfather said she couldn’t come because it was a family dinner. I remember
seeing her cry. I thought that was quite mean.
We would go to the club and have dinner and that is where I met Ed
Littlefield. I am sure he never remembered it. He was visiting his grandparents.
My grandfather took me over to introduce me to him. I was there by myself that
day, instead of the whole family, because everybody was sick or something. It
was just me, my grandfather, and my grandmother.
Mostly, I remember the big dinners. They had courses. We ate crackers
and butter and olives to keep us quiet. They would say, “Don’t say anything, just
listen.” It seemed like I would say things and I didn’t get scolded, and everybody
would laugh. I would wonder, “What did I say?” I enjoyed that. All of the kids
would go into a reading room and an Afro-American man, Rich, would tend us. I
remember reading the “Katzenjammer Kids” while the grown-ups were having
RS: I heard that your grandfather loved to drive his car around town, but he had a
PM: Yes. I don’t know whether he’d had an accident or what. My grandmother had a
red Locomobile. I have heard from other people that she was quite a dare-devil
lady. She used to ride one of those bikes with the great big wheels down the hill
on 26th Street. She also had a car and she backed out and went right through
the fence into the neighbor’s yard. She would never drive again, so it was just
parked in a barn.
RS: What more do you remember about W.H.? His personality, the way he looked,
and the way he dressed?
PM: Well, the way that he looked was sort of a red, florid face. I know that when he
came home from the office, he sat on the couch and let us look at his watch. It
had bells and I think it had a Masonic emblem. I would sit on his lap and he
would work the watch. Sometimes, he came home and went into the library.
Some men came into the library, too, and they would come in through a cloak
room to go into the library—not into the living room. My grandmother would go in
with a tray and ice and I never caught on. We were told to be quiet because the
men wanted to talk. Then they would leave. Later on, I realized what they were
doing, that they were having a few drinks and chatting. No drinking was seen by
RS: Did he talk about work around the kids?
PM: I remember when they decided to go with General Electric. I said, “Oh heck, I
hate that because the fun is all gone.” They talked about making bids and how
close it was. They had a time that they were calling someone who didn’t pick up
the phone. It was a time that so-and-so was going to call someone and that
someone was waiting. This was in the twenties, so to telephone—and to
telephone long-distance...of course, we had to be quiet when they were calling
long-distance for business things like that.
RS: The two brothers were legendarily close. What do you remember about E.O. and
W.H. and their relationship?
PM: They were close, and they were very close in taking care of this older sister, Aunt
Janie. She was always in need. I wouldn’t call her “in trouble,” but she was
needy. They were always worrying about her. I saw a letter once where they
said, “We’ve got to get her a present.” They got her a necklace of gray pearls
that she wore often. It was very beautiful. They looked after her and worried
about her. In fact, my grandmother told me that they had her living with my
grandmother for a whole year. My grandfather promised the workmen, “If you
work for me, your wife can stay at my house all through the winter time.” My
grandmother, of course, took care of all the guests. She said, “I have to have
two separate meals,” but Aunt Janie came to every meal, the first and the second
meals. Aunt Janie had about twelve kids and almost everybody was related to
her in some way. The best whistler in the orchestra was one of her grandsons.
The flagman at the station in Uintah was one of her relatives. Everybody.
RS: Speaking of Uintah, did you go to Uintah to see the homestead?
PM: We went with my grandmother. A chauffeur drove us and we had buckets to
water the graveyard.
RS: Did they show you where the old homes were?
PM: No, they didn’t show us that at all. They just showed us the graveyard.
PM: My grandmother told me about the two children that died. When my grandfather
ran for governor, it was interesting to be a part of the same thing that you see all
the time in the paper. I was taken to this schoolhouse, all dressed up, and he
gave a speech. It was the schoolhouse where he went to school. I remember
RS: We were there not long ago. The schoolhouse is gone now.
PM: I was all around two times the last trip because I went with Helen’s son. He
invited me to stay with his daughter. There was a second trip in one week and I
really enjoyed it.
RS: Where did you go to school?
PM: I went to Ogden High. I was in the old building the last year before it got
condemned. I was a busy-body. I belonged to the German Club. Before that, in
the junior high, I was in the Writers’ Club. You had to be a favorite of the teacher
to get in the Writers’ Club. I didn’t have that teacher because I was scared to
have her. I heard she was really mean, but she thought I was okay. I was a
maid of honor at the Classicalia in high school. The year before I was going to
be a senior, the eye doctor in San Francisco said I should not go to school and
that I shouldn’t read. Well, I wouldn’t have any of that—that I was not going to
graduate and that maybe I could go back to school next year…you know, “She
didn’t make it, she had to go back.” So I went to school anyway. I had a tutor for
German and then a girl in chemistry helped me because I sure didn’t know much
chemistry while I was not able to see. I graduated anyway.
RS: And after graduation?
PM: I fell in love, of course, but I had a feeling that I wanted to be able to support
myself because I was a child of the Depression, but I could never even talk about
it until way later. My father died and he left everything he had to his mother and
his sister—except his Pierce Arrow, that went to my brother who was six or
seven years old. He didn’t leave me and my mother anything.
RS: What did your father do?
PM: He was in the construction business. He was not a very happy man. He didn’t
do too well.
RS: How old were you when he died?
PM: I was twelve. I went to court with my mother to try to get the will changed so that
she had something for her children. The award was that when I was eighteen or
twenty-one I could get some money. I took that money and went to Mexico for a
trip because I wanted to travel.
Back to where I was…I wanted to learn how to support myself. I went to
the University of Washington because that seemed to be the one for art. Then I
was in a sorority, but I really wasn’t happy there. When I came back, I found a
school in San Francisco that was an advertising art school. I really wasn’t very
good but that is what I wanted to do. Anyway, my grandfather died when I was
thirteen. So, there we were. I knew that my mother wasn’t paying the grocery
bills, so it was kind of rough.
RS: How old were you when your grandmother died?
PM: When she died, I was twenty-five. My son had just been born. She and I were
very close. When I went to that art school in San Francisco, I spent every
weekend with my grandmother in Walnut Creek. She would tell me tales about
when she was young.
I shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to. She would tell me about a lawsuit
that someone bought against the Eccles family. This woman had a son that was
David Eccles’ son but they weren’t legally married. Anyway, she wanted part of
what everybody else got. My grandmother said there was a lot of excitement.
She said, “Even your mother’s friends who were in school in Pennsylvania came
to the trial.” She said, “And that mother brought this boy out and he looked just
like David Eccles.”
My grandmother refused to go to the ward there because of the
unhappiness of her mother because of the polygamy. The elderly men said to
her, “Well, you have to go to some church. You can’t just not go.” She said to
me, “I went to the Episcopal Church in Ogden and I went by horseback.” She told
me this story when I was about nineteen or twenty. I didn’t catch on for many,
many years. What she was telling me was that she was stopped by an Indian.
She said, “I was really frightened, but all he wanted was my blue beads.” She
was really frightened, but she gave up her blue beads and went on to the
GS: What was Ogden like for you as a teenager? Did you go down on 25th Street?
PM: Things were said about 25th Street that I listened to. I was a great person to
listen to what people were saying when they didn’t think I was listening. I kind of
got the drift of 25th Street. Several people that we knew owned buildings down
there and so that was kind of chuckled about. They owned the buildings, but
they didn’t supervise what was going on in the buildings.
In high school, we were adventurous and we would go walk down there.
There was an Italian family there who had a restaurant. The mother cooked
wonderful meals and our whole family would go down there. That was Pete
Persontia. I can remember that.
GS: Did you ever go to the Berthana or White City?
PM: Yes. Several girls would give a dance and invite everybody. During holidays, the
dances would be at the Berthana. Some at White City, not very much. We knew
all about White City. My best friend, one of her relatives owned it.
GS: How about the canyon? Did you go up the canyon much?
PM: Yes, I loved it. You know the Gray Cliff Lodge? My grandmother had a house
there. It was my grandfather’s, too, but my grandmother stayed in it to get away
from Ogden. She stayed all summer and she didn’t have a phone there because
she didn’t like phones. It was a small place. I stayed there with her a lot. Next
door to her in the Gray Cliff Lodge was the Higgenbotham family. They had to
take turns. Their grandfather built Gray Cliff Lodge with apartments for all of his
kids. He thought it would be a real nice idea. They could all have summer
vacations together, but they didn’t get along well, so they took turns. So it was
the Higgenbockens’ turn and I was there, and Peggy and I became really close
friends—lifelong friends. Mr. Higgenbotham used to take us down to the
hermitage. We could go fishing but it was kind of a slimy pond. It was sort of like
a fair; we would go fishing and if we got a number, we got a prize. It was nice of
him to take us down there.
GS: You mentioned meeting Ed Littlefield when you were children. Do you remember
much about Ed?
PM: I only saw him that one time in my whole life. His stepfather clicked his heels. I
remember he came to the house when I was living with my grandmother and
grandfather and he kissed my hand. I was probably five. I thought, “Oh that was
RS: Quite a dandy.
PM: Yes, I think so. Ed’s mother was originally married to a man named Rhivers. I
heard that she didn’t like construction life, so she came back to Utah and then
went to Los Angeles and met Mr. Hanke. She lived in Palm Springs, I think.
GS: Tell us about your husband and where you lived.
PM: My husband got a job through my uncle as a handyman in Toston, Montana. We
lived in a trailer that we bought from my cousin, Donald. It was twenty degrees
below zero and the sheets were frozen to the side of the bed. It was quite rough.
Then he was transferred to North Carolina, so we took the trailer and lived there.
They were building a dam. That was an interesting experience. It was so
beautiful—there were lots of rhododendrons. Where we lived was exactly the
same place where Rudolph, the abortion guy, lived.
RS: They just caught him, not too long ago.
PM: That was an interesting time. It was kind of scary, in a way, because there was a
strike. At first, when we were in North Carolina, I was known as Pat Utah. Then
the natives changed my name to Pat Yankee because of the trouble about the
union and stuff.
RS: It is kind of hard to imagine a person from Utah being called a Yankee.
GS: Well, I think the South is pretty tight on who’s from there. Everyone else is a
PM: Yes, it was sort of like that. Some of the trouble was that the help came from the
New York job and they were Yankees. They moved to North Carolina with the
Utah Construction job, but they were Yankees.
GS: Where did you meet your husband?
PM: I met him in at Ogden High School. He had graduated when we really started
going together. He was from a Mormon family. His name was Martin Ralph
McNamara. His grandfather was an important man. He was the bishop of Roy.
He was a southern gentleman, in a way. He was kind of the main thing in the
family. My husband’s father was a no-good kind of guy. They were divorced. His
mother married a guy that worked in the Washington Market grocery store and
they lived in the southern part of Ogden on Porter Avenue. His mother worked in
the store. We don’t like to go into it too much. I finally realized that he was crazy.
He was really cruel.
RS: Did it have to do with the way he was brought up?
PM: His father, I guess, kind of abandoned him and then he had to live with his
mother and stepfather and was mistreated. His mother moved to Montana and
abandoned them, both him and his sister. So his grandmother was supposed to
take care of them, but she had had a hard enough life herself, so she put them
on a train and sent them to Montana to his mother. He had a violent temper and
it was quite a terrible marriage.
RS: So after you lived in Montana, you lived in North Carolina?
PM: We moved back to Utah from North Carolina and my husband worked a little bit
for Bingham Canyon there. Then he decided to join the military—this was the
war—and we had to bundle up Mike and move to San Francisco to stay with my
mother. We thought that she would be happy to have me there, but she really
wasn’t. My husband and cousin were rejected from service for health reasons.
We moved in with my mother and everybody had a farewell dinner for him and he
was there for twenty-four hours. He had a scar in his lung and they were afraid
that he could say that he got it later.
RS: And then get a disability.
PM: Yes. So that was kind of rough on him, I think, but he got good jobs because of
my uncle. We were in San Francisco where he had an office job doing
purchasing and was doing that until we were divorced.
RS: So then you lived in San Francisco after you moved?
PM: Yes, we lived with my mother and that was not very pleasant. Oh, and then my
husband was in Pittsburgh and I think he thought that my mother could take care
of us and she didn’t appreciate that very much. It was pretty hard because my
sister, Jane, was there, and it was sort of a pain in the neck with a little baby that
cried a lot. Then, after being in Pittsburgh and coming back and living with my
mother, I said we were going to have to buy a house because the poor baby was
crying all the time and we weren’t welcome. We could go over and stay at my
aunt’s, but I had to keep carrying the baby because my aunt had all of these
things around that he couldn’t touch. At the apartment in San Francisco, the
landlady didn’t like us, either. She threw the diapers in the furnace and burned
them up. The people in the apartments near us were nice to us. I said we were
going to have to get a house and if we got transferred because of the
construction business, we could rent it.
We were in Provo, Utah, for a while, at the Columbia, while they were
building Geneva Steel. We were there and it was before Mike was born and we
were living in an apartment there. A woman named Peggy was my good friend,
but next door to me was this lady and she would say to me, “Go back to where
you belong” and “Get out of here.” I had a dog and she said that the dog ate her
chickens. The dog was a Scottie and he did run around a lot. I remember one
time that I was crying and she called the police and the police patted my back.
She said, “You’re a foreigner, get out of here.” I just said, “Well, I was born in
Ogden and I don’t feel that I’m a foreigner.”
RS: You didn’t feel very welcome in Provo, then.
PM: No, it was just the place next door, that’s all. My friend Peggy was really nice to
RS: After you got divorced, then, you didn’t have any direct contact with company
projects, but you were still in the family. Did you go to social functions with the
PM: No, nothing like that. I know that my husband told the office to send all the
information to him if there was a dividend. So I didn’t know if I was going to get
anything. I called the office and I said, “Why did you do that?” They said,
“Because you told us to,” and I said, “No, I didn’t.” They started yelling at me. It
wasn’t a social place.
RS: Did you know Marriner Eccles very well?
PM: No. I’m sure that I met him. I used to kind of know one of his daughters, Eleanor
Eccles. She was a friend of my cousin’s. I knew the Ogden Mrs. Eccles. I
remember saying to my sister, Jane, “Didn’t you know that he had other wives?”
She said she didn’t know. There was Marin and Marilyn; I knew them and their
fathers real well, but I didn’t know the others. They did move into Ogden, the
other family, but I didn’t know them very well. I know that my sister said, “Marin
and Marilyn, why are their names so similar?” I said, “Well, Marin is probably a
Swedish or Norwegian name. It is quite a nice name. Marilyn was named after
Marilyn Miller, a dancer and a Broadway star.”
RS: I didn’t know that.
PM: Marilyn told me that she was told this. Her father became friends with Al Jolsen
on a train. He invited him to come up to his house for an hour while. Marilyn was
a baby and he said, “Oh, what a cute baby. You should name her after Marilyn
Miller.” I knew Joseph Eccles and I knew Royal Eccles. Joseph was nice to me.
Royal wasn’t. He was in sort of a bad mood about everything.
RS: Did you know Lester Corey and Allen Christensen?
PM: Yes, I knew Lester Corey. I didn’t know Allen Christensen very well, but I knew
Lester and I knew Hank Loller really well. He was really nice to me. He liked me,
so that was nice. When I was at the Hoover Dam, he would take me into the
mess hall for lunch and he would wait until I had finished eating everything that I
wanted. Hank absolutely could not stand to go out to dinner with anybody
because it took too long, but he would just wait until I finished two servings or
some apple pie.
RS: Hank was a tough guy.
PM: Yes, and he was so nice to me.
LL: How old were you at that time?
PM: I was fifteen or so.
RS: Tell us more about the Hoover Dam at the time when you were there.
PM: That was fun—to get there and see it.
RS: How much time did you spend there?
PM: It would be like a few days at a time, not to live there or anything. It was really
nice to go on the train or drive, and have the car break down, of course, but that
is something else. It was interesting to go on the train and be met by somebody
who would pick us up and take us to the guest house. Have you heard about
RS: Yes, there in Boulder.
PM: Jack was saying that he knew that it meant a lot to Helen. It was not as high as
Frank Crow’s house. It was furnished up. I guess they got an interior decorator.
There was mission-style furniture and we had yellow sheets, not white sheets.
There was a cook there all the time. They had someone that had been a butler.
So that was quite luxurious. I remember that Boris Karlov was there. I remember
RS: So you would go over and look at the dam?
PM: Yes, they would pick us up and I remember going with my grandmother because
she was honored to be taken there, so I basked in her glory. She was an old lady
but she jumped off a wall that was being built. I thought, “For goodness’ sake,
she’s agile.” Also, when I was there with Hank, he took me down to the very
bottom of the dam and he said, “Now you wait here because you can’t go in.
They think it’s bad luck if a female goes in the tunnel.” While I was waiting, a man
that was driving a truck across the dam said, “Did you want a ride?” and I said,
“Sure.” So that was fun. When I got back, Hank was mad. He said, “I told you
to stay there. Something could have happened.” I wasn’t afraid because I didn’t
think of anything happening.
RS: Did you meet Frank Crow?
PM: Yes. He was nice to me. He was always really, really nice to me. He had a fight
with his wife on Mother’s Day.
RS: He was under a lot of pressure.
PM: Yes, and he was never home. That is what their fight was about.
GS: Did you ride the train from Ogden to Las Vegas?
GS: And then someone picked you up in Las Vegas and you went to Boulder City.
PM: Yes, we went through the Indian reservation.
GS: Was the food pretty good at the guest house?
PM: Yes, it was nice. They had really good cocoa. The mess hall was a famous place
because all these guys were unemployed—not all of them, of course—but most
were unemployed and here was all this food. Utah Construction’s idea was to
feed them well so they would stay to work. They would have two or three main
courses all at the same time. They would have steak and stew and chicken in
big platters, and that is what I was doing when Hank would wait for me to eat all
this stuff—different desserts and things like that. Anderson Brothers had food-serving
contracts during the war. They knew what they were doing. It was a lot
of good food.
RS: When did you last see your grandfather?
PM: I went to see him when he was very ill and dying in the hospital. My mother went
and took Jane and Dick and Helen. I never got to go, so my aunt took me. That
was a wonderful trip because we came on the ferry. I had never been out of
Ogden and there I was on the ferry. We went to the hospital and we stayed right
in the hospital there. My grandfather was still being treated very, very well by
everybody that knew him. He would say, “I wish I didn’t have all these books and
all these flowers. I just wish I could just be me and be well.” It made him feel
bad to keep getting special books and flowers and attention.
RS: It must have been hard on him not to be able to be involved in the dam projects
after he had set it up.
PM: There were all of the things in the paper about how he got the six companies
going. I enjoyed meeting the people that were there—like Charlie Shea and
Harry Morrison. I knew Mr. Morrison and his secretary.
GS: What was your impression of how your grandfather and his brother E.O. shared
the work? What kinds of things did they do different while they were supporting
PM: Well they just really got along. I grew up thinking that E.O.’s children didn’t like
me. They didn’t like my grandmother and they didn’t like my mother and my aunt.
There were four daughters. There was one daughter that always came and
visited my grandmother. That is when I was living with them. There was all of
this contention, but not with the two brothers. I guess you’ve heard that before. I
RS: Why do you suppose there was that contention between the two families?
PM: I can’t really say, but what I heard on my side was that they made fun of my
grandmother. Aunt Martha made fun of my grandmother and called her an old
shoe. Now I don’t know why they would do that. My grandmother was not from
Denmark—her mother was from Denmark—but she was very poor. She went to
Sacred Heart on 25th Street and then she worked for the Corey family on 26th
Street. That is where she met my grandfather, I think. They said that they met at
a dance and that they fell in love right there. But anyways, there was an awful lot
of contention with the four daughters and my mother and my aunt, and I think
they said things to each other that were kind of not nice.
RS: Just little things that built up?
PM: Yes, but because my grandmother belonged to this club that Aunt Martha
started…I heard them talking once about this club and they said that they didn’t
know who started it, but later I thought, “Oh, that was the one that was named
the Martha Society.” It was Martha—Aunt Martha—who started it. My
grandmother was in it and she had some silver that had belonged to the Martha
Society. My grandmother took me to this wonderful thing that she said orphans
were putting on about butterflies. I was only about five or four. It was an age
when people danced with shawls and scarves, and she took me to that because
the Martha Society put it on. Then my aunt and my mother figured out a good
way to have my cousin Donald, me, and maybe Dorothy boil eggs for Easter for
the orphans. We just loved it so much that we got to do it a couple of years later,
too. We even shined up the eggs with butter.
RS: When we get to the 1950s and 1960s, Ed comes onboard and the company
really begins to change. What were your impressions of that period?
PM: Well, there is a lot that I didn’t realize at the time, though I found out more. My
son was working for Utah Martin and Day, but he knew some things. That was
my only contact. It was just a shock to suddenly not be a construction company
anymore. It was so much fun wondering if we would get the job or not.
RS: It was your impression that the company was changing rapidly?
PM: Yes, and my uncle was the superintendent. He had a high job.
GS: What was his name?
PM: George Bowman. I remember he liked me. He was dismissed from Utah
Construction. He said to me, “I just want you to know that they’ve kicked me out.”
The poor man was shaking. There was a lot going on that I learned about later.
My aunt and my uncle were trying to push their son-in-law and their son, Donald.
Donald is a really nice guy but he has a lot of brain damage. My aunt and uncle
wanted to get them on the board of directors. The son-in-law was a beautiful
guy, real handsome, but nobody liked him. They didn’t want him, you know.
Aunt Stella and Uncle George promised Ed Littlefield—this is from my son—that
they wouldn’t nominate him, but they did, and that was it.
RS: Has the difference between the two families begun to go away? Are the families
coming together now?
PM: I don’t think there is anything to get together about. I don’t know. I used to go to
every kind of funeral. I didn’t notice it until later, but I was ignored. I went to Paul
Wattis’ funeral because he was nice to me. I thought, “Well, maybe they didn’t
recognize me,” but I went to that because he was a well-meaning guy.
RS: Always a nice guy from every account. So you feel like there is not going to be
any kind of meeting between the two?
PM: My sister, Jane, was approached, but I never was. I think it is partly because of
who I was married to, maybe. I don’t know.
RS: Did you feel like some of your folks were treated unfairly, or do you think that
didn’t really matter?
PM: I don’t know what to say about that. When Dan McNamara was between jobs,
he went up to the Utah Construction office to ask for a job and he was kind of
pushed aside. There was some kind of an article right there in the office that said
the Utah Construction Company was founded by E.O. Wattis. You know, W.H.
was left out and they did that a lot. Dan said he wrote “Lies” on the article. I said,
“Dan, you’re not going to get a job doing that.”
RS: When the merger with General Electric was announced, what did you think?
PM: It was a shock. It was a surprise and I had to sort of get used to it. It turned out
that it was a good idea. As I said, the fun was: are we going to get the job or
RS: That was the great reason for the success—they were so good at bidding.
GS: Is 1928 when W.H. ran for governor?
PM: Yes, I think. You’d better check that. He ran two times and lost two times. He
should have known better. He wasn’t a Mormon.
RS: Thank you, Patty. Your insights on Ogden and the family were really wonderful.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.