DeLoss M. Eggleston
Interviewed by Lorrie Rands
17 September 2013
Oral History Program
Weber State University
DeLoss M. Eggleston
17 September 2013
Copyright © 2014 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Eggleston, DeLoss, an oral history by Lorrie
Rands, 17 September 2013, WSU Stewart
Library Oral History Program, Special
Collections, Stewart Library, Weber State
University, Ogden, UT.
DeLoss M. Eggleston
September 17, 2013
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with DeLoss Eggleston. The
interview was conducted on September 17, 2013, by Lorrie Rands, in Ogden,
Utah. DeLoss discusses his experience with 25th Street.
LR: It is September 17th, 2013. We are in the home of DeLoss Eggleston in Ogden
talking about 25th street and surrounding Ogden. Caroline Olmstead is doing the
camera. So DeLoss, I appreciate you allowing us into your home for this, a lot.
Let’s start out simple, when and where were you born?
DE: I was born at the old McKay-Dee or the Dee Hospital on 24th and Harrison in
LR: Okay, and where did you grow up?
DE: I grew up in Eden. That’s up in Ogden Valley. You have Huntsville, Eden and
Liberty and then you go over the mountain to Paradise.
LR: So your family would commute over into Ogden to work and go to school?
DE: Well, we had a farm. My father hauled the milk from Eden and Liberty, down to
the Weber Central Dairy. That used to be on Ogden Avenue between 25th and
LR: Where was Ogden Avenue?
DE: Between Washington and Adams. So, it’s a half street.
LR: So kind of like Kiesel.
LR: It’s not there anymore, is it?
DE: Yeah. Oh yes.
LR: Where did you go to school then?
DE: I went to Eden Elementary School until I got to the fifth grade and then they
closed that school and transferred us to Huntsville. So I went to Huntsville for
junior high and then Weber High School. Which was at the time on 12th and
Washington, where the market used to be, it’s not there anymore.
LR: So, you mentioned last time that you had a job on 25th street. So, what were
some of your jobs and experiences on 25th street growing up?
DE: Well, actually, we ran the milk down there and I would run down if we got a
chance to go down to Ross and Jack’s for a bowl of soup. They would always
give us plenty of crackers, so we would crack up all the crackers and put them in
the bowl of soup and this would be our lunch sometimes. After I was a junior at
Weber High School, I got a job at Walgreens drug store on the corner of 25th and
Washington, in the main floor of the Broom Hotel. And that Broom Hotel was one
of the best ones. The Ben Lomond Hotel was on the other side, or across the
street from us and we had a lot of business there, in that drug store.
LR: How long did you work there?
DE: Oh, about six months.
LR: So, what was one of the reasons why you quit?
DE: I had a little disagreement with my father and I went down to live with my sister
who was living in West Ogden and her husband was in the service and he was
transferred to San Diego. So she decided to go down there and that left me all by
myself there at her place. And I couldn’t get up early enough to go to school and I
wanted to graduate from high school. So I moved to California to live with my
sister, Alice, down there and graduate from a high school down in El Monte,
LR: So, while you were working there, did you see any interesting things that would
occur on 25th?
DE: Oh, lots of interesting things. During the war, and this was in ’43 or ’44, there was
a lot of soldiers and they invariably would walk up 25th to Washington and usually
stop in for refreshments where we could serve drinks and malts and things of that
sort, and we had plenty of pie. We would compete with Ross and Jack’s down
LR: So you would see a lot of the soldiers coming in. Would you ever have an
opportunity to walk down the street?
DE: Oh yes. I would walk down the street there, 25th to Lincoln, or, 25th to Grant.
There was the Grey Hound Bus Station. I would walk that way and once in a
while would go down to the railroad station. It was interesting to watch all the
LR: It wasn’t something that was common practice then to just walk up and down the
DE: Yes, it was.
LR: Why do you think that was?
DE: Well, I was just a kid.
LR: Okay. You mentioned last time about a friend you had that knew about the
tunnels on 25th street.
DE: Oh yes. This friend of mine who taught school with me actually, he had business
down there and he would go down to stores to get the rent, he owned the
buildings and then would rent them out. So he would go in to collect rent and
things of that sort. And he talked about the several hotels that had tunnels going
from one to the other. So that if anything that happened to one they could just go
to the other and close the door and hide themselves. Then once in a while, we
would walk down behind the hotels. There was an alley way that we would go
down there and it was interesting to see various things and the windows and
apartments that were on that street and the red lights.
LR: So walking behind in those alleys, did you notice the little cribs they had, behind
those buildings? The little shacks.
DE: Well, yeah. I always thought they were just storage unit. But they may be.
LR: So in 1943, ’44 you enlisted correct?
DE: I was drafted. When I went to California. I tried to enlist in the navy and they
turned me down because of a scar on my shoulder and so I thought I was 4F. So
when the army came along, they drafted me.
LR: So the story of the bus and…
DE: Oh, gas was rationed and there was no automobiles being sold. So automobiles
were old. And transportation was a real problem. At the bus stations, the war
effort, they told the drivers of the buses that they had to let the soldiers get on the
buses first because of their scheduling and such. So soldiers and their wives
could get on the bus first. The soldiers who were not married would come up
there and there would be a group of young ladies watching them. Well, not
necessarily young ladies, but ladies watching them and as soon as they came up
and as soon as they realized they were single, they would come up and ask them
if they could be their wives, for the purpose of getting on the bus and making the
trip. When I was in the army, I went on my 30 day leave before I went overseas, I
went to California and I rode the bus from Los Angeles to Baltimore, Maryland,
which is a long ride. I had five wives on that trip going there. When I got to
Maryland, I went to get my haircut and I didn’t realize but it was a long ride and I
hadn’t had a bath. I went in to get a haircut and the barber looked at me: “I gotta
wash your head before I cut your hair.”
LR: So after the war you, you came back to Ogden.
DE: Yes, I came back to California. Then I went on a mission for the church to France
and then came back and went to Weber College to get my education.
LR: So, while you were at Weber College, did you ever just walk down the hill a little
DE: Yeah, I did. There were stores down there that, oh, a couple of them had
interesting things, loan shops and such and I used to go down to them.
LR: Can you remember any in particular?
DE: Well, the one down there, just up the street from Wall Avenue, Ogden.
LR: The Gift Shop?
DE: Yeah, the gift shop there.
LR: And what about that did you find interesting?
DE: See, at that time the train station was a big station. They were doing a lot. They
had underpasses up there to the various lines that could go out. It was kind of
fascinating to watch people. I enjoy people.
LR: That seems to be a common thing. A lot of people going on 25th street just to
DE: Yeah, yeah.
LR: So would you do that often?
DE: Not too terribly often, I was too busy.
LR: But when you did, it was always fascinating?
DE: Yeah. Before, when I was going to Weber High School, this friend of mine had a
car, actually it was his dad’s car but we drove it and we would run the boulevard
and also go up and down and watch people going in there. Once in a while you
would find a drunk that was laying on the curb and you’d look at him and wonder
what to do with him but we never did anything with them.
LR: So after you graduated from Weber College, what did you decide to do as a
DE: As a career?
LR: Yeah, as your career.
DE: Well, I went down to the Y and graduated from there. Weber was a two year
college and I had been over in France and after I had finished my mission I went
to Sorbonne for a quarter. So when I came back to Weber, between military and
that language, I could get through a little faster. So in reality, I got through four
years of college in three years. Not counting the quarter I did in France. But then
I went into education and weird things happened. I was at the Y and I was
married. My wife was expecting and I needed a job. So I kept hounding the
employment office and one day I was in there and their phone rang and I waited
until she answered the phone and then she says: “Have you ever taught driving.
Driver education?” I said: “Well I haven’t done it but I could do it.” “Well they want
somebody at Provo High School for adult driver education.” So I went down there
and got the job, did a little class work to help out. After I graduated I was looking
for a job and I would hit the employment office every once in a while. Anyway,
one day I was in there and I came out and I was thinking about what they had
done, I was concentrating. I came out and I ran right into the superintendent of
the Ogden City schools. I didn’t really know him but anyway, I somehow got to
talking to him and he said well give me an application. So I made out an
application and then I moved up back up to Ogden after graduating and
graduated from the Y. So I came back up here and I was living with my in-laws,
looking for a job. And he came up to the house, this is funny, and I wasn’t there
but he came up to the house where I was staying and knocked on the door. My
wife, who was pregnant and barefoot, greeted him. Anyway, he offered me a job
and I started teaching driver education at Ben Lomond High School. I was on the
original faculty at Ben Lomond. I got involved in the National Organization for
Driver Education. It was just beginning and we went through the legislature and
got permission and funding for driver ed. and when you get a driver’s license, you
give them an extra dollar for driver’s education and we got that bill passed. Here
in Ogden, they started building automobile driving rangers around the country
and so I went to the superintendent and asked him what we could do and he said
that we had a location for an elementary school but they were building the
elementary school in another place. I asked, “Can I have that land and build a
driving range on it.” “Yeah go ahead.” So, I built the driving range that is used by
both Ogden and Ben Lomond High School down here on Mountain Road. The
elementary school, Horace Mann, was the one they were going to build down
there but they decided to build it up here.
LR: So, what year did Ben Lomond open?
LR: And you were on the original faculty?
DE: Yeah. There are three of us left, of the original faculty.
LR: You said Ogden City uses the driving range. Do they use it?
DE: Ogden High School, just Ben Lomond High School. Just the high school.
LR: Just the high schools. I thought you said the city.
LR: Now you mentioned last time that you were on the committee to help change the
speed limits here in Ogden.
DE: I knew the fellow who was the Mayor at the time and he asked me to serve on a
traffic and parking coordinating committee that the city council had established.
There were about, well it varied, but around 10 to 15 on that committee. As far as
I know, I’m the only one still alive of that group. There was a judge that was on
there but he passed away last year. And we worked the kind of parking problems
that they’re still concerned about in town but you’re never going to solve all of
those. But at the time when the automobiles first started out, the state legislature
said that all speed limits in cities would be 25 miles an hour. Now this is the ‘50s
and ‘60s and cars were much better than when they set that limit. So with the use
of radar, which was new, they just started using radar, we could measure the rate
of speed which traffic was going and we would use unmarked cars, we would
always note the time, location, the weather, and anything else that was important
on the streets. We found that in the majority of streets, traffic was going much
faster than 25. Personally, and I believe and I persuaded the others, that 85
percent of the drivers, are pretty good drivers. You may want to argue that but
anyway, we came to the conclusion that the speed should be set at about what
85 percent of the drivers were driving. So we raised a lot of the speed limits in a
lot of the streets. East, west, north, south streets, main streets, we raised that to
35. After we raised that to 35, I have to say there are two streets where the
people on those streets, really argued that’s too fast, you’re going to kill our kids.
But anyway, we, after we gave people time to use to driving on the 35, we check
the speed they were driving on every street in Ogden but on, the traffic was going
slower with the 35 mile per hour speed limit than it was with the 25. Now the next
question you ask is what that other street is. The 24th street viaduct.
LR: And how fast were they going there?
DE: Just slightly over 35.
LR: That makes sense. It’s a long stretch.
DE: Yeah. But the two streets that people objected to, we measured that several
times in the driveways of the people who were objecting and found that traffic
was slower at the 35 mile an hour speed limit than the 25. Today, the city council
has lowered the speed on those two streets and watch out. Because they can set
up a road block and give tickets.
LR: And those two streets are?
DE: 16th Street and Collins Boulevard.
LR: And remind me again where Collins Boulevard is?
DE: As drive out on Harrison and come past 2nd street, 1st street, there’s Collins
Boulevard goes down and circles and then goes onto North Street. So if you’re
going down to Walmart, you out there on Collins Boulevard down to Walmart, or,
Lowes, which is on the corner there of North and Washington. And you can also
go down to D.I. from there.
LR: So being on this committee of parking, did you ever have the opportunity to look
at the parking on and around 25th street.
LR: And how did that change?
DE: Well, we went from angle parking to parallel parking so that you could have more
DE: Now they are back to angle parking.
LR: Which do you think is more effective?
DE: Well it depends on what you want to do. The reason they went to angle parking is
because they’d have a lot of people that wanted to park there. But for every
person who pulls in and backs out, they block traffic, because there is only one
lane. So with the two lanes, our philosophy was, traffic would flow smoother but
there wasn’t as many parking places. So it’s a ball game, there is no answer to
LR: So did you enjoy being a part of that?
DE: Oh yes.
LR: Why was that enjoyable to you?
DE: I interviewed people after we raised the speed limit and I said: How come you’re
going slower? And people would say: I don’t know, I didn’t realize I was. I’m
thinking more about traffic and the traffic controls and I don’t worry about the
speed. Where the speed limit is lower, you’re watch your speedometer all the
time to watch out and see what is happening.
LR: Kind of going back in time a little bit. You mentioned that you would take hay, I
assume from up in Eden, down to the POWs during the war.
DE: During the second World War, out where the fair grounds are out in the DDO, out
in the north area there, approximately where the fairgrounds, the race track and
such, that was a cavalry unit. I mean that’s cavalry with horses. Just south of that
was a prisoner of war camp where the Italian prisoners of war were. We did have
a few Germans but the Germans were put up into Idaho. When we were hauling
milk for the dairy, we had two trucks. One truck we’d pick it up in Liberty and the
other we’d pick it up in Eden and then put it all on one truck to bring it down here,
so we’d have the other truck available. So I would use that truck to haul straw
from Eden down to the cavalry unit there. The Italian prisoners of war would
come over and unload my truck for me. Then so, those Italian prisoners of war
were used for the cannery, for beets, sugar beets, if you know what sugar beets
were, they were work. To pick the beet up, cut the top off and then throw them in
the bin. But they made sugar out of that, the sugar beets. They worked in those
areas too. There were a bunch of those after they went back to Italy, they
returned here and if you found out whose those names are, there are some
prominent names from those Italians who came back.
LR: Do you remember some on those?
DE: Well, the one had a store, a restaurant, on the corner of 27th and Washington, on
the northeast corner. And If I remember right, that was Rigo. I think the Marconi’s
were involved there too.
LR: Were you even able to communicate with these POWs or were they able to
communicate with you?
DE: I couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand me. No. Although some
of them knew a little bit of English. But they were busy doing the work.
LR: So, have you been on 25th street in the last 10 years?
DE: Oh yes. I go down there, that pawn shop down there at the bottom. I’ve dealt with
him a bit, yes.
LR: Do you think it’s changed for the better?
DE: Yes. They have some real nice restaurants there and this farmer market bit down
there on Saturdays, that’s big. See, the original building there on 20, well the city
and county building that was there, that was built by the WPA. Do you know what
the WPA was?
LR: I do.
DE: WPA, PWA.
LR: I couldn’t tell you what it stands for but I could tell you what they did.
DE: You know what buildings they built here?
LR: I do. They build the city and county building here, Ogden High and the Forestry
building. Les Hobson designed them.
DE: Now, the CCC Boys. Up in The Valley, they had a CCC boy’s camp. Actually, the
lake covers that location right now but it was right next to where David O.
McKay’s farm was down there, which is under the lake. The CCC Boys built the
road up to snow basin. The reason that old road was so nice and curvy is
because they had the maximum of man power and the least amount of
equipment and so they took the easiest way and curved that road. You’re too
young, you don’t remember that road. It’s closed now, but it was the old road that
went up to Snow Basin. This friend of mine worked with the CCC Boys, now they
had two scrapers that they would use with teams of horses to pull the scraper.
The Fresno was a lower one and I can’t remember the name of the other one but
it had a big boom on it and you’d raise that one up like this and dig down to get a
load of dirt in there and pull back on it to lift the blade so that you could haul that
and then dump it where ever you wanted. So this one friend of mine, some of
those CCC Boys were not familiar with that kind of work, so this one young man
told this one boy: “Always hang onto that bar, don’t let go of that bar.” Well,
what’s going to happen if you’re digging in there and you hit rock, that blade is
going to flip up! And this kid hanging onto that bar hit a rock and sailed over the
top of the horses. But anyways, that was a big project for the CCC Boys. They
also did a lot of terracing. In 1937, they had a real lot of rain like this and they
had floods coming down the canyons. If you go along the highway 89 headed for
Salt Lake, you can see some rock figures where they blocked that off. Up in
Willard, that flood is so bad that it raised that road and you’ll notice that the
houses on the west side of Willard are down lower because that mud came down
there and they have that one rock fixture for run off of that canyon. That was a
wet year. Consequently, the CCC Boys would go up into Willard Bay, in Monte
Cristo and terrace, so that the rain wouldn’t come down. This is what some of
those people need to do with these fire zones, is to go in and terrace those so
that the water will not go in an wash down and fill their houses with mud.
LR: That would be a smart thing to do. So you were starting to talk about going into
the gift shop.
DE: The pawn shop.
LR: Yeah, in recent years, have you dealt with Scott, the owner of that.
DE: Oh, I just know who he is.
LR: So you actually went into that shop earlier, right? Do you think his shop has
changed much or do you think it’s kind of stayed the same?
DE: The one part of it had pretty much stayed the same. But he has enlarged a little
bit there. He’s an interesting person.
LR: Yes, he is. I agree with you. So you think 25th street had changed for the better.
Do you think there is anything else they could do to make it a better street?
DE: I don’t know. I think they got the right idea. I think they’re going the right direction
on it because some of those stores are doing good, of course, they could make
museums out of a couple of them.
LR: Well, I have pretty much asked all of my questions but I wanted to ask if there
was anything else you wanted to add?
DE: Well, just that I enjoy this area. I lived in California, down in the Los Angeles area
and I’ll tell you one story there. This was back in ’45, ’46, no couldn’t have been.
’46 or ’47. They had just laid out the plan for the freeways and they had a unit
down there in Los Angeles where they were showing this and I went in there and
I looked at that map of those freeways and this friend of mine, well there were
four of us there, and I said: “This is going to be the biggest traffic jam this area
has ever seen.” And I went to describe that, not realizing that the guy who
designed it was standing right behind me. Well, anyway, he didn’t change
anything, he didn’t believe me. Later I went down there and that was the biggest
traffic jam down in that area. In fact, we had a convention down there and it was
going to be in the big stadium they had at the time. As I got onto that freeway
heading in there I was with other people who were going with us to that same
location and I took one look at the traffic on there and I jumped off because I had
driven around there, because I knew the area, so I used the other streets and I
got there to the convention. I was there for an hour and a half before those other
LR: So did that experience help you with, I know you didn’t design streets, but did
that help you with when you were trying to figure out speed and what not?
DE: At the time I was on that committee, they built Harrison, the road from Harrison
and 21st street to 12th street coming down the hill there. They built that and it was
real nice, that’s a good street. Our debate, what should the speed limit be on that
street. So we put radar up on that street to measure the speed what traffic was
going and debated, we had an argument. But I won out and that speed limit was
set at 50 miles an hour and today you’ll find people going a little faster than 50
miles an hour coming down that hill. But coming down that hill you’ve got to
watch out for deer because the deer will go across there. But anyway, that was
LR: Well, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate the interview you have done
with us and we’ll wrap up.
DE: Well, it’s been enjoyable.
LR: It has been.
DE: Thank you.
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