An attempt to
further enhance this economic "boom" was promoted by William "Coin"
Harvey, a resident of Ogden who sponsored a "Carnival" to draw developers
of real estate and commerce to Ogden in 1890. Harvey's efforts failed
for the most part, and he went on to become a candidate for the presidency
of the United States. Ogden's commercial and railroad activities grew
through World War I until the slowdown in the 1920s and the Great Depression
of the 1930s created bad economic times.
The threat of
war and the coming of World War II brought a renewed significance to
Ogden as a transportation hub and center of government agencies and
war industries. An aggressive Ogden
Chamber of Commerce convinced the government to build Hill Air Base
in the Ogden area in 1938. During the war years, Ogden was considered
a safe interior area with an excellent system of rail connections to
move needed war materials to the war zones. As a result, the Naval Supply
Depot was built in Clearfield and the Utah General Depot in Ogden; the
United States Forest Service Regional Office also was located in Ogden.
German and Italian prisoners of war were interned in camps in the Ogden
area. In its heyday during World War II as many as 119 passenger trains
passed through Ogden every twenty-four-hour period.
After the war,
the railroad business declined because of competition from automotive
and air transportation; in the 1950s rail passenger service was almost
entirely eliminated, except for Amtrack, which beginning in 1971 passed
through Ogden on a tri-weekly schedule. Some government agencies and
businesses related to the defense industry continued to gravitate to
Ogden after the war--including the Internal Revenue Regional Center,
the Marquardt Corporation, Boeing Corporation, Volvo-White Truck Corporation, Morton-Thiokol,
and several other smaller operations. Ogden business leaders, realizing
that Ogden was closely linked to government industries and thus suffered
economic ups and downs because of changes in political ideas, devoted
considerable effort to bring more private industry to the Ogden area.
Through the efforts of the chamber of commerce and various business
organizations, in recent years Ogden has attracted a variety of industries
and commerce to its industrial park and mall areas.