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History of Milan Packard, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Mr. Packard constantly grasped opportunities not only to increase his own wealth, but to build up his community and state. In 1875 he organized with Martin P. Crandall a company to bring out the newly discovered coal in Pleasant Valley. Many of these mines were owned by Milan. On September 7, 1876, he began the construction of a narrow gage railway to this region. After completing the railroad bed as far as Spanish Fork Canyon, he negotiated for the discarded rails and rolling stock of the American Fork Railroad Company. He became the president and general manager of the Pleasant Valley Railroad, which was the first railroad to go through Springville. The road was practically built by Springville men who received a large part of their pay in goods from the Packard Store. Calico was the standard cotton material used for clothing at the time, consequently many workers took calico as pay, so the railroad was christened the "Calico Railroad." This narrow gauge railroad was used until 1883 when a lack of capital eventually forced Mr. Packard very reluctantly to sell the Pleasant Valley Railroad to the Denver and Rio Grande Railway.

Interestingly, many of the descendants of the key people who helped to build this railroad later became highway engineers and contractors and did work building highways and freeways all over the western United States. At one time there were four major highway construction companies all based out of tiny Springville, Utah.


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