Fillmore, Utah. Population 2,150

Today’s post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty.

Message of President Millard Fillmore nominating territorial officers of Utah, including Brigham Young to be Governor (Records of the U.S. Senate)

Message of President Millard Fillmore nominating territorial officers of Utah, including Brigham Young to be Governor (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

Between negotiating the Compromise of 1850, stymieing southern attempts to turn Cuba into a state, protecting Hawaii from French interests, and working to open up Japan for trade, President Millard Fillmore also appointed Brigham Young as the first governor of the Utah Territory. That was 160 years ago this week.

As a gesture of thanks to Fillmore, Young had the capital of the territory named Fillmore, and named the surrounding county Millard in 1851.

Young’s tenure as governor didn’t last long—James Buchanan replaced  him with a new governor, accompanied by Federal troops, in 1857. Fillmore’s status as the territorial capital was even shorter: by 1855, Salt Lake City was designated as Utah’s capital.

Despite this, Young’s legacy has certainly endured, as has the town of Fillmore, population 2,150.

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