Utah International at Its Beginning

1976 Exhibit Brochure
Incorporated in 1900 by William H. Wattis, and other Ogden industrialists, Utah Construction Company, now Utah International, built the Western Pacific Railroad, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Coulee Dam and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

2023 Exhibit Guide
Pioneers who became leaders in northern Utah industry included the Wattis family. After trying their hand at farming, but soon started a freighting venture which led to a railroad construction job. Determination effort resulted in the formation of a giant corporation, Utah International Inc. which today has business worldwide. Utah International at Its Beginning depicts W. H. Wattis overlooking initial construction in Uintah in the 1860s.
In its early years, the company completed several railroad projects including two to California. In the 1920s, the company branched out into bridge projects including the monumental San Francisco to Oakland Bay Bridge and the Hoover Dam. Within the next two decades, the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams had been constructed.

Kaysville Area Connection
At the time the company was founded, Kay’s Ward encompassed everything from the Farmington border to the Weber River including Uintah, home of the Wattis family. Wife of the man for whom Kaysville was named, Mary Twinberrow Wattis Bennett Kay was related to these industrialists.

David M. Merrill (1912-1997)

David M. Merrill studied at the University of Utah and the Art Center School in Los Angeles before earning Bachelor and Masters degrees in Fine Arts from Brigham Young University.
Merrill’s career involved teaching art at Davis High School, working as an advertising art supervisor and a TIME magazine art director, and operating an art gallery. He spent the last 30 years of his life as a full-time painter. Many of his artworks are displayed in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City.


  • “Bicentennial Historical Art Collection.” 1976 Exhibition Brochure, Special Collections, Weber State University. Spelling and grammar corrected.
  • Eyes Toward the Past. DVD.
  • Karras, Marilyn. “Determination Founded Firm”. Ogden Standard Examiner. August 22, 1976.

Copyright owned by Weber State University Storytelling Festival. All rights reserved. Painting shown by Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum with permission. Painting number 28 in the 2023 exhibit guide.