Father of Utah mining celebrated in Patty?s Day Parade


    By Rebecca Croft

    The St. Patrick?s Day parade took place Saturday at the Gateway Center in Salt Lake City in honor of Patrick Edward Connor.

    Connor is known as the father of Utah mining because of his contributions to the Utah commerce and developments to the mining and railroad industries, according to a Hibernian Society news release.

    Connor was born in the rural county of Kerry, Ireland, and came to the United States on Nov. 28, 1839. He later enlisted in the army and fought in the Civil War.

    Connor became a commissioned brigadier general in command of the Utah district, where he became involved in the local and state government.

    After he retired from his military service, Connor began developing land in Utah for mining and railroad trading purposes, according to a biography written by Brigham D. Madsen.

    Because of Connor?s developments the Utah economy grew, creating more opportunities for Utah to be competitive in the mining industry.

    Because of these contributions to Utah, the theme for this year?s parade was ?From Kerry to Promontory.?

    The parade began at 400 West and 200 North in Salt Lake City and continued through the Gateway Center. All ages were in attendance at the St. Patrick?s Day celebration. Floats created by local groups as well as bagpipe marching bands participated.

    ?In addition to traditional music and dancing, this year?s post-parade ? highlighted the music of the session,? said Ted McDonough from the Utah Hibernian Society.

    The local Irish band was highlighted during and after the parade and was said to ?shake the rafters,? McDonough said.

    The total march was approximately 6-7 blocks through the Gateway Center and surrounding areas.

    The parade was hosted by The Hibernian Society of Utah which promotes the culture and history of Ireland and Irish American?s throughout the state by hosting regular community activities.

    The Hibernian Society also hosted the St. Patrick?s Eve program, featuring presentations on prominent figures in Irish-American history at The Fort Douglas Museum at the University of Utah later that night.

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