OGDEN -- The Daughters of Utah Pioneers are still angry about what they perceive as a snub from Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell, but the mayor says slighting the group was never his intent.
The alleged snub dates back quite some time now -- eight weeks to be exact -- when on July 24, the DUP held a special ceremony to rededicate their Weber County Pioneer Museum.
Early last year, the building was moved from its longtime location at 2148 Grant Ave. to 2104 Lincoln Ave. on a half-acre lot donated by the city.
The building was relocated through the joint efforts of Weber County DUP, Ogden city and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in conjunction with the renovation of the Ogden LDS Temple.
The building has had a rich history in Weber County and Ogden.
Originally built as the Weber Stake Relief Society Hall of the LDS Church, the building was completed in 1902.
It was deeded to the Weber County DUP on Sept. 30, 1926, and has been serving Ogden as a pioneer museum since 1929.
DUP member and former group president Hilma Thirkill told the Standard-Examiner late last week that she and several other members are still steamed about what happened at the dedication ceremony.
Thirkill, who was in charge of fundraising for the restoration of the museum, said the mayor was invited to cut the ribbon at the Pioneer Day rededication ceremony.
While acknowledging that she never spoke to the mayor directly, Thirkill said she contacted the mayor's secretary, asking that the mayor participate in the event.
Thirkill said she was assured several times that the mayor would be there, receiving final confirmation the day before the event took place.
But when the time came to cut the ribbon, Thirkill said, there wasn't anyone to hand the scissors to.
"That is what's so disappointing about it," she said. "If we had just been told he couldn't come, it would be a different story, and I wouldn't have anything to complain about."
In late August, Thirkill had a letter to the editor published in the Standard-Examiner about the incident.
"I just felt like we were stood up," she said. "I know he could have easily sent another city representative to step in for him."
But Caldwell said he would never intentionally snub the group and he regrets that some see it that way.
"I don't want them to feel like they were slighted in any way," he said. "Because that certainly wasn't the intent."
Caldwell said holidays like Pioneer Day can be busy for certain elected officials, and his July 24 this year was no exception.
The mayor said family commitments and other scheduling conflicts prevented him from being at the ceremony and that he felt bad because he couldn't make it. Caldwell said he has since apologized to the group and hopes the incident is resolved.
"We realize the important role the (DUP) plays in our city," he said. "In fact, (the city) even helped them get the land for the current site, so we want to continue to have a good relationship there."
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.