Ogden museum to display historic artifacts from Al Capone, Butch Cassidy, Einstein on Saturday

Ogden's 25th Street as seen in a photo from the Utah Historical Society. Photo is looking northwest toward the Union Depot. The 25th Street Museum will celebrate its reopening with a free open house featuring a special collection of historical artifacts.

Ogden's 25th Street as seen in a photo from the Utah Historical Society. Photo is looking northwest toward the Union Depot. The 25th Street Museum will celebrate its reopening with a free open house featuring a special collection of historical artifacts. (Utah Historical Society)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

OGDEN — History fans, take note.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Ogden's 25th Street Museum — located at 238 25th St. in Ogden — will celebrate its reopening by holding an open house and displaying a special collection that includes artifacts from people like George Washington, Al Capone, Helen Keller and Butch Cassidy.

The open house is free to attend.

Joseph Kerry, a board member for the museum, told KSL.com that although it didn't close, Saturday's open house will serve as the museum's reopening, as museum officials hope to ramp up operations while the coronavirus becomes less prevalent.

The special display is courtesy of the Utah-based Brent and Charlene Ashworth Collection, which will loan the items to the museum for Saturday only.

Kerry said Friday that he first reached out to Brent Ashworth about the possibility of displaying specifically Ogden artifacts for the museum's reopening, and Brent Ashworth generously provided those items and more.

Kerry talked about the old legend that Al Capone, the notorious Chicago mobster, came to Ogden following the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago — a shooting that killed seven gangsters. Those familiar with Ogden's lore have likely heard the story of Capone's feelings about the city. Legend has it that Scarface himself once said of Ogden, "This town is too tough for me."

The Saturday event will also feature a special exhibit to honor Ogden police officer Charles Manzel, who was shot and killed in 1921 in the very building where the museum is located. Manzel was shot while investigating the burglary of a business on 25th Street, according to the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial's website.

Kerry told KSL.com that when the museum opened, they didn't know the building was where Manzel was shot. He said Manzel, who had already been a police officer in Ogden, had just returned from World War I on that fateful night in May 1921. Manzel was assigned to patrol 25th Street after his predecessor was arrested for stealing from businesses on the street, Kerry said.

On his first day back, a shop owner ran up to Manzel saying his store was being robbed. Manzel ran upstairs — the same ones that now lead to the museum — and found two young burglars. While Manzel tried to unlock the back door to lead the two to his partner, one of the men pulled out a .32 caliber gun and shot Manzel in the head, killing him almost instantly, according to Kerry. Police only caught one of the two men, who was not convicted of murder due to a hung jury and lack of evidence. After a jail term of only a few years, the man was deported back to Mexico, Kerry said.

The special items on display range from Ogden artifacts to pieces of history with national or global significance. Some of those artifacts include:

  • Amelia Earhart's flight jacket
  • A handwritten note from Al Capone
  • Butch Cassidy's revolver
  • An ice pick used by Sir Edmund Hillary during his summit of Mount Everest — the first man to climb the mountain
  • A boxing glove autographed by Muhammad Ali
  • A fragment of the Enola Gay — the airplane that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II — signed by its navigator
  • The last known letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • George Washington's wallet
  • A handwritten letter from Helen Keller
  • A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein
  • General George Patton's toe tag

The 25th Street museum will continue to open its doors after Saturday's special event. The museum is open by appointment from Monday through Saturday. To book a guided tour, go to the museum's website or call 801-876-5297.

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Jacob Scholl joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. He covers northern Utah communities, federal courts and technology.

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