10 Rad People Born In Ogden

Living in Ogden offers many positive and life changing events. Many of us enjoy beautiful scenery, unique homes, and amazing jobs. These 10 Ogden born men and women received SUCCESS.


Rachel Allen Berry was born on March 11, 1859. She grew up in Kanarraville, Utah; a little town adjacent to Cedar City. Rachel married William Berry at the age of twenty. The young school teacher and her cattleman husband decided to travel to Arizona by wagon in the fall of 1881. With 18 other people, they arrived in St. Johns Arizona on January 27, 1882.


Arizona became a blossoming state in 1912, this was also the year Arizona’s women were given the right to vote. With the excitement of women’s suffrage many women began to run for elected office. Ogden’s very own Rachel Berry was elected a seat in a State Legislature in the United States, she became one of the first woman to win a seat! Her term officially began on January 11, 1915.  Her work in Apache County focused on bills concerning education and child welfare. She served as chairwoman of the Good Roads Committee and played a great role in redesigning  Arizona’s current state flag.


Mrs. Rachel Berry passed away with one term in the State Legislature under her belt and multiple leadership positions in her church and local school board. She died on Thanksgiving Day, 1948. A long, successful life allowed her a position in the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984. Ogden breeds strong women!


Donald Clark Osmond was born the seventh son to Olive and George Osmond on December 9, 1957. He was born in Ogden, Utah as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At age 5 he made his first debut on The Andy Williams Show singing “You Are My Sunshine”. Donny quickly became a member of The Osmond Brothers, his very own American family band.


Donny Osmond became a teen idol in the early 1970’s and starred as the “Cover Boy” for Tiger Beat Magazine. In 1971 our dreamy Donny’s solo hit peaked at number 7 in the U.S. Donny’s “Go Away Little Girl” ranked number 1 in the U.S. and launched him into international fame. Humble Ogden produced a star!


More recently you can catch Ogden’s Donny singing “I’ll Make a Man Out of  You” from Disney’s, mulan. In 2002 he sang “No One Has To Be Alone” for the end credits in The Land Before


Time IX: Journey to Big Water. Low and behold, our famous Donny can dance too! In efforts to prove he was a better dancer than his sister he starred in season 9 of Dancing With The Stars.


Solon Borglum was an American sculptor of the Frontier Life. He was born in Ogden, Utah on December 22, 1868 and lived in the Rocky Mountain Range until he pursued his life as an artist. Although, success was not handed to him. His younger brother, on the other hand, was influenced by his father’s wood work at an early age to aspire towards his own art. Gutzon Borglum and Solon’s nephew were the two most responsible men for the creation and carvings of Mount Rushmore.


As a young man, Solon had little desire to attend formal school. He worked on a ranch spending many hours with horses, he showed a great ability to draw them. Gutzon encouraged Solon to continue in arts as a profession.



Solon was a well traveled man after the decision was made to dedicate his life to art. After living in the Sierra Madre mountains, Los Angeles, and Santa Ana he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1895 where he attended the Art Academy. Instructor Louis Rebisso was fond of Solon’s work and encouraged him to begin sculpting. His first effort at sculpting was inspired by a drawing of horses he had done on the ranch.


In 1898 Solon was offered a scholarship to the Academie Julian in Paris. There he met leading sculptors and became an award winning sculptor himself. Though he lived in Paris and later New York and received an honorable title of one of America’s best sculptors, it was his humble depiction of the Frontier Life that brought his great success.


John Moses Browning, sound familiar? This Ogden born man is regarded as one of the most successful firearms designer of the 20th Century! John Browning was born on January 23, 1855. His father, an LDS pioneer who traveled from Nauvoo, established a gunsmith shop in Ogden in 1852. From the age of seven, John Moses Browning began his experience with gun engineering and manufacturing right in the comfort of his father’s shop. There, he was allowed and even encouraged to experiment new concepts. Ogden nurtures creativity, am I right?


With the help of his younger brother, Matthew Browning, his own manufacturing operation was engaged and firearms were produced. His first rifle was a single shot falling back action rifle. Other notable designs include: Browning Hi Power Pistol, Browning Automatic Rifle, and the Semi-automatic shotgun.



I love the way his later work is described, John Browning’s creativity remains alive today. John Browning was known as a dedicated and tireless innovator and experimenter who sought breakthrough consumer-oriented features and performance and reliability improvements in small arms designs. He did not retire from his career in his elder years, but dedicated his entire adult life – literally to his last day – to these pursuits. On November 26, 1926, while working at the bench on a self-loading pistol design for Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) in Liège, he died of heart failure in the design shop of his son Val A. Browning. Even the 9 mm self-loading pistol he was working on when he died had great design merit and was eventually completed in 1935, by Belgian designer Dieudonne Saive. Released as the Fabrique Nationale GP35, it was more popularly known as the successful Browning Hi-Power pistol, a favorite of sportsmen and law enforcement. (via: Wikipedia)



Although there was not much said about Marguerite Clayton, her life caught my attention. She was born on  April 12, 1891 in, you guessed it, our very own Ogden! She appeared in 179 films between 1909 and 1928. This was during the Silent Film era. Many of her films were done with the famous actor, writer, film director, and film producer, Broncho Billy Anderson. How an Ogden local crossed paths with America’s first star of the Western film genre, we’ll never know! But it can happen, as beautiful Marguerite Clayton proves. She died in Los Angeles in a car accident and was buried next to her husband and Major General, Victor Bertrandias in the Arlington National Cemetery.



Minerva Teichert was a talented, Ogden born artist. She was born on August 28, 1888. Her life was dedicated to her passion of painting. She once exclaimed, “I must paint”. She grew up on a ranch in Idaho, her humble abode never stopped her from achieving her greatest desire. She studied art under John Vanderpoel at The Art Institute of Chicago and then at the Art Students League of New York under Robert Henri. Minerva raised five children with her husband Herman Teichert in Cokeville, Wyoming. There, she painted some of her favorite scenes from western Americana. Despite her lack of studio space and free time, she insisted plowing through as an independant artist. Being an Ogden woman, I appreciate Minerva’s strong passion towards doing what she loved most. She was an opinionated woman who held her own when the winds would rise. Minerva Teichart painted over 400 murals. Her murals plaster the walls of LDS temples, the pages of The Book of Mormon, and are beautifully displayed around Brigham Young University.




Wataru Misaka was born on December 21, 1923. He was born in Ogden, Utah and raised locally on 25th street. Wataru was known as Nisei, a Japanese term in North America to categorize the children born to Japanese people in the new country. As a young boy living in the midst of a World War II raged community, Wataru was frowned upon because of his Japanese ethnicity. Chad Nielson, a University of Utah magazine author, wrote this regarding Wataru Misaka, “Reared in the basement of his father’s barber shop—between a bar and a pawn shop on 25th Street, where brothels abounded—Misaka was denied service at restaurants and avoided on the street”. Despite the vast amount of discrimination, Wataru still participated in sports, namely basketball. He led our very own Ogden High School to a state championship title in 1940. The next year they took the regional championship title.


Wataru’s success in school sports did not stop there! He attended what was then called Weber College where they won two championships. The stars aligned and Wataru was able to continue his education while other Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps. Upon arriving at the University of Utah, he promptly joined the basketball team. With Wataru, the Utes were unstoppable! They played in the NCAA championship. Luckily, they were on a winning streak!



Wataru was briefly drafted for the war effort and held the title of Staff Sergeant for two years. He returned and quickly rejoined the team. The team won their second national championship in four years. In the final game, wataru played the entire time next to Ralph Beard, the national player of the year. They took home the title beating Kentucky 49-45!


In 1947 Wataru was drafted again, this time to play with the New York Knicks. Just as Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line, Wataru Misaka was the first non-caucasian player in professional basketball. Misaka played three games during the 1947-1948 season, until he was cut from the team. Wataru Misaka is alive today and holds no grudge over the Knicks, he believes they had too many guards. He did not feel any discrimination, but never admitted to be extremely close to his team either.


Declining the offer to join the Harlem Globetrotters he and his wife, Kate, settled in Salt Lake City with two children. Wataru pursued his salary with engineering.


The 91 year old Ogden local was admitted to the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.


Kelsey Nixon, a spritely Ogden born gal, is (not was) an American Chef. She hosts the Cooking Channel series Kelsey’s Essentials. If you’re a big “foodie”, you might remember Kelsey in Season Four of the Food Network Star. She was one of four finalists and was voted “fan fave”!


Before becoming the star she is now, Kelsey created her own TV show called Kelsey’s Kitchen, all while attending college at Brigham Young University. She has a degree in Broadcast Journalism and was taught her culinary skills by the best including Le Cordon Bleu-Hollywood and the French Culinary Institute. She has been an intern for Martha Stewart and the Food Network star Sandra Lee.

Spunky, Ogden raised Kelsey received nomination for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Host Category. You’d be crazy not to check out her website: http://www.kelseyskitchen.com/about!


Alright Ogden mama’s, put your hands together for Parker Jacobs, the art director of the childrens TV series Yo Gabba Gabba! Parker was born in Ogden, Utah in 1975. When his family relocated to California in 1976 he pursued child acting, along with his older siblings Christian and Rachel and younger brother Tyler. He was a notable star in the late 1980’s series Cavanaughs and a recurring character in the series The Wonder Years. His child acting career came to a halt in 1991.


Parker and his siblings moved from California to St. George, Utah and started a ska band called GOGO13 in 1993; a local success! Parker Later found success as artist, merchandise man, fan club president, and occasional back up singer for his brother Christian’s up and coming band, The Aquabats. After many stage shows, skits, and EP’s, Parker resigned from The Aquabats in the early 2000’s.



His more recent work includes character design, animation direction, set design, color styling, writing, composing, voiceovers, art direction and costume design for the TV series, drum roll please . . . Yo Gabba Gabba! This is a children’s television series produced by his brother Christian and cohort Steve Shultz in 2007. Parker Jacobs was nominated for not one, not two, but THREE Daytime Emmy Awards for art direction and costume design. This guy’s got talent!


Oh, and if your kid is into bigfoot, take a look at Parker Jacob’s children’s book The Goon Holler Guidebook.


William Charles McNulty, an American cartoonist born in Ogden, Utah in 1889. His works now rest permanently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the U.S. Library of Congress. He is best known for his rather realistic drawings of New York. There he studied at the Art Students League, where he later taught. The Seattle Star, a daily newspaper that ran from 1899-1947, was home to McNulty as a successful editorial cartoonist. He worked as an editorial cartoonist under the name of VON-A in Nebraska, Montana, and New Orleans. His witty and undying illustrations were printed in The Cartoon: A Reference Book of Seattle’s Successful Men and the 12th Session of Washington State Legislature. Both were vanity cartoon books poking fun at the rich and powerful.


After teaching at the Art Students League for 27 years William retired and settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He died there in the year of 1963.





Ogden is roots to many a fancy names. Where will Ogden take you?


Erika is a mover and a shaker, a yoga-doer, rock climber, people watcher, kitty lover, small thing appreciator. She is a transplant from North Ogden, but calls Ogden home. Growing up in northern Utah, the surrounding mountains have always been like a giant hug to her. 

On a relaxing day, you might find Erika at the following places in Ogden: Grounds For Coffee 25th or 30th, the Ogden Boulder Field, or The YogaLoft at The Front Climbing Club. 



Guest bloggers are locals who love Ogden! To become a guest blogger, email Mikaela@indieogdenutah.com.