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Category Archives: About History

UHQ Summer 2015 Web Supplements

1_MolokansRussian Molokans in Utah: A Conversation with Marshall Bowen

Marshall Bowen, “The Russian Molokans of Park Valley”

In this Q&A we asked Marshall Bowen about the brief tenure of the Molokans in Park Valley and the process of uncovering their history.


2_Hill-CreekThe Hill Creek Extension: A Portfolio of Primary Documents

Kathryn MacKay, “The Uncompahgre Reservation and the Hill Creek Extension”

We offer faithful reproductions of some of the BIA records that MacKay used to detail the Ute Tribe’s long struggle to secure the Hill Creek Extension.


3_women-inventorsEarly Utah Women Inventors: A Conversation with Christine Cooper-Rompato

Christine Cooper-Rompato, “Women Inventors in Utah Territory”

We sat down with Christine Cooper-Rompato to discuss her research on Utah’s nineteenth-century women inventors. Click here for the audio of our conversation. We also provide links to many of the patents filed by these inventors.

4_wedding-dressWedding Dresses: A Photo Gallery

Wedding Dress Photo Essay

Check out beautiful color photos from the wedding dress collection housed at the Utah State Historical Society. Photographs by Anna Oldroyd.


5_indian-vocabulariesUte and Shoshone Vocabulary

Found: Rare First Edition of the Earliest Ute and Shoshone Vocabulary

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a number of Ute and Shoshone vocabularies were published in Utah. We provide links to the three editions of Dimick Baker Huntington, as well as volumes produced by Joseph A. Gebow, George W. Hill, and Ralph V. Chamberlin.


2015 Annual Utah State History Conference

Deep Roots, Many Voices: Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past

Utah is – and always has been – an eclectic mix of peoples and communities.  Join us for a free conference full of workshops, history sessions, panels and documentaries.  Lunch is included on October 2nd.

Utah’s history is enriched by the study of a host of peoples, experiences, and voices. The histories of ethnicity, gender, work, and family, from the perspective of ordinary people, do more than pepper diversity in Utah history: they fundamentally change and enhance our understanding of the state and its past. These histories are ones of empowerment, creativity, and survival, as well as conquest, dispossession, and prejudice.

Register for the conference

Conference Schedule

October 1, 2015
Workshops (schedule to be posted soon)
Rio Grande Depot
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT

October 2, 2015
History Sessions (click here for schedule)
Utah Cultural Celebration Center
1355 West 3100 South
West Valley City, UT

October 3, 2105
Tour of Iosepa (click here for schedule)
Separate paid registration is required!
(registration will be posted soon)

October 10, 2015
Tour of Topaz (click here for schedule)
Separate paid registration is required!
(registration will be posted soon)

For questions, please contact Alycia Aldrich at or 801-245-7226

Thank you to our conference sponsors:  W.W. Clyde and Co., American West Center, Ames Construction, Chevron, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Fort Douglas Military Museum, J. Willard Marriott Library, and Utah Westerners.

Oct 2, 2015 History Sessions

Paper abstracts and presenter biographies will soon be added.

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. 1:45 – 3:15 p.m. 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Politics and Religious Authority Rediscovering Utah’s Native Voices Paiutes and the Circleville Massacre after 150 Years (panel) Religion and Race: Evaluating Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (panel)
Utah History as Community Engagement Disability Rights Movement in Utah and the Nation (panel) Pioneer Architecture, Utah’s First Woman CPA, and Queer Nation Utah: A History Hodgepodge Diversity and Sport
Archaeology, Paleontology, and Ethnography Under-documented Communities in Utah: Iosepa & Chinese Railroad Workers (panel) Immigration in Early Twentieth-Century Utah Religious and Cultural Difference
The Breadth of Regional History: The Case of Southeastern Utah (panel) Documenting the Topaz Experience Pitching Tents and Breaking Trail: Three Historians Afield with the Utah War Native-White Interaction in Nineteenth-Century Utah
Sustaining Vietnamese-American Voices: The Utah Vietnam Oral History Project (panel) The Power of Oral History: Uncovering the Stories of Latino/as in Utah (panel) Latino Voices in Cache Valley (panel) Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past through Oral History (panel)
Magna: An American Story (documentary) Splinters of a Nation: The Story of German Prisoners of War in Utah       (documentary/panel) In Football We Trust (documentary) Polynesians in Utah (panel)

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Politics and Religious Authority (Room 101)

  • Gary Bergera: Ezra Taft Benson Meets Nikita Khrushchev, 1959: Memory Embellished
  • Kenneth and Geoffrey Cannon: Separation of Prophet and State? The 1914 Reelection of Reed Smoot
  • Jason Friedman: “Unless the ‘Saints’ decorate my personage with plumage and ‘something to make it stick’”: Duncan McMillan and the fight for Wasatch Academy

Utah History as Community Engagement (Room 102)

  • Susie Porter and Maria Garciaz: Utah History as Community Engagement
  • Lloyd Pendleton: Utah’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness

Archaeology, Paleontology, and Ethnography (Room 104)

  • Daniel King: Jurassic Jones: The Archaeology of Paleontology
  • Joseph Bryce: Marks in the Clay: Impressions and What They Tell Us
  • Madison N. M. Pearce: Prehistoric Diets and Medicines of the Utah Great Basin: Using Ethnohistory to Explore Botanical Remains From Spotten Cave Human Coprolites

The Breadth of Regional History: The Case of Southeastern Utah (Room 105)

  • Panel: Robert McPherson, Floyd O’Neill, Kent Powell, and Lee Ann Kreutzer

Sustaining Vietnamese-American Voices: The Utah Vietnam Oral History Project (Suite A)

  • Panel: Chris Dunsmore

Magna: An American Story (documentary) (Suite B)

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Rediscovering Utah’s Native Voices (Room 101)

  • Panel: Shirlee Silversmith (chair), Richard Turley, Brent Rogers, Gregory Smoak, Shoshone and Ute Native speakers

Disability Rights Movement in Utah and the Nation (Room 102)

  • Panel: Troy Justesen (chair), Barbara Toomer, Sherry L. Repscher, Tracy R. Justesen

Under-documented Communities in Utah: Iosepa and Chinese Railroad Workers (Room 104)

  • Panel:TBA

Documenting the Topaz Experience (Room 105)

  • Scotti Hill: When Words Weren’t Enough: Art of the Topaz Internment Camp
  • Jane Beckwith

The Power of Oral History: Uncovering the Stories of Latino/as in Utah (Suite A)

  • Panel: Matt Basso (chair), Jennifer Macias, Juan Jose Garcia, Andrea Garavito Martinez

Splinters of a Nation: The Story of German Prisoners of War in Utah (documentary/panel) (Suite B)

  • Panel: Scott Porter, Allan Kent Powell

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Paiutes and the Circleville Massacre after 150 Years (Room 101)

  • Panel: Suzanne Catharine, Dorina Martineau, Sue Jensen Weeks, and Albert Winkler

Pioneer Architecture, Utah’s First Woman CPA, and Queer Nation Utah: A History Hodgepodge (Room 102)

  • Allen Dale Roberts: British Influence on Pioneer Utah’s Greek and Gothic Revival
  • David Hales, Sandra Brimhall: You’re a Woman. You Can’t Be a Certified Public Accountant: The Trials and Struggles of Hannah Claire Haines, Utah’s First Woman CPA and Prominent Business Woman
  • Seth Anderson: “We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Fabulous, Get Used to Us!”: Queer Nation Utah, 1991 – 1992

Immigration in Early Twentieth-Century Utah (Room 104)

  • Brian Whitney and Lorrie Rands: Immigrants at the Crossroads: An Oral History of Immigration into Ogden, Utah
  • Eileen Hallet Stone: Utah’s Jewish Agrarian Pioneers
  • Rochelle Kaplan: Jews in Utah: Not an Oxymoron!

Pitching Tents and Breaking Trail: Three Historians Afield with the Utah War (Room 105)

  • Kenneth Alford: “And a Bitter Experience It Was”: The Utah War and the 1858 Move South
  • James F. Martin: “Sibleys amongst the Snow”: Locating Old Camp Scott
  • William MacKinnon: Summing Up the Utah War: One Historian’s Twenty-first Century Conclusions

Latino Voices in Cache Valley (Suite A)

  • Panel: Brad Cole (chair), Randy Williams, Eduardo Ortiz, Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante

In Football We Trust (documentary) (Suite B)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Religion and Race: Evaluating Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (Room 101)

  • Panel: Brad Westwood (chair), Paul Reeve, LaShawn Williams-Schultz, and David Rich Lewis

Diversity and Sport (Room 102)

  • Joseph Soderberg: Wicket Mormons and Cricket Gentiles: Cultural Imperialism in Utah’s Sporting Past
  • Intermountain Cricket League Exhibition

Religious and Cultural Difference (Room 104)

  • Isaiah Jones: The Gentile Stays in Cache Valley
  • Craig L. Foster and Newell G. Bringhurst: Two Changing Faces of Fundamentalist Mormonism: Rulon and Warren Jeffs

Native-White Interaction in Nineteenth-Century Utah (Room 105)

  • Wendy Simmons Johnson: An Underground Store, the Skull Valley Goshute, and Red Ink:  Contact Period in Rush Valley
  • Hadyn B. Call: Kidnapped and Purchased: Piecing Together the Story of Ruth Piede Call Davids—a Paiute Indian
  • Jim Keyes: Showdown in the canyons: History of interaction between early cattle ranchers and Native Americans in southeastern Utah.

Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past through Oral History (Suite A)

  • Panel:
    • Randy Williams: Cache Valley Refugee Voices
    • Deborah M. George: New Zion Community Advocates, Inc.

Polynesians in Utah (Suite B)

  • Panel: TBA

October 3, 2015 Iosepa Tour

In 1889, Pacific Islander converts to the Mormon Church, established a community in Skull Valley, naming it Iosepa (i.e., “Joseph”). The settlement survived for 28 years, finally being abandoned in 1917.To celebrate the rich Asian and Pacific Islander heritage of Utah please join the Utah Division of State History and the Fort Douglas Military Museum for an introduction to the history and archaeological legacy of this community and its descendants. After a background lecture by Dr. Benjamin Pykles of the LDS Church History Department, the tour will head out to what remains of the Iosepa Townsite and Cemetery for a step back in time. While in Skull Valley the tour will take advantage of the proximity to see the original ruts and cuts from the Donner-Reed and Hastings Cutoff route of the California National Historic Trail with interpretive discussions along the way. The field trip will begin at 9am and return by 2pm on October 3rd, and a boxed lunch will be provided.
Separate paid registration is required!
(schedule and registration to be posted shortly)

October 10, 2015 Topaz Tour

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It also marks the closing of the Topaz internment camp near Delta, Utah, where over 11,000 Japanese-Americans were imprisoned between 1942 and the camp’s closure in 1945. To commemorate and explore the rich and troubling history of this seldom-seen side of the American home front, the Utah Division of State History, the Fort Douglas Military Museum and the American West Center would like to invite you on a tour of the internment camp and the brand new Topaz Museum.

Admission to this day-long tour will include a bag lunch and a copy of Yoshiko Uchida’s classic story of life at Topaz, Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family. Dr. John Reed of the University of Utah History Department will provide historical information en route.

Separate paid registration is required!
(schedule and registration to be posted shortly)


Utah Historical Quarterly Special Events

The Utah State Historical Society sponsors a regular series of lectures highlighting the work and scholarship of the Utah Historical Quarterly, the state’s official history journal. These lectures feature the latest work of writers and historians on significant, varied topics in Utah history. All members of the public are cordially invited to our events. Please check back on this webpage for an updated listing of upcoming events and access recordings of our past lectures.

Upcoming Event

Created and Preserved: Using Objects to Understand Women in Utah History
Wednesday, July 22, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thatcher-Young Mansion, 35 West 100 South, Logan, UT 84321

Three-genThe July 2015 Utah Historical Quarterly lecture will focus on the experiences of Utah women in the late 1800s and early 1900s, in part by examining objects that they created, used, and preserved. Christine Cooper-Rompato, an English professor at USU, will describe the inventions and lives of several nineteenth-century Utah women who received patents in their own names. Holly George, co-managing editor of UHQ, will discuss a remarkable collection of wedding dresses at the Utah State Historical Society that comes from five generations of a Utah family. The lecture is free and open to the public.




Event Archives

Spring 2015

Inventing the State of Deseret
May 20, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Eccles Community Art Center in Ogden, Utah

deseretBruce Worthen discusses the tense negotiations between the Mormons and Washington over statehood, as seen through the eyes of Utah’s congregational delegate John Bernhisel. In 1849, Bernhisel helped create a fictitious government known as the “State of Deseret” to allay the fears of Congress about the Mormons. Instead, as Worthen argues, it almost led to war in 1852.

Winter 2015

History as Art and Craft: A Conversation with Historians
February 19, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Washington County Historic Courthouse, St. George, Utah

imageWhat is the nature of historical knowledge: How do historians ply their trade, tackle complex and often controversial topics, and seek meaning and significance in the past? Why do historians come to different conclusions about the past? We’ve assembled a cast of historians to speak about the philosophy and craft of history, with special emphasis on Juanita Brooks and the history of southern Utah.

Read written transcript UHQ-History as Art and Craft
Event Flier 2-19-15


UHQ Winter 2015 Web Supplements

UHQ Interviews: Utah Historiography

Robert Parson, “Neither Poet Nor Prophet: S. George Ellsworth and the History of Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 6-19

Utah-HeritageAccompanying Robert Parson’s article on the historian S. George Ellsworth, we offer conversations with the noted historians and archivists Gary Topping and Robert Parson on the historiography of Utah, as well as selected accompanying documents, including letters from Ellsworth on the writing of Utah’s Heritage and a diary excerpt from Leonard Arrington on the founding of the Western Historical Quarterly.



Charcoal Kilns: A Photo Gallery

Douglas H. Page Jr., et al., “Charcoal and Its Role in Utah Mining History,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 20-37

The winter 2 Three Kilns Spring 015  UHQ introduces readers to the dozens of charcoal kilns, now abandoned, that dot the Utah landscape. These kilns are visible reminders of a once profitable and ubiquitous industry. They are also a remarkable visual display, revealing the kiln’s unique and varied designs and the often remarkable craftsmanship that went into their construction. We thank Doug Page, a retired forester, for providing the text and photos.


Gallery of Female Imagery in Advertisements

Kathryn L. MacKay, “The Chocolate Dippers’ Strike of 1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 38-51

chocolate boxes

With publication of MacKay’s article on chocolate dippers we present historical advertisements using women and their bodies to sell goods and projects. These images are housed at the collections of Utah State Historical Society.




Sounds of the Cathedral

Gary Topping, “Transformation of the Cathedral: An Interview with Gregory Glenn,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 59-69

Gary Topping, archivist of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, unearthed an LP of the Cathedral Madeline choir in 1960. We converted the songs to a digital format and make them available here.



UHQ Spring 2015 Web Supplements

1-WebSupAlmon Babbitt and Early Utah Politics: A Portfolio of Documents

Bruce Worthen, “‘Zachary Taylor Is Dead and in Hell and I Am Glad of It!': The Political Intrigues of Almon Babbitt,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Spring 2015): 84-97.

Here we offer faithful reproductions of some of the primary documents Worthen used to construct his analysis of behind-the-scenes political wrangling of Almon Babbitt, the Mormon’s ambitious State of Deseret designee in Washington, D.C. leading to the creation of Utah Territory in 1850. These letters, minutes of meetings, and official documents that recreate the shadowy deals and positioning that ultimately put Utah on the political map. We also provide short biographies of important political individuals and political cartoons from the era.

 Folklore and History: An Interview with Steve Siporin2-6

Steve Siporin, “A Bear and a Bandit,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Spring 2015): 98-114.

We spoke with Siporin, a professor of folklore at Utah State University, about the stories of Old Ephraim and Dominenci Tiburzi and the marriage between folklore and history. Siporin reminds us that humans are natural-born storytellers, and that “we are always, subconsciously perhaps, aiming towards a more meaningful and artistic story because it’s about communication about past experience. It’s not always about literal truth.” Click here for the audio and transcript of our conversation.

3-4Southeastern Utah Missile Launches

Robert McPherson, “Desert Cold Warriors: Southeastern Utah’s Fight against Communism, 1951–1981,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Spring 2015): 116-31.

See the following links for resources on southeastern Utah missile launches during the Cold War: Robert McPherson’s interview with Rudy Alonzo, who was in the tracking station south of Blanding following the missiles fired from Green River; “The Athena That Got Away,” regarding the missile that landed in Mexico; and Jim Stiles’s “The Last Flight of Felon 22″ for information the crash of Felon 22 in 1961; and the White Sands Missile Range newspapers Wind and Sand (1950 to 1969) and Missile Ranger (1969 to 1990), online searchable archives, at

 Extended Photo Gallery of the Green River Launch Complex4-11_metal-slides

“The Green River Launch Complex: A Photo Essay,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 132-41.

We publish here additional historic and contemporary photos of the Green River Launch Complex. The contemporary photos are complements of Chris Merritt, Chris Hansen, and Cory Jensen.


Veterans Utah History Project


Where were you when WWII ended?

The Division of State History and the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs have joined together on the Veterans Utah History Project.

Whether you are a WWII veteran and want to document and share your experiences and memories or you want to volunteer to interview a WWII veteran there are opportunities to participate.

Visit the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs website to learn more and get involved to collect, document and archive this important part of our history.

2015 Utah State History Conference

Mark your calendars and please join us!

The 63rd Annual Utah State History Conference
Deep Roots, Many Voices;  Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past

Thursday, October 1, 2105
Workshops at the Rio Grande Depot

Friday, October 2, 2015
History sessions at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City.

Tours to be announced shortly!

RSVP for the annual conference now!

A conference schedule is now available.


Utah Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month celebrates Utah’s rich archaeological and historical resources with a month of lectures and hands-on learning. Statewide events include:

  • Open house at the South City Campus of Salt Lake Community College with educational activities for kids and adults
  • Annual poster contest
  • Lectures and paper presentations
  • Tours of archaeological and historical sites

Please note: Updates occur regularly, but may take up to 48 hours to appear. Please note: Jumps may land slightly below their marker. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Do you have an event? Please email and fill out the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Event Form


 Where are you interested in attending events (by County)?










Salt Lake

San Juan










Board of State History Meeting Agenda

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rio Grande Depot, Board Room, 300 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT

TIME:  Noon – working lunch for Board members, hosted by State History

12:15 p.m. – WELCOME – Greg Thompson


12:20 p.m.        Oct 16 2014 Board Retreat Minutes Draft – Greg Thompson

12:25 p.m.        Board of State History Committees – Kevin Fayles

12:35 p.m.        Overview of Meetings for the Utah State Board of History – Kevin Fayles

12:45 p.m.         NRHP Board PrimerReview Board Procedure Update – Cory Jensen

1:00 p.m.          National Register of Historic Places Nominations for Review and Approval – Cory Jensen
1) Joseph Hill Cabin
2) Amundsen House
3) Bennion Flour Mill
4) Boyce-Newman House
5) SLC 29th Ward LDS Meetinghouse
6) Western Macaroni Co. Factory
7) Weber River RR Bridge

​1:30 p.m.          BREAK & Group Photo Retake – Kevin Fayles


1:45 p.m.          How do we widen community and legislative support of State History? – Dina Blaes

2:05 p.m.          Board member turnover 2015 – Greg Thompson
submit nominations to the Governor’s Office at

2:15 p.m.          Budget Report – Kevin Fayles

2:25 p.m.          Request for Review by Committee
1) Fellows and Honorary Members Process – Brad Westwood, Jed Rogers
2) Publication Awards AND Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Awards – Brad Westwood and Holly George

​2:35 p.m.          October – December 2014 Program Accomplishments for State History – Brad Westwood

3:00 p.m.          Utah Committee on Geographic Names – Brad Westwood, Arie Leeflang

3:05 p.m.          Markers and Monuments Database AND Circleville Massacre – Jed Rogers, Brad Westwood

3:15 p.m.          Revisit Committee Member Assignments – Kevin Fayles

3:20 p.m.          Recognition of Partnership with the LDS Church and Utah Territorial Papers and the Salt Lake Telegram Newspapers Projects – Brad Westwood, Steve Olsen

3:25 p.m.          Utah History Day at the Legislature (Jan. 30) and 2015 Capitol Hill Preservation Advocacy Week – Brad Westwood


NEXT MEETING:  April 16, 2015, 12:00 pm – 3:00 p.m.