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Revolver

The Power of Objects

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Merwin & Hulbert Pocket Army Revolver
circa 1870-1880

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Merwin & Hulbert produced revolvers for only thirty years, going out of business in 1892. Among those was this pocket army .44 Calibre revolver, which used the same ammunition as a 1873 Winchester, with its mother-of-pearl handle. The use of such weapons in Wild West shows and Hollywood movies contributed to the legend of the West, but settlers did rely on firearms in everyday life. Mormon settlers traded away guns for goods with immigrants, trappers, and Native Americans. Brigham Young warned against the practice, claiming the settlers were arming the enemy by “heating the kettle of boiling water to scald your own feet.”  The 1860s brought mass production of weapons and the popularity of the repeated firing feature. To Utah, the 1860s brought more involved conflicts with Native Americans and the arrival of the federal army, causing settlers to value firearms more as an asset than a commodity to be traded.

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Link to full metadata record for Revolver
Power of Objects Digital Exhibit

Gavel

The Power of Objects

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Gavel
March 8, 1894

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On the eve of Utah’s Statehood, the men who were elected to the last Territorial legislature bridged a number of religious and cultural divides. After 1890 a general sense of cooperation pervaded Utah’s business and political worlds. Political party allegiances were re-drawn to match national patterns, and businessmen encouraged cooperation with each other regardless of political or religious affiliations through their positions on Chambers of Commerce.

By 1894, Representative Anthony W. Ivins believed that “an era of good feeling and fellowship sprang up, and as confidence in each other was developed, toward none was it more universally extended than toward our fellow member who had been chosen as Speaker of this House, to preside over us.” At this point, House Speaker Albion Emery’s health was deteriorating quickly. Emery had made his fortune in the Silver King Mining Company in Park City and spent most of his years in Utah in public service. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Republican “was a thorough Western man in tastes, habits and inclinations; a man of great good sense, keen mind, and warm sympathies—a steadfast friend, a companionable gentleman.”

Emery’s genial nature endeared himself to his fellow representatives, regardless of political allegiance. On the last day of the legislative session, Representative Ivins, a Democrat, presented the gavel to Speaker Emery as a token of gratitude and camaraderie. Ivins described the gavel’s symbolism on the House floor: “It is made of mountain mahogany, one of the hardest and most enduring of woods, appropriate symbol of our respect and esteem, which shall endure yet for many days to come. The golden bands with which it is bound are not more pure and imperishable than should be our loyalty and patriotism to our country and its institutions; those golden bands are not more endless than shall be the life of our Nation, which must go on and on, becoming more and more the light of the world, with never ending story.” Ivins continued, “The names engraven upon those bands of gold, Mr. Speaker, are the names of your friends and fellow laborers, in whose behalf I make this presentation. As you read them in the years to come may they bring back some pleasant remembrance of the Thirty-first Legislative Assembly of Utah, and your association with the men of whom that body was composed.” Several months later, Emery succumbed to his illness a few days shy of his 48th birthday.

Not only does the gavel represent Albion Emery’s ability to endear himself to his colleagues, but it also signifies a moment in Utah’s history when political leaders worked together to bridge the religious, cultural, economic, and political divides that had plagued Utahns in the 1870s and 1880s. It is a symbol of hope for Utah’s future as the 45th state in the Union.

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Link to full metadata record for Gavel
Power of Objects Digital Exhibit

Topaz Brooch B

The Power of Objects

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Brooch
Artist(s): Unknown
Donor: Rae S. Fujimoto
circa 1943

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These shell brooches from the internment camp at Topaz, Utah originally belonged to Rae Shizue Nakamoto Fujimoto. The Fujimotos’ story is remarkable. Despite personal loss amid injustice, the family found peace in moments of hardship.

Rae was born in San Francisco in 1908, the daughter of Japanese immigrants. Her father, Sekitaro Nakamoto, registered for the draft during World War I. Rae married Edward Kanta Fujimoto in 1940, a widower with a fifteen-year-old daughter, Grace. Born and educated in Japan, Edward immigrated to the United States after his parents had already settled and established a grocery store in San Francisco. The Fujimotos started a miso factory, The Fujimoto Company, and Rae and Edward managed the business together.

After the presidential evacuation order in February 1942, Bay Area Japanese-Americans worked quickly to close their businesses, sell their property, store their belongings, and find new homes for their family pets, all before May 1, 1942. Before Evacuation Day, Edward Fujimoto was sent to the Justice Department Camp in North Dakota. Rae, her mother-in-law, and her stepdaughter were left to manage these affairs before they were sent to Tanforan, a former horse racing track used to temporarily house “evacuees.”

As Rae and her family settled into Tanforan’s stables, Rae’s mother, Tamiyo Nakamoto, was in the San Mateo Hospital with terminal cancer. Rae and her siblings were able to remove their mother from the hospital and found housing in an empty stall at Tanforan so that she could be with her family when she passed. Although the living circumstances were difficult, Grace remembered that her grandmother “died in peace because she was with family, and we were so thankful for that.”

The Fujimotos and Nakamotos were sent to Topaz in September 1942. Edward was sent from North Dakota to a second Justice Department camp in Louisiana, and was eventually paroled to join his family in Topaz a year later. Grace finished out her senior year at Topaz High School. She remembered that one-square mile of camp became a place for recreation, and men and women would find raw materials that they used for arts and crafts. Through the hands of careful craftspeople, the innumerable supply of tiny shells transformed into delicate floral arrangements. In the absence of real flowers, internees wore these shell floral arrangements as pins or corsages for weddings and other celebrations. People often traded their creations or gave them as gifts. As Grace later reflected, “they found something artistic to do, and it was wonderful.”

Rae and Edward left camp in the fall of 1944 in order to re-establish The Fujimoto Company. Once the equipment was sent to Salt Lake City from San Francisco and the company was back in business, the rest of the family left camp to join them seven months later. Edward managed the family business until his sudden death in 1956, and Rae took it over until she retired in 1976. Despite their hardships, the Fujimotos found beauty in struggle and resilience after the war.

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Link to full metadata record for Topaz Brooch B
Power of Objects Digital Exhibit

Topaz Brooch A

The Power of Objects

History_BroochA_Main

Brooch
Artist(s): Unknown
Donor: Rae S. Fujimoto
1943

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Two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt ordered the relocation of Japanese-Americans from the west coast. In March 1942, Japanese Americans from the San Francisco area were temporarily housed at Tanforan Race Track in San Bruno, California. After living in horse stalls for months, Tanforan internees were moved to more permanent relocation camps throughout the United States, including the Topaz Relocation Center near Delta, Utah.

As the former Bay Area residents stepped off the hot and cramped train, they saw a dry and barren landscape. The camp was still under construction. Camp was divided into 12 barracks to a block, with 34 blocks total. The flimsy barracks offered very little protection from the region’s extreme temperatures. Constructed of pine board sheeting covered in tar paper, they had no insulation, and some of them did not yet have roofs. One bare light bulb hung in each barrack, furnished with only cots and an uninstalled pot bellied stove. Internees used sheets or blankets to separate the barracks into small rooms. A fine film of dust settled onto their meager possessions. Latrines, bathing, and washing facilities were located at a separate building for each block, but were also unfinished when residents arrived.

Despite the bleakness of their surroundings, internees sought ways to bring a semblance of normalcy to their lives. Children went to school, adults found work to do in camp, and residents created a beauty parlor, photo service, barbershop, post office, library, and consumers’ cooperative. Residents organized recreational activities, such as dances, parties, and camp administrators supervised picnics and hikes. Students from Topaz High School played football against area high school teams. For the duration of the war, Topaz internees did their best to continue with their lives.

Residents saved a variety of materials to create beautiful arts and crafts. They saved nails from boxes and found scrap lumber to construct shelves or chests. They painted, wrote poetry, and produced a variety of folk art. Both Tule Lake (California) and Topaz were situated on dry lake beds, and internees noticed that the ground was littered with tiny shells, some of which were smaller than seeds. Residents used screens to separate the dirt from the shells, sorted them by size and shape, bleached them in the sun, and painted them. In the absence of real flowers, these shells were painstakingly arranged by steady hands to create corsages, brooches, necklaces, and trinkets.

These shell brooches from Topaz connect the Japanese-American internees to the unique landscape of Delta, Utah. The floral arrangements suggest the Japanese tradition of Hana Kanzashi (floral hair decoration). Hair pins, barrettes, combs, and sticks often featured silk flowers made of very small silk squares, each of which was folded to make a single petal, and attached to a base to create a whole flower. Without access to silk, perhaps internees saw the indigenous shells as an alternative. The shell brooches from Topaz are a beautiful example of Japanese-American resilience and the ability to create beauty in the face of hardship.

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Link to full metadata record for Topaz Brooch  A
Power of Objects Digital Exhibit

 

The Power of Objects

Utah State History Artifacts Collection Digital Exhibit

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Have you ever been in the presence of an artifact and felt transported in time?  If you know their story, artifacts can become a tangible bridge to the past.   They can illustrate resilience in a time of difficulty, represent a significant transformation, or draw upon the complex relationship between mythology and reality.  They might reveal the creativity of the human spirit, or just confirm a previous way of life.  Whatever complex connection you personally may make, artifacts can help illuminate the stories of our collective past in ways words alone cannot.

To promote that connection to the past through objects while also taking advantage of technology, State History experimented with 360° digitization. Here are a few of our favorites from the Utah State History Artifact Collection.

Please click on the images above to explore the artifacts.

 

Utah State History Digital Collections

Search our digital collections individually or go to our Digital Photos page for a broader search


Al Morton Photograph and Film Collection

History_MortonThe Al Morton Photograph and Film Collection documents scenic Utah.  Morton photographed and filmed many of Utah’s natural beauties, including rivers, landscapes, and the National Parks in Utah, helping the tourist industry. He also documented recreational activities, such as river trips. His films were shown in schools and as tourist promotions. 

 


Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah

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The Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah collection contains images from various CCC camps throughout Utah, in both black and white and color, taken and collected by members of the CCC. The collection also contains copies of newsletters published by individual camps.

 


Classified Photograph Collection

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The Classified Photograph Collection contains over 20,000 images regarding people, architecture, cities and towns, and events throughout the history of Utah. The collection was organized by subject and compiled using images from various other Utah State History collections.

 


Clifford Bray Photographs

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Clifford Bray worked for the Shipler Commercial Photographer Studio and then independently. This collection contains images of Salt Lake City architecture and people in the 1930s, as well as unique images of accident scenes and business contracts for documentary purposes.

 


The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway Payroll Ledgers, 1889-1919

History_LedgersThe Denver & Rio Grande payroll ledgers contain the employment records for workers between 1889-1919. The ledgers document the pay of employees from different departments, such as the Agent’s Office, the Baggage Department, and the Transfer Gang.

 


Juanita Brooks Photograph Collection

History_brooksThe Juanita Brooks Photograph Collection contains images documenting Brooks’s professional writing career from 1934-1971. The collection also provides a glimpse into her personal life with many images of her family, activities, and general life in southern Utah.

 

 


The Kent Day Family Collection, 1917-1919

History_DayThe Kent Day Family Collection contains photographs and letters collected by different day family members, predominantly Ada Elizabeth Day. This collection documents the beginning of World War I from the perspective of different soldiers stationed in various places. The collection also includes documentation of the death of David Day who died of Spanish Influenza.


KUED Topaz Residents Collection

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The KUED Topaz Residents Collection contains images used for the KUED 1987 documentary on the Topaz Internment Camp in Delta, Utah during World War II. The collection documents the journey of many Japanese Americans leaving behind home, jobs, and life to enter the Topaz Internment Camp.

 


Larson Studio Negative Collection

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The Larson Studio Negative Collection was created by Thomas Christian Larson and his son O. Blaine Larson. Both operated the Larson Studio from 1916-1968 in Provo, Utah. The collection contains portraits of many Utah County citizens as well as some Utah landscape and industry scenes and images of Provo.

 

 


Peoples of Utah

History_PeoplesThe Peoples of Utah collection contains images used in Helen Papanikolas’s 1976 Peoples of Utah publication, documenting the history of the different ethnic groups throughout Utah. Some of the groups included are African Americans, Chinese, Greeks, and Japanese.

 

 


Philo T. Farnsworth Television Tubes Collection

History_farnsworthThe Philo T. Farnsworth Television Tubes Collection contains different examples of the Farnsworth television tubes that are part of Utah State History’s artifacts collection.

 

 

 


Salt Lake City Engineers Collection

History_cityThe Salt Lake City Engineers Collection contains negatives from 1902-1931 that document the construction of various structures in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. Included are images of roads, street paving, fire stations, bridges, rivers, and canyons.

 

 


Schools of the Salt Lake Valley

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The Schools of the Salt Lake Valley collection has images of various school structures throughout the Salt Lake Valley, many of which have since been demolished. Students of the various schools are often included in the images.

 


Shipler Commercial Photographers

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Shipler Commercial Photographers took thousands of images of Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. This collection contains images from glass plates (1900s-1920s) and acetate negatives (1940s-1950s), with the majority of the images having an exact date and detailed description.

 


Taylor Woolley Photograph Collection

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The Taylor Woolley Photograph Collection documents Utah architect Taylor Woolley’s time working under Frank Lloyd Wright during the 1911 construction of Wright’s Taliesin I in Wisconsin. The collection also contains some images of Woolley’s architectural work in Utah.

 

Utah 2002 Olympic Legacy Collection

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The Olympic Legacy Collection contains images of various events during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. Also included are images of some artifacts in the Utah State History collection, such as the famous tradable pins.

 


Utah Governor’s Olympic Collection

History_GovOly2The Utah Governor’s Olympic Collection contains images taken by the Governor’s Office during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. The images document the Governor’s activities during the Olympics as well as different Olympic events, such as the Opening Ceremonies and medal ceremony concerts.


William Edward Hook Glass Negative Collection

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The William Edward Hook Collection contains images from glass plate negatives. Hook was a photographer in Colorado during the 1890s gold rush. The collection documents life in the west and the railroad in Utah.


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Contact the Cemeteries and Burials Program

Thank you for visiting the Utah Cemeteries and Burials program. Please use the form below to contact us with questions, comments, or concerns regarding the cemeteries program or the database.

Please note: If you are seeking a correction to a burial record, please contact the cemetery where the individual record is located. Our records may only receive updates from the originating party.

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Please include the date needed or timeframe, and the names of persons or places relevant to your request. If you are attempting to locate an individual, please include as much of the following information as possible (First, Last, Middle, Maiden names; date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, religious affiliation, cemetery, cities they may have lived in)

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Digital Resources from the Utah Division of State History

The Utah Division of State History (State History) has many online resources available to the public for research purposes. Some of our current digital resources include:

State History resources digitized in partnership with U of U Marriott Library:

Digital photos:  70,000 historical photos online at http://history.utah.gov/digital-photos

Newspapers:  300,000 newspaper pages scanned and on Utah Digital Newspapers, http://digitalnewspapers.org   These newspapers cover crucial periods of Utah history.

  • Salt Lake Telegram:  1867, 1902, 1907-1912, 1914-1949
  • Ephraim Enterprise:  1891-1972
  • Inter-Mountain Republican: 1906-1909
  • Manti Messenger:  1893-1973
  • Salt Lake Herald:  1870-1920

Archaeological site records: 35,000 records online, available for licensed archaeologists

Publications: 47,000 pages online at http://history.utah.gov/publications

Complete copies of these periodicals:

  • Utah Historical Quarterly—scholarly  journal published since 1928
  • Beehive History—magazine with short, interesting stories published from 1974-2002
  • History Blazer—brief history anecdotes published as part of Utah’s centennial celebration, 1995-1996
  • Utah Archaeology—annual professional journal published by State History and partners
  • Antiquities Section Selected Papers—a monograph series examining the prehistoric cultures of Utah
  • Utah Preservation—historic preservation magazine published annually 1997-2007

Complete copies of these books:

  • 29 Centennial County Histories—A volume on each county published as part of Utah’s centennial celebration
  • A Way of Seeing: Discovering the Art of Building in Spring City, Utah
  • Brigham Street
  • Building by the Railyard
  • Carbon County: Eastern Utah’s Industrialized Island
  • Corinne—The Gentile Capital of Utah
  • Emery County: Reflections on Its Past and Future
  • First 100 Years: A History of the Salt Lake Tribune
  • Historic Buildings of Downtown Salt Lake City
  • Let ‘Em Holler: A Political Biography of J. Bracken Lee
  • Not by Bread Alone: The Journal of Martha Spence Heywood
  • Of Work and Romance: Discovering Utah’s Barns
  • On the Ragged Edge: The Life and Times of Dudley Leavitt
  • San Juan County, Utah: People, Resources, and History
  • The Architecture of Fort Douglas, Utah, 1862-1995
  • The Avenues of Salt Lake City
  • The Peoples of Utah
  • Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940

Other State History digital resources:

Cemeteries and burials:  information on nearly 600,000 deceased persons online at http://history.utah.gov/cemeteries . This database was named by Family Tree magazine as one of 2013’s best state-run genealogy websites. Visitors may also go to http://cemeteries.utah.gov/ directly.

Information on researching and rehabilitating historic buildings at http://history.utah.gov/info-resources-hist-bldgs

Catalogs and indexes to research library, manuscripts, phone directories, newspapers, and yearbooks at http://history.utah.gov/history/collections-2

Markers and monuments:  text from historical markers statewide at http://history.utah.gov/markers-and-monuments-database

Sister Agency Resources Digitized by Marriott Library

  • State Fine Art Collection
  • State Folk Art Collection
  • Utah American Indian Digital Archive:  Articles, books, documents, oral histories, photographs, and maps on Utah’s tribes at http://utahindians.org/archives/
  • Microfiche:  6,000 sheets of microfiche for State Library
  • Utah State Bulletin:  digitized and online at State Library

Cemeteries & Burials

165The Utah State Cemeteries and Burials database is available to the public. The information found within this searchable database is voluntarily given by the individual cemeteries. We work with all cemeteries throughout the state to centralize burial information and make it available to the public.

**Please note: If you find an error in the database, please contact the cemetery to make the correction in the official record. We do not maintain their files and each cemetery sexton has different policies related to updates.

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Grave at Salt Lake City Cemetery

 

Search for a person buried in Utah.

 

 

 

Rockville Cemetery entrance

Washington County Historical Society

 

Find a cemetery in Utah, or view a list of cemeteries.  Please note not all cemeteries listed have provided burial data.

 

 

 

 

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Search death certificates from 1904-1962 (outside web site)

 

 

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The Utah Cemeteries and Burials Database is recognized by Family Tree Magazine as one of the Best State Websites for family history research.

General Information

  • We give small grants to cemeteries to help them digitize sexton records.
  • Private groups and individuals sometimes offer to survey a cemetery. If you would like to do this, please see our tips for cemetery volunteers.
  • We do not offer copies of files submitted by the cemeteries. For official records please contact the individual cemeteries.

For cemeteries wishing to submit data, please refer to our submission guidelines, and contact Amy Barry 801-245-7247 for more information.contact us bar

For information about the Cemeteries and Burials Database, contact:

Amy Barry
801-245-7247
Fax: 801-533-3503

For grant information, contact:

Debbie Dahl
801-245-7233
Fax: 801-533-3503