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Category Archives: Research History

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

1948′s Unforgettable Winter

To view this video in full screen mode, click the icon in the bottom right of the screen

Do you have your own story of the winter of 1948-1949? Send it to us! Send your memories to hollygeorge@utah.gov

Winter’s fun (right?). But sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Salt Lake City Main Street 1949 covered in snow

Salt Lake City Main Street, 1949

In 1948-49, the most severe winter on record beat up the West. Even Las Vegas got 17 inches of snow. Though other winters saw more snow, wind, extreme cold, and little thawing made the snow pile up. And up. And up. Think about that next time you want to complain about winter!

Three days of ferocious snow

Early in January 1949, a vicious three-day blizzard broke windows, damaged roofs, and blew snowdrifts six to ten feet high on roads and streets. After that the temperature fell to below zero. The drifts crusted so hard that snowplow crews struggled to remove them. Sardine Canyon, between Brigham City and Cache Valley, stayed closed for a month. People got stranded, even in Salt Lake City–18 families in Salt Lake’s Canyon Rim area had to be dug out.

Livestock starved and froze. The state launched “Operation Haylift,” dropping bales of hay from military cargo planes. The Sons of Utah Pioneers, perhaps thinking of the next year’s hunt, lobbied for the state to also feed deer, pheasants, ducks, and quail. Meanwhile, skaters took advantage of strong ice at the Liberty Park pond, and children played on the huge snowdrifts.

Another blizzard

Snow Plows in Utah, 1948

Snow Plows in Utah, 1948

On January 15, another blizzard struck, bringing more minus temperatures. Some people had a novel–and irrational–idea: The city should truck in salt water from the Great Salt Lake or water from hot springs to melt the snow on the streets.

And another, big-time!

Then on January 22 the mother of all blizzards roared in. Wind-whipped snow and slides closed roads all over the state. In Millard County, where the snow drifted as high as the telephone wires, a couple of men spent 36 hours stranded in a truck waiting for a snowplow to dig them out. Avalanches trapped skiers at Alta and Brighton–though a few decided to simply ski down Little Cottonwood Canyon to the valley.

A TRULY big chill

After the storm quit, the cold air hit: -25 degrees in Salt Lake City. Woodruff reached -45. Schools all over the Wasatch Front closed because gas supplies could not meet the demand. Coal companies could not deliver coal, and Utah Power and Light cut the power to its generators. The big freeze continued for several days, and then again on February 5, headlines read: “New Blizzard Throttles Utah.” And so it went, snowing all the way into April. The one thaw came in late February, and it brought its own miseries: flooding. An ice jam dammed a canal, flooding houses around 800 West and between 1300 and 1700 South.

Yep, it was a hard winter, but people rose to the occasion. They did what needed to be done. And many were heroic in their efforts to help others get through a bitter cold time.

From Mark Eubank

We asked meteorologist Mark Eubank if 1948-49 was the snowiest winter on record. It was not. Here is what he said:

First, let’s talk about WHEN we get the snow.

Winter is a specific period comprising three months or about 90 days. Meteorologically, winter includes the months of December, January, and February. Since it can also snow in the Fall and in the Spring we have a snowfall year, which typically runs from September through May. So when we say a certain season was extra snowy, we need to define the time period.

Most people tend to think of the “winter” season (December thru February) when they remember stormy years. I think that is true because much of the Spring snow melts quickly.

Winners of the “Most Snow” award:

Here is a list showing the top five “winters” and the top five “snowfall years.”

Snowiest Utah “Winters” Snowiest Utah “Snowfall Years”

                     Dec-Feb

     Snowfall                      Sep-Jun       Snowfall

1995-96

69.0″

1943-44

91.3″

1951-52

70.2″

1983-84

98.0″

1948-49

74.7″

1992-93

98.7″

1968-69

74.9″

1973-74

110.8″

1992-93

80.4″

1951-52

117.3″

 
 

 

The top two snowfall years had heavy Winter snows PLUS a lot of snow in Fall and Spring.

The Winter of 1992-93 was exceptional. In fact, it ranks at number one, plus there was a lot of snow in the Fall.

Cold + snow is what we remember

The reason the Winter of 1948-49 is so noteworthy is because the snowfall was accompanied with exceptional cold! In fact, 1948-49 is the combined coldest-snowiest Winter ever measured in Utah. That combination kept the snow around for most of the Winter, and in addition the wind blew the snow into huge drifts.

Winters in Utah can be cold and dry, or cold and wet. Or they can be warm and dry or warm and wet. The warm and wet Winters are quickly forgotten, but the cold and wet Winters are the ones that leave lasting impressions.

While the Winter of 1992-93 was the snowiest, it didn’t even rank in the top 15 for cold.

Winners of the “coldest” weather award:

Coldest Utah Winters

  Dec-Feb   Snowfall Avg Temp

1963-64

39.1″

24.0

1931-32

41.9″

24.0

1930-31

15.0″

23.4

1948-49

74.7″

19.8

1932-33

66.2″

19.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post by Kristen Rogers-Iversen, Associate Director, State History


Cemeteries & Burials

PLEASE NOTE: If you find an error in the database, please contact the cemetery, so that the official record can be corrected. To ensure that our database matches the official record, we do not correct records in the database unless the update comes from a cemetery. Thank you! -AO, 09/25/2013

The Utah State Cemeteries and Burials database is used by cemeteries, researchers, genealogists, and individuals to locate the sites of burials and cemeteries throughout the state. We work with all cemeteries throughout the state to make this information available to the public in one comprehensive location.

Weeping Angel Tombstone, Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah

Weeping Angel Tombstone

 

Search for a person buried in Utah.

Find a cemetery in Utah, or view a list of cemeteries.

Search death certificates from 1900-1960 (outside web site)

Best-State-Website-Logo-2013

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

 

 

About the data collection

This state database contains names and other information about people who are buried in Utah cemeteries. Data is collected in three ways:

1. We give small grants to cemeteries to help them digitize sexton records. (Cemeteries do not computerize the information on grave markers). The cemeteries then submit the data to the database.

2. We encourage cemeteries that already have their records in digital format to donate their data to the database.

3. Private groups and individuals sometimes offer to survey a cemetery. If you would like to do this, please see our tips for cemetery volunteers. You must have permission from the cemetery and contact us about format requirements and the submission process. We will not accept data unless they are in the proper format.

4. Access to the database is free to the public through our online search. We do not offer back-end access or data files. If you would like a cemetery’s complete database record, please contact the cemetery directly. 

5. Data is provided by cemeteries. If you find an error in the database, please contact the cemetery to verify the information and ask them to send us an update. We are unable to correct individual records without the cemetery’s updated file.

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

Contact us

For information about the Cemeteries and Burials Database, contact:

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

For grant information, contact:
Debbie Dahl
801-245-7233
Fax: 801-533-3503

Preservation Pro Update: October 22, 2013

Utah Division of State History
Preservation Pro Update
October 22nd, 2013

This memo is intended to update Preservation Pro users and our agency partners on what the archaeology records staff has been working on and completed during the recent months.

General Stats:

  • Archaeological report spatial data uploaded August-September 2013: 310
  • Archaeological site spatial data uploaded August-September: 464
  • Site forms scanned in August-September: 1800 (focused on Uintah County).

Site Form Access Bug

We’ve received numerous reports concerning issues accessing site forms scans- thank you for the feedback.  Our IT staff is reportedly exploring the issue and searching for a solution.  In the interim, if you are needing one or two site forms from counties already scanned (BE, BO, CA, DA, DC, DV, GR, IN, UN) please contact archrecords and we’ll see what we can do.  We encourage anyone experiencing the issue to “report a bug” via the feedback tab to escalate the issue.

Site form scanning update:

We are currently working on scanning Uintah County.  This county was chosen due to the high traffic these records are receiving.  We are over 50% complete with that county.  Our Department recently purchased a high volume scanner to expedite the project.  We currently have nine counties (BE, BO, CA, CB, DA, DC, DV, GR, and IN) scanned.

Additional Preservation Pro development update: 

Last month we were finally able to get a ‘landownership’ identifier added to the system.  We hope it’s been of use.  If you have other functionality you’d like to see added please use the “report request feature” in the feedback tab.

Preservation Pro and the Proposed “New IMACS”

We are currently preparing for the potential rollout of new site recording standards and forms in Utah.  Given the large changes to the form, and our software and financial constraints, we’ll be significantly modifying the data we retain in Preservation Pro.  Our focus will be on providing digital site forms (pdf) and basic tabular data on every submitted site.  In working with key agencies we feel this will add more value to the system.  More information is coming- but if you have questions please feel free to contact us.

New Records Email Address:

For those of you who haven’t heard, we’ve recently launched a new email address for records needs:  archrecords@utah.gov.  This is a group email address that we hope will provide quicker and better service for records needs.  Please update your email address book.

Send us your shapefiles!

Thank you to all who have generously responded to our requests for spatial data.  We continue to accept digital spatial data as an addition to your usual paper-based submission packet.  A CD or other portable media attached to the report is best (addressed to us), but we can be flexible on other the delivery methods.  We know such submissions were discouraged in the past, but change is here!


Research Center

Inside the Utah History Research Center

Inside the Utah History Research Center

Our Research Center contains a treasure trove of Utah history.

The Research Center of Utah State Archives and Utah State History provides public access to state holdings.  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you research historical records from private, public, and government sources. Access to the Research Center and staff assistance are free.

Except for some microfilms, materials are not available for checkout.


Location

The Research Center is located in the Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street,  Salt Lake City, UT 84101.   map


Hours and contact

The Research Center is open  Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.  The phone number is 801-245-7227.


Ask a research question

Fill out our form here.


Photocopies

Research Center staff can make copies for you. See our list of copy charges.


Training

The Research Center staff will be glad to provide training to your group on many research topics and methods that will assist members of your group in using our collections.

Selected Glossary of Real Estate Terms

(Used in Property Records/Title Abstracts)

Bargain and Sale Deed (B&S Deed)     
Deed that conveys the land described therein, but without any warranties whatsoever.

Deed  
An instrument in writing that, when executed by the grantor and delivered to the grantee, conveys the described real estate from the one to the other.  Generic “deeds” are not commonly used; “warranty deeds” are more common (see below).

Easement
The right, privilege, or interest that one party has in the land of another; an encumbrance or limitation on the property.  It is extinguished by release, abandonment, or when the necessity no longer exists (e.g., right-of-way for road, driveway, etc.).

Grantee
A person to whom real estate is conveyed; a buyer.

Grantor
A person who conveys real estate by deed; a seller.

Instrument
A written legal document created to effect the rights and liabilities of the parties (e.g., deed, mortgage, lien, etc.).

Lien
A special encumbrance; a charge against property whereby property is made security for the payment of a debt or charges such as a judgment, a mortgage or taxes; a lien is an asset and therefore may be assigned.  Often used by suppliers and contractors who have not been paid.

Lis Pendens
Suit pending.  Usually recorded in order to give notice of pending litigation to potential buyers or lenders.

Mayor’s Deed (MD)
Deed given under the original dispersal of the property in a town by the mayor.

Mortgage (Mtge)
A written instrument recognized by law by which real property is pledged to secure a debt or obligation; a lien on real property.

Quitclaim Deed (QCD)
Deed given when the grantee already has, or claims, complete or partial title to the premises and grantor has a possible interest that otherwise would constitute a cloud upon the title. (Not used for conveyance purposes.)

Rod
A measure of length containing 16-1/2 feet.  A term often used in older legal descriptions of property.  Another archaic term is “chain,” which is 100 feet.

Sheriff’s Deed
A deed given when property is sold by court order to satisfy a judgment.

Tax Deed
A deed given by the tax collector to the county and which terminates all rights of redemption.

Tax Sale
Sale of property after a period of nonpayment of taxes.

Tax Title
The title by which one holds lands purchased at a tax sale.

Trust Deed (TD)
A conveyance of real estate to a third person to be held for the benefit of a beneficiary, which is ordinarily repayment of a loan made to the trustor; similar to a mortgage.

Warranty Deed (WD)
The most common type of deed used to transfer property.  It contains a covenant that the grantor will protect the grantee against any claimant; contains covenants of title against encumbrances and of quiet enjoyment.

Utah Historical Quarterly Current Issue


Volume 81, Number 4 (Fall Issue):


Utah’s history is more diverse than you think! Check out the Fall 2013 issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly to learn more about early politics and newspaper, the Titanic, Utah’s hand in the Harlem Renaissance, and the military in Monticello. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.

IN THIS ISSUE


ARTICLES

Cover of the Utah Historical Quarterly for Fall 2013.William Glassman: Ogden’s Progressive Newspaperman and Politician
By Michael S. Eldredge

Isaac Russell’s Remarkable Interview with Harold Bride, Sole Surviving Wireless Operator from the Titanic
By Kenneth L. Cannon II

Wallace Henry Thurman: A Utah Contributor to the Harlem Renaissance
By Wilfred D. Samuels and David A. Hales

Murder and Mapping in “The Land of Death,” Part II: The Military Cantonment in Monticello
By Robert L. McPherson, Kevin Conti, and Gary Weicks

 


IN THIS ISSUE

Modernity is a difficult concept, and one that can be defined in a host of ways. Still, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, much of American life had an air of change and modernity about it. Many trends made this the case, including new technologies, widespread reform efforts, the increased presence of women in public life, and a growing emphasis on leisure, spending, and individual fulfillment. This issue of Utah Historical Quarterly examines, in part, the place of individuals in the “modern” world.

William Glasmann was an exceptional person, and yet clearly a part of his time and place. Like other striving men in the American West, he devoted himself to boosting, reforming, and politicking in his chosen city—Ogden, Utah. In various phases of his life, Glasmann speculated in land development near the Great Salt Lake, edited a newspaper with obvious party affiliations, associated with national political figures, and governed Ogden in a manner his (friendly) contemporaries would have described as “clean” and “businesslike.” He was a good example of the kind of person who created change and influenced public life around the turn of the century, and his story ties Utah to politics, progressivism, and municipal governance throughout the nation.

Near the end of Glasmann’s life, Jeanette Young Easton wrote a gossipy column for the Deseret News entitled “Salt Lakers in Gotham.” Two of our articles deal with the lives of Salt Lakers who excelled in Gotham, a place that epitomized the trendsetting, fast-paced world of twentieth-century America. Isaac Russell—a grandson of Parley P. Pratt—established himself as a New York City journalist, writing for the New York Times and other publications. As with Glasmann, Russell was part of that nebulous movement historians call progressivism and was connected to a number of signal people and events of his era: the Wright brothers, Theodore Roosevelt, Gugliemo Marconi, and, as we learn, the sinking of the Titanic.

Wallace Thurman was several years younger than Isaac Russell and from a very different segment of Utah society than that “Mormon muckraker.” Born and educated in Salt Lake City, Thurman went onto a fantastic career in New York City and moved in the central circles of the Harlem Renaissance. He championed experimental literary efforts such as the short-lived Fire!! and wrote novels, plays, and screenplays that examined, among other things, intra-racial tensions. Our third article substantiates Thurman’s connections to Utah and explores the life and contributions of this brilliant writer. Considered together, these accounts of Thurman, Russell, and Glasmann contribute to an understanding of how twentieth-century America evolved.

The final article completes a story of “murder and mapping” that began in the summer issue. The action takes place in southeastern Utah in the 1880s, when a rash of violent incidents impelled the military to consider the creation of a military cantonment near Monticello. That violence occurred, in part, because of agricultural and livestock operations in the region and a dwindling Native land base—developments that could easily be considered indicators of modernity.


BOOK REVIEWS

Richard L. Saunders, ed.
Dale Morgan on the Mormons: Collected Works Part I, 1939-1951
Reviewed by Richard W. Sadler

Mary Muir, Donna Poulton, Robert Davis, James Poulton, and Vern Swanson
Le Conte Stewart Masterworks
Reviewed by James R. Swensen

Robert J. Willoughby
The Brothers Robidoux and the Opening of the American West
Review by John D. Barton

Armand L. Mauss
Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic
Reviewed by Allan Kent Powell

Roy Webb
Lost Canyons of the Green River: The Story Before Flaming Gorge Dam
Reviewed by H. Bert Jenson

Robert S. McPherson
Dinéjí Na ‘Nitin: Navajo Traditional Teachings and History
Reviewed by Bruce Gjeltema


Utah Historical Quarterly

The Utah Historical Quarterly has been publishing the best Utah history scholarship since 1928. The journal is filled with articles, memoirs, primary sources, book reviews, and photos. Members of the Utah State Historical Society receive UHQ four times yearly. You may:

Search the Utah Historical Quarterly