Skip to content
Secondary Content

62nd Annual Utah State History Conference, Utah Technology Through Time: Sessions, Bios, and Abstracts

Sessions, Bios, and Abstracts
September 26, 2014
The Leonardo @ 209 East 500 South, Salt Lake City

Please note: Session updates occur regularly, but may take up to 48 hours to appear.

Venture Capital in Utah's Story

Moderator: Val Hale, Executive Director, GOED (Governor’s Office of Economic Development)
8:30 – 9:20am, Auditorium

Dinesh Patel, Sid Green, Ralph J. Yarro, and Chris Cooper: “Venture Capital in Utah’s Tech Story”

Besides hard work, grand ideas, intelligence and a nurturing business community, a tremendous amount of capital (venture capital funds) has gone into Utah’s burgeoning high tech economy.

Utah’s high tech VC wellsprings in last thirty years is the focus of this history discussion, including pivotal individuals and organizations, government incentives, and moments of remarkable luck and serendipity.

Panelists include Sid Green (founder President/Chief Executive Officer of TerraTek, former Utah Entrepreneur of the Year); Dr. Dinesh Patel (Founder and Managing Director, Patel Family Investments, and Partner Emeritus at Signal Peak Ventures); Ralph J. Yarro (Founder, CEO, and Chairman, ThinkAtomic, Inc., former Director of the Canopy Group); and Chris Cooper (Partner, Pelion Venture Partners, former executive at Novel, Inc.).

Moderator: Val Hale (Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, former President and CEO of Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Utah Valley State College, and BYU Athletic Director)


Dr. Dinesh Patel, Founder and Managing Director, Patel Family Investments
Dr. Patel is the founder and managing director of Patel Family Investments (2014) and co-founded vSpring Capital (now Signal Peak Ventures) in 2000 and has been a founding managing director since its formation. Dr. Patel is currently Partner Emeritus at Signal Peak Ventures.

Prior to vSpring Capital, Dr. Patel was an active angel investor in over 20 biotech and technology companies. He currently holds 15 US Patents and Foreign Counterparts.

Born and raised in Zambia, Africa, Dr. Patel received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; his master’s degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; and his Ph.D. in Physical Pharmacy from the University of Michigan.

Sid Green, Senior Advisor, Schlumberger and Research Professor, University of Utah
Sidney Green is a Senior Advisor with Schlumberger and a Research Professor with the University of Utah, where he holds an appointment in Mechanical Engineering. Green has worked in the area of geomechanics for over five decades, publishing many papers and reports and holding a number of patents. He is a former founder, president, and CEO of Terra Tek, a well-known engineering firm acquired by Schlumberger in 2006.

Mr. Green has a BS from the former Missouri School of Mines and an MS from the University of Pittsburgh, both in Mechanical Engineering. He attended one year at the University of Pennsylvania graduate school, and two years at Stanford University where he received the degree of Engineer in Engineering Mechanics. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineers.

Ralph J. Yarro, Founder, CEO, and Chairman, ThinkAtomic, Inc.
Ralph J. Yarro is Founder/CEO and chairman of ThinkAtomic, Inc., an early stage venture accelerator and incubator of technology firms.

Yarrow has over 20 years in the software development and venture capital environments. He has been a part of the development, funding, or leadership of over 120 software companies around the world. He has served as a board member and/or chairman of a variety of private, non-profit, and public companies.

His specialties include development, planning, business development, venture capital and funding, operations, management, legal, risk management, IP protection, negotiation, branding and identity, and merger and acquisition.

Yarro holds a BA in political science from Brigham Young University.

Chris Cooper

Chris Cooper spent nearly two decades in the software and tech industry. He also managed sales teams, partnering and strategic relations organizations, and development teams.  As for venture investing, he cut his teeth at a corporate venture organization where he fell in love with entrepreneurship and all that company building entails. Said Chris, “If you want to discover amazing, passionate, gifted and committed people – that’s where you’ll find them.” Luckily for Chris, those are exactly the kind of people who are drawn to the world of venture and company building. And the people I work with at Pelion are among the best.

back to top

Collaborative Climate Builders

Moderator: Mike Homer
9:30 – 10:45am,  Auditorium
Sponsored by: Utah Technology Council

Utah’s high tech industry, which encompasses information technology (IT), life sciences and clean technology, represents over 14.3 percent of the state’s total payroll, offering in the vicinity of hundred thousand jobs, and has an overall economic impact to Utah exceeding $7 billion. Although this industry is now evident to all Utahns (even softening the economic blow in Utah during the Great Recession, 2007-13), there are many factors or causes, including much foresight and planning during the last thirty years, that created what is described as “Utah’s Silicon Slopes” (playing off California’s famed IT Silicon Valley economy).  Some key factors include: early IT companies, a strong higher education sector, a youthful and highly educated demographic group, state and local government financial incentives, and more.  Each panelist has a firsthand perspective on the early conditions and factors leading to Utah’s present high tech economy.

Panelists include Carine Clark (President and CEO of Allegiance Software, former executive of Altiris); Peter R. Genereaux (Founder in 1991 of the Utah Information Technologies Association, predecessor to Utah Technology Council, established in 1999); Richard R. Nelson (President and CEO of the Utah Technology Council, Utah’s premier association for high tech, clean tech, and life science companies); Pete Ashdown (President and Founder of XMission, formerly with Evans & Sutherland); andJack Sunderlage (Board member USTAR, former CEO of ContentWatch and executive with Burroughs, UNISYS, Digital Equipment, Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, and the World Trade Center Utah).

Carine Clark, Peter Genereaux, Richard R. Nelson, Pete Ashdown, and Jack Sunderlage: “Climate Builders for Utah’s Technology Economy (1970s-2000s)”


Carine Clark
President and CEO of Allegiance Software, Carine Clark has more than 25 years of experience building successful software companies. Throughout her career, Clark has directed and integrated diverse teams, including product management, sales support, alliance, field and global marketing, event, brand and communications management. She has demonstrated expertise in bringing companies and people together through dozens of acquisitions. Her leadership helped establish Altiris as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world, growing revenues from $62 million to $230 million during a four year period.

Clark received a master’s degree in business administration as well as a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Brigham Young University.

Peter R. Genereaux
Following 33 years leading technology and financial businesses in their startup and growth (and a “corporate doctor” for some), in 1989 Peter conceived and in 1991 started the Utah Information Technologies Association (UITA), succeeded by the Utah Technology Council in 1999.

During UITA’s days, Peter was also Chairman of the Council for Regional Information Technologies Association, an organization he co-founded to represent the IT industry at the national level.

Peter stepped down as CEO of UITA during 1999 into retirement and lives in Prescott, Arizona.

Richard R. Nelson
Richard R. Nelson is President and CEO of the Utah Technology Council, the premier trade association for helping grow and protect Utah’s over 5,000 high-tech and clean-tech companies. Under his leadership since 1999, the Council’s industry-driven priorities have changed the state’s early-stage capital structure by passing the $300 million Utah Fund of Funds; helping pass and fund USTAR and the Engineering Initiatives; raising Rigor and STEM in high school graduation requirements while mainstreaming computer science as a new science elective (2015); helping launched and fund the BioUtah life science association, and championing the STEM Action Center legislative passage with $30 million in new funding for innovative education.

Mr. Nelson served as the first chairman and CEO of the Technology Councils of North America (2007-2009), representing 20,000 technology-related companies. He has an MBA from Northwestern University and a BS degree from BYU.

Pete Ashdown, President and Founder, XMission
Ashdown graduated from Woods Cross High School and attended Salt Lake Community College, subsequently transferring to the University of Utah to study filmmaking. While at the university, Ashdown began studying computer science.

While at the University of Utah, Ashdown was hired by local computer graphics firm Evans & Sutherland as a computer operator and administrative assistant. At the age of 26, Ashdown formed the ISP XMission and in 1994, he left Evans & Sutherland.

Jack Sunderlage is the former president and CEO of ContentWatch, a provider of Internet management software and services. He has enjoyed a long and successful career in the information technology industry, having held key sales and marketing positions with Burroughs, UNISYS, Digital Equipment, Compaq Computer, and Hewlett-Packard. His last assignment was vice president of Global Accounts, West Region for Compaq, a part of HP. Jack took an early retirement from HP in July 2002.

Jack is the past chairman of the board of trustees for the Utah Information Technology Association, where he continues to be a trustee with the newly-formed Utah Technology Council. He previously served as chairman of the board for the World Trade Center Utah and the Utah Science Technology and Research Governing Board for the State of Utah.

back to top


Moderator: Vince Horiuchi
11:00am-12:15pm,  Auditorium

Robert Kessler, Roger Altizer, John Blackburn, Mike Bartholomew, and Mark van Langeveld: “Graphics and Games in Utah”

Utah acted as a homestead for early graphics and games pioneers. From the the first interactive graphics program, Sketchpad, to the standard for all 3D models, the Utah Teapot, digital trail blazers have found Utah to be fertile ground for innovation and discovery. This panel will tell the known, and little known history of the great people and inventions that defined the digital era. This panel will focus on two major themes: graphics pioneers and the rise of the Utah games industry.

“Almost every influential person in the modern computer-graphics community either passed through the University of Utah or came into contact with it in some way.” The Algorithmic Image: Graphic Visions of the Computer Age, by Robert Rivlin. A list of graphics pioneers from Utah would include the likes of David Evans and Ivan Sutherland, founders of the first graphics company, Alan Kay, the inventor of the graphical user interface, Elliot Organick, founder of SIGCSE, Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, John Warnock, founder of Adobe, and many others. This panel will explore the question, “why Utah?”, and share the story of how computer graphics were born.

The second half of the panel will focus on the application of graphics and the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators in Utah by focusing on the history of video games in the state. Five times the number of dollars are spent making games compared to film in Utah. Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, and Disney have all either started studios here or acquired companies created locally. Building on the land tilled by the graphics pioneers, game companies in Utah have found a way to make this a hub for the future of digital entertainment.


Roger Altizer, Jr. (Rahjur) is the co-founder of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program at the University of Utah, which is presently the #2 ranked undergraduate games program in the nation. He also co-founded an indie game co-op, Game Makers Anonymous, designed and developed indie and medical games, and spent a decade as a games journalist. He is frequently a guest commentator on games issues both locally and nationally and has presented his games research at international conferences.

Dr. Robert R. Kessler, Exec. Director, Entertainment Arts & Engineering Program, University of Utah
Robert R. Kessler has been on the faculty of the University of Utah since 1983. His early work centered on the portable implementation of the Lisp programming language. In the early 90′s, he founded the Center for Software Science, a research group working in nearly all aspects of system software for sequential and parallel/distributed computers.

In the late 90’s, Kessler served as chairman of the Department of Computer Science (which became the School of Computing in 2000). In 2007 he co-founded the Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program as an undergraduate emphasis, then in 2010 co-founded a master’s degree program in EAE. The program has grown to be the #2 best undergraduate and #4 best graduate video game design program in the world.

He has founded two startup companies and has been on the board of directors of several others. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

John Blackburn, Studio Vice President and General Manager, Avalanche Software
John Blackburn has worked in the video game industry for more than 20 years. After a brief career programming banking software, Blackburn programmed Super Nintendo games at Sculptured Software and worked on titles such as Mortal Kombat, Seaquest DSV and Wrestlemania: Arcade.

In 1995, Blackburn co-founded Avalanche Software. His career has evolved along with the studio, where he has played many different roles in the development of over 28 games. Since 2005, he has helped direct the nine titles that Avalanche Software has produced for Disney Interactive Studios. His latest efforts have resulted in the development of the Toy Story 3, Cars 2, and most recently Disney Infinity.

He graduated from Weber State University with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in History. He is still a history buff and particularly loves World War II combat biographies.

 Mike Bartholomew is on the Board of Directors of Eat Sleep Play, Inc., an independent game development studio, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He is Director of Online Technology and enjoys spending much of his time writing software for the company’s smartphone entertainment titles, including the recent hit Zynga title, Stampede Run.  He has worked in the entertainment software industry for more than 20 years at several different studios filling many roles including Software Engineer, Producer, Chief Technical Officer, and Studio Manager.  He is credited in numerous PlayStation titles.  In 1994, Mike co-founded SingleTrac Entertainment Technologies, the game development studio responsible for creating the Warhawk, Jet Moto, and Twisted Metal video game franchises for Sony.  Prior to entering the entertainment software industry, he spent nearly a decade working in aerospace and engineering simulation at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation.  He is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

back to top

Session 1: Places of Amusement

Chair: Jed Rogers
9:30 – 10:45 am, Event Center

Gregory Smoak: “Living on the Shores of an Inland Sea: Oral History and Great Salt Lake”

Paper sponsored by: American West Center

Beginning in the summer of 2013 the American West Center began an oral history project focused on Great Salt Lake. The goal was to document the recent history of the lake from diverse perspectives including conservation, industry, recreation, science, and the arts. This presentation will explore how oral history can be used to document a place and how the interviews to date can shape new understandings of Great Salt Lake.


Gregory E. Smoak is director of the American West Center and Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah. He researches and writes in the fields of American Indian, American Western, and Environmental History. He is also an active public historian working with Native Nations, the National Park Service, and numerous historical organizations.

back to top

Brad Hansen: “Fish Culture in Utah, 1870-1896″

The settlement of Utah by Mormon pioneers contributed to fisheries decline across the state. By the early 1870s a combination of overharvesting and destruction of habitat resulted in dangerously low populations of native Bonneville cutthroat trout, especially along the Wasatch Front. Mormon leaders, particularly Wilford Woodruff, were aware that Utah’s fisheries could not sustain the pressures of an expanding settler population. Woodruff’s response, however, was not to promote fishing regulations, but to engage in artificial stocking of Utah’s declining lakes and streams. In 1871, Woodruff and other prominent Mormon leaders and businessmen organized Zion’s Cooperative Fish Association (ZCFA), Utah’s first large scale fish culture operation. From 1871 to 1896, ZCFA artificially propagated and imported native and nonnative fish and other aquatic species to Utah, many of which were made available by the newly created United States Fish Commission. ZCFA’s actions highlight Utah pioneers’ entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, but also their limited ecological understanding of native trout and the technology associated with pisciculture in general. This presentation will discuss the fascinating and never before told history of Utah’s first fish culturists, demonstrating how early stocking efforts by Mormon pioneers have in many ways shaped Utah’s fisheries into what they are today.


Brad Hansen studied environmental history at Utah State University. After graduating in 2013, he happily moved to Helena, Montana, for a job opportunity at Carroll College. Since moving to Montana, Brad has taken a part time position at CrossCurrents Fly Shop where he feeds his addiction for fly fishing. He loves his wife Janelle, history, and fly fishing, but only pretends to understand the last two. You can contact Brad at

back to top

Michael Lyle Shamo: “A ‘Project of Interest': The Civilian Conservation Corps’ Washington Fields Project, 1937-1938″

Although the Civilian Conservation Corps’ primary purpose was to provide work for many young single men, many of their projects fulfilled the needs of the communities they served. The CCC experimented with a variety of new technologies to conserve local environments. Residents in the small southern town of Washington sought the CCC’s assistance to protect their community’s most precious resource, the irrigation water for their fields. In the spring of 1937, leaders of the St. George and Washington Canal Company invited an engineer from the federal Soil Conservation Service where they discussed plans to upgrade the Washington Fields Canal. The engineer encouraged them to petition for government assistance to protect the canal. That winter, members of the local Leeds CCC camp swarmed the hillsides constructing several structures intended to minimize the damage caused by flash floods and soil erosion. Since Washington’s founding in 1857, residents constantly fought with the untamable Virgin River. Annual flooding destroyed dams and silted up ditches resulting in frustrated farmers franticly repairing the irrigation systems to restore the water’s flow before the desert sun left their crops shriveled and dead. The Soil Conservation Service showed these farmers that their canal was part of a more complex ecological system. This scientific approach was the impetus behind the technologies the CCC used in the hillsides overlooking the canal. The CCC boys used a series of dikes, terraces and rock spreaders to slow and disperse flood waters while at the same time forcing it to drop sentiment and debris before they reached the canal. This paper illustrates how science and technology helped solve an environmental problem that plagued Washington residents for several decades. It is also a case study of how local residents were able to work with and influence federal agencies during the New Deal.


Michael Lyle Shamo is a PhD candidate in American western and environmental history at the University of Utah. He is currently working on a dissertation about tourism and community development on the Colorado Plateau. He worked on a team at the LDS Church History Library researching the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He has also conducted research for the U. S. Forest Service about historical grazing on the Ashley and Manti La Sal National Forests. This paper is part of an agreement between UDOT and the Utah State Historic Preservation Office to understand the history behind CCC structures discovered in Washington County.

back to top

Session 2: Government and the Western EnvironmentChair: Ben Pykles
9:30 – 10:45am, Classroom 1

Daniel King: “A Comparison of Corrugation”

Corrugation is an ancient pottery construction technique in which the coils of the vessel are pressed together at certain intervals creating a decorative pattern on the exterior. These vessels were being produced in southern Utah by both the Anasazi and Fremont people. Anasazi potters began making corrugated vessels around the seventh century, at least 400 years before the Fremont. Initial observations and experimental archaeology suggest that the Anasazi used their fingers while the Fremont likely used tools as well as fingers. Recent studies have shown that Fremont potters were highly consistent in their construction of corrugated vessels. This paper presents an initial comparison between the corrugated vessels of the Anasazi and the Fremont.


Daniel King is a M.A. student studying archaeology and museum practices at Brigham Young University. He currently works as a publications assistant for the department of anthropology, as well as a research assistant for the Office of Public archaeology. His research interest include ancient plant use in northern mexico, the development of social complexity in mid level societies, and integrating technology into archaeology and museum studies. King has work on many international archaeological projects in Jordan and Mexico, as well as local projects here in Utah and Nevada.

back to top

Joseph Bryce “Sound of Music: Whistles at Fremont Sites”

Music is an important part of almost every culture but can rarely be understood from the archaeological record. Songs, rhythms, and musical tastes are all lost, but the musical instruments can sometimes be recovered. The Fremont culture occupied much of modern Utah from AD 300 to AD 1300. Archaeologists have examined Fremont pottery, projectile points, architecture, subsistence, and social complexity, but little has been done with musical instruments found at some of the sites. In this paper I will describe Fremont whistles and where they are found, show some comparisons with those from surrounding areas, and provide conclusions from an experimental project with these unique artifacts.


Joseph Bryce is a M.A. student studying archaeology and museum studies at Brigham Young University. He currently works as the collection manager at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. Research interests include Fremont ceramics, basketry, bone tools, digital archaeology, experimental archaeology, museum studies, historical archaeology, PXRF, photogrammetry, and many other varied and interesting topics. Bryce has worked at several archaeological sites in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Missouri.

back to top

Jaclyn Marie Eckersley: “The High-Volume Artifact Processor: The Machine and Its Implications”

The process of labeling, measuring, photographing, and classifying artifacts consumes significant amounts of resources for museums and archaeologists. This presentation introduces technology developed by the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at BYU for high-volume cataloging and processing of artifacts, reducing basic cataloging tasks from over 10 minutes per item to less than 15 seconds per item. The system automates artifact labeling, photography, basic measurement, and classification for objects smaller than 12” W x 10” L x 3”H. The system significantly reduces manual data entry, reduces classification errors, virtually eliminates typographic errors in object labels, and improves long-term accessibility to artifacts and associated data. Using vision recognition algorithms, the system identifies objects as they pass beneath a calibrated camera. A 5-megapixel publication quality image is taken of every object and basic measurements are extracted and written to a database. The resulting big data sets and images allow for new approaches for researchers to investigate in their respective fields. The system allows for better control over collections by having every item in a collection numbered, photographed, and measured for reference and tracking. Time saved by the system allows staff to focus efforts on other tasks.


Jaclyn Eckersley is a first-year graduate student at Brigham Young University. She works as a research assistant to Paul Stavast, the inventor of the High-Volume Artifact Processor, and director of the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. As an undergraduate, she underwent the monotonous ordeal of hand-labeling artifacts. She hopes this new system will make new advances in the archaeological field.

back to top

Session 3: Archaeology and LandscapeChair: Colleen Whitley
9:30 – 10:45am, Classroom 2

Amy Brunvard, Alison Regan, Ambra Gagliardi, Kinza Masood: “Computing History at the University of Utah: Creating a Digital Archive”

Since 2011 the Marriott Library has initiated several digital library projects to identify, collect and preserve technical reports and photographs that document computing research at the University of Utah.

The University of Utah Computer Science Department (now School of Computing) which formed in 1969 was particularly influential in the early development of computer graphics, animation, digital music as well as other areas of computer science. However, because of the way computer research was distributed through informal channels many technical reports issued by the Department did not find their way into library collections.

In 2011 the Library worked with an undergraduate intern to document a relatively small piece of computer history– Utah was the 4th node on the ARPANet (the Defense Department project that because the Internet and World Wide Web). In the course of this project the Library found that the School of Computing had a closet stacked high with boxes of technical reports dating back to the 1960s. These describe foundational research in areas such as computer graphics, digital music, and asynchronous circuits and became the basis of a digital library.

So far the Library has identified nearly 900 technical reports that were produced by the University of Utah Computer Science Department. About 600 of these have been scanned to the USPACE institutional repository and we are currently working to create a comprehensive collection. The Library recently received a grant to scan high-quality images of photographs form these reports. Before graphics printers were invented the C.S. Department had a photographer on staff to document graphics displays directly from the screen. However, reports that were distributed by photocopying and microfiche had very poor quality reproduction of these images.


Amy Brunvard is a librarian at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library. She is part of the Digital Scholarship Lab team and is a subject specialist for government information and Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

Alison Regan is Head of Scholarship and Education Services at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library and Adjunct Associate Professor in the University Writing Program.

Ambra Gagliardi is an MLS student at the University of Maryland iSchool enrolled in the eGovernment specialization. She received a Laura Bush 21st Century scholarship funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. She is employed by the J. Willard Marriott Library as a Development Specialist.

Kinza Masood is the Head of Digital Operations at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah, where she has been working for over 13 years in various capacities.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, with an emphasis in Information Systems. Through her travels, and having lived in various parts of the world, she has developed an appreciation and recognition for diversity among people and cultures.

Her passion for digital initiatives in libraries keeps her involved in research, and in the application of such research in the field of Digital Libraries. She has invested much of her professional career in cultivating strong partner and local media relations, for a sustained, long term interest in activities related to digital initiative efforts at the Marriott Library.  These relationships have been instrumental in the on-going development of a robust digital library program at the Marriott.

Kinza has sat on multiple panels, offered workshops and training sessions, presented nationally and internationally, mostly in the domain of Digital Libraries.  You can read more about her adventures in this field at ‘Digitination’:  She can also be contacted via email at:

back to top

Session 4: Salt Lake City ArchitectureChair: Dina Blaes
11:00am – 12:15pm, Event Center

Eric Swedin: “Utah’s Spaceport: A Failed Dream”

In 1971, the Apollo Program was still putting astronauts on the Moon, but NASA was already looking forward to the future. A reusable spacecraft called the space shuttle was projected as the next obvious step. Utah, already home to solid rocket manufacturers Hercules and Thiokol, saw an opportunity to expand economic opportunities by proposing that the new space shuttle launch from Dugway rather than Cape Canaveral. The federally-owned west desert was an ideal asset for such a spaceport and launching from the higher altitude of Utah would make the space shuttle more efficient. The Utah Spaceport Committee sponsored preliminary studies and sent a serious proposal to NASA. In the end, Utah lost out to Cape Canaveral because of the launch facitlies already built there and due to lack of political pull. While never used, another spaceport for the space shuttle was built at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


Eric G. Swedin is a Professor of History at Weber State University. He has published eleven books and his web site is

back to top

Brian Cannon and Neil Longo: “You Can Write Your Documents ‘WordPerfect': WordPerfect’s Role in the Word-Processing Revolution”

In 2013 the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU began interviewing former executives and employees of WordPerfect as part of its Silicon Slope Oral History Project. This paper will draw upon those interviews to explore facets of the history of WordPerfect from the perspective of those who experienced it firsthand.


Brian Q. Cannon is a professor of history and directs the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. He serves on the editorial board of the Utah Historical Quarterly.

Neil Longo is an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University studying Political Science and Business Management. He has worked for the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies since 2012, and has been involved in projects relating to Native American History, Mormon History, and the Agricultural and Economic History of the American West.  He has also worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Utah. His research interests include environmental ethics, Mormon cultural history, and the role of traditional life-ways in the post-industrial world. 

back to top

Rick Phillips: “Utah’s Regional Culture in the Internet Age”

Scholars have long recognized a distinct regional subculture in Utah that emerges from and interfaces with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Studies show that this subculture molds and shapes the religious and civic behavior of not only Mormons, but of other residents of the state as well. In the early 1990s I conducted extensive ethnographic research in Utah and collected oral histories from residents in the state in an effort to describe and analyze the parameters of this regional subculture. In this paper, I present updated findings from a second wave of ethnography and oral history conducted in 2014. The findings focus on how new communication technologies are connecting Utah with the rest of the nation in new and different ways. These technologies have transformed religious and civic life along the Wasatch Front. In some ways this transformation has enhanced and bolstered the state’s regional subculture. However, in other ways the peculiar way of life that has characterized Utah is now challenged and threatened. The story of this transformation is told in through the words and experiences of the ordinary Utahns that served as informants in this study. A major focus of the paper is the way the internet has lessened the importance of a physical place as a component of this subculture. The paper also assess what the future may hold for the religious and civic identity of citizens of the Beehive State.


Rick Phillips is associate professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of North Florida. His work centers on the religious culture of Utah, and Latter-day Saint identity.

back to top

Scott M. Ure: “Eyes in the Sky: Unmanned Aerial Systems and Their Application in Archaeology”

The term “drone” has received a great deal of attention lately as governments, companies, universities, and even private individuals are starting to use these aerial vehicles for a variety of applications. Archaeological endeavors are also slowly beginning to apply unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in different ways. In this paper I first share the results from a project where the Brigham Young University archaeology program used a survey-grade UAS to document the Ad-Deir Plateau at the World Heritage site of Petra. Finally, I conclude by discussing how these systems will significantly improve documenting archaeological sites in Utah once the FAA gives permission for small UAS flights in the United States.


Scott M. Ure is a recent graduate of the Brigham Young University Anthropology graduate program, earning his Master’s degree with an emphasis in archaeology. Ure is currently a research archaeologist for the Department of Anthropology at BYU. He is focused on the application of technology in archaeological data collection, as well as in prehistoric Utah, the American Southwest, and LDS Church Historical sites. Ure has worked on numerous archaeological projects throughout Utah, Nevada, and Missouri, but also on several international projects in Jordan, Syria, and Mexico.

back to topSession 5: Making Place Through Water DevelopmentChair: Amy Oliver
11:00am – 12:15pm, Classroom 1

Lisa-Michele Church: “Early Brickmaking in Garfield County, Utah, 1871-1939″

More than 100 brick homes and buildings in Garfield County today stand as evidence of a once-thriving local brick-making industry. These early brick-makers were immigrant pioneers who learned their trade in their native England, then used these same skills to build some of southern Utah’s most beautiful and lasting communities. My presentation will feature brief biographical sketches of the key 19th century brick masons, including Frederick Judd, Henry Excell, Samuel Worthen and Edward Richards. Drawing on pioneer diaries and histories, I will explore the techniques used to fire the brick from natural materials found in and around Panguitch. Attention will be paid to their methods of mixing the adobe mud, building the kilns, stocking the fires, designing the brick molds, and finally, laying the brick. The people who worked in this industry were multi-talented, although not formally trained. They were required to be engineers, architects, carpenters, designers and craftsmen. They often worked in a communal setting where several families would band together to make a stockpile of 10,000 brick, then take turns working on each other’s house to completion. The result is a series of one- and two-story brick homes that even today serve as comfortable residences and as a monument to pioneer industriousness. My presentation will feature interviews recently done with some of the surviving brick layers who remember working on the last brick-making crews prior to World War Two. After the war, commercially fired brick was widely available and the local brick-making industry evaporated. I will also present a photographic slide show illustrating many of the surviving brick buildings and their unique architectural features.


Lisa-Michele Church is a corporate attorney and community activist. She is a graduate of the University of Utah and spent more than 20 years of her legal career at The Sinclair Companies, including Grand America and Little America hotel group. She has also served as Executive Director of the Utah Department of Human Services and Administrator of Utah’s Juvenile Court system. Her interests include the history of tourism in Southern Utah, especially motor courts and motels of the mid-century.

back to top

Judson Callaway: “Salt Lake City’s Priority in Urban Electric Lighting: An Urban Legend Resurrected and Reconsidered”

The presentation will examine the widely held belief that Salt Lake City was the fifth city in the world to have central station electric lighting service. An Argument based on original research and established authorities well be made that it was, in fact, the third city with such service (with the possible exception of Stockton, Utah).


Judson Callaway is the co-author of two articles published in UHQ on electricity in Utah and various published and unpublished works on Murray City/South Cottonwood history.

back to top

Susan Petheram and Gail Meakins: “Mass Transit and Urban Form: Streetcar Suburbs of Salt Lake City”

While transit-oriented development may seem like a fairly recent initiative in the Wasatch Front region, the area actually has a long history of real estate speculation and development relying on transit service. This session explores the history of the relationship between evolving technologies in transportation and its impact on urban form. Subdivisions within the original plats of Salt Lake City began early after settlement and mule-powered streetcar service began in 1872, with electric cars operating by 1889. What distinguishes the ‘streetcar suburb’, however, is the simultaneous subdivision of land outside the core urban plats and the expansion of streetcar service to convey its residents into town for work and household needs. The concept is illustrated with the example of Forest Dale in Sugar House and others. Forest Dale was one of the earliest subdivisions in Salt Lake City that encompassed a large area of land with the intention of formally developing, and its creators specifically planned to lure prospective residents by offering reliable streetcar service into downtown. At the time, areas further out from the central core of the city were sparsely developed, as most streets were not paved and it was a long, dusty (or muddy) commute into town either by foot or horse. By incorporating transit as an integral part of the subdivision, Forest Dale also spurred additional development in the area that was able to capitalize and benefit from the expanded streetcar access to and from central Salt Lake City. The session will conclude with a discussion of how this early relationship between the built environment and transportation technologies affected the pattern of the urban form in Salt Lake City, both in the short and long-term.


Susan Petheram, an urban planner and historic preservationist, is an associate principal with CRSA, a planning and architecture firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of Utah, where she is studying the impacts of the light rail system on the value of surrounding neighborhoods in Salt Lake County. She lives in the Sugar House neighborhood with her husband and two children, and is engaged in understanding more about how past relationships between transportation and the built environment affect present day urban form characteristics.

Gail Meakins is a research assistant and doctoral student in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design program at the University of Utah. Gail has a BA in physical education from California State University Sacramento, a MA in physical education from the University of California Berkeley, and a MUP from the University of Utah. She has a certificate in historic preservation and expertise in GIS. Gail is interested in the connection between the built environment and public health specifically physical activity and obesity as well as issues dealing with land use in the West.

back to top

Session 6: Exploration of PlaceChair: Chris Merritt
11:00am – 12:15pm, Classroom 2

Sheri Murray Ellis: “Move ‘Em Out! Technology’s Role in the Rise and Fall of the Ogden Union Stockyard”

The Ogden Union Stockyard of the early 1900s was not only the product of technological advancement but the physical embodiment of it as well. The stockyard arose out of the late 1800s advancements in refrigeration and butchering technology as well as the expansion of and gains in efficiency in the railroad industry. Starting out as just a few stock pens near the Weber River and the Ogden Rail Yard, the Union Stockyard rapidly grew into a sprawling complex of corrals, specialized barns, auction arenas, and the headquarters of the Ogden Livestock Exchange. By the late 1920s, the yard had become the largest stockyard operation west of Denver, and several hundred thousand animals made their way through the facility on an annual basis. The stockyard site became a demonstration of industrialization and Progressive Era agriculture with the layout of the yard as a reflection of advancing concepts of workflow, the integration of the rail system for the mass transport of livestock, the close coordination with the meat packing industry, and the extensive incorporation of concrete, including stamped concrete, for sanitation and traction purposes. The site also played host to conferences and expositions on technological advancements in the livestock industry.


Sheri Murray Ellis is an archaeologist and historian with more than 20 years experience in Utah and the western U.S. She holds degrees from Weber State University and Utah State University in anthropology, psychology, and American Studies. Ms. Ellis has a special interest in historic period resources their reflection of shifting cultural concepts, traditions, and ideologies. Later this year she will be presenting on the role of the media and local folklore in the eradication of wolves in early 1900s Grand County, Utah.

back to top

Russell Hartill, J.D.: “The Prospector and the Burro: Will Higgins and the Life Cycle of Innovation”

Exploring and documenting the life cycle of innovation as exemplified in 19th and 20th century Utah mining within the pages of Will C Higgins’ Mining Review, 1899-1929.

All technological advances go through a cycle of discovery, daring, deals, dividends, decline and disruption. This paper will review key prospecting and mining discoveries and innovations in Utah and the West through the lenses of these six phases. From Vipont to Silver Reef, Gold Hill to Moab as well as the central Utah districts of Alta, Park City, Bingham, Ophir, Mercur, all the towns of Tintic as well as Frisco, Joy and Diamond, Granite and more will all be discussed. Utah Technological innovations ranging from the Eimco mucker to concrete lined shafts and ore dressing techniques will all be examined.


Russell Hartill is a lawyer and mining historian and co-author of Desert Fever and author of Preserving Our Mining Heritage. Russ graduated from California State University Fullerton with a degree in history after work at the Colorado School of Mines (Geophysical engineering) and Cal State Sacramento (rec and park admin) His JD is from the University of Idaho College of Law.
As Executive Director of the National Historic Mining Initiative, an L3C based in Utah, he leads a team dedicated to the dynamic interpretation and dissemination of western American mining history. Russell can be contacted at

back to top

Amber Koski: “Innovation from the Dust: A Cow Tale”

From the Spanish explorer, Francisco Coronado, to Utah’s pioneer settlers, and outlaw gangs, livestock grazing has played a pivotal role in the development of a deeply rooted and profound regional industry. Albeit controversial at times, livestock management in Utah has seen its share of technological advances and setbacks. This presentation will focus on those technologies developed specifically for range land management, and livestock grazing from the 19th and 20th centuries, through case example. A general overview of grazing practices and techniques will be provided, preceded by an explanation for the development of range land standards, and what these standards convey about livestock use and its associated technologies overtime.

In recent weeks, controversies over grazing rights, and the laws that govern those rights have been called into question. This research will specifically address those controversies through case study, and cause/effect analysis.


Amber Koski works for the Bureau of Land Management, Price Field Office as an archaeologist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and a Masters of Science in Environmental Management and Policy. She has worked with public land management agencies for over a decade throughout the Inter-mountain West as an archaeologist, and ecologist.

back to top

Session 7: Movie "Brigham Street"Chair: Greg Thompson
1:15 – 2:15pm, Auditorium

Mary Hall: “The Creative Process in Inventing Computer Science at the University of Utah”

Founded in 1965, the computer science department at University of Utah was at the forefront of a variety of early, high impact research on computer graphics and animation, establishing the internet, programming languages, and more generally, the relationship between humans and computers. The early years benefited from the leadership of David Evans, who went on to found Evans and Sutherland. What distinguished research at Utah over its contemporaries was the recognition that computer science is a creative process, and the relationship between humans and computers would evolve through a combination of technology advances and creative exploration. Evans fostered a creative environment that produced entrepreneurs and technology leaders, and remains the legacy of computing at University of Utah.


Mary Hall is a Professor in the School of Computing at University of Utah. Since 2009, she has chaired the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee. The ACM is the professional society for computer scientists worldwide. Having joined the University of Utah in 2008, her interest in computing history fueled an investigation into the rich computing history at University of Utah, one of the earliest computer science departments.

back to top

James R. Lehning: “Computing and Technology Transfer at the University of Utah, 1965-1980″

This paper will examine the relationship between the University of Utah and the creation of a high-tech sector in the Utah economy. The time frame to be examined is from 1965 to the end of the 1970s. While this relationship was elaborated in a number of different areas of high-tech activity, including genetics and artificial organs, the particular focus of this paper will be on the development of computer technology by University faculty and its commercial exploitation in spin-off companies.

The paper will in particular focus on two important aspects by which the University of Utah sought to accomplish the interrelated goals of becoming a significant research university and a contributor to the economic growth of the Salt Lake economy. The first of these is the development of computing resources and expertise in the University itself, through the creation of a University Computing Center that would provide access to computing for researchers on campus, and the appointment of faculty who would conduct research in Computer Science and teach undergraduate and graduate students the subject. The second is the evolution of practices involving the relationship of the University administration to the spin-off businesses that became an important by-product of the internal development of Computer Science. The paper will focus on the interrelationships of individual scholars, the evolving institutional structures of the University, and the larger economic and political context in which these technological developments and business ventures took place.

The paper will be based on materials in the James C. Fletcher and David Gardner Presidential Papers in the University of Utah Archives, and the David C. Evans Papers and Thomas Stockham Jr. Papers in the Marriott Library Department of Special Collections.


James R. Lehning is Professor of History at the University of Utah. He is the author or editor of seven books and numerous articles on various aspects of the social, political, cultural and economic consequences of technological change. His most recent book is European Colonialism since 1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

back to top

Session 8: Mansion to Modern on South TempleChair: John Sillito
1:15 – 2:15pm, Event Center 

Ken Alford: “The Utah Cavalry’s Civil War Diarists”

At the request of President Abraham Lincoln, the Lot Smith Utah Cavalry Company helped guard the overland trail between Fort Bridger and Independence Rock from April 30 to August 14, 1862. This presentation will discuss the four military diarists (Privates Harvey Coe Hullinger and John Henry Standifird, Corporal Joseph Felt, and First Sergeant R. H. Atwood) who documented this little known, but very interesting, Civil War story.


Ken L. Alford is an Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. After serving almost 30 years on active duty in the United States Army, he retired as a Colonel in 2008. While on active duty, Ken served in numerous assignments, including the Pentagon, eight years teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and four years as Professor and Strategic Leadership Department Chair at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. His most recent book, Civil War Saints, looks at Utah Territory during the Civil War.

back to top

Devan Jensen: “Gold Planner to Mail Pioneer: Henry Wells Jackson’s Unlikely Path to the Civil War”

After marching in the Mormon Battalion and panning for gold in California, Jackson began delivering mail between Great Salt Lake City and Placerville. In 1860 this mail service was replaced by the Pony Express. Jackson was unable to collect his back pay, which led him on a three-year odyssey to the East. Working as a wagon master for the Union, he became a prisoner of war. After being released, he returned to Washington, D.C., and volunteered as a lieutenant in the 1st D.C. Cavalry.


Devan Jensen is executive editor and associate director of publications for the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University. He is a direct descendant of Henry Wells Jackson through Henry’s son William Henry Jackson.

back to top

Paul A. Hoffman: “Henry Wells Jackson at the Battle of the White Bridge”

On January 6, 1864, Henry Wells Jackson, a Utahn, was commissioned a lieutenant in the First District of Columbia Volunteer Cavalry. This presentation focuses on Jackson’s participation in a Union cavalry raid in early May, 1864, culminating in the Battle of the White Bridge. He died on May 27, 1864. Thus, Jackson became the first known Mormon battle fatality of any American war and the only known Civil War battle death from Utah. The author has original photos and maps that he will share during this presentation.


Paul Austin Hoffman ( is a partner at Greenwald & Hoffman, LLP, a law firm in Santa Ana, California. He has been a Mormon Battalion reenactor for sixteen years. He is a direct descendant of Eliza Ann Dibble, wife of Henry Wells Jackson, through Eliza’s third husband, Julius Augustus Caesar Austin.

back to top

Session 9: Immigrant Communities Chair: Brad Cole
1:15 – 2:15pm, Classroom 1

Randy Williams, Robert Parson, Ross Peterson, Craig Fuller: “Chasing Water: Central Utah Project Oral History Effort”

Authorized by Congress in 1956, the Central Utah Project (CUP) was envisioned as a way for Utah to utilize its allocated share of the Colorado River. The CUP proposed transferring water from the Uinta Basin to the Wasatch Front. Additional features constructed in the Uinta Basin would ostensibly replace this trans-basin diversion, compensate the prior rights of the Ute Tribe, and bring thousands of acres of both Indian and non-Indian land under irrigation. Fraught with delays, and by funding and environmental constraints, completion of the CUP languished for nearly three decades.

In 1992, Congress passed the Central Utah Project Completion Act (CUPCA), which transferred the responsibility for completing the CUP from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. This Act was unprecedented, both in its legislative approach and in its attempt to reformulate the CUP.

This panel will discuss the arduous task of researching the CUP in some of the State’s archival collections; as well as the extensive oral history project, which promises to further tease out the events, facts and personalities of the CUP, and which is being preserved as an archive.


Randy Williams is the Fife Folklore Archives Curator and oral history specialist at Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives. She conducted the interviews for the CUP oral history project.

Robert Parson is University Archivist at Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book about the CUP history.

Ross Peterson is emeritus professor of history at Utah State University. Next year he will be the Wayne Aspinall Chair of History at Colorado Mesa University. He authored the History of Cache County and is a co-author of the forthcoming book about the CUP history.

Craig Fuller is a public historian; he worked for many years at the Utah State Historical Society. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book about the CUP history. 

back to top

Session 10: Place Names Chair: Kevin Fayles
1:15 – 2:15pm, Classroom 2

Shelley Watts: “The Applications and Benefits of Photogrammetry in Archaeology”

Photogrammetry has a long history and its development has grown in leaps and bounds from the first simple plane table equipment of its beginnings to the digital cameras and computer software we use today. While the original uses of photogrammetry were mainly focused on surveying, its modern applications have become very diverse. Recently, photogrammetry has begun to find its place in archaeology. By understanding how this technology can be applied in this field archaeologists can improve the quality of their records in the field, collect more precise data for later analysis, and preserve various aspects of the archaeological record and artifacts for future uses and research.


Shelley Watts is an anthropology graduate student at BYU finishing up her thesis on Late Classic Maya burials from an archaeological site located in southern Chiapas, Mexico. She also completed a bachelors in International Cultural Studies with an emphasis in anthropology from BYU-Hawaii. During her graduate studies she spent the summers in Mexico gathering data for her thesis and helping the New World Archaeological Foundation on a number of various projects. After graduate school she hopes to gain more field experience through a position with a forest service or CRM firm.

back to top

Chris Merritt: “What Was Once Gone is Now Found: Use of Free 3D Modeling Software for Archaeological and Historical Reconstruction”

Archaeologists and historians traditionally used relatively low-tech methods such as artistic renderings to visualize past buildings or sites long since disappeared. Freely available and user-friendly 3D modeling software such as Google Sketchup, allows for a more interactive, realistic, and completely moldable historical and archaeological experience. Google Sketchup, informed by historical documents and archaeological information, can provide both scholars and the public with a hyper-realistic envisioning of the past. Further, the outputs of this technology can be easily disseminated via digital means, and allow users to explore the past at their own leisure. This paper will illustrate the potential of this technology by applying it to several Utah historical and archaeological topics. This technology is revolutionizing the preservation and reconstruction of the past by scholars and public alike.


Chris Merritt received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Montana in 2010 detailing the Overseas Chinese experience in Montana, and a M.S. in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University in 2006 focusing on LDS pottery production and trade. He currently works as a Senior Preservation Specialist for the Utah Division of State History, and also served as a principal investigator for a private archaeological firm in Utah and as a heritage specialist for the United States Forest Service.

back to top

Jessica Montcalm: “Archaeology and the Public Interface: The Presentation of Archaeological Data through Digital Media”

The prevalence of digital outlets as a platform for public engagement is becoming increasingly popular, and is often a recommended course of providing the public with results of field work, especially associated with large, publicly funded projects. This paper will address the changing trends in how data gathered from archaeological surveys, excavations, and related investigations are presented to the public. In addition, a number of successful web sites and digital platforms will be reviewed, including Preservation Pro, Next Exit History, and the Making Archaeology Public project.


Jessica Montcalm is an archaeologist and cultural resource management specialist based in Salt Lake City. With field experience with pre-contact sites to early historic and industrial sites, she provides comprehensive assessment and analysis of the wide variety of archaeological environments on projects ranging from large-acreage surveys, large-scale industrial settings, urban corridors, and residential neighborhoods. Ms. Montcalm’s professional background includes project and field management, research strategy development, laboratory management, artifact analysis and curation, technical report writing and production, project-based cultural resource coordination and planning, and construction inspection compliance and monitoring. She has worked with numerous federal, state, local, and private organizations.

back to top

Session 11: Culture and the Utah Diaspora Chair: Bob Voyles
2:30 – 3:30pm, Auditorium

Brian Tarbet: “The NSA Utah Data Center: How Utah Obtained the Center”

The story of how Utah obtained the NSA Data Center that was built at Camp Williams, near Point of the Mountain. The strategy and campaign; the state agencies and other organizations that contributed; and the individuals involved. Also discussed will be the reasons why Utah was finally selected.


Major General Brian L. Tarbet retired from the Utah National Guard in 2013 after 40 years of service. He served the last twelve years of his career as the commanding general of the Utah National Guard. As a former Military Intelligence Officer, he was instrumental in working with federal, state and other organizations to ensure that the new NSA Data Center was approved for Utah. Following his retirement, General Tarbet was appointed General Counsel to the State Attorney General’s Office in 2013. He currently serves as the Chief Civil Deputy, Civil Department in that Office. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah and a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Utah State University.

back to top

Session 12: Utah and the World Chair: Steve Olsen
2:30 – 3:30pm, Event Center

Richard E. Turley, Jr. and Will Bagley: “Being There: Personal Recollections of Utah’s Tech Revolution, 1969-1995″

Sponsored by the Utah Westerners

Since 1969, when the University of Utah (and its DEC PDP-10 running the TENEX operating system) joined with UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, the Stanford Research Institute’s Augmentation Research Center and the Department of Defense to create the first Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), Utah has been at the forefront of the computer and Internet revolutions.

Two noted Utah historians will share personal memories of the heady early days of Utah high technology at the session sponsored annually by the Utah Westerners.


Richard Eyring Turley Sr., a nuclear and mechanical engineer, joined the University of Utah as an associate professor in 1972 and helped start Utah’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology. Upon becoming professor emeritus in 1989, Dr. Turley directed the Utah Technology Finance Corporation, created by Utah’s legislature to provide seed money to start-up tech companies.
His son, Richard E. Turley Jr., served for many years as managing director of the Historical and Family History Departments of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is now Assistant Church Historian and Recorder.

Historian Will Bagley is best known for his 220 columns and articles (or so) that appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune, as editor of the Arthur H.Clark Company’s 16- volume documentary series, KINGDOM IN THE WEST: The Mormons and the American Frontier, and for his books on overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, and Utah and the Mormons. He began his high-tech career in 1982 and worked as a technical writer until his departure from computer graphics pioneer Evans & Sutherland in 1995. Mr. Bagley also wrote for Utah entrepreneurs Randy Fields, Earl Holding, Ed Cheadle Jr, and Bruce Boyes about networking design and protocols, data transfer, artificial intelligence, and embedded systems.

back to top

Session 1: Places of Amusement

Chair: Bob McPherson
2:30 – 3:30pm, Classroom 2

“My Canyonlands: The Adventurous Life of Kent Frost” is an enthralling portrait of an American original and his fierce love of the land. This 45 minute film tells the story of Kent Frost, Utah’s homegrown John Muir, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 95. He was the last of the old time river-runners and a legendary back country guide who knew the canyon country of southeastern Utah better than anyone else. As a boy, Kent explored the wild redrock canyons on foot; as a man, he ran the rivers, developed backcountry tourism, and helped create Canyonlands National Park. Today, people come from around the world to visit the canyons for their beauty, but when Kent was growing-up they were perceived as a wasteland. He helped change that view by taking people out to experience the wilderness. His clients included Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and others who helped open the eyes of the public to our extraordinary landscape. Running through the film, as it runs through Kent’s heart, is the drowning of legendary Glen Canyon by Lake Powell – a still controversial environmental loss. Director Chris Simon interweaves stunning photography of the landscape, stories, music, archival footage and present-day adventures to create an intimate and compelling portrait of Kent Frost and the canyons he loves.

My Canyonlands is narrated by NPR commentator Hal Cannon. In addition to Kent Frost, it features Ken Sleight, Katie Lee, author Stephen Trimble, and additional music by James Keelaghan, TR Ritchie and Cowboy Celtic.

back to top

Session 1: Places of Amusement

Chair: Holly George
3:45 – 5:00pm, Event Center

Paul Stavast: “Museums as Technology: The Intersection of Utah’s Deseret Museum, the Early Twentieth-Century Museum, and James E. Talmage”

Museums are fundamental to historical research, yet museums are often ignored during discussions about technology and innovation. This presentation will look at museums as a form of technology by tracing the development of one Utah museum, the Deseret Museum, and its institutional impact on many of the major collecting museums now in the state. Simultaneously, the session will explore the training and education of its key director, James E. Talmage, which led to his significant, but unnoticed, influence in shaping the idea of museums in the USA. Talmage became director of the Deseret Museum in the early 1890s as Utah was preparing for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Numerous items were collected throughout the state to showcase the natural resources and industry of the territory at the Fair. One often-missed aspect of the event was the collecting of prehistoric artifacts and mineral collections. Some of the Fair items found their way into the collection of the Deseret Museum upon returning to Utah. At nearly the same time, the Museum and its director were becoming noted throughout the western world by affiliating with scientific societies and exchanging collections with other museums. Widely respected by many as a scientist, specifically a geologist, previous research has glossed over and largely ignored Talmage’s contributions to establishing the technology of museums within Utah and his efforts as a founding member of the American Association of Museums to formalize and refine 20th century concepts of museums.


Paul Stavast is Director of Brigham Young University’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures. He received a MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a BA in Archaeology from BYU. In addition to directing the museum, he teaches museum studies courses through BYU’s Department of Anthropology. Courses include Museums and Cultures, Museum Practices and Technologies and Museum Registration and Collections Management. His two main current research interests are 1) developing new technology, software and hardware, to assist in and streamline classification and cataloging of museum collections and 2) documenting the history of early natural history museums in Utah.

back to top

 Peter Kraus: “Trouble and Toil in Zion-The Academic Crisis of 1915″

Founded in 1850, The University of Utah is the oldest institution of higher learning, west of the Mississippi. The lines between church and state in Utah have often been blurred more than any other state in the Union and these church-state issues have impacted higher education several times in Utah’s history.

in 1915 when several members of the faculty did not have their contracts renewed due to unpopular remarks made by students (whom they taught and supported) at commencement where students expressed support of progressive ideas of the time. The newly formed American Association of University Professors (AAUP) launched an investigation about these faculty dismissals that attracted nation-wide attention. Similar situations were occurring at several other universities around the nation, which the AAUP was also investigating. The results of these investigations at the University of Utah and other institutions of higher learning are considered by many to be the birth of the concept of tenure at American Colleges and Universities.

This paper will explore the actions of the trustees of the University of Utah, the administration of the University of Utah, the faculty and the AAUP. The premise of this paper is that these dismissals were motivated by political considerations of the time and not religious discrimination or nepotism and that with the lack of an organized system of faculty governance (i.e. a faculty senate) there was no real system of communication on policy matters at the University and that the President of the University of Utah saw himself more aligned with the wishes of the University Trustees verses an advocated for the faculty and that these actions were a result of the growing pains of the development of the University of Utah at a time when great social and economic change where occurring in the state.


Peter L. Kraus is currently an Associate Librarian at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the faculty at the “U” in 1999 he was with The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library. He holds his BA (History) and MSc (Library Science) from Florida State University. He also pursued graduate coursework in history and religion at the University of Utah and Harvard University.

back to top

 Ian Keller: “Folk and Professional Medicine in Cache Valley, circa 1900″

The Riter Brothers Drug Company was incorporated in 1891 and remained in business at least until 1918. The pharmacy operated five stores, two in Utah at Garland and Logan, and three in Idaho, at Preston, Montpelier, and Franklin. They kept prescription records, pasted into huge ledgers, four of which are now held in Utah State University’s Special Collections and Archives. Further materials, including business records and the Franklin Riter Manuscript Collection, are held by the Utah State Historical Society.

However, this pharmacy was not the only source of medical treatment available to locals. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a long tradition of folk medicine, going back to the 19th century “Thomsonian” movement, and perhaps further. The Fife Folklore Archives USU Student Folklore Genre Collection of Belief contains multiple subsections related to folk medicine.

This paper will compare the Riter Brothers prescription records to the Fife Folklore belief collection in an effort to better understand the development of medicine in Cache Valley and Utah. What cures did these two traditions prescribe; what were their differences and similarities? And as the practice of medicine became professional, was Utah’s experience different than that of the nation?

These are questions of science and technology. They are also questions of belief and truth. In our contemporary world, we continually see science and belief at odds, and this, of course, is nothing new. Furthermore, our current medical system is in flux, and it may prove interesting to see how Utahns dealt with their changing medical system at the turn of the last century.


Ian Keller grew up in Logan, Utah and attended Logan High School. He received a B.A. in History from Reed College, located in Portland Oregon, in 2008. Some years after returning to Logan, Dr. Chris Conte convinced him to start a masters in history at USU, and he has been there since. His current research involves looking at folk and professional medicine in Cache Valley and the surrounding area circa 1900.

back to top

Session 1: Places of Amusement

Chair: Susan Rugh
3:45 – 5:00pm, Classroom 1

 Robert McPherson: “The Navajo’s First Impression of the Car”

Americans today live in a vast ocean of technology that swirls and changes with each hour.  It has grown to be the expected, may even be demanded, that everything is new or improved—faster, lighter, smaller, clearer, louder, greater capacity—the list goes on depending upon the object.  Our worldview thrives on new, previously unimaginable techniques, objects, or systems that soon become standard fair.

Return to an earlier time and a different set of expectations, when the Navajo were first introduced to an “impossible” technology—the automobile—that challenged many of the concepts of how the world worked.  Explore the past to see how this machine became an integral part of the culture, its vocabulary, and daily life while being employed and understood according to traditional Navajo values practiced at the turn of the twentieth century.  The Din4, noted for their ingenious adaptability to new things, prove to be no exception in this instance, as cultural values dominated their understanding of this mysterious machine.  Enjoy some Navajo humor along the way, as today’s elders share their thoughts and experiences of a time long gone.


Robert S. McPherson is the author of numerous books on the history of Southeastern Utah and on American Indian tribes. He is a professor at the Blanding Campus of Utah State University and is on the Board of State History.

back to top

 Clint Pumphrey and Jim Kichas: “Information Scenic Byway” The Technology of Boosterism Along Utah’s U.S. Highway 89″

Technology was central to the development of Utah’s tourism industry in the 20th century. In the post-World War II period, better roads and cheaper, more reliable automobiles made the state’s unique backcountry experience more accessible than ever. But Utah’s tourism boom was not simply a product of advances in transportation. It also resulted from the way boosters used new and more widely-available media technologies to promote vacationing in the Beehive State. State government and civic organizations alike took advantage of tools like radio, television, and movies to draw more visitors to Utah, where their money helped supplement Utah’s traditionally agricultural and extractive economy.

This presentation proposes to explore the role of technology in tourist development, specifically along the Utah segment of U.S. Highway 89. Extending north and south from Canada to Mexico, this federal highway was a prime corridor for vacationers who wanted to experience the West. In Utah it traveled from Bear Lake in the north, through Logan, Salt Lake City, Spanish Fork, Mt. Pleasant, Salina, Panguitch, and Kanab, threading between Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks along the way. This presentation will first look at how boosters, including state and local governments and chambers of commerce, initially sought improvements along Highway 89 to make it more accessible to tourists. Additionally, it will explore how these and other groups, like the 89’ers International Highway Association, used media to produce things like theme songs and promotional films to further the route’s appeal. Finally, the presentation will investigate how private citizens and government entities are now using the Internet to promote Highway 89’s scenery and history. This discussion will primarily focus on the Highway 89 Digital Collection, a collaborative effort among Western libraries and archives to capture Highway 89’s storied past through the digitization of photographs, manuscripts, and printed items.


Clint Pumphrey is the manuscript curator in the Special Collections and Archives division of Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library where he manages approximately 500 collections, mostly related to the history of southern Idaho and northern Utah. He completed an MS in History at Utah State University in 2009 and a master’s thesis entitled, From Sagebrush to Subdivisions: Visualizing Tourist Development in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1967-2002. His professional interests include environmental and leisure history, collaborative digitization of archival material, and social media in archives.

Jim Kichas is an archivist for the Utah State Archives. Hired in 2002, Jim has spent the last twelve years processing a variety of historic government records in State Archives holdings, as well as taken part in numerous special projects, such as the Highway 89 Digital Collections initiative. He is a Certified Archivist (2013), and has served as treasurer for the Conference of Inter-mountain Archivists since 2012. In 2010 Jim began work on a master’s degree in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah, with research focused on the nuclear MX Missile System. This work was successfully completed in 2012.

back to top

 Korral Broschinsky: “The Merry-Go-Round Mystery”

This presentation will trace the history of the current carousel at the Lagoon Amusement Park. The carousel history will be placed in the context of the technological and design advances in merry-go-rounds and carousels in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My work on the history of the Lagoon Carousel resulted in the listing of the amusement park ride on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.


Korral Broschinsky is an architectural historian and preservation consultant with nineteen years of experience researching the history of Utah and the Intermountain West.

back to top

Session 1: Places of Amusement

Chair: Ron Watt
3:45 – 5:00pm, Classroom 2

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, education played a significant role in Utah’s technological development as well as determining how those new technologies were incorporated into the state’s distinct culture. This panel will examine some of the intersections between education and technology in Utah from 1865 to 1930. Brett D. Dowdle will examine the monumental changes the railroad brought to Utah’s schools between 1865 and 1890. The railroad’s arrival heralded one of the territory’s most important technological advances, lessening its isolation from the rest of the nation. In addition to raising several important questions, the railroad paved the way for superior educational growth and opportunities as Utah headed toward the twentieth century. As a result, skilled scientists and educators brought other technologies to Utah’s schools. Casey P. Griffiths will examine the contributions of Joseph F. Merrill, one of Utah’s first citizens to receive a PhD. Following his studies at a number of prestigious eastern universities, Merrill accepted a professorship at the University of Utah. While there, he spearheaded the creation of the School of Mines and Engineering, helping the school to become achieve recognition as a leading research institution and a center for science and learning in the West. Similarly, Brian W. Ricks will discuss the scientific contributions of James E. Talmage as a leading educator and scientist in the University of Utah’s Department of Geology. In this position, Talmage furthered the study of earthquakes in the West, installing the first seismograph west of the Mississippi River, one of many notable achievements.

 Brett D. Dowdle: “A New Cosmopolitanism in Thought and Action: The Transcontinental Railroad and the Transformation of Utah’s Schools”


Brett D. Dowdle is a PhD candidate in American history at Texas Christian University and is currently working on a dissertation examining the efforts of the Federal Government to reconstruct Utah from 1848 to 1890. He holds both Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in history from Brigham Young University. He is originally from Orem, Utah.

back to top

 Casey Griffiths: “Jupiter Ascendant: The Educational Contributions of Joseph F. Merrill”


Casey Paul Griffiths is a teacher and writer for the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion and an Adjunct Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He holds a Bachelors degree in History, a Masters degree in Religious Education, and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University. His research focuses mainly on Latter-day Saint educational history and religious thought. His publications have appeared in The Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, and the Religious Educator. He is currently at work on a biography of Joseph F. Merrill.

back to top

 Brian Ricks: “The First Geology Chair at the University of Utah: Dr. James E. Talmage”


Brian Ricks is a seminary teacher in Saratoga Springs, Utah. He holds a PhD in Educational Leadership. He and his wife Jessica have been married for 14 years and have 6 children. Both he and his wife are originally from Utah, but have resided in Utah for the last 12 years.

back to top