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Category Archives: Research & Collections

Cemetery General Information

The Utah Cemeteries and Burials Database is recognized by Family Tree Best State Website Logo 2015-webMagazine as one of the Best State Websites for family history research.

General Information

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

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

Mignon Richmond

Mignon Richmond #1a

Courtesy of the Mignon Richmond family

Mignon Richmond was an activist and community leader that left her mark on Salt Lake City, yet her name is fading from the minds of Salt Lake’s current residents. Utah State history has dedicated space to tell her legacy through photographs, artifacts, and even her voice. Come to the Rio Grande and learn the story of Mignon and pass it on.

Rio Grande Depot
300 S Rio Grande St (450 W)
Salt Lake City, Utah

Listen to audio excerpts from Mignon Richmond’s Oral History and find more information on our historical spotlight display.

 

Mignon Richmond Audio

Introduction to Mignon Barker Richmond

After graduating from Utah State University

Richmond’s giving spirit

Work with the Central City Community Center

Photo Courtesy: Utah State University

Courtesy of USU Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library

To hear the entire oral history, visit the State History Research Center.
The Mignon B. Richmond interview is located under Call Number MSS A 4051.

Check out some additional resources that tell more about the service Richmond offered her community and the people she was in contact with!

One of the many significant friendships that Richmond invested her time and energy into was with Wallace H. Thurman.  Who was Wallace Thurman, and what was his role in Utah and across the United States?

Take a look at Wilfred D Samuels and David A Hales’ “Wallace Henry Thurman: A Utah Contributor to Harlem Renaissance” article from the 2013 Utah Historical Quarterly.  

Mignon Richmond 2, receiving award

Courtesy of the Mignon Richmond family

As Richmond dedicated her life to serving the community through various organizations, she left a legacy of action and set an example for everyone to follow.

For more information on how you can live in the spirit of Mignon visit Userve and apply.

Richmond was involved in the founding of the Nettie Gregory Center in 1964, a gathering place for minority youth groups to get involved in recreational activities.  

Family Photo

Courtesy of the Mignon Richmond family

To visit the Salt Lake City park dedicated to Mignon Richmond check out this map. You can also join us in documenting your experience at Richmond Park by posting a picture on Instagram at #RememberingMignon.

 

Mignon Barker Richmond Audio Links

Introduction to Mignon Barker Richmond

After graduating from Utah State University

Richmond’s giving spirit

Work with the Central City Community Center

Research Resources

 

In addition to our Collections and Digital Collections, explore the resources below for more information on Utah History. Contact the Research Center for additional research needs.

 

History_Stacks2Utah State Historical Society Publications

Search books and periodicals published over the years by the Utah State Historical Society

 

 

History_childrenHistory to Go

Utah History to Go also offers information about interesting facts and lessons about Utah history, biographies of famous Utahns, and a comprehensive bibliography to help you with your Utah history quest.

 

 

Utah_GameI Love History

Kids love history too! The I Love History site has resources and interactive activities for kids of all ages.

 

 

History_CemeteriesCemeteries Database

Search cemetery and burial records from cemeteries throughout Utah.

 

 

 

  History_MonumentMarkers and Monuments

Search markers and monuments throughout Utah and some western states.

 

 

 

49-E-Main-Torrey_large  Historic Buildings Research

Utah’s State Historic Preservation Office assists communities, agencies, and the general public in researching, surveying, designating, and treating their historic buildings and structures

 


History_SanbornMapsSanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps contain property information and history for many cities throughout Utah. Check out digitized Sanborn maps hosted by the University of Utah Marriott Library. Also, come to our Research Center to see hard copy Sanborn maps.

 

History_NewspapersUtah Digital Newspapers

Search numerous Utah newspapers at Utah Digital Newspapers, hosted by the University of Utah Marriott Library. Most of Utah State History’s newspapers are digitized and online at Utah Digital Newspapers.

 


History_UtahStateArchives2Utah State Archives

The Utah State Archives has records from Territorial and State agencies that can be researched and accessed in the joint Research Center operated by Utah State Archives and Utah State History.

 

 


History_Question_small  

Have a research question? Ask our librarians.


 

Revolver

The Power of Objects

History_Revolver_Main

 

Merwin & Hulbert Pocket Army Revolver
circa 1870-1880

(Click on the above image and then click, hold, and drag to view)

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

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

Gavel

The Power of Objects

History_Gavel_Main

 

Gavel
March 8, 1894

(Click on the above image and then click, hold, and drag to view)

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

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

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

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

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

Topaz Brooch B

The Power of Objects

History_BroochB_Main

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

(Click on the above image and then click, hold, and drag to view)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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