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Category Archives: Research & Collections

Latinos in Utah


Latinos in Utah
History of Mexico
Monticello Settlement
Miners of Utah
Railroad Workers in Utah
Religious Practices of Latinos in Utah
Migrant Workers in Utah
Utah Hispanics in the Military
Latinos’ Quest for Civil Rights in Utah
Our Future: Our Children

For twenty years, and in conjunction with our oral history project, we gathered an impressive number of pictures and documents of Latinos in the state of Utah. These pictures allowed us to recreate the history of Latinos since the time when the Aztecs and Utes inhabited Utah’s territory to our present days. Based on ethnic methodologies, I merged the history of the United States, the history of Utah, and the history of Mexican Americans in the Southwest.

Our main intention was to increase the level of awareness of the presence of Latinos in Utah, to promote tolerance and understanding in our communities, and to make this information accessible to people without formal education. For these purposes, we created a travel exhibit, with captions in English and Spanish, and with a feedback mechanism through which people provided further information. The exhibit was displayed throughout the state and about 120,000 people visited our photo-documentary.

This collection includes maps showing the territory of Utah when it was part of Mexico, the first community of Latinos in Monticello, the experience of the miners in Bingham and Price, the participation of Latinos in the construction of Utah’s railroad, the presence of Mexican migrant workers, the Latinos of Utah who enrolled in the U.S. wars abroad, the early religious organizations of Catholics and Latter Day Saints, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and Utah’s Latino leaders who have left a legacy for future generations.

Organizations such as the Utah State Historical Society, the Center of Documentary Art, the American West Center, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Special Collections at the University of Utah, Utah Humanities, Ethnic Studies, Centro Civico Mexicano, Weber State University, the Office of Hispanic Affairs, and multiple families contributed to this project. We are confident that our involvement will enhance the goals of making Utah’s history a more wholistic and inclusive endeavor.

Armando Solorzano. Ph.D.



This was an excerpt of the panels. You can access the finding aide here.

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

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.


Mountain West Digital LibraryHistory_MWDL

The Mountain West Digital Library contains thousands of images from Utah institutions as well as other institutions throughout the west. As an access portal, MWDL allows patrons to search multiple institutional collections as the same time.



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.




Have a research question? Ask our librarians.



The Power of Objects



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


The Power of Objects



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