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Utah Historical Quarterly Editorial Fellowship

 

 

 

 

 

The Utah Historical Quarterly is excited to announce a partnership with the University of Utah History Department and Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University to offer a graduate student fellowship at the Utah Historical Quarterly.

The Fellow will be appointed each academic year, rotating between the Miriam B. Murphy / Thomas G. Alexander Editorial Fellow, named after two individuals who made a substantial contribution to the Utah State Historical Society and the study of Utah history. See here for more biographical information on Murphy and Alexander.

Supported by the UofU History Department and the Redd Center, the editorial fellowship is a competitive award open to University of Utah History Department graduate students who have a demonstrated commitment to historical scholarship and public history. The Fellow will assist the quarterly in its publication, scholarship, and outreach initiatives, and will obtain valuable professional experience.

Miriam B. Murphy Editorial Fellow

Alexandria Waltz is currently serving as our inaugural Miriam B. Murphy Editorial Fellow. Ms. Waltz is a PhD candidate in American history at the University of Utah. Her dissertation focuses on teenage subcultures in Orange County during the 1970s and 1980s. She has been awarded multiple fellowships, including the University of Utah’s Maybelle Burton Graduate Fellowship and the Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship. She works in marketing for the Ken Garff Automotive Group and teaches U.S. history and Latin American history at Westminster College and Salt Lake Community College.

CALL FOR APPLICANTS

Thomas G. Alexander Editorial Fellow

The Utah State Historical Society is seeking applicants for the Thomas G. Alexander Editorial Fellow during the 2018–2019 academic year.

The award is open to University of Utah History Department graduate students who have a demonstrated commitment to historical scholarship and public history. The fellow will be appointed for the academic year and will assist the quarterly in its publication, scholarship, and outreach initiatives, and will obtain valuable professional experience.

Each fellowship is a nine-month commitment at 20 hours per week beginning at the start of the academic school year. The Fellow will be expected to work at UHQ’s offices in the Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City, though exceptions may be granted. The fellowship comes with a generous stipend and, if the applicant is eligible, tuition assistance.

For consideration applicants will be required to submit a letter of interest, writing sample, and curriculum vitae. Submit applications to the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Utah. Queries about this fellowship can be submitted to Jedediah Rogers at jedediahrogers@utah.gov.

Qualifications

  • Second-year master’s or doctoral student enrolled in history, focus on American West preferred
  • Demonstrated commitment to historical scholarship and public history
  • Strong writing skills and experience or interest in editing
  • Experience or training in scholarly publishing is desired but not necessary
  • Knowledge of Utah history is preferred
  • Able to pass basic syntax and copyediting test (to be administered by UHQ editors)

Job Duties

Organization

  • Learn Editorial Manager and teach to editors
  • Tailor letter templates (see WHQ examples) and upload to Editorial Manager
  • Meet weekly with editors:
    • Weekly update sheet on manuscript status (which editor it’s assigned to; status with review, readers, revision, etc.)
    • Weekly update of book reviews (e.g., these are the ten books that are out; what do you want me to do about them?)
  • Keep statistics on article submissions
    • Number of submissions
    • Subject matter

Book Reviews

  • Suggest book reviewers
  • Check acknowledgments for buddies
  • Ask book reviewers
  • Send books out
  • Send reminder emails
  • Edit book reviews
  • Track which books are reviewed in each UHQ issue
  • Ask presses for books if needed

UHQ Production

  • Spot-check footnotes (can go deeper if needed)
  • Format footnotes
  • Write image captions
  • Index

Charles Redd Center Project

  • Special project TBA

Utah Historical Quarterly Editorial Fellowship

 

Murphy (left), mid-1950s

MIRIAM B. MURPHY (1933-2013)

Miriam B. Murphy, affectionately called Mims by some of her colleagues at the Utah State Historical Society, was a longtime associate editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly beginning with her hiring as associate editor in spring 1971 to her retirement in fall 1997. Following her retirement, Murphy was appointed to the Advisory Board of Editors where she served until 2000. The Board of State History honored Miriam as an Honorary Life Member in 2007 for her twenty-six years of distinguished work. More recently, UHQ editors have honored Miriam as a namesake of a new editorial fellowship to assist in publication of the journal. The recognition is in appreciation for the substantial contribution she made to the Utah State Historical Society and the study of Utah history.

Miriam attended the University of Utah where she majored in English. During the 1954–1955 academic year she served as associate editor of the university’s Daily Utah Chronicle before being named Editor-in-Chief the following academic year. Her academic major and editorial work on the Chronicle served her well as the associate editor of UHQ.

At the Utah State Historical Society, Miriam performed a wide range of editorial functions. She sized photographs and other illustrated materials. Each year she meticulously prepared the index and table of contents for each journal volume long before the capability of digital word searches. Working with Stanford Layton, managing editor, she proofread each issue of UHQ, reading each word aloud and checking for errors.

Among other assignments as associate editor, Miriam managed a biannual newsletter that the Utah State Historical Society mailed to each of its members, as well as to numerous public and academic libraries and historical organizations. The society launched Beehive History, an annual publication containing short essays written by academic and amateur historians, in 1975, and for most of the publication’s twenty-seven years Miriam served as its editor. Beehive History’s purpose was to introduce the young Utah reader to brief, highly readable essays on history, but the publication also piqued the interest of many adult subscribers to UHQ. Miriam encouraged authors to write articles, wrote many herself, and edited previously published essays and articles by former contributors to UHQ. Among those that she edited or wrote were “The Work of John A. Widtsoe,” “This Natural Clock Tells Time in Centuries,” “Tombstones: Working of Art and Historic Records,” “Making your own Soap,” “The Black Baseball Heroes of ‘09,” and “Helen of Utah, Queen of Athletes.”

Miriam excelled as a writer and researcher and, in addition to editing manuscripts, she produced a few of her own for the Utah Historical Quarterly: “The Working Women of Salt Lake City: A Review of the Utah Gazetteer, 1892–93,” appearing in a special issue on women; “Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael: Poetic Genius of Pioneer Utah”; and the popular “If only I shall have the Right Stuff: Utah Women in World War I.” In commemoration of the Utah centennial, Murphy wrote twenty entries for the Utah History Encyclopedia edited by Allen Kent Powell and published by the University of Utah Press in 1994. Recognizing Miriam’s talent as a fine researcher and writer, the Wayne County Commission commissioned Miriam to write a history of Wayne County as part of the acclaimed twenty-nine county centennial history series. Her scholarship was also later published in The Skeleton in Grandpa’s Barn and other Stores of Growing Up in Utah, edited by Layton and published by Signature Books in 2008. She provided a number of fun Utah history trivia essays in Utah Trivia, co-edited by her colleague at the Utah State Historical Society, Kent Powell. This delightful and quizzical volume was published in Nashville by Rutledge Press in 1997.

Miriam expanded her creative writing talent to poetry, and her collection of poetry That Green Light that Lingers: Poems was first published in 2001. The naming of the Miriam B. Murphy Editorial Fellow by the Utah Historical Quarterly editors is wholly appropriate. Murphy was a consummate professional editor and colleague at the Utah State Historical Society.

Craig Fuller, formerly of the Utah State Historical Society


THOMAS G. ALEXANDER (1935-)

Thomas G. Alexander was born in Logan and raised in Ogden. He received his associate degree in mechanical engineering from Weber State College in 1955 but gravitated toward history following his return from an LDS mission to Germany. With support from Dello Dayton at Weber, Tom applied to Utah State University, where he worked with George Ellsworth and Leonard Arrington. Ellsworth modeled excellence in the classroom and editorial skill, while Arrington modeled scholarly research and productivity. Tom married Marilyn Johns, a fellow Aggie, in 1959, received his BS in history in 1960, and earned a master’s degree one year later after writing a thesis on conflict in Utah’s territorial court system. Over his career Tom would return repeatedly to the broader thematic focus of his thesis: the relationships of ideologically diverse groups within Utah. Tom continued his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, completing a dissertation on a topic recommended by Arrington: the interaction between the Interior Department and the territories of Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.

Fortunately for Utahns, Tom turned down an offer to teach California history at Fresno State and instead accepted a faculty appointment in the History Department at Brigham Young University, where he worked over the next four decades. Beginning in 1972 Tom served as Assistant and then Associate Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU and then as Director between 1980 and 1992. From 1992 to 2004 he was the Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western American History. Over his career, Tom has mentored and advised dozens of graduate students and numerous undergraduates. He received BYU’s most prestigious faculty award, the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture Award, and developed upper-division and graduate courses, including a pioneering course in American environmental history.

Tom served the Utah State Historical Society as member of the Advisory Board of Editors and as a member and chair of the Board of State History. His appointment as a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society acknowledged and recognized his extensive contributions to the society. Tom’s professional services are legion, including service as president of the Association of Utah Historians; president of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters; president of the Mormon History Association; president of the Pacific Coast Branch-American Historical Association; president of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society; national president of the Sons of Utah Pioneers; chair of the Utah Humanities Council; parliamentarian, council member, and honorary life member of the Western History Association; and member of the Editorial Board of Western Historical Quarterly.

Tom’s publications in Utah, Mormon, and western American history are extensive. He has written, co-authored, or edited twenty-eight books including the official centennial history, Utah, The Right Place, a book that surveyed the history of the state in the twentieth century to a greater degree than any previous work. Other important books include Mormons and Gentiles: A History of Salt Lake City (co-authored with James B. Allen), the award-winning Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930; Things of Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff, and a forthcoming biography of Brigham Young. He is the author of over sixty articles in peer-reviewed journals, including twenty-seven in the Utah Historical Quarterly, numerous book chapters and encyclopedia articles, and nearly two hundred book reviews.

Tom is a diplomat, a problem solver, and a consensus builder. Known for his personal and professional honesty, Tom unites and brings out the best in his associates.

Brian Q. Cannon, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies

 

Utah Historical Quarterly Fall 2017

IN THIS ISSUE


Utah is often known as the Crossroads of the West, and, however overused that name may
be, it’s an apt term to describe the state’s cultural and geographic position in the American
West. A crossroad is a place of intersection, but it also is “a central meeting place” or “a crucial
point especially where a decision must be made.” For Native peoples in the Great Basin
and the Colorado Plateau, a web of migration and trade routes contributed to an exchange
of people, goods, and ideas. Since Dominguez and Escalante’s expedition in 1776–1777, these
groups had to deal with how the arrival and ambition of Europeans and Americans shifted
the dynamic of power in the region. Missionaries, explorers, trappers, and overland migrants
passed through, and in some cases lingered, on the way to somewhere else. When Latterday
Saints decided on the eastern edge of the Great Basin as the place to plant their settlements,
the land had already been traversed by generations of Native peoples, as well as by
entrepreneurial trappers who relied on indigenous knowledge and who brought concrete
cartographic knowledge of the American Far West. Faint mule trails, wagon ruts, and even
the course of modern transportation corridors constitute evidence etched into the landscape
of generational movement and travels.

The post–Civil War era saw a dramatic rise in transportation technology in the West, as
railroad lines spanned the continent. Railroad men and financiers—not to be outdone by one
another—pushed lines into territories where demand had not yet coalesced. Their large corporations,
which were heavily subsidized by the American people, came to symbolize the
grandeur of the age and American progress itself. Utahns needed railroads in the same way
they needed other technologies like irrigation to move water about the landscape. For Mormons,
the arrival of the transcontinental line in 1869 signaled the loss of political and economic
hegemony in the Great Basin. Other lines soon followed, and no history of the state or region
is complete without following them—a veritable spider web showing prominent nineteenthcentury
destinations. Since railroads needed water and fuel, stations and towns cropped up
in part to provide that service. Other communities serviced the trains, some of which had a
striking impermanence on the landscape. But the threads of connection created by railroads
had a more lasting impact. Transcontinentals and the lines they inspired became part of a
network that helped to connect Utah and the American West with the rest of the country and
the neighboring nations of Canada and Mexico.

If railroads became the major arteries of the West’s nineteenth-century transportation
system, roads provided the connective tissue. Roads follow preexisting routes. Like water,
they tend to follow the easiest path—through valleys, canyons, and low-level mountain
passes—although some Utah routes cross the roughest terrain imaginable. They facilitate
movement, curating how one travels across the landscape just as an exhibition curates historical
information. Most roads are fixtures; others have outlasted their original economic or cultural
purpose and have been reclaimed by the land. Before becoming a physical presence on
the land, roads existed in imagination, revealing much about how generations, then and now,
thought about the land and acted on it. As such, roads, like railroads, are cultural sponges—artifacts
of earlier times. They are similar to what Wallace Stegner wrote of Dinosaur National
Monument in eastern Utah, as “a palimpsest of human history, speculation, rumor, fantasy,
ambition, science, controversy, and conflicting plans for use”—as “marks of human passage.”

Thinking about these “marks of human passage” is the design of this issue, a reprint of four exceptional essays previously published in the Quarterly. We begin with Dale L. Morgan’s lively essay “Utah before the Mormons,” originally delivered as a keynote address at the 1967
annual meeting of the Utah State Historical Society and subsequently published in the January
1968 issue. Morgan plays with time scale “to translate historical time into terms we can individually
find meaningful” by tracing the events prior to the Mormon’s arrival in 1847 by using
1967—the year of his address—as a baseline. We can play the same game: Morgan delivered the
keynote half a century ago, a longer time span than any of the major events he describes between
1805 and 1847. But the first half of the nineteenth century is chronicled here by one
of the West’s accomplished and knowledgeable authorities, who provides a sweeping evaluation
of the people, groups, and ideas that made an imprint on the region that became Utah. That world of explorers, trappers, and overland emigrants was marked by constant movement.

Our next selection comes from the pen of Robert Utley, an acclaimed historian of the
West. “The Dash to Promontory,” published in April 1961, is the product of a different kind of
“dash” in the years leading up to the centennial of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad:
the effort of the National Park Service, with the help of assiduous locals such as Bernice
Gibbs Anderson, to establish the significance of the Golden Spike site for its eventual
inclusion to the National Park System. Utley’s reflection on Promontory is followed by Doris
R. Dant’s “Bridge: A Railroading Community on the Great Salt Lake,” published in winter
1985. Dant, formerly an associate professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University, paints
a rich portrait of life in a town that owed its sole existence to the railroad. Like other forms
of movement, the community’s lifespan on the Great Salt Lake was short lived, and as we see
from Dant’s postscript, the town and its history now exist only in memory.

Another classic essay reprinted here is “Nine Mile: Eastern Utah’s Forgotten Road” by Edward
Geary, published in the winter 1981 issue. His familiarity with the locale and, like Dant,
his considerable literary talents combine to make a pleasurable read: part history, part personal
history, Geary’s article blends the canyon’s regional history with the experiences of
his own grandfather driving the rough canyon road a century earlier. One virtue of the essay
is the sense of place, Geary’s attention to Nine Mile as “one of the most colorful and little-
known areas in Utah” that “does not quite belong to any of the state’s usually recognized
regions.” This canyon, he argues, was central to the region’s development even though modern
infrastructure and memory have obscured that fact.

Our final offering is a new selection on a welcome subject, the archaeology of the transcontinental
railroad grade in Box Elder County, Utah, and especially the evidence of Chinese
rail workers. “Rolling to the 150th” explores the story of Promontory after the driving of the
Golden Spike on May 10, 1869, and the archaeological efforts to reconstruct the area’s past
in anticipation of the sesquicentennial of 1869. In so doing, this article provides a fascinating
coda to Robert Utley’s prelude to the events of May 1869.

The classic articles reprinted in this issue are nearly verbatim reproductions of their originally
published forms, with only minor necessary editorial changes. The major difference is
with images: some are duplicates; others are new, from our collection. We are pleased that
each piece is followed by a postscript either from the authors or, in the case of Dale Morgan’s
essay, from Richard L. Saunders, dean of the library at Southern Utah University and the
foremost scholar of Morgan’s life and work. We thank Bob Utley, Ed Geary, and Doris Dant for
returning to their essays after many years and offering commentary to a new generation of
readers.

These essays offer a sampling of the work published in the Quarterly over the years and remind
us of important themes that have graced the journal’s pages. It’s appropriate to return
to them a second time for inspiration, for, as the postscripts suggest, these articles still have
something to offer. From them we have case studies that show how attention to movement
and transportation in Utah history offers a sweep of topography and terrain—the physical
space—and of systems and networks that originated in the nineteenth century. On a more
granular scale, the concept of movement allows us to reflect on experience and memory: from
one man’s experience nearly freezing to death on a freight run through Nine Mile Canyon to a
woman’s memories growing up surrounded by the sights and sounds of diesel engines.

The essays are only a start, a few selections from the region’s nineteenth-century history.
The possibilities inherent in the ideas of movement and transportation potentially force us
to reconsider Utah history. The centrality of movement to exploration, industry, and travel—
major themes in Utah history—is obvious. Less so is the way movement can be seen on a more
conceptual level as a way to evaluate change over space and time: the variation and transformation
of the landscape, the flow of ideas and people into and out of the state, the mobility
of groups and individuals, the development of transportation-related infrastructure, and the
transportation and communication networks connecting the state to regional and national
systems. The flow of ideas and people is now more global than ever before, rendering traditional
boundaries that confined physical movement less operable.

We hope that intimate stories of movement and transportation, combined with attention
to broader trends and analysis, will continue to be shared. This issue marks the Utah State
Historical Society’s commitment to this theme, culminating with the 66th Annual Utah History
Conference to be held September 27–28, 2018. This is both a call for papers and a call
for community recognition of the centrality of transportation and movement to Utah and the
western region.

 


CLASSIC REPRINTS

Utah Before the Mormons (Winter 1968)
By Dale L. Morgan. Postscript: Dale Morgan and the Elements of Utah History, by Richard Saunders

The Dash to Promontory (April 1961)
By Robert M. Utley. Postscript: The Golden Spike and Me, by the author

Nine Mile: Eastern Utah’s Forgotten Road (Winter 1981)
By Edward A. Geary. Postscript: No Longer Forgotten Road, by the author

Bridge: A Railroading Community on the Great Salt Lake (Winter 1985)
By Doris R. Dant. Postscript: Bridge, an Extreme Example of Railroad Control, by the author

DEPARTMENTS

Rolling to the 150th: Sesquicentennial of the Transcontinental Railroad
By Christopher W. Merritt, Michael R. Polk, Ken Cannon, Michael Sheehan, Glenn Stelter, and Ray Kelsey


BOOK REVIEWS

Robert S. McPherson and Susan Rhoades Neel, Mapping the Four Corners: Narrating the Hayden Survey of 1875. Reviewed by John L. Kessell

Laurie J. Bryant, A Modest Homestead: Life in Small Adobe Homes in Salt Lake City, 1850-1897. Reviewed by Robert A. Young

Silvio Manno, Charcoal and Blood: Italian Immigrants in Eureka, Nevada, and the Fish Creek Massacre. Reviewed by Nancy J. Taniguchi

Kerry William Bate, The Women: A Family Story. Reviewed by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel


 

WWI Commission Resources

WWI infographic, created by Christina Epperson.

1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War

Utah and World War I: special issue of Utah Historical Quarterly

Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience, ed. by Allan Kent Powell: a collection of essays exploring the complexity of WWI and its impact on Utahns.

State Legislature’s Resolution (PDF)

Governor’s Declaration, April 2017 (PDF)

Utah in the World War, by Noble Warrum: published under the auspices of the Utah Council of Defense in 1924.

The Great War, from American Experience

National WWI Museum and Memorial

NHD National History Day Teaching World War I: Resource to connect teachers and students to the best sources for the 100th anniversary of WWI. Includes Middle School and High School lesson modules.

The United States World War I Centennial Commission.

Archives/Special Collections

LDS Church History Library: (PDF list of WWI related collections)

State Historical Society: (PDF list of Historical Society Collections relating to WWI)

University of Utah: (PDF list of WWI related items/collections held in Special Collections)

Utah State University: (PDF list of WWI related items/collections held in Special Collections)

History Day 2018 WWI Regional Prize Winners

Individual Exhibits –
Treaty of Versailles: The Uncompromising Compromise

Papers –
The Christmas Truce of 1914

Documentary –
The Treat of Versailles: A Dictated Peace

Websites –
A Failed Treaty Caused WWII?
The Christmas Truce: The Legendary Compromise
Mennonites & Makhnovists: Conflict and Compromise in Early 20th Century Ukraine

 

Events Commemorating WWI

May 30, 2018
Morgan County Historical Society will have A. Kent Powell speak on World War I.

June 2, 2018, 10:00 a.m. 
Chapman Library 100th anniversary. National Guard 23rd Army Brass Quintet will play patriotic songs from WWI.
Chapman Branch Library, 577 S. 900 W., Salt Lake City

July 2-4, 2018
Freedom Vehicles Association will have interactive historical displays ranging from WWI to modern day on the 4th at SCERA Park.
Orem, UT

November 8, 2018, 11:00 a.m.
World War I Commission Closing Ceremony.
State Capitol Rotunda, Salt Lake City

November 8, 2018, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Memorial House in Memory Grove will have an Open House allowing visitors to come and learn more about this historic building and WWI.
Memory Grove, Salt Lake City

November 11, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
Armistice Day Poetry Reading. The Babcock Readers will read WWI War Poets poetry.
Chapman Branch Library, 577 S. 900 S., Salt Lake City

November 15, 2018, 12:00 p.m.
Brown Bag Lecture on Memorial House and other Historic WWI era building in Salt Lake City.
State Archives, 346 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

June 28, 2019 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Memorial House will hold an Open House allowing visitors to come and learn about this historic building, WWI, and the Treaty of Versailles.

Event listings will be updated regularly. If you know of a WWI-related event in Utah, email us at vjacobson@utah.gov.

Utah Historical Quarterly Spring 2017


Volume 85, Number 2 (Spring 2017 Issue):


Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.

Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at history.utah.gov/uhqextras.

WEB EXTRAS: See here 


IN THIS ISSUE


Good history—produced through a devotion to truth, examination of evidence, and evocative prose—introduces readers to a world they thought they knew. Our lead article continues
in the tradition of past issues to rethink our pioneer past, this time from the perspective of the
Redds, a slave-owning family from North Carolina. John Hardison Redd and his wife Elizabeth
owned a handful of slaves, six of whom emigrated to Utah with the family. Bound by
legal obligations and family ties, blacks in Mormon country navigated waters fraught with
prejudice and judgment. Even as power relations were unequal for slaves and black Utahns,
they attempted with varying degrees of success to integrate into a social world that was not
always friendly to them. Stories like that of the Redds present the opportunity to rethink family
and community in territorial Utah. And they implicitly challenge pioneer narratives, moving
beyond simplistic, sometimes paternalistic histories to reveal a past that is more personal and
heartbreaking than we oft-times consider.

The historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has spoken much about using a single object—say, a
quilt—as a doorway to understanding larger issues. In that manner, our second article
focuses on the popularity of a class of objects—the hoopskirt—to examine cultural exchange,
religious condemnation, and female agency in nineteenth-century Utah. The development
of the Bessemer process in 1856 facilitated the mass production of hoopskirts, and the fashion
reached its zenith in the mid-nineteenth: the same years when Euro Americans were arriving
in the Salt Lake Valley. Latter-day Saint women learned about the hoopskirt through
periodicals and, especially, emigrants from the states, but in their desire to be chic, they hit up
against the admonitions of religious leaders who encouraged simplicity and self-sufficiency.

Material consumption also figures into our third article, an examination of the referendum over an income tax on chain stores operating in the state. After the turn of the twentieth century, chain stores began sprouting up throughout the country, competing and in some cases
crowding out smaller local stores. This trend was pronounced in Utah, as retailers sold and
consumers bought goods available elsewhere in the United States. This is part of a larger story of
the economic and cultural integration of Utah. It is also a political one: as businesses and other
interests jockeyed to make known their views on economic freedom and rights, voters and
politicians publically debated the relative virtues of local and chain stores. The 1942 chainstore
tax referendum highlighted the divergent views over how to preserve local autonomy and
signaled the growing consumer spending that would characterize the postwar era.

Carl and Mathilda Harline emigrated from Sweden to the Salt Lake Valley in 1891. There
they raised a large family, their thirteenth child a boy—Leigh Adrian Harline—who reportedly
preferred practicing piano to playing outside. Our final article tells the story of Leigh Harline, who became one of Hollywood’s foremost composers. Harline learned his craft from J. Spencer Cornwall and teachers at Granite High School and the University of Utah; his career was helped along much by the new platforms of film and radio. The setting also mattered: after a Utah upbringing, Harline moved on to California in the late 1920s, where he enjoyed broadcast success and, critically, became an employee of Walt Disney. Yet there was a circularity to Harline’s career, for he returned to Utah to compose music commemorating his heritage.

Our final piece contextualizes military records recommending a road to a new post in the Uintah Basin named after Major Thomas Thornburgh. The establishment of a Ute reservation at Ouray, Utah, occasioned the need for the fort and road. The route as it was originally intended was short-lived, but it became a military supply corridor, and sections of it became Highway 40. Publication of these records continues a UHQ tradition: preserving documents for future scholarship.

 


ARTICLES

Redd Slave Histories: Family, Race, and Sex in Pioneer Utah
By Tonya Reiter

Hoop Mania: Fashion, Identity, and Religious Condemnation in Nineteenth-Century Utah
By Michelle Hill

Chained Stores: Utah’s First Referendum and the Battle over Local Autonomy
By Ted Moore

“When You Wish Upon a Star”: The Musical Legacy of Utah Composer Leigh Harline
By Sandra Dawn Brimhall and Dawn Retta Brimhall

The Park City to Fort Thornburgh Road
By Floyd A. O’Neil and Shauna O’Neil


BOOK REVIEWS

James Knipmeyer, Cass Hite: The Life of an Old Prospector. Reviewed by Robert S. McPherson

Dan Flores, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Reviewed by Curtis Foxley

Don. B. Olsen, True Valor: Barney Clark and the Utah Artificial Heart. Reviewed by Eric Swedin


BOOK NOTICES

Frank Van Nuys, Varmints and Victims: Predator Control in the American West

William D. Street, edited by Warren R. Street, Twenty-Five Years among the Indians and Buffalo: A Frontier Memoir

John J. Hammond, Island Adventures: The Hawaiian Mission of Francis A. Hammond, 1851-1865

Founding of the Utah Historical Society

The Founding of the Utah State Historical Society

The following text comes verbatim from Glen M. Leonard’s “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972” (Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 4, Fall 1972) and Gary Topping’s “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society” (Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 3, Summer 1972).

[On July 14, 1897, the Deseret Evening News carried] a “Historical Society Call” addressed to the people of Utah and inviting all interested persons to an organizational meeting at the Templeton Hotel on July 22 to form a Utah State Historical Society.[1]

The resulting call of Governor Heber M. Wells brought twenty-seven persons together at the Templeton Hotel on Thursday, July 22, 1987. The Utah State Historical Society was on its way exactly fifty years after the vanguard of pioneer wagons entered the Salt Lake Valley.[2]

Why form a historical society at all and why at that particular time? There is an obvious and simple answer in the interest in history naturally aroused by the pioneer Golden Jubilee. That emotional impetus, the organizers hoped, could be carried through to institutional expression. The “Historical Society Call” began by recognizing that “the ‘Jubilee celebration’ of the advent of the Pioneers [is] an appropriate time for the founding of a society.”[3]

Governor [Heber M.] Wells called the July 22 meeting to order, recognized the fact that the organization was the brainchild of Jerrold R. Letcher, and appointed him chairman.[4]

Letcher’s stated goals for the organization in the “Historical Society Call” have a familiarly modern ring to them, for they anticipate, at least in embryonic form, some of the … major programs in our own day: … the exploration and investigation of aboriginal monuments and remains” (thus anticipating the Antiquities Section); collection and preservation of “manuscripts, documents, papers, and tracts of value” (anticipating the Library); and dissemination of historical information and “inter-change of views and criticisms” through scheduled meetings (anticipating the annual meetings … and perhaps even the Publications Section). Little imagination is required to foresee the Historic Preservation Section developing as an extension into the historical period of the concern for aboriginal sites (though historically the Historic Preservation Section would slightly precede the Antiquities Section).[5]

Participating in the founding rites were the key figures of Utah’s new government, civic leaders, and prominent religious hierarchs. In the slate of thirteen names proposed as officers and board of the initial organization one senses a careful balancing of sectarian, political, suffragist, and geographic interests.[6]

The Society’s earliest annual meetings were lively affairs featuring both music and intellectual stimulation. The first one took place in the Theosophical Hall on West Temple on the evening of January 17, 1898.[7]

[Jerrold R. Letcher] kept the minutes faithfully for eighteen years and provided a thread of continuity during that first period of the Society’s history. These were years in which the officers served as little more than a caretaker government for an organization which everyone agreed had ample reason to exist but no sizeable treasury from which to operate. The only visible activity from 1897 to 1916 was the meeting convened annually on the third Monday of January, often in the Deseret National Bank. … [The] sole purpose of many of those small gatherings was the constitutionally required election of officers.[8]

After the 1918, 1919, and 1920 annual meetings which featured addresses (though only the 1918 meeting included music), the tradition was completely abandoned except for the perfunctory elections, until 1930.[9]

The Society’s hard times following World War I are graphically symbolized by the board minutes themselves. Handsomely typewritten on ledger sheets during Jerrold Letcher’s tenure as recording secretary, they rapidly declined in both content and appearance. When Letcher resigned in 1920 to fill a state position …, his successors sometimes penciled their minutes on odd chunks of scratch paper, and in three instances merely on 3-by-5 index cards.[10]

The Society achieved the status of a state agency in 1917 and received its first state appropriation in that year—two hundred dollars to care for the artifacts from the Hall of Relics. It is hard to overestimate the importance of that achievement. … Becoming a state agency laid the groundwork for shifting the Society’s base of support from a tiny group—wealthy and influential though they were—to the people of Utah themselves. It was the beginning of the democratization of the Society, and that democratic support has been the Society’s greatest strength.[11]

It was obvious from the beginning that if the Society were to fulfill any part of its ambitious goals of assembling a library and manuscript collection and curation of the Hall of Relics artifacts and other material objects, some kind of office or museum space would be required. With both the governor and the secretary of state of Utah present on the Society’s board, it was natural that the possibility of rooms in the future State Capitol, then under discussion, would be considered.[12]

Thus, even though the minutes laconically mention the Society’s first meeting in its new room in the basement of the Capitol on January 17, 1916, the event must have been the occasion for considerable rejoicing. At last, cramped and isolated as its new quarters were, the Society could begin its full role as initially planned.[13]

The Society in the early 1920s was searching for an identity within the halls of government where it had been provided with a tiny, first floor Capitol office and minimal expenses. It found itself—and inaugurated a new period of significant accomplishment—after almost fading into disorganization. During several years of inattention to the details of staggered terms, the board of control, traditionally elected by the general membership, had come up short two members. Society leaders decided the solution was appointment by the governor; Governor Charles R. Mabey, a friend of history, liked the idea. It would strengthen state control over the policy-making board and tie the Society closer to state government. The change was authorized by the 1925 legislature.[14]

[Starting in 1927 J. Cecil Alter began] the transformation of the Society into a vigorous organization with authentic scholarly standards fulfilling a vitally important function in Utah cultural life. [Encouraged by the businessman-scholar Herbert S. Auerbach, aided by the tireless secretary-manager Marguerite L. Sinclair, and supported by the remarkable self-made historian Dale L. Morgan], Alter started the Utah Historical Quarterly [in 1928], began assembling a serious Utah history library, and secured the first regular appropriation from the state legislature. The modern Historical Society had begun to emerge.[15]

This thirty-two page [Utah Historical Quarterly] fulfilled the Society’s longing to disseminate historical information in a more permanent format than was possible through letters or sporadic lecture meetings.[16]

The Great Depression had so constricted state revenues by 1933 that the legislature was forced to cut the Society’s budget deeply enough to kill the young Quarterly. … In 1939, the legislature was able to appropriate $5,000 for the next biennium, and the Quarterly was resurrected.[17]

The Society … [from 1936 to 1948] moved through three overlapping phases. The creation of a small research library with a generous gift of books from Alter and revival of the Quarterly in 1939, accompanied by a consistent membership effort by Sinclair established the Society on its modern foundation.[18]

Marguerite Sinclair’s office from the early 1940s fulfilled numerous requests to proofread inscriptions written for state highway markers and some inquiries from private history groups seeking verification of their proposed historical markers.[19]

[F]or several years after 1941 the Society was transformed into a historical records office. It chronicled Utah’s participation in World War II, an assignment which diverted it from other planned activities. In the late 1940s an awareness born of New Deal records surveys turned the Society toward its obligation to preserve noncurrent state and county records. An archives program was the hope of board member William R. Palmer, but more pressing challenges faced officers as first J. Cecil Alter moved and then Miss Sinclair married and both resigned.[20]

The first goal of Utah State University history professor Joel E. Ricks when he began an eight-year term as president in 1949 was to find a qualified editor for Society publications. … From a field of a half-dozen candidates, the board selected A. Russell Mortensen. … He was hired September 1, 1950, as an executive secretary-editor, a position renamed “director” midway in his tenure to reflect his strengthened administrative role.[21]

[A. R. Mortensen] was not only the first Ph.D. to lead the Society but also the first person with any academic training in history at all to have been involved in management of the organization.[22]

The task of building a research library was entrusted to John W. James, Jr., librarian from 1952 to 1971. … Professional direction for the library attracted numerous gifts of all kinds and provided a valuable service for Utah historians. Another major program inaugurated during this period was the archives. Despite inadequate funding and substandard housing, Everett L. Cooley charted a solid path for implementing records management and archival programs as state archivist from 1954 to 1960.[23]

The introduction of professionals as administrator, librarian, and archivist created a new image for the Society. Professional advice had been available to the Society for years from historians serving as part-time, unpaid board members; their determination to introduce trained specialists was made possible through a swelling of financial support from the state. The increase was threefold during the Mortensen years. [24]

[In the early 1950s] the library and manuscript collection were extremely modest; the library consisted of about 1,5000 volumes occupying three glass-front bookcases … and the manuscript collection was little more than the WPA Historical Records Survey materials. … Obviously the Historical Society had reached a limit on its growth and would have to move if it were to expand.[25]

The Society’s most critical physical need in the early 1950s was solved … when Dr. Mortensen obtained the Governor’s Mansion.[26]

Occupant Governor J. Bracken Lee … was known to dislike the home’s lack of privacy. … In February 1957, the staff unpacked Society belongings at 603 East South Temple to begin a new era of growth for the Society on its sixtieth anniversary.[27]

The Society by then was already basking in an aura of new popularity. Professionalizing it had brought new respectability in the academic world. Interestingly enough this had also increased acceptance generally among history buffs. Under Dr. Mortensen’s personable leadership, a well-attended annual dinner and bimonthly lecture series were attracting new members and the public; a redesigned Utah Historical Quarterly with its special summer issues helped boost membership threefold to more than eleven hundred by 1958; and generous publicity and an involved board greatly extended public awareness of the Society.[28]

The original bylaws of the Society allowed for the presentation of certificates of honor. The first were granted when Dr. Mortensen introduced the Fellow and Honorary Life Membership awards in 1960. Since that time other award categories have been added to recognize significant contributions in teaching, scholarship, and service.[29]

The Mansion heralded in 1957 as a cure-all for Society space needs swiftly became crowded as archival work multiplied. … A make-shift records center established in four basement rooms of the Capitol in September 1961 expanded the division’s records management services to more state agencies, while the archives itself began filling available corners in the Mansion’s cellar. With the need for an environmentally-controlled building greater than ever in the mid-1960s, state officials worked with the Society in planning for an appropriate solution.[30]

The State Archives ceased to be a part of the Historical Society’s program in 1968 as a result of recommendations made by the so-called Littler Hoover Commission of 1965.[31]

[The Historical Society] retained its traditional functions and has since moved toward an expansion of activities under the legislative mandate to collect, preserve, and publish Utah’s history.[32]

In the 1967 legislation, the Historical Society is “authorized to solicit memberships” and “authorized to receive bequests, gifts, and endowments of money or property.”[33]

That same year [1967], a Division of State History was created as one of seven units under a Department of Development Services.[34]

Housed within the Division of State History, the Historical Society is now a sister program to entities such as the State Historic Preservation Office, the Antiquities program, and Utah History Day. Today, the Utah State Historical Society continues to serve the people of Utah by publishing the Utah Historical Quarterly, hosting the annual history conference and other events, and serving as a vehicle to obtain and preserve artifacts for the state’s collection.

[1] Topping, Gary, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 3, Summer 1972, pages 203 – 204.

[2] Leonard, Glen M., “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 4, Fall 1972, page 301.

[3] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 206.

[4] Ibid, 210.

[5] Ibid, 209-210.

[6] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897-1972,” 301.

[7] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 213-214.

[8] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897-1972,” 304.

[9] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 218-219.

[10] Ibid, 219.

[11] Ibid, 219.

[12] Ibid, 219-220.

[13] Ibid, 220.

[14] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 304.

[15] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 224.

[16] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 304-305.

[17] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 226.

[18] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 317.

[19] Ibid, 315.

[20] Ibid, 307.

[21] Ibid, 307 – 308.

[22] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 239.

[23] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 308

[24] Ibid, 308.

[25] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 242.

[26] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 308.

[27] Ibid, 309.

[28] Ibid, 309.

[29] Ibid, 318.

[30] Ibid, 311.

[31] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 261.

[32] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 334.

[33] “Laws of the State of Utah,” 12th Regular Session of the Legislature of the State of Utah, Jan. 8 to March 8, 1917, 478.

[34] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 311.

WWI Resources

Educational resources: Curriculum and more, searchable by grade level, subject, and type

1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War

Kent Day Family Collection

Utah and World War I: special issue of Utah Historical Quarterly

Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience, ed. by Allan Kent Powell: a collection of essays exploring the complexity of WWI and its impact on Utahns.

State Legislature’s Resolution (PDF)

Governor’s Declaration, April 2017 (PDF)

Utah in the World War, by Noble Warrum: published under the auspices of the Utah Council of Defense in 1924.

The Great War, from American Experience

National WWI Museum and Memorial