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New Fellows of the Utah State Historical Society Announced

New Fellows of the Utah State Historical Society Announced

Salt Lake City – As part of the Utah Division of State History’s 62ndannual conference, the Utah State Historical Society announced four new fellows: Will Bagley, Martha Sonntag Bradley-Evans, Wilson Martin, and Allan Kent Powell.  Michael Homer, chair of the Utah State Board of History made the announcement on 24 September 14 at the Alta Club.

“State History’s most prestigious honor is presented to individuals with long and distinguished careers in scholarly research and writing or who have made an extraordinary contribution to state history, historic preservation or archaeology. Their reputations will endure for generations to come,” said Brad Westwood, Director of the Utah Division of State History. “This year, we have bestowed this honor on four remarkable individuals who join the ranks of such luminaries as Dale Morgan, Wallace Stegner, Juanita Brooks, and Leonard Arrington.”

Will Bagley is an independent writer and consulting historian living in Salt Lake City. He has written and edited more than twenty books, primarily on overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, and the Mormons. A sampling of his titles include: With Golden Visions Bright Before Them: Trails to the Mining West, 1849–1852So Rugged and Mountainous: Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812–1848; and Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. His most recent work is South Pass: Gateway to a Continent, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. These volumes, combining fine writing with meticulous research, moral urgency, and vigor, solidify Bagley’s prominence in the field of western and frontier history. Through his published books, articles, and speeches, he has become a prominent voice in Utah’s history community.

Martha Sonntag Bradley-Evans is a professor in the College of Architecture and Planning and the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Utah. She is author of several books, including Kidnapped from that Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists (1993), an insightful treatment of Mormon fundamentalism and the complex legal problems confronting the modern practice of polygamy; the award-winning Four Zinas: A Story of Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier (2000) on the lives and experiences of four multi-generational women; andPedastals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights (2005), a close examination of the 1977 International Women’s Conference held in Utah and the fight over ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. These books, in addition to her other published work, detail the experiences of ordinary people and the patterns and practices of small, close-knit religious communities, providing a richer portrait of Utah’s social history.

Wilson Martin served as Acting Director of the Division of State History from 2011 to 2012 and as Director from 2012 to 2013. During a thirty-four year career at State History, Martin left an indelible imprint on historic preservation in Utah. He contributed to the establishment of several heritage areas in Utah, created the Utah “heritage tourism toolkit” to give communities a guide to integrate heritage tourism into local tourism efforts, helped write the state law that requires agencies to take historic and archaeological resources into account when planning state-funded projects, and established several statewide partnerships engaged in historic preservation. Martin occupied leading roles in some of the state’s largest and most complex preservation projects, including rehabilitation of the Rio Grande Depot, restoration of the State Capitol, and preservation of the Governor’s Mansion after it was nearly destroyed by fire.

Allan Kent Powell worked 43 years for the Utah State Historical Society—over ten of these years as senior state historian and managing editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly—leaving a strong mark on the production of history in this state and establishing himself as an authority on the subject. He is author and editor of numerous books, among themThe Next Time We Strike: Labor in Utah’s Coal Fields, 1900–1933, a sensitive treatment of ethnic tensions over efforts to unionize Utah’s coal miners; Splinters of a Nation, a history of German prisoners of Utah during World War II; and Utah History Encyclopedia, which Leonard Arrington praised as “[a]n accurate and comprehensive reference to Utah history.” Along with Craig Fuller, he served as General Editor of the twenty-nine volume Utah Centennial County History Series.

Utah State History Conference Background Information

The 62nd annual Utah State History Conference, September 25 – 27, will take a unique look at the role technology has played on human endeavors in Utah over the past 13,000 years. Go for conference details.

Thursday, September 25, 7 p.m.: “Place Matters: The Alchemy of Innovation in Utah and Beyond” (at the City Library, 210 East 400 South) by Dr. Margaret O’Mara. In her conference keynote, O’Mara places the story of Utah’s technology through time in the broader context of history, place, and the alchemy of innovation. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 26, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Leonardo (209 East 500 South): All-day presentations on diverse topics such as Utah’s NSA Center, the Navajos’ first impression of the car, folk medicine in 19thcentury Cache County, 3D modeling for historical reconstruction, Utah’s early streetcars, Utah’s role in the early Internet, and venture capitalism in Utah’s tech revolution, and more.  See a complete list of workshops at

Saturday, September 27, Tours: Destinations include Tooele, Wendover, and Lehi as three tours investigate mid-20th century Utah military technology, the Utah Refractories Plan, and the new high-tech Adobe Campus. Registration is required for all tours (go The Tooele/Wendover tour includes a $50 fee and box lunch.