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Our Encore series features reprints of classic works published by the Utah State Historical Society. These essays originally appearing in the Utah Historical Quarterly and other publications give a new generation of readers access to engaging historical accounts and histories of the state.

To support research and writing in Utah history and to receive your own copy of the Utah Historical Quarterly, the state’s premier history journal, please consider becoming a member of the Society.

To comment on our Encore series, please contact UHQ co-managing editor Jedediah Rogers at or 801.245.7209.






Every election is one-of-a-kind, and this year is no exception. But Utah’s seen its share of gripping, controversial elections, both local and national. This best-of-Utah Historical Quarterly series introduces readers to a few of them.

Our first offering is a classic by the political scientists Frank Jonas and Garth Jones: an overview of presidential elections in Utah from 1896 to 1952. One exception was Utahns’ support of William Howard Taft in 1912. Read essays on the unseating of B. H. Roberts to the House in 1898, the defeat of Senator Reed Smoot in 1932, the popular support of Utah for President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936, and the unsuccessful Senate bid of Ernest Wilkinson in 1964. On the local level, check out an article on the 1912 election of an all-women town council in Kanab—the nation’s first.

Read about Theodore Roosevelt’s 1903 visit to the Beehive State. Nearly every president or president-elect has stepped foot in Utah since then.





First published in the fall 1981 issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly, an early account of a winter Brimhall Timpanogosascent of Mt. Timpanogos. Two local men reveled in the challenge and danger of scaling the mount’s face in the snow. After reaching the peak, they slide down the glacier on the mount’s east side, continue to Stewart Ranch (now the location of Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort), and camp at a small resort called Wildwood in Provo Canyon. Accompanying the account are photographs taken by Brimhall and his companion LeGrand Hardy, a 3-D interactive map showing their approximate route, and contemporary photographs of the summit of Timp in winter, courtesy of John Judd.





Echo City Pulpit Rock Union Pacific Railroad 1In an award-winning essay, Robert S. Mikkelsen paints a colorful portrait of life in his hometown, a key refueling railroad stop for locomotives traveling between Ogden, Utah, and Evanston, Wyoming. He revisits childhood memories of playing outdoor games on soot-packed platforms, getting in trouble with track torpedoes instead of fireworks, building forts out of railroad ties, and passing the time “celebrity watching” at the station. Overall, his account provides an interesting insider look at how the Union Pacific steam engine station defined Echo’s cultural, social, and economic experience for nearly a century.





This account by Josiah F. Gibbs is characteristic of the first-person accounts frequently published From left to right: Charles Kelly, Josiah F. Gibbs, Frank Beckwith - at Marysvale, Utah. Josiah F. Gibbs authored a book on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Frank Beckwith was the editor of the Millard County Chronicle, an archeologist, geologist, and authority on Lake Bonneville. Charles Kelly was a printer, artist, author, historian, the first superintendent of Capitol Reef National Park. in some of the first issues of the Utah Historical Quarterly describing events in Utah’s frontier history. Gibbs’ remembrances are one man’s recollections of a complex and sometimes strained relationship between Mormon white settlers and the Indian peoples who had long inhabited the Great Basin. Note that some language in this piece–for example, “savage,” “redmen”–are dated and offensive, and simply reflect Gibbs sensibilities at the time of his writing.