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Utah Historical Quarterly Current Issue

Published since 1928, 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 is accompanied by rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material.

UHQ Spring 2018 — Volume 86, Number 2

The Crimson Cowboys: The Remarkable Odyssey of the 1931 Claflin-Emerson Expedition
By Jerry D. Spangler and James M. Aton

Read how modern archaeologists rediscovered a 1931 expedition and see photos from 1931 and the present.



Small but Significant: The School of Nursing at Provo General Hospital, 1904–1924
By Polly Aird

Follow this link for Aird’s exhaustive research files.



The Mountain Men, the Cartographers, and the Lakes
By Sheri Wysong

See the maps analyzed in Wysong’s article and read her narrative of the life of David H. Burr. Hear Sarah Vowell offer a humorous take on the life of the dour Charles Preuss.



Remembering Topaz and Wendover
By Christian Heimburger, Jane Beckwith, Donald K. Tamaki, and Edwin P. Hawkins, Jr.





Voices from Drug Court: Community-Based Oral History at Utah State University
By Randy Williams

Access audio from a 2017 conference session about “Voices from Drug Court” and audio and transcripts from the entire project.



During the summer of 1931, a team from Harvard began exploring the rich archaeology of the Tavaputs Plateau and the Uinta Basin. The Claflin-Emerson Expedition, as it was known, was an ambitious venture that required some 400 miles of horseback travel. The expedition produced information of great value to other researchers that remained unpublished and essentially untouched for decades. In the spring of 1989, Jerry Spangler “stumbled upon” his first Claflin-Emerson Expedition site in Nine Mile Canyon, “A series of round, semi-subterranean pit houses on a bench overlooking the valley floor. Below one pit-house floor, we excavated the burial of a child. . . . At the time, I did not know that it was one of the many sites the Claflin-Emerson team first visited in 1931 in Nine Mile—no one did—because we did not have access to their 1931 field journals and they never published a report.”[1] In the first article of this issue of Utah Historical Quarterly, Spangler joins with James Aton in revisiting the sites explored by the Harvard team and recreating the social aspects of this “last great horseback adventure in the history of American archaeology.”

In the mid-1910s, Venice Foote, a young woman from Provo, Utah, followed in the footsteps of an older sister and began training at Provo General Hospital’s nursing school. As Foote’s life progressed, she married and had children but she also served as a private nurse for Reed Smoot’s family and as the chief psychiatric nurse at the Utah State Hospital—accomplishments dependent upon her training. All told, some forty-four women graduated from Provo General’s nursing program; it was, as Polly Aird argues, “small but significant.” Because of their nursing educations, most of those women obtained meaningful work in hospitals, maternity homes, public health institutions, and elsewhere. Aird uses public records and, especially, the tools of genealogical research to reconstruct the school’s history and painstakingly trace the life of each woman who attended it.

In our third article, Sheri Wysong ponders how Pruess Lake, a small feature on the Utah-Nevada border, came to be named for Charles Preuss, a cartographer who never visited it. Through careful comparison of historical maps, Wysong reaches a fascinating, complex answer. It involves many of the explorers and mapmakers of the nineteenth century—including William Ashley, Jedediah Smith, Charles Preuss, and David H. Burr—and a second lake, Beaver, that no longer exists. The history of the naming of Pruess Lake and its connection to Beaver Lake hints at efforts to honor Charles Preuss and teaches about the shifting representation of geography in the American West.

Fourth, we present a collection of speeches and essays that consider two difficult moments in American history: the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the use of the atomic bomb. Written by a scholar of the Japanese-American experience, the founder of the Topaz Museum, an attorney who argued Korematsu v. United States (1983), and a lifelong liaison between Japan and American, these pieces ask how we can thoughtfully deal with the past in public forums.

Our fifth piece, an update from the Fife Folklore Archives, discusses the background of the Cache Valley Utah Drug Court Oral History Project. This significant public history project used oral history methodology to preserve the experiences of drug court participants. Finally, as with too many recent numbers of UHQ, the spring issue closes with a memorial to a great scholar of Utah history.

[1] Jerry D. Spangler, “Re-discovering the 1931 Claflin-Emerson Expedition,” Utah Historical Quarterly Web Extras, accessed June 14, 2018,

Book Reviews

Gregory F. Michno, Depredation and Deceit: The Making of the Jicarilla and Ute Wars in New Mexico
Reviewed by Jennifer Macias

Steven G. Baker, Rick Hendricks, and Gail Carroll Sargent, Juan Rivera’s Colorado, 1765: The First Spaniards among the Ute and Paiute Indians on the Trail to Teguayo
Reviewed by Robert McPherson

Catherine S. Fowler and Darla Garey-Sage, eds., Isabel T. Kelly’s Southern Paiute Ethnographic Field Notes, 1932–1934, Las Vegas
Reviewed by Heidi Roberts

Richard E. Turley, Jr., Janiece L. Johnson, and LaJean Purcell Carruth, eds., Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers
Reviewed by Gene A. Sessions

Book Notices

Robert S. McPherson and Fin Bayles, Cowboying in Canyon Country: The Life and Rhymes of Fin Bayles, Cowboy Poet

Michael Austin and Ardis E. Parshall, eds., Dime Novel Mormons

Roberta Flake Clayton, Catherine H. Ellis, and David F. Boone, Pioneer Women of Arizona, 2nd ed.