The commission is offering small grants to encourage Utahns to recognize the impact of WWI in their communities.
Contact Valerie Jacobson (email@example.com) for more information.
Being a member of the Utah State Historical Society means being a member of one of the oldest historical organizations in the state of Utah.
Members receive the Utah Historical Quarterly—filled with fascinating and illuminating articles—four times each year and are often invited to members-only events focused on the history of Utah.
Choose your membership level:
Join or renew your membership with the Utah State Historical Society, click HERE
Or complete the membership application and mail it with a check to:
Utah State Historical Society
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Contact Lisa Buckmiller at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-245-7231.
Tie-hacking and logging sites on the North Slope
Christopher W. Merritt, “Wooden Beds for Wooden Heads:” Railroad Tie Cutting in the Uinta Mountains, 1867–1938
To see the historic tie-hacking and logging sites on the Uinta Mountain’s North Slope, take a guided tour with Christopher Merritt. We also provide a gallery of historic photographs of tie-hacking operations and (forthcoming) a conversation with Dr. Merritt on the tools, methodologies, and insights of historical archaeology.
Mary Stevens’ murder: A conversation with Roger Blomquist
Roger Blomquist, “A Most Horrible Crime: The 1908 Murder of Mary Stevens in Orderville, Utah”
We interviewed Roger Blomquist about his research on the murder of Mary Stevens, a young woman from early twentieth-century Orderville, Utah. In our conversation Blomquist shares his perspective on the social dynamics of a close-knit community reeling from a high-profile murder case, details of the case, and what little we know about the short life of Mary Stevens.
Digital copy of James E. Talmage’s diary
Craig R. Smith, “James E. Talmage and the 1895 Deseret Museum Expedition to Southern Utah”
Talmage kept a detailed diary of his explorations during his explorations of southern Utah and northern Arizona geology. This handwritten diary dated July 23, 1894, to December 31, 1895, is located at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Volume 8 of Talmage’s private journal may be found here.
The following photos—both historic and contemporary—give color to the men and tie industry on the North Slope of the Uintas. The historic photos are from an unpublished report on file at the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache Supervisor’s Office in Salt Lake City: F. S. Baker and A. G. Hauge, “Report on Tie Operation, Standard Timber Company, Uinta National Forest, 1912–1913.” The modern photos were taken by the Utah Division of State History.
Historic Photos (1913)
Contemporary Photos (2015)
On April 21, 1908, Joseph Stevens found the body of his eighteen-year-old sister in a side canyon of Orderville, Utah. The murder of Mary Stevens–and subsequent conviction of Alvin Heaton Jr.–stunned and divided the small community. We spoke with Roger Blomquist about the murder and its aftermath, as well as the process of investigating such a heart-breaking and little-recognized story.
Roger Blomquist received his PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and taught history at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. His South Pass historical fiction series will have a projected five volumes. For more information, go to rogerblomquist.com. In addition to writing and teaching history, he is an accomplished saddle maker.
The Newsboy Walter B. Evans
Robert Parson, “Neither Poet Nor Prophet: S. George Ellsworth and the History of Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 6-19
Accompanying Robert Parson’s article on the historian S. George Ellsworth, we offer conversations with the noted historians and archivists Gary Topping and Robert Parson on the historiography of Utah, as well as selected accompanying documents, including letters from Ellsworth on the writing of Utah’s Heritage and a diary excerpt from Leonard Arrington on the founding of the Western Historical Quarterly.
Douglas H. Page Jr., et al., “Charcoal and Its Role in Utah Mining History,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 20-37
The winter 2 015 UHQ introduces readers to the dozens of charcoal kilns, now abandoned, that dot the Utah landscape. These kilns are visible reminders of a once profitable and ubiquitous industry. They are also a remarkable visual display, revealing the kiln’s unique and varied designs and the often remarkable craftsmanship that went into their construction. We thank Doug Page, a retired forester, for providing the text and photos.
Kathryn L. MacKay, “The Chocolate Dippers’ Strike of 1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 38-51
With publication of MacKay’s article on chocolate dippers we present historical advertisements using women and their bodies to sell goods and projects. These images are housed at the collections of Utah State Historical Society.
Gary Topping, “Transformation of the Cathedral: An Interview with Gregory Glenn,” Utah Historical Quarterly 83 (Winter 2015): 59-69
Gary Topping, archivist of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, unearthed an LP of the Cathedral Madeline choir in 1960. We converted the songs to a digital format and make them available here.
Utah’s history is more diverse than you think! Check out the Winter 2015 issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly to learn more about where Utah has been, and how we’ve come to where we are today. 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
Neither Poet nor Prophet: S. George Ellsworth and the History of Utah
By Robert E. Parson
Charcoal and Its Role in Utah Mining History
By Douglas H. Page Jr., Sarah E. Page, Thomas J. Straka, and Nathan D. Thomas
The Chocolate Dippers’ Strike of 1910
By Kathryn L. MacKay
Tooele, Touch Typing, and the Catholic Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque
By Emma Louise Penrod
Transformation of the Cathedral: An Interview with Gregory Glenn
By Gary Topping
Charcoal burners, “chocolate girls,” Catholic priests, and a champion typist: these are a few of the characters who populate this issue of UtahHistorical Quarterly. That contemporary historians consider such individuals worthy of study stems, in part, from the new social history of the 1960s and beyond. This school of thought challenged the “consensus” history that had emphasized common American values and character over ethnic, racial, and class distinctions. In the words of the historian Alice Kessler-Harris, the new social history documented “social relationships, social structure, everyday life, private life, social solidarities, social conflicts, social classes, and social groups.” In short, over the years, it has provided a more complete view of the past.
S. George Ellsworth, the subject of our first article, was a leading practitioner of this “new” history. Ellsworth obtained graduate training under Herbert Eugene Bolton at the University of California– Berkeley and spent his entire career at Utah State University. A bibliophile, he made important contributions to bolstering USU’s collection of what he called Utahnalia. Unlike the better-known Leonard Arrington, with whom he shared an intimate but at times strained relationship, Ellsworth was not a prolific scholar. Detailed and thoughtful, he labored fifteen years on Utah’s Heritage, a seventh-grade history textbook. Robert Parson guides readers in an intimate introduction to a master teacher and gifted, if at time conflicted, scholar who merits broader recognition for his contributions to Utah history. The other articles in this issue reflect Ellsworth’s dedication to telling lesser-known stories.
With our second article, a team of foresters and archaeologists have set out to remind Utahns of the place of charcoal in their state’s mining history. For many reasons, charcoal was a preferred source of heat in smelting; it was, therefore, critical to the mining industry. From whence, then, did smelters obtain the charcoal they needed to operate? The authors of this article have answered this question by documenting the remains of charcoal production sites throughout the state, as well as sites in Colorado and Wyoming associated with Utah mining. They are careful, too, to remind readers of the devastation caused by the charcoal industry: in the lives of the poorly paid, poorly housed charcoal burners; for the Native Americans whose food source the industry decimated; and, not least, in the forests altered by heavy, careless logging.
The back cover of this issue features a commercial photograph of chocolate boxes from the J. G. McDonald Company. The message presented by these boxes is overwhelmingly one of beauty, elegance, and, above all, femininity. As our third article establishes, such a message belied the realities of life for the young women who worked at McDonald’s confectionery. In 1910, fourteen of those women formed a “Chocolate Dippers’ Union” and struck for higher wages. These women—all of whom were younger than twenty-five and all of whom lost their jobs—acted bravely and with few precedents close at hand. Though only the names of the Chocolate Dippers’ Union’s officers survive, that fragment of history provides a fascinating glimpse into their world: all five of the officers came from the homes of working-class English immigrants, converts to Mormonism.
The last two pieces in this issue remind us of Utah’s deep Catholic roots. Emma Louise Penrod probes into the naming of Tooele’s Saint Marguerite Catholic Church, skeptical that a church in a Utah town with almost no French roots derived its name from the French Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque. She was right. The Marguerite in question was in fact a young Irish American girl, the niece of Frank McGurrin—a celebrated typist who helped popularize the QWERTY keyboard and nurtured the Catholic Church in Tooele. The article segues into a discussion of ethnicity and religion in small mining towns, like those close to Tooele, and the odd connection of the Catholic parish to the origins of modern touch typing. The final piece features a delightful conversation between the historian Gary Topping and Gregory Glenn, the founder and director of the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City.
 Alice Kessler-Harris, “Social History,” in The New American History, ed. Eric Foner (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997), 232.
David M. Wrobel, Global West, American Frontier: Travel, Empire, and Exceptionalism from Manifest Destiny to the Great Depression. Reviewed by Michael Homer
Claudine Chalmers, Chronicling the West for Harper’s: Coast to Coast with Frenzeny and Tavernier in 1873–1874. Reviewed by Noel A. Carmack
Samuel Holiday and Robert S. McPherson, Under the Eagle: Samuel Holiday, Navajo Code Talker. Reviewed by Robert S. Voyles
Roger L. Nichols, Warrior Nations: The United States and Indian Peoples. Reviewed by Patricia Ann Owens
Norman Rosenblatt, Dance with the Bear: The Joe Rosenblatt Story. Reviewed by Allan Kent Powell
Merina Smith, Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy: The Introduction and Implementation of the Principle, 1830–1853. Reviewed by Todd M. Compton
Mike Mackey, Protecting Wyoming’s Share: Frank Emerson and the Colorado River Compact
Aaron McArthur, St. Thomas, Nevada: A History Uncovered
Evelyn I. Funda, Weeds: A Farm Daughter’s Lament