Tag Archives: World War I

Utah World War I Commission

April 2017 marked the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, a defining conflict of the modern era.

To commemorate the sacrifice and involvement of Utahns in the Great War, the Utah WWI Commission will provide information and resources to the public.

Utah’s World War I Monuments, which details WWI memorials throughout the state, is available for free as a PDF.


The cutoff date for grant applications July 1, 2018.


Educational resources, archival finding aids, and much more.


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


Coming soon: photo gallery, list of Utah’s WWI dead, and monuments.

Contact Us

Valerie Jacobson, WWI Commission Project Manager
E-mail: vjacobson@utah.gov

300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War

Homecoming. Digital Image © 2009 Utah State Historical Society.

Homecoming. Digital Image © 2009 Utah State Historical Society.

W. Paul Reeve
History Blazer, February 1995

On July 29, 1898, Captain Richard W. Young moved a platoon from Battery A, Utah Light Artillery, into place around the Philippine capital city of Manila. Two days later Captain Young's artillery and men proved of great service in the bombardment of Manila and the eventual capture of that city during the Spanish-American War. Young was a native of Utah and graduate of West Point whose life, in and out of the military, was marked with distinction.

Richard W. Young was a grandson of Brigham Young, fought in the Phillipines in the Spanish-American War, and worked as an attorney in Salt Lake City.

Richard W. Young was a grandson of Brigham Young, fought in the Phillipines in the Spanish-American War, and worked as an attorney in Salt Lake City.

He was born in the historic Beehive House in Salt Lake City on April 19, 1858, a son of Joseph and Margaret Young and a grandson of Brigham Young. At the age of thirteen Richard began working in the freight office of the Utah Central Railroad and later attended Deseret University for two years. He taught in the district school at Richfield for a brief period before being appointed as a cadet to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1875. The death of his father prevented his leaving home, and instead he returned to work for the railroad. In 1878 the cadetship was again offered to him and this time he took it. He graduated fifteenth in his class and shortly thereafter married Minerva Richards with whom he parented eight children.

In 1884 Young enhanced his military standing when he graduated from Columbia Law School. He was one of the first army officers to take a college law course, and he soon gained prominence as an army lawyer. Nevertheless, in 1888 Young resigned from the military to begin his own law practice in Salt Lake City. He quickly became attorney for several prominent Utah businesses, including the State Bank of Utah and the Utah Sugar Company. Yet, at the outbreak of war with Spain in 1898 Young felt duty bound to assist his country and volunteered for service. In addition to the capture of Manila, Young took part in nearly twenty-five other engagements in the war and the Filipino Insurrection. Following the end of hostilities he was appointed associate justice and president of the criminal branch of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands where he served from 1899 to 1901. In that capacity he helped prepare the Philippines' code of government and criminal procedure.

Upon his return to Utah, Young rebuilt his lucrative law practice, but war once again interrupted his life. In 1918 he was promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of the 65th Brigade, 40th Division, American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I. His military service was brief, and in 1919 he was again practicing law in Salt Lake City. Then, in December of that year, he suffered an appendicitis attack that ultimately brought his influential and prominent life to an end two days after Christmas.

Utah and the Great War: A Conversation with Allan Kent Powell

We sat down with Kent Powell, a distinguished Utah historian, to talk about the state’s involvement in the First World War. Powell’s research provides much insight about the coordination of home front efforts by the council of defense—an organizing mechanism that extended from the federal government to the county level—and a host of community groups. In this interview, we also discuss the experience of ethnic minorities, especially Germans, during WWI. Finally, we learned a bit about Powell’s own experiences during more than forty years with the Utah State Historical Society.