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2015 Annual History Conference Session 1 Abstracts

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

The Breadth of Regional History: The Case of Southeastern Utah (Room 101)

  • Panel: Robert McPherson (chair), Floyd O’Neill, Kent Powell, and Gary Topping.

What Paleontological, Perishable, and Coprolite Remains Tell Us About Past Cultures (Room 102)

  • Lori Hunsaker (chair)
  • Daniel King: Jurassic Jones: The Archaeology of Paleontology
  • Joseph Bryce: Marks in the Clay: Impressions and What They Tell Us
  • Madison N. M. Pearce: Prehistoric Diets and Medicines of the Utah Great Basin: Using Ethnohistory to Explore Botanical Remains From Spotten Cave Human Coprolites

Engaging Minorities and Making Room (Room 104)

  • Elizabeth Heath (chair)
  • Lloyd Pendleton: Utah’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness
  • Gerrit van Dyk and Jeremy Ingersoll: Their Hispanic Heritage: The Preservation of Different Cultures in LDS Spanish-speaking Congregations

Politics and Religious Authority (Room 105)

  • Greg Thompson (chair)
  • Gary Bergera: Ezra Taft Benson Meets Nikita Khrushchev, 1959: Memory Embellished
  • Kenneth and Geoffrey Cannon: Separation of Prophet and State? The 1914 Reelection of Reed Smoot
  • Jason Friedman: “Unless the ‘Saints’ decorate my personage with plumage and ‘something to make it stick’”: Duncan McMillan and the fight for Wasatch Academy

Magna: An American Story (documentary) (Suite B)

Trish Hull (chair)

The Breadth of Regional History


Why do the histories of individual—even isolated—regions matter, and what do they mean in relation to the broader contexts of state, national, and world history? This session brings together a panel of distinguished Utah historians to discuss the meaning of regional history by examining the historiography of southeastern Utah.Panel BiosRobert S. McPherson is Professor of History at USU Eastern Blanding Campus and a member of the Board of State History.Floyd A. O’Neill is the founding director of the American West Center at the University of Utah.Allan Kent Powell is the former editor of Utah Historical Quarterly and a long-time voice for public history in Utah.

Gary Topping is archivist of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

What Paleontological, Perishable, and Coprolite Remains Tell Us About Past Cultures

Daniel King Abstract

To the general public, archaeology and paleontology are often thought of as the same field of study. In spite of that belief the two disciplines can be separated by millions of years. Still, fossils, ancient cultures, and historic groups do connect. Fossils have been found in Fremont, Ancestral Puebloan, and historic Native American contexts across Utah. Ethnographic accounts relate how fossils were often used for medicinal purposes, quick healing, and even protection against shootings. The presence of fossils in the multicultural contexts evinces the idea that history, on any level, has always been a part of the human experience regardless of time, region, or culture.

Daniel King Bio

Daniel King is a M.A. student studying archaeology and museum practices at Brigham Young University. He currently works as a publications assistant for the department of anthropology, as well as a research assistant for the Office of Public archaeology. His research interests include ancient plant use in northern Mexico, the development of social complexity in mid-level societies, and integrating technology into archaeology and museum studies. King has worked on many international archaeological projects in Jordan and Mexico, as well as local projects here in Utah and Nevada.

Joseph Bryce Abstract

Archaeologists use material remains to draw conclusions about the past but often a lot of physical objects do not survive in the archaeological record. Perishable material, which likely composed a high percentage of prehistoric artifacts, is largely missing from archaeological interpretations. Fortunately, impressions left in soft clay can provide a way that this “missing majority” can still be studied. Corn, baskets, cordage, and structural beam impressions as well as fingerprints have often been overlooked, but hold a wealth of information about prehistoric peoples of Utah. This paper will examine how impressions recovered from Fremont and Anasazi sites have been used to gain a more complete picture of Utah’s prehistory.

Joseph Bryce Bio

Joseph Bryce is a M.A. student studying archaeology and museum studies at Brigham Young University. He currently works as the collection manager at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. Research interests include Fremont ceramics, basketry, bone tools, digital archaeology, experimental archaeology, museum studies, historical archaeology, PXRF, photogrammetry, and many other varied and interesting topics. Bryce has worked at several archaeological projects in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Missouri. 

Madison N. M. Pearce Abstract

Seed analysis of eighteen prehistoric human coprolites found in Spotten Cave (42 UT 104), coupled with ethnographic data, illustrates how and why former inhabitants of Utah Valley consumed both wild and cultivated plants. This research has provided crucial data for rebuilding prehistoric diets by comparing variations in macrobotanical evidence found in coprolites and at sites. As one of the few botanical analyses for prehistoric populations in Utah Valley, the research here is important because of its diachronic review of plants from 5580±120 BP to 50 BP.

Madison N. M. Pearce Bio

Madison Pearce is currently pursuing a master’s at BYU in archaeology, emphasis paleoethnobotany. Her B.A. was also in archaeology at BYU. She currently assists Dr. Terry Ball in phytolith morphometrics and has assisted in several projects with the Office of Public Archaeology, notably the Old Provo Tabernacle and Wolf Village in Goshen. She and her husband have one son, Ronan, whom they juggle between each other as they work on their respective degrees. 

Engaging Minorities and Making Room

Lloyd S. Pendleton Abstract

In 2003, Governor Olene Walker was invited to have the State of Utah participate in the development of a Ten-Year Plan to end chronic homelessness in Utah. Ten percent of the homeless population is chronically homeless, and they cost communities between $20,000 and $40,000 per person per year. A new housing model had been developed, Housing First, that took chronically homeless people off the street or out of shelters and put them into housing, with case management services. Utah adopted a plan using the Housing First model and reduced the chronic homeless count by 91% since 2005. This presentation will review how Utah accomplished this reduction.

Lloyd S. Pendleton Bio

For more than thirteen years Lloyd has been an advocate for the homeless. In 2004, as a loaned executive from the LDS Church, he took the lead in writing and implementing the State of Utah’s Ten-Year Plan for ending chronic homelessness. In 2006, Lloyd retired from his church employment and went to work for the state as Director of the Homeless Task Force to continue implementation of the plan to end chronic homelessness and reduce overall homelessness by 2015. Lloyd is a graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Business Administration.Van Dyk / Ingersoll AbstractThis paper will demonstrate how the environment of LDS Spanish-speaking congregations has helped or hindered the cultural preservation of the Hispanic people. With the rapid growth of the Hispanic demographic of the LDS church, it is important that their rich heritage is given an environment conducive to, and accepting of, their customs and identity. The many different countries that are represented in LDS Spanish-speaking congregations each have their own distinct histories that have resulted in different customs. The LDS Church members from these distinct backgrounds must find the way to preserve their own individual traditions as a group with many traditions. We will analyze how well this challenge has been met. 

Politics and Religious Authority

Gary Bergera Abstract

In 1966, Ezra Taft Benson, a high-ranking official of the LDS Church and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, delivered a speech on the campus of LDS-owned Brigham Young University in which he summarized his encounter with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in September 1959. Benson told BYU students that Khrushchev had bragged to him, in part, “[W]e’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have Communism. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” The present essay examines the accuracy of Benson’s 1966 and later recitals of Khrushchev’s alleged comments.

Gary Bergera Bio

Gary James Bergera is managing director of the Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah. He is author of Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young; co-author of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith; editor of Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts, and Statements of the LDS First Presidency: A Topical Compendium; and co-editor of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed: A Documentary History, 1842-1845, and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies: A Documentary History, 1845-1846. His publications have received numerous awards.Cannon AbstractWhen Reed Smoot ran for reelection in 1914, his “Federal Bunch” was declining, Woodrow Wilson was President, and the new 17th Amendment required popular election of U.S. Senators. Utah’s “Bull Moose” Progressives and Democrats nominated James Henry Moyle, a charismatic and talented attorney (and a devout Mormon), in a coalition ticket. The vote was close, with Smoot winning by a plurality. Why did Smoot win? Moyle accused President Joseph F. Smith, but the story is more complicated than that. The story, issues, and numbers of the 1914 Senate election make it one of the most compelling in Utah’s history.

Cannon Bios

Ken Cannon is a lawyer and independent historian in Salt Lake City who also teaches commercial law at the local law school. He has published widely on Utah and Mormon history and has published and lectured extensively on corporate bankruptcy law. He serves on a number of professional boards and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Finland. Other than spending time with his lovely wife, Ann, their five sons, three daughters-in–law, and three grandchildren, Ken likes it best when he is researching in musty archives or trying to make sense of his research.Geoffrey E. Cannon is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University in political science. During his time as a student there, he worked as a research assistant for David B. Magleby, conducting research on campaign finance and voting behavior. He also played an integral role in the 2014 Utah Colleges Exit Poll, a biennial study undertaken by multiple colleges and universities in the state. Finally, he was an undergraduate research fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy from May of 2013 to April 2015.

Jason Friedman Abstract

In the spring of 1875, Presbyterian Minister Duncan McMillan moved to Mount Pleasant. He acquired a building, erected a school, a church, and a legacy all in the span of five years. He found success with the help of a strong apostate contingent and despite the efforts of Brigham Young and the Mormon leadership. Despite personal hardship and various threats on his life, McMillan founded a school that would “endure like the Wasatch Mountains.”

Jason Friedman Bio

Raised in New York City, Jason Friedman has worked in academia for fourteen plus years. Having earned his PhD in history from Michigan State University in 2009, currently Friedman teaches history and political science at Wasatch Academy and serves as director of the honors credit program. A modern American historian, Friedman’s primary research focuses on the cultural issues surrounding the American presidency and the balance of power during the 1970s. However, in deference to his current position, Friedman has expanded his historical research to include the institutional history of Wasatch Academy, specifically the history of the school’s founder, Duncan McMillan.

Magna: An American Story

Panel Abstract

Magna: An American Story offers a captivating historical portrait of what has been called Utah’s quintessential American city. Magna began as an agricultural community but quickly evolved into an industrial center with the discovery of copper in the Oquirrhs. Magna came to embody a rare and diverse cultural heritage, and the community matured out of the powerful forces of exploration, discovery, industrialization, immigration, assimilation and shared purpose.

Robert K. Avery Bio

Dr. Robert K. Avery has been on the University of Utah Communication faculty for nearly four and a half decades, and over his career has earned numerous recognitions and honors across the areas of research, teaching, and service. He is the coauthor or editor of six books, more than seventy-five journal articles and book chapters, and over two hundred conference papers and presentations. He has held the honorary rank of University Professor at the U in recognition of his innovative contributions to undergraduate instruction and also has been awarded the special recognition of University of Utah Presidential Teaching Scholar.Trish Hull BioTrish Hull is president of the Magna Chamber of Commerce and Manager of the Magna Library. She has a BA in Political Science from BYU and MLS from Emporia State University. Trish is currently an employee of Salt Lake County Library Services as manager of the Magna Library. She is a past president of the Utah Library Association. She is also currently president of the Magna Chamber of Commerce. Trish has been a resident of Magna for 34 years.