Utah History to Go
Women Workers and Housing Issues
From War to war


World War I and Utah
Utah's Capitols
Herbert S. Auerbach, Renaissance Man
Utah's "Ugly Duckling" Salt Flats
Publicizing Bryce Canyon
The Last Indian Uprising
Home Industry 20th Century Style
Some 80 Utah Nurses Served in World War I
World War I Heroine Maud Fitch Lived in Eureka, Utah
Mexican Families and the Sugar Industry in Garland
The Development of Zion National Park
The Twenties
Artist John Held, Jr. Created Cultural Icons, 1920's
Media Development in Weber County
Silent Films Intrigued & Occasionally Offended
Coal Production Amid the Wars
Sheep Fueled 1920's Economy
Military Installations
Boxcars and Section Houses
Jack Dempsey Loved Fighting, Mining, and Cowboying
Radio in Utah Began in May 1922 on Station KZN
The Cigarette Ban of the 19020's Caused an Uproar
Prohibition Failed to Stop the Liquor Flow in Utah
Lawyer Ran For President on the Farmer-Labor Ticket
George Sutherland Served on the U.S. Supreme Court
Alice Stratton Feared and Made Fun of "Kaiser Bill"
Klansmen at a Funeral and a Terrible Lynching
President Harding's 1923 Visit to Utah
Growing Crops For the Cannery
Dinosaur National Monument
The Fathers of Capitol Reef National Park
Ogden's the Bigelow-Preserves a Historic Area
Philo T. Farnsworth's Invention
The Beginnings of Commerical Aviation
The White Book Road Guide
The Great Depression
Depression Memories
"Even Grasshoppers Were Starving" During Drought
New Deal Agencies Built 233 Buildings in Utah
"Alphabet" Agencies in Utah County
The Civilian Conservation Corps Was a Boon to Utah
The Civilian Conservation Corps
Marriner S. Eccles Helped Design FDR's New Deal
Reed Smoot and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930
Reed Smoot & America's Natural Resources, 1903-33
Children in the 1930's Hoped to Become Nurses & Pilots
Arches National Monument
A Labor Inspector During the Great Depression
Clean Clothes Blowing in the Breeze
Utah's Rosies in the War
Garfield County Airport Has Unusual Hangar
Marie Ogden Led Spiritual Group in San Juan County
Uinta Basin Group Trekked to the 1933 World's Fair
Helen Hofmann Bertagnole-"Utah's Queen of Swing"
World War II in Utah
How Trains Helped Win a War
The War Effort at Home
Topaz Relocation Center
Topaz: Japanese American Interned in UT During WWII
Japanese Agricultural Colony at Keetley
Utahn Survives the Attack at Pearl Harbor
The USS Salt Lake City Made History
Utah Naval Officer Died a Hero's Death at Pearl Harbor
Rhymes Filled Children's Autograph Books
Utah's Rosies Upshot
Women Workers and Housing Issues
World War II Claimed the Lives of Four Utah Brothers
Glen M. Leonard
History of Davis County

During World War II, many Utah women joined the civilian forces at defense plants and military installations. They worked as drivers, guards, ammunition inspectors, safety specialists, machinists, and in other traditionally male jobs. For most women, this was their first job outside the home. They went to work in slacks, a new phenomenon for American women. Other women volunteered in hospitals, helped the Red Cross or USO, or cared for children whose mothers were working. Utah's newspapers joined the plea for women workers, reminding them that it was their patriotic duty to apply for the positions at the military depots. Women responded in such great numbers that by 1944 they constituted thirty-seven percent of the Utah labor force, double the percentage of four years earlier. Even with this government work for men and women, agriculture remained a dominant way of life--and women retained primary responsibility for housework and the care of young children. On-site nurseries offered help at many government facilities.

While the defense jobs attracted thousands of local and transplanted workers, many positions at the military installations remained unfilled. Farms experienced a similar labor shortage, caused largely by the loss of farm workers to high-paying defense jobs. To compensate for the loss, government agencies increased wartime food production quotas on the farms and helped recruit farm laborers. In 1942, for example, sixty-six Japanese Americans from a relocation camp in Arizona helped with the tomato and beet harvest in Davis County. Two years later, the county commissioners rented land in Layton and set up a farm labor camp for around 200 Mexican nationals. Some POWs from the Italian and German camps in Ogden also augmented farm labor.

Temporary workers moving in from other locations created an unprecedented demand for housing in the Davis-Weber region. Because living quarter were scarce, some local residents took in single workers as boarders. Apartments were developed hastily in basements or spare rooms, and even in chicken coops. To prevent profiteering in what was a nationwide housing shortage, Congress froze rents in July 1942. New accommodations were rushed to completion to fill the local need. In the Layton area, private landowners developed the Hill Villa, Skyline, and Ellison subdivisions. When these failed to meet the need, the government shipped in 300 trailer homes to create the twenty-acre Layton Trailer Park on Easy Street (Hill Field Road, on land later developed as the Layton Hills Mall). Prefabricated Quonset huts were built at the Naval Supply Depot as dormitories for single men. New government villages appeared almost overnight to house families who could not find housing--200 units at Anchorage in the Clearfield area; 400 at Verdeland Park, just east of downtown Layton; a similar number at Arsenal Villa in Sunset; and 600 multiplex apartments at Sahara Village near Hill Field's south gate. Some of the government housing was built over the protests of local homebuilders and property owners, but more than half of all new housing was privately built. Most of that was financed through loans from the Federal Housing Administration. To compensate for gasoline and automobile shortages, buses were provided to transport personnel to work from the satellite communities.

Typical of the temporary government homes were the 600 four-plex units built by the Federal Public Housing Authority at Sahara Village, a symmetrical assemblage near the south gate of Hill Field. For about thirty-four dollars a month, a renter got an apartment with a concrete floor in a painted cinderblock building. Each unit came with a coal heater, gas stove, gas water heater, and electric refrigerator, along with a table, four chairs, and single beds. Utilities and maintenance were provided at no extra cost. Serving the community of 1,800 residents were a grocery store, meat market, drug store, barber shop, beauty shop, tailor shop, weekly newspaper (the Sahara Star), and post office. Religious services, a children's nursery, dances, and other recreational activities were available in a recreation hall within the village's administration building. "Utah's Fastest Growing Community," as it was called, was created in the pattern of the company towns seen previously in Utah only in mining areas. Similar support services were available at the other government housing parks built to sustain the war effort.

Wartime military installations created a need for new schools. In the early 1940s the Davis School District built the Sahara Village, Verdeland Park, and Hilltop elementary schools in the Layton area and Wasatch Elementary in Clearfield. In 1939 the district had opened North Davis Junior High School in Clearfield and added a southwest classroom wing to Davis High School to serve increased enrollments.


The Land
American Indians
Trappers, Traders, & Explorers
Pioneers & Cowboys
Mining & Railroads
Statehood & the Progressive Era
From War to War
Utah Today