Utah’s Immigrants at the Turn of the Century

Thomas G. Alexander Utah, the Right Place Condensed by Brittany Nelson As Utahns struggled to make industrial and urban life more humane, the composition of its population changed rapidly. Although people of British ancestry remained the majority in the state, each train that pulled into the railroad stations of Utah’s major cities and mining centers seemed like a caricature of …

The Lucin Cutoff

Frederick M. Huchel History of Box Elder County When the railroad came through in 1869, the two rival companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, built their tracks around the north end of Great Salt Lake, because the lake was in a high cycle, and technology was not up to the task of bridging the lake. In 1898 Edward …

Governors of the State of Utah

Heber Manning Wells First Governor of the State of Utah from 1896–1905 Republican Party When Utah achieved statehood in 1896, 36-year-old Wells, a Salt Lake City native, became the first Governor of the State of Utah and the youngest governor to date. A former tax collector, city recorder, and secretary of the 1895 Utah Constitutional Convention, Wells was later involved in banking. He set …

Utah’s Black Gold: The Petroleum Industry

Osmond L. Harline Utah Historical Quarterly 31 #3 With the end of World War II, interest in Utah’s oil and gas possibilities was renewed. The annual well-completion rate during 1945, 1946, and 1947 was double the pre-1945 rate, and the stage was set for the birth of the state’s commercial petroleum-producing industry. In contrast to the earlier years, there were …

The Growth of Utah’s Petroleum Industry

Walter Jones Beehive History 16 Utah’s oil industry developed slowly in two distinct phases: a long period of exploration and a more recent time of commercial production. The exploratory period began in 1850 when Capt. Howard Stansbury, while on a survey of the Great Salt Lake for the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, discovered evidence of “petroliem” along the northern …

Mining and Railroads

Thomas G. Alexander Utah, the Right Place After Utah’s community leaders had convinced the Central and Union Pacific Railroads to build their stations and shops in Ogden rather than Corinne, the railroaders laid the track that spliced the capital and main business center at Salt Lake City into the transcontinental lines. Seven days after the joining of the rails at …

Cowboys and the Cattle Industry

Allan Kent Powell Cowboys and cattlemen are a fundamental part of Utah’s economic and social heritage. They were in Utah before the first Mormon pioneers arrived and endure today as part of a western legacy that strongly influences contemporary attitudes and lifestyles of many Utahns. Cowboys and cattle influenced Mormon settlements and culture, rode side by side with the state’s …

Copper Mining, the King of the Oquirrh Mountains

Philip F. Notarianni Beehive History 16 Copper mining has played a significant role in the industrial, economic, and social life of Utah. It has also affected the state’s geography. Copper has many uses. It is very important in the electrical field as it is a good conductor of electricity. Water pipes, architectural trim, weather stripping, and wiring are but a …

Jenny Baker Stanford Bridged the Mormon-Gentile Gap

Becky Bartholomew History Blazer, December 1995 Much has been written about Mormon-Gentile conflict in early Utah. But at least one non-Mormon came, saw, and conquered the hearts of her pioneer Mormon friends. Jenny Baker was born in London in 1850. Her law-clerk father, after release from debtor’s prison, abandoned the family, causing it to break up. Jenny, the youngest, was …

Fremont’s Exploration

Thomas G. Alexander Utah, The Right Place By the early 1840s, as immigrants struck out for Oregon and California, Americans contemplated adding both of these regions as United States possessions. Enthusiasts such as Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, his daughter Jessie, and her husband, John C. Fremont, considered an empire on the Pacific as America’s “Manifest Destiny.” Judging themselves agents …