The Band Between the Seas


In 1869, a momentous event occurred in Utah history, the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah. What the union of these two lines would mean for the state was uncertain, but certainly inspired a lot of excitement, conflict, and hope. The primary means through which Utah residents learned about the construction of the line, and the implications of its completion, was through the LDS church-run Deseret News. The manner in which The Deseret News as well as local authorities presented the construction of the railroad was of paramount importance in terms of the lasting effect that the construction itself would have. The conflict between the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies, details about the construction and its dangers, as well as the threat of outside influences were newsworthy issues that were regularly reported in The Deseret News. Through the use of these editorials and articles, the LDS church was able to establish an economic policy that solidified their culture and secured their settlements in Utah.

The construction and completion of the railroad offered many things to the areas that it passed through. Among these were increased exposure, increased opportunities for commerce, boosts in tourism, and definitely the opportunity for expanded communication within the United States. In addition to the changes that the completion of the railroad would bring, the actual construction itself brought a lot of shifts and presented many issues, too. The Mormons in Utah, especially the Salt Lake Valley, were a relatively cloistered group, whose isolation from outsiders was critical for maintaining their kingdom of heaven on earth. (Arrington, 144) Church leaders were fully aware of the threat to their culture that a massive influx of outsiders would bring. As a means of combatting what they feared would dilute their culture of local industry, and inter-church commerce, The Deseret News published a series of editorials preparing the public for what the coming railroad could bring. Church leaders knew that the railroad would either make or break their settlement, and they aimed for the former. “The railroad will not be an unmixed benefit to us unless we prepare for it. It will not put an abundance of money in circulation unless we lay the foundation of branches of business that will bring it to us.” (“Changes It Will Produce” )

Prior to the emergence of the railroad, Utah’s economy relied heavily on agriculture. (Bolino, 409) As Utah is situated in the middle of a desert, the water needed to support this economy came at a high cost. Church leader Brigham Young knew that with the incoming railroad, crops that were grown here at a fairly high cost could now be imported at half the price, eliminating agriculture as a viable primary source of income for Utah’s economy. The next obvious option was mining. (Bolino, 410)

In regards to mining, church policy was based on the idea that the building of their utopian society, or heaven on earth, required a regimented, balanced development of area resources by a unified people for the support of a permanent society. (Arrington, 146) The threat that large-scale mining posed to the valley and the state in terms of economy and culture was substantial. The Mormons had come here with the idea that this was their promised land and would be their home for years to come, a dream that would not be realized if it became a ghost town after all of the mining was exhausted. To maintain economic control, and to ensure that the development that had happened here was not in vain, Brigham Young enforced policies that prevented too much of the mined material from being exported. A substantial amount of rock and ore extracted from the valley had to be put toward building up local industry and the city itself. If the city could become strong and well established, it was sure to survive. (Bolino, 410)

Construction of the railroad instilled fear in local residents, fear of the dangers of the construction, and of the people who would come with it. In a June 1868 letter to an associate abroad, Salt Lake City local George Q. Reynolds wrote:

It is not the men actually working on the line that I should fear so much, though no doubt they would cause some trouble, and raise a muss occasionally, but it would the bummers, gamblers, saloon and hurdy-gurdy keepers, border ruffians, and desperadoes generally, who prey upon laborers, whom I should fear the most. (Quoted in Arrington, 149)

Reynolds’ fear was not unfounded, as upwards of 25,000 Chinese workers were employed by the Union Pacific railroad company, and around 10,000 Irish by the Central Pacific Railroad Company. The presence of outside workers did in fact lead to the opening of several of Utah’s earliest whiskey stops and dance halls. (Bolino, 410) From a numbers perspective, it is not difficult to imagine what a scene the construction site would have been. Descriptions of the work as viewed from afar likened the scene to that of a great army, as there were tents, people, and a cloud of dust as far as the eye could see. (“By Telegraph”)

The construction of a hand-made track between the seas spanning all sorts of terrain is a veritable engineering feat by any standard, even today. This notion was the primary focus of most other accounts of the railroad construction as published in local papers. (“End of Track U.P.R.R.”; “Work on the Railroad”; “The Pacific Railroad Bill”) What was happening all around these people, from the masses of workers, to the triggering of explosive charges was not commonplace anywhere. They were living in the midst of something great, and they knew it.

“Never before has this continent disclosed anything bearing comparison with it,” observed one account. (“The Proceedings at Promontory Summit”) One man recalled dining at a friend’s house and being shown a 400-pound boulder that had been fully buried in the ground just 20 paces from his kitchen window, after it had been thrown half a mile by an explosion. With good humor, he elaborated on the dangerous nature of the work,“Fun is fun, but standing a straddle of four or five kegs of powder and working it into the rocks with a crowbar is a particular kind of sport that the most of men wouldn’t relish.” (“Correspondence: Promontory”)

The dangerous nature of the work was aggravated by the serious competition between the Central, and Union Pacific, railroad companies. The companies were working from opposite directions, and where they were to meet was yet to be determined. The companies owning the railroads profited off of the use of their rails, and as such more rail meant more money. (“Work on the railroad”) Each company pushed its workers to superhuman speeds, sometimes laying a mile of track in only one hour, in hopes of owning  more of the track. (“Correspondence: Promontory”) The competition was so fierce that the two companies actually began sabotaging each other’s work, endangering many workers. Toward the end of construction, they were building in very close proximity to each other, and would sometimes set off charges without warning the other company, or they would go as far as actually removing track that had been lain by their competitor. (“Correspondence: Promontory”)

The completion of the railroad put months of planning to the test, in terms of how strong of a society the Mormon Church had built in Utah. The School Of Prophets was formed in response to all of the issues promoted by the railroad, both pre- and post-construction. The school (essentially an upright citizens brigade) worked closely with Brigham Young in developing economic policies that would keep the settlement growing. (Arrington, 146)

Young stressed the importance of importing raw materials for the production of consumer goods, rather than exporting raw materials to be processed outside the settlements. Adherence to these policies guaranteed that an individual and their family would be taken care of by the church, as was the nature of their community, and straying from them could mean excommunication. (Arrington, 147) Young forbid church members from trading with, or purchasing goods from non-Mormons. Young said, “We are going to draw the reins so tight as to not let a Latter-day saint trade with an outsider.” (Quoted in Arrington, 147) Policies like this were fairly effective in maintaining their society in which what is good for the whole was good for the individual.

On May 10, 1869, the line was completed. The proceedings at Promontory were a highly publicized event, with more than twenty newspapers represented. (Bowman, 97) While coverage of the proceedings was great, much of it was speculation, as it is believed that fewer than twenty people were actually able to see the spike driven or hear the addresses spoken. (Bowman, 97-98) However, much of the ceremony was actually seen by the reporter from The Deseret News, whose description of the events was nothing short of beautiful. “The meridian hour has come and on the expansive and lofty plateau, at the summit of the Promontory, a scene is disclosed in the conception of which every exultant element of humanity is revivified.” (The Proceedings at Promontory Summit”) Whatever reservations about the railroad the church may have had, they presented its completion with only the most optimistic of coverage.

In terms of facing the potential threat that the construction and completion of the transcontinental railroad posed, no tool was more useful to the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints than their newspaper, The Deseret News. Through their use of the paper, the Church was able to inform members of general news about the construction, and the way in which they should deal with issues that were bound to arise with the population change that the construction would bring. Through their editorials and articles, church leaders were able to have their people benefit from the construction, yet remain somewhat insulated from outside influence. These early Mormon economic policies changed the way that Utah’s economy developed, the effects of which are still visible today, in how many local industries remain throughout the state.


Editor, “End of Track, U.P.R.R.” Daily Deseret News, April 23, 1869.

“The Proceedings at Promontory Summit,” Daily Deseret News, May 16, 1869.

Editor, “Work on the Railroad,” Deseret News, November 17, 1868.

Saxey, “Correspondence: Promontory, near Cedar City,” Deseret Evening News, March 25, 1869.

“The Pacific Railroad Bill.” Deseret News, April 28, 1869, 6.

By Telegraph,” Deseret Evening News, May 12, 1869.

Editor, “The Railroad — Changes It Will Produce,” Deseret News, August 10, 1868.


Leonard J. Arrington. “The Transcontinental Railroad and Mormon Economic Policy.” The Pacific Historical Review 20, no. 2 (1951): 143-57.

J.N. Bowman. “Driving The Last Spike: At Promontory, 1869.” California Historical Society Quarterly 36, no. 22 (1957): 97-106.

Martin Mitchell. “Gentile Impressions of Salt Lake City, Utah, 1849-1870.” Geographical Review 87, no. 3 (1997): 334-52.

August C. Bolino. “Mormon Philosophy and Practical Railroad Building.” The Business History Review 32, no. 4 (1958): 407-22.

A Day That Will Live in Utah Infamy: Local Media Coverage of Salt Lake City’s Destructive Tornado


August 11, 1999, was a significantly unique day in Utah history. It is on very rare occasions that events occur that have never before transpired in a state’s history. It is rarer still, that professionals of journalism are required to report on events that they never thought possible. On that fateful day, both of these rarities occurred in Salt Lake City. Shortly before 1 p.m., swollen, purple storm clouds billowed over the city’s skyscrapers, foretelling of the event to come. Soon after, the first tornado to ever be seen in downtown Salt Lake struck, creating a journalistic environment never before seen in Utah.

The twister, an F-2 on the Fujita Scale of tornado severity, initially touched down just southwest of central downtown. Over a period of ten minutes, it blew through the city’s business district, heading north towards the state capitol. Significant damage occurred, resulting in gas leaks, power outages, interrupted phone service, and roofs being blown off of multiple business buildings and homes. (Janofsky) Extensive damage was done to the Delta Center now Energy Solutions Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz. Five hundred trees were destroyed, and another 300 trees were extensively damaged. Significant losses were felt in the residential district known as the Avenues, with over 300 houses being damaged, and thirty homes being deemed uninhabitable by the responding emergency officials. (Brough)

The most poignant loss came in the form of human casualties. One man, Allen Crandy of Las Vegas, was killed and more than 100 people were injured — with fifteen to twenty serious injuries reported. Crandy’s death marked the first ever recorded tornado-caused fatality in state history. An annual trade show known as “Outdoor Retailers” was occurring the day of the disaster, coincidentally taking place directly in the path of the tornado. The sole loss of life and multiple accounts of injury occurred at the convention. (“Tornado Hits”)

Immediately following the tornado, the atmosphere in Salt Lake City was distinctive. The city had felt a kind of devastation that it had no previous experience with and thus had no understanding of how to accurately cope. According to an article published the following day by The New York Times, Utah had experienced 32 tornados in 25 years leading up to this incident. Comparatively, in the same time period, Oklahoma had experienced 1,326. Despite this unfamiliarity, Salt Lake City’s responses to the disaster were tremendously effective. Both in providing immediate aid to the afflicted, as well as journalistically, Salt Lake responded professionally and practiced excellent damage control. (Wharton)

As it relates specifically to the journalistic efforts of the city, three major trends can be seen in the coverage of the catastrophe. News coverage, particularly print media, employed breaking news stories, personal accounts from members of the community, and editorials to accurately capture the history of the event, and to help the healing process of the public. Drawing on the works of both The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, and utilizing a weeklong time frame following the incident, this pattern can be visualized. 

In the seven days following the destruction caused by the tornado, both of Salt Lake’s local newspapers ran numerous articles responding the disaster. In the immediate aftermath, from approximately August 11 to August 12, both publications ran articles of the breaking news variety.  Summaries of the damage that had been done, as well as strong focuses on the human casualties, covered the front pages of both publications.

“The twister hit hard and fast, tearing apart buildings, shutting down power and scattering debris for miles,” The Deseret News reported in an article printed the following day. In the same story, the paper displayed the scope of the incident by quoting President Clinton. “The burden of recovery will be heavy, but it is a burden that the people of Salt Lake City need not carry alone. As they begin the difficult process of mourning, healing and rebuilding, our nation stands steadfastly behind them,” he said. (Bryson, et al.) The article ran with an accompanying photo of the tornado, providing the reader with not only with a vivid description of the damage caused, but also with a culprit.

The Salt Lake Tribune echoed that style in its immediate coverage. They noted that the state estimated the tornado caused $150 million in damage, and spoke in specific detail of its destruction. One article reported, “Insurers in Utah so far have received 700 claims totaling $7 million for tornado damage under individual homeowner and automobile policies.” (Mitchell)

As the days following the tornado passed, the media evolution continued.  There was a remarkable softening of content, as the focus observably shifted from reports on the extent of the destruction to profiles of individuals who were affected by its consequences. The Avenues, the residential area that absorbed the most significant damaged, received strong coverage by The Deseret News. In an article published two days after the tornado, the experiences of multiple individuals were discussed at length, specifically of the family of Grace Wilson. “They heard a ferocious wind, then looked out a window of their 16th Avenue home and saw lightning,” noted reporter Donna Kemp. “A nearby power line exploded, so (the family) cowered near the couch. They watched in horror as a tree crashed through their living room. And then the ceiling turned to sky.” Despite recounting the damage incurred to the Wilson’s home, the article had a quality of hope and comfort. It stated that once the family was safe in the basement, they turned to their faith to provide comfort, huddling together and praying until the storm passed. (Kemp)

The same story also profiled LaWanna Chilelli, also an Avenues resident: “‘Oh, my God,’” Chilelli cried when she walked in her front door at 4 p.m. Wednesday. A whirling funnel cloud had ripped off the little house’s roof.” Again, after recounting the horror felt by the individual, the focus was brought back to a tone of hope. “I was going to take a vacation day  — I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I wasn’t home. It’s a mess. But it’s just stuff. It’s just stuff, and I’ve got to remember that,” the article quoted Chilelli as saying.

The next day, August 13, The Deseret News ran a second Avenues article, enhancing their previous writing. The headline, “Humor, hope resonate in Avenues. Firewood jokes and unbroken china help the residents cope,” elucidated their goal and the direction of their evolving incident coverage.  Turning away from shock and awe tactics, the story was solely concerned with providing a face for the tragedy. “We’re going to rebuild bigger and better … with all sorts of goodies,” the article quoted an Avenues resident as saying. “I feel really lucky that (we’re) OK and that our cat came back.” (Kemp and Toomer-Cook)

The Salt Lake Tribune responded accordingly. In an article published on August 16, the Tribune looked to accomplish the same goal as The Deseret News, but utilized the American Red Cross as their vehicle of expression. More than 200 Red Cross volunteers had served some 20,000 meals and answered 300 of some 400 inquiries from family members trying to locate loved ones, the article said, drawing on the statistics as a symbol of compassion. “‘We have had more offers for help than we can handle,’ said Bob Dingman, a mental health counselor in the Red Cross.” The piece also focused on the rebuilding of the community environment, providing information regarding uprooted tree transplantation and readers with information on how to best help. (Ure)

The final installment of news coverage crafted for this scenario came in the form of columns, letters to the editor, and editorials. Both publications utilized this form of journalism to publish content that was not only personal, but personal in voice as well. The Salt Lake Tribune took this format especially to heart. An associate editor of the paper wrote a column on August 15 recounting the actions of the Tribune’s journalists: “What we provided was an all-encompassing, in-depth view of who, what, when, where, how and why,” he wrote. “We told stories about people directly involved, furnished information from the so-called experts, showed the damage through photographs …. I am proud of what was produced in The Tribune …. We tried our hardest to cover every angle. I believe we succeeded.” (McCarthey)

The Tribune continued this model as they published multiple articles submitted by readers, recounting in the first person their views on the incident. Also printed on August 15 was a piece submitted by Laurie J. Wilson, the department of communications chairwoman at BYU. “Some would call it an ‘ill wind’; I would label it fortunate,” she wrote. “It blew in compassion … service … gratitude. Here’s to the community that has been Salt Lake for the past few days. May it not take natural disaster to create it ever again.” (Wilson)

The devastating tornado that hit Salt Lake City on August 11, 1999, brought an atmosphere to the city that had never been seen before. With it came a journalistic responsibility that had never been experienced, yet was handled professionally and thoroughly. As can be seen through the writings of The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, this incident was covered in the form of breaking news, human interest pieces, and letters to the editor/editorials.

James Lowe is a senior in the College of Humanities at The University of Utah. He is a journalist for the Daily Utah Chronicle, and works as an intern for Simmons Media Group. He enjoys being active outdoors and spending time with his loved ones.


Amy Joi Bryson, Jennifer Dobner, and Lucinda Dillon, “Twister’s terrible toll 1 killed, 81 injured, 300 homes damaged,” The Deseret News, August 12, 1999.

Michael Janofsky, “Tornado Damages Downtown Salt Lake City; 1 Is Killed and Many Are Hurt,” The New York Times, August 12, 1999.

Donna M. Kemp, “Avenues residents pick up the pieces,” The Deseret News, August 12, 1999.

Tom McCarthey, “Letter From The Editor,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1999.

Lesley Mitchell, “Tornado Claims Total $7M,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 20, 1999.

Jennifer Toomer-Cook and Donna Kemp, “Humor, hope resonate in Avenues. Firewook Jokes and unbroken china help the residents cope,” The Deseret News, August 13, 1999.

Jon Ure, “Red Cross Workers Relieved Victims Are Few,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 16, 1999.

Tom Wharton, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 9, 2009.

Laurie J. Wilson, “Twister Blew In Compassion and Service,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1999.

Clayton Brough, et al. “Utah’s Tornadoes and Waterspouts, 1847-Present.” National Weather Service Salt Lake City.

Tornado Hits Salt Lake City.” University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Climate Center.

Emmeline Wells: Suffragette


Emmeline Wells was known in Utah for her leading role in politics and women’s suffrage. She converted to the Latter-day Saints religion in 1842 shortly after her mother did. She then followed the church migration from Illinois and ended up in Utah. (Madson, 1) She first started actively supporting women’s rights when the Utah Territorial Legislature gave women the right to vote in 1870. She even tried to become Salt Lake City’s treasurer; however, women were not yet allowed to be in office. (The West)

Wells was not only a vigorous activist, but she was also a journalist. She began by contributing her writings to Woman’s Exponent. The Exponent was an LDS newspaper that was distributed semi-monthly and it supported polygamous marriages and woman’s suffrage. The paper’s professional slogan was, “The Rights of the Women of Zion, and the Rights of the Women of All Nations.” Women would use this newspaper as a medium for discussion to motivate women to become active in the fight for woman’s suffrage.

On March 1, 1881, Wells showed her support to women by writing, “History tells us very little about women, judging from its pages one would suppose their lives were insignificant and yet their opinions worthless … yet the future will deal more generally with womankind and the historians of the present age will find it very embarrassing to ignore women in the records of the nineteenth century.” (Wells, 148)

After writing for the Exponent for many years, she became Louisa Greene’s successor as the editor of the Woman’s Exponent in 1877.  When it was announced that she would assume the editorial duties she told the daughter of Brigham Young, Susa Young Gates, “Believe me I am ever ready to add in all my power in literary work for the advancement and culture of our people.” (Madson, 34)

On January 12, 1887, when the Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed, Wells wrote in her diary that she wished the House of Representatives never had let it pass. She wrote, “It is contrary to all justice and rights.” (Wells, January 12, 1887) The following day, she wrote in her diary about attending a meeting that the town was holding to talk about the new law. She wrote that there was no excitement surrounding the law and that it was not only unfair to women, but also to men. (Wells, January 13, 1887)

Wells used the paper to influence women to speak up about how they deserved the same rights as men. The Edmunds-Tucker Act repealed the right of plural marriages and women’s right to vote in Utah. The bill was enacted because George F. Edmunds and John R. Tucker thought the vote of women would make the political power of the church stronger. (White) When Wells found out about the bill she believed that it was a great step to take in the opposite direction from their former position. (Wells, January 16, 1887)

On January 15, 1887, three days after the bill was passed, one editorial was printed in the Exponent saying, “This outrageous bill derives from two leading men in Congress of the United States and it greatly discredits that they should thus degrade the talents given to them and subverts the aims and intentions of all law making and good government.” (Unknown, 124) The author goes on to say that not only was the bill anti-Mormon, but also anti-American. The unidentified writer also said the repeal makes Mormons “one and all, little better than slaves.” Women suffragists tried to get President Cleveland to revoke the Edmunds-Tucker Act; however, nothing happened quickly. In the same editorial the writer described Edmunds as “proud, rich, cold as an icicle, aristocratic, and arrogant.” She also labeled Tucker as an illiberal, bigoted man.

As time went on Wells continued to tell women to show their independence and fearlessness until suffragettes could convince President Cleveland to veto the “ant-Mormon” bill. (Wells, 139) The Exponent talked about how it was unfair that the right was taken away without due process. Women hoped that Cleveland would see that even if people denounced polygamy that did not mean it was OK to take away human rights. (Wells, 139)

Emmeline Wells paved the way for independent women all over the state and the women of today are still taking initiative. Not long after the 19th amendment was ratified a Utah woman, Jeannette A. Hyde, formed the Women’s Legislative Committee of Utah. It was later renamed the Women’s State Legislative Council of Utah (WSLC) and is still politically active after 90 years. (Stone)

Jenna Levetan is a junior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism.


Emmeline Wells Diaries, January 12-16, 1887. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriot Library, The University of Utah.

Carol Madson. An Advocate for Women: The  Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870-1920. Provo: Brigham Young University, 2006.

Unknown, “Comments,” The Woman’s Exponent, January 15, 1887, 124.

Emmeline Wells, “Comments,” The Woman’s Exponent, February 1, 1887, 132.

Emmeline Wells, “Self- Made Woman,” The Woman’s Exponent, March 1, 1881, 148.

Eileen, Stone, “Living History: Utah woman’s group still political after 90 years,” The Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 2010.

The West, Episode 5 (1868-1874). The Woman’s Exponent.” Public Broadcasting Service.

Jean Bickmore White, “Women’s Suffrage in Utah.” Utah History To Go.

The Ogden, Utah, Hi-Fi Murders: April 22, 1974


A heinous crime was committed in the quiet community of Odgen, Utah, on the night of April 22,1974. Little did those at the Hi-Fi store in town know what was going to happen.

Dale Selby Pierre and William Andrews, who were United States Air Force airmen, entered the shop where two employees, Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley, “a pretty 19-year old who had been hired as a store clerk only a week before,” were working. (Spangler) Pierre and Andrews took them down to the basement, tied them up, and then they started to rob the store. When Cortney Naisbitt came into the store to talk with Stanley Walker, the robbers took him down to the basement also. (DelPorto) Later, Orren Walker came looking for his son, Stanley; Carol Naisbitt went to the store, too. Both were taken to the basement.

Outside, Keith Roberts, another airman, waited for Pierre and Andrews to rob the store. After forcing the hostages to drink liquid Drano, Pierre raped Michelle Ansley. (DelPorto, Lund) Then, deciding that it was taking too long for the hostages to die, Pierre shot each of them in the back of the head. Orren Walker survived, only to be tortured and have a pen kicked into his ear. (Wade) The men then loaded up their van with the stolen equipment and left.

Gary Kinder described the scene in his book, Victim: The Other Side of Murder:

When Stan had not shown up for dinner, Mr. Walker had driven to the shop to see if he had had trouble with the utility jeep they had just bought. Mrs. Walker began to worry when two hours had passed and neither had returned home. A little after ten she and the younger boy had gone to the shop. The boy, a strapping sixteen-year-old, had rung the buzzer in back. When he heard his father yelling for them to call the police and an ambulance, he had reared back and kicked in the locked door. (Kinder, 52)

Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley were dead when they were found.  Carol Naisbitt made it as far as the ambulance ride, but was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Cortney Naisbitt was not expected to survive, but he pulled through with serious and permanent brain damage, and was hospitalized for 266 days. (Delporto) Orren Walker survived as well, but had extensive burns around the mouth and face, along with major ear damage from the torture.

Within hours of the crime an Air Force officer who supervised Pierre, Andrews, and Roberts, called in a tip to the Ogden City Police Department. When two teenage boys found wallets and other personal belongings of the victims in a Dumpster near Hill Air Force Base, a crowd of airmen gathered and after some theatrics and keen detective work, the three men were taken in as suspects.

All three were tried together for first-degree murder and robbery. (Lund)  The Deseret News reported on August 28, 1987: “Because of emotion and tension surrounding the case, it had been moved to Farmington from Ogden in a change of venue. Still within the same judicial district, Ogden Judge John F. Wahlquist heard the case.” (Wade) Walker was able to testify as the star witness. Naisbitt, on the other hand, suffered from amnesia due to his injuries and did not go to the trials, but his father, Dr. Bryon Naisbitt, did testify.

Because Roberts was waiting in the van and was not in the store at the time of the murders, he was only convicted of robbery and sent to prison. He was paroled in 1987.

Pierre and Andrews, on the other hand, were found guilty on both accounts of robbery and murder in the first degree. A journalist covering the trial reported on November 11, 1974: “The decision came from an 11-man, one woman jury after a day-long sentencing hearing in Second District Court.” (Lund)

At the time of the original sentencing the death penalty choices were by hanging or by a firing squad. Gilbert Athay and John Caine, the attorneys for Pierre and Andrews, appealed the verdicts with help from the NAACP and Amnesty International. The NAACP became involved because all three defendants were African American. During the process of selecting jurors, the candidates were intensely questioned in regards to their views on black people and their opinion on blood atonement.

A reporter present during the trial reported, “The undercurrent of emotion erupted one afternoon when juror James Weaver received a napkin at a Bountiful restaurant on which were written the words, ‘Hang the niggers.’ Court bailiff Tom Lenox, an ex-military intelligence officer and a Davis County deputy, reported to [Judge] Wahlquist that only two or three of the other jurors had seen the note, which Weaver had turned immediately over to the bailiff.” The defense pushed for a mistrial at that point, but Wahlquist gave a stern reprimand to the still unknown writer of the note. (Wade)

Amnesty International held a candlelight vigil on the night Pierre was put to death. In the article, “Amnesty plans vigil to protest Aug. 28 execuation of Selby,” the reporter stated, “State coordinator Michael Spurgin said the human rights group opposes the death penalty because it does not deter violent crime and is biased by race and economic class.” (Amnesty) Pam Wade reported, “News reports that day said Selby and Andrews  sat silent and emotionless as the verdicts were read but as Andrews left the courtroom, escorted by guards, he turned briefly, stared and clenched his fists at Orren Walker.” (Wade)

While in prison, Dale S. Pierre legally changed his name to Pierre Dale Selby. (Bernick) Selby was put to death by lethal injection, the first in Utah, on August 28, 1987. Gary DeLund, executive director of the department of corrections, was the man who gave the order to execute Selby. DeLund said, “It was remarkably different than the way his victims died. This execution was very calm, very peaceful. It (lethal injection) is probably the most humanitarian way to end a life.” (Spangler)

Andrews had the chance to appeal again after Selby was put to death. He believed he shouldn’t die, that he was a victim of circumstance, error, and youth. (Bernick) Earl Dorius, the assistant attorney general at the time, described Andrews as “… very slick, almost warmhearted, and sounds somewhat sorry for what he had done. But I’ll tell you, he is very methodical in his answers. It’s clear to me he’s been prepped to go just so far.” (Bernick 4A) William Andrews also was executed by lethal injection, on July 30, 1992.

Kristine Child is a senior at The University of Utah.  She is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in strategic communication.


“Amnesty plans vigil to protest Aug. 28 execution of Selby,” The Deseret News, July 15, 1987, 10 A.

Bob Bernick Jr., “Selby’s final footsteps are echoing harbingers of fate awaiting Andrews,” The Deseret News, August 28, 1987, Metro, 4A.

Brett DelPorto, “Daughter’s death is avenged but bitter memories live on,” The Deseret News, August 28, 1987, Metro, 4A.

Brett DelPorto, “Hi Fi survivor aiming to leave ‘fame’ and victim status behind,” The Deseret News, August 28, 1987, Metro, 5A.

Jerry Spangler, “Selby Pays for 1974 Hi Fi Murders: Injections painlessly end life of killer by 1:12 a.m.,” The Deseret News, August 28, 1987, Metro.

Pam Wade, “Web of evidence tightened inexorably in the Hi Fi trial: Grisly event pieced painstakingly slowly,” The Deseret News, August 28, 1987, Metro, 4A.

Wanda Lund, “Hi Fi 2 guilty of murder,” The Deseret News, November 16, 1974, Metro, 3A.

Wanda Lund, “Jury Decrees Death for Hi Fi Slayers,” The Deseret News, November 11, 1974, Metro, B.

Gary Kinder. Victim: The Other Side of Murder. New York: Delacorte Press, 1982.

Deseret News Follows Developing Ski Industry, 1970-1973


The Rocky Mountains have given Utah a resource for recreation and have become a selling point for tourists from all over the globe. Skiing has a long history in Utah and started gaining national and global recognition around the start of the 1970s. Resorts started to spring up in the mountainous areas in the northern and southern ends of the state, joining the veteran resorts such as Alta, Brighton, Park City, Snowbird, and Brian Head farther south. The Deseret News made an effort to attract both local and non-resident skiers to come get a piece of the action.

Prior to the Utah ski industry boom “ tourism expenditures increased over 30 percent in the Rocky Mountain Region in 1960-65,” which was a good indication that there was a bright future for a ski industry in Utah. (Rugh, 447) The impending revenue that was on the horizon forced Utah’s government to look into expanding ski resort accommodations and facilities in order to handle an expanding cliental.

Skiing presented a new industry for the local government to develop and visibility in local newspapers played a major role in the development. An article in The Western Historical Quarterly describes how state branding helped in “Utah’s transformation from a rural backwater to a world player in the tourism enterprise.” (Rugh, 446) The coverage of the booming ski industry in The Deseret News during the early 1970s displays boosterism tactics that attempted to help bring people up to the Rocky Mountains to experience the expanding facilities offered by the numerous resorts.

The Deseret News has delivered the news in Utah since 1850, following Utah through many changes and advancements. (Lythgoe) The growth of the ski industry in Utah and the revenue it brought in through tourism was a topic covered in the countless pages of grey paper. Looking at articles in The Deseret News during the beginning of the 1970s gives insight into how the paper attempted to bring people from outside the state and local skiers to Utah resorts as they expanded to new heights.

In 1970 the ski industry in Utah was reaching new revenue heights in the millions and the local economy was cashing in. The number of visits to ski resorts doubled between 1966 and 1971, from 442,000 to an estimated 862,000. (Wikstrom, 219) An article published in The Deseret News on March 24, 1970, noted that “new [ski] facilities are much needed” as the number of skier increased. This article voiced the need for the expansion of resorts and developments in new areas.

There was a long skiing heritage in Utah, dating back to the first resorts established in mining territories like Brighton and Park City in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Despite the skiing history the amount of non-local recognition was small and the mountains were utilized mostly by locals through the 1960s. The Deseret News reported on December 11, 1970, that actor Robert Redford had felt the power of the Rocky Mountains. The article describes a written feature including photos by Robert Redford about skiing in Utah and the treasures it offered, noting that the “vast Wasatch range have remained undiscovered by the majority of skiers.” The feature, “Robert Redford on Skiing in Utah,” displayed color pictures of the locations offered in Utah with descriptions of each area. This article gave Utah a well-known voice that advocated venturing to the ski resorts in the state.

The Deseret News on December 17, 1970, reported that the Intermountain Ski Instructor Association honored a local ski legend, Sverre Engen, for his work as a teacher of the sport and an early filmmaker of Utah skiing. He was an advocate of bringing people to Utah for the skiing locations and was praised in the article by stating that the “Wasatch wonderlands have never bad a better booster.” This article shows that movie stars and local skiing legends were both promotional selling points utilized by The Deseret News.

The Rock Hill Herald reported on March 12, 1971, about Snowbird’s new accessibility through a tram system that was the “ first tram in Utah and one of the largest in North America.” The article described the difficult accessibility of the mountain when it stated that it had been “popular with ski buffs affluent enough to use a helicopter as a chairlift.” The article also described the huge lodge projects that were being erected in Little Cottonwood Canyon stating, “Snowbird’s building program will accommodate 5000 people,” which showed the promise of further expansion in the ski industry.

An article published by The Deseret News on November 27, 1971, noted that “for visitors skiing is believing.” The article quoted then American Airlines president George Spater claiming that when “ a skier comes back from Utah and tells his friends about great skiing, they listen.” This was one of the first relationships between airlines and ski resorts. Spater continues saying that “ the proposed merger with Western Airlines would strengthen American’s ability to attract more people to Utah.” Gaining the support of airline companies in marketing and advertising gave Utah’s ski industry an new ally that could prove to be valuable in bringing people to the state in order to utilize the local ski resorts.

The Deseret News published an article on April 5, 1972, noting that skiing was perceived as the “least impressive recreation in Utah.”  The comparison against other neighboring states put Utah below neighboring states on the list of recreational tourism location. The message in the feature suggested that a new image and promotional efforts were necessary for expansion in Utah’s ski industry. The Deseret News reported on November 2, 1972, that “getting up the mountain is a snap” and recreation in Utah is a great ski location. The article noted resorts like Alta, Park City, and Park West along with the more southern region, and reported that “Robert Redford dug the area so much he put a ski resort there.” The Deseret News played a part in 1972 in attempting to change the state’s image in order to draw new skiers to Utah slopes.

An article published by The Deseret News on February 5, 1973, reported on the ski industry’s business growth. The article quotes Al Geibel, owner of the Rustler Lodge at Alta, who stated, “business is good—very, very good.” Geibel goes further and claims that “almost 100 percent of new business has been from out of state,” which helped pay for the new lodges that were under construction at the time. The article shows how different articles in The Deseret News were attempting to provide a positive image for the ski industry and Utah in general.

The increasing business occurring in the Utah ski industry was reported by The Deseret News on November 23, 1973, noting that “Utah’s ski industry showed a net profit of $18,000,000, in 1972.” This rise in profits and Utah Ski Association’s nationwide recognition showed that the industry was on the right track. The article also noted that non-resident skiing visitors “ increased 40 percent.” The article also hopes that resorts don’t “turn their collective backs on the all-important local skier.” This article shows the upswing in the ski industry and its contribution to Utah’s economy while keeping focused on local ski enthusiasts.

Looking at the move toward a successful ski industry, The Deseret News reported on September 15, 1973, that Utah’s ski industry “has been discovered” and will continue to prosper. The ski conditions of the Rocky Mountains were noted as “another factor in Utah’s ski success.” The article also shows how the airlines profited, stating that their revenue had grown “as much as 300 percent in skier traffic this past winter,” showing the symbiotic relationship between the industry. The feeling of the article is that Utah skiing had finally arrived and had a bright future.

My research on The Deseret News coverage on the ski industry was focused on the progression of the industry. Although the media aren’t always the driving factor behind industries, the ski industry was impacted by the newspaper’s coverage directed toward local and non-residential skiers. The Utah ski industry utilized the resources at hand and created an industry that continues to flourish. The Deseret News’ coverage of this development played a part in gaining support for the expansion of the industry on a local and non-residential level. The cooperation of the airlines and publicity drawn from Redford’s feature and local skiing legend Sverre Engen helped boost Utah’s ski industry to a new level.
Without the media coverage on the emerging ski scene, it may have never reached the high marks that we see it at today. The Deseret News has remained a staple of communication for Utah, because it has covered issues like “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”

Dakota Hawks will graduate from the University of Utah in August 2010 with a degree in mass communication. He is a snow fanatic.

Arnold Irvine, “Leisure Manufacturing Big In Utah,” The Deseret News, March 24, 1970, A17.

Hack Miller, “Ski Feature Boosts Utah,” The Deseret News, December 11, 1970, B9.

Hack Miller, “Skiers Honor Sverre,” The Deseret News, December 17,1970, D1.

Bill Hill, “Snowbird Rises on Wasatch Slopes,” The Rock Hill Ledger, March 12, 1971, 15.

Arnold Irvine, “Visitors: Skiing is Believing,” The Deseret News, November 27, 1971, 27.

Arnold Irvine, “Vacation in Utah? Poll Says ‘Unlikely,’” The Deseret News, April 5, 1972, 8b.

“Utah Has Desert Image,” The Deseret News, November 2, 1972, 6f.

Robert Buckhorn, “’Utah’s Really Arrived,’” The Deseret News, Febuary 5, 1973, 10B.

Rolf Koecher, “Utah’s ski snow a hot item these days,” The Deseret News, September 15, 1973, 1B.

Dave Kadleck, “Yes, Virginia, Utah’s skiing is on the move,” The Deseret News, November 23, 1973, 2C.

Susan Rugh, “Branding Utah: Industrial Tourism in the Postwar American West,” The Westerm Historical Quarterly (2006): 445-472.

Dennis Lythgoe, “Deseret News,” Utah History Encyclopedia.

Wikstrom Economic & Planning Associates, Inc., RRC Associates. “Utah’s Ski Industry.”

Summer of ’68: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix & Beach Boys Concerts at Lagoon Amusement Park


After Lagoon Amusement Park opened its Patio Gardens concert venue in 1954, the Gardens hosted many famous acts there until the venue changed to a roller rink in the late 1970s. Some of the acts that visited Patio Gardens included such luminaries as Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, The Doors, Ray Charles and the Monkees. In the summer of 1968, three of the most popular names of the time decided to make a stop at Lagoon: Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beach Boys.

"Jimi Hendrix Picking Peace, 1968." Photo by Brian C. Record. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Between 1886, when Lagoon opened as “Lake Park” and 1968, the park went through numerous changes, reflecting the change of the culture surrounding the park. When it first opened, Lake Park featured an “open-air dancing pavilion with delicately carved latticework and archways,” and true to its name, the park sat along the banks of the Great Salt Lake. (Lagoon Press Kit, 5) Some of the other activities available to guests there were swimming, boating, roller skating, dancing and bowling. After seven years of the success at Lake Park, the Great Salt Lake began to dry, receding and forcing the now murky lake to be closed to visitors.

As the park transitioned to its current location, it began to gravitate more toward rides as attractions, and finally in 1954, Patio Gardens was erected to become a premier concert venue for Utah and its residents. As the summer of 1968 approached and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beach Boys prepared to make a tour stop in Farmington, Lagoon also opened its Opera House, where musicals would be performed for the next few years for the Utah summer theater. (Lagoon Press Kit, 6) The year 1968 was an important year for Lagoon, when it would contribute greatly to Utah’s history by bringing so many live performances to Farmington, primarily advertising in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Janis Joplin. Photo by Brian C. Record. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Janis Joplin, performing with Big Brother & the Holding Company, was the first of the three bands to come to Lagoon on July 20, 1968. In the days leading up to the concert, The Salt Lake Tribune ran daily advertisements for Lagoon, paying special attention to concerts that were coming to the music venues there, the Opera House and Patio Gardens. The first advertisement ran on July 18, 1968, in four panels, one of which loudly proclaimed “Big Brother & the Holding Co.,” and in smaller words below, “with Janis Joplin.” (Advertisement, B6). It is interesting to note that while Joplin’s name ran fairly small in all advertisements, in the single article devoted to the concert leading up to the show, Big Brother & the Holding Company was downplayed, while the focus was on Joplin.

The article states: “Two big-name rock groups will entertain Saturday at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. in the Patio Gardens of Lagoon. Appearing will be Big Brother & the Holding Company with Janis Joplin and Blue Cheer. Miss Joplin, 25, of Port Arthur, Tex., has emerged as one of the new stars of the rock music world. She has been working with the group for a year and a half.” (The Salt Lake Tribune, A13) The article’s claim that Joplin was a “new star” at the time of the concert is also notable, as she had been performing with Big Brother & the Holding Company for almost two years at the time of the concert. She had performed with the band in such venues as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Avalon Room and perhaps most famously, the Monterey Pop Festival earlier in 1968. (Dalton, 131)

"Jimi Hendrix Guitar Backing, 1968." Photo by Brian C. Record. Collection of Brian C. Record.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s label of Joplin as a new artist speaks to Salt Lake City, and the Tribune more specifically as a conservative center then, just as it is now. While Joplin may have been more accepted in California, where many of her early concerts occurred, she was just starting to catch on in Utah. That Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company played at Lagoon, rather than a larger venue like the Great Saltair, shows that the band may not have been as popular in this conservative community.

Jimi Hendrix & the Experience came to Patio Gardens at Lagoon on August 30, 1968, a little more than a month after Joplin graced the stage. Like Joplin, Jimi Hendrix had advertisements in The Salt Lake Tribune leading up to his performance, which billed the concert as the “Jimi Hendrix Experience Dance Concert.” (Advertisement, B7) These advertisements were published for the two days before the concert as well as the day of the concert. And like Joplin’s performance, Hendrix was granted a short blurb two days before his concert. Neither advance story featured a photograph accompanying the preview.

"Jimi Hendrix pulling out all the strings, 1968." Photo by Brian C. Record. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Hendrix’s preview, however, was a bit longer, delving deeper into his musical history:

While working in Greenwich Village, Hendrix came to the attention of Chase Chandler, one of the Animals. Chandler persuaded him to go to England, where the Jimi Hendrix Experience originated. Jimi Hendrix writes all his own material including songs three albums: ‘Are You Experienced?’ ‘Axis: Bold as Love,’ and ‘Electric Ladyland,’ a newly recorded record set. (The Salt Lake Tribune, B11)

Despite the fact that Janis Joplin was also a songwriter who penned her own songs, The Salt Lake Tribune did not find that to be pertinent information for her, but it was for Hendrix. The two also had the similarity that their fame had risen at the Monterey Pop Festival; but it seems that in Utah, Hendrix may have been more revered.

Unlike Hendrix and the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company, the Beach Boys did not have a preview article leading up to the show. They had performed previously at the Patio Gardens, though; according to Lagoon, the band performed in 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966. (The Beach Boys also performed in 1969 and 1970 following the 1968 concert.) What’s most surprising about the lack of recognition The Salt Lake Tribune gave the Beach Boys is that the band wrote a song about Salt Lake City in 1965, after visiting Lagoon and Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City

Down in Utah
The guys and I dig a city called Salt Lake
It’s got the grooviest kids
That’s why we never get tired of Salt Lake
And the way the kids talk so cool
Is an out of sight thing
And the number one radio station
Makes the town really swing yeah
Salt Lake City we’ll be coming soon

There’s a park near the city, yeah
All the kids dig the Lagoon now
It’s full of all kinds of girls
And rides and we’ll be flyin’ there soon now
And girl for girl
They’ve got the cutest of the Western states
They got the sun in the summer
And winter time the skiing is great yeah
Salt Lake City we’ll be coming soon. (Wilson)

As evidenced by the Beach Boys lyrics, they clearly appreciated Salt Lake City, and Lagoon in particular. Though The Salt Lake Tribune did publish advertisements for their show, those were paid for by Lagoon; there was no write-up before their show previewing the Beach Boys for those who might go see them, nor a review following the concert.

There were no concert reviews in The Salt Lake Tribune following the Big Brother & the Holding Company with Janis Joplin concert at Patio Gardens either, nor was there a review for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite the fact that other than advertisements in the newspaper, there was very little promotion for any of these bands, that did not impact their popularity negatively. All three artists went on to greater success, and save for the Beach Boys, neither Janis Joplin nor Jimi Hendrix returned to the Patio Gardens. Two years later, Joplin and Hendrix both died of drug overdoses, but their legacies lived on and Lagoon and Utah residents and visitors were a part of all of their careers. (Gent, 1)

The Patio Gardens was converted to a roller rink in 1978, and is now the Game Time Arcade. (Lagoon Press Kit, 6) Because no posters were made for the concerts, there is little evidence of them outside some photographs, and newspaper articles and advertisements. Customers who bought tickets to Lagoon on the days of the concerts were only given regular Lagoon tickets, not tickets with the bands’ names on them. Despite this lack of publicity, Patio Gardens was an important part of both Lagoon and Utah’s history.

Anna Sullivan will be a senior at The University of Utah in Fall 2010, majoring in journalism with a minor in creative writing.


“Death of Janis Joplin Attributed to Accidental Heroin Overdose,” The New York Times, October 6, 1970, 50.

“Jimi Hendrix to Perform,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 28, 1968, B11.

“Holding Co., Blue Cheer Set Lagoon Performance,” The Salt Lake Tribune, July 19, 1968, A13.

Lagoon Advertisement: Jimi Hendrix & the Beach Boys, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 30, 1968, C6.

Lagoon Advertisement: Jimi Hendrix, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 29, 1968, B7.

Lagoon Advertisement: Big Brother & the Holding Company, The Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 1968, B6.

Lagoon Advertisement: Big Brother & the Holding Company, The Salt Lake Tribune, July 19, 1968, A12.

Lagoon Advertisement: Big Brother & the Holding Company, The Salt Lake Tribune, July 20, 1968, A11.

Lagoon Advertisement: Beach Boys, The Salt Lake Tribune, September 5, 1968, A17.

Lagoon Advertisement: Beach Boys, The Salt Lake Tribune, September 6, 1968, D7.

Lagoon Advertisement: Beach Boys, The Salt Lake Tribune, September 7, 1968, A8.

“Open Verdict Given in Hendrix’s Death,” The New York Times, September 29, 1970, 59.

Brian C. Record. Jimi Hendrix Picking Peace, 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian C. Record. Jimi Hendrix Tripping at Lagoon¸1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian C. Record. Jimi Hendrix Guitar Backing, 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian C. Record.  Mitch Mitchel in Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian C. Record. Jimi Hendrix Pulling Out All The Strings. 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian C. Record. Janis Joplin, Patio Gardens at Lagoon. 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Brian Wilson and Mike Love. “Salt Lake City,” Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) Capitol Records, 1965.

David Dalton. Janis. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971.

Korral L.K. Broschinsky. Novelty Versus Nostalgia. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of Utah, June 9, 1997.


Record, Brian C. Jimi Hendrix Picking Peace, 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Record, Brian C. Jimi Hendrix Tripping at Lagoon¸1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Record, Brian C. Jimi Hendrix Guitar Backing, 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Record, Brian C.  Mitch Mitchel in Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1968. Collection of Brian C.


Record, Brian C. Jimi Hendrix Pulling Out All The Strings. 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Record, Brian C. Janis Joplin, Patio Gardens at Lagoon. 1968. Collection of Brian C. Record.

Woman’s Suffrage in Utah: The Woman’s Exponent Reacts To the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887


After the United States Congress stripped Utah women of their right to vote in 1887 through the Edmunds-Tucker Act, one Utah publication, The Woman’s Exponent, its editors and readers alike, chose to fight back. Through editorial pieces, letters, columns and speeches, it is evident that the people of Utah were united against this outrageous law which denied them their basic freedoms as citizens of the United States.

Utah women were able to vote in political matters as early as the year 1870, granted by territorial legislature. They were the first women in the history of the United States to have this right. Sometime in the year 1847 during the final settlement of the Salt Lake Valley, both men and women voted by ballot. This, Hubert Howe Bancroft records, may have been “the first instance in the United States where woman suffrage was permitted.” (Bancroft, 272)

The Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed in 1887 as an attempt to defeat polygamy in Utah as well as the political power of its Mormon settlers. The law broke down the local political system already well rooted in the Utah Territory, replacing it with federal control. Along with losing their rights to plural marriage and their land, Utah women were outraged at losing their basic right to vote after having it for seventeen years. Women fought this action and were supported by men both within the Mormon Church and outside it.

The Exponent, a Salt Lake City women’s newspaper originally published by Mormon women Emmeline B. Wells and Louisa Greene, was an eight-page monthly publication that covered topics ranging from church activity reports and homemaking hints to politics, both local and national. The Exponent was a well circulated form of communication in its time for women in the Utah Territory. On January 15,1887, its editors proclaimed the paper was not merely the voice of its editor or its columnists, but that of every Latter-day Saint woman. On the same date it also charged these women with having the responsibility to “help send this voice abroad,” thereby spreading information, knowledge, and promoting sisterhood.

Emmeline Wells was born in New England in 1828 at Petersham, Massachusetts. In March 1842, Wells was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following her mother, who became a member in 1841. Crocheron notes that “Mrs. Wells often says she was born a woman’s rights advocate, inheriting it from her mother, who was a staunch advocate for woman’s emancipation” and who promoted the education of women, even among circumstances where it was not highly valued. It was in November 1847 that Wells first stepped into the office of the Exponent to assist the current editor and in July 1877 she took over the entire role of editor. (Crocheron, 69)

Wells, quick to endorse political action from women, wrote in the Exponent on November 1, 1880, encouraging her fellow females to take part in a local election scheduled for the next day. Votes were cast for the delegate to congress from Utah and Wells reminded her readers that despite recent attempts to abolish the franchise for women, they were still permitted to vote and every able woman should not miss her chance to do so.

Women enjoyed exercising their political power and, when talk began of Congress challenging their ability to do so in 1880, voices rose through the Exponent. One letter to the editor, published November 11, 1880, from a woman named Jane C. Johnson, demanded her right to be heard. Johnson challenged an article from a previous issue that argued women were not taxpayers and thus should not be allowed to vote. Johnson disputed this, writing, “I think we are very heavy taxpayers. Does not every wife own property in connection with her husband? I think so. Does not her labor help to make that property? … Yes we do …. We ask for the justice and freedom that belong to American citizens, and wish to vote for men of integrity and those that will stand by the constitution of our country.”

Mormon Church leaders, including its president Brigham Young, supported woman suffrage. George Q. Cannon and Brigham Young, then officials in the Mormon Church, wrote in the Deseret Evening News on July 23, 1878, “Under the laws of Congress a woman born in the United States is a citizen just as much as a man…. If woman is entitled to the name and position of a citizen, should she not also be invested with the rights and privileges of a citizen, so far as she is capable of properly exercising them?”

Editorials from other national magazines were included in The Woman’s Exponent to show not only that local women were being supported in their efforts to keep the vote, but also those who doubted the power and impact of the women’s movement. Before the imposition of the Edmunds-Tucker Act was conceived, a publication out of Philadelphia noted the trials of women in Utah. The Exponent recorded on November 12, 1880, that the editor of Woman’s Words in Philadelphia wrote, “Another effort is being made in Utah to disfranchise the women of that Territory … a [mandate] having been issued by the Supreme Court bearing on the question. We do not believe it will succeed. Liberty takes no step backward, and when the elective franchise is once exercised, no other can take it away without a revolution.”

That same date marks another paper with a similar tone from Matilda Joslyn Gage of the National Citizen in New York. “Let this attempt to deprive the women of Utah of their political rights nerve the heart and brain of every woman to more strenuous effort for a sixteenth amendment which shall recognize the rights of all United States citizens to the ballot. When once this is gained, no isolated state or territory can strike such a blow at suffrage rights.”

On March 21, 1888, The Deseret Evening News reported an international council of women in Washington, D.C., was to be held by the National Woman Suffrage Association on March 25, 1888. Suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony along with delegates from states and territories of the United States and England joined in the advocacy for woman’s rights, establishing the position to attain suffrage. Wells received a report from this council and printed it in the Exponent April 15, 1888, saying Utah’s position was not forgotten and the delegate from Utah, Emily S. Richards, delivered a speech that left the audience with perhaps a better view of Mormonism and feminism in the Utah Territory.

Woman’s rights made a large leap forward when, as the Exponent reported on February 1, 1895, Utah’s constitutional convention was to gather and the Utah Woman Suffrage Association impressed upon those in the convention to remember the rights of women in the state’s new constitution. Editors wrote, “Our government is ‘of the people, for the people and by the people.’ Whatever the status of women may be, they are at least a part of the people … and by no form of principle of reasoning can they be deprived of such rights and privileges as inure to men under government, without at the same time destroying the natural rights which men hold for themselves to be inviolate.”

The report of the Committee on Elections and Suffrage that emerged from the constitutional convention resolved, as the Exponent reported on April 1, 1895, “That the rights of citizens of the state of Utah to vote and hold office shall not be denied, or abridged on account of sex. Both male and female citizens of this state shall equally enjoy all civil political and religious rights and privileges.” In its completed work, the state constitution would include the victory of woman suffrage.

Women celebrated in Utah on November 5, 1895, when the final constitution was accepted, which included equal rights for women. On November 15, 1895, the Exponent rejoiced in Utah being the 45th state and proudly declared Utah as revolutionary for being only the third in the nation to incorporate women’s right to vote.

Utah’s history of woman suffrage is a unique one. The woman of Utah who voted in 1895 — decades before others in the country — succeeded in 1895 largely due to their supportive force from the dominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The leading political figures of the state were Mormon and predominantly were for giving women voting privileges as they had originally been granted in 1870. However, without the vigilant efforts of Emmeline B. Wells and The Woman’s Exponent, it is possible Utah’s women may have been fighting even longer. As the early women settlers discovered, the power of the press is often stronger than the voice. Without the support network set up by Wells and other suffragists throughout the state, it is likely the issue of woman’s rights would have withered and faded until brought about by the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.

Jamie Welch Jaro graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication. She studied print, new media and photojournalism throughout her college career and looks forward to a lifetime of writing in whatever field she pursues.



“What To Do with Your Exponent,” The Woman’s Exponent, January 15, 1887, 1.

Emmeline B. Wells, “The Coming Election,” The Woman’s Exponent, November 1, 1880, 4.

Jane C. Johnson, “Women Are Taxpayers,” The Woman’s Exponent, November 1, 1880, 8.

George Q. Cannon and Brigham Young, “Woman In Politics,” Deseret Evening News, July 23, 1878, 2.

Lewis, “The Coming Election,” The Woman’s Exponent, November 1, 1880, 4.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, “The Coming Election,” The Woman’s Exponent, November 1, 1880, 4.

Emmeline B. Wells, “An International Council of Women,” Deseret Evening News, March 21, 1888, 151.

“N.W.S.A. Convention,” The Woman’s Exponent, April 15, 1888, 4.

“Woman Suffrage Column,” The Woman’s Exponent, February 1, 1895, 1.

“Woman Suffrage Column,” The Woman’s Exponent, April 1, 1895, 4.

“The New State,” The Woman’s Exponent, November 1-15, 1895, 4.


Hubert Howe Bancroft. History of Utah, 1540-1887. San Francisco: The History Company, 1889.

Augusta Joyce Crocheron. Representative Women of Deseret. Salt Lake City, Utah: J.C. Graham, 1884.

The Completion and Dedication of The Cathedral of The Madeleine, 1909

Entry and photo by CARLY KUNZ

Photo by Carly Kunz, April 21, 2010.

The Cathedral of The Madeleine was dedicated on August 15, 1909. It took ten years for its completion and the completion was in part due to the devotion of Bishop Lawrence Scanlan. Bishop Scanlan came to Salt Lake City on August 14, 1873. He came with the aspiration to teach Catholicism in Salt Lake City and allow the religion to flourish. Upon his arrival, he created Catholic schools and hospitals. With the Catholic community beginning to thrive, Scanlan approached his next dream. He dreamed of creating a cathedral “that would look out across Salt Lake Valley from the heart of the city all the way to where the mountains push up against the sky.” (Mooney, 12)

On February 25, 1890, Bishop Scanlan purchased the land for the Cathedral for $35,000. That land is located on what we know today as B Street and South Temple. Mooney credits Bishop Scanlan with drawing the final plans for the Cathedral “over a period of eight years from the time of the purchase of the site.” (Mooney, 16)

The groundbreaking for the Cathedral occurred on Independence Day of 1899; however, it wouldn’t be finished until 1909. The overall construction ended up costing $344,000. The construction was delayed for the reason that Bishop Scanlan felt it was better to delay the process rather than accumulate further debts. (Mooney, 17)

Nonetheless, Bishop Scanlan was able to see through his dream. On August 14, 1909, The Intermountain Catholic reported:

Yes, Bishop Scanlan is a wonderful man, but don’t let him hear you say it. If you want to get into his good graces, just say: ‘Bishop, you have a wonderful, a good people.’ He will assure you then, with a warm handshake, that they are the best of the best, and that these institutions, which today are the glory of the diocese, are all due to their generosity. And the Cathedral itself, the crowning glory of the Bishop’s life, looks out proudly and boldly to the mountains of Utah, and it whispers: ‘I am the temple of the Living God, I stand guard at the gates of the West, and my pinnacles, as they soar up and point to Heaven, remind men that as they dig and delve for gold there is another digging to be done, a digging and delving on the great road to God.’

The completion and the dedication of the cathedral were not only substantial accomplishments for Bishop Scanlan, but for the Catholic community in the Salt Lake Valley as well. The Intermountain Catholic was a publication within the Salt Lake Valley that provided news and reports on Catholicism. With the dedication of the cathedral just a week away the anticipation in the community was high. The Intermountain Catholic on August 7, 1909, reported, “Right Reverend Bishop Scanlan accompanied by Very Reverend Dean Harris, went to Pocatello Thursday night to meet Cardinal Gibbons, who is going to the national park before he visits Salt Lake.” The newspaper also warned (in this same issue), “Those who have not yet rented seats or pews for the dedication should see or phone Reverend W.K. Ryan, who has the charge of the seating. The desirable seats are nearly all gone.” The article added: “Owing to the fact that there are 7,500 Catholic people in Salt Lake and that seats for only 1,200 can be provided it has been determined to make the admission solely by ticket for both the morning and evening service.”

The day before the dedication The Intermountain Catholic quoted the “History of the Catholic Church in Utah” by Very Reverend Dean Harris: “The Cathedral of Salt Lake is without exception, architecturally, the finest ecclesiastical structure west of the Missouri. Resting on an imperishable foundation of massive blocks of granite, the great building occupies a commanding site in one of the finest quarters of the city, and imparts to the surrounding neighborhood a tone of quiet solemnity and impressive dignity.” (Mooney, 22)

According to Mooney and Dwyer,

The dedication on August 15, 1909, proved to be one of the most brilliant assemblies of American Church dignitaries the Far West had even seen …. The actual ceremony of dedication was performed by the Right Reverend Denis O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, and preceded the Mass. In the sanctuary were present His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, undoubtedly the outstanding man in contemporary American Hierarchy; the Most Revered John J. Glennon, Archbishop of St. Louis (and later a Cardinal)…; the Most Revered J. Dappenwill, Archbishop of Vancouver; the Right Reverend Richard Scannel, Bishop of Omaha …; the Right Reverend J.J. Keane, Reverend A.J. Glorieux, Bishop of Boise … and the Right Reverend John J. Carroll, Bishop of Helena. (Mooney, 22)

The next publication of The Intermountain Catholic came out on August 21, 1909. This publication featured articles such as, “Cardinal Gibbons Delivers Address, A Great Orator.” A Great Orator” offered a quote from The Evening Telegram, in which Judge Goodwin said:

The exercises in the cathedral yesterday were most impressive. The authorities of the great church were present in full force — priests, bishops, archbishops and the cardinal: the music was filled with solemn splendor; the cathedral itself is both majestic and beautiful and those who heard the dedicatory sermon were charmed. The speaker has some of the rarest gifts of the orator. There was not a trace of the theatrical in his manner, but there was a sincerity and power in his arguments which showed clearly that what concerned him was not how he should speak, but what he was to say and here and there was a simple sentence which apparently unstudied, was as filled with stateliness and splendor as a great anthem. It was a great day for our Catholic friends.

Overall, the dedication was very well perceived. People were impressed with the stunning architecture of The Cathedral of the Madeleine. Utah Historical Quarterly observed in 1981 that with the exception of the “decoration of the interior,” the architecture and design of the cathedral has remained the same since its dedication in 1909. Not only has the architecture remained substantial, but its importance to the Catholic community in the Salt Lake Valley has also remained the same. Bishop Scanlan created a truly beautiful work of architecture, but more importantly a place of worship that will continue to bring the Catholic community of the Salt Lake Valley together.

Carly Kunz is a senior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in mass communication and will be graduating in August 2010.


“Bishop Scanlan And St. Mary’s Cathedral,” The Salt Lake Herald, July 20, 1907.

“Dedication Of The Cathedral,” The Intermountain Catholic, August 7, 1909.

“A Great Orator,” The Intermountain Catholic, August 21, 1909.

Rev. W.R. Harris, “The Catholic Church In Utah: Parishes And Missions,” The Intermountain Catholic, 1909.

Bernice M. Mooney. “The Cathedral of the Madeleine: The Building and Embellishment of a Historic Place.” Utah Historical Quarterly 49 (1981): 110-32.

Bernice Maher Mooney. The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Salt Lake City, Utah: Litho Grafics, 1981.

Sacerdos, “The Bishop of Salt Lake Communicated,” The Intermountain Catholic, August 14, 1909.

“St. Mary Magdalene’s Cathedral,” The Intermountain Catholic, August 14, 1909.

This Is the Place: The Building of the Salt Lake Temple


Shortly after inhabiting the great Salt Lake Valley, a place was soon chosen where the Salt Lake City temple would be built. On February 14, 1853, there was not only a dedication and groundbreaking of this magnificent building, but a commencing of something being built of biblical proportions.

After members of the Latter-day Saints were persecuted and driven out of both Kirkland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, they started their long and treacherous journey west. Temples were built in both of these locations because temples and work done in them are a very important part of the Mormon religion. The Saints knew they would end up in the West and they knew they would want another temple there as well.

They arrived July 28, 1847, in the Great Salt Lake Valley. Just four short days later, Brigham Young, then president of the church, declared where the temple was to be built. On February 19, 1853, the Deseret News reported about Young: “Only as he had learned by dreams and visions, and revelations, that there was a good place for the saints in the mountains, and that when he arrived on the spot where he then was, he declared that the place for a temple.” Mormons believe in revelations from God to guide them in the right direction. President Young was sure when he said that this is “the place.” Since most of the inhabitants of the Salt Lake Valley were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they were thrilled at the prospect of having yet another temple in their midst. Since their arrival in 1847, only six years had gone by until they commenced the building of the Salt Lake Temple.

The groundbreaking for the temple was held February 14, 1853. Prayers were said, hymns were sung, and the first shovel was dug in the ground. The spot where the temple was going to be built was dedicated as well. Many people showed up for this. As far as the eye could see there were Saints there to bear witness to the beginning of construction and to hear the voice of their Prophet.

In a book titled, The Salt Lake Temple: an Architectural Monograph, written by Charles Hamilton, it was said that the groundbreaking and the site of the temple was monumental because “President Young required the city be laid out from the temple plot.” (Hamilton, 33) Young wanted the temple to be the focal point of the valley. Because of this thought and plans for city plans, Salt Lake City is on a grid system, with the temple being at the center of everything. The temple plot is a total of ten acres. On this includes the temple, the tabernacle, the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, and two visitor centers. Hamilton also suggests that the Salt Lake Temple design was very influential of other temples. He says that “symbolically and ecclesiastically the [Salt Lake Temple was the] most important of the temples.” (Hamilton, 152) This temple certainly is the most widely known. Many tourists visit the temple and temple square daily. According to a Deseret News story by Aaron Falk, Temple Square receives about five million visitors per year, which actually makes it number 16 out of 25 for most visited sites in the United States.

Building this humongous temple was a feat to be had. It took 40 years to complete the development. It was a hard, seemingly impossible endeavor. Granite was brought in from Little Cottonwood Canyon, which was about 30 miles away, and tithing was used to pay for the temple, which wasn’t very easy for the people. On April 16, 1853, the Deseret News encouraged readers to “bring up to the Tithing House of the Lord your tithings and your consecrations; pay up what you owe ….” A lot of sweat, hard work, and sacrifices were made for this House of the Lord. It was very important to the members of the church that this temple be built and they were willing to do whatever it took for the completion of this great building. Talk of the building of this great temple was widespread. Harper’s Weekly even wrote a long story about the temple in its newspaper in the July 11, 1857, edition. There was a lot of information about the temple and even a picture of what it was to look like when completed. The temple was big news all over the country.

Upon completion in April 1893, the Deseret News published an article titled, “Word of Warning.” The article observed, “During … the temple dedication services, many hundreds of Latter-day Saints will visit this city for the first time, and many more who are not accustomed to the ways of the world as exhibited by those who are not of this faith.” The completion was a huge deal around the country. The temple’s completion was so newsworthy, the Deseret News felt it needed to warn people about the influx of tourists.

Twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a General Conference going over certain religious topics and spreading word of the church’s work. On April 8, 1893, the Deseret News wrote about the completion and dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. In the article, titled “House of the Lord,” it makes mention of a speech by then President of the Church, Wilford Woodruff. During that speech, President Woodruff acknowledged the completion of the temple and how great it was now that they had it in their presence. In a Deseret News article titled “The Interior,” the reporter described the temple saying, “It amazes by its massive solidity and charms with its exquisite beauty; by the ingenuity and completeness of its appointments it delights the most practical, and in its perfection of taste and harmony it dazzles the most artistic and refined.”

America was aware of the atrocities the Mormons had endured before reaching the Salt Lake in 1847. The Salt Lake Temple was the sixth temple to be erected. It is however, one of the more popular temples to people around the world, whether they are members of the Mormon Church or not. To this day, the temple is still well talked about. Mormons are very religious people who are willing and waiting to do what God asks of them. The building of the Salt Lake Temple was just one of those things.

Diane Holbrook is a junior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in mass communication.


“A Word of Warning,” Deseret News, April 8, 1893, 6.

Deseret News, February 19, 1853.

Deseret News, April 16, 1853.

Charles Hamilton. The Salt Lake Temple: an Architectural Monograph. Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1979.

“New Temple to be built in Salt Lake City,” Harper’s Weekly, July 11, 1857.

Aaron Falk, “Temple Square Ranks 16th in Visitors,” Deseret News, March 11, 2009.

“The House of the Lord,” Deseret News, April 8, 1893, 19.

“The Interior,” Deseret News, April 8, 1893, 20.

The Mormon-Black Hawk War


The “Black Hawk War” that took place in Utah and started roughly around April 9, 1865, was the longest and most destructive war between pioneer immigrants and Native Americans in Utah history. It was a war between the Ute Native Americans and the Mormon settlers.

It all started when a handful of Ute Indians and Mormon settlers gathered in Manti, Utah, to settle a dispute over some cattle and livestock that were killed and eaten by some hungry Utes. The Mormons attempted to reason with the Indians, saying they had the right to take possession of their land because the Indians were heathens and non-Christians who didn’t believe in the Bible or Jesus, or the Messiah. (

One thing led to another and a Mormon settler insulted a Ute Indian as well as a Ute named Black Hawk. But Black Hawk was not his name; his real Ute name was Nooch, a name sacred to the Ute Indians in honor of the Noochew people. Black Hawk was the name that Brigham Young gave him. That is when the Indians promised retaliation, and retaliation is exactly what happened. Over the next couple of days the Indians followed through with their promises and stole hundreds of the Mormon settlers’ cattle as well as killed five men, then escaped into the mountains. Black Hawk was given the title of War Chief after his stand up to the settlers. Historian Will Bagley wrote, “It was a matter of who would own the land and who would survive.  It was a battle over resources that led to a brutal bloody conflict between the Mormon settlers and the Ute.” (

Militiamen mostly fought the war in the northern states, and few Indians were given credit for anything. Miss Doris Duke said, “If a white person would of grown up the way an Indian did, the white person would think the same way, there is no right or wrong, it was just the circumstances.” (Miss Doris Duke)

Over the next year Black Hawk continued with this stealing of cattle and challenging the Mormons. Black Hawk was not supported by everyone in his tribe, though. He had gained the support of only a handful of people, but he also had gained some support from other tribes in the area, such as the Paiute and Navajo. Their task was simple: it was to make life difficult for the Mormons through that area of land. Their goal was to steal as much cattle as they could, as well as taunt and hassle people who were traveling through the area. (Gottfredson)

In the small town of Circleville in the year of 1866 it was said that there occurred “the largest massacre of Indians in Utah’s history.”  (Winkler) The Circleville Massacre was a key event in the Black Hawk War and lives up to every bit of its title. On September 18, 1865, Major Warren S. Snow and a hundred men who were out hunting Indians stopped in the town of Circleville for the night. The next morning they took off, eventually to meet up with some Indians to fight in Wayne County. The Utes heard of this and started their move toward Circleville.  The townspeople saw the Utes all around the mountains just watching them, waiting to make a move. One day after the Utes came to the town and stole some more of their cattle, the townspeople took cover in the meetinghouse with only a few militiamen guarding the town. (Winkler)  After the first raid the people did not want to chance any more Indian attacks so they went to the neighboring tribe to their town where the Paiute Indians were and took sixteen men captive and some women and children, as a precautionary measure against any further raids. They were placed in the meetinghouse under arrest with guards and the women and children were placed in the cellar. That night when the guards were waiting for orders on what to do with the captives, the Paiute men freed themselves and sprung on their captors. In a panic all of the sixteen men were shot and killed in the struggle. Since they did not want the word to get out about the killings they brought up the women one at a time and shot them, and then shot the children one at a time. (Winkler)

Throughout the next couple of years the Mormons decided enough was enough and decided to stand their ground. Historian Robert Carter said, “When the Ute failed to assimilate into Mormon culture, the answer was to exterminate them.” ( The Mormons got hundreds of militiamen and chased the Utes through the wilderness and mountains but did not have much success since that was the Indians’ homeland. But that didn’t stop some of the men who were upset with what was happening to their land and their cattle from killing some innocent Utes, including women and children. Mormons decided to go another route and called upon federal troops to step in and help them out with the growing problem, but their support was not answered for a while. After much fighting and constant little battles, Black Hawk and the Mormons made peace with each other in 1867. A treaty was signed in 1868.

Before Black Hawk died in 1870, from a bullet wound a year earlier that made him sick, he traveled to the Mormon village to apologize for the pain and suffering that the war had caused. He asked for settlers’ forgiveness and asked them to do the same and stop all the bloodshed. ( But even after the treaty was signed, many Native Americans were still being killed, even after Black Hawk apologized to them.

White expansion brought a problem to the Indians. Mormons and Europeans brought in new diseases and their settlement in some areas hurt the natural eco-system, and scared away wildlife, which led to the starvation of many Indians.  All of the events were not uncommon in the western states at this time but the Black Hawk War was different because of the animosity between the United States government and the LDS Church. The war ended without any incident when federal troops were ordered to engage the Indians in 1872. (Lowry)

Chad Manis is a senior at The University of Utah. He is majoring in mass communication and plans to graduate in fall 2010. He grew up in Long Beach, California, but now lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Casey.


Albert Winkler, “The  Circleville Massacre: A Brutal Incident in Utah’s Black Hawk War,” Utah Historical Quarterly 55 (1987).

Peter Gottfredson. Indian Depredations in Utah (1919), Legislative Assembly Of Utah Territory.

Kate B. Carter. Our Pioneer Heritage, vol 9. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958.

The American Indian Oral History Project, Miss Doris Duke, MS 417. Legend Translated by Alvina Quam 1968, Manuscript Division, J. Willard Marriot Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The John Lowry, Sr., and John Lowry, Jr., Papers , MS 306. J. Willard Marriot Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sketch Of The Life Of John Lowry 1799-1867, Manuscript Division, J. Willard Marriot Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Secondary Sources

Carlton Culmsee. Utah’s Black Hawk War. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1973.

Black Hawk Indian War: Utah’s Forgotten Tragedy.”