Salt Lake Theatre: “The Cathedral in the Desert”


Even back in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Mormons had delighted in entertainment, drama, the performing arts, and expression. It is no wonder that they made building a theatre one of their top priorities when they settled into what we now know as the state of Utah. Brigham Young himself is said to have announced the project and worked tirelessly to bring about the Salt Lake Theatre. (Carter, 213)

Interior of the Salt Lake Theatre. Image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. All rights reserved.

The Salt Lake Theatre was built in 1861 and was located on State Street and First South in downtown Salt Lake City. From the time the project was announced, the city was full of excitement and anticipation for what awaited them when this theatre was completed. The theatre gained immense support from the community. In fact, it gained so much support that many said it was impossible to thank all of the contributors because almost every family in the Valley had played a role in its creation. The Mormons actually completed the theatre before completing the Salt Lake TempleBrigham Young believed that bringing theatre to Salt Lake was a way to bring culture and civilization to the Valley. (Walker, 84)

News of the Salt Lake Theatre spread rapidly upon its completion. Compared to other buildings of its day, it was modest in size. It was only 80 by 144 feet and could hold roughly 1,500 people at once. (Walker, 484) In the beginning, the theatre was tastefully decorated, with two Doric columns and chalky white plaster. It was quite inviting to patrons. However, its renovation in 1873 attempted to make the theatre look like an old European opera house.  In addition to updated décor, the renovation brought about more storage space, larger dressing rooms, and the addition of rehearsal space. New advanced stage equipment provided amazing acoustics and decorative art created an elegant environment. The renovation exposed a spacious, sophisticated theatre that rivaled many other theatres of its day. (Walker, 484)

The Salt Lake Theatre had a rich musical heritage. The performing group valued music and took pride in rehearsing and perfecting each note in performances. The theatre housed an orchestra, band, and choir, all of whom performed at various times while the theatre was opened. Music was present in each production and opera at the theatre. (Pyper, 260)

Production photo of Robin Hood. Image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. All rights reserved.

As the Salt Lake Theatre was a professional theatre, its actors, musicians, and workers were all paid for their work. However, prior to 1866, the workers were paid with both money and livestock or a very small fee. Some positions were on a volunteer basis only. The 1866-67 season brought about changes in the way they were paid. The theatre had started to take up so much of the workers’ time, that they were unable to work other jobs. Because they were not receiving adequate compensation for working in the theatre, many became concerned about how they would make enough money to survive. Noticing these concerns, Brigham Young called a meeting in the Green Room of the theatre to find a solution. By the end of the meeting he knew the old way of payment was dead. He decided, instead, to pay the company members salaries. These salaries ranged anywhere from $15 to $50 depending on the job. The salaries were composed of one-third cash, one-third store credit, and one-third tithing office pay. Tithing office pay was anything that could have been offered to the LDS church as tithing. It could consist of produce, animals, store-bought goods, etc. These types of items would then help to make up some of their salary. This form of payment stuck and was the method of payment through the remainder of the company’s lifespan. (Henderson, 69)

Many plays were performed at the Salt Lake Theatre, from melodramas to Shakespeare’s works. However, the theatre was not limited to performing plays. Miscellaneous events took place at the theatre from time to time, such as meetings, speeches, children’s parties and balls. (Walker, 485)

The Salt Lake Theatre was a source of unity in the community. Although the Mormon Church always owned the theatre, it was a place where all different people could come together. It welcomed everyone, regardless of faith, class, social status, or political preference. In his dedication speech, Henry Miller stated that the Salt Lake Theatre was “the cathedral in the desert.” (Carter, 260) From that moment on, it was truly thought of as the theatre of the people. The theatre unified the entire community and promoted respect between all involved.

Exterior of the Salt Lake Theatre. Image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. All rights reserved.

Financially, the Salt Lake Theater never did tremendously well. It never had a great financial team, and struggled to gain profit. The fire and destruction of a rival theatre caused the only financial increases for the Salt Lake theatre, though even then, it had shaky stability and hardly broke even. By 1910, things did not look well for the fate of the Salt Lake Theatre. Motion pictures were gaining popularity and drawing a crowd. Furthermore, the Great Depression was right around the corner and Utah’s economy was in trouble. In 1928, Heber Grant, the president of the Mormon Church at the time, decided that it was necessary to close the theatre. (Walker, 485) Though he had attended productions at the theatre as a child and felt sad about closing it, he felt that based on its financial standings, it was the best thing to do.

His decision spurred much controversy. Many Utahns were outraged and felt that closing the theatre violated pioneer heritage. In response, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers stepped in to try to preserve the theatre. They suggested renovating the theatre again, moving it to a less expensive location, or turning it into a museum site. Despite their efforts, each of their proposed ideas were rejected and it was ultimately decided that the theatre would be demolished in 1928.

Leslie Williamson Price is a senior at The University of Utah who is majoring in speech communication. She earned an Associate of Science degree in Theater Arts at Snow College.


K.B. Carter, Museum Memories (Salt Lake City, UT: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 2009).

H.R. Lamar, The Theater in Mormon Life and Culture (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1999).

Ronald W. Walker, “Salt Lake Theatre,” Utah History Encyclopedia, The University of Utah.

B.B. Malouf, Social Life and Recreation of the Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City, UT: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1989).

I.M. Maughan, Pioneer Theatre in the Desert (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Co., 1961).

G.D. Pyper, The Romance of an Old Playhouse (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News Press, 1937).

G.D. Pyper, The Salt Lake Theatre: souvenir program, October 20, 1928 (Salt Lake City: UT: Seagull Press, 1928).

H.G. Whitney, The Drama in Utah; The Story of the Salt Lake Theatre (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1915).

Ann W. Engar, “Theater in Utah,” Utah History Encyclopedia, The University of Utah.

Terryl L. Givens, People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

M.E. Henderson, A History of the Theatre in Salt Lake City from 1850 to 1870 (Evanston, IL: 1934).

Derks Field and the Salt Lake Trappers


From 1985 to 1992, the Salt Lake Trappers were an independent Pioneer League minor league baseball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Trappers played in the Single A, Short Season league. The highest and most prestigious classification of minor league baseball is Triple A. It is the classification just below major league level. All Triple A teams have ties to major league clubs, and soon-to-be major league stars as well as aging former major leaguers are among the players. In comparison, the Trappers were an independent rookie league team, unaffiliated with any major league franchise. That meant that the Trappers had no access to any professional players who were signed with any major or minor league team. Other Single A teams had high draft picks and access to players from Triple A, Double A and even the major league team. Short season A began it season around Fathers Day and finished on Labor Day weekend. [citation needed]

The home field for the Trappers was at Derks Field, located at the present-day site of Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Derks Field stadium held 10,000 spectators and opened in 1946. It was named after Salt Lake Tribune sports editor John C. Derks. When first constructed in 1915, the stadium was given the name Community Park; it retained this title and its distinctive facade fora little over twodecades, until it burned to the ground on the night of September 24, 1946, as throngs of spectators gathered to observe the consuming inferno. All this happened just four evenings after the local team finished the Pioneer League Playoffs. [citation needed]

Baseball was hugely popular and there was no thought of missing a season. Construction of the new ballpark, Derks Field, began in early February 1947 andwas completed just in time for the Salt Lake Bees’ home opener on May 23rd. (Deseret News, May 30, 1947) Forty years later it would be the scene of one of the greatest feats in professional baseball.

Despite its overwhelming handicap in acquiring and signing players, this Trappers team was best known for winning 29 consecutive games in 1987, marking an all-time professional baseball win streak record. Unexpected and unprecedented, when the Trappers celebrated by beating the Pocatello Giants 13-3 they accomplished an amazing feat matched by no other team in the 117-year history of organized professional baseball: 29 consecutive victories. Not only was this a history making moment but the history had been made by  a team of overlooked athletes that no other team in baseball wanted. They were individually undrafted and unsigned by any major or minor league team. [citation needed]

Sports Illustrated reporter John Garrity wrote, “The previous record had been shared by two teams on the fence line of baseball memory; the 1902 Corsicana Oilers of the Texas League and the 1921 Baltimore Orioles of the International League. The major league record of 26 straight belongs to John McGraw’s 1916 New York Giants.”

This Trappers team was even recognized by The New York Times in July 27, 1987, which reported that the major league record for consecutive victories was 26, achieved by the New York Giants in 1916. That record was finally beaten by the Salt Lake Trappers; with 29 straight wins the Trappers were finally known to the baseball world. After the win, Cooperstown, New York, where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located was expecting something to add into the Hall’s collection to mark this record-breaking moment from the Salt Lake Trappers. The Trappers contributed a ball signed by the team. But the signatures on the baseball framed in the Hall of Fame do not begin to explain the wide range of personalities this team created into one winning phenomenon. [citation needed]

These players were only making around $500 a month; however, they were a team that easily drew an audience to their mixture of grit, glamour and fame. The actor/comedian Bill Murray was a part owner. His appearance at Derks was always a crowd-pleasing event. He might coach first base for half an inning or take over announcing duties. The shortstop, Jimmy Ferguson, was a part-time model, known as the team’s spark plug. The Trappers’ manager, Jim Gilligan quipped, “He’s only hitting .400, but what the heck, as long as he’s playing a good shortstop.” Their first baseman was a self-appointed celebrity who said, “Remember the college guy who hit a home run that didn’t count because he touched a teammate before he crossed the plate and it got several lines in Sports Illustrated? … That was me.”

It was a David versus Goliath drama, played out over a few weeks in the Summer of 1987 in a remote mountain valley. But it became the story of a baseball season that ended in Cooperstown. That would have made John C. Derks happy.

Hanna Van Wagoner is a mass communication major at The University of Utah. She plans to graduate in May 2013 and attend law school in the fall of 2013.


John Garrity, “Streak City: With 28 straight victories Salt Lake’s Trappers made baseball history,” Sports Illustrated, August 3, 1987.

Mark Van Wagoner, “Salt Lake Trappers’ championship still celebrated,” Deseret News, September 13, 2011.

United Press International, “Salt Lake Trappers Win Pioneer League Pennant,” Los Angeles Times, September 4, 1987.

Salt Lake City Trappers,” Bullpen,

Larry Gerlach, “Streaking into History: The 1987 Salt Lake Trappers,” Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and             Culture 13 (Fall 2004): 10-27.

“Derks Field Leaves Fond Memories,” Deseret News, April 21, 1993.

“Trappers Stopped at 29,” The New York Times, July 28, 1987.

The “Mormon” Will: Legitimate or Fraud?


In April 1976, one of the richest, most powerful businessmen in the world died, marking one of the most mysterious scandals to have ever occurred in the state of Utah. Howard Hughes was known for being one of America’s first billionaires, and when he died there were several questions about his estate and where his money would go. Originally it was thought that no will was left behind, but approximately three weeks after Hughes’ death an envelope addressed to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church or the Mormons) was delivered to the Church office building located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Inside the envelope was the supposed will of Howard Hughes, leaving $156 million to the Church and another $156 million to an unknown man named Melvin Dummar. Hundreds of questions and rumors flew in every direction: Was the will real? Why did he leave so much money to the Church? Who was Melvin Dummar and what relation did he have to Howard Hughes? These questions unearthed the famous scandal behind the will, uncovering the true story of Melvin Dummar and Howard Hughes. (Brienholt)

Hughes was one of the first billionaires to live in the United States. Born in 1907 in Texas, Hughes started building his wealth at the young age of 18 when he inherited the family business. Just a few years later he used some of the wealth accumulated from the business to fund and produce several films, including one of his most popular films, Scarface, starring Paul Muni and George Raft in 1932. Hughes even launched the career of actress Jane Russell, who went on to have a very successful Hollywood career. (Schumacher) Hughes always had an interest in aviation and won several world records due to his work designing and testing plane models. Hughes built several other businesses, including multiple hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. After many accomplishments throughout his life, Hughes died being known as one of the richest men in the world. (Steele)

What many people found unique about Howard Hughes’ life were the people that he chose to surround himself with in the business world. While Hughes was not a member of the LDS Church, most of the employees that he hired to work for him were members. Many people found his obsession with employing Mormons odd, but when asked Hughes simply replied that he liked that his Mormon employees did not drink so they always were able to work hard and never changed from the men they were when they were originally hired. (Sheridan) When the supposed will of Howard Hughes surfaced after his death, it was not too much of a surprise to those who knew him that he might have left an entire one-sixteenth of his wealth to the Mormon Church because of his long, trusting relationship with them. What did surprise them, however, was the same amount of money being left to a Melvin Dummar, a man who seemingly did not have any kind of relation to Hughes whatsoever. (Brienholt)

When Melvin Dummar was asked about what his relationship was with Howard Hughes, Dummar replied with a story about giving him a ride home one night. As Dummar’s story goes, he was driving through Nevada late at night in December 1967 when he pulled to the side of the road for a short rest. He found a shabby looking man in clear distress lying on the ground. Dummar offered to give him a ride and he drove the distressed man to The Sands hotel in Las Vegas. Upon arrival the man then identified himself as Howard Hughes. After this one incident, Dummar claimed he never had any more contact with Hughes. (Brienholt)

Once Dummar had made a statement, the story of Melvin Dummar and Howard Hughes became famous. Because of the infamous reputation and wealth that was held by Howard Hughes, the news spread like wildfire both locally and nationally. Media coverage on the subject spread rapidly through the news, radio, newspapers, reporters, and even became the plot line for several books and movies. Newspapers all over the country were trying to get in on a piece of the action happening with the will of Howard Hughes. For example, TIME magazine wrote an article stating that “the document seemed more likely to cause new legal problems than to resolve old ones.” There were also several films produced based on this story. The most famous of which was a Hollywood movie titled, Melvin and Howard. The film won over 15 awards including two Oscars and was nominated for many other awards at the time it was released. (Demme)

While the story of the relationship between Melvin Dummar and Howard Hughes made a good story for the media, many people, including investigators and courts, felt that the incidence was just that, a story. Though the envelope was delivered anonymously to an official at the LDS Church office building, a fingerprint identified as belonging to Dummar was discovered and Dummar admitted to delivering the envelope himself. There were many questions about the will being fraudulent and rumors about Dummar inventing the will; however, Dummar claimed that the envelope was delivered anonymously to him. He found it addressed to David O. McKay but was curious and carefully opened it up. After reading what was inside and being overwhelmed with shock and confusion about the will, he placed the will into an envelope and anonymously left it on the desk of an LDS Church official for the Church to decide what to do with it. The LDS Church turned the will over to state court officials, who examined it and investigated the case for years. After Dummar’s fingerprint was discovered on the envelope, many media sources claimed to believe the will to be fraudulent. Even media outside of Utah was interested in having an opinion about the subject.  For example, the Milwaukee Journal printed an article stating, “It is our belief that … Mr. Dummar was, and had to be, involved with the forgery of this will.”

Investigations about the will have led to several different answers. Some believe Dummar’s story to be true; most however, find the will to be fraudulent. In one Salt Lake Tribune article, there is evidence given that Melvin Dummar’s story may have been true. Retired FBI agent Gary Magnesen was able to track information down through some of Hughes’ old friends who may have validated Dummar’s story. For example, witness G. Robert Deiro believed he had been out with Hughes that night in the same part of the state that Dummar described when Hughes disappeared and the next morning was at his hotel in Las Vegas. This testimony could have validated Dummar’s story had Deiro been willing to testify in court. (Smart)

Just a year later, the Salt Lake Tribune released another article proving that the will had been discredited. According to the article, there were numerous reasons the will was being considered a fake. One was because Dummar had originally lied about knowing anything regarding the will. Then when his fingerprint was found on the envelope, he changed his story to having been the one to drop off the envelope because he didn’t know then what to do with it. Shortly after, it was discovered that his fingerprints were also on a book that had samples of Hughes’ handwriting. Another reason the will was discredited was because it also left some of Hughes’ estate to his cousin, whom he did not associate with. The will also referred to a nickname given by the media to one of Hughes’ planes, the H-4 Hercules. The media called this plane “the Spruce Goose.” According to many of Hughes’ employees, he hated the “Spruce Goose” nickname. Finally, the will was endorsed by Noah Dietrich, a man Hughes had fired from employment in the 1960s. Because of all of the discrepancies that the secret will of Howard Hughes had, the will and Melvin Dummar’s story were finally discredited in 2006. (Associated Press)

The attention this event received was incredible. Many believed in the overall conclusion of a fraudulent will, while others rooted for the innocence of Dummar. Its popularity was most likely because it involved one of the richest men in the world and was tied to the LDS Church, which is deeply rooted in Utah history. Though courts have deemed the will fraudulent, Melvin Dummar has never denied his story about meeting Hughes in the Nevada desert and giving him a ride. To this day, Dummar sticks to his story. Though the will has been proven to be a fake after several decades of investigation, there has been no solid proof that can support whether the interaction between Dummar and Hughes did or did not happen, a mystery still at hand.

Jessica Solis is a junior attending the University of Utah. She is majoring in strategic communication.


Jeff Brienholt, “Remembering the Howard Hughes ‘Mormon Will,’” Mormon Matters (October 2009).

“The Hughes Will: Is it for Real?” TIME Magazine, May 10, 1976.

“Fingerprint Hints at Forgery on Hughes Will,” The Milwaukee Journal, December 14 1976, 5.

Christopher Smart, “Melvin and Howard: A True Story After All?” The Salt Lake Tribune, November 28 2005.

The Associated Press, “New Today: Hughes Associate Discounts ‘Mormon Will,'” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 2006.

Geoff Schumacher, Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia, and Palace Intrigue (Las Vegas: Stephens Press, 2007).

James Steele and Donald L. Barlett, Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004).

John Harris Sheridan, Howard Hughes: The Las Vegas Years (self-published, 2011).

J. Demme (Director), Melvin and Howard [Motion Picture], 1980.

KZN: The Birth of Radio in Utah (1922-1924)


“Hello, hello, hello!  This is KZN. KZN, the Deseret News, Salt Lake City calling. KZN calling! Greetings!”

These enthusiastic and welcoming words were the first to break radio silence in Utah on May 6, 1922. They might not have been the most awe-inspiring or motivating words to be uttered over the air, but H. Carter Wilson, an engineer contracted by the LDS Church-owned Deseret News, was rejoicing for having his self-built transmitter actually work. Nate Fullmer and Elias S. Woodruff, the business manager and general manager for Deseret News, took a chance on what could have been a fleeting medium of a new invention. (Ison)

Ison gives a brief history on how the station came about. Fullmer and Woodruff both saw the genius in having a station in Salt Lake City, but the Deseret News lacked the funding and Heber J. Grant, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as the Deseret News, disapproved as well.

"Opening Night of KZN on the top of the Deseret News Building.” Photo courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. Photograph Number p0111n01_01_02, May 8, 1922. Included on the back was a personal note from Nathan Fullmer to his mother.

These innovative men, Fullmer and Woodruff, never lost sight, though, and decided to build a transmitter from scratch with Wilson’s help. They selected a spot on top of the Deseret News tower and within a year had it working. They invited Grant as well as other Deseret News leaders to their initial broadcast. All invited were extremely surprised and unanimously agreed that this was the future of news. Their risk resulted in the formation of KZN radio station, which would help shape the future of broadcasting in Utah.

Nathan Fullmer wrote a personal note to his mother about the event and a photograph taken of it saying, “Yes – Mother this is none other than your darling boy… This is a flash light picture taken on the roof of the Deseret News Building… It being one of the most wonderful things of the age. Our station will send messages of all kinds thro the air with no wire connection of any kind, but only on the ether waves of the atmosphere, far from 1500 miles to 2500 miles. The Opening program was one of the greatest events of my life.”

Although researchers Larson and Avery point out that KZN was not the first radio station in Utah, it definitely has proven to be the most successful. KZN breathed new life into the state of Utah. The Davis County Clipper reported in May 1922 that Henry Bartholomew, age 70, was regaining health just by listening to the radio. “It is predicted he will continue to grow young if he listens to the radio being sent out daily by the Deseret News and other radio broadcasting stations.” KZN was providing the antidote for hundreds of Utah residents suffering from a lack of culture and boredom. The City of Parowan held a grand celebration outdoors for the Fourth of July in 1922, with food and fireworks, but the main event announced in the Parowan Times was the radio broadcast that would be played for the whole town to enjoy.

“William Jennings Bryant at the Radio Station.” Photo courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. Photograph Number p0111n01_01_01, October 25, 1922.

All over the state of Utah, people were purchasing radios and tuning in on the dial. It brought a sense of community and unity that branched out farther and longer than anyone could have expected. It even attracted leading political figures of that era, such as William Jennings Bryan, who was photographed outside the station and spoke on the air October 25, 1922.

Now known as KSL, KZN has a 90-year-long history of providing entertainment, religious enrichment and culture. The Box Elder News in December 1924 reported how many Brigham City listeners were entertained by their local singers who had gone to Salt Lake City to perform over the airwaves.

Bigger cities across the nation already had popular stations, but at the time, the majority of the nation could not understand the value of radio broadcasting. It was a risky move and with the Deseret News lacking the funds to fully support this quest, it would be up to Woodruff and Fullmer to build their transmitter from scratch. They found engineer H. Carter Wilson, and in the summer of 1921 began building the station on top of the Deseret News Building in downtown Salt Lake City. Years later, Ison tells us, their efforts would carry the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to be heard all across the U.S. on NBC broadcasting Music and the Spoken Word. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put it to use to deliver messages of faith and hope to their members spread throughout the state.

In the present time we get a daily bombardment of media from all over the world that we would probably find it hard to comprehend how excited and connected to each other these early radio listeners must have felt. “It is understood that the Salt Lake paper will send out speeches, music, weather reports, baseball scores and various bits of important news broadcasting these to the intermountain country. Radio receiving sets are being installed in this state at a rapid rate and such service will be of great value,” mentions The Eureka Reporter in May 1922.

We take these reports maybe three or four times a day now with radio, television, newspapers and the Internet. To the residents living in Utah in the roaring ’20s, this information meant the world. Not only could they connect to other cities in Utah, but also they could receive transmissions from other states on clear days.

The News-Advocate in July 1920 reported, “The radio outfit at C.H. Stevenson home is now working splendidly and past few clear nights have brought messages from all over the country. The Pacific coast, Denver, Kansas City and points at similar distances are easily heard and much music and other entertainment features have been enjoyed.” The Advocate would publish little tidbits of what the city folk would be doing, anything from visiting a relative to local political drama. It gives us a deep insight into how the KZN and Deseret News Media could really reach individual lives throughout Utah. The news that C.H. Stevenson could pick up stations from outside of the state was cause for printed mention in the paper.

The early 20th century was full of inventions, like radio, that bridged the gap of the United States and the world. Very soon after, and some at the same time of KZN, other stations were popping up all throughout Utah. The Kiwanis Club in Price, Utah, saw to it that that city council met to discuss the options of getting a radio station there. The News-Advocate also mentioned in September 1922 that the Club knew it would be a way to “divide its entertainments with Salt Lake.” This divide would allow an even more centralized audience and listenership and would provide Price with a voice of its own.

It is by studying our rich history of radio that we can grow to understand our predecessors a little better. Based on my research, there were not many negative reactions, if any, to radio being in Utah, which tells me that Utah embraced the advances in technology. The Deseret News also used it to establish a greater sense of community across the state as a whole. Radio today offers similar feelings in communities across the country. It is our duty to keep those stations alive that do all they can to uphold those values and support their own community. Many say that the radio industry is a dying breed, but the argument stands for good strong community radio. Utah has a long history of providing a voice for the people and that should be cherished and continued.

Anna Hatton is a senior at the University of Utah majoring in mass communication. She has worked as station manager of K-UTE student radio since 2011.


“Radio Radiating Youth Into Boys of Seventy,” The Davis County Clipper, May 12, 1922, 4.

“Salt Lake Paper Now Broadcasting Reports,” Eureka Reporter, May 12, 1922, 9.

“Will Be Real Celebration!” The Parowan Times, July 19, 1922,1.

“Just About Folks,” The News-Advocate, July 20, 1922, 2.

“Radio Address is Kiwanis Feature,” The News-Advocate, September 7, 1922, 4.

“Local Singers Broadcast at Salt Lake,” The Box Elder News, December 12, 1924, 4.

Yvette D. Ison, “Radio in Utah Began in May 1922 on Station KZN,” Utah History To Go, State of Utah.

Tim Larson and Robert K. Avery, “Utah Broadcasting History,” Utah History Encyclopedia, The University of Utah.

Piston-Engined Rocket Ships on Wheels: Bonneville Salt Flats


In 1833, Joseph R. Walker, an explorer, was interested in the region of the Great Salt Lake. During his journey, he traveled through the northern perimeters of the Salt Flats in Utah, while working for Captain Benjamin L.E. Bonneville. (Hallaran, 2011) Little did Walker know, he was traveling across more than 45 square miles of Salt Flats, which is roughly 30,000 acres. Since that exploration, the name of the area has come to be known as the “Bonneville Salt Flats.” Many years later, other explorers wanted to use the Bonneville Salt Flats as a shortcut to the Pacific Coast. However, this was deemed to be an inefficient way of traveling due to the mountainous terrain, which cuts across the flats. (Hallaran, 2011)

In 1910, Ab Jenkins discovered the Bonneville Salt Flats for his own. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on August 21, 2011, that Jenkins found the Salt Flats when he was riding his motorcycle to Reno to see Jack Johnson fight Jim Jeffries in the “Fight of the Century.” According to Hallaran, Jenkins returned to the flats in 1925 where he decided to race his Studebaker truck across the Salt Flats, walloping a special excursion train by more than ten minutes in the race. Jenkins decided to race this train because of the long, flat and desolate surface the Salt Flats provided. It was here in 1925 when Jenkins realized that this remote area had true potential for being a place to achieve land speed records. After Jenkins’ race, he said, “That was my first time on the salt with an automobile, and right then and there I realized the tremendous possibilities of those beds for speeding.” (Embry and Shook, 1997) It was from this day on that the Bonneville Salt Flats have been classified as a world renowned raceway, known for its high speeds and potential for setting land speed records.

Ab Jenkins sitting inside his racing vehicle, the "Mormon Meteor," on the Bonneville Salt Flats Raceway, late 1930s. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Archive at the J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Jenkins was born in Spanish Fork, Utah, and was raised in Salt Lake City. He was a man of many different trades. Not only was he known for his development of racing on the Salt Flats and making this a place to set land speed records, but according to The Salt Lake Tribune “The Meteor Rides Again,” he was also known as a race-car driver, safety advocate, and the mayor of Salt Lake City for a time during World War II. In 1932, Jenkins took his 12-cylinder “Pierce-Arrow” automobile to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where he began the sport of land speed racing.

Between the years of 1932 and 1956, Jenkins achieved many new, world land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. According to an article published in The Deseret News on October 15, 1946, Jenkins was considered to be “the holder of more automobile racing records than any other racing driver in the world.”

Setting these world records caught the attention of many exceptional racers worldwide, bringing them to Utah to get a taste of the Bonneville Salt Flats. Jenkins’ popularity grew ever so rapidly once he had exposed these land speed records to the mainstream public. Furthermore, in 1950, Jenkins wiped out twenty-six world records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in his “Mormon Meteor.” He named his racecar the Mormon Meteor to show respect to his Mormon faith and heritage.

Ab Jenkins racing his "Mormon Meteor" across the Bonneville Salt Flats, circa 1936-1939. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Archive at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

In an article published by The Deseret News in 1950, the paper refers to the Bonneville raceway as “glassy-smooth” and “record fast” as well as very dry, which was great for setting land speed marks. As reported in an article published in The Deseret News on July 15, 1951, the 68-year old set out to race his Mormon Meteor at speeds of more than 200 mph. This is especially astounding given his age and how he had already “racked up more than 10,000 records and has never had an accident on the flats, a course that ranks as the world’s fastest and safest.”

Although Jenkins had thousands of records under his belt, he did have problems with his racecar early on. In an article published by The Deseret News in 1936, the author explains how Jenkins lost two of his records due to a mechanical error when a casting leak led a universal joint to burn out, paralyzing his car and wiping him out of that day’s record-setting runs. Even though circumstances such as mechanical malfunctions can occur, it was — and still is — very important that these racecar drivers had a crew of mechanics with them as well as parts so they could fix any problems at hand. Above all, Ab Jenkins was the catalyst to the sport of land speed racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats and he had turned this sport into a popular worldwide event that takes place annually September 8-12, right here in Utah.

Ab Jenkins sitting inside his "Mormon Meteor" on the Bonneville Salt Flats, late 1930s. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Archive at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

To get an idea of the types of automobiles Ab Jenkins and other racers were using (and still are used to this day), it is important that we know these racers used everything from 12-cylinder gas engines to straight jet engines. For example, in 1932 (Jenkins’ first race on the Salt Flats) he pushed his 12-cylinder Pierce-Arrow to the limits by driving it on the flats for 24 hours straight, only to stop for refueling. His average speed in this race was 112.916 mph. (The Salt Lake Tribune, 2011) The A.A.A., however, did not record this land speed record. Being the goal oriented and driven man that Ab Jenkins was, he decided to go after his own record again in 1933.

Furthermore, he influenced “top British racers Sir Malcolm Campbell, Capt. E.T. Eyston and John Cobb to visit the Salt Flats for the first time, setting records and launching the site’s global reputation.” (The Salt Lake Tribune, 2011). Just a couple years later in 1935, Jenkins came out with his “Mormon Meteor II,” which was a 12-cylinder Curtis airplane engine that had a little over 400 horsepower. In this vehicle he set a 24-hour land endurance average speed record of 135 mph, covering over 3,523 miles. (Owens, Jumping ahead to 1970, Gary Gabolich’s rocket car, “Blue Flame,” set a speed of 622.4 mph (The Salt Lake Tribune, 2011). When these men are out racing their cars, it is the A.A.A. that is clocking their official times on the racetrack (or Salt Flats). In a September 1936 article published by The Deseret News, the author wrote that Jenkins was to pay $2,500 to the A.A.A. timers for their assistance in clocking the official runs down the Salt Flats. Back then, $2,500 was a lot of money, but thanks to Jenkins’ accomplishments and popularity in the state of Utah, the Optimist Club (a philanthropic organization) gathered this money for Jenkins and paid the A.A.A timers for his runs.

After many years of passion and joy for the sport of land speed racing, Ab Jenkins is still a legend and still holds the 48-hour endurance record to present day. According to Barracuda Magazine, “Ab Jenkins held and broke more records than any other person in the history of sports.” Jenkins’ attitude and outlook on life and the sport of racing was rare. “Jenkins was a breed of consummate sportsman-gentleman whose polite and honorable conduct today seems as rare and quaint as the open-cockpit Pierce-Arrow that he first raced at Bonneville.” (Barracuda Magazine) Additionally, in an article published by The Salt Lake Tribune in July 1935, John Cobb (a top British racer) applauded the sportsmanship of America and spoke very highly of Ab Jenkins, whom he called the “Iron man of America.”

Nicholas W. Hageman, left, at the Bonneville Salt Flats, September 2011.

Thanks to Ab Jenkins, the Bonneville Salt Flats are used for more than just land speed racing, however. Filmmakers and television producers use the Salt Flats in movies and TV shows because of the beautiful scenery it can evoke. Examples of a couple of films that have been shot at the Salt Flats are Independence Day, The World’s Fastest Indian, and even The Pirates of the Caribbean. Additionally, the surrounding areas of the Bonneville Salt Flats are featured in the movie Con Air. (The Salt Lake Tribune, 2011) The scenery is so wide open and remote, filmmakers and directors can virtually make the Salt Flats look like any place in the world they want to. Overall, the Bonneville Salt Flats have many uses and are popular worldwide by a variety of different enthusiasts, thus making it a significant landmark for entertainment and historical purposes here in the state of Utah.

Nicholas Hageman is a senior at the University of Utah. He is studying speech communication and will graduate in August 2012 with a B.S. in speech communication. Nicholas is an avid golfer, fisherman, hunter and car enthusiast. He transferred to the University of Utah in the fall of 2011 from the University of Arizona, where he studied Agribusiness Economics & Management.


Tom Wharton, “Wendover: More Than Gambling,” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 6, 2011, C1.

Sean Means, “The Meteor Rides Again,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 2011, D2.

“Jenkins Awaits Friday Salt Flat Run,” The Deseret News, July 15, 1951, C5.

“Salt Flats Dry, Fast For Races,” Deseret News, September 2, 1950, 11.

“Ab Jenkins To Go After Own Records,” Deseret News, October 15, 1946, 10.

“Five Bouts Feature Ab Jenkins Benefit Card,” Deseret News, September 25, 1936, 15.

“Jenkins Will Start Again Monday,” Deseret News, September 17, 1936, 7.

George Chambers, “Cobb To Return To Utah Salt Flats,” The Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 1935, 12.

Richard Owen, “1935 Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor Speedster,”

Janna Bushman and James Davis, “Crafting a Sense of Place: Media’s Use of the Bonneville Salt Flats,” Journal of Cultural Geography 17, no. 1 (1997).

George Lepp, Bonneville Salt Flats: Speed Limit 1,000 mph (Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1988).

Ab Jenkins and Wendell J. Ashton, The Salt of The Earth (Salt Lake: The Deseret News Press, 1939).

Real-Man Revisited: Ab Jenkins Son of the Salt,” Barracuda Magazine (no. 11).

Jessie Embry and Ron Shook, “Utah’s ‘Ugly Duckling’ Salt Flats,” Utah History to Go, State of Utah.

Kevin B. Hallaran, “Bonneville Salt Flats,” Utah History to Go, State of Utah.

Topaz Internment Camp and how Japanese Citizens were Portrayed to the Public


In 1942 Millard County was very different from the way it is viewed today, because it was home to the Central Utah Relocation Center, commonly known as “Topaz.” Many residents of Japanese ancestry were relocated and isolated at Topaz as a safety precaution to the United States entry into World War II. A total sum of “120,000 Japanese Americans were placed in concentration camps, 70,000 of these internees were United States citizens by birth.” (Sundquist, 532) These residents of Japanese ancestry were rounded up by the United States Army and forced to leave their homes, occupations, and lives. They were told to pack one suitcase per person and be on their way. This Executive Order had been passed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with the support from the Justice Department and the War Department. Ten different Relocation Centers were erected in California, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, and Arkansas during the spring and summer of 1942. (Sundquist, 532)

Just a couple days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps. One of these camps was right here in Millard County, Utah. Through all of this mayhem the news media were able to collect information and print what they found in their articles. Much of this information was very valuable to many Americans; knowing that the Japanese Americans were contained in internment camps helped them think that they were safe. The print media printed articles surrounding the entry into the internment camps, movement of internees amongst the internment camps, and the selective service for the Nisei who were currently held in the internment camps. The articles that I focused on were articles written and published by the Topaz Times, the camp newspaper that covered many important moments through WWII.

Photograph taken inside the Central Utah Relocation Center, commonly known as Topaz. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

An article titled “The Nisei and the Selective Service” discusses the options that the Japanese Americans had concluding their placement in the internment camps. The Japanese American citizens who chose to work in war plants had to acquire a “War Plant Clearance,” although these permits were not given out to them frequently. The few who had been granted a permit had very strict rules to their release from the internment camp. The citizens were not allowed to return back to their homes, and they were not allowed in the Atlantic, Gulf, or West Coast. With this permit that they had been granted they were simply allowed to work in the war plant. The Japanese American men who decided to join the Armed Forces had very strict rules as well. “Other than a very small group of Japanese American troops who were allowed to serve with the Americans, a majority of the Japanese American troops were not allowed to serve with the other Americans and were enlisted to the 442nd battalion.” (Sundquist, 533)

Another article titled “Court Convicts Nisei on Draft Charge” helps give a picture of what happened to many of the Japanese American men who had signed up for the Armed Forces, but decided not to show up. George Jiro Sugihara, who was only 19 at the time and felt that he owed nothing to the United States Armed Forces, was charged guilty under the Selective Service Act for not showing up for his induction into the Armed Forces. This was only one article, but this article explains the consequences to the decisions that many Japanese Americans made, whether they decided to join the Armed Forces or stay in the internment camps.

While the Japanese Americans were staying at the internment camps their mail was supervised. An article by the Topaz Times titled, “Instructions Released on Internee Mail,” explained the process that the internees along with the internment camps took before sending their mail. All of the internees had to send their mail to New York with the title “Prisoner of war mail—free” at the upper right-hand corner. This new rule was established to censor what the Japanese Americans were allowed to say to either others in internment camps or others outside of the internment camps.

I was able to find two articles published by the Topaz Times that discussed stories by families who were reunited in internment camps. One of the articles was titled “5 Internees Here From New Mexico”; the other article was titled “9 Internees Join Families.” In both, the Santa Fe internment camp sent family members to the Topaz internment camp, so the families could be reunited. These two articles give you a background idea that the American internment camps did have sympathy. The internment camp directors made an effort to make sure that families had the opportunity to be reunited.

External view of Topaz. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

During the year of 1945 when World War II ended, the Japanese Americans were allowed to leave the internment camp. Although this was a very joyous time for many of the internees, there were articles published about the dangers that the Japanese Americans faced upon returning home. A Topaz Times article titled “Shots Fired on Returnee’s Home” gave the readers an insight to the prejudice individuals were subjected to once they were released from the internment camp. Late one night at the Fresno, California, home of Setsugo Sakamoto, two shots were fired at his house. Mr. Sakamoto had just returned from the internment camp a month prior to this event with his family. This article shows that even though the Japanese Americans were released and freed from the internment camp, they still faced many dangerous hardships upon their arrival back to their homes.

The last article that I found very interesting was titled “A Letter.” This article explains that the government had started to compile the information about the Japanese American internees. This compilation would serve as a “permanent reference file of America’s history.”

These articles were a great representation depicting the news coverage during wartime. It is very important to see how the news coverage has varied from the past to present day. As communication majors the past affects our present and future. To see how the news was covered in the past can help you either adopt or revise the past and create a new style of news reporting for the future. I have been very surprised to read about the Topaz internment camp. Even though this was during a time when everyone was very suspicious, the internment camps still tried to make it easier on their internees. For instance, they would transport their internees in order for them to reunite with their families.

Clinton Curtis is graduating in August 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication and a minor in psychology. This information is very important to myself and to my family history. My grandfather was placed into an internment camp in Idaho and shortly after he was drafted into the war. My grandfather was specifically drafted into WWII under the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.


“5 Internees Here from New Mexico,” Topaz Times, November 2, 1943.

“9 Internees Join Families,” Topaz Times, July, 13, 1943.

“A Letter,” Topaz Times, July 17, 1943.

“Court Convicts Nisei on Draft Charge,” Topaz Times, November 26, 1945.

“Editorial,” Topaz Times, August 15, 1942.

“Instructions Released on Internee Mail,” Topaz Times, February 12, 1943.

“The Nisei and the Selective Service,” Topaz Times, April 1, 1944.

“Shots Fired on Returnee’s Home,” Topaz Times, May 15, 1945.

“Photograph 1 inside Topaz internment camp”. Marriot Library Special Collections.

“Photograph 2 taken outside of Topaz internment camp”. Marriot Library Special Collections.

Robert Shaffer, “Opposition To Internment: Defending Japanese American Rights During World War II” Historian 61, no. 3 (1999): 597.

Dolores Flamiano, “Japanese American Internment In Popular Magazines,” Journalism History 36, no. 1 (2010): 23-35.

Eric J. Sundquist, “The Japanese-American Internment,” American Scholar (1999): 529-47.

Iosepa: The Polynesian Colony of Utah

Iosepa, Utah, residents celebrating Pioneer Day, August 28, 1914. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.


History—The LDS Church sent missionaries to the South Pacific as early as 1844, three years prior to the pioneers settling the Salt Lake Valley. When the first LDS missionaries arrived in Hawaii and other Polynesian islands, they were unsuccessful. None of the native Hawaiians and Polynesians were interested in their message. As the missionaries were able to learn the language and culture of the people they served among, they began to see more Polynesians interested in their message and eventually many of them joined the LDS Church. The Hawaiians, Samoans, and other Polynesians who were converted to the LDS Church desired to join the saints in Utah in the settling of the Salt Lake Valley. Unfortunately, due to the laws of the Hawaiian government, they were not able to leave the islands until the laws relaxed in or around 1875. (Panek)

By 1889 there were about 75 Polynesians in the Salt Lake Valley. With the majority being Hawaiian, they settled in Warm Springs, Utah (Beck’s Hot Springs). Language barriers and culture differences made it difficult for these Polynesians to adapt to life in Utah. As a result, this led to difficulty in finding employment, which then led to a difficulty in providing for their families. (Panek)  Also challenging for these Polynesians was the fact that rumors had spread about the islanders having leprosy. The Salt Lake Herald reported on June 20, 1896, that “although rumors prevail to the effect that one had appeared ere they were settled on the lands composing the small settlement.”

On May 16, 1889, the First Presidency of the LDS Church put a together a committee to find a permanent home for these Polynesians. This group included three men: Harvey H. Cluff, William W. Cluff, and Fred A. Mitchell. They presented the plan to the Polynesians in Warm Springs to find them a home. The Polynesians selected three men of their own to join this committee: J. W. Kaulainamoku, George Kamakaniau, and Napela (First Hawaiian convert and first Hawaiian to visit Utah). (Atkin) This plan was welcomed warmly and with excitement to have a place they could call their home.

The land unanimously voted on as the home for these Polynesians is located at Skull Valley in Tooele County. Tropical landscapes filled with beaches and greenery were traded for desert farm land. George Fredric Stratton of the Salt Lake Herald described a trip into Skull Valley in 1915 from Salt Lake City: “Forty miles to an early breakfast at Granstville [Tooele County], then another forty miles across the desert took them into Iosepa.”

The land in Skull Valley was owned by John T. Rich. Chosen over three other locations from Utah, Cache, and Weber counties, it provided the best farming land that could potentially provide financial means and accommodate growth. Their new home was named Iosepa after the boy missionary, Joseph F. Smith. He was called to serve a mission to the Hawaiian Islands when he was 15 years of age. The colony was named in his honor using the Hawaiian translation of Joseph. (Atkin)

Life in Iosepa—The Polynesians, numbering about 50 people, moved into their new home August 28, 1889. Work immediately started on the layout plans of the town. In an interview with the Daily Enquirer November 5, 1889, Harvey H. Cluff pointed out that the newly established colony was part of an incorporated company named the Iosepa Agricultural and Stock Company (IASC). Cluff pointed out that the colony would have the opportunity to work for IASC and in turn have a more comfortable home. He added that a public square had been laid out, four center streets designated, a day school had been planned, and homes were being built for the community’s increasing numbers.

In time Iosepa expanded and the LDS Church purchased 800 additional acres. This increased the land that was being cultivated from 200 acres to 400 acres. The ability to provide sufficient water played a major role in this expansion. On November 9, 1908, the Deseret Evening News reported that the irrigation canal that was under construction was now complete. The newspaper describe the irrigation engineering as “remarkable, of passing through the mountains with the canal by which the waters of the different streams were intercepted and brought together.”

Due to financial pressures, the LDS Church and Iosepa were tempted to rent out part of their farmland to Samuel Woolley of Grantsville who would hire the Polynesians to work the land in return. (Panek) In 1904, colony president Thomas A. Waddoups spoke about the signs of self-sufficiency. The Deseret Evening News reported on the productive harvest of the year: 1,000 tons of hay, 250 beeves [beef], several hundred stock of cattle, 5,200 bushels of wheat and barley, 800 bushels of potatoes, 50 tons of squash, 600 bushels of corn. Similar to other colonies, there are financial difficulties at first and it can take time to become self-sufficient. The Iosepa colony of the LDS Church was no exception.

Life in Iosepa was affected by the economic circumstances because of the need to survive. The need to educate the people of Iosepa was also made a priority within the first year of its existence.The Daily Enquirer interviewed Harvey H. Cluff, who was  then president of the Iosepa colony, on November 1, 1889. He said,  “A day school will be set in operation as soon as the people are properly located for the winter, when such class instruction to the more advanced male and female population as will conduce to the improvement of the people socially, religiously, morally, and in cleanliness, will be given from time to time.”

On September 3, 1910, 21 years after that initial interview with Harvey H. Cluff, the Deseret Evening News reported that the school in Iosepa had been very successful. “All these years a good free school has been maintained…. The native Hawaiians make rapid progress from 6 years up to 16 and 17 years, outstripping the white children.”

They also had to make sure their culture and identity remained intact.  Social activities were planned around LDS Church activities because the colony was under the direction of the LDS Church. Every year the same important dates took place:

  • Hawaiian Pioneer day, August 28
  • New Years Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Polynesian day, celebrated every time LDS Church officials visited—about four times a year. (Atkin)

Festivities included a pig roast, traditional Polynesian food, and traditional Polynesian music and dance from each island represented in Iosepa. The Deseret Evening News reported on September 2, 1905, about one of the annual celebrations commemorating the Polynesian’s first arrival into Skull Valley: “7 o’clock this morning two dressed pigs weighing over 100 pounds each, were placed whole in a pit, where a fire, hours old, had heated stones in the bottom to an intense heat…. At 8 o’clock a dance commenced in the amusement hall of the colony, and the fun was furious until 12 o’clock midnight.” By cooking in the methods of their homeland, they preserved their culture and educated their youth about their native cultures.

In 1915, the LDS Church announced the building of the Laie, Hawaii Temple on the island of O’ahu. This announcement ushered in the closing of the Iosepa colony along with the offer from the LDS Church to pay the settlers’ fares back to Hawaii. (Atkin) By 1916, several of the Polynesian residents of Iosepa returned home. The Maui News reported on November 3, 1916, that 17 of the Iosepa pioneers arriving on the ship, Sierra, as “going old and gray-haired” moving into yet another “Mormon colony” this time in their homeland located at “Laie, windward O’ahu.” By 1917, Iosepa was almost entirely abandoned save a few residents (Atkin), breaking up one of the oddest pairings of the 20th century: the tropically-grown people of Polynesia and the desolate farmlands of Utah.

Peni Tagoai is a senior at the University of Utah, graduating in August 2012. His major is in speech communication with a minor in international studies. He grew up on the North Shore of O’ahu.


“Iosepa, The Kanaka Colony in Tooele County,” Daily Enquirer, November 1, 1889.

“Leprosy in the Kanaka Settlement,” Salt Lake Herald, June 20, 1896.

“Conference at Iosepa,” Deseret Evening News, November 26, 1904.

“Iosepa, Hawaiian Celebration,” Deseret Evening News, September 2, 1905.

“Big Event for Iosepa Colony,” Deseret Evening News, November 9, 1908.

“Hawaiian Village of Iosepa Celebrates Twenty-first Birthday,” Deseret Evening News, September 3, 1910.

George Frederic Stratton, “From Salt Lake to South Sea Islands,” Salt Lake Herald, September 5, 1915.

“On The Other Islands,” The Maui News, November 3, 1916, 5.

Tracey E. Panek, “Life at Iosepa, Utah’s Polynesian Colony,” in Proclamation to the People: Nineteeneth-century Mormon and the Pacific Basin Frontier, ed. Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp and Reid L. Neilson (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2008), 170-81.

Dennis H. Atkin, History of Iosepa, The Utah Polynesian Colony (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1958).

Oscar Wilde in the Land of Deseret


The citizens of Salt Lake City anxiously awaited the visit of the Sunflower Apostle, Oscar Wilde, the greatest “aesthete” in the world. As wild as his name, the “singularly deep young man” from London who was known for his poetry and eccentric style, would begin his American lecture tour at the beginning of 1882. (Warner, 2) The Aesthetic Movement was a mainly European art movement that emphasized aesthetics more than political and social themes for most forms of art in the day. Generally elaborate and ahead of his time, Oscar Wilde was known throughout the world as one of the greatest to ever speak on the subject. All over the country people were being shown Gilbert and Sullivan’s latest live opera, Patience, to ready themselves to meet the unusual Wilde, as well as acquaint themselves with the entire Aesthetic Movement. (Mason) The Salt Lake Theatre was no exception, showing the famous opera over one hundred times and selling out on many of those nights. (Mason, Warner)

His visit was well publicized, especially covered in the three big papers in Northern Utah at the time, as well as some of the less extensive local journals scattered in the smaller neighboring cities. There is no question that people were curious about the man who dressed in knee breeches and preached of the virtues of lilies and sunflowers. He had only recently come to fame, not as much for his curious unprincipled poetry, but more so for his depiction as the character Bunthorne in the aforementioned opera. (Warner, 2) Many did not believe that he would be as nonsensical in manner as Gilbert had portrayed him. For most Utahns, who were able to attend his lecture, however, he turned out to be every bit as ridiculous as his depiction.

His tour in the United States started out in the bustling New York City. The people of New York loved Oscar Wilde and he loved them. “His voice is pleasing and well-modulated and he speaks very distinctly,” one enthusiastic New Yorker reported. (Quoted in Warner, 6) It is thought that Wilde was able to leave a positive perception of himself in the East because he had not yet vanquished his vigor for the tour, or perhaps the more liberal views found on the East Coast during that time were more conducive to his unique message. But whatever the reason, Wilde was not nearly as well received at his lectures in the West as he was in the East, especially in Mormon Salt Lake City.

Oscar Wilde as a student. This image is in the public domain.

It was on April 10, 1882, that Wilde arrived in a bustling Salt Lake. He was set to lecture that night and move to his next location the following morning. The local newspapers had advertised well in advance for this celebrated day. On April 6 both the Salt Lake Daily Herald and Deseret Evening News, as it was called at the time, reported that the topic of “The Oscah’s!” lecture was to be “the Practical Application of Aesthetic Theory to Everyday Home Life and Art Ornamentation,” a fascinating subject to the Salt Lake Mormons who had triumphantly created a city out of the barren desert valley in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains.

When Oscar Wilde arrived on the morning train he was “observed of all observers.” (Deseret News, April 10, 1882) He was not dressed in his eccentric bottle green knickers, much to the disappointment of those gathered. Around noon he went to his hotel, the Walker house. He granted the small crowd of the agog only a glimpse, disappearing through the ladies entrance. He took his midday meal in his room with only his servant for company. Next on the agenda was a visit to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John Taylor, at his home in downtown Salt Lake City. The two of them took a tour of the city, “Oscar seeing as much as possible and being seen as little as possible.” (Warner, 14) The Sunflower Apostle did not take to the Mormon prophet or to the buildings found in the city at large. He commented in a letter to his friend, Mrs. Bernard Beere, that the Tabernacle was the shape of a soup kettle and had decorations suitable for a jail. (Wilde)

As the evening arrived the crowd gathered excitedly in the grand Salt Lake Theatre. It is reported that as the famous Oscar Wilde finally stepped out onto the stage, “he seemed disconcerted by the young men seated on the front row” who were all wearing enormous sunflowers on their lapels. He was now dressed in his infamous getup, much to the delight of the audience. He plunged into his pre-written speech but did not deliver as the audience expected. His speech was halting and nervous, done with a large amount of astonishment as well as some politeness. The lecture lasted just under an hour and was recognized at the end with a short awkward applause. (Warner, 16)

Each of the three large newspapers in Salt Lake City at the time were quick to weigh in on the strange looking man who muttered his speech all in one breath. The Deseret Evening News reported on April 10, 1882, that Wilde’s ideas were unoriginal and absurd. The Salt Lake Daily Herald stated in an article that appeared the morning of April 11, 1882, that “there was no attempt at enthusiasm, and the only impression one could obtain of the lecturer himself from the lecture was that he was an enthusiast without enthusiasm.”

Editorials concerning Wilde continued to pop up in the papers as reports of the impression Oscar Wilde had of the Mormons began to reach the media. The Deseret Evening News reported on July 7, 1882, in an article titled “How They looked to Oscar” that Oscar Wilde was “one of the greatest humbugs ever thrust upon the American public. Talk about the gullibility of the British public!” This review came after a report from a New York City journalist that “The gentle Wilde had put it thus: ‘The most unintellectual audience I had was in Salt Lake. The Mormons are the most unintellectual people I have met in America.’ ” (Deseret Evening News, April 10, 1882) Though Wilde may have been a poor lecturer, he was no fool. A reporter for the Salt Lake Daily Herald was granted an interview with Oscar Wilde and reported in an editorial on April 12, 1882, that Wilde had modestly admitted that he had never studied elocution and had not become famous based on his ability to speak in public.

The only positive review to be found in all the Salt Lake news outlets was an article published in the Salt Lake Tribune on April 13, titled “Oscar Wilde: The Young English Gentlemen and John Taylor’s Mormon Critics.” The paper’s editor said glowingly “It is for the people and through the people that he would re-awaken the love of art…. Who else could fill up such an enjoyable hour?” In her paper written in 1987 on the subject of Oscar Wilde’s visit, Helen Louise Warner suggested that the traditionally non-Mormon publication may have written such a review as a means to oppose the Mormon residents in Salt Lake City, which she suggested they did whenever possible.

“Fortunately … he has come and gone unmolested,” the Herald reported on April 11, 1882. Warner concluded that “in spite of all the advertising and publicity for Oscar Wilde’s visit to Salt Lake City, he did not make a great or lasting impression.” Though the people of Salt Lake did not particularly like the “singularly deep young man” from across the ocean, they did have the opportunity to see one of the most prominent celebrities of the late 19th century, and certainly the most celebrated aesthete to ever “lie upon the daisies.” (Mason, 2; Warner)

Sara Davis is a junior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in illustration with a minor in arts and technology.


“Oscar Wilde,” Deseret Evening News, April 6, 1882.

“Oscar Wilde,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 6, 1882.

Deseret Evening News, April 10, 1882.

“Oscar Wilde: He Came, He Lectured, and He Is About to Depart,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 11, 1882.

“Oscar Wilde: A Pleasant Chat with the Aesthete; His Impression of America and Her People and Poets; The Courtesy of His Audiences,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 11, 1882.

“Oscar Wilde: The Young English Gentlemen and John Taylor’s Mormon Critics,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 13, 1882.

Oscar Wilde, Impressions of America, ed. with an introduction by Stuart Mason (Sunderland: Keystone Press, 1906).

“How They Looked to Oscar,” Deseret Evening News, July 7, 1882.

Stuart Mason, Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic Movement (New York: Haskell House, 1972).

Helen Louise Warner, “Oscar Wilde’s Visit to Salt Lake City,” (Honors thesis, The University of Utah, 1987).

Treasure Mountain, Park City: The Combination of Mining and Sport


Treasure Mountain, a ski area in Park City, Utah, opened on December 21, 1963, with the longest gondola in the United States. The launch of this magnificent facility promised to bring the boom back to the quiet mining town. Park City, with its second bonanza in a century, was about to become a popular year-round destination. The opening of the Treasure Mountain Resort had a huge effect on bringing back life to Park City after the silver rush had subsided.

Before the Treasure Mountain Resort was even a dream, Park City “was first called Parley’s Park, but changed to Park City in 1872. The local silver mines prove[d] to be very rich, and mark[ed] the start of boom times for Park City. … Mining remained an important industry into the 1950s.” (“Park City, Utah”) With silver mining declining, the need to find something that could fill the mountains and city streets with people again was pressing. “As the local mining industry slowed down, United Park City Mines look[ed] to diversify and [began] work on Treasure Mountain Resort (now Park City Mountain Resort) in 1958.” (“Park City, Utah”)

Architectural rendering that appeared with "Crews Alter Park City Scene," The Salt Lake Tribune, August 4, 1963.

United Park City Mines was granted a loan large enough to fund the construction of a ski lift, activity center, mountain restaurant, horseback-riding facilities, and a camping center. The product of this grant would be a new ski mountain resort, Treasure Mountain, nestled in the heart of Park City. “In 1963, Park City qualifie[d] for a federal loan from the Area Redevelopment Agency. The government [gave] $1.25 million and, with other contributions, a total of $2 million [was] used to start Treasure Mountain Resort. A gondola, a chairlift and 2 J-bars [were] installed.” (“A Little Park City History”)

In fact, the construction of Treasure Mountain exceeded expectations of the mining company that built and owned it. The first year that Treasure Mountain was open, there were almost 50,000 skiers that were logged with lift passes costing $3.50 per day. (“A Little Park City History”) After the ground on which Treasure Mountain would be built was broken in May 1963 (Ringholz 14), the media raved about the possibilities of the new resort saying that “by the time work is finished, Park City will have recorded its second bonanza in a century — the first a mining boom, this one a recreation boom.” (“Crews Alter”)

The major benefit of this “second bonanza” was that it brought visitors and locals alike to participate in the year-round resort skiing and summer activities, breathing new life into an old mining town. As opening day crept closer, the gondola and some of the lifts were opened for brief periods of time to test them out and start to show off the property. The first people to try out these lifts were Nancy Ryan and Ben Clark, “both University of Utah students, the first skiers not affiliated with the resort or work crews to ride to the top of Pioneer Ridge, upper terminal of the 2-1/2 mile long tramway.” (“Park City Tramway”)

On December 21, 1963, Utah’s newest ski resort was formally opened when Mayor William P. Sullivan cut the ribbon and declared that the event was comparable to the discovery of silver in the Park City area. (Hampshire, 321) The Summit County Bee & Park Record reported that “the long awaited grand opening of the Treasure Mountain Recreation Center was most appropriately celebrated at 9 am Saturday morning December 12, in the breezeway of the beautiful new center when Park City’s Mayor William P Sullivan cut the ribbon and declared the 10,000 acre recreational facilities open to the public to enjoy to its fullest.” (Hurley)

Many prominent people came to attend this event, including politicians Senator Frank E. Moss, Senator Wallace F.  Bennett, and representatives for Congressman Laurence J. Burton and Representative Sherman Lloyd. Festivities included a gala reception with music by the Park City High School Band that was hosted by the United Park City Mines President John M. Wallace. A special breakfast, social hour, and an inspection of the center were provided to the honored guests following the primary festivities. (Hurley) In a stroke of genius, the architects for Treasure Mountain Resort also included center houses for lockers, administration offices, a day care center for children, a ski rental and repair shop, and ski school headquarters. (“Local News”)

According to the Summit County Bee and Park Record, “the full impact of the years of planning this great project, and the brains and ability and man-hours of skilled workmen of many trades have all come to a most wonderful completion in the west’s newest and finest play land, Treasure Mountain’s Year Round Resort in Park City.” (Hurley)

Treasure Mountain was the beginning of a new experience in skiing in Utah. The revolutionary new resort hosted two J-Bar Tows, and the prospector double chairlift was Utah’s longest lift to date. It served 4-1/2 miles of slopes, stretched 1-1/4 miles and raised 1,300 vertical feet. Treasure Mountain also installed “the $636,000 gondola tramway, [the] feature attraction of the multi-million dollar ski complex rising here will be open for its first customers Thursday morning. …The tramway is designed to carry 92 four-passenger cabins… The gondola is the longest of its type in the United States. It is in two sections, stretching up the mountains for two and a half miles, serving some 18 miles of ski trails.” (“Gondola Lift Rolls Today”)

The new technology constructed in this mining town was awe inspiring to the local population. Rhea Hurley described the newest attraction: “The gondola ride is an experience ‘out of this world’ and must be taken to be fully realized and appreciated. One realizes they are not on a plane, nor a ‘flying machine’ of any sort, and are tempted to feel their shoulder blades to see if wings have sprouted while they are still here on Mother Earth.” (Hurley) The attraction of the gondola was revolutionary to the time and opened the doors to skiing much more terrain than before. Also, having the longest gondola in the United States prompted outdoor enthusiasts from around the country to come enjoy the new Treasure Mountain.

Following the opening of Treasure Mountain, one article noted key changes in the Park City area, including media coverage, revenue, and population. The most notable media coverage events that followed the opening of Treasure Mountain for the Park City area included: a 1966 Sports Illustrated magazine article, Park City’s television station TV45 began broadcasting in 1986, and in 1995 Salt Lake City was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympic Games where more than 40 percent of the events were held in Park City at the Utah Olympic Park, Deer Valley, and Park City Mountain Resort.” (“A Little Park City History”)

Due to the construction of Treasure Mountain in Park City, later renamed Park City Mountain Resort, the popularity of the resort made it a primary location where the events were hosted for one of, if not the greatest, series of international media events in the world, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In addition to the media popularity, money began to pour into the community as people came from far and wide to play in the newly built skiing playground. With 500,000 skiers a day attending the Park City Ski Area in 1974 and a day pass that cost $26, revenue was up and continued to increase as the years rolled on. (“A Little Park City History”) And last but not least, the population was dynamically affected. Statistics showed that the population in Park City was a grand total of 164 in 1870. Statistics showed that the construction of Treasure Mountain and the development of the area increased people traffic in dramatic numbers. In 1990 the population had jumped considerably with resident population at 5,000 and skiers within the resort measured at over 850,000. (“A Little Park City History”)

Park City evolved through the building of Treasure Mountain. Although there were already hills to ski, the introduction of the United States’ longest gondola, the Treasure Mountain center, ski school, and other attractions brought a pulse back to the slowly fainting silver mining town.

“The storied village offers skiers and sightseers a gay mood which is a carry over from its famous boom town mining days. Remember December 21, 1963. It’ll be an historic event for Park City, Utah and the intermountain area.” (“Local News”) That day proved to be the beginning of a skiing dynasty in the West, with Park City at the top of it all.

Natalie Durham Hawkes is a senior at The University of Utah, graduating in mass communication in 2012.


Mike Korologos, “Crews Alter Park City Scene,” The Salt Lake City Tribune, August 4, 1963.

“Gondola Lift Rolls Today,” The Salt Lake City Tribune, December 12, 1963.

Mike Korologos, “Park City Tramway Carries Pay Load,” The Salt Lake City Tribune, December 13, 1963.

“Local News,” The Summit County Bee & Park Record, December 19, 1963.

Rhea Hurley, “Stupendous, Unbelievable Treasure Mountains Consensus,” The Summit County Bee & Park Record, December 26, 1963.

David Hampshire, et al., A History of Summit County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998).

Raye Carleson Ringholz, Diggings and Doings in Park City (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah, 1970).

A Little Park City History,” Old Town Guest House.

Philip F. Notarianni, “Park City,” Utah History Encyclopedia, The University of Utah.

Treasure Mountain Inn,” Park City Real Estate.

Park City, Utah,” Western Mining History : Reliving the Industrial Revolution of the West.

KDYL Brings Local, Independent Television to Utah



When KDYL began broadcasting in Salt Lake City in 1922, it was just the thirteenth radio station in the United States. It became the radio station for the already prominent Salt Lake Telegram newspaper in Salt Lake City. However, by 1927 the station was failing financially and falling behind the already established KZN radio station (owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Deseret News) and looking for new support. Sydney S. Fox, an outside investor, entrepreneur and stepfather of then-KDYL president Fred Provol, purchased the failing station for $4,000. Fox saw potential in radio to be an “entertainment medium,” and saw KDYL as a great way to test this potential. (Boyles, iv)

Fox immediately established a new and innovative way to build revenue for KDYL. He knew it would have to come through advertisement. In fact, much of his own success in broadcasting (radio and television) was based upon his ability to sell advertisement in new, inventive ways. (Boyles, 27) Over the next ten years, Sydney S. Fox continued to improve and build up revenue and the popularity of KDYL.

Fox’s focus shifted from radio to television in 1939 after he attended the World’s Fair in both New York City and San Francisco. This is where he saw television demonstrated for the first time. Fox’s drive and enthusiasm quickly turned to developing a local television station in Salt Lake City under the KDYL name. He felt that the possibilities of this new form of medium were unlimited and all of his time went to making it a reality in Salt Lake City.

Fox knew that it would be a sensation, but he failed to see how much of an impact it would have on the local Salt Lake City community. He began to demonstrate local television at state fairs and at public demonstration days at local department stores in downtown Salt Lake City. The turnout was outstanding. Following several applications to the FCC, he was granted an experimental license in 1941. However, the timing was not meant to be. Shortly after obtaining a license, the onset of World War II halted any further progress. That was until 1946, when RCA began production of television transmitters once again.

Inside the television studio of KDYL-TV. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

KDYL, with a recently purchased transmitter, began to build a transmitter on the top of the Walker Bank and Trust Building in downtown Salt Lake City. A full television studio was also built at the Regent Street Playhouse on 68 Regent Street. (Boyles, 39) Then, with the approval of a television broadcasting application in 1946 by the FCC, KDYL began transmitting by November as KDYL/W6XIS. (Boyles, 40) These transmissions soon turned into regular programmed media in April 1948, and thus launched the first independently owned television station in the United States. KDYL, going by the call sign of W6XIS, continued to provide independent programming for the Salt Lake City community until early 1953, when KDYL was sold to TIME Inc. for just over $2 million.


Radio, having been around for some time by the 1920s, was viewed as a source of information and news. And even though rumors of television being the main medium for such information and news were growing daily, people still had their doubts. As early as 1910, the idea of sending pictures over wires had been well discussed but yet looked upon as impossible. A 1910 article in the Deseret News emphasizes these doubts:

“Something more tangible than television has been devised by a French inventor … [who] is making an apparatus to which a series of photographs can be telegraphed one after the other instantaneously, and reformed so as to give a cinematograph reproduction of an event.” (“Seeing By Wire”)

Yet by 1938, full-page articles were being printed within newspapers featuring the progress of the television.

The Kane County Standard printed such an article titled “Television, Science’s Youngster, Starts Wearing Long Trousers.” In this article, Joseph W. LaBine focuses on progress of the invention and notes that the “bugs” had been eliminated. “Actually, RCA’s engineers have already ironed out most of the ‘bugs’ in transmission.” It may have been articles such as that one that focused on the television that influenced Sydney S. Fox, president of KDYL in Salt Lake City, to pursue the concept of television.

But the most influential impact came from Fox’s visits to the World’s Fair in New York City and San Francisco. There he witnessed RCA’s demonstrations of television that launched the beginning of television’s rise to the top of broadcasting mediums. Fox was reportedly “so enthusiastic and saw such possibilities for the new medium, that they immediately ordered a ‘jeep’ television outfit consisting of equipment capable of demonstrating but not telecasting, television.” (“KDYL-TV Laid Plans for Video”)

Sydney S. Fox with two of KDYL-TV's engineers, including head engineer John Boldwin (far right), inside main control room at KDYL. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

KDYL immediately began to show the power of this “new medium” with demonstrations in local Paris Co. department stores as early as fall 1939 and at the State Fair in 1940. Over 45,000 people filled demonstrations in department stores in the space of just three days to witness the demonstration of television, and the television was also designated the key attraction at the State Fair. The Salt Lake Telegram quotes Fox saying that “he knew there was enough interest in television in Salt Lake City to justify going ahead with plans for commercial television here.” (“KDYL-TV Laid Plans for Video”)

Fox’s plans for television were put on hold in 1941 with the onslaught of World War II. “Because of America’s all out war effort, [the War Production Board] would not permit the manufacture or sale of television broadcasting equipment by regular manufacturers.(Boyles, 39) But this did not stop the enthusiasm of Fox. KDYL continued to invest time into developing the already existing technology and in 1943, following a trip to New York, Fox explained that television production factories were preparing transmitters for postwar delivery. (“SL Radio Executive Says Industry Eyes Television”)

In September 1944, KDYL filed an application for the building of a commercial use television station on an experimental basis. (“S.L. Firm Asks to Build Television Station”) By December 1944, the FCC granted KDYL a permit for the construction of an experimental television station, which would become the first studio between Kansas City and the West Coast. Fox was quoted as saying, “KDYL is proud to be a pioneer in this great field.” (“S.L. Firm Granted Television Permit”)

KDYL's downtown building next to the Walker Bank building in Salt Lake City. The KDYL-TV transmitter was located on top of the Walker Bank Building. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Between 1944 and 1948, KDYL was actively pursuing the reality of broadcasting local television programs to the Salt Lake City community. KDYL built a television transmission tower on top of the Walker Bank and Trust Building in downtown Salt Lake City, and finished building a television studio in the Regent Street Playhouse on 68 Regent Street. (Boyles, 39) The Regent playhouse worked perfectly for the site of a television studio since the playhouse was given up during the war. In 1946, KDYL began experimental transitions but did not officially sign on the air until April 1948 under the call sign W6XIS. The Salt Lake Telegram explained the significance of KDYL-TV:

“An event of historic significance in the field of entertainment and the dissemination of information occurred in Salt Lake City this week. It was the inauguration of the first regularly scheduled television program in the intermountain region…. Salt Lake City thus becomes the 13th city in the nation to have regularly scheduled television.” (“Salt Lake 13th to Have Television”)

The inaugural program was graced with the presence of the Utah governor, the Salt Lake mayor, and Frank Streator, president of the Chamber of Commerce. (“Salt Lake 13th to Have Television”) Along with KDYL-TV being the first station west of Kansas City, it also set another milestone by being the first independently owned television station in the nation. KDYL became a pioneer for what television would become and mean as a local informational source in the United States.

KDYL-TV followed a five-night-a-week schedule, but due to public demand KDYL-TV changed to seven nights a week by October 1948. In its early years KDYL-TV had many firsts and milestones. It was the first to broadcast golf and downhill skiing, and by 1952 KDYL-TV was broadcasting from 9:30 in the morning until midnight seven days a week, which made it one of the largest scheduled local television stations in the nation. (Boyles, 47)

A group of men, including Sydney S. Fox (center) addressing a TV audience on a live broadcast from KDYL-TV studios. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Television continued to boom and expand within the Salt Lake Valley as well. By May 1948, KSL, a competing radio station, had helped build an entertainment television studio in a ZCMI department store located in downtown Salt Lake City. The studio was scheduled to broadcast a one-hour show daily from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. (“Department Store Sees Television”) This became an added attraction for shoppers at ZCMI and led to KSL filing an application for construction of its own local television station by July 1948 with construction beginning in early 1949. (“Get Television Permit”)

KDYL-TV continued to set the pace for local television. “In late July the station’s mobile unit was delivered, which made possible the telecasting of events away from the studio.” (“KDYL-TV Laid Plans for Video”) This also brought sporting events to viewers at home. The Salt Lake community would soon be able to watch a wide range of sporting events from their own front room. This became a true pioneering television station, which played a major part in the Salt Lake community.

KDYL-TV continued to broadcast as an independent company through Intermountain Broadcasting Company, headed by Sydney S. Fox, until July 24, 1953, when KDYL-TV was purchased by TIME Inc. for just over $2 million. Fox retired as president of Intermountain Broadcasting and as president of KDYL. He would be succeeded by Roy E. Larsen, president of TIME, Inc. This was not necessarily a terrible move for KDYL-TV, as Larsen stated: “We know the KDYL stations will profit by TIME’s journalism and television success formula. We at KDYL hope to make our station ‘The Voice of the New Golden West.'” (“Sale of KDY-TV”)


Sydney S. Fox and his team at KDYL helped pioneer and develop early television station standards that directly impacted the Salt Lake community and the rest of the nation by being the first at many aspects of broadcasting, including: first independent television station, first to air golf and downhill skiing, first to challenge the nation’s use of locally scheduled broadcasts by providing local broadcasts seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. until midnight. The station also pioneered ways of gaining advertisement space on local television. Sydney S. Fox continued to work within television after leaving KDYL and pressed the concept of entertainment with the idea of producing movie-like television shows. Sydney S. Fox truly helped drive local television into the news, information and entertainment source that it has become, and his desire for the public to witness television still lives today as KDYL continues to air local programming under call number KTVX in Salt Lake City.

Jason Bushnell is a senior studying mass communication at The University of Utah. He is set to graduate following the Fall 2012 semester. He will be continuing a career within television broadcasting.


“Seeing By Wire,” The Deseret News, April 12, 1910.

Joseph W. LaBine, “Television, Science’s Youngsters, Starts Wearing Long Trousers,” Kane County Standard, January 7, 1938.

“Salt Lake Concerns To Show Television,” Davis County Clipper, September 15, 1939.

“Television Set To Be Exhibited,” Salt Lake Telegram, September 10, 1940.

“S.L. Radio Executive Says Industry Eyes Television,” Salt Lake Telegram, October 12, 1943.

“KUTA Files Application For Television Station,” Salt Lake Telegram, June 3, 1944.

“S.L. Firm Asks to Build Television Station,” Salt Lake Telegram, September 23, 1944.

“S.L. Firm Granted Television Permit,” Salt Lake Telegram, December 30, 1944.

“Salt Lake City 13th To Have Television,” Salt Lake Telegram, April 21, 1948.

“Department Store Sees Television,” Salt Lake Telegram, May 28, 1948.

“S.L. Station Expands Television Schedule,” Salt Lake Telegram, July 7, 1948.

“Get Television Permit,” Salt Lake Telegram, July 30,1948.

“KDYL-TV Laid Plans For Video in ’39,” Salt Lake Telegram, May 31, 1951.

“Sale Of DKY-TV OF Salt Lake City To Time, Inc. Stated,” Davis County Clipper, July 24, 1953.

Patrick Wm. Boyles, Sydney Fox and KDYL, 1927-1952: A Utah Broadcasting History (M.S. thesis, University of Utah, 1953).