Category Archives: Counties

Battle Creek

Published / by Brittney Carter / Leave a Comment

Write up by Brittney Carter


40°21’48” N 111°42’2” W

Elevation 5260

Marker originally placed by: Jared Warburton, 1997

Battle Creek monument text

Marker Text:

“This monument is in memory of the first armed engagement between the Mormon pioneers and the Native Americans that inhabited Utah Valley, and serves as a reminder of the extreme sacrifice given by both people. This skirmish at the mouth of Battle Creek Canyon gave it its name.”

Extended Research

Kiwanis Park at Battle Creek

Battle Creek, which is now known as Pleasant Grove, was the site of the first battle between Native Americans and Utah pioneers. Mormon (LDS) leaders in Salt Lake City ordered militiamen to investigate reports in Utah Valley that Indians were killing cattle and that they had stolen Brigham Young’s horses. The accusation of horse theft proved untrue. As a result, the militiamen received new orders from Salt Lake City “stating that as the horses were not stolen . . . we need not spend any more time in search of them.” They were, however, directed to continue the expedition to investigate the killing of cattle. As Hosea Stout, one of the militiamen recalled, “the nature of our expedition was not in the least changed.”(1).

Battle Creek Marker

After a few days of travel, the militiamen made it to what is now American Fork and rested over night with a band of Ute Indians. Hosea Stout wrote, “the Company [got] an early start and traveled south to the Provo, a fine large stream and well timbered in the valley. This is a beautiful farming country. Here we found the Utahs, who . . . received us friendly but were much excited being evidently afraid of us. After spending an hour or so with them and learning what we could, respecting those we were in pursuit of and also explaining the object of our visit we traveled on. Little Chief accompanied us about three miles up the Provo where we encamped for the night”(1).

The militiamen split into two groups after they came upon a few Native Americans at Battle Creek Canyon who were still sleeping. When the Indians awoke and saw that they were surrounded by white men they tried to flee farther up the canyon, only to find another group of militiamen waiting for them. Before fighting began, an interpreter from among the militia tried to get the Native Americans to surrender.

As Hosea Stout recalled: “Our interpreters talked to them and told them our errand, and asked them to give themselves up. They refused. Our guide talked to them and reasoned with them, but all to no purpose, fight they would unless we went away, then they said they would come out. The guide told them they must come out then or die. . . . The first one shot was their leader. Then such a howling and crying, I think white men never heard before” (1).

After fighting broke out there were several casualties according to Oliver B. Huntington:

“All the bodies we could find were carried together to one place for burial: seven great, fat stout men. . . . When we got back to where we left the dead, there was neither dead nor living anywhere to be found. We did not think them worth hunting for anymore, and started home.” (2).

Mormon pioneers soon settled the land in Utah Valley because of the richness of the soil that militiamen witnessed on this expedition. Brigham Young had already planned to expand further south. As one history of Provo recounted, “Initial Mormon settlement thus was on the site of Salt Lake City. Nevertheless, Young planned to explore all valleys, and, when opportunity permitted, establish settlements in those sufficiently well-watered” (3). Mormon leaders selected Utah Valley as one area for settlement which led to further conflict with Ute Indians in the region.

Battle Creek falls

Battle Creek remained the name of the area until years later when Mormon pioneers decided to change it to Pleasant Grove. The monument that is left at the base of Battle Creek Canyon, which leads to Battle Creek Falls, stands as a reminder of the first battle fought between Mormon pioneers and Native Americans. It also serves as a reminder that Mormon settlement came at a significant cost to Native Americans, in loss of life, land, and culture.




  1. On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844–1861, Vol. 2, Edited by Juanita Brooks, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 344-347.
  2. Diary of Oliver B. Huntington, 1847–1900, Vol. 2, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 47–55, 331-341.
  3. Writers Program, Provo, Pioneer Mormon City (Portland, Oregon : Binfords & Mort1942), 36-44.

For Further Reference

Primary Sources

On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844–1861, Vol. 2, Edited by Juanita Brooks, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964).

Diary of Oliver B. Huntington, 1847–1900, Vol. 2, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Secondary Sources

Jared Farmer, On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Cambridge: Mass: Harvard University Press, 2008).

Writers Program, Provo, Pioneer Mormon City (Portland, Oregon : Binfords & Mort1942).

First Icelandic Settlement

Published / by Charles Wolfgramm / Leave a Comment


First Icelandic Settlement Monument, Spanish Fork, Utah

Write up by Charles O. Wolfgramm

Placed By: Daughters of Utah Pioneers

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 06.280 W 111° 38.458

Image result for picture of plaque on the first icelandic monument in spanish fork ut

Historical Marker Text: On September 7, 1855 the first immigrants from Iceland arrived in the Utah Territories, and between 1855 and 1914 there was a total of 410 Icelandic immigrants that made this journey. All of the Icelandic immigrants that came to the Utah Territories were converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they were sent by the leaders of the church to Spanish Fork. This was a perfect area for these new convert Icelandic immigrants because this area was already  home to immigrants from Scandinavian countries, so they were able to share some common cultural values. This Marker was placed in this area on August 1, 1938 by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Icelandic Association of Utah. The monument is a lighthouse with a viking ship a top of the  roof of the lighthouse. There are listed 16 names of the first immigrants to arrive in Utah, and this is on the lighthouse wall. Lighthouse’s are located all over Iceland because of its location in the middle of the northern Atlantic ocean, so this is an appropriate monument to remember the Icelandic members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Image result for picture of plaque on the first icelandic monument in spanish fork ut

Extended Research:

Iceland is a country that is isolated from the other Scandinavian countries, but it still has alot of similarities and religion is one of them. Lutheran Church is what is practiced in most of the Scandinavian countries and this is the same in Iceland, 80 percent of the population are members of the State Lutheran Church. Any other religion that may not fit into the same mold as the Lutheran church can have a difficult time sustaining itself by getting new converts because of the popularity of the Lutheran church in Iceland. Icelandic citizens would have to leave the country to be exposed to other religious beliefs different from the Lutheran theology. This is how  Guðmundur Guðmundsson the first Icelandic to Join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints, he was born in Iceland, but his conversion happened in Denmark. Guðmundur was born in the year 1825 in a farm town in Artun in the Rangarvalla district of the Oddi Parish in Iceland. He was baptized a member of the Lutheran church a few months after he was born, he left Iceland as a teenager to be educated and pursue a career as a goldsmith in Denmark. While in Denmark he was converted to the Mormon religion. Around this same time he was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint, Pórarinn Hafliðason a childhood friend was also converted in Denmark. The two friends reunited and was called to survive as missionary for their new found faith in Iceland.  The new Icelandic converts were not very successful in the mainland of Iceland so they went to an Island southwest of the capital Reykjavik,  called Vestmannaeyjbaer or  Westman Island.

Image result for vestmannaeyjarImage result for first icelandic plaque in spanish fork ut

The two new convert missionaries were able to find many new converts in this part of Iceland but they did face a lot of opposition form the established church in the area. Samuel and Margret Bjarnason, along with Helga Jónsdóttir who were converted by the two native missionaries in the Island were the first Icelandic members to make the move to Utah. Samuel and Margert arrived in the Utah on September 7, 1855 and were told by Brigham Young the President of the Mormon Church to go and settle in Spanish Fork. Scandinavian saints were already in the area and so Brigham Young felt this would be a great place for the Icelandic saints to build a community. Hundreds of Icelandic Saints would eventually make their way to Utah in the following years until about 1914 when WWI began. During this same time the Icelandic Mission to The Church of Jesus Christ would be closed, and general immigration from Iceland was closed.

Einar Eiríksson was the last missionary to serve in

Iceland before the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

Courtesy of the Icelandic Association of Utah

For the next fifty years the Mormon church did not exist in Iceland. In 1977 Iceland was again dedicated for Mormon missionary work to continue. Twenty years later in 1997 the president of Iceland and his wife were invited to celebrate Iceland Days marking the centennial of the first Icelandic members of the Mormon church to settle in Spanish Fork.

Finally on June 30, 2000 a monument was erected to with the names of 410 Icelandic Mormons who made the journey from the Westman Islands to the Utah Valley from 1857 to 1914.

Image result for icelandic monument spanish fork utah who put it there

This monument is a true testimony of the faith and dedication of the Icelandic members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints who sacrifice so much for their beliefs.

Image result for first icelandic plaque in spanish fork ut( This rock was transported from the Westman Island, it is significant because the first baptism for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints in Iceland was Performed in the Westman Island. The rock is a volcanic rock from the Westman Island, 44 years ago in 1973 the Eldfell Volcano on the island erupted and this almost lead to a permanent evacuation of the Westman Island.)

Primary Sources: 

William Mulder states, “Altogether, of the 46,497 converts which Scandinavia yielded between 1850–1905, 50 percent were Danish, slightly less than 36 percent were Swedish, and not quite 14 percent were Norwegian. Of the 22,653 of these ‘members of record’ who emigrated, 56 percent were Danish, a little over 32 percent were Swedish, 11 percent were Norwegian, and a fraction Icelandic” {Homeward to Zion [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957], 107).

[25] Carter, “The First Icelandic Settlement in America,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 7:485.

[26] Letter from Charles R. Savage to John Taylor, Millennial Star 18, no. 13 (1856): 206.

[27] Autobiography of Peter Gottfredson, Church Archives, 8–9.

[28] Autobiographical Sketch of Theodur Didrickson, Church Archives, 7. See also “The Life of Einer Erickson,” 21—23, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah wherein Erickson notes on his arrival in Spanish Fork on 18 July 1878, “I was gladly received by my Family at Elder Theodur Dedricsen’s home.”

[29] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1851–1914, LDS Church Archives, 1857, 14. This does not include Guðmundur Guðmundsson, who voyaged on the Westmoreland with the Garff family, whom he was instrumental in converting.

[30] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1857, 14.

[31] The Historical Record of the Icelandic Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1873–1914, Church Archives, 2, contains a “Register of Elders” that lists the twenty-three missionaries by name. There are also individual columns for the date they arrived on their mission in Iceland with remarks concerning release and leadership appointment dates, and where they were residing at the time of their call. Fifteen of these missionaries resided in Spanish Fork, six in Cleveland, Utah, one (John Johannesson) in Raymond, Alberta Canada and one in Brigham City (Lorenzo Andersen). Allred, The Icelanders of Utah, 11, lists Andersen as the lone Dane from the Danish Mission as all others were native Icelanders.

[32] Allred, The Icelanders of Utah, 16.

[33] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1873, 15.

[34] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1874, 27 and 29 May 1874, 17–18. Only one of the eleven left as a member of the Church. However, the other ten were baptized after arriving in Utah. The group sailed from Iceland to Great Britain on the ship Hermine and on the Nevada from Liverpool to New York.

[35] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 29 May 1874.

[36] One of the emigrants had previously been baptized, while the other three or four other emigrants had not yet been baptized (see Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1875, 8 August 1875).

[37] A copy of this work is housed in the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. Byron Geslison, who was called to reopen the Icelandic Mission in 1975, indicated that the missionaries still used Pórður’s tract a century after it was written (see oral interviews with Byron Geslison and his family in the winter of 2000).

[38] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1879. “The Gospel to the Icelanders,” Millennial Star 41, no. 37 (1879): 587, notes that these missionaries had a copy of the manuscript and were planning on printing no less than two thousand copies of the tract. In an article written a quarter century later by President Loftur Bjarnason titled “The Work of the Lord in Iceland,” Millennial Star 66, no. 10 (1904): 145–47, he states, “The precious truths this book contains (referring to Thordur Didricksson’s missionary tract) have been the cause of many accepting the Gospel and emigrating to Utah, where they are to-day staunch and faithful Latter-day Saints.”

[39] Marius A. Christensen, “History of the Danish Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1850—1964” (masters thesis, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 1966), 128

[40] Letter of John Eyvindson to President William Budge, Millennial Star 42, no. 22 (31 May 1880): 350; see also Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 22March 1880.

[41] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 7 July 1881, lists 17 of the 22 emigrants by name.

[42] Vilhjálmur Gíslason, Eiríkur A Brúnum (Reykjavik: Isafoldarprentsmiðja H.F., 1946), 116, translated for author by Darron S. Allred.

[43] Vilhjálmur Gíslason, Eiríkur A Brúnum, 116; see also John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles: Including Summary of 1951 Census (Edinburgh: John Bartholomew & Son, n.d.), 301, for details regarding the location of Granton Harbor.

[44] Letter from John Eyvindson to Pres. A. Carrington, Millennial Star 43, no. 35 (1881): 554–55.

[45] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 1881, 7 July 1881.

[46] Research compiled by Bliss Anderson (a member of the Icelandic Association of Utah), reveals that 264 of the 410 Icelanders who emigrated to Utah during the period of 1854–1914 did so during the decade of the 1880s.

[47] Christensen, “History of the Danish Mission,” 128.

[48] This is the first known translation of a portion of the Book of Mormon. The original is in the possession of Marian P. Robbins, who is the great-granddaughter of Jón Jónsson.

[49] Letter of John A. Sutton, Millennial Star 45, no. 30 (1883): 479. Sutton may have been motivated to learn Icelandic due to his loneliness on the voyage. In a letter written two weeks later, he commented that he would have rather taken a thousand Englishmen across the ocean because he found it difficult to converse with the Icelanders and did not have a Saint to converse with in his language (see Millennial Star 45, no. 33 [1883]: 527).

[50] Manuscript History of the Icelandic Mission, 31 December 1886. Allred, The Icelanders of Utah, 18, notes that there were 63 Icelanders who immigrated to Spanish Fork in 1886. Bliss Anderson’s research suggests as many as 78 gathered to Utah for this year.

[51] This was James H. Hart, who served admirably as the emigration agent at New York from 1882 to 1887. He was a very successful politician and attorney and even continued to serve in the Bear Lake Stake Presidency, in spite of his seasonal emigration assignments in the east. See Edward L. Hart, Mormon in Motion: The Life and Journals of James H. Hart, 1825—1906, in England, France and America (Salt Lake City: Windsor Books, printed by Deseret Press, 1978), for details of his life and experience as an emigration agent.

[52] “The Icelanders,” Millennial Star 48, no. 32 (1886): 507.

[53] In oral interviews conducted in the winter of 2000 with Byron Geslison, who served as a patriarch in Iceland in the late 20th century, he indicated that every blessing he gave in Iceland reflected that the recipient was from the tribe of Ephraim. The only exception was a foreigner who was temporarily stationed at the NATO base in Keflavík.

[54] John Torgeirson, “The People of Iceland,” Deseret Evening News, 24 January 1887,2.

[55] Between 5,000 to 6,000 Saints came through Norfolk on this new route from 1887 to 1890. For more information concerning the cause of the rerouting and the experience of these Saints through the port of Norfolk, see Fred E. Woods, “Norfolk and Mormon Folk: Latter-day Saint Immigration through Old Dominion, 1887–1890,” Mormon Historical Studies 1, no. 1 (spring 2000): 73–91.

[56] Loftur Bjarnason, “The Work of the Lord in Iceland,” Millennial Star 66, no. 10 (1904): 146, further notes, “There are many parts of this country that have not been yet covered, as the Elders, who come here have labored principally in those localities in which they were born and reared. It is only along the southern coast of the mainland and in the Westman Islands that the Gospel has to any extent been preached, while the greater portions of the northern and eastern countries have never been visited.” See also Millennial Star 66, no. 12 (1904): 188 and 66 (1904): 301—2, for evidence of seasonal proselyting in the Westman Islands.

[57] Millennial Star 56, no. 51 (1894): 806. Elder Bjarnason, writing a decade later, also spoke of the difficulties missionaries encountered proselyting in the country. Here he noted, “Houses are scattered, being from a half mile to a mile and a half apart, and the only method of traveling is either by foot or on ponies. Often it is impossible to go from one farmhouse to another without being accompanied by a guide, on account of the dangerous streams that are to be encountered, which only experienced men can find the way to cross. To purchase a horse and pay a guide wages, together with other expenses, has made traveling in this country both expensive and difficult,” Millennial Star 66, no. 10 (1904): 146.

[58] British Mission Manuscript History, Church Archives, 2 Nov. 1899, 1. Andrew Jenson, Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:342, notes that Halldór Johnson labored as a missionary in Iceland from 1898—1900. Five years later, Icelandic Mission President Loftur Bjarnason elaborated on the difficult climatic conditions in Iceland. In an article titled “The Work of the Lord in Iceland,” Millennial Star 66, no. 10 (1904): 145—47, he stated, “During the winter season it is practically impossible to travel around in the country and, during the summer months the people are so busy that they could not, even if they felt so disposed, spare time enough to listen to an Elder explain the principies of the Gospel. Early in spring and late in autumn are the only seasons that the farmers can be approached, for then they have a little leisure time to spare. This being the case, the Elders have spent the winters in the towns and cines along the coast. These are the principal business places as well as seaports and rendevouz for sailors and fishermen.”

[59] “Record of Members of the Icelandic Mission, 1874–1914,” Church Archives, 88.

[60] “Preaching in Iceland,” Millennial Star 64, no. 27 (1902): 427–28.

[61] “Record of Members of the Icelandic Mission, 1874–1914,” Church Archives, 78 ff. Page 88 indicates that the Saints who emigrated with Elder John

[62] Johanneson “took passage on the S. S. Laura for Raymond Alberta Canada via [the] Albion Line.” According to the Millennial Star 65, no. 27 (1903): 426, Elder johanneson and four Saints were to emigrate via Glasgow. The “Historical Record of the Icelandic Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1873—1914,” Church Archives, 14—15, 17 notes that three of the group were GuðTinna Sasmundsdóttir, Jón Grímsson, and Guðnurður Jónsson. Elder Halldór Johnson reported that due to the unfavorable temporal prospects in Iceland during this period, “many are emigrating to Canada, and many more would do so if their finances would allow.” See Millennial Star 62, no. 27 (1900): 426.

[62] Loftur Bjarnason, “From Iceland,” Millennial Star 68, no. 8 (1906): 121. Furthermore, seven months later, the Millennial Star 68, no. 38 (1906): 607, reported Loftor Bjarnason was in charge of fifty-three emigrating Saints from Iceland. The Historical Record of the Icelandic Mission, 1873—1914, 62—63, reports twenty-seven Church members and thirteen children under the age of eight. On these pages there is also a statistical membership list for the years 1900 to 1911. By 1911, there were only twenty-six members and three children under the age of eight that were recorded.

[63] Elder Bjarnason, “Notes from Iceland,” Millennial Star 67’, no. 41 (1905): 653. Writing from Reykjavik, Halldór Johnson, noted five years earlier, “If we had a meeting house here we could get many listeners, and, I believe, many would join the Church.” See “Abstract of Correspondence,” Millennial Star 62, no. 15 (1900): 234.

[64] “Historical Record of Icelandic Mission, 1873–1914,” 41: “July 8, 1914, Elder Einar Eriksen, who commenced his labors on the Island July 11, 1913, was released today, on account of a discontinuence of missionary work in Iceland, and in compliance with instructions received from the First Presidency.”

[65] Although there was no organized LDS branch between 1914 and 1964, in 1930 two full-time missionaries were sent to Iceland from the Scandinavian Mission to serve for a few months. Their names were James C. Ostegar and F. Lynn Michelsen (see Marius A. Christensen, “History of the Danish Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1850–1964” [unpublished master’s thesis, 1966], 129). Christensen also points out that in 1955 Elder Spencer W. Kimball raised the question of opening up missionary work in Iceland and indicated that in 1961 President McKay sent Alvin R. Dyer, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, to Iceland to look into the possibility of again sending missionaries to Iceland (131). For the interesting story of events leading up to missionary work again opening up in Iceland, see 1973 typescript of interview of Grant Ruel Ipsen, president of the Danish Mission, Church Archives, 1—6. Latter-day Saint David B. Timmins also made friends for America and the Church while serving as the U.S. diplomat to Iceland from 1958 to 1960. According to Timmins, during this time he met with the Lutheran bishop of Iceland, who informed Timmins that he “would be pleased to welcome Mormon missionaries back to Iceland . . . because he felt we had a message which would improve the moral climate of his countrymen which he considered deteriorating. Timmins also noted that he and his family met Iceland’s elite when they accepted an invitation to visit the country home of Halldor Laxness who had won a Nobel prize for literature. He discussed his future novel Paradise Regained (published in 1962) which focused on a Latter-day Saint Icelandic emigrant who returned to his homeland (see David B. Timmins, “The Second Beginning of the Church in Iceland,” unpublished threepage document in the possession of Clark T. Thorstenson).

[66] Byron T. Geslison, “Mission Report of Iceland,” December 1977, 4–5, in possession of Byron T. Geslison.

[67] Geslison, “Mission Report,” 19.

[68] Autobiographical Sketch of Thor Leifson, in Icelandic Memories, vol. 1, compiled by Phyllis H. Ashby and in her possession, (n.p., n.d.).

[69] Autobiographical Sketch of Clark T. Thorstenson, in Icelandic Memories, vol. 1.

[70] According to LaNora Allred, “The Icelanders of Utah,” (n.p., 1988), 39, “In 1897 under the leadership of Einar H. Jonson the Icelanders formed a committee to plan a special holiday in commemoration of the settlement of Iceland in the year 1894. Although the actual date of settlement was June 17, the committee decided upon August 2 as the day.”

[71] Interviews with Clark T Thorstenson on 10 July 2001 and David A. Ashby on 11 July 2001.

[72] Interview with David A. Ashby on 6 July 2000. Ashby served as the president of the Icelandic Association of Utah Inc. from 1994 to 1995 and from 1999 to 2000. John K. Johnson is now serving as president for the duration of 2001 to 2002, but Ashby is still very involved with this organization and is currently serving as the chairman of public affairs.

[73] On 1 December the First Presidency issued the following statement: “We wish to reiterate the long-standing counsel to members of the Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States. As members throughout the world remain in their homelands, working to rebuild the Church in their native countries, great blessings will come to them personally and to the Church collectively” (see Church News, 11 December 1999, 7).

[74] This center is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1995 Clark T Thorstenson was instrumental in arranging to have the Icelandic genealogical materials transferred from the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake to the Regional Family History Center in Spanish Fork, which is an important source for this topic of study.





Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church

Published / by Martha Hernandez / Leave a Comment

Write up by Martha Hernandez

Placed by: Utah State Historical Society

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 45.390 W 111° 53.025

Historical Marker Text: Organized during the 1880’s by the Reverend T. Saunders, this congregation has served as a focus of Black religious, social, and cultural activity in Utah from territorial days to the present. In 1907 property at this spot was acquired, and a church designed by Hurly Howell was constructed through the sacrifice and energy of the congregation under the Revered T.C. Bell. Restoration was begun in 1976 under the Reverend D.D. Wilson.

Extended Research:
The beginnings of the African Methodist Episcopal church of Salt Lake City can be traced back to an organizational meeting led by Reverend James Saunders on November 1890.[1] Although initially located on Fourth West and Sixth South, the African Methodist Episcopal church switched locations several times between 1890 and 1910. Additional changes took place under the leadership of Reverend McIntyre, including a name change. The A.M.E. Church became the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal church.[2]

Finally, in 1907, after years of holding church meetings in private homes, the congregation of the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church fundraised and purchased the land property where the Trinity A.M.E. still stands today. Construction of the church building began in 1909 and restoration took place under Reverend D.D. Wilson in 1976.

The Trinity A.M.E. Church is located at 239 East Martin Luther King Boulevard (600 South) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Trinity A.M.E. has Gothic revival architecture. The building is small and rectangular with a square tower, stained-glass windows, wooden doors, and a red brick exterior.

In addition to providing religious services, the Trinity A.M.E. played a critical role in the development of community for African Americans in Salt Lake City between 1890 and 1910. Shortly after the founding of the Trinity A.M.E., the African American community in Salt Lake City founded fraternal orders, civic and social clubs, and a women’s club.[3] The small population size of the African American community in Salt Lake City, along with racial prejudice against African Americans at the national level between 1847 and 1910 created the need for spaces where African Americans could worship, congregate, socialize, and support each other.[4] African American churches like Trinity A.M.E. served the spiritual and secular needs of their members.

In 2012 the Trinity A.M.E. Church suffered water damage to its basement walls, which caused attendance to dwindle to about 50 worshipers per week.[5] As of 2017, the Trinity A.M.E. church is a living landmark and continues to serve its congregation by holding religious services including Sunday morning worship, church school, bible study, and special events like film screenings.[6]


[1] Miriam B. Murphy, “African Americans Built Churches.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

[2] Ronald G. Coleman, “A History of Blacks in Utah, 1825-1910”. (PhD dissertation, University of Utah, 1980), 90-91.

[3] Ronald G. Coleman, “African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly.

[4] George M. Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914, (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).

[5] Donald W. Myers, “Faiths Rally to Restore Historic Salt Lake City Church”. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 16, 2012.

[6] Kristen Moulton, “Salt Lake City Church Screens Raw but Redemptive ‘Precious’”. The Salt Lake Tribune. July 2, 2010.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Moulton, Kristen. “Salt Lake City Church Screens Raw but Redemptive ‘Precious’”. The Salt Lake Tribune. July 2, 2010.

Myers W. Donald. “Faiths Rally to Restore Historic Salt Lake City Church”. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 16, 2012.

Secondary Sources:

Coleman G. Ronald. “A History of Blacks in Utah, 1825-1910”. (PhD dissertation, University of Utah, 1980), 90-91.

Coleman G. Ronald. “African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

Fredrickson M. George. The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914, (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).

Murphy B. Miriam. “African Americans Built Churches.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

Jacob Hamblin (#21), Fort Kanab (#151)

Published / by Lisa Barr / 2 Comments on Jacob Hamblin (#21), Fort Kanab (#151)

Written by Lisa Barr, US History/ Public History MA Student, University of Utah

Jacob Hamblin (#21)

Placed by: Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmark Association and citizens of Kanab Stake

GPS Coordinates:  37° 02.967’ N, -112° 32.114’ W

Located at the Levi Stewart Memorial in Kanab

Photograph by Lisa Barr, February 18, 2017

Historical Text: 

No. 21 Erected Sept. 2, 1933

Jacob Hamblin

Born April 2, 1819    Died August 21, 1886

The great Mormon frontiersman and Indian missionary settled in Tooele Valley, Utah in 1850 and began preaching negotiations with the red men. He was so successful that the officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent him to establish residence among the Indians at Santa Clara, Utah in 1854.

Frank Asahel Beckwith, Kanab Markers (2). February 1, 1941, Courtesy Willard Marriott Library

A fort was erected on this site in 1865 into which he moved in 1869. He assisted Maj. J.W. Powell and party 1869-72. He was transferred in 1878 to Arizona and later to New Mexico. He is buried in Alpine, Arizona. His friendship with the Indians saved many lives.

Extended Research:

Jacob Hamblin was born in 1819 in Salem, Ohio and baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842. He helped to settled Tooele, Utah in 1850 before Brigham Young sent him on a mission to the Native Americans in southern Utah in 1854. Hamblin first came to the Kanab area in 1867 to form alliances with members of the Hopi, Southern Paiute, and Navajo tribes. Hamblin hoped to teach them to farm, and convert them to Mormonism.

Eventually, Hamblin and his family moved from Santa Clara to Kanab in 1869 so that he could try to improve Mormon-Navajo relations in northern Arizona. In 1870, Brigham Young assigned Levi Stewart to lead Kanab’s resettlement which freed Hamblin to accompany John Wesley Powell on his second Colorado River expedition in 1871 and 1872. Hamblin and his family moved to Milligan’s Fort in Northern Arizona in 1878, and then to Pleasanton, New Mexico in 1883. He died of malaria in 1886 and is buried in Alpine, Arizona.

Fort Kanab (#151)

Placed by: The descendants of Levi Stewart and Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association

GPS Coordinates:  37° 02.967’ N,  -112° 32.114’ W

Historical Marker Text:

Photograph by Lisa Barr, February 18, 2017

No. 115 Erected April 11, 1950

Fort Kanab

On June, 14, 1870 Levi Stewart, who had been called from Salt Lake County by President Brigham Young to head a group of pioneers in settling this area, brought a party with seven wagons from Pipe Spring, where they had camped temporarily to Fort Kanab which had been built a year before by Jacob Hamblin and Indian missionaries.

Located at the Levi Stewart Memorial, Kanab, Utah Photograph by Lisa Barr, February 18, 2017

Kanab Ward was organized September 11, 1870 with Elder Stewart as bishop. Other settlers arrived, homes were built and plans were made for a permanent community. A fire in the fort on December 14, took the lives of Mrs. Margery Wilkerson Stewart and five sons.

Extended Research:

Kanab’s first settlers built Fort Kanab in stages between 1865 and 1869. The fort was vacated in 1866 due to increased Navajo and Southern Paiute raids that resulted from the Black Hawk War. In 1867, Jacob Hamblin traveled to the area to establish peace with Hopis and Southern Paiute Indians, however, Navajos continued to carryout raids throughout the region. Hamblin moved to Kanab from Santa Clara in 1869 and began to rebuild the fort which lasted until Brigham Young sent Levi Stewart to resettle the town of Kanab in 1870. The new settlers, including Stewart’s family, lived in the fort while they built homes in town. Southern Paiutes were also a part of Fort Kanab’s community and some lived in the fort and helped to farm the land in exchange for food.

Frank Asahel Beckwith, Kanab Markers (2). February 1, 1941, Courtesy Willard Marriott Library

Fort Kanab caught fire the night of December 14, 1870. Kerosene and turpentine that were stored in the fort exploded and collapsed the roof, killing Stewart’s wife Margery and five of their sons. Jacob Hamblin recalled the fire in his journal, stating that the fort was “in a moment enveloped in an intense flame which burst out from the only entrance, and that the scene could never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.”[1]

[1] Jacob Hamblin, Jacob Hamblin: His Life in His Own Words (New York: Paramount Books, 1995), 95.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Adams, John Q. Pioneer Personal History of John Q. Adams, Kanab, Utah. July, 16, 1938.

Beckwith, Frank Asahel.  Kanab Markers (2). February 1, 1941, Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hamblin, Jacob. Jacob Hamblin: Life in His Own Words. New York: Paramount Books, 1995.

Secondary Sources:

Bradley, Martha Sonntag. A History of Kane County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical         Society, Kane County Commission, 1999.

Brooks, Juanita. Jacob Hamblin: Mormon Apostle to the Indians. Salt Lake City: Westwater       Press, 1980.

Compton, Todd. A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2013.




United Order Industries

Published / by Lisa Barr / Leave a Comment

Written by Lisa Barr, US History/Public History MA Student, University of Utah

Placed By: Daughter of Utah Pioneers

GPS Coordinates: 37° 16.555’ N, -112° 38.346’ W

Historical Marker Text:

Located on S Highway 89 in front of the Orderville LDS Church building. Photograph by Lisa Barr, February 18, 2017

No. 290 Erected 193

United Order Industries

Photograph by Lisa Barr, February 18, 2017

On March 20, 1874, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints organized a modern Order of Enoch, called The United Order, Israel Hoyt, First President. A community dining hall with bakery was first constructed, also a garden house for seeds and tools.
They built a carpenter, blacksmith and shoe shop, tannery, gristmill, sawmill, molasses mill, bucket factory, a woolen and cotton factory: engaged in the silk industry, dairying, broom and hat making. The people planted farms, orchards and gardens, raised sheep and cattle. Cooperative ended in 1886.

Orderville Camp Kane County, Utah (This area is partially damaged. Two words are illegible.)

Extended Research:

In 1875, some residents of Mt. Carmel, Utah led an effort to organized a new town in a new location and to call their new settlement Orderville. Their vision for the new community centered on Mormon ideals of unity, order, and economic equality and were the result of their leader, Brigham Young’s recent encouragement to establish self-sustaining cooperatives throughout the Utah Territory. The movement was known as the United Order or the United Order of Enoch. Brigham Young hoped that such efforts would prod Mormons toward greater equality through shared labor, resources, and property as well as limit the negative repercussions from the cyclical economic downturns associated with capitalism.

Orderville, Utah p.1. Classified Photograph Collection, Courtesy Utah State History, Willard Marriott Library

Many Orderville  residents were originally from settlements along the Muddy River in Nevada, where they had previously attempted and failed to develop a cotton industry based on cooperative principles. Fortunately, Orderville’s fertile soil proved more conducive to farming and timber resources were also readily available. Order members built a tannery, dairy farm, sawmill, wool and cotton factory, molasses mill, bakery, school, ZCMI cooperative, and community dining hall. Emma Carroll Seegmiller, who was a child of the United Order, recalls how “everyone would eat at three large tables, pour molasses over bread and eat it like bread and milk, and that three-hundred pounds of flour was made into bread every day.”[1 Families lived in one and two room apartments called “shanties” that were joined together at the center of town. The Order also had a board of directors who assigned labor roles and determined how resources were used. Seegmiller and other children were in charge of distributing the divided goods to families and said that “it was a delightful priveledge to help the United Order.”[2]

United Orderville Woolen Mill p.1. Unknown date. Classified Photograph Collection, Courtesy Utah State History, Willard Marriott Library

Orderville began to decline in 1880 as southern Utah’s economy expanded and became more competitive. The United Order also started to use the wage labor and to divide cooperative property into private half acre lots. These factors hindered cooperation and Orderville’s United Order dissolved in 1885. Even still, the Order retained and leased out its wool factory and sheep company for another fifteen years. Although Orderville’s experiment in cooperation did not survive economic competition, it was the LDS Church’s most successful United Order effort and its most complete attempt at economic withdrawal.

[1] Emma Carroll Seegmiller, “Personal Memories of the United Order of Orderville, Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly, v. 7 (1939): 177, 184.

[2] Seegmiller, 174.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Seegmiller, Emma Carroll. “Personal Memories of the United Order of Orderville, Utah.” Utah Historical Quarterly, v. 7 (1939): 160-200.

Orderville, Utah p.1. Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State History, Willard Marriott     Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

United Orderville Woolen Mill p.1. Unknown date. Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State History, Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Secondary Sources:

Arrington, J. Leonard, Feramorz Y. Fox and Dean L. May. Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation Among Mormons. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

Bradley, Martha Sonntag. A History of Kane County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical         Society, Kane County Commission, 1999.


1853 Holladay Fort

Published / by Ben Hopes / Leave a Comment

By Ben Hopes, Masters of Education Graduate Student

GPS Coordinates: 40˚ 37’ 4.84” N, 111˚ 49’ 36.21”

Holladay Historical Marker

Extended Research About Holladay:

In July of 1847, Holladay became the first village established independent of Salt Lake City. At the time, Latter Day Saints Prophet Brigham Young sent out members of his congregation to colonize different parts of Utah, particularly areas rich in natural resources. Led by John Brown, the pioneers of the Mississippi Company founded the village, flourishing with an abundance of natural resources. A free flowing stream fed through the Holladay area, and provided the rich and fertile lands for farming and planting[1]. The area was known as Cottonwood or the Mississippi Ward, but would be named Holladay after a particularly influential bishop, John D. Holladay. The settlement would grow to include schools, churches, and the creation of a fort in 1853, intended as protection against Native American raids but instead became a place for the settlers to gather.

Marker at Approximate Location of Southeast Corner of Holladay Fort

The Mississippi Company itself had known hardship; they had existed in the Southern States Mission, where they were often met with vitriol and physical harm[2]. They had moved west nearly a full year before the Mormon exodus of 1847, wintering at Pueblo, Colorado. Many of its members volunteered to join the Mormon Battalion, formed to aid the United States’ incursion into Mexico: The men and their families knew sacrifice. The struggles that they encountered in trying to fulfill their Prophet’s, and ultimately their God’s, vision created in them a firm belief that they were truly a chosen people destined for eternal greatness. According to various accounts, the Saints of this era met each challenge with the strength of their convictions and the willingness to work together, united in their goals[3]. Pioneers saw obstacles, such as hunger or physical hardship on the trail, as trials to be conquered with the aid of an almighty God. The Mississippi Company acted admirably in much the same way.

The Mormon colonization efforts were remarkable. Because of their strong, central leadership and the complete cooperation of their congregations, a community infrastructure could be quickly established that led to economically competent planning, ensuring a town’s immediate survival. One can see the precision of the Mormon colonization machine in the fact that Holladay was founded only a month after the Brigham Young’s famous incursion into the Salt Lake Valley. The tenacity of their efforts would further be reflected in the founding of the San Bernadino Mission in California (1851) by some of the members of the Mississippi Company.

Six years after the Mormon migration of 1847, Chief Walker of the Ute tribe declared war on the Mormons in the valley, in immediate retaliation for the death of a Ute Indian in a small conflict in Utah Valley, and for the larger reason that the Mormon people had encroached on his tribe’s lands and did not seem to have any intention of letting up in their colonization efforts. While this is called the Walker War, there was not much conflict: it was mainly a series of Indian raids and small Mormon reprisals. There were no great battles and a peace would be declared in May of 1854, with few conciliatory negotiations to resolve the ideological conflicts between the two groups.[4]

About the Holladay Fort:

However, the fear of Indian attacks led to the creation of the Holladay Fort in 1853 (it is very likely that it was never completely finished). Built from adobe mud and straw, it provided some protection but the Indian threat (the attacks were focused mainly in central Utah) was not enough to convince Holladay’s 161 inhabitants to move in. A house within its walls would serve as the meeting place for school and church functions in the area, until a new school/church would be built on the fort grounds in 1861.

In 1873, a new church, separate from the school, was built on the grounds. This church would serve LDS needs until 1972. In 1876, a new school was constructed on the fort site, accommodating school children until 1893, when another school was constructed just south. This 2-story, 4-room school would become a gymnasium for the 3-story, newly renamed Irving Junior High School, created in 1905. Irving Junior High was built to the west of the 1893 building (the gymnasium) and would be renamed Olympus Junior High in 1943.

Approximate Location of the 1853 Holladay Fort (Now a Field for Olympus Junior High)

Olympus Junior High would be torn down in 2002 to make way for a new school, moved slightly to the west of the original site. Today the grounds of the fort roughly encompass the entirety of the field used by the school, in addition to a small business and the LDS seminary building that Olympus Junior students regularly attend. Despite resistance to the westward move[5], the new building has become a community landmark and important facet of family life in Holladay itself.

The creation of the Holladay Fort in 1853, while not initially significant, set aside an area that would become culturally and socially important to the community for nearly the next 100 years. Out of regional fears, the fort was designed to keep raiding Utes out and yet it proved to be a joyful place where the community gathered to celebrate their own culture and to continually devote themselves to their religion. By housing the educational and spiritual centers of Holladay, the fort provided the means for Mormon culture to survive and grow, fed by Spring Creek in the shadow of Mount Olympus.

Marker Placed by: The City of Holladay, Jay M. Todd (constructed in July 1996), surveyed by Kate Wacker (Utah State Historical Society)

 Secondary Sources:

  • Arrington, Leonard J. “The Mississippi Mormons.” Ensign June 1977: N.p. Web. 29 Mar. 2017
  • Bigler, David L., and Bagley, Will.Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives. 2000. Print. Kingdom in the West ; v. 4.
  • Christy, Howard A.The Walker War: Defense and Conciliation as Strategy.  Print.
  • Parrish, William E. “The Mississippi Saints.”Historian 4 (1988): 489-506.
  • Van Leer, Twila. “School Construction Gets F From Residents.” Deseret News, 23 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.
  • “City of Holladay.” City of Holladay. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Primary Sources:

  • Bullock, Thomas.The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock. Vol. 1. Arthur H Clark, 1997. Print.
  • Olsen, Alice M., Olsen, R. L, and Lewis, Ira Allen. Mount Olympus & Holladay, Early Years (1920-30) : Featuring the Photographic Art Taken 1920-1930+ by Ira Allen Lewis (b. 1877 Holladay, Utah-d. 1948 Holladay, Utah), Some of the Old Homes of Holladay, Mount Olympus, Cottonwood Creek & Holladay (photographed from 1940-2010 by Alice McDonald Olsen). Print.

[1] “City of Holladay.” City of Holladay. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

[2] Arrington, Leonard J. “The Mississippi Mormons.” Ensign June 1977: N.p. Web. 29 Mar. 2017

[3] Bullock, Thomas. The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock. Vol. 1. Arthur H Clark, 1997.

[4] Christy, Howard A. The Walker War : Defense and Conciliation as Strategy. 1979. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

[5] Van Leer, Twila. “School Construction Gets F From Residents.” Deseret News, 23 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Fort Herriman

Published / by Jeffrey Norton / Leave a Comment

Write-Up by Jeff Norton, History Teaching student, University of Utah

GPS: N 40 31.245 W 112 1.973

Placed by: Utah Pioneers and Landmark Association, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, West Jordan B.S.A. and Members of West Jordan Stake and Former Residents

The Fort was named after Henry Herriman who helped establish the town of Herriman which is located is Salt Lake County, UT which is the southwest part of the county.  The fort was originally established as protection against the Indians.  It also served as a trading outpost the settlers.  Constructed in 1851, covering about 2 ½ acres of land made from concrete[1].   The fort had a river that ran down the south side.  It also had many buildings in which you would find a school house, which served a dual purpose as a church and various residences as well.[2]  Originally constructed in 1851 and in 1853 the fort was reinforced with twenty other families that moved in to settle as well.[3]
Under orders from Brigham Young the Fort was abandoned in 1858 upon the approach of Colonel Johnson’s Army.  The settlers were instructed by the first Presidency of the LDS church to stay in the walls while Johnson’s Army was there.  Some of the settlers stayed and others more a few years later and established the town of Herriman.  The fort was named for Henry Herriman and Butterfield Canyon nearby for Thomas Butterfield, pioneers of this region.

When it was first vacated by the settlers after reassurance that Indians would no longer bother them they moved out.  Present day there is nothing left of the fort.  There is a fence poles between the marker.  Other than the marker there is nothing left to remind anyone of the fort.  It was torn down to and the land that the Fort sat on was turned into a development of houses.  The rocks from the fort was used to build foundations for those houses.


[1] Utah State Historical Archives. (n.d.). A History of Herriman.

[2] See Attached Map

[3] Jenson, A. (n.d.). Herriman.



Jenson, A. (n.d.). Herriman.

Utah State Historical Archives. (n.d.). A History of Herriman.

Historical Marker Document


Brigham Young’s Beehive House

Published / by Joshua Tedeschi / Leave a Comment

Write up by Joshua Tedeschi

Placed by Brigham Young and Truman O. Angell (Later additions by Jon Young)

GPS Coordinates : 40.7696° N, 111.8888° W

Historical Marker Text Part 1: In 1847 after the Mormons arrived to Utah led by Brigham Young, they attempted to settle the Salt Lake Valley. In order to accomplish this goal of developing a society in this region Young had to establish residence in the area and in 1854 with the help of temple architect Truman O. Angell, he was able to construct what would be known as the Beehive House. This house was given its name from the idea that the Mormons had the work ethic of a colony of bees and their togetherness and dedication to being a successful society provided them with the symbol of the beehive and that is why it is seen so frequently throughout the home itself.

Historical Marker Text Part 2: Brigham Young was required to construct such a large home to accommodate his wives seeing that he lived a polygamist lifestyle. However, he did not stay in the same room as any of his family members. Seeing that he had so many people visiting him on a daily basis he preferred to complete these tasks in a room or his office while his first wife, Lucy Decker, was able to take care of household activities from her own quarters. The construction of the Beehive house provided the continuing symbol of the beehive for many years to come and is something that is still seen today in Utah’s society.


Extended Research: Brigham Young, born in June 1801, became the second President of the LDS Church and was credited with the establishment of Salt Lake City when the Mormon pioneers moved west in 1847. Once establishing himself as a devout Mormon and eventual polygamist he ended up marrying 55 women and had over 50 children. The only way to accommodate this kind of family was with a rather large residence and that is how his house in Salt Lake City came into play. Young was an extremely family oriented man but chose to keep business separate from family seeing that he had his room separate from his wives. The decision to separate his bedroom from that of his wife. was strictly business oriented and he finally had something worth working for but even in this time of people coming in and out of his home frequently he set aside a few hours each night at 6:30 to spend time in the family room with his family. Growing up with a job as a carpenter, once Young discovered the Book of Mormon it gave his life a sense of purpose and his arrival in the Salt Lake Valley provided him with a new opportunity to dedicate himself to his religion and to his family. His roll in becoming the president of the Mormon church drastically changed his life in a sense that he was essentially leading a group of people toward freedom and the responsibility that came with having control over the Mormon religion began to take over his everyday routine. Throughout his life however, Young always lived a middle class lifestyle and never had any fancy belongings or luxuries that would let you know that he was the leader of the Mormon community. It was not until Young’s passing and his son Jon took over the residence and ended up adding a large portion onto the home and could substantially tell the difference because Jon was a wealthy businessman. The Beehive house in itself represents much more than just the life of Brigham Young, it provides insight into how the Mormons settled and developed that Salt Lake Valley and why it is shaped into the city it is today. Young’s ability to balance both family and running the church is clearly revealed when examining his home because he was able to keep them strictly separated yet still made substantial time for both. His home holds a substantial piece in Utah history because it reveals how those migrating to Utah were able to come together as a society to create the lifestyle that they had wished to live out from their creation.  The beehive is a perfect representation of what it took for the Mormons to create a society in which they could peacefully live outside of government grasp and continue moving forward as a people that would eventually be accepted into the United States Culture. Unfortunately for them, their attempt at a peaceful move outside of US control turned out to be not so peaceful and actually led to much larger conflict in which the Mormons were seen as a group of people who were a plague to the rest of America.

(Blueprint of Temple to be constructed in Valley in Brigham Young’s office)

(Recurring theme of bees carved into wood beams)

(Brigham Young’s bedroom)

(Family Room)

(Painting of Salt Lake Valley during Mormon settlement)



Secondary Sources

Hendricks, Rickey Lynn. “Landmark Architecture for a Polygamous Family: The Brigham Young Domicile, Salt Lake City, Utah.” The Public Historian, vol. 11, no. 1, 1989, pp. 25–47.,

“Little-Told History” of Beehive House and Lion House”, R. Scott Lloyd

“Women at home in the Beehive House” Natalie R

Primary Sources

“Brigham Young at Home” Clarissa Young Spencer

Beehive House Personal tour

German War Memorial

Published / by Kaleigh McLaughlin / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Kaleigh McLaughlin Undergraduate B.A. History and International Studies, University of Utah, University of South Dakota


Coordinates:  40.7601° N, 111.8243° W




Erected by the German-Americans of the United States of America. And the American Legion of the State of Utah. Unveiled on the 30th of May 1933.

Arno A. Steinicke. Sculptor



German War Memorial

The German War Memorial to the Victims of War was erected by the German-Americans of the United States of America in cooperation with the American Legion of the State of Utah in memory of the men who died while interred at Fort Douglas during World War I.

The monument was designed and constructed by Arno Steinicke. It was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1933.

Fifty-five years later, in 1988, the monument was restored by sculptor Hans Huettlinger and his son John under arrangements made by the German Air Force and German War Graves Commission.

Today the restored monument stands in of the victims of both World Wars who are buried here in Fort Douglas Cemetery and to the victims of war and despotism throughout the world.

Transcript Right Column in German:

Das  Deutsche Ehrenmal der Kriegstoten wurde von den Deutsch-Amerikanern in Zusammenarbeit mit der American Legion of the State of Utah zum Gedenken an die als Internierte und Kriegsgefangene des I. Weltkrieges in Fort Douglas verstorbenen Deutsch errichtet.

Kunstlerischer Entwurt und Ausfuhrung der Arbeiten erfolgeten durch Arno A. Steinecke. Das Ehrenmal wurde am Memorial Day, den 30. Mai 1933 eigeweiht.

Nach 55 Jahren wurde das Ehrenmal 1988 auf Initiative der Deutsch Luftwaffe im Zusammenwirken mit dem Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge e.V. durch den Bildhauer Has Huttlinger und seinen Sohn John aus Salt Lake City restauriert.

Das Ehrenmal dient nun dem Gedenken der Opfer der beiden Weltkriege, die hier in Fort Douglas ruhen sowie darbuer hinaus allen Opfern von Kriegen und Gewaltherrschaft in der Welt.


The Last Resting Place of 21 German Prisoners of War who died at Fort Douglas during the World War


Henry L. Zinnel

Frank Stadler

Arthur Ruebe

Karl G. W. Blaase

Erich Laevemann

Friedrich O. Hanf

Walter J. Piezareck

Emil Laschke

Roko Zilko

Felix Behr

Maximilian Kampmann

Max Leopold

Joseph Fuckola

Herman Lieder

Stanislaus Lewitski

Georg Schmidt

Charles Morth

Frank Benes

Adolf Wachenhusen

Herman German

Walter Topff


Extended Research

On April 6, 1917 the United States unilaterally declared war on Germany. This moment marked the beginning of U.S. entry into the First World War. Accompanying U.S. entry into the war were all of the complications including the logistical, and tactical issues associated with war. One such issue the U.S. had to face was the treatment of ‘enemy aliens’. “Enemy aliens were defined as males born in Germany over the age of fourteen who have not been naturalized[1]”. As U.S. involvement in WWI progressed the ‘enemy alien’ classification was broadened to include Austro-Hungarians as well.

German Consul and Memorial Designer Steinicke Visiting the Memorial. Salt Lake Telegram, May 29, 1937


A person classified as ‘enemy alien’ was restricted in their freedom of speech and their mobility. Specifically, “enemy aliens were not allowed to write, print, or publish any attack against the United States or against anyone in the civil service, armed forces or the local municipal government[2]” Furthermore, “no alien enemy could depart the United States without a permit except under court order[3]”.  Under section 4067 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, enemy aliens who violated, or were suspected of violating these prohibitions were subject to arrest, internment, and removal.

Fort Douglas, Utah was to be the site of one of three designated camps during WWI.  “On May 2, 1917 [a] public announcement was made that Fort Douglas was to be the site of one of three internment camps for German prisoners of war taken from naval vessels[4]”. However, as U.S. involvement in the Great War continued, hysteria and paranoia about German spy plots increased. This occurred alongside a rise in arrests of enemy aliens for suspected subversive activities by U.S. Marshals. As a result, the designation of Fort Douglas changed. Originally, the camp was to contain German naval prisoners of war, however, this designation changed to include both naval prisoners of war, and enemy aliens.  In March of 1918, all of the remaining naval sailors were moved to Fort McPherson in Georgia and the camp at Fort Douglas evolved into an internment camp for enemy aliens[5]. This change has particular significance for the German War Memorial at the at the Fort Douglas cemetery. Out of the 21 names listed on the German War Memorial, only one is a naval prisoner of war (Stanilaus Lewitski), the rest are enemy aliens.

Salt Lake Telegram, May 30, 1935

Fort Douglas was “chosen for its central locality and its proximity to a main rail line[6]” The proximity to the railroad is the critical selection criteria, because the railroad would easily facilitate the transportation of interned aliens and prisoners of war. The ease of transportation was crucial to the selection of Fort Douglas because of the locations of the two other internment camps.  “The other two camps were located at Fort McPherson and Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia[7]”.  This meant that Fort Douglas was the only location west of the Mississippi where prisoners of war and interned aliens could be detained. “The civilian enemy aliens were rounded up by local authorities in most western states including Texas, California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, and South Dakota[8]” and then interned at Fort Douglas.

Life at Fort Douglas was different depending on whether you were a prisoner of war or an enemy alien. From the outset German prisoners of war were physically separated from the interned enemy aliens. This was an intentional action as specified by a letter to the inspector general of the army stating that there must be an that there must be an “absolute separation of Prisoners of War from interned aliens by sending the former class to the War Prison Barracks, at Fort McPherson, Georgia”.  The two groups at Fort Douglas enjoyed different privileges and experienced vastly different treatment throughout their stay at the camp. Inspections of the War Prison Barracks by the Swiss Legation demonstrate the differences between the two camps. In 1917, the barrack inspection of the prisoner of war camp “found it [the camp] in all respects excellent. The only problem was the athletic field. It was found to be too small[9]”. However, with regard to the inspection of the enemy alien camp the Swiss Legation concluded: “To attend church services, civilians [enemy aliens] had to make a request. Civilians were not allowed to partake in activities in the Y.M.C.A…persons suffering from Syphilis were not separated from other prisoners[10]”. Furthermore, there was a note about the increasing antagonism and animosity between the guards and the enemy aliens.

The experiences of Stanislaus Lewitski (a war prisoner) and Heinrich Ludwig (Henry L) Zinnel (enemy alien), underscore the differences between the two groups at Fort Douglas.

“An illiterate machinist employed at the Southwestern Machine Shop in El Paso, was working the day of his arrest. Heinrich Ludwig Zinnel, a thirty-five-year-old native of Germany, was making $4.50 per day when, on December 17, 1917, he was arrested and taken to the county jail at El Paso…Zinnel’s property was confiscated upon arrest and he remained at the country jail until eight days later when he was taken to Fort Douglas, on Christmas Day[11]”.

Cunningham continues Zinnel’s story noting that Zinnel accidentally injured himself while on the way to Fort Douglas. Visits to doctors proved to be ineffective, with one doctor accusing Zinnel of faking his illness. However, upon arrival at Fort Douglas Zinnel was desperately ill. He was suffering from fevers and losing weight. A roommate of Zinnel at Fort Douglas noted that Zinnel went from being about 180 pounds to 90. The doctor who attended Zinnel believed he was suffering from acute gastritis from some sort of poisoning. On June 1, 1918 Zinnel died. “A death certificate was not filed with the State of Utah, which was required by state law, and as a posthumous insult, his body was taken to be buried In the Fort Douglas Cemetery in a garbage wagon[12]”.      

It is significant to contrast the treatment of Zinnel with that of another detainee at Fort Douglas. Stanislaus Lewitski, was one of the prisoners of war. Lewitski was a member of the SMS Cormoron, a ship which was captured and destroyed near Guam. Lewitski sustained a fatal injury while doing some gymnastics at the Y.M.C.A. Lewitski suffered from a broken spinal column and died within a few days of receiving his injuries. While both Zinnel and Lewitski may have died at Fort Douglas their treatment after death is where those similarities end. In contrast to Zinnel, Lewitski was taken and “buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery with full honors[13]”. The comparison in treatment after death between Zinnel and Lewitski underscores the differences between prisoners of war and enemy aliens at Fort Douglas. Another experience highlighting this difference was that of Emil Laschke. He “was an interned alien, but was a naval officer by trade. Hentschel [another inmate] recalled, ‘one of the dead, a Junior Officer in the Navy, Emil Laschke, was mocked by the placing of a gray cross upon his body and he was refused a grave stone[14]’”.

The differences in treatment between the war prisoners and enemy aliens, offer insights into the perceptions of Americans of the time about these groups. The Naval prisoners held at Fort Douglas were legitimate combatant actors in war. These were patriotic men fighting for their nation. In this regard, they were very similar to their American counterparts. However, enemy aliens were perceived differently. The classification of these people  ‘enemy aliens’ has strong and significant connotations, which could have helped to shape perceptions of Americans about such people. The plethora of propaganda and paranoia towards enemy aliens clearly illustrates what the perceptions of Americans were towards this group. Enemy aliens were perceived as dishonorable combatants. They were spies and defectors of malicious intent who embedded themselves among the general populace seeking subterfuge. They were a strange people who had refused assimilation into American life, and who had more importantly, refused American citizenship. All of these factors combined helped to make enemy aliens especially suspect during the war years.

However, it is important to note that enemy aliens were civilian noncombatants living in the United States. Many were immigrants who became trapped behind enemy lines with the declaration of war. Often, enemy aliens, were people negatively affected by wartime policy through no fault of their own. Many of the enemy aliens, due to vague laws, rumors, and suspicion were persecuted, arrested, and interned with little to no recourse. The true tragedy of camps like Fort Douglas is evidenced by the lives of those who lived and died within such camps. Interment, meant the loss of jobs, social isolation and stigmatization, and could also mean death. In the case of Fort Douglas, each of the 21 men interned were people with the agency to succeed and flourish within the United States. It is a somber truth that the internment of these men resulted in their deaths denying them such opportunities. But, it is this somber truth which demonstrates the need for historical research to serve as documentation, but more importantly as a remembrance for those who lived and died at the Fort Douglas internment camp during World War I. What follows are short biographical sketches of the men whose names are listed on the historical marker at the Fort Douglas cemetery. The majority of the men died of illness related to the global Spanish Influenza outbreak that killed forty million people worldwide: during World War I.

Arthur Ruebe                                                                                                                                

According to his death certificate, Arthur Ruebe was interned alien enemy no. 1150. He was a merchant born in Erfurst, Thueringis, Germany. His mother and father are unknown, however, he was married and therefore survived by a wife.
Ruebe died on December 22, 1918, at the age of 44, the cause of death was identified as Bronchio-pneumonia following influenza. The afflicting illness lasted 19 days. Rube was attended to by the leading doctor of War Prison Barracks Three, William F. Beer. He was buried at the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 23.

Charles Morth

According to his death certificate, Charles Morth was interned alien enemy no. 1054. He was born in Krukenberg, Germany. His mother and father are unknown. Morth was married and survived by a wife. Morth died on December 1, 1918 at age 50 from pneumonia, a condition which affected him for two days. Influenza is listed as a contributory affliction. Morth was also attended by Dr. Beer. He was buried at Fort Douglas Cemetery, December 2, 1918. The Salt Lake Tribune published notice of  Morth’s death.

Emil Laschke

The death certificate of Emil Laschke lists him as German Prisoner of War no. 773. Laschke was a machinist mate from Breslau, Silesia, Germany. His father was Heinrich Laschke, his mother is unknown. At his time of death he was unmarried. Laschke died on December 3, 1918 at the age of 25 from influenza. Bronchial pneumonia is listed as a contributory affliction. The cause of death and afflicting conditions lasted 9 days. Laschke was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 4, 1918. On December 5, 1918 the Salt Lake Telegram documented Laschke’s death.

Erich Laevemann                                                                  

Erich Laevemann is listed as Prisoner of War no. 813. He was born in Duisburg on the Rhine, Germany. His mother and father are listed as unknown. At the time of his death he was unmarried. Laevemann died on December 10, 1918, at age 22 of bronchial pneumonia. A contributory affliction is listed as influenza. The primary and contributory illnesses lasted 6 days. Attended to by Dr. Beer, Laevemann was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 12, 1918. No newspaper sources have been discovered documenting the death of Laevemann.

Felix Behr

According to his death certificate, Felix Behr is listed as interned enemy alien no. 1151. Behr was born in Stotzheim, Alsace. His occupation is listed as a jeweler. His parents are unknown and at his time of death he was unmarried. Behr died on November 29, 1918 at the age of 32 from influenza complicated by pneumonia. His influenza lasted for seven days, and the pneumonia developed on the third  day.  At his time of death Behr had lived at Fort Douglas for three months and two days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 30, 1918. The Deseret News and Ogden Standard reported Behr’s death shortly thereafter.

Frank Benes

Frank Benes is listed as interned alien enemy no. 914. He was born in Germany in 1894. His parents are unknown. He worked as a miner and at the time of his death he was unmarried. Benes died on November 6, 1918 at age 24 from pneumonia, lobar, bi-lateral. At his time of death, Benes had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and eight days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 7, 1918. The Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported Benes death shortly thereafter.

Herman Lieder

Herman Lieder is listed as interned alien enemy no. 889. He was born in Gera, Turingen, Germany to Paul and Lina Lieder on January 24, 1894. Lieder was a coppersmith and at the time of his death was unmarried. Lieder died on November 18, 1918 at age 24 from pneumonia, pyogenic, bi-lateral, lobar lasting three days. A contributory affliction is listed as a severe cold which lasted one day. At his time of death, Lieder had resided at Fort Douglas for seven months. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 19, 1918.  On November 20, 1918 the Salt Lake Tribune reported Lieder’s death.

Joseph (Joe) Fuckala

According to his death certificate, Joseph Fuckala is listed as interned alien enemy no. 738. He was born in Zelo-Orda, Croatia to Latzko Fukala and Anna Sullitsch. Fuckala was a carpenter and at the time of his death he was unmarried.  Fuckala died on November 23, 1918, at age 30 of Spanish influenza complicated with pneumonia hemorrhages. The affliction lasted three days. At his time of death, Fuckala had resided at Fort Douglas for seven months and twenty-five days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 24, 1918.

Max Leopold

According to his death certificate, Max Leopold is listed as interned alien enemy no. 584. Leopold was born in Germany, his parents are unknown. Leopold’s occupation is unknown. At his time of death he was unmarried. Leopold died on November 24, 1918 age 32 of pneumonia hemorrhages bi-lateral lasting one and-a-half days. A contributory affliction, Spanish influenza is listed as lasting three days. At the time of his death, Fuckala had resided at Fort Douglas for one year three months and twenty-four days. He was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 25, 1918. No newspaper sources were found to report on Leopold’s death.

Maximilian Kampmann

Maximilian Kampmann is listed as interned alien enemy no. 597. Kampmann was born in Elberfeld, Germany, his parents are unknown. Kampmann was a well-respected doctor, specifically a psycho-pathologist who had lived and worked in the Utah area since 1916. Kampmann died on November 26, 1918 at age 29 of pneumonia lasting three days and influenza lasting six days. At the time of his death Kampmann resided at Fort Douglas for one year two months and twenty-six days. Kampmann had at some point formerly resided in Sper Lake, Los Angeles. Kampmann was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on November 28, 1918. The Ogden Standard, the Sun, the Salt Lake Tribune, and Salt Lake Telegram all reported on Kampmann between the period of 1916-1918.

Roko Zilko

The death certificate for Roko Zilko does not specify an interned alien enemy status. However, Zilko was born on the Island of Vys Dalmatia. Zilko’s occupation is listed as a laborer. His parents are unknown. At the time of his death he was unmarried. Zilko died of pneumonia at age 36 on November 30, 1918. The pneumonia developed on the fourth day while he was suffering from influenza for seven days.  At his time of death Zilko had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and twenty-nine days. A former residence is listed as possibly Austria (the word Austria is accompanied by a question mark). Zilko was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 1, 1918. No newspaper sources were found to report on the death.

Stanilaus Lewitzki

In a similar situation as Zilko, the death certificate of Stanilaus Lewitzki does not list a prisoner of war number. However, Lewitzki was born in Germany. His parents are unknown and at the time of his death he was unmarried. Lewitzki was a sailor serving on the SMS Cormoron. Lewitzki died on September 13, 1917 at the age of 25 from a fractured spinal column with specific damage to the sixth cervical vertebrae. This injury was sustained while partaking in gymnastic activities at the prison camp. Lewitzki was admitted to the War Barracks Hospital on August 17, 1917. Lewitzki was attended by Dr. H. May and at the time of his death he had resided at Fort Douglas for one month and eleven days. Lewitzki was buried at Fort Douglas on September 14, 1917. The Salt Lake Telegram reported his death shortly thereafter.

Walter J Piezareck

Walter J Piezareck is listed as interned alien enemy no. 862. He was born in Postdam, Germany. His parents are unknown and at his time of death Piezareck was unmarried. His occupation is listed as a laborer. Piezareck died on December 6, 1918 at the age of 31 from bronchial pneumonia. Influenza contributed to his death; both afflictions lasted nine days. Piezareck was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery on December 6, 1918. No newspaper sources were discovered to report his death.

Walter Toppf

Walter Toppf is listed as interned alien enemy no. 867. Toppf was born in Germnay to Louise Toppf. The birthplace of Louise Toppf is listed as W. Plumental St. Berlin, Germany. At his time of death his father and marital status were unknown. Toppf was an artist, specifically he was a painter. Toppf died on May 16, 1919 at the age of 33, from hemorrhage and the contributory affliction is listed as pulmonary lobar complications, both of which lasted for one month and twenty-four days. At his time of death, Toppf had resided at Fort Douglas for ten months and eight days. Toppf was attended by Dr. Beer and was buried on May 16, 1919. On May 17, 1919 the Salt Lake Tribune reported Toppf’s death.

Zinnel, Stadler, Blaase, Hanf, Schmidt, Wachenhusen, and German           

The aforementioned enemy aliens had no death certificates filed with the State of Utah. As such, there is extremely limited information on the lives of these men. Henirich Ludwig Zinnel, as previously mentioned was from El Paso. He died on June 1, 1918 from acute gastritis. He was known to be a laborer. Frank Stadler was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas; any further information in unknown. Karl Johann W. Blaase was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas. A ledger of interned enemy aliens revealed that Blaase was arrested on May 24, 1918, and he was sentenced to interment on July 5, 1918. According to historian Raymond Cunningham, Friedrich Otto Hanf:

“was one of those brought to Fort Douglas after the War, and was despondent over being there. As Christmas 1919 approached, Hanf was more depressed than usual. Fellow prisoners noticed that he was regretting the arrival of Christmas. At 7:30 a.m., Christmas morning, Hanf’s body was found hanging by a bedsheet from a rafter in his barracks[15]”.

The ledger of interned aliens at Fort Douglas also reveals that Hanf was arrested on December 7, 1919, and sentenced to internment on December 23, 1919.

Georg Schmidt and Adolf Wachenhusen were interned enemy aliens who lived and died at Fort Douglas with no further information known about their identities. Herman German was an interned enemy alien who lived and died at Fort Douglas. It is unlikely that Herman’s last name was German. It is more likely that his last name was unknown and he was known as ‘Herman the German,’ however, any further information is unknown.



Beer, William F. Arthur Rube Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 23, 1918.

Beer, William F. Charles Morth Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 3, 1918.

Beer, Willian F. Emil Laschke Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 4, 1918.

Beer, William F. Erich Laevemann Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 11, 1918.

Beer, William F. Felix Behr Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 30, 1918.

Beer, William F. Frank Benes Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 7, 1918.

Beer, William F. Herman Lieder Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 18, 1918.

Beer, William F. Joseph Fuckala Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 24, 1918.

Beer, William F. Max Leopold Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 24, 1918.

Beer, William F. Maximilian Kampmann Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 28, 1918.

Beer, William F. Roko Zilko Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. November 30, 1918.

May, H. Stanilaus Lewitzki Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. September 13, 1917.

Beer, William F. Walter J Piezareck Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. December 6, 1918.

Beer, William F. Walter Toppf Death Certificate. Utah State Archives. May 16, 1919.

Salt Lake Tribune. Death of Charles Morth. January 13, 1918.

Deseret News. Prisoner at Fort Douglas Dead. November 20, 1918.

Deseret News. Frank Benes. November 8, 1918.

Ogden Standard. Influenza at Fort Douglas. November 30, 1918.

Odgen Standard. Kampmann to be interned for War. November 2, 1917

Salt Lake Telegram. Editorial by Max Kampmann. January 1, 1916

Salt Lake Telegram. Death of Emil Laschke. December 5, 1918

Salt Lake Telegram. Death of Stanilaus Lewitzki. N.d.

Salt Lake Tribune. Death of Walter Toppf. May 7, 1919.

Salt Lake Tribune. Social Notes from Utah Towns. September 9, 1916.

Salt Lake Tribune. Lieder Buried at Post. November 20, 1918.

Salt Lake Tribune. Frank Benes Influenza Death. N.d.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Appeal. September 28, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Arrest Causes Stir. September 20, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann Taken by Federal Agents. September 19, 1917.

Salt Lake Tribune. Kampmann to be interned for War. November 2, 1917.

The Sun. Suspected German Spy now Making Appeal. Price, UT, October 5, 1917.


Cunningham, Raymond Kelly Jr. Internment 1917-1920; A History of the Prison Camp at Fort Douglas, Utah, and the Treatment of Enemy Aliens in the Western United States. Department of History, University of Utah, Call Number D7.5 C85 1976.

Powell, Allan Kent. The German-speaking Immigrant Experience in Utah. Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 4, Fall 1984.

[1] Raymond Kelly Cunningham Jr., “Internment 1917-1920; A History of the Prison Camp at Fort Douglas, Utah, and the Treatment of Enemy Aliens in the Western United States,” (Master’s thesis. Department of History, University of Utah, 1976), 16.

[2] Ibid., 16

[3] Ibid., 16

[4] Allan Kent Powell, “The German-speaking Immigrant Experience in Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 52(Fall 1984), 324.

[5] Cunningham, 96.

[6] Cunningham, 3

[7] Powell, 326

[8] Powell, 325

[9] Cunningham, 94

[10] Cunningham, 107

[11] Cunningham, 41

[12] Cunningham, 42

[13] Cunningham, 90

[14] Cunningham, 157

[15] Cunningham, 167












Connor Statue at Historic Park

Published / by Zach Vayo / Leave a Comment

Connor Statue at Historic Park

Write-up by Zach Vayo

GPS Coordinates: 40.764399°N, 111.832891°W

Historical Marker Text:


Born in County Kerry, Ireland. Emigrated as a child to the United States. Enlisted in the army at age 19. Attained rank of Captain in the Mexican War. As Colonel, commanding the Volunteers, established Camp Douglas on Oct. 26, 1862. A soldier-statesman of great energy and vision, he was the “father of Utah mining”, published the first daily newspaper in Utah Territory, and founded Stockton, Utah. * * * * This park presented to the United States Army by the Fort Douglas Museum Association on the 124th Anniversary of the founding of Fort Douglas. Oct 26, 1986.”

Extended Research:

Aside from Brigham Young, perhaps no individual played a larger role in shaping nineteenth century Utah than Patrick Connor. Indeed, prominent Utah historian Dean May has hailed these men as the two founding fathers of modern Utah.[1] Today, Connor’s statue in Fort Douglas quietly rivals Young’s much grander memorialization across Salt Lake in Temple Square – a silent reenactment of what was in its day a bitter public rivalry between these two men and their competing visions. Young sought to establish Utah as the Kingdom of God on Earth according to the unique sensibilities of the LDS Church. Connor, meanwhile, aimed to bring Utah into the American mainstream by conquering the land’s indigenous peoples and opening the door for white settlers like himself, looking to make their fortunes out West. Intensely distrustful of Utah’s Mormon population, Connor was himself an immigrant who, having undergone a process of Americanization, now sought to “Americanize” Utah along the same lines as the rest of the West. Portrayed as everything from hero to murderous plunderer, Connor has been sweepingly characterized as “the archetypal nineteenth century man”, who was “representative of all that was good and bad in that age.”[2]

The man who would come to identify himself as P. Edward Connor was born Patrick Edward (“Paddy”) O’Connor in County Kerry, Ireland. Very little information exists on Connor’s early life; he claimed to have been born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1820.[3] Economic stagnation in Ireland drove his family to emigrate to New York when he was perhaps sixteen. Connor spent several years working odd jobs as a laborer before beginning his military career by volunteering for the First Dragoons in 1839. It is possible the young Irishman viewed military service as a useful means to “Americanize” himself in an era animated by nativism and anti-Catholicism.[4]

Connor’s five year tour with the Dragoons took him to the lands in and around the newly-created Iowa Territory to maintain relations with the region’s native peoples. This fledgling military presence in the trans-Mississippi West, with the US fresh off the Jacksonian ethnic cleansing of native peoples in the East, would foreshadow atrocious military violence against the indigenous peoples of the West during and after the Civil War, in which Connor himself was to play a leading role.

While relatively uneventful, Connor’s tour with the Dragoons gave him valuable experience as a soldier. More importantly, he appeared to become enamored with the West, where he would spend almost all of the remainder of his life. Following the end of his tour of duty, he returned to New York for several years, engaging in “mercantile business” and becoming a naturalized citizen (a process no doubt made easier by his military record).[5] Also around this time, he removed some of the conspicuous Irish-ness from his name by dropping the O’ in his surname and shortening Patrick to an initial, becoming P. Edward Connor. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in 1846, Connor headed west again, joining a company of Texas Volunteers. He participated in the US victory at the Battle of Buena Vista, receiving praise for his bravery.[6]

Connor ca. 1860s

The war resulted in the US seizure of a vast swath of land claimed by Mexico. Connor was among many who viewed these lands as a place to make it big, travelling to California in 1850 on the heels of the Gold Rush. After an ill-fated attempt to establish a community on the Trinity River, he settled in Stockton. Over the next decade, his numerous entrepreneurial ventures, particularly a gravel quarry on his property, resulted in Connor accumulating a degree of wealth. He emerged as a leading citizen of Stockton and came to head its militia, the Stockton Blues. In 1854, he married Johanna Connor, another emigrant from Kerry County.[7] The couple would raise five children to adulthood, enduring the loss of two sons who died in childhood.

This relatively peaceful period of Connor’s life came to an end in 1861 with the outbreak of the Civil War. Eager to serve his adopted country once more, he took the lead in recruiting several companies of California Volunteers to serve under his command. In spite of his (and his troops’) desire to fight the Confederacy in the East, he found himself assigned to protect overland mail routes in Utah, as the Lincoln administration sought to preserve California’s tenuous connection to the Union.[8] In Utah, Connor’s troops were to serve as an occupying force to both native peoples such as the Shoshone and to the territory’s Mormon population, practitioners of an enigmatic and fanatical religion in the eyes of many, whose loyalty to the country seemed particularly dubious, particularly in light of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.

During the journey across Nevada, Connor began to hone his reputation as an Indian fighter, launching attacks that killed several dozen Shoshones. Reaching Salt Lake City in 1862, Connor remarked with disgust on the apparent un-Americanness of the Mormons, calling them “a community of traitors, murderers, fanatics, and whores,” claiming “the people publicly rejoice at reverses to our arms,” and “Brigham Young rules with despotic sway.”[9] For their part, the Mormons had good reason to fear federal troops due to the “Utah War” of 1856-58. As such, they were none too happy when Connor, despairing of the state of the old Camp Crittenden (Camp Floyd) in Utah Valley, planted his troops directly above their capital, establishing Camp Douglas on an eastern bench of the Salt Lake Valley on October 26, 1862. Connor cited this new location as all the better to “say to the Saints of Utah, enough of your treason.”[10] Connor’s troops thus became the most visible symbol of “Gentile” (non-Mormon) presence in the territory, sparking a war of words between the two groups lasting for decades.

Camp Douglas (later Fort Douglas) ca. 1865. Connor named the fort for Lincoln’s great political rival, Stephen Douglas.

The year 1863 was a critical one for Connor. Denied the chance to fight in the East, he seized on a chance to “chastise” the Northwestern Shoshone instead. Increased Anglo-American incursions into what is today southern Idaho had strained relationships with the Shoshone, producing intermittent fighting and claims of kidnapping. In the bitter cold of January, Connor marched his troops from Camp Douglas to a Shoshone encampment on the Bear River. One California newspaper offered a telling insight into the attitudes of the day by publishing a gleeful letter from a Salt Lake correspondent, stating that “before [Connor’s troops] quit the entertainment Mr. Redskin is to be well thrashed, and, if possible, ‘wiped out.’”[11]

Arriving at the encampment, Connor’s troops launched an attack on the 29th of January. What began as a battle became a bloodbath as Connor’s troops flanked the Shoshones, trapping them in a ravine. The troops proceeded to massacre anyone within reach, including women and children. The death toll may well have exceeded four hundred, making it the largest massacre in the history of the American West. Connor’s troops destroyed homes and food supplies, murdering dozens more women who refused to submit to rape by the soldiers.[12] His actions would make him one of the most despised figures in Shoshone memory, with one survivor, Sagwitch, later recalling the bitter irony of “that merciless battle, when women and suckling babes met their death at the hands of civilization.”[13] Those same actions, however, made Connor a hero to white colonizers in the West, and earned him a promotion to brigadier-general.

Bear River Massacre site.

Back in Salt Lake, Connor became fixated on the notion of publicizing Utah’s mineral wealth so as to draw non-Mormons into the territory, contending that “inducements … to the teeming population of the East and West, seeking new fields of exploration and prosperity” would spell political and social doom for the Mormonism that he saw as “not only subversive of morals, in conflict with the civilization of the present age, and oppressive on the people, but also deeply and boldly in contravention of the laws and best interests of the nation.”[14] To that end, he founded the Daily Union Vedette, a staunchly non-Mormon newspaper that wrote extensively on the wealth to be had in Utah. Connor helped to establish and personally invested in numerous mining districts, including what would become Bingham Canyon, earning the honorific “father of Utah mining.” In 1863, Connor also established the town of Stockton, near Tooele, named for his former home in California. Connor intended Stockton as a hub for non-Mormon settlement, though his grand visions could never elevate it beyond a minor settlement on the fringes of Brigham Young’s Mormon kingdom. Of course, Young and his disciples were none too happy to see these capitalistic incursions into their Zion. After Young petitioned unsuccessfully to have Connor and his troops removed from Utah,[15] he was spared of the general for a time when Connor was sent to present Wyoming for the Powder River expedition in 1865.

Connor thus departed Utah to crush resistance from the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho in response to a mining boom that had drawn a wave of white colonizers into Montana. While Connor’s campaigns failed to win any “victories” as decisive as that at Bear River, he nonetheless killed several hundred indigenous persons in a series of battles and skirmishes such as Tongue River (at times fighting alongside indigenous allies such as the Omaha). Such militancy undermined the capacity of indigenous communities to sustain themselves, leaving little recourse to federal economic dependency and reservations (with poverty ironically reinforcing white perceptions of indigenous nations as primitive and backwards). The Powder River endeavor was largely regarded as a failure, in part due to negative publicity surrounding another event to the south: namely, the army’s 1864 Sand Creek Massacre against the Cheyenne and Arapaho, which had soured the nation for a time on war with native nations.[16] Reflecting this shift in attitude, the Salt Lake Tribune expressed desire for “some sensible plan” regarding “the poor Indian race.”[17]Nonetheless, the expedition cemented Connor’s status as to hero to white colonizers in the West. This would be Connor’s last major military mission, as he resigned his commission in 1866.

After a brief return to Utah (and a trip to Washington DC to testify against the evils of the Mormons), Connor returned to California with his family. By 1869, however, the looming completion of the transcontinental railroad brought him back to Utah. This time, his family stayed in California, establishing a permanent residence in Redwood City. Over the next decades, Connor would become increasingly estranged from his family as he bounced between various mining and railroad endeavors in Utah and Nevada in largely unsuccessful attempts to amass his fortune, made all the more difficult by the market instabilities laid bare in the Panic of 1873. Johanna Connor would eventually die in 1889, making no mention of her oft-absent husband in her will.

In Utah, the railroad spelled doom for Brigham Young’s bucolic conception of an economically isolated Zion. Anticipating an economic and demographic influx to the territory, Connor took an interest in the town of Corinne, near the mouth of the Bear River, which emerged in the wake of the railroad’s completion as Utah’s leading non-Mormon community. His assessment of this emerging landscape proved somewhat overly optimistic, with his vision of a steamboat service across the Great Salt Lake connecting Corinne to Stockton never truly materializing. As the most esteemed non-Mormon in the territory, Connor became the symbolic leader of Utah’s anti-Mormon Liberal Party, which denounced polygamy and sought to block statehood for fear of losing federal leverage against the dominant religion. Speaking at an 1880 Liberal rally, Connor declared his intention of “taking up the fight with renewed vigor,” and “helping forward the good work of regulating and Americanizing Utah.”[18] This symbolic leadership notwithstanding, Connor proved unsuccessful in parlaying his notoriety into political office, losing a bid even for the modest office of Salt Lake County Recorder. He died in Salt Lake in 1891 with much prestige and little wealth, and was buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery.[19]

Connor with President Hayes during the latter’s visit to Fort Douglas, 1880.

The decades after his death saw Patrick Connor’s vision of an Americanized Utah come to fruition to a remarkable degree. Booming mining industries throughout the new state in regions such as Carbon County and Bingham Canyon attracted waves of non-Mormon immigration from countries including Greece and Italy, and, to a lesser extent, Japan and China. Mining in particular signified Utah’s increasing integration into the national economy; while providing economic opportunity, this new colonial economy also spawned appalling working conditions and environmental degradation. Connor would no doubt also have been pleased to see the LDS church, the object of his perpetual contempt, take a firmer stance against polygamy and recede from the political sphere in the first decades of the twentieth century (though the latter change did not prove permanent). Furthermore, the twentieth century also saw emphasis on Brigham Young’s model of economic cooperation decline as many Mormons made their peace with Connor’s capitalist vision. Indeed, while not abandoning their distinct identities, Mormon communities have undergone a noteworthy degree of Americanization since Connor’s time.[20] Connor himself practiced what he preached with regards to Americanization: the Irish-born immigrant epitomized the self-made man of fame and fortune. While this rugged, romantic image has become iconic in conceptions of the West, Connor’s case also illustrates its shortcomings. Never truly successful in making his fortune later in life, his obsessive quest for wealth resulted in considerable alienation from his family. Underpinning all of this is Connor’s darkest legacy (and one that is conspicuously absent from his historical marker): the brutalization of indigenous nations, on whose dispossessed land the processes of “Americanization” played out. Particularly for the Northwestern Shoshones, the impacts and bitter memories of Colonel Connor’s atrocious actions on the Bear River echo into the twenty-first century.


For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

P. Edward Connor, Official Report on the Bear River Massacre, February 6, 1863.

Secondary Sources:

Madsen, Brigham. Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1990.

May, Dean. Utah: A People’s History. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1987.

Varley, James. Brigham and the Brigadier: General Patrick Connor and His California Volunteers in Utah and Along the Overland Trail. . Tucson: Westernlore Press, 1989.



[1] Dean L. May, Utah: A People’s History (Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1987), 194.

[2] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier: General Patrick Connor and His California Volunteers in Utah and Along the Overland Trail. (Tucson: Westernlore Press, 1989), x.

[3] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor (Salt Lake: University of Utah Press, 1990), 3-5.

[4] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 2.

[5] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 18-19.

[6] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 4.

[7] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 30.

[8] Ibid, 48.

[9] P. Edward Connor, letter to Major R. C. Drum, September 14, 1862.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “A Big Expedition – Connor and the Volunteers after the Indians,” Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, CA), Feb. 7, 1863

[12] Scott Christensen, Sagwitch: Shoshone Chieftain, Mormon Elder, 1822-1887 (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1999), 52.

[13] F.W. Warner (Sagwitch), “Sagwitch Writes The Citizen About New Monument,” Franklin County Citizen (Preston, ID), Jul. 11, 1918.

[14] P. Edward Connor, letter to Major E. McGarry, October 26, 1863.

[15] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 114.

[16] Ibid, 121.

[17] James Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier, 258.

[18] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 237.

[19] Brigham Madsen, Glory Hunter, 271.

[20] Dean L. May, Utah: A People’s History, 190, 194-198.