Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, Number 3, 1986

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Editor Editor


PETERL. Goss.Salt Lake City, 1988 G L E N M . LEONARD,Farmmg^on, 1988

LAMAR PETERSEN, Sa/< Lake City, 1986 RIC:HARDW. SADIVR, Ogden,


HAROLD ScHiNDi.ER.Sa/^ Lake City, 1987 GENE A. Sh.ssioNs, Bountiful, 1986 GREGORY C. THOMPSON, Sa/f Lake City, 1987

Utah Historical Quarterly was established in 1928 to publish articles, documents, and reviews contributing to knowledge of Utah's history. T h e Quarterly is published four times a year by the Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City. Utah 84101. Phone (801) 533-6024 for membership and publications information. Members of the Society receive the Quarterly, Beehive History, and the bimonthly Newsletter lipon payment of the annual dues: individual, $15.00; institution, $20.00; student and senior citizen (age sixty-five or over), $10.00; contributing, $20.00; sustaining, $25.00; patron, $50.00; business, $100.00. Materials for publication should be submitted in duplicate accompanied by return postage and should be typed double-space, with footnotes at the end. Additional information on requirements is available from the m a n a g i n g editor. T h e Society assumes no responsibility for statements of fact or opinion by contributors. Second class postage is paid at Salt Lake City, Utah. Postmaster: Send form 3579 (change of address) to Utah Historical Quarterly, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.

H X S X O R Z C A I . aiXA.RTERI.-S-

Contents SUMMER 1986/VOLUME 54/NUMBER 3



























T H E C O V E R Retaining Wall, 1934, by Ranch S. Kimball, litho crayon, 11 1/2" x 15 1/2". Kimball (1894-1980) made eighteen pastel drawings and one litho crayon drawing documenting Civilian Conservation Corps activities in Utah. Photograph of drawing courtesy of the Utah Arts Council.

© Copyright 1986 Utah State Historical Society

Books reviewed Afj.EN KEN f POWELL. The Next Time We Strike: Labor in Utah's Coal Fields,


. . . JAMES S. O L S O N







. . .

LowRY NELSON. In the of His Dreams: Memoirs



Direction STEVEN L . OLSEN


SAMUEL W . TAYLOR a n d RAYMOND W . TAYLOR. The John Taylor Papers: Records of the Last Utah Pioneer. Vol II: The President . . . JEAN R .




eds. Community Development in the American Past and Present Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Frontiers DOUGLAS CHRISTY,





West Transformed: The Impact of the Second War






eds. Churchmen and the Western Indians, O'NEIL,




In this issue That the Great Depression affected Utah more severely than most states is incontestable. Yet, for all its impact, the depression has inspired only a handful of local historical works, and few of them are accessible to a wide audience. This issue of Utah Historical Quarterly presents three sharply focused articles and two highly personal recollections of the depression in a beginning attempt to shed light on one of the most significant events of the twentieth century in Utah. The opening piece by Thomas Quinn looks at the problems facing Governor Blood (shown above with FDR) during his first year in office. The economic stagnation seemed almost overwhelming, but he proved equal to the challenge. Strict economy at home and tireless lobbying in Washington brought results, and the gloom began to brighten. Leonard Arrington's article on the 1934 drought underscores the role of nature in exacerbating an already desperate farm situation: the low rainfall was unprecedented, the heat record-breaking. Well conceived water projects drafted in Utah and funded by the federal government and finally some rain late in the year began to restore hope to farmers. Although Utah has tiadilionally mistrusted federal i m o h e m e n t in its affairs, Wayne Hinton reminds us that state officials eagerly sought federal aid for everything from roads to dams to school buildings during the depression and that those efforts were supported by an overwhelming majority of the citizens. Nevertheless, attitudes remained ambivalent and later contributed to the false notion that Utah eschewed federal aid. Sandwiched between these major statements of depression themes are the reminiscences of a road supervisor who parceled out relief work on an impartial basis and of a young married woman who found solutions to domestic shortages. These personal accounts complement the traditional historical studies and hint at the wealth of material on the depression waiting to be retrieved.

Out of the Depression's Depths: Henry H. Blood's First Year as Governor BY R. T H O M A S Q U I N N

Governor Henry H. Blood signing a bill requiring the licensing of plumbers. Man at extreme left is unidentified. The others are, left to right, Lester Bills, Angus Scott, and Bill Bywater. USHS collections.

2, 1933, A SOLEMN CROWD OF UTAHNS assembled on Capitol Hill to witness the inauguration of their seventh governor, Henry H. Blood. T h e natural chill of that winter day was worsened O N


Mr. Quinn teaclies history at Mount Ogden Middle School, Ogden, lUah. This article was extracted from his master's thesis, ' T h e Governorship of Henry H. Blood: The Critical Years, 1933-34" (llniversityof Utah, 1967).

Blood's First Year as Governor


by a cold fear in the minds of those present and those who heard via radio the installation of their new state officials. Utah's and the nation's economy were desperately out of control. A fourth of the country's work force was unemployed; many of the remainder were laboring at reduced wages or were employed only part-time. In Utah alone 33,000 families were on relief. By the early months of 1933 the bottom of the economic barrel had been reached, but there did not appear to be any means for the nation to extricate itself.^ The dull " c r u m p " of the seventeen-gun salute fired by the Utah National Guard as Blood finished taking the oath of office must have sounded to some who were there like the shots fired at a funeral. Could this silver-haired, rather frail looking, sixty-one-year-old man ease their pain by his words today or his actions in the months to come? Standing behind a flag-draped rostrum. Governor Blood spoke in a clear, flat voice. As a lifelong student of history, Blood knew that far lesser shocks than the present ones had often resulted in violent revolution. He was also aware that such incendiary thoughts were being bruited about among some at that very moment. Thus, his opening remarks emphasized that the inaugural ceremony marked the "peaceful and willing" transfer of power from one group to another, typifying "the very genius of representative government and indicating its safety and strength." He then launched into a review of the economic scene in Utah: My fellow citizens, the new administration...faces economic conditions, the seriousness of which the slate has never known....Our people...have been plunged into deepest adversity. Agriculture is in helpless and almost hopeless distress. Basic farm commodity prices in recent weeks have receded to levels never before reached in modern times. Our mines are nearly all closed. T h e price of silver has reached an all-time low, while other metals have suffered similarly. Manufacturing and business...feel the loss of purchasing power. Stagnation exists in financial circles. Shrinkage of values is rendering private and public income uncertain. Unemployment stalks the city streets, and reflects its shadow on rural life. Men's hearts are failing them for fear, and no one can tell what the future has in reserve.

The order in which Blood surveyed the economic condition of the state reflected his rural boyhood and his adult commercial interests connected with agriculture as farm problems were listed • Detailsof the inai.guralceremonyareinSa/<Lfl/t.Tr,fcun.Janitary:^19:; the textof Blood's inaugural address is in State of Utah, Messages of Governor Henry H. Blood to the Twentieth Leg^lature of the State of Utah and Inaugural Address, 1933 (Salt Lake City, 1933), pp. 33-46.


Utah Historical


first, followed by mining, business, and finance. Urban unemployment came last in the litany. His remarks on purchasing power are worth a moment's pause. During the early years of the depression, before its causes had been thoroughly analyzed by economists, not many saw underconsumption as the real source of trouble. More than once in the year to come, Blood would express his belief that lack of purchasing power was a prime factor, both in bringing on the depression and for its continuation. Having presented the dreary economic picture, Blood next took up the subject that no doubt held the greatest interest for his audience: the course on which he intended to set state government. His goal was to reduce the tax burden imposed by state and local government. T o do so, the people must cooperate; they must not ask for additional services as they had in the past. Legislators must not come to the session due to convene the next week with proposals for expanding government functions. If state government reduced its activities to a minimum, Blood hoped that the good example set would cause cities and counties—which levied most taxes—to do likewise. Blood warned that the general fund was going to end the 1931-33 biennium with a substantial deficit; and, if state revenue continued to fall, the state treasury would be unable to bear the strain of the usual outlays, let alone any new burdens, unless additional sources of revenue were found. T h e governor's program was obviously not one of spending the state out of trouble. Some aid from the federal government was expected. Blood said, for direct relief, for silver, and for agriculture. T h e governor did not dwell on federal programs, however. It would be several months before he and, for that matter, Roosevelt himself realized how extensive the New Deal antidepression measures would be. As Blood's inaugural address drew to a close, he optimistically predicted: "Utah will come back." There were few, if any, outbursts of joy occasioned by what he had said or proposed; the speech itself lacked emotionalism. It presented a cool, sympathetic, and practical statement of things as they were and were likely to remain. Blood spent the following week—night and day, he said l a t e r preparing his message to the Twentieth Legislature, due to convene in regular session on Monday, January 9, 1933.2 2 Blood to George Q. Knowlton, January 17, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933, Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City.

Blood's First Year as Governor


T h e Democratic caucus named the officers and appointed the committees, as that party controlled both houses—51 to 9 in the lower and 13 to 7 in the upper. As a forecast of the economy-mindedness of the legislators, the caucus combined the posts of sergeant-at-arms and chaplain, thus saving five dollars per day. The Tribune called it "the most important" legislature since statehood and predicted it would "face problems calling for decisive, even hard-boiled action." T h e governor, addressing the legislature in joint session, said nothing to dispute that idea.^ As in his inaugural speech, the theme throughout was one of spartan economizing.^ Blood reviewed the ominous financial situation of the state treasury. According to his estimate, the general fund deficit for the 1931 -33 biennium, ending June 30, would be nearly $2 million. T o meet this shortfall, he urged the legislature to authorize a $2 million bond issue. As a new source of revenue, he proposed a selective sales tax on nonessential items for support of the state school fund. He did not suggest a rate, and at this time he did not connect the sales tax with what was to become its prime purpose: providing funds for relief. A campaign promise of some legislators, Blood noted, was to abolish the income tax filing fee; but, he warned, if that were done, the cost of administering the income tax might exceed the revenue from it. In 1932 the filing fee brought in $199,000, while the income tax revenue was only $134,000. T h e governor next presented a plan he hoped would result in a more efficient and more economical organization for state government. He proposed that the legislature create a joint committee of nine men, three from each house and three appointed by himself, to spend the next four weeks studying the present system of organization in order to recommend ways of combining some departments, eliminating others, and reducing costs in general. T h e report of this Committee of Nine was to be quite influential with the legislature. With twenty-five banks having failed in Utah since 1929, the governor's proposal to strengthen the banking commissioner must have aroused keen interest. He called for legislation that would determine the extent of court supervision of the bank commissioner, provide the commissioner with a trained staff, and allow for greater 3 Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 3, 7, 1933. * See Messages of Governor Henry H. B/ood...7 955, pp. 3-34, for text of Blood's first message to the legislature, discussed in the following paragraphs.


Utah Historical


efficiency in the liquidation of banks that had failed. He reminded his listeners that " T h e major activities of the Bank Commissioner should be to prevent disaster, rather than to take charge when it is too late to save the institution." He also asked that the bank commissioner be allowed to pledge the assets of a closed bank to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in return for a loan to enable the institution to reopen. Blood reviewed a list of measures to be introduced (though not by him) to the legislature that included a five-day, thirty-hour week for those employed on public works; a minimum wage for men and women; child labor laws; and old-age insurance. He cautioned that these proposals needed to be weighed against possible administrative costs. Twelve thousand families in Salt Lake County alone were on some form of relief. Blood reported. Federal funds had helped, but he feared that this aid would be jeopardized unless state and local governments increased their efforts. He did not specify to what extent state and local efforts would have to be expanded, nor did he suggest a source of revenue for the recommended increase. Coming to the end of his message, Blood surveyed the general economic scene, describing the depressed state of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and business. Without suggesting remedies, he asked the legislature to "assume a friendly attitude...and render wjiatever assistance can be properly given" to farmers faced with mortgage foreclosures; and he recommended that Congress be memorialized in silver's behalf. Beyond that he did not go. He ended with an appeal to legislators to avoid "partisanship, sectionalism, and community advantage." The governor's message was well received by the Tribune, which editorially called it "forceful" and "courageous." T h e newspaper especially approved of Blood's "rigid" economizing to permit the state to balance its budget in the future and "reestablish the government on a firm financial" basis. Although the Tribune accepted Blood's request for a $2 million bond issue, it warned the legislature not to get into the habit of resorting to bonds to pay expenses not met by regular sources of revenue.^ Analyzing the governor's message decades later, one is struck by its conservative orthodoxy in fiscal matters, its lack of inventiveness 5 Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


in social welfare areas, and its somberness of tone. No doubt, however, the message, both in what it did and did not contain, reflected Henry Blood's philosophy of government. He did not see state government as the righter of economic calamity. He was not an experimentalist in putting the pieces back together; rather, he was a conservator of what was left after the fall. There was little in the address to revive the spirits of the jobless and destitute. He did not propose a public works program, a mortgage moratorium, or any other device that might lift the cloud a little. T h e proposals on minimum wages, pensions, etc., were not his, and they were capped by a warning about their possible cost. Taxpayers would appreciate his promises of economy, but those able to pay taxes were obviously in relatively better shape than those who had no worry about taxes because they owned no property and had no income. T o one educated in an era of expanding government service, deficit spending, and increasing social welfare legislation. Blood's program may seem somewhat pedestrian and cautious. Judged in the light of his times, however, the message was about what was expected: the governor cannot fairly be faulted for failing to be ahead of times or for not being somebody else with different concepts. The Committee of Nine issued its report on February 10; its proposals were far-reaching and, to some, painful. Salary cuts averaging 15 percent for state employees were called for; suspension of the state's junior colleges and the branch agricultural college at Cedar City was advised; a doubling up of some positions was urged, e.g., the state banking commissioner would also serve as director of the securities commission; the abolition of some departments, such as the State Building Board, was advanced; and changing some salaried positions to per diem posts limited to $200 per year was proposed. Other specific proposals were all aimed at reducing expenditures to a recommended $4,634,600 for the 1933-34 biennium (in contrast to requests for $6,168,488). The governor, the report suggested, should be given broad power to slash departmental spending at will if, as feared, the $4.6 million estimated revenue proved optimistic.^ ^SVdie oiVvdh, Report of the Committee on Reorganization andOperation of Stale Government, February 10,1933. A copv of this report is in Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933, Legislature file. Pleased vailh this report. Blood promptly asked the legislature to create another committee to examine all levels of government from the slate level down to local school districts and report back to the Twenty-first Legislature in 1935. See Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 1933.


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These recommendations from the Committee of Nine formed the backbone of much of the financial legislation passed during the session. T h e proposal to give the governor wide authority over the budget was expanded so greatly that the newspapers, without malice, tagged it the "Dictator bill." It empowered the governor to increase or reduce expenditures, take money from one department and give it to another, spend as much money as his judgment dictated for relief, suspend schools for ninety days or any other state activity for an indefinite period, and reduce any payroll. The "Dictator bill" swept through both houses easily, passing the Senate unanimously. One senator declared that the measure violated the state constitution "forty ways" but voted for it anyway.^ Public reaction to the vesting of such enormous power in the hands of the governor was favorable. T h e Tribune said the confidence was not misplaced. T h e editorial doubted that Blood would ever need or use most of the powers given to him but thought it was a sound idea to be prepared for any contingency. T h e newspaper praised the governor for his "courageous attitude in inviting these additional burdens to himself... regardless of the penalties attached."^ Granting the governor power to act as his own budget committee was motivated by fear that state revenue would not match appropriations. This had already occurred in the 1931-32 biennium and had necessitated the $2 million bond issue, action on which was imperative. Tax anticipation notes of $1 million were due on January 31. T o meet them the bonds would have to be sold immediately after their issuance was approved by the legislature. If either house failed to pass the measure by a two-thirds majority the bill would not become law until sixty days after passage—long after the due date of the notes.^ T h e Neslen Emergency Bond bill was passed by the necessary majority in the House, but in the Senate all the Republicans voted nay.i° T h u s , though the bill passed, the money was still out of reach. This partisanship is notable, as it was the only discoverable time during the session when the "loyal opposition" dug in its heels and declined to be accommodating. ' Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 4, 3, 1933. 8 Ibid., March 3, 1933. 9 Ibid., January 30, 1933. '0 Blood to Preston G. Peterson, January 27, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


T h e threat to the state's credit rating was met successfully anyway. Blood reached into the state road sinking fund, withdrew a million dollars in certificates of deposit, and traded them to the institution that held the tax anticipation notes. T h e deficit in the road fund was to be covered when the bonds were sold.^^ The other new revenue proposal, the sales tax, introduced later in the session as H.B. 218, caused great dissension. Originally, the sales tax had been suggested as a source of money for public schools; but Blood and some legislators soon saw it as a means of raising money for emergency relief, and many of them wanted it used exclusively for that purpose. Blood insisted, however, that at least a small part of the sales tax income go into the general fund. On this point and that of the rate a battle ensued that lasted up to the final hours of the session. On March 9, just three days before adjournment. Blood sent a special message to the lawmakers urging them to act quickly on the sales tax. He predicted that the "generous" federal relief funds would be endangered unless the state showed its "ability and willingness" to assist.^2 Most of the legislators agreed, but many resisted setting the rate at the 1 percent figure the governor believed was the minimum rate that would provide something for the general fund, too. The legislators favored a .5 percent rate. The day before the session was to end, a joint committee visited Blood's office to declare that both houses had agreed that no money from the sales tax would be allowed to go into the general fund and that the rate would be set at .5 percent. Blood must have been extremely persuasive, for when the group left they had agreed to a compromise on the rate—.75 percent—and that anything over $500,000 could be placed in the general fund to cover possible deficits. The agreement was adhered to by both houses.^^ The Twentieth Legislature adjourned on March 12, having passed 120 bills.^^ virtually all the proposals Blood had made to the legislature were incorporated. T h e bond issue and the sales tax were there. A new Committee of Nine had been created to investigate " Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 1933. '2 This untitled message to the legislature, March 9, 1933, is found in Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933, Legislature file. '•' Untitled memorandum, March 11, 1933, in ibid.; Salt Lake Tribune, March, 13, 1933. I'' Salt Lake Tribune, March 13, 1933.


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government from the state level down to the school districts. The gasoline tax was still devoted exclusively to road construction and maintenance. T h e income tax filing fee had not been abolished. The powers of the bank commissioner had been clarified and expanded, and the governor had also had his authority over the banks greatly increased. No doubt both the legislators and Governor Blood were glad the session was over. It had been tiring for all—maybe too tiring, for somehow during the rush to adjourn a slip had been made that would necessitate the calling of a special session. The legislature had failed to set the state tax levy.^^ With the lawmaking session over, the governor turned to budget-cutting. Until passage of the "Dictator bill" that gave the governor authority to cut departmental budgets. Blood could only request that expenditures be kept down; armed now with real power, he could compel obedience—and he did. He ordered every state agency to submit detailed lists of planned expenditures for the last quarter of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1933. Those that did not come to him already pared to the bone he personally slashed, bringing spending down 20 percent or more.^'' Layoffs and dismissals were the order of the day. Secretary of State Milton Welling discharged all twenty of his employees; all investigators for the Department of Agriculture, the State Tax Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission were released; and eight juvenile court judges—all Republicans—were dismissed and replaced with eight Democrats who also were to serve as probation officers at no increase in pay. A vacancy in the State Road Commission was filled by the governor's appointment of Attorney General Joseph Chez to the position, thus saving $3,000 in salary.^^ Of slightly more than one hundred formerly salaried positions filled by the governor's appointive power, only some twenty that year carried a regular paycheck; the remainder became per diem posts with a $200 a year limit. Blood's own staff was tiny in relation to the amount of work to be done. It consisted of George Sutherland as secretary and factotum, a stenographer, and a driver-handyman. The state had only 602 employees in April, and the number was further •Mbid., March 23, 1933. 16 Ibid., March 31, 1933. 1' Ibid., June 15, 27, 6, March 2, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


reduced. Survivors could look forward to an average of $90 per month. pay.^^ The governor declined to support the State Fair for 1933 and 1934. He also rejected a request that Utah place an exhibition in the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition.^^ These and many other expense-paring acts were considered essential. Roughly half of Utah's property owners had failed to pay their 1932 property taxes. Revenue to the state from the corporation tax and the income tax for 1933 ran $82,000 behind the April 1932 figure; of those who had filed a return for the latter levy, only 8.2 percent, or 6,044, had incomes sufficient to pay any state income tax atall.2o T h e red in the state's budget reflected great suffering by the citizens. Hundreds of them wrote to the governor appealing for help. Tragic stories, often scrawled in pencil on odd bits of paper, crossed his desk daily from men, women, widows, the elderly, and the young. Blood answered virtually all of them with advice when possible and commiseration in all instances.21 As the Utah State Legislature neared the end of its two-month struggle to cut appropriations and as Governor Blood became immersed in reducing state activity to a minimum, the federal government was about to launch a program diametrically opposed to that undertaken in Utah. That the national leaders would find themselves on such a free-spending course was as great a surprise to most of them as it was to the people of the nation who, while praying for release from the grip of the depression, were unsure of the means of deliverance. Late on the afternoon of March 2, Blood had sent an urgent message to the legislature asking for authority to declare a bank holiday. T h e abrupt request, the governor explained, was not due to any suddenly worsening conditions of Utah's financial institutions; they could handle normal demands. But, as the governors of all the surrounding states had officially closed banks under their jurisdiction, Utah would have to follow suit to prevent out-of-state iÂŤ Ibid., February 11, 1933; Blood to F. H. Cboney, governor of Montana, August 18, 1933, Governor Blotxl's Correspondence, 1933; Salt Lake Tribune, April 4, 1933. '9 Blood to E. S. Holmes, Utah State Fair manager,! July 9, 1934, Governor Blood's Correspondence, State Departments, 1933-34; Blood to R. C. Davis, president, Century of Progress, January 21, 1933, Governor Blood's Cbrrespondence, 1933. 20 Salt Lake Tribune, June 3, April 4, 1933. 2' Ibid.


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deposit withdrawals and to avert local runs. T h e legislature complied quickly and by 8:30 P.M. Governor Blood had signed the proclamation declaring a five-day bank holiday starting March 3.22 Public reaction was ambivalent. Bank runs were forestalled, but individuals and businesses found it difficult to function without cash. Editorially, the Tribune applied its favorite eulogium to the governor, calling his "timely" action "courageous."23 On March 4—inauguration day in Washington—Roosevelt issued an executive order, effective March 5, declaring a national bank holiday. Blood wired approval to the president. Then, always a stickler for legal niceties, the governor issued another proclamation to extend Utah's holiday to coincide with the nationally declared moratorium; and when the latter was extended to March 10, Blood issued still another proclamation.2^ Called into special session on March 9, the new Congress received an emergency banking bill that offered government assistance to reopen banks with liquid assets and to reorganize those without. T h e bill was passed the same day. In Utah the state banks were examined by Blood and Banking Commissioner John Malia who applied the federal criteria with some adaptations. By March 14 all Utah banks, both state and nationally chartered, were open again. T h e speed with which this was accomplished was due, Malia explained, to the fact that Utah had already "been through the fire" with banks defaulting, and those that had survived through 1932 were "sound."2^ The successful culmination of the bank holiday for Utah and the nation was the first of many such successes that accrued to Roosevelt. T h e New Deal looked to be more than j ust a slogan; it might become a reality. Governor Blood encouraged Utahns to support the president. During the first few days of FDR's term. Blood declared the following Sunday as a day to "conduct appropriate exercises in a spirit of patriotic devotion...." He called upon Utahns to show their complete willingness to support every move undertaken by the president for the "amelioration of the present deplorable economic conditions."2^ 22 Salt Lake Tribune, March 3, 1933. 23 Ibid. 2Mbid., March 6,8, 1933. 25 William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-40 (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), p. 43; Salt Lake Tribune, March 10, 13, 12, 1933. 26 Salt Lake Tribune, March 9, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


As the famed Hundred Days began to peel from the calendar, with almost every day bringing new legislation and new hope, the governor continued to further the cause of the New Deal. When Utah's legislature adjourned on March 12, Congress was just getting into gear. With FDR and his Brain Trust feeding the mill, it ground fast—if not fine—and the bills flowed to the president's desk to be signed and dispensed like loaves of bread to the hungry. There was something for everyone. Among the measures that affected and/or benefitted Utah most were: the Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA), the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), and the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). These basic pillars of the early or first New Deal were quickly formulated to grapple with the two initial and most pressing of the three "Rs": Relief, Recovery, and Reform. These major facets of the New Deal diamond were still in the rough when Governor Blood announced on April 12 his decision to journey eastward to examine the federal stonecutters at work a n d possibly to stake out Utah's claim to the gem being prepared. Congress was beginning its second month, and legislation already enacted or under discussion was fostering hope but some confusion, too. Blood intended to get a clearer view of what was happening.27 One of the first results of the New Deal had been detrimental to Utah as far as Blood was concerned. Federal road funds due Utah had been cut off, bringing to a halt the state's prime employer of the unemployed. Washington explained that the president was pooling all appropriated but unspent road funds to form a nucleus for financing the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).28 Blood, who had been chairman of the State Road Commission prior to his election as governor, intended to fight not only to release Utah's road funds but also for a continuation of the program and, if possible, for its expansion. The National Industrial Recovery bill, being debated in April, held out a promise to Utah, too. Its public works section might provide Utah with much money. Blood had already prepared a list of projects that might qualify, and when he left for Washington he took with him proposals costing more than $57 million that included state buildings, sewage plants, irrigation and reclamation works, and 2Mbid., April 12, 1933. 28 Ibid., March 29, 1933.


Utah Historical


Secretary of War George H. Bern, the first Utahn to serve in the Cabinet, helped Governor Blood meet with President Roosevelt. USHS collection.

highway construction. All the projects. Blood said, would "contribute to the permanent needs and future development of the state," ultimately pay for themselves, and provide many jobs during their construction.29 During his four weeks in Washington the governor saw many officials, including the president, sat in many meetings, and achieved mixed success. He quickly discovered that the Public Works Administration (PWA) was not interested in individual projects at that time but was, instead, still trying to arrive at a total figure for public works that would be adequate for the entire nation. Therefore, the governor submitted his $57 million program for Utah's share and went on to other business.30 With the help of Secretary of War George H. Dern (Blood's predecessor as governor), he saw President Roosevelt and plugged for Utah's public works program, the silver interests, and highway construction. Blood became the most deeply embroiled and achieved his greatest success with his highway proposals. On his arrival in Washington the governor had found New Deal officials indifferent to 29 Ibid., April 22, 19, 1933. 3" Blood to Samuel H. Kimball, June 5, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933.


Blood's First Year as Governor

Road construction crew in Price, Utah, 1938. Road work provided men with jobs during the depression. USHS collections.


highway construction both on its own merits and as a means of providing employment. T h e proposed federal budget for 1933-34 allocated little for road construction.^^ Blood, drawing on contacts made while president of the National Association of Highway Officials, organized a lobby on the spot and paid a number of visits to the budget director and other officials. With the Utah governor as spokesman, the lobby was able to wring a promise of increased funds for highway construction. T h e group also beat back an attempt to place highway construction under the control of the PWA whose boss, Harold Ickes, wished to allocate the monies on a basis of population. By keeping control of the federal road program in the hands of the U.S. Bureau of Roads, which had a different method of parceling out the funds. Blood estimated that Utah's share was increased by 50 percent.^2 In a second meeting of the governor with FDR, the president confirmed that Blood's requests and suggestions would be acted upon favorably. The Tribune's Washington correspondent said that federal officials were "frank to admit that Governor Blood's knowledge of highway problems and his influence with the administration were of inestimable value" in achieving success with the road Salt Lake Tribune, April 22, May 6, 1933. Ibid., April 26, 28, 1933.


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program. Utah received $4,194,709 for highway construction in 193334; and, in addition, the money due Utah but not delivered for the preceding biennium was released.^3 While in Washington, Blood also investigated the CCC and was pleased that 4,000 young men would soon be at work in Utah on conservation projects. He especially liked the provision that the CCC recruits would be from families on relief and that part of their pay would go to their families. His request that some of the CCC boys work on flood control along the Wasatch Front was deferred until a policy decision was reached on whether work could be done on private land.34 When Governor Blood returned from Washington and its scenes of hectic but purposeful activity on May 4, he found the pot bubbling in Utah, too. Attorney General Chez had announced that the governor would have to reconvene the Twentieth Legislature. Queried en route home by a reporter. Blood was caught off guard and indicated his uncertainty; and, even if a special session had to be called, he did!not intend to ask the legislature to consider repeal of the state constitution's prohibition clause as some had suggested.35 On reaching the State Capitol, Blood immediately asked Chez for an opinion on whether the State Tax Commission had the power to set the tax levy. Constitutionally, Chez insisted, the legislature only must fix the mill rate. That seemed to settle the first question: there would be a special session. An answer to the second question— would the agenda include consideration of the repeal of state prohibition?—was long in coming. Pressure on Blood to answer affirmatively came from the Utah State Bar Association, the Democratic State Central Committee, the Tribune, and other sources. The LDS church and other prohibition exponents were equally adamant that the question not be brought up.36 In early June, Blood proclaimed July 10, 1933, as the date of the special session. Unwilling to accept responsibility for including the prohibition question on the agenda, the governor asked that the legislature take care of the mill levy and "consider any other matter which may be brought by the Governor to the attention of the 33 Ibid., May5, 6, July 7, 1933. 3Mbid., April 22, 19, 1933. 3Mbid., May 7, 1933. 36 Chez to Blood, May 8, 1933, Ciovernor Blood's Correspondence, Salt Lake Tribune, May 20, 21,23, June 10, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


Legislature in Special Session." He then let it be known that if the members wanted to take up prohibition they could petition him to that effect, and he would accede. This placed the onus on the legislators and put Blood in the position of merely bowing to popular will. The Tribune applauded his decision, caviling only at its being "belated," and confidently predicted that the legislators would act favorably on the liquor question as there had been a "remarkable change" in attitude since the regular session.37 Attorney General Chez decided that if the special session acted to allow Utahns to vote on the state constitution's prohibition of liquor, the vote could be held in 1933 rather than 1934 by a change in the general election laws that heretofore had permitted general elections only in even years. By moving the state referendum u p to 1933, both it and the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could be disposed of at the same time and at a savings in cost.38 The "wets" were delighted with the idea; and when the Democratic Caucus met, a petition was circulated—to Republicans, too— asking the governor to include both the state liquor question and the change of election dates on the agenda.^^ Knowing now for certain just how eager the lawmakers were to take u p the liquor issue. Blood cannily held off submitting it until other measures of greater importance to him had been acted upon. These other matters that intruded on the legislature arose out of developments in Washington. Congress had passed the NIRA, and its terms required state legislative action to permit Utah to participate fully in both of its main antidepression features, the PWA and the NRA. T o provide that help. Blood asked for legislation that would (1) authorize him to appoint advisory boards to coordinate state-federal action in the administration of the NRA and the PWA, (2) provide for such actions as would be necessary for the state or any of its political subdivisions to meet any requirements of the NRA or the PWA, and (3) provide the necessary financial support to enable Utah to make use of the federal funds and to provide for unemployment relief and for the support of the state government."^o The increase from a .75 to a 2 percent sales tax, which Blood now began to fight for, was only partially for the benefit of the general 37 Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 10, 1933. 38 Chez to Blood, July 17, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933. 39 Salt Lake Tribune, July 7, 1933. 40 Ibid., July 11, 1933.


Utah Historical


fund. T h e revenue hike would be primarily used to qualify the state for its full share of FERA aid and PWA funds. Since PTRA relief dollars were to be matched in part by the states, the governor had every intention of seeing that Utah did the best it could. Another portion of the sales tax revenue would be used to qualify Utah for PWA funds. The PWA would pay 30 percent of a project's cost and loan the project's instigators the remaining 70 percent at low interest; the principal was to be met over twenty years from the selfliquidating aspects of the projects themselves. The interest. Blood determined, would come from the sales tax. Opposition to raising the sales tax was strong, with the chief antagonists in the House. They resisted every effort to j u m p the tax to 2 percent right up to the final day of the special session. Delaying tactics, in fact, caused the session to drag on for almost thirty days. The House wanted to boost the sales tax to 1 percent and to raise any additional revenue needed from increases in the corporation franchise and utilities taxes, or by imposing a new tax on chain stores, or by selling bonds. The nature of the alternative proposals and the House's refusal to move quickly brought down the wrath of the Tribune, which castigated its "stalling" and blasted the "eccentric bills" introduced by "agitators."^^ Governor Blood appeared icily perturbed, as reflected in the tone of a message sent to legislators as they entered the third week of deliberations: "I beg leave you will not think I am overstepping the bounds of respectful propriety when I inform you that the eyes of the people...are upon this Legislature, and your constituents have a right to expect you to complete your work without further delay." He also quoted from a news dispatch in which Harry Hopkins threatened to cut off federal funds to any state that did not provide money of its own for relief.^2 The obvious need for relief funds and PWA projects, the governor's insistence, the Senate's refusal to consider any increase other than the sales tax, and the heat of the summer ultimately combined to force the House to acquiesce. The tax was set at 2 percent, with such a rate estimated to bring in about $2 million a year. The Tribune remarked, half mistakenly, that the tax was an 4' Ibid., August 2, July 31, 1933. 42 " T o the Twentieth Legislature of the State of titah in Special Session, July 29, 1933," Governor Blood's C^orrespondence, 1933, Legislature file.

Blood's First Year as Governor


"emergency" levy and would, no doubt, be repealed as soon as conditions improved.^3 T h e fight over the sales tax had created much heat, but it did not impede the passage of other major legislation. Once the liquor question was before them, both houses quickly approved the joint resolution by the required two-thirds majority; the question of retention or repeal of state prohibition would be submitted to the public, with the governor empowered to set the exact date for the vote. Legislation was also enacted that would keep the state dry— except for 3.2 beer—after January 1, 1934, even if the state's dry provision was stricken from the constitution. This would give the state time to decide on policy and set up machinery to conrol hard liquor.'^'* T h e PWA aspect of the NIRA was also reflected in state legislation. Boards appointed by the governor would sift through proposed building projects. The state, municipalities, and school districts were authorized to form corporations for the purpose of borrowing from the federal government, to enter into contracts with government agencies, and to lease from the PWA projects built by it. The interest payments on loans negotiated by towns and school districts were to be paid by the local political unit if possible, but where necessary the state would underwrite payments from the sales tax.45

The legislature had armed the governor with all the powers he had thought necessary to combat the depression on the state level. These powers, for the most part, were to be used as auxiliary supports of New Deal legislation. T h e governor's role was really that of an expediter rather than innovator. As expediter. Blood created a host of boards to correlate state and federal activities. He named Robert Hinckley, Ogden businessman, to head an expanded Public Welfare and Emergency Relief Board. This group acted as a clearinghouse for requests for funds submitted by county relief committees and distributed to them the available federal and state monies. This board, the Public Works Committee, and the governor decided on an 85-15 percent split of the sales tax revenue, with the larger portion going to direct relief and the smaller to public works' interest payments. Some critics urged that all the « Salt Lake Tribune, August 2, 4, 1933. " I b i d . , August 3, 1933. « Ibid., July 10, 1933.


Utah Historical


sales tax money go to relief, but Blood insisted that public works projects also be furthered to provide jobs and cut down on the relief rolls—which in August 1933 stood at 20,000 families. This, by the way, was a drop of 38 percent from the winter high earlier in the year. A combination of higher private seasonal employment and the various public works projects, notably road construction, had partially blunted the sharp edge of the depression."^^ T h e thousands who remained on relief still had to be cared for, and the sales tax supplied the state with its prime weapon. It was not popular with many Utahns (who, inevitably, called it "Blood money"), and the governor was forced to defend it more than once. In a September press statement. Blood said he had heard that merchants were apologetic or caustic when collecting the tax; the governor appealed to businessmen to "immediately impress [on] all...that their duty is to support every movement intended to relieve [the] suffering of those unable to provide for themselves.'"^^ By the end of the year the sales tax had brought in $660,893— almost all of which went for relief. T h e FERA provided an additional $2,186,702. T h e latter figure represents only money that passed through state hands. Several hundred thousand dollars more went directly to individual Utahns who became temporary employees of the Civil Works Administration. The CWA, also under the direction of Harry Hopkins, was created in the fall of 1933 to get the nation through the winter when it became obvious that the PWA was not stimulating enough jobs and the FERA was not providing large enough payments to those on relief. By dealing more directly with the people, it partially bypassed state and local relief boards. It also furnished work, not handouts. By December, 10,000 Utahns were on the CWA payroll and were receiving $133,430 total weekly wages.''® T h e legislature had also enacted legislation to allow Utah to combat the depression by means other than relief doles, which were meant to boost consumption. Controlling production was another avenue that, with the creation of the National Recovery Administration, Utah traveled. Governor Blood, as did most everyone at first, placed high hopes in codes that would encourage harmony among « Ibid., September 9, August 31, 28, 29, 1933. " Untitled press statement, September 13, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933; Salt Lake Tribune, September 9, 1933. 48 Blood to Greeley, Colorado, Chamber of C^ommerce, December 29, 1933, and untitled press statement, December 29, 1933, both in Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933; Salt Lake Tribune, December 6, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


related business interests and between management and labor. Upon passage of the NIRA he had endorsed the NRA, saying: "This is no time for an unfair minority to continue its self-seeking policies; it is the time for courageous action on the part of employers and industries generally." He believed prosperity could be enjoyed by the whole people if the president's plans were carried out.'*^ Blood appointed members to the Utah State Recovery Administration, and this group worked closely with the federally appointed Utah Recovery Committee of the NRA. Blood served as joint chairman of an executive committee drawn from both organizations. National codes covering interstate business and industrial trade associations were rapidly adapted to Utah's intrastate needs. Enforcement of the state codes was delegated to citizens committees in the various communities. How these local groups would handle violations was rather vague, but in extreme cases they could appeal to the state courts. T h e governor signed the first state code, which covered Utah's coal industry—then rocked by labor strife—on September 26 and by the end of the year had approved sixteen more.^^ Blood had reluctantly vetoed as unconstitutional a bill declaring a moratorium on mortgages passed by the regular session of the legislature. Since then. Congress had enacted the Home Owners Loan Act (HOLA) which provided federal funds to refinance home loans. The HOLA was deluged with applications and could process them but slowly. In the meantime, Utah home owners had their backs to the wall. In August, Blood called a meeting of Utah's bankers and loan company officers and persuaded them to voluntarily grant a ninety-day moratorium, during which time Utahns could apply for federal refinancing and receive replies.^^ The move was successful, and by the end of the year HOLA had forestalled mortgage foreclosures for 353 Utah families at a cost of $881,000. Farmers benefitted from the mortgage moratorium, too, and received a similar refinancing service from the government via the Farm Credit Act. Historically, Utahns had experienced chronic water shortages. Although 1933 was a fairly dry year in Utah, it gave only a hint of what was to come. Blood hoped that the PWA would help in the 49 Untitled and undated [June] press statement, Ckjvernor Blood's C^orrespondence. 1933. ''""Minutesof Joint Committee, August 19, 1933, in ihid.; Salt Lake Tribune, July 10, September 27, Decembers, 1933. See Helen Z. Papanikolas, "Unionism, Cxjmmunism, and the Great Depression: The Carbon County Coal Strike of 1933," Utah Historical Quarterly 41 (1973): 254-300, for details of the labor unrest. " Salt Lake Tribune, August 2, 1933.


Utah Historical


Deer Creek dam site on the Frovo River. This Bureau of Reclamation project was approved in late 1933 through the lobbying efforts of Governor Blood. USHS collections.

construction of dams and irrigation systems to alleviate this perennial problem. His expectations were bolstered when two dams, Pineview and Hyrum, were approved by the PWA in August. That same month, the State Emergency Committee on Public Works— which Blood set up with himself as an ex officio member and William R. Wallace, a Salt Lake businessman and former Chamber of Commerce official, as chairman—began sifting through other requests from cities, counties, school districts, and the state. The projects ranged from sewers to tunnels and from roads to reclamation projects.52 One of the first decisions reached by the committee was to ask the governor to return to Washington and shepherd the Utah projects through the intricacies of the PWA bureaucracy. Blood set out on September 26 with a $40 million portfolio of requests, including $17 52 Elwood Mead, commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, lo Blood, August 30, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933; Salt Lake Tribune, September 27, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


million in reclamation projects for Moon Lake, Sanpete County, and Deer Creek.^3 His chief antagonist was PWA director Harold Ickes. During the eight weeks Blood was in Washington they confronted each other often—too often for Ickes, who confided to his diary: A delegation from Utah, headed by Secretary Dern, and including ...Governor Blood...came into nag again about some reclamation projects for their state. This group has been hanging about Washington for more than three weeks. At intervals they come to see me, then they go to see Colonel Waite (Ickes's second in command), and then they go over to the White House. They seem to be proceeding on the theory that they can just wear down our resistance and get what they want.^^

Blood and Ickes looked at the problem differently. Blood put a high priority on his reclamation proposals, first, as a means of employment during their construction, and second, as essential to Utah farmers who often faced drought conditions. On the other hand, Ickes, supported by Secretary of Agriculture Wallace, viewed most reclamation projects as inimical to one of the major aims of the New Deal: to reduce crop surpluses. T o these men more water meant more production, and more production would add to the existing surplus of commodities that were keeping farm prices down.^^ Blood haunted the PWA offices, trying to make people there see it his way. At first, Ickes and the PWA board put him off with promises of consideration "soon." But soon never came. Ickes finally told Blood that he had no intention of approving the reclamation projects for Utah unless FDR personally told him to do so. Blood accepted the challenge and went to see the president, who was busy. Blood was persistent and spent one entire day cooling his heels in a White House waiting room without seeing the president. Roosevelt, aware that Utah's governor was there, asked Dern what the problem was. Dern explained, and FDR arranged for Blood to see Ickes one more time. At that meeting, with the presidential blessing bestowed, Ickes reluctantly promised to approve at least part of the reclamation requests. A few weeks later $4.5 million was granted to the Deer Creek and Moon Lake projects. "May God bless you and yours," Blood wired Roosevelt when the announcement was made.^^ 53 Salt Lake Tribune, August 8, September 27, 1933. 54 Harold L. Ickes, The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes: The First Thousand Days, 1933-36 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953), p.l 14. 55 Salt Lake Tribune, October 1, 3, 1933. 56 Ibid., October 27, November 4, 8, 9, 17, 1933; Blood to Roosevelt, November 17, 1933, Governor Blood's Correspondence, 1933.


Utah Historical


T h o u g h the governor's efforts to win acceptance of the reclamation projects by the PWA was the most frustrating and time consuming, delays in processing other requests submitted to the PWA added their strain to the governor's patience as well. Utah had put in a bid for $1.5 million for construction of such edifices as a home economics building at the Utah State Agricultural College and a library at the University of Utah. At one point, the PWA even "lost" the applications for these projects, but Blood "found" them. T h e "soon" gambit was used frequently, too. Determined not to be put off, he became thoroughly nettled. Usually an even-tempered and soft-spoken man. Blood, after one particularly unsatisfying meeting with the PWA board, snapped: We are facing an emergency in Utah....You promised action in four or five days; that program (state buildings) has been before you now for thirteen days....With intelligent handling, there is no reason why that program should not have been acted upon in an hour or two, yet thirteen days have been allowed to elapse.

A week later the governor got the approval he sought, and the colleges and other state agencies got their new buildings.^^ Most of a $12 million city, county, and school district collection of requests were also held up—but for once not by the molasses-slow PWA. These proposals were submitted but laid aside at the governor's suggestion until a decision affecting them was rendered by the Utah State Supreme Court. Constitutionally, political subdivisions were limited in their bonding capacity, and many such limits had already been reached. T h e question before the state's highest court was whether the legislation passed by the special session lifted the bonding lid. T h e new laws specifically authorized political units of the state to enter into long-term contracts with the federal government for loans to construct public works. Taking these loans from the government would have the same effect as being indebted from bond sales, but the difference was that the state government guaranteed to pay the interest charges from the sales tax revenue. T h e court did not pass on the subject until Blood had returned to Utah, so he could do little for the projects while in Washington. When the decision did come it upheld the constitutionality of the special session's enactments. This could have started the PWA wheels rolling again, but Ickes kept on the brakes. On December 6 he 5' Salt Lake Tribune, September 27, October 1, 12, 18, 1933.

Blood's First Year as Governor


announced that Utah's other PWA fund requests would receive no further consideration until next year. According to his calculations, Utah had already been granted 270 percent of her share of the PWA's $3.3 billion kitty.^s T h e keeper of the FERA's money was much more amenable than Ickes. Harry Hopkins saw Blood during his sojourn in Washington and was sympathetic and helpful. He was impressed with Utah's efforts to help itself with the sales tax proceeds and, when informed by Blood that relief needs still exceeded income, proposed that the FERA would make up any deficit between Utah's spending for direct relief and what was actually required. He also approved a special grant to help needy students at the state universities by paying them through the winter at twenty-five dollars per person.^^ Blood found time to join a delegation representing western sugar beet interests that paid a call on Secretary Wallace to lobby for high production allotments. Noncommital but friendly, Wallace showed proper concern for the beet growers' welfare. Blood, by way of the press, passed on the word that he was certain that Wallace would come u p with a satisfactory program in the near future.^^ Returning to Utah after an eight-week absence,the governor announced "I [am] confident of having accomplished the things I went to Washington to d o . " He recounted his easy success with Hopkins and his hard-won partial victory over Ickes. He even sympathized with PWA bureaucrats who were handling about 550 applications per month.^^ In truth. Governor Blood's time in the nation's capital had been well spent. Additional relief monies, more CCC camps, the $1.5 million for state buildings, and money to start on the reclamation projects were on their way to Utah. T h e total granted was far less than the figure requested, but there was hope for more in the future; and, with the reclamation projects, at least,there is little doubt that they would not have been approved except for the stubborn persistence of the governor. T h e energy and initiative Blood displayed during his first year in office helped to set the state on a firm path toward recovery. Difficult years lay ahead, but the somber picture he had painted at his inaugural was slowly brightening. 58 59 60 6'

Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,

September 15, December 15, 6, 1933. October 7, 1933. October 27, 1933. November 13, 1933.

A Labor Inspector during the Great Depression BY BARNEY L. FLANAGAN

W H E N YOU GO T O A ROAD WORKER WHO IS SWINGING along, whistling blithely while toting a ninety-six-pound bag of portland cement in each hand, and say to him, "Sorry, buddy, but you can't work here," you have to have a pretty good reason. When he tosses each bag onto a waist-high pile by the mere flip of his wrist and forearm, brushes off a pair of big strong hands, and says, "Who the hell says I can't?" you had better have an answer ready, and it had better be good. T h e American worker was never finer than he was in the dark days of the Great Depression when he asked for nothing more than parity with his fellow workers—no favors, no gravy—just parity. He showed clearly that he could take the bitter with the sweet in stride just as long as he felt that he was being treated no worse than the others. When the chips were down and the babies crying, the American worker grew rebellious only when he got the idea that he was being shown some form of unfair treatment. T h e big fellow who was tossing bags of cement around was typical. My job as inspector for the Utah State Highway Commission's hiring committee put me in touch and kept me in touch with hundreds of families who were destitute or nearly so. Homes without furniture—because the family could not keep up the p a y m e n t s were common. Beds consisting of blankets—sometimes a mattress— on the floor were not uncommon, and in more than one home the old-time wooden orange crate served as chair and table. The hiring committee was a product of the pre-New Deal effort to meet the economic crisis. In mid-1932 the Congress appropriated money for accelerated federal highway aid programs in an effort to alleviate distress in some areas at least. T o keep the road contractors from filling the work crews with friends and relatives, the regulations issued from Washington provided that all hiring must be done from lists supplied the contractor by a hiring committee. T h e work week was cut to thirty hours to spread the work a little further. Utah went Mr. Flanagan lives in Washington, D.C.

A Labor Inspector


one step beyond that and requested the road contractors to use a man for thirty hours only and then replace him with someone else. This meant that a worker would have a chance to earn a little less than fifteen dollars (thirty hours at forty eight cents an hour) and then give way to someone else. T h e contractors agreed to this restriction but declared that the responsibility for enforcing it must fall upon the inspector of the hiring committee. T h a t put a double burden on me. First, I had to make sure that the men who were on a contractor's payroll on a specific job had been chosen from the list provided by the committee. Then, I had to "wash u p " a man who had his pittance of thirty hours and replace him with another from the list. I would get the daily work record of each man on five to six highway crews—close to 200 persons considering that the contractors had a gang in the morning and another in the afternoon. My wife and I would go over these slips each evening, listing the hours worked by each man. T h a t took considerable time each night, but the next day I would have in hand the records needed to sort out those who had worked their allotted hours. It was in this capacity that I met the man who toyed with heavy sacks. My routine was to go through each road gang in my territory twice a day, morning and afternoon, because most contractors worked one shift five hours before lunch and another shift five hours after lunch. It was on one of my morning rounds that I met this man Smith, which, by the way, was his real name. The contractor who had put him on the job illegally faded away when he saw me coming through the gang. I told Smith, politely but firmly, that he could not work there because he was not on the list provided by the hiring committee. As he walked past me, he leaned over and said softly, "I'm goin' to put you in the hospital for this." Then he went over to the fire which is part of highway operations during cold weather. I contintued my journey through the gang, finding four or five others who did not belong there and chasing them just as I had Smith. I will admit that I was not at all cheerful when I got through the gang, for Smith was still standing there by the fire, apparently waiting for me to finish my chore before he started his operations on me. I figured that there was no use ducking the issue, so I went over to the fire and took my place on the side opposite him. He was silent for a minute or so and then said, "You don't play favorites, do you?" "I do not," I replied. "In this job it is necessary to hew to the line."


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"I knew there were several others on the job this morning who did not belong there," he said. "When you chased me, I thought you were picking on me for some reason. I was mad. When I saw you chase the others, I knew you were treating us all alike. That's all I care about, but I do hope that one of these days I can get on the job for a few days." On a couple of occasions in the ensuing months, there were murmurs from dissidents that I should have my "block knocked off." But Smith rose to the occasion. "I have appointed myself to do Flanagan's fighting for him," he said, "before you lick him, you lick me." During two construction seasons I had no difficulty in walking right through groups of 500 to 700 workers gathered around the place where the hiring committee met. No one was after my scalp. The men had learned that there were no favorites. That's all they asked. For a long while I doubted the wisdom of giving a man thirty hours' employment and then replacing him with another who would get thirty hours and be replaced by another man. But as fall went into winter, I began to see some point to it. There were not nearly enough road jobs to keep the unemployed busy. Other work programs were slow in forming. T h e dinky thirty hours a man got gave him a big lift psychologically. He knew he had not been forgotten. Even those who were not fortunate enough to get the meager employment felt better because they knew that some effort was being made, and this knowledge was a big help while the other work programs were being formulated and put into operation. The creation of the hiring committee put the contractors on the spot with former employees. We helped the contractors to some extent by an agreement that said, in effect, "for every six of the men we send you, you may put on one of your own men as a sort of 'key man.' " T h e 'key men' worked thirty hours a week but were permitted to come back week after week. But when old road workers kept pressing, the contractors often gave in and said, "O.K., go to work, but when Flanagan comes around he'll run you off the job." This was rather rough on me, but it was worth it. The committee made no bones about the run-of-the-mill nature of the hiring list. Sometimes there would be a road worker listed and right next to him a ribbon clerk. Some men earned their money; some did the best they could, but their shovels got heavy long before the day was over. The contractors played along with us. They pushed the good men a little harder and were tolerant of poor ones. Once in a while a contractor

A Labor Inspector


would tell me about a particularly hard job he had for the next week and ask for the best man we could get. In those instances the hiring committee acceded to the wish and listed the best available. There were few telephones in the homes of the working class. Those who had had them preferred to use their dwindling savings for food instead of convenience. That meant that among my other duties I had to scurry up help personally if the need was urgent and the contractor could not wait for the mail to bring the listed workers in. One day I witnessed a heart-warming exhibition of fortitude. I knocked at a door and a feminine voice asked me to come in because she could not come to the door. I went in and saw a bare front room. In the kitchen was a young mother giving her baby a bath. T h e tub was on an apple box that doubled as a table. An orange crate and an old stove completed the kitchen furniture. There were a few dishes in a wall cupboard. The young lady saw me looking around and suggested that I tour the other two rooms. Another apple box with a pillow in it was evidently the baby's bed. The family bed was on the floor. The creditors had taken everything except her smile, her good nature, and her optimism—and her clean floors. There was not a complaint nor a tear. She was happy when she heard her husband could get something or other that they wanted for the baby. That was the most destitute home I visited during those times, but I saw many almost as wanting. But I did not ever find a dirty home, nor a home in which there was dissatisfaction or complaint. Transportation was often one of the difficulties for these thirtyhour men. Many had lost their cars along with their furniture. The jobs were from three to ten miles from towns, but the men somehow found ways of getting to the job. One day I thought I was doing a man a favor by telling him when his shift ended, that he had completed twenty-eight hours and that he need not come back the next day. I simply did not think it would be worth coming ten miles to work two hours and get ninety-six cents. He didn't say anything at the time. About 8 P.M. the fellow showed up in my backyard. I happened to know that he lived five miles from my home. He asked if he could not come out the next day and get the ninety-six cents to which he was entitled. He told me he had walked all the way from his home and planned on walking back. That's how much he needed the money, and that is what he was willing to do to get it—walk ten miles and work two hours, plus find some way to get another ten miles to work and the same ten miles back.


Utah Historical


I assured him that he could get his two hours on the job, and I gave him carfare home. Next day when his two hours were up, I washed him u p just as I did anyone who had completed his time. I hated to do it, but any deviation from the hard and fast would have opened the floodgates which I rather prided myself on keeping closed. He, also, became one of my boosters and stood u p to be counted once or twice when someone made what he considered unfitting remarks. I will always remember and take off my hat to the man who knew what ninety-six cents would do for his family and was willing to make a triple effort to get it. So I salute an old friend, Marti Salotti, wherever he is. One day I had just gone through a group of men working on a road construction job and culled out half a dozen who had not been secured through the hiring committee. One fellow named Dave Rice, who had been sitting on a stack of lumber watching the proceedings, invited me to come over and sit down. He came to the point quickly. "See those two men on the far end of the longitudinal float (a hard-labor device used in smoothing new concrete in those days)? Well, they are both enginemen—work about eight months of the year and earn more than $2,000 a year each. I can't run an engine or do anything but hard work. I work about six months a year and usually get about $90 a month. Now you have given one of those fellows my job. What right has he to have his own job in busy times and then in slack times get the only thing I know how to do?" I had no answer for Dave Rice, but I did see that he got on the hiring list and got a job for the rest of the season. When policies were being formulated in the early days of the Employment Security Administration, the lesson Dave Rice taught me was put into effect. No skilled man was ever offered an unskilled job under my administration as long as there were unskilled men available to do it. T h a t was not coddling the skilled man or kowtowing to the unions. It was merely applying common sense as set forth by Dave Rice. My work during the early days of the Great Depression as labor inspector, secretary of the highway hiring committee, or whatever name the job might have had, was preliminary to a program close to my heart for many years—unemployment insurance or, in its larger meaning, employment security.

Utah's Great Drought of 1934 BY LEONARD J. ARRINGTON

WPA workers lined this irrigation canal near Orem, Utah, to conserve water. WPA photograph, courtesy of National Archives.


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W H E N ZEBULON MONTGOMERY PIKE CONDUCTED an 1806 military exploring expedition that crossed present-day Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado, he referred to the region as the Great Sandy Desert and compared it with the African Sahara. Fourteen years later Maj. Stephen H. Long, an army engineer, explored the area east of the Rockies in a more systematic and comprehensive way and produced a map that labeled the area the Great American Desert. The absence of trees, the sparseness of vegetation, the apparent sterility of the soil, and the long, hot summers led subsequent visitors to support the appellation, and it continued to be called the Great American Desert until the Civil War.^ T h e next major explorer, however, J o h n Charles Fremont, who traversed the area in 1842 and again in 184344, discovered to the surprise of many that livestock could subsist on the grasses of the region, and he ventured to hope that farmers might succeed in growing crops. Farther west, he warned, between the Rockies and the Sierra, in the Great Basin, was the true desert, with rainfall that sometimes dropped to less than five inches per year. As explorers and settlers came to realize in the years that followed, there were cycles in the amount of rainfall. During the late 1870s and early 1880s, for example, the rainfall was above average, and tens of thousands of persons moved into the upper, central, and lower Great Plains, as the area came to be called. This was followed in the late 1880s by a period of drought, dust storms, blizzards, and grasshopper plagues. When the wet cycle returned, dry farming techniques were developed, windmills were installed, and droughtresistant plants were introduced. T h e region once more prospered, and there was widespread belief that the problems had been overcome. These happy hopes, however, were shattered by the dust storms and drought of the 1930s. In more recent years, of course, the expansion of irrigation, the spread of air conditioning, the improvement of transportation networks, and the continued development of plant breeding and farming techniques have made the Great Plains the largest producer of wheat and beef in the world. No one would imagine that it was once called the Great American Desert.^ Dr. Arrington is Lemuel Redd Professor of Western History at Brigham Young University, a member of the Board of State History, and a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society. This article was orginally prepared for the David E. Miller Memorial Lecture at the University of Utah, April 17, 1985. • See W. Eugene Hollon, The Great American Desert: Then and Now (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.) 2 See W. Eugene Hollon, "Great American Desert," in Howard R. Lamar, ed., The Reader's Encyclopedia of the American West (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1977), p p . 461-62; also Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Plains (New York: G i n n & Co., 1931).

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


Although the Great Basin region has not been quite so fortunate, the early Mormon settlers were delighted to find that the heavy snowfall in Utah's Wasatch Mountains drained each spring into creeks that could furnish water for irrigation into the spring and early summer. With the eventual extension of high-line canals and reservoirs water could be supplied for irrigation during the dry latesummer weeks as well. Thus, in most years farmers and ranchers in Utah have been able to grow even late-season crops such as fruit, potatoes, and sugar beets. However, precipitation remains uncertain. The normal precipitation for most of the state is about thirteen inches per year. If we define drought as being a period when precipitation is less than 75 percent of normal, the Great Basin, or some part of it, has experienced drought on the average of three years out of ten.3 And there were two years in recorded history when it was only about 35 percent of normal, 1856 and 1934. In those years there had been little snowfall in the mountains during the previous winter. Hardly more than a third of the normal crop was produced, and thousands of animals died for lack of forage. This paper focuses on the catastrophe of 1934.^ The climatological data tell us that never before in United States history had so little rain fallen over so wide a territory during an entire growing season as in 1934.^ Moreover, according to U.S. Weather Bureau reports, although most dry years are preceded by years of adequate rainfall, this was not true in 1934, for the preceding four years were abnormally dry in many parts of the country. The year June 1933 to May 1934 was the driest on record in most midwestern and Great Plains states (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas), and the seasonal snowfall in California, Colorado, and Utah was about half of normal and in Wyoming about one-third of normal. In New Mexico there was hardly even a drift of snow on the northern slopes at the higher elevations. During the spring and early summer of 1934 (April through July) the rainfall in eight states (Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Kansas, Michigan, and Colorado) was the lowest on record; in Utah the rainfall during the ' U.S., Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, The Western Range: A Great but Neglected Natural Resource, 74th Cong., 2d sess.. Senate Document No. 199 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1936), pp. 138-39. * See Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958), p p . 148-56. 5 J. B. Kincer, "Data on the Drought," Science 80 (August 24, 1934): 179.


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same period was only 51 percent of normal. Utah Lake contained only one-third of its normal volume of water, and the actual shoreline was two and one-half miles inside the traditional outer border. Bear Lake was fourteen feet below normal. There was also record-breaking heat. Although Utah was surely not "the vast simmering caldron" that sometimes described the Great Plains, the average temperature even here was four degrees above normal and two degrees above the previously warmest year of record. Temperatures at St. George on July 27 and 28 reached 112 degrees, and the mean of the daily maximum temperatures at St. George for the entire month of July was just short of 104 degrees. Even the temperatures at normally cold spots like Woodruff were three to five degrees above normal. The Weather Bureau reported that nothing remotely approaching the severity of this combination of heat and dryness appeared in its annals.^ T h e general annual precipitation for the entire state of Utah in 1934 was just above nine inches—four inches below the average for the preceding forty years. T h e annual precipitation at Hanksville was just over two inches. Month after month the Weather Bureau reported "the warmest of record." By May the drought had become so severe that irrigation was restricted. Some grain was cut for hay or abandoned, and the first alfalfa cutting was the lightest of record.'^ T o understand the seriousness of the situation one needs to keep in mind that Utah was far more dependent on agriculture in 1934 than it has been since the build-up of industry and the service trades after World War II. The state's agricultural economy was already in a depressed condition when the Great Depression of the 1930s began. High grain prices during World War I had encouraged Utah farmers to plow up thousands of acres of rangeland for winter wheat. The failure of the government to check the decline in grain prices after World War I caused a farm depression from which Utah had not recovered before the stock market crash of 1929.^ Then, Utah's economy being primarily dependent on farming and mining, the ruinous drop in farm prices and the stagnation of the metals industry 6 Ibid. Also Robert H. Hinckley to Harry Hopkins, April 27, 1934, Utah FERA file. Record Group 69, National Archives, Washington, D.C. ' U.S., Department of Agriculture, Climatological Data: Utah Section 36 (1934): 37. ' Thomas G. Alexander, " T h e Economic Consequences of the War: Utah and the Depression of the Early 1920s" in Leonard J. Arrington and Thomas G. Alexander, A Dependent Commonwealth: Utah's Economy from Statehood to the Great Depression , ed. Dean May, Charles Redd Monographs in Western History no. 4 (Provo, Ut.: Brigham Young University Press, 1974), p p . 57-89.

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


caused thousands to suffer even more. Personal income in 1933 was approximately 51 percent of what it had been in 1929, already a low figure. Farm income had dropped from $69 million to only $30 million. Some 43,000 persons, 25 percent of the state's work force, were unemployed, and 36,000 families and single persons were receiving relief of some kind by the end of 1933. Utah's relief situation in relation to p o p u l a t i o n was fully as bad as that of many of the industrial states in the East and Midwest where idle factories had created unprecedented industrial unemployment.^ In this debilitated condition Utah sustained the blow of 1934. T h e drought came at the worst possible time—a natural disaster on top of a human-caused disaster. Utahns might well have complained, "It never rains but it pours." But somehow the metaphor seemed inappropriate. T h e nation, of course, had already embarked on a program to combat the effects of the depression. President Herbert Hoover had established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932 to lend money to large banks, railroads, and other large corporations that were essential to any climb out of the slough. Utah had received $12 million in repayable funds from this agency during 1932-33. With the assumption of the office of president by Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1933, he and his associates, with the nearly u n a n i m o u s approval of Congress, had established, in the spring and early summer of 1933, several agencies to combat the depression: Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). With the help of grants from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, this agency assisted states and municipalities in their relief efforts. FERA expended $3,889,095 in Utah during the 1933-34 fiscal year, which amounted to $7.66 per capita. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided work and a modest income for 250,000 jobless young males in reforestation, road construction, the prevention of soil erosion, and national park and flood control projects. T h e CCC expended $4,742,681 in Utah during the 1933-34 fiscal year, which was $9.34 per capita. Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), which was intended to eliminate the farm surplus by paying farmers to reduce the production of surplus crops until "parity prices" could be attained. This agency expended $506,297 in Utah during fiscal 1933-34, or $ 1 per capita. ^Leonard J. Arrington, Utah, the N ew Deal, and the Depression of the 1930s (O^den, Ut.: Weber State College Press, 1983); Arrington, " T h e New Deal in the West: A Preliminary Statistical Inquiry," Pacific Historical Review 38 (1969) : 311-16; Don C. Reading, "A Statistical Analysis of New Deal Economic Programs in the Forty-Eight States, 1933-1939" (Ph.D. diss., Utah State University, 1972).


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Farm Credit Administration (FCA), which extended short-term and medium-term loans for agricultural production and marketing. Some $3,162,625 was extended to Utah farmers in the form of credit in 1933-34, which was a little over $6 per capita. Public Works Administration (PWA), which matched local and state funds to construct roads, public buildings, and other projects. PWA granted $1,687,513 to Utah during 1933-34 and loaned another $430,000 for a total of $2,117,513, or a little over $4 per capita. Civil Works Administration (CWA), which functioned during the winter of 1933-34 as an emergency unemployment relief program to put four million jobless persons to work on federal, state, and local makework projects. A total of $4,440,056 was expended in Utah by CWA, which was $8.74 per capita.

All told, these programs, during the fiscal year from July 1, 1933, to J u n e 30, 1934, expended $18,858,267 in Utah, approximately $37 per capita. Not a very sizable amount, but certainly welcome, and unquestionably helpful in stemming depression and want. It represented a little over 10 percent of the state's income during fiscal 1933-34.10 T h e key agency in dealing with the immediate problems created by the depression was the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, created in May 1933, with an appropriation of $500 million. Half of this amount was allotted as direct relief to state and principal relief agencies, and the rest was distributed on the basis of $1 of federal aid for every $3 of state and local funds spent for relief. Work relief projects were established by state and local bodies, and FERA supplied the authorized funds through the state's relief administrator. T h e national FERA administrator was Harry Hopkins.^^ Appointed to administer FERA in Utah was Robert H. Hinckley. Descended from a prominent pioneer Utah family and one of thirteen children of a poorly paid geology teacher at Brigham Young Academy, he graduated from Brigham Young University, taught at North Sanpete H i g h School, and moonlighted as an automobile dealer and pioneer in commercial aviation. Active in Democratic politics, he was elected to the state legislature and served as mayor of '" Arrington, Utah, the New. Deal, and the Depression of the 1920s. Splendid short reviews of Utah's experience during the Great Depression are in S. George Ellsworth, Utah's Heritage (Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1972), p p . 419-41; and J o h n F. Bluth and Wayne K. Hinton, " T h e Great Depression," in Richard D. Poll, ed., Utah's History (Provo, Ut.: Brigham Young University Press, 1978),pp. 481-96. See also Frank H . J o n a s , "Utah: Sagebrush Democracy,"in T h o m a s C. Donnelly, ed.. Rocky Mountain Politics (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1940), p p . 11-50. •• Utah Emergency Relief Administration: T e n Month Report (January-October 1934), in FERA Records, Record G r o u p 135, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.

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Robert H. Hinckley directed FERA program for Utah. Courtesy of Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Mount Pleasant. He then took advantage of an opportunity to establish a large automobile dealership in Ogden, where he moved in 1927. He had become acquainted with George H. Dern when the two were in the legislature together. Later, as governor, Dern first appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University of Utah and then, as the depression deepened in 1931, asked Hinckley to be a member of the Volunteer Relief Committee. In 1932 Hinckley persuaded Henry H. Blood, chairman of the State Road Commission, to run for governor to replace Dern. After Blood took office he appointed Hinckley to visit the counties and enroll young men and teachers in the CCC. When Roosevelt established the FERA in May 1933, Hinckley was Blood's choice to direct the FERA. Forty-two years of age at the time, Hinckley proved to be, in the words of one national FERA official, "one of the finest and most socially-minded state administrators (in the nation)."^^ '2 See Wain Sutton, ed., Utah: A Centennial History, 3 vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1949), 3:458-59; Robert H. Hinckley, "I'd Rather Be Born Lucky thanJRich": The Autobiography of Robert H. Hinckley, with the assistance of Jo Ann Jacobsen Wells (Provo, Ut.: Brigham Young IJniversity Press, 1977); and Benjamin Glassberg to Aubrey Williams, March 27,1934, Utah FERA Files, National Archives.


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A better appreciation of the impact of the 1934 drought can be had by following the sequence of events as they occurred. The drought was, of course, a national phenomenon and was especially severe in the Great Plains states. High winds had swept across Nebraska in mid-November 1933, depositing dirt in the East from as far north as New York to as far south as Georgia. A second great storm, April 9 to 12, 1934, blew dust from the Dakotas to Florida. There were additional "rollers" in April that culminated in the storm of May 9 to 12, 1934, a great black blizzard that blew an estimated three hundred million tons of soil from the Great Plains to the East and Atlantic Ocean. These storms created what came to be known as the Dust Bowl, a devastated area that included large sections of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.^^ That Utah was experiencing the same phenomenon was first publicly noted the middle of April. On April 16, 1934, for example, the Deseret News ran a lead article headlined "Drought Hits All Utah, Say Church Heads." T h e article began, "Nearly all parts of Utah are suffering from a water shortage and the outlook for maturing crops in many sections is unfavorable, according to reports made by the general authorities of the L.D.S. church attending quarterly conferences and other meetings...over the weekend."!'* On the basis of this and other reports that came to him from a variety of sources. Governor Blood made a quick tour of central and southern Utah and found the "unprecedented" water shortage to be "terrifying."!^ T h e winter of 1933-34 had been the warmest on record, the accumulated snowcover on the state's watersheds was the least on record, and the summer flow in the streams on most of the watersheds would be only 25 to 50 percent of that in 1933. Blood convened a meeting of the state's water experts to formulate a suitable program. All agreed that they must solicit emergency financing from the FERA and that a strong case for the request must be prepared. The governor issued a proclamation expressing the seriousness of the situation and urging each citizen to conserve every drop of water. He also announced the appointment of George Dewey Clyde, irrigation '3 See Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 12; and Paul A. Bonnifield, The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1979). 't Salt Lake Tribune, April 15, 18, 1934. '5 Salt Lake Tribune, April 25, 1934. The background of events is discussed in Rolfe Thomas Quinn, " T h e Governorship of Henry H. Blood: T h e Critical Years, 1933-34" (Master's thesis, University of Utah, 1967), esp. p p . 95-107.

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engineer with the Utah State Agricultural Experiment Station in Logan, as state water conservator and authorized him to make a study of Utah's water prospects for the 1934 growing season.^^ In a report made a week later, Clyde asserted that he had made a hurried study of the nine leading agricultural counties in the state during the first few days of May and had talked with representatives of canal companies, irrigation enterprises, community leaders and individual farmers.^^ He found that the prospective supply of water for irrigation in 1934 was about 35 percent of 1933 and in several counties only 25 percent. The perilous prospect was heightened by the fact that the supply of water in 1933 was only 70 percent of normal. The available water for certain irrigation companies with rights of late priority would not exceed 10 percent of normal. There was little holdover water in the larger reservoirs and none at all in the small ones. Although the irrigation season usually began on May 1, the absence of groundwater and high absorption of the runoff had forced many farmers to begin irrigation on April 1, thus extending the irrigation season thirty days. Normally, water distributors did not resort to the use of storage water until after July 1, but already by April 15 storage supplies had been drawn upon so that late priorities would receive no water at all. Clyde went on to say that the water holes on the ranges were drying up, and many of the springs that had never been known to go dry were already dry or drying up. The forage on many of the spring ranges was, to use one man's expression, "as scarce as the stubble on an old man's chin." Because they had to trail long distances to water, the stock were tramping out much of that. Moreover, culinary supplies for farmsteads and villages were "extremely deficient," and many farmers were already in a position of hauling in their household water. Communities were enacting ordinances to prohibit the sprinkling of lawns. In most years, Clyde wrote, four million acre-feet were diverted into Utah's irrigation canals each year. Looking at 1934, it was doubtful that as much as one million acre-feet would be available for diversion. Clyde reported that the people were voluntarily doing everything in their power to spread existing water supplies as widely as 16 Quinn, " T h e Governorship," p. 98; Salt Lake Tribune, April 27-29, 1934. 17 George D. Clyde to Robert H. Hinckley, May 5, 1934, as reproduced inS. R. DeBoer, "Reportof Drouth Emergency in the State of Utah for 1934," a report for the Utah State Planning Board, in papers of Henry H. Blood, folder on "Drouth Relief in Utah," Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City.


Utah Historical

Oak Park Dam was one of many water projects in Utah. photograph, courtesy of National Archives.



possible. They were cleaning out springs, combining their streams, rotating between laterals, lining their canals, and m a i n t a i n i n g their ditches and headgates to prevent seepage. "Some are even going so far as to eliminate certain areas from production," he wrote, "in order that they m i g h t produce a crop with the water supply that is available." Nevertheless, the situation was extremely critical. Probably only one crop of alfalfa would be harvested, and it was doubtful that corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and fruit could be matured because the supply of water in late summer would be negligible. He estimated that not more than 25 percent of the usual crop could be matured. He suggested that something had to be done to keep the orchards and other perennial crops from dying, even at the expense of a n n u a l crops, and that livestock feed must be matured in order to take care of existing herds during the next winter. More effective utilization of existing water was important, he concluded, but even more urgent was the need for additional water. T h i s might be obtained by p u m p i n g from groundwater basins and drains, by clearing out the water in springs, and by lining ditches or p i p i n g water over porous formations. T h i s would require a certain investment, but if it could be done quickly, the percent of crops that could be produced m i g h t be raised to 50 percent and the anticipated

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


$5 million loss because of the water shortage might be trimmed by at least $3.6 million. Clyde's report, duly endorsed by Governor Blood, provided the basis for an urgent telegram from Robert Hinckley to Harry Hopkins on May 8: Careful engineering drouth survey of state reveals desperate situation remediable only by immediate action. Prospective supply irrigation water now carefully estimated at fifteen to twenty-five percent of normal. $600,000 made immediately available would save $3,600,000 in crops this year and protect orchards and small fruit and alfalfa fields for future years, at the same time keeping 10,000 families now selfsupporting off relief rolls. Also would save culinary supplies in many communities. This grant will be used on approximately 100 projects in all counties for the development of supplementary water and the conservation of existing supplies. Estimate 55 percent of this for labor, 45 percent materials, including rental of heavy equipment. This is real rural rehabilitation and at the same dme should help industrial employment in fruit and vegetable packing plants and sugar factories this fall. Estimates thoroughly checked by competent hydraulic engineers and by irrigation engineer of Utah Agricultural College appointed by Governor as water conservator. All projects to be approved by State Engineer, Extension Division of Agricultural College, and Chairman Utah Water Storage Commission.^^

Hopkins presented "this Utah matter," as he called it, to Roosevelt the very next morning, and as Hopkins reported it, "the President wants to do what is wanted." T h e next day, thirty-six hours after the telegram had been sent, a news story, simultaneously released from Washington and Salt Lake City, announced the approved grant of $600,000. This was in addition to "regular" relief funds. Apparently this early Utah appeal precipitated an immediate decision by the president to institute a national drought relief program, one that came to constitute a major activity of the New Deal during the next four months.^^ In announcing the news Governor Blood said he would appoint that day "a non-partisan and wholly impartial board of control consisting of representative engineers and water experts" who would review the list of ninety or more projects drawn by state administrator 18 Hinckley to Hopkins, telegram, May 8, 1934, Utah FERA File, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Punctuation and paragraphing supplied. The follow-up White House documentsare in die same file. 19 The White House release on die Utah grant is dated May 10, 1934, and is in the Utah FERA Files, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. See also Deseret News, May 10, 1934; Q u i n n , ' T h e Governorship," p. 97.


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Robert H. Hinckley and his staff. Blood then promptly appointed an emergency drought relief committee consisting of William Peterson, the sixty-year-old director of the Utah Agricultural Extension Service in Logan, as chairman; T h o m a s H. Humpherys, the state engineer; and William R. Wallace, chairman of the Utah Water Resources Board. Peterson, a Republican, was born in Bloomington, Idaho, in the Bear Lake Valley, and was a graduate of Bear Lake Stake Academy, Utah State Agriculture College (USAC, now Utah State University), and the University of Chicago. He had served as a professor of physics and geology at USAC, worked with the U.S. Geological Survey, and been a member of Utah's Water Storage Commission and the Utah State Road Commission. Having served on Herbert Hoover's Commission on Conservation and Administration of the Public Domain in 1930 and 1931, he was well acquainted with people in both the federal and state governments, as well as those at USAC, who could help judge the merits of projects proposed to overcome the drought.^^ Humpherys was one of the earliest irrigation engineering graduates of the USAC, and Wallace, whose English parents had walked across the Plains from the Missouri River to the Salt Lake Valley before he was born, had been an early graduate of the University of Utah and was a long-time Democratic National Committeeman. Old enough to have accompanied his parents on a visit to Brigham Young, and one of Utah's most noted men of affairs, Wallace was director of Utah National Bank, ZCMI, Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, Bennett Paint and Glass, and Ridge and Valley Mining Company. He was regarded as "the father of Utah reclamation. "21 With all due speed, Peterson, Humpherys, and Wallace sifted through the many proposals made for increasing and conserving Utah's water and approved a total of seventy-one projects in twentyeight counties. Of the $600,000, $551,569 was appropriated for irrigation projects, $18,950 for stock watering projects, and $29,481 for culinary projects. A considerable share of the funds went to Utah County, but there were also sizable allocations in Sevier, Weber, Uintah, Cache, Sanpete, and Iron counties. Among the approved 20 Information on Peterson can be found in J. Cecil Alter, Utah: The Storied Domain, 3 vols. (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1932), 2:514-15; Sutton, Utah: A Centennial History, 3:402-403. 21 Information on Wallace can be found in Men of Affairs in the State of Utah (Salt Lake City: Press Club of Salt Lake, 1914), p.59; Noble Warrum, ed., Utah since Statehood, 4 vols. (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919), 2:226.

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


projects were p u m p i n g the seepage from the North Jordan canal back into the canal from the Jordan River lining of the Salt Lake and Utah Canal, installation of a p u m p i n g plant at Pelican Point to p u m p water from Utah Lake to save 60,000 acres of crops in Salt Lake County, and extension of the Strawberry Reservoir outlet so the dead water could be drained. Several dozen projects were set up to dig artesian wells and improve ditches by rip-rapping and concrete. Most of the allocations were for projects costing $1,000 to $5,000 each. Meanwhile, the drought was becoming worse. The Deseret News for May 11 and 12 carried separate dispatches from six towns: Scipio: "Most of the grain is burned up and alfalfa is making little growth. T h e watering place where local cattlemen summer their stock on the forest reserve is dry. This is the fifth year of drouth in this place." Kanosh: T h e county farm agent has organized farmers to battle grasshoppers which are savagely devouring crops that the drought has missed. "Hot winds and the lack of sufficient water are combining with the pests to take all the hay and grain in local fields." Mount Pleasant: The farmers have met to present data to George Dewey Clyde showing their need for federal aid. " T h e alfalfa is burning in spots in the west fields and also on the bench lands...." Richfield: "All users are warned by city officials to immediately check their plumbing for leaky pipes, faucets, water closets, and hydrants." Individual inspections will begin in ten days and where waste exists "the supply will be turned off until repairs have been made." There will be a closer check on violations of the scheduled sprinkling hours. Ephraim: Meetings are being held with Clyde to study the feasibility of increasing the water supply by p u m p i n g and other means. Emery: T h e grass and forage are showing signs of burning on the range. "Very little snow is found in the tops of the mountains. There is a shortage of water in all sections. T h e springs are entirely dry on the spring range and those of the intermediate range are reduced to mere seepages. Conditions are very serious for stockmen. The farmers are very much concerned and have planted but small crops. Water gauges in the canals that have carried ten inches of water have been reduced to two and one-half inches. As these reports continued to come in and as the governor's emergency committee expended its $600,000 and still had more than


Utah Historical


one hundred additional worthy projects for which it had no funds. Blood and Hinckley lobbied FERA officials in Washington for additional financing. By the end of June they were able to obtain an additional appropriation of $400,000. Most of this was devoted to increasing domestic water supplies which were alarmingly low. All told, over the period of a little over three months, the committee had allocated $1,000,000 to sink 276 wells, develop 118 springs, line 183 miles of irrigation ditches, and lay 98 miles of pipeline. Some 652,428 acre-feet of irrigation water had been supplied, 270,148 head of livestock had been watered, and 173,115 people had been supplied with culinary water.22 Utah's efficiency in obtaining and spending the FERA and drought relief money impressed Harry Hopkins and his associates who not only declared Blood to be one of the most able governors but employed Hinckley to direct the FERA program in the eleven western states and later elevated him to assistant FERA administrator in Washington. The drought, of course, was a national disaster, and by June the U.S. Department of Agriculture had adopted a program to prevent the starving of cattle and sheep by purchasing them and distributing the meat free of charge to the unemployed. In 1933 the government had established the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation to do this as a relief measure. Now, however, the urgent problem was one of protecting the livestock industry by removing animals from the use of the range, assuring stockmen a reasonable market for their animals, and at the same time making sure that the usable meat went to families in need. During the summer and fall of 1934 the government expended $112 million in the purchase of more than eight million animals, three-fourths of which were beef cattle. Although the national program inevitably became embroiled in political controversy, the program in Utah seems to have been efficiently and economically administered. Local veterinarians, deputized by the government, inspected the cattle or sheep a rancher wanted the government to buy and calculated the payment. Those unfit for consumption were shot on the spot and buried, the rest were shipped to a packing house or, if there was a backlog, to pastures outside the drought area, where they awaited their turn on the 22 Quinn, " T h e Governorship," pp. 100-101; "Record of the Disposition of Projects by Governor's Emergency Drouth Relief Committee, as of June 14, 1934," Blood Papers, Utah State Archives.

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


c h o p p i n g block. . . . Needy families could go to a cattle kill and cart home the meat that was not diseased, although it might be tough eating.23

In many cases, of course, stockmen offered only their culls— "gaunt, scrawny, bony looking," standing "almost lifeless, with their heads down and their tails between their legs like whipped dogs." Nearly all were "beyond hope of saving, hovering near starvation. "24 Approximately 126,000 cattle and 206,000 sheep were slaughtered under this program in Utah. For these, the government paid a flat price of $2 per animal for sheep, $4 to $5 for calves, $10 to $15 for yearlings, and $12 to $20 for cattle two years and older. Stock was purchased from 18,920 different Utah farms and ranches. Stockmen sometimes complained that government bureaucrats were stingy ("they'd pinch nickels till the buffalo squeals"), but it was a buyer's market; most of the animals were of advanced age and g a u n t and could not have been sold except at distress prices. T h e total payment for cattle in Utah was $1,755,458, for sheep $411,024.2^ One u n i q u e concession was granting permission to the Indians on the Uintah and Ouray Reservations the right to distribute 1,500 beeves, one to a family, so the family could jerk the meat and dry it as they had traditionally done buffalo meat in earlier times.2^ In order to preserve the scarce forage in the state. Governor Blood issued an order on J u n e 24 halting the s h i p p i n g of hay or feed from the state. It was also against public policy, he declared, to ship hay or mill feeds from one district to another within the state.2^ About two hundred Uinta Basin farmers abandoned crops on their upland farms and turned stock into their grain and alfalfa fields to salvage what little remained from the long, parching dry spell and moved to river bottom areas that in normal years were flooded in times of high water.28 C o m m u n i t y after community continued to report suffering during J u n e , July, and August. In Bountiful many homes were without water for several days.29 23 Worster, Dust Bowl, p. 113; C. Roger Lambert, " T h e Drought Cattle Purchase, 1934-1935: Problems and Complaints," Agricultural History 45 (1971): 85-93. 2'' Russell Porter, " D r o u g h t Produces Lean Kine of Egypt," N^u; York Times, August 2, 1934, p . 6: Worster, Dust Bowl. p. 113 25 The Western Range, p p . 408-9; Worster, Dust Bowl, p. 114. 26 Deseret News, July 3, 1934. 27 Deseret News, J u n e 25, 1934. 28 Deseret News, July 3, 1934. 29 Deseret News, July 31, 1934.


Utah Historical


The masonry for this irrigation ditch in East Mill Creek, Utah, was done by WPA workers. WPA photograph, courtesy of National Archives.

Utah's officials energetically lobbied to get the Public Works Administration to act on important long-run solutions to the drought problem. Requests for the Deer Creek, Pineview, and other reclamation projects were justifiably labeled "urgent." Such projects would provide lucrative contracts for the construction industry, provide work for the unemployed, and permit a more efficient use of Utah's water resources.^'^ T h e first Pineview Dam contract was signed on May 31, the second on August 21; ground-breaking was held on September 29, and the dam was finally completed in June 1937.^^ As for the Deer Creek Dam, water from the Provo, Duchesne, and Weber rivers was to be stored in Deer Creek Reservoir and ^o Deseret News, August 16, 1934. Governor Blood's astute maneuverings to obtain the necessary consensus to construct the Deer Creek-Utah Lake Reclamation Project are described in Q u i n n , " T h e Governorship," p p . 107-17. ^1 Leonard J. Arrington and Lowell Dittmer, "Reclamation in Three Layers: T h e Ogden River Project, 1934-1965," Pacific Historical Review 35 (1966): 16-34; Deseret News, May 31, August 21, October 8, November 29, 1934.

Utah's Great Drought of 1934


supplied to Utah Valley farmers and to Salt Lake City, making possible the growth of Utah Valley agriculture and of Utah's largest city. T h e project was inaugurated in 1934 and completed in its preliminary form in 1941 .^2 Other lesser, but still important, projects were launched at Hyrum, Sanpete, and Moon Lake near Duchesne. Nearly half the population of Utah was benefited directly or indirectly by these reclamation projects that were initiated in partial response to the 1934 drought.^^ But the discussion of these long-term measures only helped to lessen the impact of the drought. T o end it would require rainfall. That was more difficult to bring about. The Coyote Clan of the Hopi Tribe held three snake dances for rain in Hotevilla in northern Arizona on August 24.^4 These dances, which culminated in an eight-day ceremony, were not more successful than the incessant prayers for rain in Mormon ward houses and in other religious edifices. Plants continued to wilt, even the grasshoppers were starving, and there seemed to be little reason to hope for a reprieve. Finally, in early November a few rainstorms came. T h e ranges and pastures benefited; the germination of fall grains was stimulated. By Thanksgiving, Utahns had reasons for gratitude. Although Utah still had 30,000 unemployed persons on relief and prices and incomes were still low, the people, as was their custom, were prepared to give thanks. The mayor of Logan was thankful for the "pure culinary water" made possible by the installation of a new 24-inch steel pipeline in Logan Canyon. Beaver was thankful that, despite the drought, there had been enough water for culinary use, for irrigating all the city lots, and for keeping the city electric plant running. There had been a large yield of fruit, especially raspberries; there had been good health; the government had taken the cattle so that it would not be necessary to see them starve and die; and Washington had rained a few drops of federal money to provide relief to support the needy and to keep the tax money coming into the county treasury. For all of this they were grateful. St. George was thankful for the assistance to the unemployed through the CWA, FERA, and drought relief programs; for the 32 See Thomas G. Alexander and Leonard J. Arrington, Water for Urban Reclamation: The Provo River Project, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, Utah Resources Series 29 (Logan, 1966); also Ogden Standard-Examiner, September 29, 1934. 33 Deseret News, January 16, 1935; Salt Lake Tribune, January 17, 1935. 3^ Deseret News, August 16, 1934.


Utah Historical




No. Families N o . Farms No. Loans

Beaver Box Elder Cache Carbon Daggett Davis Duchesne Emery Garfield Grand Iron

Juab Kane Millard Morgan Piute Rich Salt Lake San Juan Sanpete Sevier Summit Tooele Uintah Utah Wasatch Washington Wayne Weber Source:

1,209 3,835 6,225 3,908

90 3,088 1,717 1,480

447 2,327 2,399

408 81 1,631 1,201


924 491 176 591 524 255



543 413 379

257 255 274



900 428 1,645 2,059



3,594 2,403 2,124 2,176 1,994 10,639 1,205 1,569

1,742 1,054

545 705 1,391 4,004


496 765 292



76 85 108 80 33 39 321 140 41 20 187 115 6 117 22 20 62 422 81 792 186 123 95 249 372 81 33 9 32

A m o u n t of Drought Relief, 1934-35 $23,401 64,495 62,925 52,682 16,032 20,512 65,996 25,029 30,655 17,815 92,518 40,519 13,479 49,658 17,860 5,062 82,144 200,915 14,393 318,915 62,640 52,636 33,290 66,146 193,820 59,417 13,693 20,657 35,229

Ofhce of Government Reports, Statistical Section, Report No. 10, Utah, Vol. I, Washington, D . C , 1940, pp. 1-29.

installation of water systems in many communities; for the livestock sale to the government "which enabled our farmers and stockmen to get rid of hundreds of scrub, inferior, aged, and poor animals"; for the assistance of Home Owners Loan Corporation which refinanced hundreds of dwellings; and for the work of the CCC. T h e mayor of Ephraim was thankful "that the great depression did not cause the closing of the elementary schools, the high schools, and Snow College"; that "the much-talked-of revolution among the different


Utah's Great Drought of 1934 FEDERAL EXPENDITURES AND LOANS IN U T A H , FISCAL YEARS 1933-34 AND 1934-45 Program or Agency Federal Emergency Relief Administration Agricultural Adjustment Administration Civilian Conservation Corps Bureau of Public Roads Public Works Administration (grant) Bureau of Reclamation Civil Works Administration Total Non-repayable Reconstruction Finance Corporation Farm Credit Administration Public Works Administration Home Owners Loan Corporation Total Repayable Grand Total Source:



$3,889,095 506,297 4,742,681 3,321,012 1,687,513 85,711 4,440,056 $18,672,365 4,326,685 3,162,625 430,000 18,934,065 $26,853,375 $45,525,740

$13,364,011 2,011,876 5,206,377 2,753,060 1,342,148 1,661,932 0 $26,339,404 113,250 13,313,098 1,072,500 3,255,828 $17,754,676 $44,094,080

Ofhce of Government Reports, Statistical Section, Report No. 10, Utah, Vol. II, Washington, D . C , p p . 1-3. These figures do not include such small on-going programs as agricultural research and extension. Forest Service, U.S. Employment Service, and Veterans Administration. Nor do they include expenditures of state and local agencies when these participated financially in the stipulated programs.

social units of the country did not take place"; and that "domestic and political felicity have been obtained as a result of the action of government organizations in a fight to keep u p the spirit of the citizens." San J u a n correspondents were especially grateful for roadway improvements, the purchase of cattle and sheep, and "the locating and p r o m o t i n g of new sources of good water supply from springs and additional well construction." Salt Lake City, in the words of the president of the Chamber of Commerce, was grateful for drilling programs and for the Deer Creek reclamation project that would deliver water to approximately 100,000 more residents. T h e mayors of other cities—Heber City, Provo, Ogden, Park City, Roosevelt, Tooele, Cedar City, Kanosh, Brigham City, Panguitch, Kanab, and the cities of the Uinta Basin—expressed a similar gratitude.^^ In short, despite the unprecedentedly low harvest of fruit, vegetables, grain, and alfalfa, the timely and effective action of 35 These messages of gratitude are in the Deseret News for November 29, 1934.


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Governor Blood and the various state and federal committees and agencies had lessened the suffering. Important ingredients were the expeditious responses of Blood, the effective organization put together by Robert Hinckley, and the cooperative spirit of the people. One national FERA troubleshooter expressed it succinctly: "It was a great pleasure to finally fall into a state where there was no bitterness, no quarrelling, and all that goes with it. In addition—to add to this picture of paradise—the governor. Governor Blood, is by all odds one of the finest state executives that I have met. I told him that he must be an accident."36 T h a t same spirit permeated the people of the state who, in the spirit of their pioneer ancestors, subdued self-interest in the cause of meeting the dual crisis of depression and drought. Above all, they established a principle that happily is still with us—that federal and state governments, as agents of the people, have a responsibility to provide relief from disaster and, insofar as possible, maintain the economic health of the nation and its constituent parts.

36 Benjamin Glassberg to Aubrey Williams, March 27,1934, in Utah FERA Field Reports, Recoid Group 135, National Archives.

Depression Memories BY H E L E N E. B U N N E L L

O U R EXPERIENCES DURING THE G R E A T DEPRESSION were toughening, spine-stiffening experiences that left lasting impressions, but not scars, on our lives. We were never hungry or cold or homeless or desperate for anything we could not do without. We struggled and "made do," as a majority of people did, but we had youth and health and young love on our side. Although we had lots of experiences we have related to our children to impress them with our fortitude, we remember those years as good ones, laying a strong foundation for our marriage and future life. We were married in the fall of 1932, both of us leaving school at the end of winter quarter. Our goal was to get Omar^ back to the University of Utah as soon as possible. That road had many detours, but he did graduate in June 1935, five days before our second child was born. We didn't think of school a year at a time, just a quarter. It took about $300 to keep us for that long. T h e Rotary Club would lend us $150; we had to have the rest. Of course, jobs were scarce. By patching up used cars and performing other odd jobs for his dad's foundering automobile business, selling Fuller brushes, and raising sugar beets a couple of summers, Omar was able to earn the money. Actually, the most profitable work he had during that time was not raising sugar beets—a New Deal program that really helped us. I don't remember what we paid for rent, but we could buy a week's groceries for five dollars. That did not provide a varied menu and was probably lacking some nutrition, but we made do. If we had bacon for breakfast, I saved the grease to make gravy (Big White, we called it) to put on bread for the next meal. We had some chicken my mother had given me and helped me bottle and also a case of corn we had canned together. The corn had not been sealed properly and all of it spoiled. Although I was pregnant and retched at every sniff, I didn't throw a can away without giving it a good smell. And the chicken—Omar had a friend who was a little hard up, too, who would show up about dinner time every Sunday until the chicken was gone. Mrs. Bunnell lives in Price, Utah. 1 The author's husband, Omar B. Bunnell, has represented Senate District 27 in the Utah State Senate since 1965.


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T h e story that has made the rounds more than any other about those days was about Omar shoplifting a small can of chili powder. We couldn't get home for Thanksgiving one year and, of course, had no money for holiday food. We did have beans and tomatoes and fifteen cents for a pound of hamburger. I hope we will be forgiven for that little infraction that made a Thanksgiving chili dinner a little bit more palatable. We lived in crummy places, at least once sharing our apartment with cockroaches. Our baby slept on two chairs pushed together or in the wicker baby buggy which also hauled home the groceries. But Omar finally got that degree, along with a letter in wrestling, a trophy for being a champion Rocky Mountain Conference debater, and membership in two honorary fraternities. His first job as a college graduate was working for the State Welfare Department handing out relief. He remembers that a single person got $10 a month, with a man and a wife getting $16 and a few extra dollars for each child. His salary was $ 18 a week. A week's salary paid the rent on the little three-room house we had just moved into. Five dollars would still buy a week's groceries. Coal was cheap and furnished fuel for both heat and cooking. A neighbor girl would tend our babies all afternoon or evening for a dime that would take her to a movie. And I could make my baby a dress for thirty-five cents and one for myself for a dollar. We had a few essential pieces of secondhand funiture, curtains given to us by a friend's mother, and finally a crib. Little Sister now got to sleep in the wicker baby buggy. Three of our four children were born during the depression years. I had no prenatal care, not even seeing the doctor before the birth. With at least the second child my diet was lacking in many essentials, and I had some problems that could have been serious but worked out all right. A doctor would come to your home for $35. The first one who came from Helper to the farm four miles east of Wellington and stayed through the afternoon took out most of his pay in trade at the garage. T h e second doctor never did get paid. He moved from Helper not too long after and never sent us a bill. We were too broke to look him up. Dr. Demman was paid in installments. Those were certainly years when knowing how to "make do" was a matter of survival. I cooked and canned and sewed and made over, turned collars and put hems up and down, relined coats, and patched sheets. Instructions to my sister to "double the recipe and use one egg" became a family joke. Using up the annual supply of

Depression Memories


venison was also a family tradition, but no joke. It was a minor crisis if you got a run in your stocking or a child lost a cap or a mitten. Those habits of skimping and saving do stay with us and, I suppose, become eccentricities when, no longer necessary, we still save scraps of soap and used foil and retrieve discarded notebooks from the trash when we discover there are a few unused pages. Such behavior has provided my family with lots of teasing material. But during the recent energy crisis I felt pretty smug. I already did all the things that were supposed to help us cope. Many people had it harder than we did and suffered anxieties we didn't feel. Our parents, for instance, had a lot more to lose. Omar's father worked from dawn to dark trying to keep an auto sales and repair shop open, going further in the hole each month. His mother, a proud and ambitious woman, was always reminded of those austere days on her first granddaughter's birthday. My parents finally had to leave the farm in 1934. Four children, a couple of months' supply of canned food and farm produce, and $ 1,000 were all they had to show for five years' hard work on the farm and twenty-three years of married life. They headed for the Northwest and what they hoped would be better times, my mother and sisters crying all they way. People who depended on work in the mines really had it hard. I didn't know many of them at the time, but I visit with a friend now who lived through those years in Hiawatha. Her husband worked twelve to fourteen hours for four dollars a day. He was glad for one day's work a week. She says there were many times when their cupboard was bare and that if she wrote to her mother, her mother had to send her the stamp. She never had any cash, not even two cents. No one thinks of those depression days as happy times, but in retrospect they were not all bad. We all learned things about work and self-sufficiency and pulling together and appreciation and making the most of what we had—things that have stood us in good stead these past fifty some years.

Consumers, Utah, 1936. The area faced extreme hardship when the coal mines closed down during the depression. Dorothea Lange photograph, courtesy of Library of Congress.

The Economics of Ambivalence: Utah's Depression Experience BY WAYNE K. H I N T O N


and British television viewers heard Alistair Cooke proclaim that during the depression of the 1930s the Mormons were the only farmers who steadily refused all help from the federal government. That persistent and inaccurate notion not only distorts reality but also denies the complexity of the economic dilemma created by the Great Depression. Many western and southern states had a traditional resentment Dr. Hinton is professor of history at Southern Utah State College, Cedar City.

Utah's Depression Experience


of federal intervention. For them the problem was how to minimize federal control and at the same time take advantage of federal dollars to achieve economic recovery from the most devastating depression in the nation's history. Utahns faced with this problem chose federally assisted recovery, provided the assistance met their perceived needs. As the Hoover brand of voluntarism failed, appeals for state and federal aid multiplied. It was no longer widely believed that private charity and local government aid would suffice. Many came to accept the assumption that public spending should be applied "to act like a booster p u m p in the lagging economic flow."^ T h e New Deal was the political and economic response to those beliefs and demands. Major trends and forces in history have often developed differently in different states and localities of the country. In a nation as large, diverse, and complex as the United States this is, of course, to be expected. T h e New Deal of the 1930s was one of America's most vast and far-reaching movements. Its impact upon different states and localities seemingly varied widely. Utah's economy during the 1930s can be examined for both its unique and common strands. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a believer in the virtues of state experimentation and permitted states considerable freedom in their approach to economic problems, there always lurked in Utah resistance to perceived intrusions from the federal government. Utahns were suspicious of encroachments on states' rights because of their historical perspective. Fully 65 percent of Utah's 507,847 citizens were Mormon in 1930.2 Mormons had long professed independence and self-reliance and had gone to Utah seeking to minimize outside contacts and intervention and federal government restrictions. When the pioneers arrived in Utah in 1847, their leader, Brigham Young, immediately began a drive for economic selfsufficiency. Although Utah's 84,990 square miles of territory are not well adapted to agriculture, those pioneers nonetheless began building an economy based on agriculture. Additionally, Brigham Young preached the need to lay a manufacturing base for the economy of the kingdom. As resources permitted, Utahns commenced Weseret News, May 9, 1933. 2U.S., Bureau of the Census, Vital Statistics Rate in the United States (Washington, Part II, p . 50.

D . C , 1930),


Utah Historical


small manufacturing operations and the mining of industrially useful resources, particularly lead , iron ore, and coal.^ Precious metals were also present in Utah, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 encouraged the development of this additional ingredient which was to remain important to Utah's economic fortunes. The railroad also served to reduce the insulation the early Mormon pioneers had sought from outside interference. The resultant attempts to reform Mormonism by the influx of non-Mormons or gentiles, with able assistance from the federal government, led ultimately to a successful "Americanization" of Utah.When federal officials became sufficiently convinced of the Mormons' adherence to more traditional American political, marital, and economic patterns, Utah was admitted to statehood in 1896.^* T h e early years of statehood witnessed the establishment of a viable two-party system in the state and the integration of Utah's economy into national patterns. For the most part, those were prosperous times in Utah. The mining of precious metals, lead, copper, and coal proved profitable. During World War I the demand for agricultural products and metals became particularly great, and from 1914 to 1918 Utahns prospered as never before. The Armistice of November 1918 ended the war and brought a cut in defense spending along with a resumption of European agricultural production. As a result, by 1919 Utah was declining into a serious economic depression. The slide was led by a 54 percent drop in the production of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. T h e Utah Copper Company began closing down mills in 1919 and by 1921 had entirely ceased production. Nearly 6,000 men were laid off in the Bingham mine. T h e mine and mill towns of Arthur, Magna, and Garfield lost over half their populations. By 1922 the mining industry was beginning to experience a gradual recovery that peaked in 1925 and then declined again until 1928 when there was a brief revival. Utah's mineral production in 1929, for the first time in the postwar period, exceeded that of 1917, but in less than a year it was cut in half by the Great Depression.^ 3Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (1958; reprint ed., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966), is die best single source of Utah's early economic development. ••Gustive O. Larson, The "Americanization" of Utah for Statehood (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1971), is a good account of the crusade to bring conformity to Utah. ^Thomas G. Alexander, ' T r o m War to Depression," chap. 23 of Richard D. Poll, ed., Utah's History (Provo, Ut.: Brigham Young University Press, 1978), p. 465.

Utah's Depression Experience


O n Utah's farms the economic outlook was even bleaker than in the m i n i n g industry. T h e postwar depression hit the farms somewhat later—not arriving until the winter of 1920. Once it hit, the farm depression was deeper and more tenacious than the slide in the m i n i n g industries.^ Plagued by recurrent d r o u g h t and low prices, farmers in many parts of Utah sold their acreages and left for the urban centers of the Wasatch Front or left the state seeking more secure employment. Because Utah's industrial economy was still young, without set patterns or great resilience, the state did not participate fully in the postwar recovery. T h e economy remained in the doldrums, and there was little prosperity in the 1920s in Utah. Meanwhile, eagerly optimistic Americans elsewhere who were participants in the Coolidge prosperity invested feverishly in upwardly spiraling stocks. When the stock market crash of October 1929 signaled the onset of the Great Depression, Americans everywhere came to realize what many Utahns, particularly miners and farmers, had endured throughout the twenties. Even t h o u g h misery may love company, the new condition brought Utahns little or no comfort, for they suffered severely—worse than did most Americans. Utah was firmly tied to international economic conditions through its emphasis on m i n i n g and agriculture. In both sectors d e m a n d was low through the twenties and even lower in the thirties. Also, severe drought struck the state in 1931 and again in 1934. Income per capita fell from $537 in 1929 to$237 in 1933. In 1932 unemployment in the state reached 36 percent."^ T h e pall of discouragement spread. T h e state had not developed a manufacturing economy sufficient to attract an influx of population. Rather, p o p u l a t i o n growth had been sustained largely by a high birthrate and low death rate that placed Utah first in the nation in excess of births over deaths.^ T h e unusually high birthrate made it necessary for those w h o could find jobs to feed and educate proportionately higher numbers of youth than in most states. T h i s burden also contributed to Utah's general poverty. By the eve of the November general election in 1932 faith in local self-sufficiency had generally evaporated. T h e campaign promises of 6 Ibid., pp. 466 and 472. ' Utah Economic and Business Review, Measures of Economic Change in Utah: 1847-1947 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1947), p . 23. 8 U.S., Bureau of the Census, Vital Statistics Rate in the United States (Washington, D . C , 1940), Part II, p. 50.


Utah Historical


Franklin D. Roosevelt for a New Deal may have been vague, but to the majority of Americans and Utahns they offered some promise of a solution to the nation's economic problems. Utah lacked a tradition of strong, positive government, and officials were unprepared to assume new responsibilities. Limited state revenues made officials think twice before shouldering new burdens. Furthermore, the depression did not seem an opportune time for expensive experimentation. Henry H. Blood, Utah's governorelect, had campaigned for thrift in the operation of state government.^ His attitude reflected a persistent conservative inclination embodied until 1932 in Sen. Reed Smoot, Utah's enduring symbol of the stand-pat, business-oriented conservatism of the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover years of national Republican ascendency. This inclination emphasized reducing taxes and appropriations. Utahns sought the mutually exclusive aims of self-determination, economy, and recovery. Something of these aims would have to be sacrificed. Governor Blood in his inaugural address stressed that he would look to Washington for federal assistance. •'^ Some degree of local autonomy would therefore be sacrificed to keep state expenditures low by seeking recovery through federal programs, whatever they might be. This approach proved very frustrating to some of the unemployed who began to demand state relief from the legislature which was meeting in its regular session during the lame-duck interlude before the national inaugural on March 4, 1933.^^ The lUah legislature was obsessed with budget balancing, and little relief legislation emerged. The state was unwilling and unable to finance an unemployment compensation plan that did not include federal help. As Utah's legislative session concluded, Congress convened on March 9, 1933, to consider emergency legislation. During the hundred days from March 9 to June 16 Congress enacted fifteen significant pieces of legislation ranging from the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 to authorization for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Most of the relief and recovery measures known as the first New Deal were put in place in this remarkable session. Neither the Agricultural Adiustment Act (AAA) nor the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), the two key recovery measures of the early New Deal, 5 Deseret News, November 2, 1932. '0 Ibid., January 3, 1933. " Ibid., March 3, 1933.

Utah's Depression Experience


produced initial controversy in Utah. That was in one sense remarkable, for the AAA by-passed state officials and established federal authority at the grass-roots level. However, its economic potential seemingly outweighed this political reality. T h e AAA objectives vitally concerned one of Utah's two major economic sectors, and the programs of controlled production and crop subsidies were to play a large role in Utah's economic recovery. Farmers were "near jubilant" over the efforts of the administration to give them tangible assistance.12 By October 1934 Utah farmers were receiving prices under the federal government's hay program that were 100 percent above the prices of twelve months earlier.^^ From the AAA's passageonMay 12, 1933, until January 1, 1936, Utah farmers received over $10,000,000 in direct payments from AAA, and returns for farm produce in the state rose more than $10,000,000 above the level of 1934.1^ Utah's farmers maintained that the AAA provided for "economic as well as political democracy."^^ Once the new federal legislation was passed, state governments had to decide whether and to what extent they wished to cooperate with the newly enacted New Deal programs. During a special session of the Utah State Legislature convened July 10, 1933, the New Deal won state legislative approval. Public approval had seemingly preceded the legislative action, as most people recognized the existence of a genuine emergency more devastating than any they had ever experienced. Utahns shared in the general national enthusiasm to sign up industry and commerce under the National Recovery Administration's codes of fair competition and to secure "consumers' pledges" to buy only from firms exhibiting the NRA's blue eagle insignia. By August 1, 1933, about 700 Utah firms had accepted the NRA codes, and by August 5 the state's supply of the NRA blue eagle emblems was exhausted.16 Section 7a of the NIRA with its labor provisions almost immediately affected Utah's primitive union organizations. Union activity increased from twenty-seven union affiliates with a membership of 965 in 1933 to seventy-one affiliates with membership of 5,926

'2 Tracy Welling, executive secretary of the Utah State Farm Bureau, to Gov. Henry H. Blood, September 15, 1934, located in the Governor Blood papers, Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City. 13 Deseret News, October 16, 1934. lUbid., January 9, 1936. >5 Ibid., December 3, 1935. 16 Ibid., August 5, 1933.


Utah Historical

Blue NRA eagle, symbol of compliance with fair competition codes, was displayed by hundreds of Utah businesses.



in February of 1935. ^^ The state approved a 2 percent sales tax to help fund Utah's participation in the federal NIRA programs.^^ On March 21, 1933, President Roosevelt requested a massive infusion of federal relief of three kinds: a job corps called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), direct cash grants to the states to provide relief payments for needy citizens, and public works projects. On March 31 Congress approved the CCC, which ultimately put 2.5 million young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five to work planting trees, clearing camping areas, and building bridges, dams, reservoirs, fish ponds, and fire towers. On May 12 Congress passed the Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA), which authorized $500 million in aid to state and local governments. The proposed plan for public works became Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). It established the Public Works Administration (PWA) with a fund of $3.3 billion to build roads, sewage and water systems, public buildings, and a host of other projects. The purpose ' ' Dee Scrup, "A History of Organized Labor in U t a h " (Master's thesis, University of Utah, 1935), p. 12. 18 Deseret News, August 2, 1933.

Utah's Depression



of PWA was to prime the economic pump—to stimulate consumer buying power, business enterprise, and employment. During the consideration of these relief bills. Governor Blood made two trips to Washington, D . C , and spent a total of three weeks lobbying to secure public works projects and federal funds for Utah.^^ His lobbying effort was consistent with public opinion in the state. A majority of Utahns approved the purposes and the content of the CCC, PWA, AAA, NIRA, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Home Owners Loan Corporation, federal—with emphasis on the federal—welfare aid, and other New Deal programs. For example, the Civilian Conservation Corps, which involved large expenditures of federal money, was relatively popular in Utah, perhaps partly because no state matching money was required for participation. Additionally, CCC seemed to provide an opportunity for creative experimentation. Within Utah where so much land is part of the public domain and where so many acres are uninhabited there were numerous possiblities to develop and perfect projects in conservation and reclamation. In 1937 when President Roosevelt began budget cuts with the thought that the private sector was healthy enough to continue the recovery, Utahns were concerned that 19 Salt Lake Tribune, April 15, 1933.

Road project on West North Temple, Sah Uake City, April 1933, provided relief work for the unemployed. USHS collections.


Utah Historical


two CCC camps in the state were in danger of elimination. A lobbying effort led by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce succeeded in retaining these camps.20 T h e resultant addition of $50 million to the CCC for the fiscal year won wide praise and ready acceptance among Utahns.21 On March 3, 1933, all banks in Utah were closed on Governor Blood's order. Upon passage of the emergency banking act, solvent banks were reopened. T h e Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was then set up to insure banks that desired and qualified for coverage. By December 30, 1933, every bank in Utah had qualified for FDIC benefits, and the act setting u p the corporation was being widely praised.22 By December 1934 the total resources of Utah banks showed an increase of $11 million over December 1933.23 T h e Public Works Administration established by the NIRA aroused local enthusiasm with its promise of jobs and public works. T h e Blood administration demonstrated energy and resourcefulness in going after PWA funds. In October 1933 Blood made another trip to Washington to secure as much aid as possible for his state. Some felt his "untiring efforts brought home the bacon."24 Blood had gone to Washington because several interests in the state were advocating a faster payment of relief funds by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes.2^ Despite concern about their administration, Utahns were calling PWA recovery programs, "the closet thing to Christianity ever promulgated. "26 In its first year of operation the PWA approved projects for Utah amounting to $27,500,000.2? The biggest disapp o i n t m e n t c o n t i n u e d to be the slow pace of cautious PWA administrator Harold Ickes to issue contracts and money. Another New Deal relief measure to gain wide approval in Utah was the emergency cattle and sheep purchase program necessitated by the drought of 1934. Overall, this program was executed remarkably well by the FERA. T h e animals purchased were mostly culls, many of them diseased. This livestock could not have been sold at regular markets for enough to meet even transportation costs. Likely, many 20 Deseret News, April 6, 1937. 21 Ibid., June 16, 1937. 22 Ibid., January 4, 1934. 23 Ibid., January 18, 1935. 2^ L. R. Anderson to Governor Blood, November 18, 1933, Governor Blood Papers. 25 Deseret News, September 7, 1933. 26 Ibid., January 9, 1934. 2'Ibid., August 21, 1934.

Utah's Depression



CCC workers in Davis County, March 1936, constructed using a derrick to move large rocks. USHS collections.



would have died during the winter, and retention would have reduced the already scarce feed needed by more healthy livestock. T h i s program not only benefited livestock producers and their creditors, but it also provided work and some commodities for persons on relief. By mid-April 1934 the drought had reached critical proportions. Water storage levels were one-fourth the previous year's amounts.2^ Governor Blood wired Washington urging special federal action to help Utah.29 By early May $600,000 in special grants from federal relief funds were made available to the state. Cutting through red tape, the award was made just thirty-six hours after all the request forms and reports were filed. Relief work was underway in Utah just four days later.^o -'ÂŤ Il)i(l., Apiil 11, 1931. 2ÂŤ Ibid., April 21, 1931. 30 Ibid., May 12, 1934.


Utah Historical


As the drought intensified, Governor Blood banned all hay and mill feed shipments from the state. By June plans for the slaughter program were being implemented. Initially, the program was for cattle only, but it was enlarged to include sheep and goats. A total of 155,000 cattle and 250,000 sheep were slaughtered in Utah at a cost to the federal government of $2,000,000.^1 Some felt another 75,000 head of livestock should have been slaughtered and wondered why "a program well started and generally approved" should not be carried to a successful conclusion.^2 T h e FERA, which carried out the slaughter program, had been established by Congress in May 1933 and given $500 million to be dispensed through state relief agencies. Harry L. Hopkins, the director, insisted that the unemployed needed jobs, not handouts. In November 1933 Hopkins persuaded President Roosevelt to create a Civil Works Administration (CWA), and within a month it put over four million Americans to work. T h e cost of the CWA—$1 billion in less than five months—frightened Roosevelt; the agency was abolished, but an expensive public works program was continued throughout 1934 under FERA. As CWA cut back its public works in preparation for being phased out, its work was praised in Utah. There was a feeling that the "spirit of CWA should never end—the government should stand ready to spend money for the employment of idle labor."^3 By April 1934, the FERA had taken over the unfinished CWA projects. T h e Utah administrator of the FERA, Robert H. Hinckley, became director of the western states FERA, appointed to the post because he was considered one of the few western officials aware of the responsibility of state governments in the realm of welfare.^^ Initially, the FERA was praised as "one of the government agencies set up by the present administration that is beyond criticism. . . ."35 However, following the November 1934 Democratic election victories Roosevelt committed himself to the Hopkins approach which would return "unemployables" to the care of state and local agencies, while the federal government continued the task of public works projects for many of the rest of the unemployed. 3' 32 33 34 35

Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,

December 4, 1934. October 2, 1934. January 27, 1934. June 1, 1934. June 13, 1934.

Utah's Depression



\ if H^ lletMre and Al'lrr Nie»$' In Thr«i}« »f Ml i l l li* lf}ieii<l

Kioters .St«>rm ERA Quarters OfS.LCooiitv

II.V lli-«f»riaii

Hums Ui S. I /jH> ^laitagfisifnt

In IfHsiia t.;»M'


The FERA office at 2290 Highland Dr., Salt Lake City, was mobbed by 200 angry citizens on August 21, 1935, when relief payments were cut. Man at left is Deputy Sheriff R. C. Jackson after the struggle. Salt Lake Tribune photograph.

Utahns who had generally applauded the federally run and financed Civil Works Administration resented its abrupt termination. As the FERA proceeded, a feeling grew that FERA agents meddled in state affairs. T h e demand for state funds was also resented. If states did not contribute a fair share, the FERA could cut off funds or even assume direct control of relief administration. Utahns were reluctant


Utah Historical


to shoulder the welfare responsibility. By November 1, 1935, all relief of unemployables was to become a local responsibility as Roosevelt ordered the federal government to "quit the business of relief."36 When Utah assumed relief payments monthly assistance was cut by 50 percent, causing riots at the FERA headquarters in Salt Lake City that necessitated police intervention and the arrest of eight of the two hundred or so demonstrators.37 Welfare appropriations by the state remained modest and were made grudgingly. Only with great reluctance did Utah face up to the need for long-term state spending for relief and welfare. Such programs seemed far more acceptable when funded by federal dollars. Much of the first New Deal appeared to provide disproportionate assistance to southern and western states. The programs seemed to offer an imaginative and acceptable attack on the problems of Utah's two major economic interests—farming and natural resources, including mining. Under the programs of the first New Deal, Utah ranked high among the forty-eight states in per capita federal expenditures and in receipt of federal loans.38 The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), FERA, CWA, PWA, and CCC funds expended were very beneficial and appreciated. Prior to 1933 Utah had experienced a major decline in economic prosperity and personal income and had demonstrated a great need for federal assistance due to the inability of the state to raise revenue on its own. T h r o u g h the benevolence of the New Deal, Utah experienced a rather remarkable recovery from 1933 to 1935. Christmas retail sales in Utah for 1933 were the best in five years.^^ The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce joined other Utahns in sending telegrams of appreciation to President Roosevelt and Utah's congressional delegation.^o In his New Year's Day message Governor Blood predicted a happy coming year under the New Deal. Salt Lake City and County Commissioners pointed to the success of the New Deal and to the bright prospects for thriving economic times.^^ The New Deal was hailed as "a preserver of American principles" by a convention of 150 of Utah's business and industrial leaders.^2 36 Ibid., August 22, 1935. 3' Ibid. 38 Leonard J. Arrington, " T h e New Deal in the West: A Preliminary Statistical \i\ouiry," Historical Review 38(1969): S]4. 39 Deseret News, December 23, 1933. 40 Ibid., December 22, 1933. 41 Ibid., January 1, 1934. 42 Ibid., January 17, 1934.


Utah's Depression Experience


Undeniably, the surge behind the New Deal had sj)rung from economic crisis and was centered in Washington, D.C. At a relatively minimal financial cost to Utah, the New Deal had succeeded in improving economic conditions within the state. Employment had increased 10 percent, state and local tax collections had gained significantly, and business was reported up between 50 and 100 percent. Per capita income in Utah had made significant gains toward attainment of the national average.^3 Although under ordinary circumstances historical events might hav e predisposed many Utahns to resent outside interference, the programs of the first New Deal had been rather well accepted. It should be noted, however, that because most of the first New Deal programs had been federally funded and administered, the state's social services remained rudimentary as of January 1935. More revolutionary changes were soon to come with the second New Deal which would require greater state effort, commitment, and compliance. Up until this point only bolder critics had surfaced to denounce the New Deal. The geiieral feeling in LUah was that the early New Deal programs were beneficial and had come with minimal local and state funding. In the spring and summer of 1935 Utahns, along with other Americans, found themselves almost totally preoccupied with keeping abreast of the sweeping reforms of the second New Deal. Major reforms of this new wave of legislation included public works under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Social Security, and labor reform legislation. T h e WPA, authorized in May 1935 and placed under the direction of Harry Hopkins, was the keystone of the new legislation for a majority of Utahns. It offered a multitude of projects to the state from public buildings to the writers and artists projects. There were opportunities provided for respectable, federally financed jobs to all who were classified as employable. This agency found a warm reception in Utah, both for the jobs it provided and for the considerable number of buildings and other structures it erected. Hopkins gave orders to employ 15,000 heads of families in Utah by November 25, 1935.'^'^ By the end of November the state's monthly WPA payroll exceeded $ 1,000,000.^^ In the first year of its existence,

43 Ibid., December 7, 1934. 44 Ibid., November 1, 1935. 45 Ibid., November 29, 1935.


Utah Historical


WPA workers in Utah built, repaired, or improved over 700 miles of roads. They erected or repaired 150 public buildings, installed sanitary systems and flood and erosion control projects, constructed 98 miles of sidewalks and paths, built 9 miles of curbs and gutters, placed 11 miles of guardrails on mountainous roads, built and expanded many recreational facilities, worked on insect, plant, and disease eradication, and distributed more than 4,000 garments and 590 tons of foodstuffs to needy persons."^^ Without the Works Progress Administration Utah would have continued to suffer severe unemployment. ^^ Despite the popularity of WPA, other programs of the second New Deal seemed to represent a shift away from a perceived southern and western perspective of the first New Deal toward an eastern and midwestern bias. T h e new programs appealed more to low-income and ethnic minority groups in cities. Utahns could identify with and appreciate the AAA and the CCC and welcome federal money for irrigation, highway, and conservation projects, but they were less favorably disposed toward collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, and heavy urban relief spending. Those who had enthusiastically accepted much of the first New Deal were more suspicious and grudging in their acceptance of these new reforms. The Social Security Act of August 1935 contained a national old-age insurance program and a retirement benefits system, both of which were mainly a federal operation. However, the act did involve the state administration in providing matching-fund programs to care for the blind, the disabled, and dependent children. The unemployable poor were also to be cared for by the states. In a special session of the legislature in the summer of 1936, Utah became the seventh state to pass an unemployment insurance bill meeting all the requirements of the Social Security Act. Heber R^. Harper, regional director for the Social Security Board, later labeled the Utah bill as the "model law to date."^^ By this action Utah had qualified for all portions of the Social Security program, and it became the first state to receive all the benefits of the Social Security Act.^^ It might, therefore, be concluded that Utah continued in its enthusiasm for the New Deal. That, however, would be a false assumption, for the 46 Ibid., April 10, 1937. 47 Ibid., November 30, 1936. 46 Ibid., August 28, 1936. 49 Ibid.

Utah's Depression Experience


enthusiasm was now more reserved. Utah's cooperation came begrudgingly and at the expense of whatever party unity existed among Utah Democrats. T h e legislative battles in the August 1936 special session widened the growing gap between New Deal Democrats and conservative Democrats and gave a degree of renewed strength to Utah's dispirited Republican party.^^ Democrats continued to dominate state politics for several more years, but the party was torn by factionalism. As time went on, and as comparatively good economic times returned, greater political reactionism set in. When Utah regained comparative prosperity, it was largely due to New Deal generosity.^^ Governor Blood had emphasized from the beginning that Utah would look to Washington for aid and direction. The federal government had heeded the call and played a major role in the state's recovery.^2 ^^ least one Utahn felt that "the voice of God was heard in Roosevelt's. . . ,"^3 byt other Utahns were beginning to demand more loudly a reduction in public spending and public debt.^"* Several factors provided support to a widening belief that final recovery was at hand.^^ Roosevelt shared that belief and the desire for a balanced budget.^^ T o aid in the effort, calls went out for Utah to take the initiative in halting federal spending.^^ As efforts to balance the budget proceeded, some Utahns expressed opposition to reductions in federal programs in Utah. Governor Blood believed cuts in federal programs would place a greater burden on the states. He maintained that employment statistics in Utah indicated that the private sector was not yet strong enough to replace federal public works projects. State taxes had been kept low, state appropriations were low, and $8,345,000 of state indebtedness had been retired between 1933 and the end of 1940.^^ He nevertheless argued that Utah was using all available state funds and could not hope to support a jobs program of the magnitude of some of the federal programs.^^ From March 1933 until January 1937 the 50Wayne K. Hinton, ' T h e New Deal Years in Utah: A Political History of Utah (1932-40)" (Master's thesis, Utah State University, 1963), p p . 125-27. 51 Deseret News, August 27, 1936. 52Ibid., January 4, 1937. 53 Ibid., December 4, 1937. 54 Ibid., January 14, 1937. 55Ibid., October 3, 1935. 56 Ibid., January 4, 1937. 5Mbid., January 14, 1937. 58 Hinton, ' T h e New Deal Years," p. 175. 59 Salt Lake Tribune, April 19, 1937.


Utah Historical


federal government had expended a total of $158,216,132 in Utah.^o Through 1939 the federal expenditures in Utah amounted to $342 per capita, ranking Utah twelfth among all states in per capita spending of federal money.^^ Utahns who sought a balanced federal budget decided that it should come at someone else's expense, certainly not at the expense of reductions in Utah's favorite programs. For example, Gus P. Backman, secretary of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, a group advocating a balanced budget, journeyed to Washington to lobby for federal approval of a number of Utah projects.^2 Industrialists, state officials, and civic organizations strove desperately to maintain federal programs in Utah. T h e Chamber of Commerce directed communications to all the western state Chambers of Commerce requesting support in a campaign to prevent a reduction in federal aid to highways.^3 Governor Blood requested additional federal assistance for public works, and city and county officials continued to submit requests for new WPA projects.^'* T h e Deseret News, one of the first adamant voices within the state to demand reductions in federal expenditures, also had a favorite program that it did not want cut: budgets were not to be balanced by reductions in the National Youth Administration (NYA) funds, for "nothing better can be done for ambitious young people "^^ Ironically, Utahns who professed independence, self-reliance, and dedication to free enterprise, and who wanted m i n i m u m federal restrictions and a balanced federal budget, admitted through their lobbying efforts the need for extraordinary relief measures. T h e New Deal has been seen as ushering in the welfare state and exalting the accumulation of national power at the expense of the states. Hard times forced Utah, and other states as well, to economize drastically, to inaugurate welfare policies, and to search frantically for revenue to pay costs. The New Deal prompted Utah to approve unemployment compensation and to cooperate with many new federal agencies. The state responded as quickly to New Deal federal programs as other states, being the first to have in place all parts of the Social Security system. Even though Utah was not regarded as a 60 Deseret News, April 2, 1937. 61 Arrington, " T h e New Deal in the West," p. 314. 62 Deseret News, May 10, 1937. 63 Ibid., November 30, 1936. 64Ibid., January 14, 1937. 65 Ibid., September 12, 1936.

Utah's Depression



Construction workers near gate chamber of the outlet tunnel of Pine View Dam on the Ogden River, 1935. USHS collections.

labor state, it became one of five states to approve a statewide labor relations bill modeled on the Wagner Act.^^ State and local officials in Utah remained cost-conscious in the expenditure of state and local revenues and usually followed conservative fiscal policies. Whenever federal money was available, however, Utah was ready to go after its share. T h e Great Depression had struck Utah with paralyzing power and caused Utahns to look to Washington. Despite some objections to federal power and public spending, the state continued to look to Washington until prosperity had returned. Utahns who professed to want limited government embraced more readily programs run by the federal government than those with shared responsibility. They were most critical of programs requiring matching funds because the state claimed to be hardpressed to raise the matching amounts. So, the crisis of the depression produced the economics of ambivalence wherein some aspects of the New Deal were attractive, while other actions and policies were repugnant. Utahns could rake in the federal largess with one hand and, when they felt irritated by agencies such as the FERA, strike at the federal bureaucracy with the other. They could also advocate reduced federal spending, but their actions belied their protestations. Hinton, " T h e New Deal Years," p. 175.

In Memoriam: Eugene E. Campbell, 1915-86 PASSING OF EUGENE E. CAMPBELL on April 10, 1986, brought to an end the career of one of Utah's most distinguished historians. Along with his numerous contributions as teacher and author in American Studies, he has long been recognized as one of the foremost scholars of Utah history. Dr. Campbell received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Utah and obtained his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He joined the history faculty of Brigham Young University in 1956 and during the next twenty-four years was a major influence in the growth and development of both the history department and the university. His counsel and wisdom were recognized and sought after both by his colleagues and by the administration. His influence as a mentor was enormous. In addition to the thousands of students he taught as undergraduates, over sixty master's degrees and nearly two dozen doctorates were obtained under his scholarly direction. Among the graduate students at Brigham Young University he engendered feelings of deep respect and gratitude for a professor who always had time to listen and who sincerely cared about their interests and needs. He was born on April 26, 1915, in Tooele, Utah, to Edward and Betsy Ann Bowen Campbell. Growing u p in this small Mormon farming community was always a source of pride to Dr. Campbell because of the rich heritage it represented to him from ancestors who had helped settle the area. With the completion of his studies at the University of Utah and his marriage to Beth Larsen on August 11, 1939, his training and professional activities began to shape and mold the academic skills of this unique teacher. His graduate work was interrupted by World War II, in which he served as a chaplain in Germany. This experience had a profound impact upon his own philosophy of life. T h e five children that came into the Campbell home became the center of their parents' lives. His concern and love XHE

Eugene E. Campbell


for his own carried over to the classroom and to the graduate committees on which he served. Dr. Campbell's credentials as a scholar are equally impressive. He authored and co-authored several books, including: The United States: An Interpretive History, Fort Bridger: Island in the Wilderness, Fort Supply: Brigham Young's Green River Experiment, and The Life and Thought of Hugh B. Brown. He was one of the associate editors for Utah's History and a consulting editor for Utah: A Guide to the State. At the time of his death he was preparing a text dealing with the 1846-69 period in Mormon history. In addition to his many books. Dr. Campbell also authored more than a dozen articles published in a variety of journals. These articles reflect a wide diversity of interest. Two won special recognition from the scholarly community. His "Brigham Young's Outer Cordon: A Reappraisal," published in the 1973 Utah Historical Quarterly, won the Mormon History Association Best Article Award for that year as well as the Utah State Historical Society's Dale L. Morgan Award for the best scholarly article published in the Quarterly. In 1976, he became the first to win the Dale L. Morgan Award twice, this time for the article co-authored with his son, Bruce, "Divorce a m o n g Mormon Polygamists: Extent and Explanations." As appropriate to a man of his stature, Dr. Campbell won many other awards, honors, and recognitions. T h o u g h much too numerous to detail, they include such prestigious achievements as cofounder of the Mormon History Association, past president of the Mormon History Association, consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, and recipient of the Utah State Historical Society's most distinguished award, that of Fellow. T h e state of Utah has lost one of its great scholars, and the academic community will miss his genius. Yet, the great loss will be to the students who will not have the privilege to be taught by this kind and gentle man. FRED R . GOWANS

Brigham Young


In Memoriam: Austin E. Fife, 1909-86 7, i986. AUSTIN EDWIN FIFE ENDED his long struggle against degenerative Parkinson's disease, and an important chapter in the study of western American history and folklore thus drew to a close. Born seventy-six years earlier in Lincoln, Idaho (east of Idaho Falls), Austin Fife devoted much of his life to interpreting the Mormon and western culture that had produced him. Just as his parents and grandparents had helped pioneer the West, he, with his wife, Alta, broke new ground in American folklore scholarship and marked the way others were to follow. Austin attended public school in Idaho Falls and in Logan, Utah; served a Mormon mission (1929-32) to France, where he developed an abiding love for French literature; attended Utah State Agricultural College for three years; and then in 1934 won a fellowship to Stanford and completed his undergraduate work in French language and literature. He remained at Stanford to earn a master's degree in French literature, moved on to Harvard and a second master's degree in Romance philology, then returned to Stanford to complete his doctorate in French and Spanish. After leaving graduate school, Austin taught at Santa Monica City College, served in the air force during World War II, returned to teaching at Occidental College in 1945, moved from there to Washington, D . C , where he worked as a program officer for linguistic research with the U.S. Office of Education, and then in 1960 came home to Utah State University to teach French language and literature and to serve later as head of the Department of Languages and Philosophy until 1970. Not until 1971, only a few years before his retirement, did he actually begin teaching the subject for which many of us know him best—folklore. But throughout Austin's professional career as language and literature teacher and administrator, he and Alta had followed a second career in folklore research—collecting, documenting, archiving, and publishing the folklore of the West. Austin and Alta Stephens had met during his junior year at Utah State and were married the following spring at Stanford. Their marriage produced O N FEBRUARY

Austin E. Fife


two lovely daughters—Carolyn and Marian—and one of the most successful husband and wife research teams in American scholarship. With good cause, all their major publications list Austin and Alta Fife as authors or editors. During his doctoral work from 1935 to 1938, Austin had served as research assistant to the distinguished student of Hispanic-American folklore, Aurelio Espinosa, Sr. Working with Espinosa on Spanish peninsular folktales, Austin determined to apply the methodology of folklore to his own cultural traditions. During school breaks and vacations he and Alta began the collecting excursions to Mormon country that eventually extended to most areas of the West. This work led to a seminal article in the Journal of American Folklore in 1940, " T h e Legend of the Three Nephites a m o n g the Mormons," and in 1956 to the monumentally important Saints of Sage and Saddle: Folklore among the Mormons, which not only brought Mormon folklore to the attention of the scholarly world but also demonstrated, as did all their subsequent work, that the American experience had generated a rich body of indigenous American lore. From Mormons the Fifes turned to cowboys, editing and/or compiling in rapid succesion N. Howard "J^^k" Thorpe's 1908 collection. Songs of the Cowboy (1966); Cowboy and Western Songs: A Comprehensive Anthology (1969), which Austin considered their most important work; Ballads of the Great West (1970); and Heaven on Horseback: Revivalist Songs and Verse in the Cowboy Idiom (1970). In the process of editing, collecting, and writing these works, the Fifes brought together a wonderful archive (located at USU) that should serve as the starting point for anyone interested in western ballads and songs. For some items the Fifes assembled as many as 500 to 600 index cards that will lead the researcher to every manifestation of a particular song encountered by the Fifes during their long research career. In 1948 Austin, with his brother James Fife, published an article in Western Folklore titled " H a y Derricks of the Great Basin and Upper Snake River Valley." T h u s began another phase of the Fifes' documenting efforts. Over the years they photographed, documented, and carefully archived thousands of material objects of the American West, from ranch fences to stone houses. In 1968 Austin organized a regional conference of the American Folklore Society at Utah State, focusing primarily on material culture and in 1969, aided by Alta and by Henry Classic, published the proceedings of the


Utah Historical


conference as Forms upon the Frontier: Folklife and Folk Arts in the United States. Until more substantial texts became available Forms upon the Frontier served for several years as a textbook in the now rapidly developing field of material culture studies. Early in his career Austin translated the Borzoi Book of French Folk Tales by Paul Delarue. It is fitting that Austin's final publication was a translation of the French scholar Arnold Van Gennep's Manuel de Folklore Francais. Sandwiched between these works of his beloved French culture are the works—in Mormon folklore, in cowboy and western song, in material culture traditions, and in archiving—that have made a lasting contribution to our understanding of the American West. During Austin's lifetime these works brought him many recognitions: a vice-presidency of the American Folklore Society, a Fulbright exchange professorship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Senior Scholar's Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and election as a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society and of the American Folklore Society. But perhaps Austin Fife's greatest achievement was a life well lived in the face of extreme and constant physical adversity. Beyond the books, beyond the archive documents, beyond the honors lies a stubborn refusal to submit to the ravages of time and disease and an accompanying life of courage and quiet dignity that testifies to the resiliency of the human spirit and that will ever remain a shining example to all who knew Austin Edwin Fife. WILLIAM A. WILSON

Brigham Young


The Next Time We Strike: Labor in Utah's Coal Fields, 1900-1933. By ALLAN PowKLL. (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1985. xx + 272 pp. $17.95.) For organized labor, the boom years of the mid-twentieth century are over. Hard times have replaced the steady growth of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The long-term transition of the American economy from a manufacturing to a service base, the changing proportion of white-collar to bluecollar jobs, and the demise of the heavy "rustbelt" industries of the Northeast have devastated union membership. Newspapers and news magazines carry more and more articles describing negotiated wage cuts, strikebreaking, union-busting, and corporate relocations to non-union regions in the South and West. Occasionally there are stories about labor-management cooperation, about a new industrial order, about workers and bosses standing side by side to fill and surpass production quotas. And then there are news flashes that resurrect history: twenty-seven miners died at the Emery Mining Company in H u n t i n g t o n , Utah, in December 1984. Have things really changed or not? In The Next Time We Strike, Allan Kent Powell looks back at the organizational drives in the Utah coal helds between 1900 and 1933. Using a wealth of primary sources—newspapers, government archives, company records, ancfpapers of the United Mine Workers—Powell has made an outstanding contribution to the history of Utah in particular and the history of American labor in general. From the time of the blast killing 200 miners at the Winter Quarters mine in Scofield, Utah, on


May 1, 1900, to the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933 guaranteeing labor's right to bargain collectively, Utah miners fought an uphill battle against coal operators for recognition. Like other workers throughout the South and West, Utah miners had trouble organizing labor unions and securing recognition, but the peculiarities of Utah culture made it even more difficult. Western culture militated against organization. Rugged individualism, the cult of self-reliance, and the absence of established institutions in the West left most people, even poor workers, suspicious of interest groups attempting to organize and control them. Company managers had an easy time preaching the rhetoric of individual rights and convincing workers. Ethnic differences in the western coal fields also made union activities difhcult. T h e arrival of Italian, Greek, and Slavic immigrants in the late nineteenth century introduced ethnic competition to the workforce. Miners were often more suspicious of one another than of company operators, and management exploited their fears, playing one group off against the other. Finally, the place of the Mormon church in Utah society uniquely complicated union organization drives. Victimized by two decades of religious persecution before their trek to the Salt Lake Valley, Mormons had an insular perspective, a suspicion of outsiders and "gentiles" who had poured into the Great Basin after the completion of


Utah Historical

the transcontinental railroad in the late 1860s. Agents for the United Mine Workers were usually non-Mormons from the Northeast, and church officials counseled members against associating with them. T h e cultural, ethnic, and religious elements in Utah made life difficult for anyone trying to organize mine workers. Powell's The Next Time We Strike Ogden: Junction


carefully describes the interplay of all those forces in the Utah coalhelds in the early twentieth century. Anyone interested in Mormon, Utah, or labor history will want to read the book.


Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas


ridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications in cooperation with the Ogden Chamber of Commerce, 1985. 288 pp. |24.95.) Funded jointly by city businesses and Windsor Publications, a publisher of numerous local histories, Ogden: Junction City, is an urban biography written primarily for a local audience. Richard C. Roberts and Richard W. Sadler, both of the faculty of Weber State College, have produced a readable narrative describing the development of the city from its beginnings as an Indian trading post under the g u i d a n c e of Miles G o o d y e a r through its development as a railroad and marketing center in the late nineteenth century to its current standing as a major defense, manufacturing, and trading center. Their history of Ogden is an attractive, readable, marketable, and significant assessment of Utah's second city. While written in a strictly narrative style, the authors are well aware of current urban analytical trends and bring them to bear upon the history of Utah's second city. Placing Ogden's story within the context of historiographical questions of continuity versus change in America and the development of the urban concept makes the book a valuable addition to the scholarship of western cities. Indeed, Roberts and Sadler are at their best in describing the political and social response to urban growth. They are especially sensitive to the issues of secular versus religious authority and •

give perspectives from both sides. Like most recent urban studies, Roberts's and Sadler's book sees Ogden's development as a curious blend of continuity and change. T h e work is divided into six chapters, in which the authors progress in the first five from a discussion of Ogden's earliest years through a description of two great influences upon the city's development—the railroad of the nineteenth century and the defense industry of the twentieth—to a recapitulation of the city in its second century. T h e last section contains a series of photographs and descriptions of many of the individual businesses that chose to sponsor the publication. Interspersed throughout the narrative are a series of short vignettes on individuals, organizations, or episodes that will also prove interesting reading. The role of the livestock industry in the city (pp. 140-41) and a description of the Indians of Weber County (p. 24) are only two such sidebars adding spice to the work. Although Ogden: Junction City contains a reasoned analysis of the city's development, most readers will be immediately attracted by the large collection of p h o t o g r a p h s that lavishly illustrate the book. Jerome Bernstein, another Weber State College historian, undertook the photographic research. His contribution, coupled with


Book Reviews and Notices the fine work of Roberts and Sadler, makes the work one that will undoubtedly be popular among the citizens of the community. All will agree that the authors and the photograph researcher have achieved their goal of providing the city's residents with a

well-written narrative of the community. Those involved in the publication of this book are to be commended.



In the Direction of His Dreams: Memoirs. By LOWRY Philosophical Library, 1985. xii + 370 pp. $19.95.) In the Direction of His Dreams recounts the personal and professional odyssey of one of Utah's foremost educators. The career of Lowry Nelson has ranged from small-town journalism to county and state agricultural service to major college academics and administration to applied sociology for the federal government in national and international settings to participation in international conferences for social and economic development. His life as an educator in Utah was closely connected with the first decade of growth of the Utah State Agricultural College, the founding of the Utah State Agricultural Extension Service, and the origins of the Extension Service and College of Applied Science at Brigham Young University. He was closely connected with such giants of education in Utah as John A. Widtsoe and Franklin S. Harris. Despite these accomplishments and associations, one senses from Lowry Nelson's memoirs a man not entirely content with the world as he has experienced it, in a continual struggle for truth as he perceives it, and more aware of his social environment than of the "landscapes of his mind." Indeed, this work is the product of a thoroughgoing social scientist. Nelson affords himself few personal reflections. Instead, the reader receives extended, often fascinating discussions of family relationships and activities, the social organization of a typical Mormon village, academic curricula and faculty, and the functioning of a wide



(New York:

variety of social institutions and processes in which Nelson participated. As a result, the reader would better consider these memoirs as an "autosociology" than an autobiography. Even the organization of the work is sociological. It is divided into two parts, both of which were originally written and published in the early 1970s, at the end of a distinguished career of more than half a century. Refined for publication in this volume, these two personal monographs trace his life in thematic, only roughly chronological terms. "Boyhood in a Mormon Village" traces his ancestry from the family's conversion to Mormonism and participation in the epic gathering to Utah to their eventual settlement in Castle Valley as part of the expansion of Sanpete County. T h e chapter headings sound as if they came from a sociological text: "Farm Styles in Ferron"; "Health, Sickness, and Death"; "Recreation"; "Church and School"; "Crime and Punishment"; and so on. However, the anecdotes and personal reflections combine with sociological analysis for insightful and engaging reading. T h e reader familiar with life in rural Utah at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries may catch some of the subtleties and implications of Nelson's narrative that others might miss. These personal touches further remove the analysis from the exclusive realm of the academic. T h e second section, "Eighty: One Man's Way There," is itself divided

294 into two parts. "Goodbye to Boyhood" details Nelson's high school and college education, the beginnings of his literary career, and his entrance into the business and politics of agriculture. It is more narrative and personal, less academic than the previous section. For all of its insights and personal vignettes, however, Nelson seems less comfortable with historical narrative than with a sociological analysis. T h e details of this period present less of a comprehensive interpretive whole than those of his boyhood. "Marriage, Family, Career," the second part of the second section, summarizes in a roughly chronological manner the professional contributions of Lowry Nelson. T h e career predominates. In fact, the activities of his wife and family are seen in the context of the development of his career. But what a career! The contribution by which many Utahns know him, authorship of The Mormon Village: A Pattern and Technique of

Utah Historical


Land Tenure, barely rates a paragraph in the professional life of this remarkable scholar. Because of the scope and significance of his career, some details are necessarily omitted, and certain events may not be developed to the satisfaction of some. Nevertheless, this "auto-sociology" indicates what one small-town Utah boy has been able to do with a little luck and a lot of drive, despite occasional feelings of inadequacy. T h e narrative of this section is not as complete or refined as historians might prefer, but the insights from the details are enduring. In the Direction of His Dreams is a valuable addition to the literature on education in Utah, rural sociology, and p r o m i n e n t U t a h n s . It is well worth the attention of anyone interested in these topics, either on a scholarly or on a casual basis.


Salt Lake City

The John Taylor Papers: Records of the Last Utah Pioneer. Vol.11: The President. By SAMUEL W . TAYLOR and RAYMOND W . TAYLOR. (Redwood City, Calif.: Taylor TrusL 1985. 553 pp. $13.95.) T h e second book in the two-volume series. The John Taylor Papers, underscores the dramatic quality of the decade in which John Taylor served as leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In many ways it was the most hectic decade since the Mormons, suffering hammer blows of persecution, were sent reeling halfway across the continent to their new home in the mountains. This was the period—1877-1887— in which the Congress passed punitive laws in an effort to stamp out plural marriage, then practiced by a fraction of the church's members. It was the time that the federal government beggared the church by confiscating most of its property.

It was also the time when platoons of federal agents swarmed into the territory hunting for polygamists, a practice that drove John Taylor underground for the last two and a half years of his life. From the standpoint of legal difficulties especially, it was a low point in the church's history, akin to the days when founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered in Carthage Jail, and Taylor himself was shot five times. Yet, in other ways it was a high point, thanks to Taylor's attitudes and abilities. Although he was only the de facto president for the first three years, he immediately launched a sustained program of changes and reforms. He abolished the numbered ballot.

Book Reviews and


thus restoring true democracy at the polls; he encouraged open debate and freedom of speech; he donated cattle, sheep, and other supplies to the needy and cancelled debts of the poor; he sponsored a renaissance of the arts and culture. It was a measure of the change from the previous monolithic regime that Taylor encouraged the historian H. H. Bancroft of San Francisco to write an objective history of the territory and its people. He also urged the Saints to write their histories. In his bold and vigorous actions T a y l o r confounded his detractors, who had predicted that the church would fall apart with Brigham Young gone. T h e Salt Lake Tribune, at that time unrelentingly anti-Mormon, said in 1877 that Taylor never would become president-in-fact, and that he would take tithing and church property for his own use. T o the contrary, Taylor lived in almost spartan fashion, housing his families on "Taylor R o w " on First West Street, between First and Second South Streets. Pressed by the Q u o r u m of the Twelve to occupy the Gardo House, which had been built as a presidential mansion, he hesitated for months before moving in. His estate was modest. And, as a climax to the Jubilee Year, 1880, he was ordained at the October Conference. T h e Jubilee Year, marking the church's fiftieth anniversary, was characterized by a climate of cooperation, love, fellowship, goodwill, and brotherhood. Ironically, though, as historian B. H. Roberts set forth, "a fierce antiMormon spirit permeated Congress during this period." T\\^DeseretNews noted that "anti-Mormon measures were i n t r o d u c e d [in Congress] so rapidly that one trod u p o n another's heels." As though to emphasize Roberts's assessment, the compilers have in-

295 cluded virulently anti-Mormon statements from newspaper editors, members of C o n g r e s s , a n d p r e s i d e n t s . Samuel W. Taylor, as we learn from the book and from witty observations in an appendix, believes in the "warts a n d a l l " a p p r o a c h to history. So although the viewpoint is that of J o h n Taylor, the book is rich in pro and con statements by public figures. But no matter what was the stature of the opposition, peasant or president, Taylor's h u m o r , his wisdom, and his fiery eloquence met the occasion. T h e reader wonders, going over his discourses, how such a relatively unschooled man acquired such a remarkable rhetorical skill. One public figure whose attitude perplexed J o h n Taylor was President Rutherford B. Hayes, with w h o m he had had cordial conversations in Salt Lake City. Despite that cordiality, Hayes, in his message to Congress in 1880, urged legislation to crush Morm o n resistance. T h e Deseret News editorialized, " H e proposed to break up Mormonism by a disfranchisement of the Mormons and the transfer of the g o v e r n m e n t in U t a h to G e n t i l e hands." Meantime, Taylor was busy with the endless tasks, large and small, that his office presented. T h e book includes a variety of anecdotes about members appealing for help, for advise, for adjudication. He did a great deal of work to perfect the United Order and made progress. But when the Edmunds bill was passed February 16, 1882, it was the beginning of the end for this Utopian dream—and for polygamy. In light of the increasing weight of opposition, Taylor moved to strengthen the Saints from within, organizing prayer circles and reaffirming basic principles. Although he stressed that members would pay taxes, and otherwise be loyal citizens, he was in typical fettle when he added: "Will they try to

296 interfere with us? Yes. Who? All kinds of foolish people, ignorant, narrowminded, degraded, wallowing in iniquity and besmeared with corruption of every kind—and yet they talk to us about our impurities. . . ." Problems came from within as without. Near the beginning of Taylor's regime, he faced the distressing^matter of Brigham Young's estate. He appointed an audit committee to dig through the records going back thirty years, to straighten accounts, and to put church bookkeeping on a business basis. T h e audit disclosed that $1 million in bequests belonged to the church and that the estate was far less than the $2.5 million originally estimated. T h e committee allowed the heirs $300,000— $10,000 a year for the thirty years Young had served. T h e o p p o s t i t i o n press gleefully jumped on this, the Tribune ripping into both Taylor and Young. Later some of the heirs sued the church; the executors, which included Brigham

Utah Historical


Young, Jr., and the church, while denying the validity of the complaint, settled for $75,000. (Taylor loathed litigation among members.) Here, then, is the story of a tumultuous time in the words of a central figure, a leader A. W. Ivins said "stood immovable . . . and died without making any concessions." T h a t immovability cost him his health. Voicing his battle cry of "the Kingdon of God or nothing!" he went u n d e r g r o u n d rather than compromise, and spent the final two and a half years of his life going from one hiding place to another. He died with a price on his head. This book, 190 pages longer than the first volume, includes a complete index and colorful and provocative appendixes. A product of years of research, it will be of great value to the historian and student. And it is a joy to read. JEAN R . PAI I.SON

Paso Robles,


Community Development in the American West: Past and Present Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Frontiers. Edited by JESSIE L . EMBRY and HOWARD A. CHRISTY. Charles Redd Monographs in Western History No. 15. (Provo Ut.: Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, 1985.vii + 237 pp. Paper, $8.95.) T h e craft of history is undertaken nowadays in divergent fashions. T h e old narrative of the his-story teller has been added upon by statistics, computers, and social science theories. This can be confusing to a lay reader, even to many historians. Community Development in the American West is a case example. In its nine essays from established scholars, one can travel from the conventional to the experimental, from biography to anthropology. T h e book will be a fine training tool for a seminar of beginning graduate students because it embodies the various avenues scholars are treading today. For the average reader, the book shows

how the familiar territory of western history can be sifted through anew. T h e essays in this book are rather loosely tied together around the theme "community." What binds the chapters together, however, is not only that theme but the analytical bent they take. Some are demanding on the reader when they aim at much more than story. John Sorenson's opening essay offers an entirely different look at Utah, suggesting that the state be considered a "developing nation." He sees the area as exploited by foreign capital and bound to continual exportation of its natural wealth. Sorenson decries

Book Reviews and


this dependence, going beyond scholarship to editorializing. T h e essay is a fruitful exercise, but it ignores factors that do not support the comparison: Utah's white population had lived in developed areas before coming to Utah, the Utah culture was not tribal like many developing countries, and Utah was more intertwined with the rest of the United States than most colonial lands were with their "occupiers." Once the reader is prepared for divergent thinking by Sorenson, he will be rewarded by the next essay, a sociological analysis of energy development in the West by Stan Albrecht. One sees Sorenson's point again: decisions for the West are made outside the region. But Albrecht does not use Sorenson's idea of the West as a colony of the East; rather, he sees the western development as part of the industrialization process. Diligent readers can tease out significant insights about the concept of comm u n i t y from Albrecht's survey of change models. Taken together, these two essays show the primacy of analysis. Four of the essays focus on specific communities. Edward Geary's picture of Huntington, Utah, is nostalgic, moving, and inviting. We see again the great legend of the founding of a town, the fort and the dugouts, the surveying of the p l a t of Zion, its modification, the building of homes and cooperative projects such as canals, and the eventual construction of a stone church. T h e n come the mines and the railroad, drama societies, and choirs. For some reason he omits the ecclesiastical story, but that must come in his recently published book on the same town. Jessie Embry's approach to Heber City is standard history, but it reveals a countervailing plot: ecclesiastical leaders out of harmony with the central heirarchy. Although Abram Hatch and William Smart had local policy differences on issues such as the United Order,

297 the town still had a structure similar to Huntington's. History readers will feel at home with the Embry and Geary essays. T h e story of Spring City by Michael Raber is a revisionist view of Mormon settlements. Here the author challenges the standard story by suggesting that households, not church leaders or even civic leaders, were the determining force in Mormon villages. Raber points out that presidents and apostles had only occasional impact and that centralism was superficial. His view of Spring City as a town of nearly dynastic families deserves wide application in Mormon settlement history. Wesley J o h n s o n is the out man in this book. His essay is not about Utah; it examines Phoenix—mainly in the twentieth century—and its source materials are not diaries, newspapers, models, or even statistics. By concentrating on oral histories, Johnson compels himself to e x a m i n e the elite—the boosters who built Phoenix, not the p e o p l e w h o toiled there. Readers aware of the new social history methods now raging through the discipline of history will challenge Johnson, asking why he did not consult the manuscript census and court records. They will be frustrated that he found no labor unions, few women, few Indians or Chicanos. He stated explicitly in his title that he was exa m i n i n g elites, so we read of art dealers instead of artists, bankers instead of depositers, publishers instead of printers, water entrepreneurs instead of construction workers, as we see Phoenix boom into the present. An essay by Stanley Kimball on Heber C. Kimball and one by Leonard Arrington on three Utah entrepreneurs take the reader into the realm of biography. T h e editors clearly had difficulty winding these two fine essays into the theme of community. Both are worthwhile pieces but are only tangentially about the theme. T h u s one sees that most of the essays

Utah Historical

298 were written for other purposes and merely pulled together here. T h e same is the case with Larry Gerlach's movi n g story of the Sam Joe Harvey lynching. Nonetheless, the reader cannot finish the article without sober reflection. Perhaps the terrifying tale

The American


of reckless civic violence in Salt Lake City is a good place to stop when congratulating oneself on the virtues of community. DOUGLAS D. ALDER



West Transformed: The Impact of the Second World War. By (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. xii + 304 p p .


$35.00.) Thirteen years ago, Gerald D. Nash, with the publication of his The American West in the Twentieth Century, established himself as an expert, if not the leading authority, on the modern West. In his 1973 work he suggested the parameters for further research and writing and thereby influenced the course of s u b s e q u e n t s c h o l a r s h i p . Now, with his excellent, well written, American West Transformed, Nash has reaffirmed and enhanced his status as a major authority on the twentiethcentury West, even though the book's focus is primarily on the six-year period from 1939 to 1945. T h e basic thesis, as Nash himself points out, is that " T h e Second World War [drastically] transformed the American West. No other single influence...brought such cataclysmic changes" (p. vii). Nash is c o n v i n c i n g in his a r g u m e n t , pres e n t i n g h i s m a t e r i a l in a w e l l organized m a n n e r and u t i l i z i n g a lively, anecdotal, swift-paced style. Nash begins his narrative with a brief discussion of the West just "before the transformation," on the eve of war (1939-41), conveying a vivid feeling of time and place, and thereby underscoring the drastic transformation that took place in all aspects of western life after December 1941. T h e varied facets of this transformation, be they demographic, social, cultural, scientific, or ethnic, were largely prompted by rapid economic growth. In this the West was transformed from an

economic "colony" or raw material producer into a diversified, increasingly self-sufficient region. T h i s involved the building of new defense industries, in particular shipbuilding and aircraft manufacturing along the West Coast. Other parts of the West, including Utah and the Intermountain region, were transformed to a lesser extent by other types of economic activity. T h e wartime building of the Geneva steel works at Provo, and the establishment of military installations, ten in all, had a significant impact on Utah. Nash astutely analyzes the impact of this western economic growth on various aspects of life in the West. Among these was a spectacular growth of population. T h e influx of migrants taking advantage of new employment opportunities caused the West's total population to grow by more than eight million in just four years! T h i s growth drastically affected western urban areas, particularly those on the Pacific Coast. What Nash describes as "sleepy little t o w n s " were transformed, literally overnight, into major urban areas grappling with a myriad of problems, including adequate housing, health service, transportation, schools, and police/fire protection. Another consequence of economic growth was the changing status of western ethnic minorities. Blacks, Indians, and Hispanics found new employment opportunities during the wartime economic boom. T h i s in turn

Book Reviews and


helped to break down long-standing barriers of discrimination that had subjugated each of these groups. T h e only group excluded from such opportunities was, of course, Japanese-Americans who, in the face of wartime hysteria, were rounded u p and herded into "detention c a m p s . " However, this shameful, unjust action, accordi n g to Nash, ultimately benefited them. " T h e shame that many Americans felt about (the) deportation of innocent people, led to the lessening of discriminatory barriers" against Japanese-Americans (p. 148.) In two of the book's most intriguing chapters, Nash astutely describes the impact of the war on science and cultural life in the West. T h e war transformed the West into a major science center, particularly in the area of nuclear physics, culminating in the development of the atom bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico. T h e Manhattan Project was facilitated, in large part, by the talents of a g r o u p of emigre scientists who migrated West fleeing tyranny in Europe. Emigres also profoundly affected the cultural life of the West, p a r t i c u l a r l y in H o l l y w o o d . Nash maintains that the contributions of emigre artists such as T h o m a s Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Bruno Walter, and Darius Milhaud helped Hollywood achieve an intellectual maturity and sophistication previously lacking. In both culture and science in the West, the blending of American and European traditions facilitated a "great leap forward," enabling the West to not merely "catch u p " with the rest of the nation but to assume a new and unaccustomed role of "pace setter." Despite the overwhelming strengths of the book, in particular its excellent organization, fast-paced narrative, and fresh interpretations, a few stylistic q u i r k s c o u l d d i s t r a c t the reader. Nash's overuse of "sleepy little town" to describe a variety of prewar western

299 communities, including Las Vegas, Tucson, San Diego, and Richmond, California, quickly becomes tiresome and trite. His use of "Spanish-speaki n g " to describe the Mexican-American community is not completely satisfactory or accurate. T h e book's narrative would have been better served had Nash used "Mexican-American," "Hispanic-American," or " L a t i n o . " More serious is the book's treatment of Japanese-Americans. A mere seven pages are set aside for this muchmaligned minority, a fraction of that devoted to blacks, Mexican-Americans, and Indians. Virtually nothing is said a b o u t life in the " d e t e n t i o n camps" or about the heroic role played by Japanese-American soldiers who were a m o n g the war's most decorated. Also, one has to question Nash's Pollyanna-like contention that guilt over Japanese-American detention hastened the lessening of discriminatory barriers. After all, as Nash himself notes, blacks, Mexican-Americans, and Indians began encountering less discrimination without having undergone the searing "detention c a m p " experience. Finally, Utahns might be disappointed by the paucity of information about Utah during World War II. Activities involving Utah or its leaders are briefly considered in just five places in the 304-page text. In fact, the Intermountain West receives minimal consideration in a book that focuses primarily on the three Pacific Coast states, and in particular on California. Despite these few shortcomings, this is a significant, seminal work and will serve as the essential starting point for all future studies of the American West, including Utah, during World War II.


College of the Sequoias Visalia, California


Utah Historical


Churchmen and the Western Indians, 1820-1920. Edited and with an introduction by CLYDE A. MiLNERiiand FL OYDA. O'NEIL.(University of Oklahoma Press, 1985. xvi + 264 pp. $19.95.) "They were . . . busily advocating doing good without necessarily questioning the good of what they advocated" (174). This description, by one of the authors in this excellent collection of essays, applies to Christian reformers who gathered annually at Lake Mohonk, New York, late in the nineteenth century to discuss ways and means to solve the Indian proh)lem. However, each of the six churchmen discussed in this volume might also have candidly acknowledged the correctness of this statement as it related, not only to their own careers but to all right thinking Americans who accepted the responsibility to do good to the Indians. Of course they did not doubt the goodness in their motives. Christianizing and civilizing the depraved and degraded savages in order to bring them the blessings of an advanced society was not a questionable goal. It was, quite simply, an integral part in the critical process of Americanizing the wild, wild West. T h e churchmen studied in this context are Presbyterian linguist Cyrus Byington, Methodist educator John J. Methvin, Mormon frontiersman George Washington Bean, Jesuit priest Joseph M. Cataldo, Quaker philanthropist Albert K. Smiley, and Episcopal b i s h o p Henry B. W h i p p l e . David Baird, in his analysis of Byington's work among the Choctaws from 1821 to 1866, emphasizes the missionary's dedication to educating these Indians in a Christian environment with particular attention to the attainment of literacy in both the Choctaw and English languages. Bruce Forbes discusses Methvin's approach to developing Methodist educational institutions in the Indian Territory from 1885 to 1907. Concentrating, finally, on tribes residing in the western part

of the territory, Methvin worked among the Kiowa, Commanche, and Apache Indians with a firm conviction that the boarding school concept, based on physical removal of the children from heathen surroundings, was the sure path to conversion and salvation for the Indian students. In analyzing Mormon attitudes toward I n d i a n s in the West, Floyd O'Neil uses the career of George Washington Bean, who accepted a mission assignment to the Paiute Indians at Las Vegas, Nevada, in the 1850s, as a point of departure for a broader study of early M o r m o n / I n d i a n relations. Suggesting, quite frankly, that Mormon methods for converting Indians may have been more directly related to empire building than gathering of souls, O'Neil still concludes that the Mormon system should be fairly judged as no better and no worse than any other in the history of western settlement. Robert Carriker examines the life of Joseph Cataldo, S.J., who labored among the Indians, particularly the Nez Perce, in the Pacific Northwest from 1865 until his death in 1928. Asa dynamic and versatile leader, Cataldo appears as a heroic figure who strove tirelessly to bring Catholic schools, missions, hospitals, and orphanages to the Indian tribes in his vast domain. Albert Smiley was the only one of this group of churchmen who did not actually work among the Indians in the West. Clyde Milner aptly describes the zealous Quaker as a friend to the friends of the I n d i a n s . Using his wealth to fund conferences held at his resort at Lake Mohonk, New York, from 1883 to 1912, Smiley, and the other reformers who joined him at these retreats, lobbied for programs designed to make all Indians into selfsupporting citizens. In the final essay,

Book Reviews and Notices


Martin Zanger reflects upon Bishop Henry Whipple's contributions to the Episcopal mission for the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota and, in a broader sense, to his portrayal of all Indians as candidates for assimilation as useful Christians. When Zanger suggests that Whipple's actions were always deemed by him as best for the interest of the Indians, he provides a fitting description of the motivation inspiring all of these good men. Since they knew what was best for the Indians, the answer to the Indian problem could surely be found in simple acceptance of their viewpoints, not only by the Indians but also by those decision makers who designed that strange vehicle known as Indian policy. Readers of this well conceived and

objectively developed project will find welcome opportunities to consider numerous diverse themes, including Indian acceptance of the white man's religion as an adaptive form of cultural self-determination and the juxtaposition of the civilizing process for the Indians with the nationalistic goals of western expansion. On the whole, the editors and authors have achieved their announced objective to contribute "toward a broader understanding of the complexities of religion and culture as they affect societies and individuals" (xvi).

Land of Living Rock: The Grand Canyon. By C. GREGORY CRAMPTON. 1st p a p e r b a c k ed. ( L a y t o n Ut.:

Dr. Mac: The Man, His Land, and His People. By L. W. MACFARLANE. (Cedar City: Southern Utah State College Press, 1985. xvi + 446 pp.)

Peregrine Smith Books, 1985. xxii + 281 pp. $19.95.) Together with the author's earlier Standing Up Country (also recently reissued by Peregrine Smith), Land of Living Rock constitutes what he calls "a complete biography of an entire r e g i o n , " the C o l o r a d o P l a t e a u c o u n t r y . It is b o t h a h a n d s o m e "coffee table" book and an impressive i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y study, embracing physiography, geology, and history. This first paperback edition c o n t a i n s some new material and photographs.


University of Colorado Colorado Springs

This biography is a continuation of Wayland Macfarlane's a t t e m p t to aquaint his family with the history of the Macfarlane clan. It is a remarkable b i o g r a p h y of W a y l a n d ' s father, Menzies, and is a history of Cedar City from 1900 to 1938 as well. The author's point of view is one of an adoring but clear-eyed son. Privately, he attibutes his work to the e n c o u r a g e m e n t of Dorothy Smith Macfarlane, his wife. As a medical doctor, he brings a keen insight to the biography of another doctor. As an

Utah Historical

302 eyewitness, he assures reliability as to the choice of facts. His research is exhaustive, especially in the Iron County Record and with contemporaries of his father. The author has described the development of Cedar City during what should be called the modernization period. Dr. Mac was a strong advocate for economic development in his town. His service as president of the Commercial and Rotary clubs is discussed at length. T h e "good roads" movement is an important element in the story. World War I and the Great Depression in Cedar City are also well documented.

Horse Thief Ranch, an Oral History. By H. MIC;HAEL BEHRENDT. (Aspen, Colo.: Author, 1985. xii + 123 pp. Paper, $7.95.) Horsethief Ranch (it is spelled this way throughout the book except on the cover and title page), located on a mesa west of Moab, was home to as colorful a set of characters as any section of rangeland in LItah. Even Butch Cassidy figures in the tale. More engaging, however, are the first-person accounts of people like Art Murry, a native of Joplin, Missouri, who led a hardscrabble life breaking horses and an occasional jaw in Wyoming, Nevada, and Colorado before settling in the Moab area about 1927. Art was ninety-two when Behrendt interviewed him in Canada. T h e twenty-page narrative of his life, followed by that of his wife, Muriel Murry, forms the heart of the book. But other fascinating people are found in this slim volume as well. For example, Bill Tibbetts, arrested twice for stealing horses and cattle, had a long association with the ranch. Behrendt's book makes an important contribution to the written history and lore of Grand County.


Utah Art of the Depression: An Exhibition Curated from the Utah State Fine Art Collection. Essay and catalog by DAN E . BURKE. (Salt Lake City: Utah Arts Council, 1986. iv + 111 pp. Paper, $7.50.) This publication is more than a catalog for an exhibition. Burke provides a succinct summary of federal aid to artists and art projects during and following the Great Depression. His summaries of the Public Works Art Project, Treasury Relief Art Project, and WPA Federal Art Project telescope years of research into a readable account of what those programs meant to Utah artists of the period. The sixty-three color plates of artists' work, the photographs of many of the artists of the period, and the text should rank the catalog high on any library's acquisitions list. This work should continue to be an important research tool and reference aid for years to come. Water in the Hispanic Southwest: A Social and Legal History, 1550-1850. By



I'niversitv of Arizona Press, 1984. xiv + 189 pp. S26.00.) The development of water systems in any region of the world has affected the social and economic relationships of man as well as influencing his political, philosophical, and scientific t h o u g h t . Man-made a q u a systems have permanently altered the existing delicate ecological balance in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. The author's purpose, as stated in the preface, was to uncover "the role of water in the series of historical processes which gave the Hispanic Southwest its unique regional character." It is in this region of the Western Hemisphere that the ownership of water is more important than the ownership of land. Meyer stresses the local develop-

Book Reviews and Notices ments as well as the natural environment that shaped the use and management of water in the Hispanic Southwest. Local control and management rather than central authority is the key to unlocking the legal and historical understanding of water as well as the legal relationship of land to water in this vast region. The Baron, the Logger, the Miner, and Me. By JOHN H. TOOLE. (Missoula, Mont.: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1984. x + 281 pp. Cloth, $35.00; paper, $19.95.) With one great-grandfather, two grandfathers, and himself as primary subjects, John H. Toole has created an entertaining and informative slice of western Montana history. Cornelius C. O'Keefe (the baron) was a flamboyant, feisty rancher and petty politician of the Missoida valley from 1860 to his death in 1893. His daughter, Mollie, married Kenneth Ross (the logger) whose entrej^reneurial career in the timber and building trades shaped much of Missoula's early twentieth-century business and labor history. John R. Toole (the miner) made his mark as political and financial advisor to Anaconda tycoon Marcus Daly and as a mining engineer. The author, on the other hand, tells of himself only as a y o u n g man working as a ranch hand, gold miner, logging roustabout, and forest fire fighter during the 1930s. His reminiscences are anecdotal and vivid. Throughout the wc3rk he demonstrates an ability to turn a phrase and tell a story with the reciuisite dash of hyperbole. ("No event in the history of American politics has so assaulted and tested the moral standards of human beings as did the 1899 session of the Montana legislature.") Montanansare not the only ones who will want to read on.

303 Mormon and Utah Coin and Currency. By ALVIN E. Rusi. (Salt Lake City: Rust Rare Coin Co. Inc., 1984. X + 247 pp. $35.00.) For the person who may have discovered a printed valley note in the attic and is curious about the letters PSTAPCJCLDSLDATW encircling the emblem printed thereon, this unique book has the answer: Private Seal of the Twelve Apostles, Priests of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, in the Last Dispensation, All Over the World. And for the person who would wonder about the value of such a find, that information is also here. In fact, whatever one might want to know about coins and currency in Mormon and LItah histc^ry can surely be found in this beautifully printed and highly illustrated production. Deep Creek Reflections: 125 Years of Settlement at Ibapah, Utah, 18591984. By RONALD R . BATEMAN. (Salt Lake City: Author, 1984. viii + 504 PP) Definitely a cut above most privately published community histories, this volume focuses primarily on Ibapah, or Deep Creek Valley, but it also offers glimpses of neighboring communities. A wealth of genealcjgical data and a competent, credible narrative will ensure the bocjk's value in years to come. Treatment of the natural setting and the early history of the area, including a look at the Gold Hill mining boom, is especially well done. The photo selection features niunercjus portraits of contemporary individuals that will ncjt hold much meaning for the general reader, but many others reveal the store fronts, ethnic diversity, dwellings, ranching tasks, leisine activities, and terrain that have defined Deep C^reek's unique place in the larger Utah story.

304 Only the River Runs Easy: A Historical Portrait of the Upper Green River Valley. By H. L. SKINNER. (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1985. 131 pp. Paper, $14.95.) An impressionistic and engaging look at one of the West's most beautiful valleys, this handsome little book relies primarily on photographs, captions, and vignettes to tell its story. This is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and its Magic Rivers. Edited and with a new foreword by WALLACE STEGNER. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1955; reprinted., Boulder, Colo.: Roberts Rinehart, Inc., 1985. X + 93 pp. Cloth, $24.95; paper, $8.95.) Originally published in 1955 as part of the conservation effort to prevent the Upper Colorado River Storage Project from i n u n d a t i n g Dinosaur National Monument, this collection of essays has been reissued to spearhead a new movement aimed at securi n g n a t i o n a l park status for this unique 200,000-acre district that straddles the Utah-Colorado border just

Utah Historical


south of the Wyoming line. Wallace Stegner, Eliot Blackwelder, Olaus M u r i e / J o s e p h W. Penfold, Robert Lister, Otis "Dock" Marston, David Bradley, and Alfred A. Kno^f examine Dinosaur from a variety of perspectives. Travels in America from the Voyages of Discovery to the Present: An Annotated Bibliography of Travel Articles in Periodicals, 1955-1980. By GAROLD L . COLE. ( N o r m a n :

University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. XX + 291 pp. $48.50.) T h i s highly specialized bibliographic aid features fifteen entries for Utah, ten of which are from Utah Historical Quarterly. The Making of a Cowboy. By VERN C . MORTENSEN. (New York: Vantage Press, 1985. 158 pp. $11.95.) Written by one of Utah's cowboy poets, this lively reminiscence recounts his experiences as a young cowhand in northern Arizona, southern LItah, and mideastern Nevada in the 1920s.

UTAH HISTORICAL QUARTERLY Department of Community and Economic Development Division of State History BOARD OF STATE HISTORY T H O M A S G . Ai.KXANDKR. P r o v o , 1987 Chairman LEONARD J . ARRiNc;TON,Sah L a k e C i t y , 1989 Vice-Chairman M A X J . EvAN.s, Salt L a k e C i t y Secretary D O U G L A S D . ALDER, St. G e o r g e , 1989

P H I L L I P A. BuLLEN.Salt L a k e C i t y , 1987 J . E L D O N DORMAN, P r i c e , 1987 H U G H C . GARNER, S a l t L a k e C i t y , 1989 D A N E . J O N E S . S a l t L a k e C i t y , 1989

D E A N L . MAY, Salt L a k e C i t y , 1987 W I L L I A M D . O W E N S , S a l t L a k e C i t y , 1987 AMY A L L E N PRICE, S a l t L a k e C i t y , 1989


Director Librarian

STANFORD J . L A Y T O N , M a n a g m g


D A V I D B . MADSEN,S^afe


A. Ki.Ni'PoyN^ix..Historic


P H I L L I P F . NOTARIANNI, M u 5 e u m Services C R A I G ÂĽVIX.V.K. Administrative


Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator

T h e Utah State Historical Society was organized in 1897 by public-spirited Utahns to collect, preserve, and publish Utah and related history. Today, uncler state sponsorship, the Scx:iety fulfills its obligations by publishing the Utah Historical Quarterly a n d other historical materials: collecting historic Utah artifacts; locating, documenting, and preserving historic and prehistoric buildings and sites; and maintaining a sfjecialized research library. Donations and gifts to the Society's programs, museum, or its library are encouraged, for only through such means can it live u p to its responsibility of preserving the record of Utah's past. T h i s publication has been funded with the assistance of a matching grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended. T h i s program receives financial assistance for identification a n d preservation of historic properties under Title VI of die Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. T h e U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or handicap in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.

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