Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (147 total)

  • Tags: Date: 1850-1900

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A key figure in the struggle over polygamy was US Supreme Court Justice Charles Zane. His tenure on the bench saw hundreds of people convicted of illegal cohabitation or polygamy, leading some to call his work an “antipolygamy crusade”.The…

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Chinese immigrant laborers built the railroad from California to Utah.   On May 10, 1869 the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined at Utah’s Promontory Point, completing the first transcontinental railroad system in the United…

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Female Methodist missionaries in Utah forged relationships with women across religious lines, protecting and advocating for women in need throughout the state.Between 1880 and 1890, the number one recipient of resources from the Women’s Home…

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Utah women won the right to vote not once, but twice. Women's Suffrage – that is, the right of women to vote – was won twice in Utah.  In 1871, national suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony visited the Utah Territory to…

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The early political history of Utah women began with the 1870 law that gave women the right to vote.With all of the attention on Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign for President, it might be interesting to take a look at the history of women’s…

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Welsh immigrants brought with them valuable skills that laid the foundation for Utah’s early mining industry.   Like other countries in Europe during the 19th Century, Wales felt the effects of the Industrial Revolution.  Rapid increases in…

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When Mormon pioneers tried to settle along the banks of the Virgin River, raging waters kept them from getting too comfortable. Learn about the ghost town of Grafton and its losing battle with the River. Utah has little regular rainfall, so…

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In the late 19th century, Black settlers in the Salt Lake Valley used the waters of Millcreek Canyon to create a thriving community of their own. Where water is, people gather. This was true for Indigenous peoples of Utah, as well as Mormon colonists…

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Who has a right to water? How you answer that question likely reflects your cultural concept of water ownership. It’s no surprise that ideas about how to fairly allocate this precious resource vary wildly – both today, and in the past. It's…

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Mark Twain famously joked that “Whiskey is for drinking, but water is for fighting over.” Find out how the struggle for water between two Utah towns led to a lawsuit that resulted in nearly an entire LDS ward being disfellowshipped. The small…

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Utah’s first Masonic Lodge was established by American soldiers with a lot of time on their hands.You may be familiar with the imposing Egyptian-style Masonic Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, but did you know that this wasn’t the first Masonic…

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Stocking Utah’s waterways with sport fish is a practice that goes back more than a century – so long ago that many people may think these introduced species are native. Find out how this impacts Utah’s true native fishes. Setting up beside a…

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Utah’s limited water supply needs to be closely monitored! But this is nothing new. In Utah’s settler communities, the local watermaster was a vital figure, although not always the most popular one. Utah’s irrigation system of canals, ditches,…

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Voters from Utah went crazy for Democratic presidential hopeful William Jennings Bryan in the election 1896.When it comes to politics, these days national news outlets list Utah as among the reddest of the Red States. But it wasn't always so.…

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Much has been made of the early Mormons’ communal work ethic and the effective redistribution of resources within their communities. But how did they actually organize these efforts?Life on the eastern edge of the Great Basin was not easy.  When…

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In 2011 Utah state lawmakers voted to designate the Browning M1911 pistol as the official state firearm. The gun would be the latest addition to a surprising collection of historic state symbols.You’ve probably heard of official Utah state symbols…

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Learn about Utah’s nineteenth century midwives, who were unusual in that they were actually paid for their work as medical providers. Much of the work that sustained Utah’s communities in the late nineteenth century was done by women, in the…

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The nationwide depression of the 1890s produced unprecedented levels of unemployment.  One unfortunate casualty of the resulting stress and anxiety was Mary Cook, a young mother from Utah County. In 1894, a young mother from Pleasant Grove named…

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The stagecoach is a legendary symbol of the American West, part of a transportation network that spanned the continent.  How did Utah fit into this network?  Traveling to Utah was difficult – to say the least – in the mid-19th Century.  Major…

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Mormon women wrote and published a newspaper for and about Mormon women. The paper had a small circulation and was replaced with the Relief Society Magazine shortly after the newspaper declined.In 1872, a unique publication for women emerged in Utah.…
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