Utah Historical Quarterly is the official journal of Utah history, published on behalf of the Utah State Historical Society since 1928. UHQ’s mission, from its earliest issues to the present, is to publish articles on all aspects of Utah history and to present Utah in the larger context of the West. UHQ’s editorial style emphasizes scholarly credibility, accessible language, and variety. The quarterly is filled with articles, book reviews, and photographs, as well field notes about documents, artifacts, historiography, oral history, and public history. Online supplements—including documents, galleries, and interviews—accompany each issue.
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UHQ WINTER 2021
Volume 89, Number 1
Readers are probably familiar with the image reproduced on page 12 titled American Progress. Designed by George Crofutt and drawn by John Gast in 1872, the lithograph advanced the once widely held frontier ideology of American exceptionalism. Concurrent with its drawing, a virulent strain of influenza—at that time simply referred to as the flu—was just as relentlessly moving westward and infecting nine in ten of the continent’s horses. “The very same developments, powers, and technologies that George Crofutt and John Gast touted so unabashedly,” writes Thomas G. Andrews, “do much to explain why the novel influenza virus proceeded more quickly in some places and more slowly in others.” In a multilayered argument, Andrews shows in our lead article how the virus and forces of westward expansion were intertwined. Much more than a story of equine disease, Andrews’s work corrects erroneous narratives about the origins and spread of the disease and offers an illuminating history of colonial encroachment that left Native tribes bereft of their horse populations. Mercifully, the epizootic moved with less fury among the West’s Indigenous peoples.
Despite our own considerable flu fatigue, we are proud to publish a history of such contemporary salience.
A century ago, when agriculture still dominated the Wasatch Front’s economy and landscape, beet farmers were essential machinery in a profitable business of sugar production. Concerned about unfair wages of growers—and the unrighteous alliance of religious influence in corporate business—the progressive Charles G. Patterson organized a labor association designed to empower the lower cogs in the sugar beet-production wheel. The brief but compelling history of the Intermountain Sugar Beet Growers Association—and the religious entanglements that continued to influence business in Utah—is skillfully told by Matthew C. Godfrey in our second article.
Our third piece draws on ethnographic observations and oral interviews from the women of Centennial Park, a polygamous sect on the Utah–Arizona border. Mark E. DeGiovanni Miller offers a textured history as told by women profoundly shaped by their peoples’ past—in particular, memories of the state of Arizona’s 1953 raids on Short Creek (now Colorado City). This piece provides first-person accounts of the raids, founding of Centennial Park, commitment to plural marriage, domestic living arrangements, business and educational activities, and strained relationship with the neighboring FLDS in Colorado City. The resilience, determination, and faith of
the Women of the Work, as they are known, is uniquely evident.
We close with a smart conceptual essay on the spatial configurations of the Plat of the City of Zion. Using Block 88, where Brigham Young positioned his family complex adjacent the temple and tabernacle, Martha Bradley Evans traces the manifestation of an ideology and cultural vision on the cityscape that was continually in motion and adaptive. This long view of Salt Lake’s built environment is a reminder that far from being set in stone, spatial configurations are malleable. Bradley recently presented a version of this essay as the 2020 Juanita Brooks Lecture. We thank Dixie State University and the Juanita Brooks Lecture Series for support of publication.