Semi-Centennial Commission Book of the Pioneers
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
This series contains a two-volume set entitled the "Book of the Pioneers" and described on the title page as "a record of those who arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake during the year 1847; including the names, ages, autographs and places of residence of all known survivors on July 24, 1897." The volumes were created as part of the Pioneer Jubilee of 1897 under the direction of the Semi-Centennial Commission to document and memorialize both the pioneers of 1847 and the Jubilee.
The two volumes are one-of-a-kind and are bound in calf-skin leather with decorative mounts of silver, gold, and copper on the covers. The front of each book exhibits a cartouche with a depiction of the new Pioneer Monument, surrounded by the words "Honor To Whom Honor Is Due," along with the Utah State Seal. The back of each volume carries a cartouche with a beehive surrounded by a laurel wreath, along with a bull's head, and a plow. The front cover of Volume I is labeled "Agriculture" and the back is labeled "Manufactures". The front of Volume II says "Mining" and the back says "Products." Each cover has corner mounts listing Utah products associated with the cover themes, including such goods as "Fruits-Sugar," "Live Stock," "Woolen Goods," "Cotton-Silk-Soap," "Gold-Silver," "Building Stone," "Natural Gas," "Coal-Salt," etc.
Volume I contains introductory information about the Pioneer Jubilee and the formation of the Semi-Centennial Commission, as well as background history of those designated as "pioneers" in the book. Included are lists of members and survivors of the original Brigham Young Company, the "General Emigration of 1847", the Mormon Battalion, and the Mississippi Company.
Volume II contains information on the pioneers and various aspects of the Jubilee celebration. This information is found in sections describing the Pioneer Monument erected as part of the celebration, the Pioneer Badge given to each surviving pioneer, a Pioneer Poem written to honor the pioneers, a competition held to produce a musical Pioneer Ode, and the Hall of Relics erected to display artifacts from the pioneer trek. The volume also includes lists of pioneers, mostly continued from the first volume.
The bulk of the two volumes is taken up by questionnaires filled out by pioneers of 1847 who were still alive July 24, 1897. The questionnaires were on pre-printed forms that were distributed to surviving pioneers. Responses to the questions were hand-written by or for the survivors and the forms were collected for inclusion in the book. The questionnaires solicited such information as name, place of residence in 1897, date and place of birth, date of arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, name of pioneer company, name of captain of 100, name of captain of 50, name of captain of 10, list of "relics of the pioneer journey" the surviving pioneer had, list of relics the pioneer was willing to donate to the State of Utah, and additional comments.
The books also include images of Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff, along with photos of the Pioneer Monument, the Pioneer Badge, the Hall of Relics, and a gathering of surviving pioneers taken on Temple Square 24 July 1897.
Alphabetical by surname of the pioneer.
Administrative records from the Semi-Centennial Commission, Series 1195, include a "Catalogue of Relics, Souvenirs, and Curios Associated with the Pioneers of Utah" and a record of expenditures for compiling the "Book of the Pioneers."
Prior to its dissolution in 1898, the commission deposited its records in the archives of the state. In 1917 the Utah Legislature designated the Utah State Historical Society as custodian of all records of historic value. The volumes remained with the State Historical Society following separation of the Utah State Archives from the Historical Society in 1969. In December 2007 the Historical Society, recognizing that the volumes were government records, transferred them to the State Archives.
This series is available on microfilm.
This series is available online as part of the Utah State Archives Digital Archives.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Archival processing was completed in January 2001 by W. Glen Fairclough, Jr. Following digital imaging of the original books by the University of Utah Marriott Library in 2010, a copy was made available online in March 2011 and the finding aid was updated by Alan Barnett in July 2013. In addition, Heidi Stringham created a name index to enhance access to the records.
Indexes: A name index is available. View index.
- Utah--Centennial celebrations, etc.