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Worth Their Salt Too

More Notable But Often Unnoted Women of Utah

Colleen Whitley

Publication Year: 2000

A follow-up to the highly successful Worth Their Salt, published in 1996, Worth Their Salt, Too brings together a new set of biographies of women whose roles in Utah's history have not been fully recognized, despite their significance to the social and cultural matrix, past and present, of the state. These women-community and government leaders, activists, artists, writers, scholars, politicians, and others-made important contributions to the state's history and culture. Some of them had experiences that reveal new aspects of the state's history, while others simply led lives so interesting that their stories beg to be told. This new collection demonstrates, as Worth Their Salt did, the diversity of Utah's society and the many different roles women have played in it.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

Several years ago I visited with a woman who had immigrated to the United States with her husband and their children shortly after World War II. When she mentioned her husband had worked for the telephone company in Denmark, I flippantly asked, “Did he ever bug anyone’s telephone?” ...

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1. Sarah Ann Sutton Cooke (1808–1885): “The Respected Mrs. Cooke”

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pp. 1-28

For thirty-four years, Sarah Ann Cooke resided in Salt Lake City, where she taught music, acted, and became the widow of Utah’s first police officer killed in the line of duty. She was a recognized club woman, lecturer, and leader of women’s opposition to polygamy. It all began with a ...

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2. Esther Romania Bunnell Pratt Penrose (1839–1932): An Uphill Climb

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pp. 29-40

With a shake of her head, the sixteen-year-old girl loosened her dark hair in the early morning breeze. She stooped to pick a handful of wild flowers before beginning her ascent up the hill before her. She swung her arms determinedly as she fell into a steady climbing rhythm, one foot after another, until she reached the summit and gazed a little ...

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3. Camilla Clara Mieth Cobb (1843–1933): Founder of the Utah Kindergarten

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pp. 41-54

Camilla Clara Mieth Cobb, the founder of Utah kindergarten, was born on 24 May 1843 at Dresden, Saxony, Germany, the fourth child of Karl Benjamin Immanuel Mieth and Henrietta Christina Bakehaus Mieth. Her parents were educated and refined; her father was the principal of the first district Buergerschulen (public school) in Dresden, and her ...

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4. Lucretia Heywood Kimball (1856–1920): Pioneer in Utah’s Early Christian Science Movement

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pp. 55-60

On 17 July 1891, at the downtown Salt Lake City lodgings of Mary Ann Bagley, a group of eleven people met to organize a “more systematic work as Christian Scientists” in Utah.1 These eleven individuals, eight women and three men, became the driving force behind the activities of the Utah Christian Science movement during its decade of ...

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5. Ora Bailey Harding (1893–1939): Making Music

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pp. 61-82

I am happy for Nellie Bailey’s history, written in 1949, extolling the talents of her daughter. This history details essential facts about Ora Bailey’s life and is all I have ever known about her until now. I am Ora’s granddaughter, who never met her. She died at age forty-five in 1939, a year before my parents were married. I was, then, never a beneficiary of ...

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6. Algie Eggertsen Ballif (1896–1984): No Subject Was Taboo

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pp. 83-114

The sins of the fathers may be visited on three generations, but positive parental traits are bestowed on countless children’s children. Algie Eggertsen Ballif was the product of such parenting. Student, dancer, teacher, school administrator, political activist, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, Algie Eggertsen was born 3 May 1896 to Lars Echart ...

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7. Marion Davis Clegg (1898–1991): The Lady of the Lakes

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pp. 115-132

This verse, prominently displayed by Marion Clegg in that cabinlodge by Trial Lake, at the head of Provo River, expressed her romantic view of the idyllic mountain setting she lived in and gave voice to why she returned summer after summer with her husband, Cardie. On the other hand, every spring when she first arrived, after the ...

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8. Alta Miller (1904–): A Short Sketch of My Life / Autobiography

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pp. 133-152

When my Father came to Bingham he was looking for a place to stay. He heard of my Grandma Cook’s boardinghouse.2 He walked up to Upper Bingham, where the boardinghouse was located, to see about getting a place to live. . . . He said as he walked in the yard, he looked up, and sliding down the bannister was a girl, quite a large girl. He discovered ...

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9. Ada Duhigg (1905–1992): Angel of Bingham Canyon

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pp. 153-168

Ada Duhigg came to Utah for her first time on 9 August 1932, in the depth of the Depression, traveling by train from the Midwest to Salt Lake City. From there a small bus trundled her west across the wide valley to the sharp rise of the Oquirrh Mountains, where its steep barrier was pierced by the mouth of the Bingham Canyon. It was a forbidding ...

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10. Ella Gilmer Smyth Peacock (1905–1999): Spring City’s Resident Saint

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pp. 169-178

In 1970, Bill and Ella Peacock left Salt Lake and headed south for a Sunday drive of 120 miles. Just past Provo, they turned east through the Spanish Fork Canyon where Father Escalante and his party first stood to view the valley of Utah Lake, the Jordan River Narrows, and the Great Salt Lake. A prominence with a cross marks the spot. They ...

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11. Esther Eggertsen Peterson (1906–1997): “The Most Dangerous Thing since Genghis Khan”

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pp. 179-190

In December 1984, at an age when many people who have devoted their lives to public service might consider taking a well-deserved rest, Esther Peterson celebrated her seventy-eighth birthday by traveling to Bangkok, Thailand, to deliver the keynote address at the annual conference of the International Organization of Consumers’ Unions. It was a ...

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12. Virginia Eggertsen Sorensen Waugh (1912-1991): Utah’s First Lady of Letters

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pp. 191-200

In 1988, Utah’s first gentleman of letters, Dr. William Mulder, named Virginia Sorensen “Utah’s first lady of letters.” Honoring her election to Phi Beta Kappa, he noted that paradoxically her works were out of print. But he noted also that rebound volumes in public libraries show “out of print” does not mean “out of mind.”3 It does not follow, however ...

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13. Lola Atiya (1918–): Adventurer of the Mind

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pp. 201-220

She’s speaking of a time sixty years past, and of a place thousands of miles away. Now, in 1997, Lola Atiya sits in her comfortable old home on a quiet street near the University of Utah. She wears a long skirt and an orange blouse, and her salt-and-pepper hair is pulled tightly back into a bun. As always, she looks elegant. In the ...

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14. Verla Gean Miller FarmanFarmaian (1920–): How a Beekeeper’s Daughter Became a Persian Princess

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pp. 221-246

At least once in every young girl’s life she fantasizes about becoming a real-live Cinderella, and for some it comes true. About five hundred American women married royalty during the Gilded Age.1 After World War II the number of royal matches dropped significantly, but a few Americans still took the plunge: Lisa Halliday became Jordan’s ...

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15. Alberta Mae Hill Gooch Henry (1920–): “Feed My Sheep”

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pp. 247-264

Julia Ida Palmer lived in Kansas City, Missouri, until she was in the eighth grade. Then one afternoon, on her way home from school, she was dragged into an alley and raped.1 When her mother, Susie Wallace Palmer, learned of it, she took her daughter to Shreveport, Louisiana, where her mother lived. There Julia met and married James Hill, a ...

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16. Emma Lou Warner Thayne (1924–): On the Side of Life

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pp. 265-280

These words of tribute are from Emma Lou Warner Thayne’s elder brother, Homer Warner. He continues, “The morning after [I had a cataract operation], I awoke to a new world of brighter colors and distinct borders that I couldn’t remember ever seeing before. What a beautiful world it is out there and what a blessing it is to be able to see it clearly. And I am ...


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pp. 281-312


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pp. 313-322

E-ISBN-13: 9780874217667
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874212884

Publication Year: 2000