Thursday, October 30, 2014

Back when Halloween meant pranks, not candy …



                           Inflatable Halloween decorations are very popular today.

OGDEN, Utah area residents didn’t have to buy candy for Halloween a century ago, as trick-or-treating was an undiscovered pastime back then. Instead, they had to guard their gates, wagons and livestock from the most common of pranks.
Yes, in 1907, such pranks ruled Halloween.
“Halloween observed in Ogden. Boys committed their usual pranks” was a Nov. 5, 1907 Standard-Examiner headline.
Just over a century ago, gates of any size or fashion that could be removed, were, and moved to the top of buildings, trees, or hung from telephone poles.
“In many places small delivery wagons and vehicles were placed upon the roofs of barns or sheds. An unusual sight was that of a cow tied to the pillar of a front porch,” the Standard reported of Halloween 107 years ago.
Another prank in Ogden included a dummy placed across the tracks on Washington Avenue (Boulevard). Pranksters watched as terrified drivers ran over it.
There was also a strict curfew of 8 p.m. for all children “of any age” on Halloween night. Any kids caught outside alone after that time could be taken to the police station.
There were some Halloween-oriented attractions at the movie theater and some private parties and gatherings at  local LDS Wards, though.
“A genuine Halloween spirit was observed by many of the merchants, who decorated their show windows with jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and other articles appropriate for the occasion,” the Standard reported.
Four years later, in 1911, some Ogden youth were caught by the police putting soap along the trolley tracks of the Ogden Rapid Transit Company. That was considered a serious offense, as it meant cars could lose control.
That year, it was reported that some parents dressed up their children as ghosts and goblins (thanks to white sheets) and let them parade around the neighborhood.
It was far worse in 1927. The Standard reported the year on Nov. 1 that “Halloween pranksters ‘did everything but commit murder,’” the police stated.
Windows were broken throughout town; train tracks were dangerously greased; porch furniture was stolen; street lights were lowered; rotten tomatoes were thrown; and paint on automobiles was ruined.
“Deputy (Weber) Sheriff Fred Tout, head up and chest out, headed up 28th Street, on foot. At Jefferson Avenue, he stumbled over a string across the sidewalk and fell to his knees, while boys and girls snickered and giggled.”
A gang of 50 youth at Five Points jeered, hooted and cursed at police, who tried to rout the vandals.
(Yet, it had been much worse in 1923 when rowdy boys had set fire to the Farr West School House and it almost burned down.)
-Widespread trick-or-treating door-to-door didn’t begin as a U.S. tradition until the late 1940s, following World War II.
That’s partially because the end of the war also meant a halt to sugar rationing.
In any event, Halloween is a lot tamer these days – and giving “treats” meant less “tricks” over time.

(-Originally published by Lynn Arave in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Oct. 30-31, 2014.)

          "Trunk or treat" is a new Halloween trend today.



-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  






Thursday, October 23, 2014

From a ‘Lakemobile’ to a stroll to Fremont Island

  The "lakemobile" that Charles Stoddard used to cross the GSL to Fremont Island in.













                    Fremont Island with a dry eastern bay  

By Lynn Arave

LIKE its larger cousin, Antelope Island to the north, 
Fremont Island isn’t always truly an isle at all.
A huge natural sandbar, during low lake levels, can offer dry land access to the somewhat mysterious, privately-owned “island.”
Growing up in Hooper, directly east of Fremont Island, I had heard tales of a man from West Point who years earlier – when the Great Salt Lake was at very low levels – used to drive a special truck all the way to the Island over only six or so inches of water.


                     The Fremont Island Sandbar, far left, as seen from Fremont Island.

Later, I found out his name was Charles Stoddard. He leased Fremont Island in 1932 and began ranching sheep there.
However, not wanting to rely completely on boat travel, Stoddard put caterpillar-like chains on the rear wheels of a Model “A” Ford Truck and created what others called a “Lakemobile” to access Fremont Island for several decades.

This natural sandbar, that Stoddard first discovered, was large, but not straight. So, during the low lake levels of the early 1930s, he put upright railroad ties along the shallowest part of the sandbar, from west of Syracuse – some 10 miles -- to Fremont Island, to mark its course. Then as the lake level rose, he had what David E. Miller in “The Desert Magazine” of May of 1949 referred to a “Salt Lake Trail on the Desert” to follow.


               The "Lakemobile" arrives on Fremont Island for the first time in 1934.


So, he basically drove a truck in the middle of the Great Salt Lake!


  The Fremont Island sandbar,from Fremont, as it snakes to the Antelope Island Causeway.

His only major problem was an ice floe that struck his truck in March of 1942. Although the lake’s briny waters do not freeze easily, the incoming fresh river water can and thus a small iceberg hit his truck and knocked it on its side.

  Charles Stoddard fixing the Wenner graves on Fremont Island. --Photo courtesy of Stoddard Family. He used rock from the old Wenner home to create part of the rock memorial.

Stoddard managed to upright the truck and get the ice away, but the Lakemobile ended up in a bog and wasn’t freed until more than eight months later -- the following November. Even then, he had to replace the truck’s salty motor oil and spark plugs and use kerosene to loosen the cylinders. Then the old truck started up and moved again.


                   Charles Stoddard's boat pulled by horses to reach Fremont Island in 1947.

Stoddard was also known to use a small boat, mounted on a two-wheeled trailer, and pulled by a team of horses to access the Island. He even told Miller that some youths once rode bicycles to the Island, while riders on horseback and even a touring car had successfully made the trip too.

                  Sheep travel the sandbar to Fremont Island in the 1940s.

By the early 1940s, the sandbar was briefly, but almost completely above water late one summer season. So, instead of having to boat sheep to and from the Island, Stoddard was able to herd them on mostly dry ground. Only the south end of the sandbar was then under water, just a few inches deep.
By 1948, the GSL had risen two feet in seven years and Stoddard had to use boat travel his remaining years of ranching.


  Horses used to traverse the sandbar to Fremont Island in 1943 to go on the Phantom Coyote hunt.

Twenty years later, in the late 1960s, as a teenager, I noticed two black posts and a gate sticking up in the water when traveling the newly built dirt road causeway to Antelope Island. I surmised that marked Stoddard’s “road.”

     The "black gate posts" circa 1980, as they marked the start of the sandbar to Fremont Island.



In the summer of 1979, a friend, Mich Oki, and I tried wading out to those black posts and found the water not only 4 feet deep there, but very muddy ground to try and wade through. The Great Salt Lake kept rising for another seven years.
 June 1982: Steve Hubbard and Larry Saunders as they prepare to explore Fremont Island after landing on its southeast tip after about a seven mile paddle in a canoe.


In June of 1982, two friends (Steve Hubbard and Larry Saunders) and I canoed about 14 miles roundtrip from Antelope Island to Fremont Island. We also had permission and visited the island at length. Wild ponies roamed the island back then, amid some exotic sheep.
(John C. Fremont and Kit Carson used an inflatable rubber boat when they visited the island in 1843. I also took a motor boat trip there in the late-1990s.)
The causeway soon washed out and was later rebuilt higher.
I tested the water around the gate post several more times over the years. They were completely under water in the mid-1980s, as the Great Salt Lake reached a historic high mark.


                                The ride to Fremont Island.


My parents too were fascinated by Fremont Island and they hired a boat and its captain in the early 1990s and we visited Fremont Island and waded to its shores for a brief visit, lacking permission to roam the isle.


       My family on Fremont, Mark, Norma, Gene and Wayne Arave, with boat off shore.



             Taylor Arave near the Fremont Sandbar in about 2002.



               Taylor Arave and what's left of the back gate posts in 2002.

 Enter the 21st Century and the lake was receding again and now the posts were barely under water. But, again bogs near the causeway were hard to wade through.


          Mike Spencer, September 2004, resting after a 6-mile walk to Fremont Island.

Then, in the late summer of 2004, the lake was almost lower than it had ever been. Myself and two different friends, Mike Spencer and Ryan Layton, walked about 13 miles roundtrip on 100 percent dry ground to the edge of Fremont Island and back. We found a huge old anchor, antique bottles and even tires along our stroll of what used to be under up to 18 feet of briny water in the mid-1980s during the lake’s historic high mark.

              Taylor Arave in a dry bay around Fremont Island.

Again, in 2008, with permission to access the Island, I and my youngest son, Taylor, again walked the same dry sandbar route and roamed the isle. Then, we also ATV tracks and evidence of their visit to the island over the sandbar.


                       ATV tracks across the usually underwater GSL.

(As a sidelight: there is evidence too, that Kit Carson may not carved his cross on the island’s north end out of boredom, but rather as testimonial of his conversion to the Catholic Church.)


  Our bicycles, a few hundred yards off the Antelope Causeway. We rode them to the sandbar, as parking on the causeway after my first walk to Fremont is now prohibited


Thus, people have boated, floated, driven, bicycled and even ridden on horseback to Fremont over the years. There’s even a rugged airstrip on the island’s western side.
Fremont Island, though mostly barren, is a magical place that somehow always beckons you to return.


 Taylor pointing upward to show that the water was more than 12-feet deep here in the mid-1980s around Fremont Island in the bay off the island.

(-Originally published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Oct. 23-24, 2014.)


-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  










Saturday, October 18, 2014

Big N. Utah Optical Illusion: Ben Lomond Peak Higher Than Willard Peak (not)


         Ben Lomond Peak  (center) and Willard Peak (second bump to the left of BL). Ben Lomond         looks taller here by some sort of illusion, as seen from near Weber State University in Ogden.


  BEN Lomond Peak is NOT higher than nearby Willard Peak.
  It just often times appears that it is taller, in some sort of geographical optical illusion, perhaps one of the biggest such cases in all of Northern Utah.
  Ben Lomond stands at 9,712 feet above sea level.
  Willard Peak is 9,764 feet above sea level, or 52 feet HIGH than Ben Lomond Peak is.
  However, look at Ben Lomond from the south, near Weber State University (top photo) and it appears much taller than Willard Peak is.
  Even look at Ben Lomond and Willard peaks from I-15 coming southbound near the Utah-Idaho stateline and the former appears taller by far than Willard Peak (a southeastern view).
  The only 2 places where Willard seems taller are:
1. From atop either Willard or Ben Lomond Peaks.
2. From Cache County, the south side of Utah State University OR from the south side of the Logan LDS Temple and looking straight south (bottom photo).
  I have no idea why this common illusion is in place, but at least from the straight north is not in play.


 Willard Peak (center) is 52 feet higher than Ben Lomond Peak (left of Willard Peak) and actually appears taller in this viewpoint from the north, as seen from near the Logan LDS Temple in Logan..



-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  




Thursday, October 16, 2014

From ‘Disappointment Island’ to Fremont Island

                                The famous Kit Carson cross on Fremont Island.


FREMONT Island almost became a “Buffalo Park,” several decades before Antelope Island even received its first herd of transplanted bison.
“The ‘Buffalo’ Island. That is what Fremont Island is likely to become. A government appropriation anticipated. An important feature which will be a great addition to Ogden’s many attractions,” was a lengthy May 9, 1890 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
C.J. “Buffalo” Jones wanted to create a buffalo preserve on the island and supposedly had a promise of $30,000 in aid from the federal government to get his project started.
In addition, Jones had talked with the Rio Grande Railroad about the possibility of building a track from its main line, across the Great Salt Lake, to Fremont Island. (This was many years before the Lucin Cutoff was constructed across the GSL.)
Of course, Jones’ plan didn’t happen, but his was one of many dreams for the western Weber County Isle.
The Davis County Clipper reported on Oct. 20, 1899, that there was a plan to develop Fremont Island into a sanitarium. That didn’t happen either. Neither did a proposed dyke ever connect Antelope and Fremont islands as part of a fresh water reservoir plan, first envisioned in 1910.
The first recorded white men to visit Fremont were explorers John C. Fremont and Kit Carson, who visited it on Sept. 9, 1843. Fremont called it "Disappointment Island," for its desert nature and lack of game. Carson was so bored there he chiseled a cross in a rock at the island’s highest point.
Albert Carrington and other Mormon pioneers first visited Fremont on April 22, 1848 and labeled it "Castle Island," for the palace-like rock formation on its north end, where the cross was carved.
By 1859, the Henry Miller family decided it was a perfect place for grazing animals and it was then nicknamed "Miller's Island" until the Fremont name took over permanently
Jean Baptiste, a notorious Salt Lake City cemetery worker/grave robber, was banished by Brigham Young to Fremont Island in the early spring of 1862. He later disappeared and was never found.
In 1886, Uriah J. Wenner, a Salt Lake City judge, bought the island and moved there with his wife, Kate, and several children for five years to hopefully improve his health problems with the salty, fresh air.
                                  The Wenner gravesite on the south end of Fremont Island.

But, Mr. Wenner died there on Sept. 19, 1891 and the family soon moved away.
“Island home is left by owner … Cozy little cottage abandoned on island,” was an Aug. 17, 1906 story in the Salt Lake Tribune about the deserted Wenner home.
Jump ahead in time almost 40 years, to March of 1944 and an Associated Press story told of a “phantom coyote,” who was still unable to be killed or captured on Fremont Island.
This "phantom" coyote, believed to have reached the island a few weeks earlier aboard one of the rare icebergs that sometimes float the Great Salt Lake in late winter, had already killed at least eight sheep there.
                  A trio of hunters with the dead "Phantom Coyote" in 1944.

It required four hunting parties and dozens of hunters on the Island to finally vanquish the critter. Wounded after more than 200 rounds were fired at it on April 2, 1944, the animal was swimming toward Promontory Point and had to be apprehended by boat.
Leap ahead yet another 15 or so years and the State of Utah was looking to create a new state park on either Antelope or Fremont Island. Antelope was chosen and eventually accessed with a newly built causeway.
Fremont Island’s owners then, the Richards Family, who also owned Granite Furniture, still had hopes the state might make their island Utah’s “Alcatraz.” That never happened either.
The island was leased in part over the years to sheepherders and brine shrimpers.
By 1997, the Richards Family felt no long-term use for the island had been found and tried unsuccessfully to sell it for $3 million. "2,943 acres. Lots of history on this island. Great rec. property in green belt," was what the for sale ad highlighted.
By the early 21st Century, Hooper City included Fremont Island in its official boundaries.
Fremont Island, the third-largest isle in the Great Salt Lake, is still privately owned today and various private horse, wildlife and hunting preserve ideas have been experimented with for the Island.
(-Originally published by Lynn Arave in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Oct. 16-17, 2014.)
MORE Fremont Island and Great Salt Lake information:


-Blanche H. Wenner buried her mother’s ashes on Fremont in June of 1943.

-Charles Stoddard of Hooper built the fence around the Fremont gravesite. He used rocks from the old Wenner house to create the memorial with the plaques on.

-Large icebergs reported on GSL in March of 1942.

-From St. Examiner March 13, 1956, Southern Pacific had signed a $49 million contract to replace the wooden trestle of the Lucin Cutoff with rockfill/dirt causeway, 12 miles long and to start in 1960.  High maintence costs and redecking being needed for millions as the reason for the change; plus no fear of fire.

-Only 1 tree on Fremont Island in 1940s.

-Ranchers called Castle rock “Haystack Rock.”

-The first trip of the Lakemobile to Fremont Island was in 1934.

-Phantom Coyote killed 6 or more sheep on Fremont Island. Took 20 hunters and 3 trips to kill it it. Finally Orville Harris of Ogden wounded it and it plunged into the lake. The hunters had to jump into a motor boat to pursue it and kill it. It had lived in the rocky areas of the island. Hunters went by lakemobile, horseback across the sandbar to hunt the critter.


-On Fremont, Stoddard had as many as 700 sheep.

-Stoddard also bought a L.C.V.P. war surplus landing craft to use to reach Fremont from Promontory Point too.

-Stoddard was nicknamed “Utah’s Flying Shepherd” by Western Livestock Journal, because of airlifting in supplies food to his sheep. He would drop a 200-pound load of corn-bean pellets from his plane daily for 2 months to bring 800 sheep through a critical period.

-He also lost horses in the lake’s quicksand:  “To stand there powerless and watch those helpless horses disappear into the quicksand. After that I used a boat,” Stoddard once said.

-Arrowheads, platters, plates and a tablet with strange writing wee all found by Earl Stoddard, cousin to Charles Stoddard, on Fremont Island.

-In 1960, the grass on Fremont gave out and Stoddard had to fly food in 120 straight days by plane.

-By 1961, the lake had dropped so low that 100 lambs waded out in the lake  waters and were lost. Soon after a windstorm at the Ogden airport destroyed his airplane, tethered there.

-Another time a lightning storm caught Fremont Island on fire and he had to move his sheep to Carrington Island for a season.

-In one of the “Phantom coyote hunting photos, 1844 to 1944 is painted on rock above and below the Fremont cross.

-May 4, 1956, fire damages Lucin Cutoff trestle and closed it for several hundred feet. Charles Stoddard’s barge was used by firemen to spray water on the smoldering trestle.

-Feb. 27, 1969. High winds damaged the causeway tp Antelope Island and cut a breach 200 feet wide 3-4 feet deep

 (All this information from Jewell Kenley’s scrapbook of Stoddard, a relative of hers.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A brief history of the Ogden Standard-Examiner


                       The current Ogden Standard-Examiner building.

By Lynn Arave

THE Ogden Standard-Examiner is Utah’s third-largest daily newspaper and the biggest north of Salt Lake City. It serves more than 60,000 print subscribers readers in the “Top of Utah” -- Weber, Davis, Morgan and Box Elder counties --  as well as many more on the Web.
The Standard officially began on Jan. 1, 1888, though its forerunner, the Ogden Daily Herald, had started seven years earlier in 1881.
Founded by Frank J. Cannon, a former Deseret News and San Francisco Chronicle reporter, the Standard, originally an evening paper, opened in the Peery Building, at 23rd Street and Washington Avenue.
Cannon vowed that the new newspaper would “endeavor to … merit the confidence and esteem of good and true men.”
He had been unable to salvage the Herald and so he purchased its presses, buildings, subscription lists and ad contracts to provide a successor with the Standard.
By 1892, the newspaper had a circulation of 1,500 copies.
A key change came along in1893, when William Glasmann, 37, took charge of the Standard after Cannon was elected a territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress.(Glasmann would later be elected as the mayor of Ogden City in 1901.)
A year later, in 1894, Glasmann purchased the Standard with proceeds from the sale of his ranch at Lake Point, west of Salt Lake. (A family ownership would prevail for almost a century.)
By 1904, Frank Francis, Standard Associate Editor, began publishing the Ogden Morning Examiner, using the Standard’s presses. He sold that paper to Glasmann four month later, who kept publishing both newspapers until 1911.
In 1911, J.U. Eldredge of Salt Lake purchased the Morning Examiner and it became a competitor of the Standard.
Standard Publisher William Glasmann died at age 57 in 1916. His widow, Evelyn, took over and son, Abe, 23, became editor.
The Standard reacquired the Examiner and merges the two papers to become the Ogden Standard-Examiner in 1920.The composite paper was jointly owned by the Glasmann and Eldredge families through the Standard Corporation.
In 1934, the Standard Corporation entered the broadcast market by acquiring KLO Radio, AM-1430 (which it operated it until 1970). The Standard Corporation also started Salt Lake’s KALL, AM-910, radio in 1945.
The Glasmann family bought out the Eldredge interest in the Standard Corporation in 1946.
The Standard Corporation diversifies further by purchasing controlling interest of KUTV, Ch. 2, TV of Salt Lake, in 1956.
The Standard’s daily circulation exceeded 30,000 by 1959.
In 1961, the Standard purchased the old National Guard Building at 455 23rd Street for its new offices, where it would remain for almost 40 years. (The newspaper has moved locations six times over the decades.)
The Standard purchased a new press, capable of printing 70,000 48-page papers per hour, in 1969. This move helped the Standard eventually become a local publishing company for other products.
Randall C. Hatch, great-grandson of the original Standard Publisher, William Glasmann, became managing editor, in 1981, keeping a family tradition going.
By the early 1990s, daily circulation of the Standard reached 55,500, when almost 85 percent of the homes in Weber County were loyal subscribers.
The Standard became a subsidiary of Sandusky Newspapers, an Ohio media company, in 1993. The Hatch family, descendants of William Glasmann, also sold its majority interests in KALL radio and KUTV.
The Standard offices moved again in 2000, this time to the Business Depot Ogden, formerly the Defense Depot. The newspaper also switched to morning publication after almost a 110-year-run as an afternoon newspaper, as nationally and locally, readers preferred a morning product.
Today, the Ogden Standard-Examiner has more than 63,000 subscribers in the “Top of  Utah.”
The newspaper is also now much more than a printed product. It offers a 24-hour news source, with updated information on-line. It also features photo galleries, video options of news events and other updates.
In addition, the Standard also offers a career and events page on Standard.net
-The Standard-Examiner, 332 Standard Way, offers free public tours, for groups, large or small, or for classes.
To arrange a tour, contact Summer Green at 801-625-4557, or at sgreen@standard.net

(SOURCES: Ogden Standard-Examiner, “Chronicle of a Century” edition, Jan. 1, 1988; and Utah History Encyclopedia.)


-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  







Thursday, October 9, 2014

Back when ‘farm days’ postponed school


THERE have been “snows days” of unexpected school recesses in recent years, but how about “farm days"  in olden times?”
“Schools of city may not be opened until October 15, to allow youngsters to work,” was a June 27, 1917 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
An acute labor shortage in Utah some 97 years ago meant that the Davis County School Board had decided to postpone school by at least 10 days for grades seven through twelve.
Soon after that decision, Weber County and Ogden City schools also made similar decisions, referred to as “an expression of community prudence.”
School normally began at the end of September each year.
In a move akin to today’s “Potato Harvest” recess in Southern Idaho, this 1917 decision was so that teenagers could assist in the harvesting of fruits, grains, sugar beets and tomatoes that season.
​(These were the true "field days" for students in olden times.)
The decision was reached after a conference with the canners and sugar company representatives of the area.
Davis County had already been given 150 men from the National Guard to help with their crops, but more manpower was needed.
Davis County farmers had also said that if some Ogden boys had not been sent to assist with thinning their sugar beet crop already in early summer, they would have faced a disaster.
However, the recess was not a “free pass” to miss school. Besides the expectation to do farm work, plans were made by the school board to hold school six days a week until the lost time was made up. Some of these extra Saturday school days were in the winter season, leaving good weather Saturdays in spring still available.
In other historical notes:
- “Deer hunters’ chances good” was an Oct. 17, 1926 headline in the Standard.
For that era, the hunt opened Oct. 20 and closed Oct. 20. The basic rules of the hunt were: no boys under age 16 allowed to hunt; each hunter was allowed one buck with horns at least six inches long; all hunters to be wear a red hat, or red covering; a license for male hunters cost $2 and for female hunters, $1.
Hunting was also prohibited in the game sanctuary, from Weber Canyon to North Ogden Canyon and from east Ogden to the city wells in Ogden Valley. (This “no hunting” area existed only in the 1920s.)
-“Daylight motion pictures at the Orpheum a success,” was an Oct. 2, 1911 headline in the Standard.
This didn’t mean matinees – it meant a new machine projected the moving pictures on a dark background, instead of a white one – to be easier on the eyes.
Motion pictures were shown five nights a week, Saturday through Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (Thursday and Friday nights were vaudeville nights.) Admission was 5 cents to 10 cents a show.

(-Originally published on Oct. 9-10, 2014 by Lynn Arave in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.)


-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  









Friday, October 3, 2014

The Utah ‘Footloose’ of 1912 and more …

YOU could call this the ‘Footloose’ of 102 years ago.
“Apostle M’Kay opposes dance,” was a Feb. 1, 1912 headline in the Standard-Examiner.
Then Elder David O. McKay of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was speaking at a quarterly Utah Stake Conference in Provo and said he was opposed to the trend of public dance halls and the moral decline therein.
He said anyone with the 50 cents admission could enter such a dance hall and that they were filled with dancing of an “immoral nature.”
Elder McKay then singled out a dance hall in Ogden that had posted the sign, “No introductions necessary,” meaning any women entering this dance hall was expected to dance with any man who asked her to do so.
“These conditions will have to be remedied or the public dance will be fought by the Latter-day Saints,” he said.
In the same meeting, it was reported that in this Utah Stake, there were 121 temple marriages and 74 civil marriages performed in 1911. There were only four divorces by any members of that stake that year.
-Jump ahead 15 years and other vices were singled out by LDS Church leaders.
An Aug. 29, 1927 headline in the Standard was “Card playing breaks rule, Heber J. Grant tells throng.”
President Grant of the LDS Church spoke at an Ogden Stake Conference in the Ogden Tabernacle.
He said those who regularly play cards should sing the popular LDS hymn, “We thank thee, O God for a Prophet” differently than what the song book says.
“We thank three, O God for a Prophet, To guide us in these latter-days, providing he does not tell us to leave our cards alone and then we desire to follow our own ideas” is how President Grant said card playing church members should sing the song.
President Grant also advised unmarried young men and women not to put their arms around each other.
“He said in so doing they are running dangerously near the edge of the precipice and Satan has an opportunity to cast over them,” the article reported.
In addition, President Grant said only one-third of the Church was then obeying the Word of Wisdom. He also said there was a church member who thought drinking a little coffee was OK. Then a cigar was alright and then chewing tobacco didn’t seem to hurt him either. However, he said that member was also an apostle and lost that position.
President also said every effort is made to put the best man available in every church position, without personal favoritism of any kind.
“There is no trading and no political wire pulling in his church,” President Grant declared.
Since President Grant had not visited Ogden for some time, this two-hour stake conference was filled to overflowing, with many not be able to find a seat.

(-Originally published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Oct. 3, 2014.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net