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First Presbyterian Church and Westminster College

In 1874 on this site was erected the First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. The minister was the Rev. Josiah Welch who invited Dr. John M. Coyner to establish a school in the basement of the new structure. On April 12, 1875, classes began and the school became the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute. The Rev. Robert G. McNiece became minister in 1877 and remained twenty years. In 1892 he persuaded the Presbytery of Utah to pass a resolution to form a college to cap the Presbyterian school system which amounted to 30 grade schools and 5 academies. In 1895 the college became a reality by a gift of $50,000 from Dr. Sheldon Jackson, the Field Superintendent of the Western States. Classes began in 1897 under the direction of Dr. NcNiece and were held in the Coyner Building next to the church. The school was called the Sheldon Jackson College. The name was changed in 1902 to Westminster College.

By 1911 the school had moved to its present site on the southeast bench. In 1914 the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and Westminster were combined to form the Westminster Junior College under Dr. H. W. Reyherd, President. During the 1897-1917 period Dr. George B. Sweazey served the college as a teacher and later Principal and Dean.

The First Presbyterian Church moved to the “C” Street location in 1905, under the leadership of Dr. Rev. W. M. Paden.

This plaque memorializes four eminant scholars: Dr. John M. Coyner, Dr. Robert G. McNiece, Dr. George B. Sweazey and Dr. W. M. Payden.

The above inscription was written in 1981 by Dr. Emil Nyman, student, 1905-1909 and Historian of Westminster College.

See also:

Location: 200 E 200 South
SALT LAKE CountyN.E. corner of Intersection, in planter at corner of building

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