Utah Lake was welcoming to Indians, trappers, explorers, and Mormon pioneers. Its shorelines, tributaries, and surrounding land provided sustenance and shelter for both animals and peoples. The lake played a significant role in the settlement of Utah Valley and survival of both pioneers and Native Americans. Its history is fraught with plaques, draught, famine, crickets, and grasshoppers.
Provo pioneers shared fish seined from the lake with Indian tribes during the lean years. Long seines, weighted vertical fishing nets, were the only method for harvesting large quantities of fish. The average catch was about 150 pounds daily in the summer and about 30-40 pounds during the winter months. The Honorable John Henry Smith maintained that the story of Terrane fisherman, Peter Madsen, who provided food for the famished during 1855-56, was quite as worthy of historical recognition as the story of the “Gulls” and “Lillies.” Provo’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop assigned men to fishing crews to operate Madsen’s seine twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But, even then, there was a long wait for fish. Fires burned constantly along the mouth of the river to furnish warmth and dry fisherman’s clothing. The men worked even in ice cold water, wearing what clothes they had, which were minimal, just to save their meager supply of clothing. No charge was made for the fish. The hungry came from Sanpete on the south, Salt Lake on the north, and Duchesne on the east, each camping along the river, awaiting their turn to receive fish to be cleaned, salted down in barrels or dried Indian fashion.
The thirteen species of fish outnumbered people in Utah Valley in 1851; the census listed the population as 1,505. As more settlers arrived without provisions, the demand for fish grew. Loyal Church members were tithed by the number of fish they harvested, providing sustenance for laborers on public works projects.
The boats and equipment used by the pioneer fishermen were very crude but safe and practical for their time. No lives were lost during this period of trial and need, despite the fact that Utah Lake, with its great area of nearly 150 square miles and its extremely shallow depth, was really a treacherous and vicious body of water. Many lives have been lost since the days of pioneer fisherman.
Peter Madsen’s descendants continue to fish the lake, as do other notable families including the Loys, Carpenters, and others. Some of the original species of fish have disappeared, while others remain on the endangered species list. Our sacred duty is to preserve the lake, fish, and its history.
This ship’s bell is from the valiant USS Wasatch, flagship of the seventh fleet under Admiral Thomas C Kincaid. The ship is famous for its outstanding service in the south pacific during World War II.
Official Navy records state that during the battle of Leyte, “Admiral Kincaid’s flagship was the hub around which the sea, land, and air campaign raged.”
Through the efforts of U.S. Senator Wallace F Bennett, the ship’s bell was obtained for the Provo July Forth Celebration, Inc., a civic group which organized Provo’s Independence Day activities from 1939 to 1952.
As a patriotic monument, the bell was presented by this group for the people of Provo and the Wasatch Front on July 4, 1972.
Dedicated to all Veterans of War Provo City, Utah “That all men shall be free” “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Staff, Flag & Dedication presented by Provo Lodge No. 849 – B.P.O. Elks Meditation area and installation by Veterans Memorial Board of Provo June 14, 1972.
The Knight Alien house was built for J. William Knight, an important businessman in turn-of-the-century Provo and a son of Jesse Knight. It was subsequently owned by R. E. Allen a son-in-law of Jesse Knight who was also an important businessman and an officer in all the Knight family businesses. The Knight-Alien house is significant historically as the residence of important early businessmen of Provo.
The Knight-Alien house was built about 1899 for J. William Knight. It is probable that it was designed by Richard C. Watkins, a prominent local architect. J. William Knight married in 1899 and this was the couple’s first house. When he and his new wife moved to Canada to manage a Knight concern there, J. William Knight sold the house to his sister Inez and her new husband, Robert Eugene Alien. Because the Knights lived in the house for such a short period of time, the building is more closely associated with the Allen family.
Robert E. Alien was born in Coalville, Utah in 1877. He received his education at Summit Academy, Brigham Young Academy, and Rochester Business College. In 1901 he started teaching at Brigham Young university and in 1902 he married Amanda Inez Knight. Alien was quickly assimilated into the business concerns of the Knight family and became a rather wealthy businessman. He served as manager of the Knight Power Company from 1908 to 1912. From 1907 to 1933 he was secretary of the Knight Investment Company which directed the family’s holdings and was also cashier of the Knight Trust and Savings Bank. He later served as manager of First Security Bank in Provo.
Inez Knight Alien was a woman of note. She was one of the first two women sent as proselyting missionaries by the L.D.S. Church. She later became very active in politics and civic affairs. She was the Democratic National Committee woman from Utah for four years, was a delegate to National Democratic conventions, and ran unsuccessfully for the state senate. She also chaired many local civic groups.
Mr. and Mrs. Alien were very generous with their wealth and contributed heavily to B.Y.U. Several buildings were constructed by the University with these contributions.
Built in 1893 by Charles E. Loose and located at 383 East 200 South in Provo, Utah.
Built in 1893 by Charles E. Loose. Charles Loose was involved in the Grand Central Mining Company as manager, which is where he acquired his wealth. He was probably the most prominent non-Mormon in Provo at the turn-of-the-century. This house is distinct among turn-of-the-century homes of Provo’s other leading entrepreneurs in that it combines the massing of the Shingle Style with a consistent program of Eastlake ornamentation. Its enveloping roof, veranda and pentagonal fanlight gable windows mark its individuality among the City’s architecture.*
In 1908 Jesse Knight, a local businessman who lived down the street in his mansion built this home for his daughter Jennie and her husband along with the mansion across the street from this one for his other daughter. When they were designing the house Jennie had been out to the Provo Foundry to look at the brick options and saw a big pile of trashed bricks, those that had been distorted in the brick making process, clinker bricks, as they were called are not unheard of in local architecture (see this page) but Jennie decided to use only clinker bricks for this home – she got them for free and it made for a very unique look. It inspired a few other Provo homes to use clinker brick as well.
Lester never could seem to get out of financial struggles, so when the depression came they sold the home to someone who split it all up into apartments. In the 1960s, Mike Baughman (an interior designer and BYU professor) purchased the home, after him was a polygamist minister. He had his family and wives in the different apartments and used the carriage house in the back for the chapel. Later, when the Halladay’s purchased the home in 1983 the baptismal font room was entirely encased in mold. They restored the carriage house and rented it out as apartments.
Reed Halladay had grown up in the area and always loved the home and had many apartment buildings around town so when the chance came up to purchase the home he and his wife jumped on it. They have rented it out and refurbished it, in July 2020 they held an open house after renovations and 25 of the polygamist family came through the open house to see the house they or their parents had lived in 35-ish years before.
(The above story was told to me by the current owner and contradicts some of the information below, but I have included both.)
W. Lester Mangum was a son-in-law of Jesse Knight who was an important businessman in early twentieth-century Provo. Mangum held executive positions in many of the Knight industries and amassed a fortune for himself.
The Knight-Mangum house was built in 1908 for W. Lester and Jennie Knight Mangum at a cost of $40,000. The Mangums obtained the money to build the house by selling valuable Knight mining stocks they had bought for a very small price. Walter E. Ware, a prominent Salt Lake City architect, designed the house and Alexander Brothers was the contractor.
W. Lester Mangum was born in 1873 in Nephi, Utah. He attended B.Y.U. and was subsequently an instructor of English at the school. In 1905 he married Jennie Knight, the daughter of mining magnate and entrepreneur Jesse Knight. Mangum was quickly included in the Knight family businesses and held different executive positions in these businesses. He also served as vice-president and manager of the American Colombian Corporation which owned huge tracts of land in South America. Mangum was active in the L.D.S. Church, and served as a member of his stake’s high council.
Jennie Knight Mangum was born in 1885 in Payson, Utah, the fifth child of Jesse and Amanda Knight. She was very active in civic and church affairs in Provo.
Jennie Knight Mangum sold the house in 1966 to Paul G. Salisbury. Salisbury deeded the house to Mike Baughman in 1972 and Baughman renovated the building.
The Knight-Mangum house is significant as the most sophisticated example of a Craftsman house in Provo and as one of the best examples of that style in the state. It is one of several premier examples of this type that were designed by the successful Salt Lake City architectural firm of Ware and Treganza. Alberto O. Treganza, the principal designer of the firm, had worked for the famous San Diego firm of Hebbard and Gill, and the design of the Knight-Mangum house may reflect the influence of that experience.
This two and one half story house is one of the most outstanding Craftsman style houses in Utah. It has an asymmetrical composition, steep gable roof with exposed rafters, decorative stick work on the top two stories, cross gables and gable dormers, exposed purlins, decorative brackets along the roofline, and a flat roofed single story porch with exposed rafters that wraps around the southeast corner. The house rests on a raised concrete basement. Clinker brick has been used for the first story, for the posts of the porch, for the chimneys, and for the wall that surrounds the house. The upper stories are wood frame and stucco with stick work. The windows are grouped in various arrangements, including a three part bay window on the second story gable end of the facade, and are casements with decorative wood stripping. The main entrance is set under an open porch whose gable roof repeats the lines of the cross gable and the dormer. It is supported by clinker brick piers. An all glass door is flanked by side lights which have stained glass stripping around their edges. The craftsman elements which tie the building together include: the variety of materials; the use of natural materials and structural elements for ornamentation; the bands of windows accented by stickwork; the stickwork of the upper stories, exposed rafters, purlins, and brackets; and the irregular massing coupled with an organic balance.
Changes in the fenestration of the west wall and the addition of a two story exterior staircase on the northwest corner are alterations which detract from the original integrity of the building, but are not significant enough to destroy its original effect. A one story rear extension maybe original. The interior of the house has been changed considerably, having been divided into eleven apartments. When it was later converted into office space more changes were made. Those changes, however, except for the ones mentioned previously are not reflected on the exterior of the house.
The J. Will Robinson Federal Building is located at 88 W 100 N in Provo, Utah
J. Will Robinson was first elected to the United States Congress in 1932 and served until 1946. During that very difficult period in American History he was instrumental in passing legislation that created the National Highway System and accomplished many other things.
Congressman Robinson was well known as a defender of issues important to the West. He was chairman of the committee on Public Lands before he came Chairman on Roads.
Born in Coalville, Summit County, January 18, 1878, Representative Robinson attended public schools to the sixth grade. At that time he was forced to drop out of school to help support his family.
By working a year and attending school in alternate years he was able to graduate from Brigham Young University in 1908. He then became a teacher and principal, serving both at the Uintah Academy in Vernal and at Wasatch High School in Heber City.
In 1912, after obtaining a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago, he returned to Utah where he established a private law practice in Provo. Here he served briefly as Utah County Attorney before being elected by the Second Congressional District.
Congressman Robinson was married to Birda Billings in 1905. They were the parents of six children.
Due to his years of distinguished service to Provo and Utah County as well as to the State of Utah and this nation the Congress and the President of the United States have enacted a law designating this building as the J. Will Robinson Federal Building.