The Wasp in the Beehive: Non-Mormon Presence in 1880s Utah

Open Access
Smith, Samuel Albert
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Deryck William Holdsworth, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • non-Mormons
  • Mormon Culture Region
  • Utah
  • Mormons
  • 1880 Census
  • historical demography
Recent studies have reconsidered the Mormon Culture Region in light of its 1880--1920 transition to American political and economic norms. While these studies emphasize conflicts between the Mormon establishment and the non-Mormon federal government, Mormon/non-Mormon relations within Utah have received little direct attention. Based on religious affiliations recorded in the 1880 federal census of Utah Territory, this study uses historical GIS to visualize the composition of Utah's ``Mormon' and ``non-Mormon' towns. The results highlight the extensive presence of religious minorities in Utah's settlements. Case studies of farm villages, mining camps, and urban neighborhoods probe the social and economic contexts of non-Mormon presence in Utah. These studies, based on Sanborn maps and city directories, explore the geographical mosaic of Mormon and non-Mormon residence and business activity. These variegated patterns, often absent from historical accounts of the region, enable localized analyses of the ensuing decades of cultural conflict, transformation and assimilation.