Growing Up in Early Utah: The Wasatch Literary Association, 1874-1878

One day in early February 1874, Jim Ferguson, sensing the forlorn hope of advancing his courtship with Minni Horne, suggested to Ort (Orson F.) Whitney and another of the boys that they organize a reading society. Ferguson “had heard, no doubt, of fond couples ‘reading life’s meaning in each others eyes,'” Whitney later mused, “and that was the kind of reading that most interested him” Since the seventeen-year-old Whitney found himself “in the same box with Ferguson on the girl question,” the suggestion found a ready response. Whitney immediately invited those who “would make desirable members” to meet at the home of Sister Emmeline B. Wells, his motherly confidante. It was there on Salt Lake City’s State Street that the Wasatch Literary Society was born (illus. 4-1).

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 43:1
Purchase this Issue