The First Twenty-five Years

At the Pioneer Jubilee Celebration of 1897, the fiftieth anniversary of the entrance of the pioneers into the Great Salt Lake Valley, some of the pioneers’ daughters talked of organizing a patriotic society to keep alive the history and achievements of the pioneers. In 1901, Annie Taylor Hyde, the daughter of John Taylor, took positive action. On April eleventh she invited forty-six women to her home, all descendants of the 1847 pioneers. Maria Young Dougall, daughter of Brigham Young, assisted her in receiving the guests.

In explaining her object of inviting the ladies, Mrs. Hyde said: “Ever since the Pioneer Jubilee, I have felt deeply impressed with the importance and desirability of the children of the pioneers becoming associated together in forming an organization.” The objectives of the organization would be the cementing together in the bonds of friendship and love the descendants of those who so faithfully stood shoulder to shoulder in braving the difficulties; the forming of branch societies throughout Utah or wherever the descendants of the pioneers reside; the perpetuating of patriotism; the commemorating of those whose efforts were responsible for the founding of our commonwealth; and the compiling of genealogies of the Utah Pioneers.

Mrs. Hyde then asked to hear from others present on the subject and Maria Dougall responded: “I believe Sister Hyde is inspired in this work, and I feel that she is the one we should choose to preside over and guided its future actions, therefore I nominate her as president.” The motion was seconded and unanimously carried. Mrs. Hyde selected two counselors, Mrs. Maria Y. Dougall and Sarah E. Richards Smith. Additional officers were elected. It is interesting to note that the first Constitution listed first and second counselors, rather than first and second vice presidents as was later adopted April 11, 1917.

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