Happy Holidays!

Christmas shoppers in 1940.  40-80 East 100 South, Salt Lake City. serial 1-2572.

Christmas shoppers in 1940. 40-80 East 100 South, Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-2572.

As another year comes to a close, the staff of the Salt Lake County Archives want to thank you for your readership and support.  

 We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!  

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Before and After

del Roy Grocery

The Del Roy Grocery in 1936. Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards and Photographs.

The building located at 567 East and 600 South has been serving the Salt Lake community since it was built in 1903.  It has served many purposes and gone through many changes, so much so that many have questioned whether the original building still exists today.

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Plot plan drawing of the Del Roy Grocery in 1936.

In 1936, as the Del Roy Grocery owned by Walter James, the building had a tin roof, dirt floors, and an outdoor bathroom around the right side. In 1945, Mr. James remodeled the front of the store which involved moving the door’s location to the middle.






Dell and Nellie Larsen made some improvements of their own during the years they owned the store. By the appraisal in 1955, they had two large planters flanking the door and regular flooring. At the time of the 1962 appraisal, they had added a wall which enclosed the bathroom and also added footage to the store.

Plot plan, 1962.

Plot plan, 1962.

During the 1960s, the Del Roy was converted in to an office building, during which the building’s front changed so much that it became unrecognizable. The change may have encouraged the notion that the original building had been demolished (as noted on later tax assessment cards).  However, upon learning that this was not the case, the assessor made a special effort to note that the old grocery store had in fact not been torn down but just remodeled.

Looking at the 1977 tax assessment photograph of the building (below), it is easy to see why it was mistaken for a completely different building.

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Building after remodel, 1977.

~Entry contributed by Tarienne Mitchell, Salt Lake County Archivist.  

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National Archives Month, 2014

October is National Archives Month. Throughout this month, archives and archivists raise awareness about their collections through different exhibits and events. The Salt Lake County Archives is currently working on an online exhibition that will highlight records in our collections on houses that have long since been torn down but hold keys to rich Utah history.  This exhibit is still in the works but until then we would like to honor all archivists, interns, historians, and volunteers who collect and preserve our history.

While doing research in our tax ledgers on microfilm, it was discovered that someone’s hand had been captured during the process of filming the record. Archivists strive hard to ensure they leave no marks or evidence behind that they have handled a record. However, this image serves as a reminder of the countless hours and hard work that many archivists, interns, volunteers, and others have invested to ensure that these records are available for future generations to come.  So let this nameless hand be a reminder to us all how thankful we are that our history is being looked after so well.

Hand image for Archives Month 2014 post

Salt Lake County Tax Ledgers on microfilm

~Entry contributed by Tarienne Mitchell, Salt Lake County Archivist.



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Last of the Porch Days

As it is now officially Autumn, this image is a reminder to get outside (maybe on your front porch?) and enjoy the few warm days that are left to us this season.

16-08-256-018 965 S. McClelland St.

965 South McClelland Street, circa 1936.

Source: Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, parcel 16-08-256-018.

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Lost Building: The New Keith Hotel

122 East South Temple, photograph taken in 1939.

122 East South Temple, photograph taken in 1939.

The New Keith Hotel was built around 1902 and stood at 122 East South Temple. It was demolished in 1964 to make way for the University Club building.  This photograph was taken in 1939 and is from the Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-2682.

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Abandoned Wives in West Jordan

Petitions to the County Commission, Series CM-333, Box 21, Folder 11.

Petitions to the Salt Lake County Commission. Series CM-333, Box 21, Folder 11.

Sometimes we open an old archives box for review and preservation purposes only to find that it contains records outside of the time frame shown on the label affixed by the original box creator. This is the case with a petition from 1874 that was found within a box thought only to contain records from between 1902 and 1915. The petition was not the only one from earlier in the 1800s, but it was the most personal.

Archibald Gardner submitted a petition on August 11, 1874 to the Probate Court of Salt Lake County seeking aid for a family in need. At some time prior to the petition Elisha W. Van Etten had abandoned his three wives and seven children in West Jordan, leaving them with little means of support. According to Gardner, Van Etten did own various livestock but had let them roam free and his family did not have the ability to collect and care for them. Gardner requested that Samuel Bateman, who may have been the brother-in-law of one of Van Etten’s wives, be appointed to help the family work the livestock.

A Gardner Petition Page 3

The Archibald Gardner who wrote this petition is probably the same man that was a successful builder of mills, canals, tunnels, and bridges in Utah. He served as a leader in the LDS Church, as the county recorder and later in the Territorial Legislature. West Jordan’s Gardner Village is named in his honor and was the location of one of his mills.

Elisha W. Van Etten may be the Elisha Wheat Van Etten who served in an 1861 expedition to survey Uintah Basin ordered by Brigham Young. He was apparently also known as a sheep herder, bringing 253 Spanish Merino sheep to Utah in the 1853 and importing livestock from Canada in 1873. There are also a couple of probate cases against him, the last one for refusing to pay school taxes for 1871 & 1872, recorded in August of 1873. A search of various ancestry sites finds unverified claims that he left Utah in 1874 with one of his five wives and moved east to Iowa.

An article in the Salt Lake Herald printed the day after Archibald’s petition was written describes Van Etten’s alleged illicit activities leading up to his escape east. It accuses him of selling the sheep that had been entrusted to him by others and failing to pay creditors, leaving a bill totaling about $10,000.

No further information regarding any resolution to Gardner’s petition has been found as of yet.

-Contributed by former Salt Lake County Archivist, Vincent Fazzi. 


Salt Lake County Archives, Petitions to the County Commission, Series CM-333, Box 21, Folder 11.

Salt Lake County Archives, Probate Court Civil and Criminal Case Files, Series 373, Reel 23, Box 17, Folder 19, Case 319.





Utah Digital Newspapers, Deseret News 1873-04-23 

Utah Digital Newspapers, Salt Lake Herald, 1874-08-12

Utah Historical Quarterly.Summer 2005, Volume 7, No.3, page 253 

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A Lady never reveals her age….

Recently discovered in the Salt Lake County Oaths of Office, where most men and women were required to write their age on their oath of office documentation, Flora B. Jones only admits to being over 21. The mark of a true lady blessed with the powers of persuasion.

Jones Bond001

Salt Lake County Oaths of Office, series CL-331. January 3, 1927.

 -Contributed by Tarienne Mitchell, Salt Lake County Archivist  

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