If you follow us on Instagram you’ve likely noticed pictures of our official mascot, Rusty.

Working in the office. Where’s my coffee?

Rusty works hard here at Salt Lake County Archives; mostly he does it in hopes that he’ll be rewarded with treats.

Ready for the next webinar.

Rusty is a therapy dog (licensed with Therapy Dogs International). This means he is highly skilled at getting petted. He has attended conferences and sits in on meetings, but mostly he provides moral support.

Rusty is of Poodle and Yorkie descent. Because he was adopted not much more is known about his genealogy, but he does enjoy helping others find their roots at family history conferences.

After a long morning’s work.

One of our archivists, Michaele, rescued Rusty 10 years ago. Shortly after that they moved to Virginia to attend the College of William and Mary, returning to Utah and to the Salt Lake County Archives in 2016. He is a well-traveled dog, having driven cross country twice (well, rode along).  He has also flown to archives all over the country, including the National Archives in Seattle, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Maryland, as well as several smaller archives in Pennsylvania and Washington State.

Trying to keep track of staff in a huge records center is tricky. This In/Out board helps.

*no animals or records were hurt in the creation of this blog post.

Entry contributed by Dr. Michaele Smith,  Archivist,  Salt Lake County Archives. 

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Where Is It, II

Several weeks ago,we posted an image of a building taken in 1937 and asked readers to guess the business that occupies it now.  Most of you provided the correct answer: The King’s English Bookstore, 1511 South 1500 East.  No one was able to name the cat that used to live amongst the bookshelves (her name was Agatha!).

Here is another building that still exists, and has a popular business in it.  This one might be a bit more difficult to recognize (let us know if you require more hints):

Image taken in 1939.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-2093.

Built circa 1919, it was used at the time of this image (1939) as a service garage.  What business occupies this building now?  Extra points if you know what the White-Indiana company manufactured and sold.

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The Judge Building

This is a quick addition to the series on former Salt Lake County Attorney Harold Wallace. He had a private office in the Judge Building so we thought we’d share a picture of it. The building itself was constructed in 1907 and was named after Mary H. Judge, a local businesswoman. The architect was David C. Dart.

Third South and Main Street. Image taken circa 1940. Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-1966.

Source: John S. McCormick, The Historic Buildings of Downtown Salt Lake City, (Utah State Historical Society: Salt Lake City, Utah), 1982, p. 95.

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Where Is It?

The image above was taken by the Salt Lake County Assessor in 1937.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards, serial 9-3609.

This building was constructed circa 1915, and over the course of its life has housed families as well as businesses.  Alvina Patterson and her husband moved in to the building when it was a residence in 1917, and lived there until at least 1962. Mrs. Patterson stated in a Board of Equalization application to the county that they opened a store a few years after moving in because the block had become commercial.

By 1965, the assessor noted that there were 2 little shops, 2 residences, and “a heap of junk” in the building.  In 1974, both stores were vacant, but someone was still living in the back of the building.

Plot plan of building from 1965.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards, serial 9-3609.
























     What business occupies this building today?  (Hint: They started in 1977, and used to have a cat roaming the shelves).  Extra points if you can also name the cat.

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From the Desk of Harold Wallace

We’ve introduced you to Harold Wallace, former Salt Lake County Attorney, and now we thought we’d share some excerpts from his correspondence to give you more insight into his character.

Though most of his correspondence was of an official nature, at times he talked about his family.  In one such letter he thanked a business contact for kind words after the birth of one of his daughters. He wrote:

“My wife joins with me in expressing appreciation upon receipt of your congratulations on our new arrival. This new youngster has already brought more joy to us than could possibly be expressed in a twenty-page letter, and, therefore, will not attempt, at this time, to fully express our appreciation for the babe. If the joy which we had received with each addition to our family continues to grow in intensity, I cannot imagine the joy which we will receive on our twentieth child. I can only recommend to you that you and your sweet wife try that out in your own home to see what great and intense pleasure you can have with each new arrival.”

He was also able to poke fun at himself and his career. In a letter to the County Auditor about an unhappy citizen both had tried to help he wrote:

“I am sorry that he has seen fit to so debase the auditors as to place them in a class with attorneys.”

He wrote a letter to a supporter who had sung at a political rally:

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on having such a fine voice. I would rather be able to sing like you can than to be County Attorney.”

One of the things that really endeared him to us, though others might find this off-putting, was his snarky sense of humor. Below we’ve shared a letter he wrote in response to an inquiry about “mother’s homes” in Utah. (On the second page he offers a more serious post script inviting her to write again if this wasn’t the information she’d hoped for).

Salt Lake County Attorney’s Correspondence, series AD-006. Salt Lake County Archives.

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Harold E. Wallace

As we mentioned last week, we’ve been processing the correspondence of Harold E. Wallace, Salt Lake County Attorney from 1934-1946. While going through his correspondence we feel like we’ve come to know and really like him. We thought we’d share some of what we’ve learned of him and some of the letters that endeared him to us.

Wallace ran for reelection in 1940 and provided the following information in the biographical sketch he sent to the Democratic County Committee. Wallace was born in Salt Lake City on May 13, 1894, and was educated in Salt Lake grammar schools. He graduated from Salt Lake High School and then from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Law in June 1919. He married Lottie Lourhean Hill in June 1921 and they had five daughters.

He served as a City Judge in Salt Lake, as the Deputy County Attorney of Salt Lake County, as the Tax Adviser of the County Commissioners, and became the County Attorney in 1934.

He was a member of the bishopric of the Yalecrest Ward of the L.D.S. Church; a member of the American Legion; served as executive director and the vice president of the National County Officers Association; and served as the president of the Utah State Association of County Officials. He was also a member of the Jackson League, a life member of the Young Democratic Club of Salt Lake County, and the president of the University Law School Alumni.

In his re-election professional biography he bragged that he “succeeded in operating a very high-class County Attorney’s Office since the year 1934 and [had] been associated with the finest set of deputies and law clerks that any County Attorney’s Office ever had.”

After he was re-elected, he received the following congratulations from a supporter: “You made a splendid campaign, high-class and free from all cheap or improper methods.”

We will share some excerpts from Wallace’s correspondence that show his humor and passion for his job next time.

Ute Sentinel, December 15, 1939, p.7

Entry contributed by Dr. Michaele Smith,  Archivist,  Salt Lake County Archives. 

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Harold E. Wallace for County Attorney

In the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing some information about Harold E. Wallace, who served as the Salt Lake County Attorney (now a defunct agency) from 1934-1946.  Archives staff have recently been processing his records and have found him a compelling figure in county history.

We thought we’d start by sharing his reelection campaign poster.

Salt Lake County Attorney’s Correspondence, series AD-006. Salt Lake County Archives.

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