Robert G. McNiece (1839-1913)

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Identifier 000350C2.TIF
Source 000350C2.TIF
Title Robert G. McNiece (1839-1913)
Subject Mission to Mormons; Presbyterian Church in Utah; Clergy--Utah--Salt Lake City; First Presbyterian Church (Salt Lake City, Utah); Presbyterians -- Utah; Teachers--Utah--Salt Lake City; Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah)
People McNiece, R.G. (Robert Gibson), 1839-1913
Spatial Coverage Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah); Sugar House (Salt Lake City, Utah)
OCR Text Show
Further Information The photograph is free from any handwritten marks on the front side; however, it is a mediocre quality photograph with apparent limitations compared to that of a major photography studio. The reason is apparent in the development flaws that plaque the photograph. A couple of the major flaws are a white line running vertically along the top of McNiece's forehead and head and black splotches found at the bottom in the fadeout area of McNiece's image. The rest of the photograph has some various blotches and lines in the background. On the back is pencil written, "Rev.R G. McNiece, D.D." there also is the number "7454" stamped below the name. The rest of the backside is free from any marks and blemishes. The overall condition of the photograph is excellent; there is no discoloration and the edges are free from any wear and tear. Reverend Robert G. McNiece was perhaps the biggest advocator of Westminster College. He was a graduate from Dartmouth and Princeton Seminary and a former editor for the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette. He came to the Salt Lake Valley in 1877 to continue the Presbyterian's mission to the Mormons where he was appointed pastor of First Presbyterian Church and served as chairman and president of the board of trustees for the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute. However, McNiece saw a crucial need for a four year Presbyterian college to offset the Mormon influence in Utah. He and Salt Lake Collegiate Institute founder, John Coyner had attempted to elevate the Collegiate to baccalaureate status in 1883, but abandoned the attempt due to lack of funding. In March of 1892 McNiece proposed the four year college idea to the Presbytery of Utah. The committee responded favorably and appointed McNiece as chairman of a board of trustees to oversee financing the project. Financial calls fell upon the ears of the secretary of the Presbyterian Home Board Missions, Duncan James McMillan and Sheldon Jackson. With the prominence of Jackson and McMillan funding was arraigned to be donated to the college. When the college actually started classes on September 7, 1897. McNiece had resigned his pastor position at First Presbyterian Church to become the college's first professor and dean. McNiece's next contribution was to be in securing a permanent home for Westminster College outside the Salt Lake Collegiate campus facilities. Appointed by the board of trustees in the beginning of the 1902-3 academic year, along with Josiah McLain and Westminster President George Bailey, the three men set out to secure funding from prominent Presbyterian both local and abroad. There success in securing land along Thirteenth East and Eleventh South was solidified by the contribution of mining magnet Colonel William Montgomery Ferry of Park City, Utah. McNiece would later serve on the board of trustees, guiding the college through some of it darkest and most turbulent waters. More than once he intervened and saved the college from having to close its doors forever. Until his death in late November of 1913, McNiece had dedicated more than twenty years of his thirty-six year career to higher education in Utah. McNiece wrote essays and gave lectures regarding his views of the differences between Mormon doctrines and Christianity. The Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University has copies of many of his essays. Biographical information about McNiece is available in: Brackenridge, Douglas R. Westminster College of Salt Lake City. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1998, pp. 48, 52, 55, 67-68, 89-104,111-119,122-124,126.
Funding The Westminster College digital archives project is partially funded by the Masonic Foundation of Utah.
Publisher Westminster College
Type Image
Format image/jpeg
Language eng
Rights Management Digital image copyright 2006, Westminster College. All rights reserved.
Holding Institution Westminster College, 1840 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Source Physical Dimensions Archival TIFF 3000 x 4600
Source Resolution 400ppi
Display Dimensions JPEG: 650 x 1000
Bit Depth 8-bit
Scanning Device Epson Expression 836 XL flatbed scanner
Metadata Cataloger Krystal Powell
ARK ark:/87278/s6zs62dm
Setname wc_pc
Date Created 2003-10-16
Date Modified 2006-01-11
ID 1094243
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6zs62dm