Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
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Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
The legacy of President Herbert W. Reherd on Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah runs deep in the establishment and development of the institution. Already influential in the Presbyterian community, both as a pastor and community leader, Reherd traveled as a missionary around the world finally ending up in the Mormon country of Salt Lake City. Reherd embarked on a mission to save the poorly funded inheritor of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, Westminster College, and fostered its growth from a junior college to a full four-year institution. Reherd's legacy is especially inherent in his fundraising for improvements around the campus, his writings about the school and the Presbyterian history in Utah, and establishing guidelines for the continued excellence in diversity and growth of Westminster College.
The son of Jacob K. Reherd and Lucy Louise Ware, Herbert Ware Reherd was born on August 23, 1869 in Genesco, Illinois. Dr. Herbert Reherd began his career with the Presbyterian Church early after graduating from Parsons College and McCormick Theological Seminary, with some work at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Reherd's first appointment with the church was in Milan, Illinois, (1898-1901), and later at the Bethany Church of Detroit, Michigan, (1901-1906). Reherd preached at the First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo, Iowa, (1906-1913) just before he was nominated as Westminster president by Charles E. Bradt, a long time friend and peer in the Presbyterian Church. With considerable success as a community as well as religious leader, Reherd built a strong relationship with churchgoers and Presbyterian officials. During his time in Iowa, Reherd along with Bradt embarked on a world survey of the educational and missionary condition of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. in 1911-1912. During the tour, Reherd made many contacts that would later prove useful to his various campaigns with Westminster College. The cosmopolitan view accumulated around the country and the rest of the world were evident in the decisions and varied interests represented as Westminster grew in a unique school.
Reherd arrived in Salt Lake City on October 2, 1913 as fourth president of Westminster College. His offer as president consisted of a $3,500 annual salary, traveling expenses, and a five year contract. He would be a fixture of the school for the next forty years. On his arrival, the campus consisted of Converse Hall and Ferry Hall surrounded by 12 acres of alfalfa. Gunton Memorial Chapel, established in 1905, on the corner of 1700 South and 1100 East was the nearest Presbyterian chapel, where Reherd would preach many times over the next forty years. After his inauguration as president on the college on October 2, 1914, Reherd got to work improving the buildings on campus. Converse Hall had been vacant for two years and stood with broken windows before Reherd set about on improvements. He also built the President's House on 1300 East across from Converse Hall, and began work a new men's dormitory. The dormitory was just a tar-roofed building nicknamed "the chicken coup" but it was the start of Foster Hall.
Reherd's fundraising kept the school afloat. His fundraising campaigns to the Midwest and the East drew support from faithful Presbyterians eliciting donations for Westminster, a Presbyterian stronghold in the heart of "Mormondom". Unfortunately, luck was not always on the side of the school. On the morning of March 23, 1926, days before Reherd and the College embarked on a new fundraising campaign in Salt Lake, Converse Hall went up in flames leaving only the skeleton of the building. Fundraising efforts were then geared toward rebuilding Converse, which proved successful enough to beginning plans for a new gymnasium, later dedicated to Charles Payne in 1928.
President Reherd endured as the symbol of Westminster College for 26 years (1913-1939), remaining integral to every aspect of the College. Reherd's correspondences show the personal and professional side connected with Westminster College. Letters deal with fundraising, but also have importance communications with the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A., including the designation of the school as a "Special Object" in 1921. Many of the letters also deal with business information from building contracts to insurance issues and land disputes, also inquiries about the influence of Mormonism on Presbyterians in Utah. This important theme also ran throughout Reherd's speeches and published writings. As an author Reherd wrote extensively on the growth of the Protestant cause in Utah and the integral role which Westminster College and its predecessors, Sheldon Jackson College and the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, played in the history of religious diversity in Utah.
Nearly everything in Reherd's life was dedicated to the school. His wife, Louise McClure Reherd played an important role entertaining and expanding the connections between donors and others whether visiting or at home in Utah. At times she taught Sunday School at the First Presbyterian Church, entertained dignitaries, or taught an emergency Bible class. Herbert and Louise spent a long life together from their marriage on June 15, 1898, to her death from natural causes on October 11, 1945. Vice-President and protegee, Dr. Robert Steele, later became Reherd's son-in-law, marrying his daughter Elizabeth. Herbert and Louise also had a second child named Harold McClure Reherd who later took up residence in Alaska.
Even after Reherd's 26 years as President, he continued as President Emeritus and sat in on the Board of Trustees' meetings until his death on July 28, 1952, after a lingering illness. At his death, Westminster College had become a four-year accredited college with a student body of two hundred and a forty acre campus. Westminster College grew from a suffering fledgling school to a respected and influential center of higher education under Reherd's watchful eye. With passion and commitment Reherd, "the Father of Westminster College," dedicated his professional career to the establishment of the school so that its legacy might continue in the future – a legacy inextricably tied to Herbert Reherd.
This biography was written by Alana Dela Cruz, December 2004.
Sources: R. Douglas Brackenridge's book "Westminster College of Salt Lake City : from Presbyterian mission school to independent college" (Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press, 1998); Westminster College archivist Emil Nyman's "Herbert W. Reherd" in his unpublished "I remember …"; and the collection entitled Herbert Ware Reherd Westminster College President's subject files, 1887-1951 (ACC-004C), Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Content Description +/-
This collection consists of eleven of Herbert W. Reherd's personal daily calendars spanning fifteen years of his presidency and post presidential years (1933-1948) at Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. These "diaries" are small pocket calendars used for planning purposes. They are all formatted similarly, beginning with a calendar of the current year and ending with a calendar for the next year. The diary pages are largely planner pages containing a space for every day of the year, in which Reherd listed his various appointments (e.g., doctors), meetings, assemblies, luncheons, school activities, birthdays, holidays, and other special events. These diaries are quite esoteric and his handwriting is not very legible. Reherd would often just write someone's name down on any given day, sometimes including their address. Other days just include single words like "chapel" or "Glendale First."
These standard published pocket calendars contained extensive almanac information including rates of postage, first aid, rate of income on stocks, weights and measures, U. S. presidents, short method of calculating interest, population of principal cities (1933-34), antidotes for poison, before the doctor arrives, public holidays, health hints, population of the largest cities in the world, familiar facts, business laws in brief, useful information, fire prevention (1935), average weight for men and women (1937), contract bridge scoring, wedding anniversaries (1940), railroad distances between cities (1944), population of the United States (1945), foreign mail matter letter and card postage, distances and mail time to foreign cities from the city of New York, distances between American cities, help in case of accident, interest calculations, and actual time in use in the largest cities of the world when it is 12 noon, Washington D.C. (1947). The 1948 diary has an inscription that says "The United Stewardship Council of Churches in USA and Canada." This diary has a religious section called "We in our World" and other Christian writings. There is also a section for inserting people's telephone numbers, addresses, memoranda, his summary of expenses, purchases and sales, and cash account, which he meticulously filled every year. He coded most of his purchases with simple abbreviations. Commonly used codes included: "lun" (lunch), "pap" (paper), "brk" (break), "sup" (supper), and "din" (dinner). Other things he recorded as purchases in his cash account were milk, laundry, gas, hotels, haircuts, pencils, stamps, taxi etc. He sometimes filled the memoranda section with things such as prayers, war bonds, auto expenses, and the rest of his cash account. In the 1944 diary, there is a newspaper clipping posted in the back about rationing and stamps for food, clothes, and gas. Also in the 1944 diary, he used an alphabetically indexed section to record peoples' addresses. There is also a similar section in the 1946 diary, which he filled partly with his cash account.
Gaps in the series: There are no diaries from 1941-1943.
Collection Use +/-
Restrictions on Access:
Open to public research.
Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.
Restrictions on Use:
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.
Herbert Ware Reherd Westminster College President's daily diaries, 1933-1948, ACC-004B, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Administrative Information +/-
The diaries are arranged chronologically by year.
Processed in July 2003 by Laura Richey
Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952
Collection materials are in English.
0.2 linear feet
Language of the Finding Aid:
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid written by Laura Richey in July 2003.
EAD Creation Date:
2011 January 18 by Sarah Shaw
Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)
Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:
United Stewardship Council of the United States and Canada
College presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
Form or Genre Terms:
Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952--Archives
Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources