Guide to the Herbert Ware Reherd Westminster College President's subject files

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Herbert Ware Reherd Westminster College President's subject files
Dates: 1887-1951 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-004C
Summary: This collection consists of President Herbert Ware Reherd's subject files which chronicle the history of Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. The materials, which span the years 1887-1951, include articles, brochures, contracts, photographs, reports and other types of documents.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Alumni

2 items removed to Box 3, Folder 2

box 1, folder 2: Alumni -- Northern California
box 1, folder 3: Alumni -- Southern California
box 1, folder 4: Articles
box 1, folder 5: Awards
box 1, folder 6: Biographical information
box 1, folder 7: Buildings -- Converse Hall
box 1, folder 9: Buildings -- Converse Hall (Fire)
box 1, folder 9: Buildings -- Foster Hall
box 1, folder 10: Buildings -- Gunton Memorial Chapel
box 1, folder 11: Buildings -- Pane Gymnasium, Contracts, Correspondence (1928 August - 1929 May)

3 items removed to Box 3, Folder 7

box 1, folder 12: Buildings -- Payne Gymnasium, Correspondence (1929 August - 1930 August)
box 1, folder 13: Contributions
box 1, folder 14: Enrollment
box 1, folder 15: Eulogies
box 1, folder 16: Faculty
box 1, folder 17: Fundraising
box 1, folder 18: Garage construction
box 1, folder 19: Intermountain Conference of Evangelical Churches
box 1, folder 20: Land -- Purchased and donated
box 2, folder 1: MacMillian Memorial Fund
box 2, folder 2: Memorials
box 2, folder 3: Minutes -- Board of Trustees (1913-1939)

9 items removed to Box 3, Folder 9

box 2, folder 4: Minutes -- Board of Trustees (1944-1946)
box 2, folder 5: Minutes -- Board of Trustees (1947-1948)
box 2, folder 6: Minutes -- Board of Trustees (1949-1956)
box 2, folder 7: Mormonism

3 items removed to Box 3, Folder 10

box 2, folder 8: Newspaper clippings -- College events
box 2, folder 9: Newspaper clippings -- Reherd and Mormonism
box 2, folder 10: Newspaper clippings -- Sports
box 2, folder 11: University of Utah
box 2, folder 12: Obituaries
box 2, folder 13: Presbyterian Church

3 items removed to Box 3, Folder 12

box 2, folder 14: Presbyterian Church -- General Assembly opinions
box 2, folder 15: President's reports

4 items removed to Box 3, Folder 13

box 2, folder 16: Programs
box 2, folder 17: Promotions

4 items removed to Box 3, Folder 14

box 2, folder 18: Regulations
box 2, folder 19: Reports -- Financial

3 items removed to Box 3, Folder 15

box 2, folder 20: Right-of way

2 items removed to Box 3, Folder 18

box 2, folder 21: Salaries
box 2, folder 22: Scholarships
box 2, folder 23: Secondary Christian Schools of Utah
box 2, folder 24: Students

2 items removed to Box 3, Folder 19

box 2, folder 25: Student organizations
box 2, folder 26: Taxes -- Property
box 3, folder 1: Agreements
box 3, folder 2: Alumni records
box 3, folder 3: Bids / Proposals
box 3, folder 4: Bonds -- Annuity
box 3, folder 5: Bonds -- Construction
box 3, folder 6: Buildings -- Payne Gymnasium
box 3, folder 7: Fundraising
box 3, folder 8: Fundraising -- Advertisements
box 3, folder 9: Minutes -- Board of Trustees
box 3, folder 10: Mormonism
box 3, folder 11: Pictures
box 3, folder 12: Presbyterian Church
box 3, folder 13: President's reports
box 3, folder 14: Promotions
box 3, folder 15: Reports -- Financial
box 3, folder 16: Reports -- Outside information
box 3, folder 17: Reports -- Payroll
box 3, folder 18: Right-of-way
box 3, folder 19: Students
box 3, folder 20: Temple Estate (Mary J.G.)

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 articles, brochures, contracts, correspondence, event programs, informational tables, newspaper clippings, photographs, reports, and other types of material organized into fifty subject files. The subject files chronicle the history of Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah), while reflecting the important responsibilities and priorities of President Herbert W. Reherd. He served as 4th President of Westminster College between 1913 and 1939, and as President Emeritus from 1940 to 1951. President Reherd was instrumental in the acceptance of the College as a viable and respected educational institution in Utah. Heralded as being the only Christian interdenominational college within the surrounding five states, Westminster College struggled financially to remain open. A large portion of these files describes Reherd's determination to secure funding for the College, through various means. Fundraising advertisements were used consistently throughout Reherd's tenure as President, most often appearing in Presbyterian publication such as The Continent and The Presbyterian Magazine. Reherd began taking cross-country trips to various Presbyterian and other metropolitan centers to raise funds for the struggling Westminster College, "a school alone in the sea of Mormonism." Beginning in 1914 Reherd traveled to many cities including Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York City, and various locations in the Midwest. The Presbyterian Church, and their Home Board raised funds and produced various promotional pamphlets for Westminster College, designated as the denomination's "Special Object" for Christian missionary work in September 1921. This designation boosted considerably the fundraising power of Westminster College, often providing an important endorsement by the Moderators of the Church's Annual General Assembly.

The results of the extensive fundraising campaigns are reflected in the building records of Converse Hall and Foster Hall, among others. The money raised during these campaigns was used to help restore Converse Hall after it was destroyed by fire on March 12, 1926. Information concerning the fire in Converse Hall is one of the largest subjects in the series. The fire, which took place just before the beginning of a large fundraising campaign in Salt Lake City, left only the shell of the building and devastated the already struggling school. Foster Hall also benefited in the construction of the girls' dormitory in 1921. Other improvements to the Westminster College properties are other subjects in these files (i.e., Buildings-Payne Gymnasium, Buildings- Heating Plant, and various other improvements to buildings on campus).

The educational environment inherent to Utah is also strongly represented within these files. One meeting on the Secondary Christian Schools of Utah held in Ferry Hall, December 29, 1921, emphasized the permanency of existing academies, as well as the warning to guard against the encroachment of Mormonism into the workings of the Christian schools. President's Reherd's "President's Report," presented to the Board of Trustees, updated them monthly on the educational climate in Utah as well as around the country while on fundraising campaigns in the East and Midwest regions of the United States. Reherd's communication with the Board of Trustees beyond current events was also a priority during his presidency. Information in the minutes of trustee meetings shows the institution's financial difficulties (i.e., the possible elimination of the high school program in 1933-1934 due to insufficient funds), shifting policies at the school, and his personal handwritten notes.

Information concerning the everyday workings of the college is also included in the collection. Information on the salaries of faculty members for the 1932-1933 academic year reflect the financial difficulties of the college. Copies of the bonds and agreements for the construction of various buildings or improvements on campus show the ever changing college campus. Several Salt Lake City businesses make frequent appearances throughout the series as the preferred contractors to Westminster College. An agreement with J.M. Erskine Plumbing to update Foster Hall (Nov. 9, 1916) is one of many with the company. Also, Aetna Casualty and Surety Company worked with the College during Reherd's administration; their first project beginning on June 26, 1926 to rebuild Converse Hall.

Files on the student life and the events on campus provide a more involved and personal view of Westminster College. Several files containing the newspaper clippings show the varied interests at the College. Information on sports (i.e., "Westminster Junior Collegiates Set Out for Grand Junction Game" Nov. 10, 1932), the chorus, and the debate teams make frequent appearance in files containing newspaper clippings. Information beginning in March of 1915 described the debate on the teaching of religion at the University of Utah and is a separate subject in these files. Annual traditions such as the May Fest, the spring celebration set around Founder's Day, including royalty and entertainment on campus, and the crowning of the Spooner Couple of the Year, "A Spoonish Custom," (Oct. 1932), reflect the range of activities on the campus during Reherd's time with Westminster. Reherd's influence on the physical aspects of Westminster was immeasurable, raising large amounts of money and providing increasing services to the campus community; however, his influence on the faculty, students, and friends of the college has also left an indelible mark. Reherd's devotion to all aspects of Westminster College is reflected in these subject files, show the breadth of his responsibility and the passion necessary to running Westminster College.

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.

Preferred Citation:

Herbert Ware Reherd Westminster College President's subject files, 1887-1951, ACC-004C, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject category. Materials within each category have than been organized chronologically or alphabetically depending on the information included within each file.

Processing Note:

Processed by Alana Dela Cruz in August 2004. The subject files largely reflect the original subjects created by President Reherd.


Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952


Collection materials are in English.


1.5 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written by Alana Dela Cruz in August 2004

EAD Creation Date:

2011 January 18 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Aetna Casualty and Surety Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Converse Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Foster Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Gunton Memorial Chapel (Salt Lake City, Utah)
J.M. Erskine Plumbing
Payne Gymnasium (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Board of Home Missions
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Administration
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Buildings
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Finance
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--History--Sources
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Presidents
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). President's Office

Subject Terms:

College presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
Mormon Church--Utah
Mormon Church--Controversial literature
Presbyterian universities and colleges--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:

Clippings (information artifacts)
Programs (documents)
Tables (documents)

Personal Names:

Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952--Archives

Geographical Names:

Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources