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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 a single scrapbook which appears to have been compiled by Herbert W. Reherd, 4th president of Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah). While President Reherd's name is not attached to the scrapbook, his handwritten notations throughout its pages clearly identify him as its creator. The scrapbook chronicles Reherd's fundraising campaigns during his presidency (1913-1939), as well as various articles concerning Westminster College. The information contained in the scrapbook opens with the designation of Westminster College as a "Special Object" of the General Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church on November 22, 1922, of which there is "only one for the entire denomination." The materials in the scrapbook end abruptly, without a conclusion or explanation, with a final clipping dated May 7, 1931.
Most attempts at fundraising were originally published in Presbyterian publications, The Continent, The Presbyterian Magazine, and The Pacific Christian Advocate. Many clippings in the series highlight the importance of a good Christian education in "the heart of Mormonism." Westminster College was heralded for having three unique characteristics that distinguished the institution from other educational opportunities available: an interdenominational program centered around Christian ideals, the lack of a rival school in Utah and its surrounding states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming), and the valiant efforts of Christian educators within the overwhelmingly Mormon population. The scrapbook exemplifies Reherd's extensive efforts to raise money for the college, attempting to extend Christianity and Presbyterianism in the area as well as expanding and rebuilding the college, (especially after a devastating fire burning Converse Hall in the spring of 1926.)
Clippings not related to the fundraising campaign are often connected to the activities of students and Reherd's various speeches, both at home and away from Westminster. A substantial collection of clippings concerning the expansion of the LDS Church in Utah and beyond are interspersed throughout the scrapbook. These articles, as well as various curiosities about Utah (i.e. dinosaur quarries, the cosmopolitan nature of Salt Lake City, etc.), are intended to inspire readers to contribute to Westminster College, "the Christian Star in the West."
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 scrapbook, 1919-1931, ACC-004E, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Administrative Information +/-
The clippings are arranged in an inconsistent pattern. The scrapbook begins in November 1922 and continues until February 1924, after which a short section containing articles from 1919-1920 appears. The chronological sequence resumes after the brief break with clippings for August 1927 and continuing sporadically until the abrupt end in May 1931.
Processed by Alana Dela Cruz in June 2003. Originally assigned as collection number ACC-117; reassigned and relabelled as ACC-004E to align with other Reherd records. Most clippings found within the scrapbook have been notated by President Reherd, including information on the source of the article and its publication date. Several loose clippings were located within the scrapbook and appeared to have no relationship to surrounding clippings were removed, arranged in chronological order and, placed in a separate folder. Many of these clippings do not include a date or the origin of their publication – very few show direct relation to the subjects covered in the majority of the scrapbook.
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 Alana Dela Cruz in June 2003
EAD Creation Date:
2011 January 27 by Sarah Shaw
Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)
Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
College presidents--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
Form or Genre Terms:
Reherd, Herbert Ware, 1869-1952--Archives
Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources