Guide to the Wilbur Gardner composition book

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Wilbur Gardner composition book
Dates: 1913-1914 (inclusive)
Collection Number: MSS-018
Summary: This collection consists of a single composition book containing handwritten notes by Wilbur Gardner on Bible chapters and verses. These notes are for the Bible I class offered by Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (Salt Lake City, Utah) during the 1913/1914 school year.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Composition book

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

Wilbur Gardner: During the 1913/1914 school year when Wilbur Gardner was attending "Bible I" class, the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute was in the process of transitioning from a separate educational institute to the Preparatory Department of Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah). During that school year Gardner's name appears in several teacher grade books for courses in Algebra I, Latin I, and Spelling. However, it is unknown if Wilbur Gardner graduated from the SLCI. While this may be a different Wilbur Gardner, there is a Utah marriage record for a Wilbur W. Gardner, age 22 (estimated birth 1897) to Vera Lembach, age 25 (estminated birth 1894); this marriage took place August 23, 1919 in Weber, Utah.

Bible I class at the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute in 1913/1914: During the 1913-1914 school year, George B. Sweazey was the Principal of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and taught Bible and German classes. The Institute catalog for that year is entitled "The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, Preparatory Department of Westminster College, 1913-1914". Classes were taught in Converse Hall on the Westminster campus. The catalog states that "Bible I consists of the Pentateuch, every pupil making a topical outline of each chapter" and that Bible I is a first-year course, for all pupils (Classical, Latin-Scientific, and Commercial programs). The American Revised Version was the recommended Bible for use in the course. The Pentateuch includes the first five books of the Bible—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy--and tells a story that extends from the Creation (Genesis 1) to the time when the people of Israel are encamped on the edge of the promised land (Deuteronomy 34).

Source of information (for Gardner, Bible I, and the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute):

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute opened to students of all ages on April 12, 1875 in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church (1). Its first classes were taught by the Coyner family. "Mrs. Mary Wilson Coyner took charge of the primaries, Miss Emma Margaret Coyner the intermediates and I had those in the advanced studies," wrote J.M. Coyner in 1897 (2). As a result of their efforts, the Coyners taught sixty-five pupils in their first term. The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute began without being able to offer the necessary material objects that a school should provide. In 1883, Principal Coyner described conditions as "two basement rooms, bare of everything like school furniture, poorly lighted and illy [sic] ventilated, no desk, no maps, no endowment, no money, and no positive assurance of students, was all there was." (3)

The Collegiate Institute's purpose was to bring a strong Christian presence to the education system of the West. It sought to provide high school education to Presbyterian youth, as well as members of the Mormon Church.

In 1877, financial backing came to the Collegiate Institute after the formation of the Women's Executive Committee and the Presbyterian Church Home Mission Board's subsidization of three female teachers. In 1896, the Woman's Board took full possession of the Collegiate Institute, and would retain control until 1910. In 1910, ownership was transferred to the Board of Trustees of Westminster College.

Starting in 1902, the Collegiate Institute was gradually incorporated into Westminster College as its Preparatory Department. The Collegiate Institute moved from the property of the First Presbyterian Church (the old building, the new building, and the dormitory known as the "Octagon House") to the property purchased by the college to be used as the new (and current) campus. The last principal of the Collegiate Institute was George B. Sweazey (1904–1914), who became the dean of Westminster College in 1914. The Collegiate Institute operated as the Preparatory Department of Westminster College until 1936, when the department was phased out entirely (4).

The Collegiate Institute produced the first student publication at Westminster College, "Collegiate life". It contained news related to students, faculty, and the Collegiate Institute, and also featured a variety of student writings, such as poems and jokes. Started in 1912, the publication had a professional appearance but little is known of its history. Only a few issues (1912-1930) have survived and are housed in Westminster College's Archives.

This organizational history of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute was written by Joshua Ivie in October 2006. Sources and references:

  • (1) The sources are unclear as to what specific church they are referring to, but the website of the First Presbyterian Church [], viewed 22 August 2006 confirms this.
  • (2) John M. Coyner, "History of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, from its organization April 12, 1875 to May 5, 1875," unpublished manuscript, 1897, p. 12, filed in Principal J.M. Coyner's writings (ACC-013).
  • (3) As quoted by R. Douglas Brackenridge in "Westminster College of Salt Lake City" (Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 1998), p. 43.
  • (4) The reasons for the discontinuation of the Collegiate Institute are unclear; the last instance of the Preparatory Department mentioned in the college catalogs can be found in the 1935-36 school year. The Board of Trustees Minutes for 1935 and 1936 address the decision to cease all junior college operations and operate solely as a four-year baccalaureate institute.
  • (5) Emil Nyman. "Presidents of Westminster College (as of 1973)", Salt Lake City : Westminster College, 1973.
  • (6) Emil Nyman. "Westminster College: One Hundred Years". Salt Lake City : Westminster College, 1975.

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of a single composition book containing handwritten notes by Wilbur Gardner on Bible chapters and verses. These notes are for the Bible I class offered by Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (Salt Lake City, Utah) during the 1913/1914 school year. The entries cover Genesis through Deuteronomy, but do not include all chapters. There are date stamps of Oct. 1, 1913; Nov. 3, 1913; Jan. 13, 1914; Mar. 18, 1914; and May 25, 1914 throughout the book, perhaps an indication that the instructor was checking student progress. While some pages have been removed from the middle of the book, no information appears to be missing. Other sections have missing pages where information is missing.

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:

Wilbur Gardner composition book, 1913-1914, MSS-018, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Entries in this composition book are in Biblical and chronological order.

Processing Note:

Processed by Rebekah Sappington in January 2009. The composition book was donated to the Westminster College Archives in October 2008 by Kathie Elkins, former wife of Dan Lucas. Lucas had found the book while working on a renovation project in Converse Hall on the campus of Westminster College. He had planned to return the book himself, but was killed in an auto accident. No records of Wilbur Gardner attending Westminster College or being a part of the Westminster community have been found.


Gardner, Wilbur


Collection materials are in English.


0.1 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written January 2009 by Rebekah Sappington; expanded February 2016 by Sarah Shaw.

EAD Creation Date:

2016 February 25 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute--Students
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Alumni and alumnae
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Students

Subject Terms:

Bible--Study and teaching--Presbyterian Church
High school students--Utah--Salt Lake City
Preparatory schools--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:

Lecture notes
Research notes

Personal Names:

Gardner, Wilbur--Archives
Sweazey, George B. (George Beaty), 1875-1946

Geographical Names:

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