The importance of Frederick Kesler to the early economic history of Utah 1851-1865

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department History
Author Day-Holmer, Kimberly Maren
Title The importance of Frederick Kesler to the early economic history of Utah 1851-1865
Date 1980-03
Description Frederick Kesler, a Mormon pioneer, was one man amidst a collective effort towards group solidarity and viability in the Great Basin. He was a self-reliant craftsman- somewhat an industrialist, inventor, architect, engineer- a man whose skill and strength would carry him into almost every phase- economic, secular, and religious- of this pioneering community. On January 20, 1816, Frederick Kesler was born to Frederick and Mary Sarah Lindsay Kesler in Crowford County, Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, his mother died during the delivery of her sixth child. Kesler's father, a trapper, distributed his children amongst families around the area. Father Kesler then returned to the untamed country never to be heard from again. Frederick Kesler, from six until fifteen, resided with Edward Campbell in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. At fifteen, desirous of learning a trade, he apprenticed himself to Abram Clark, a millbuilder in Trumball County, Ohio. Here he remained for five years acquiring skills necessary to construct and operate saw and grist mills. Upon the completion of his training, he accompanied Levi Moffet to Iowa, where he practiced his trade. The flour mill that he constructed in Iowa within the Black Hawk purchase, was the first one built in Iowaa In 1839, Kesler first heard of the Mormons. Shortly after becoming acquainted with Joseph Smith, he and his first wife Emeline Parker, were baptised into the Mormon Church. Before his trek westward to the Salt Lake Valley, Kesler constructed a ferry boat to aid the Saints in crossing the Missouri River to Winter Quarters, built or repaired mills in Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, and Kansas. Upon his arrival into the Valley, Brigham Young requested Kesler to superintend and construct mills around the Territory. In the ensuing fifteen years, Kesler provided the means by which many young settlements developed into or maintained industrialism by providing the initial means for satisfying the basic timber and flour needs within a community or by relieving overburdened or outdated milling facilities. Kesler's talents, however, were not just centered upon these vital sources of energy and existence, but with such major enterprises within the Utah Territory as sugar, textiles, iron, and paper which signified the emergence from a preindustrial past into an industrial future. In 1865, his remarkable activities came to a sudden halt by an accident which left him with a broken leg and hip that never rejoined properly. Kesler was always very faithful to his church. He served several economic missions to the eastern states to purchase machinery and other manufacturing supplies for the community. From 1856 until his death in 1899, he was the Bishop of the L. D. S. Sixteenth Ward. Other activities include: Major 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, Mormon Legion; director of the Utah Penitentiary for 16 years and v then elected warden of the same; Justice of the Peace, 8 years; and district school trustee for many years. Kesler was also a polygamist, taking three wives and fathering thirty children. Two of his wives divorced him in the 1870's, both sanctioned by Brigham Young and both receiving property settlements. Frederick Kesler died in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 12, 1899, at the age of 83.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Kimberly Maren Day-Holmer 1980
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,238,668 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2821
ARK ark:/87278/s6jh6vdn
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-04-30
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 196394
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6jh6vdn
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