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Hugh W. Colton papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8024

Scope and Contents

Contains research materials used by Lee Roderick in his biography of Hugh W. Colton. The collection mainly consists of photocopied newspaper clippings and family history books, but there are also some photographs and ephemera. The photocopied newspaper clippings are typically about Hugh W. Colton and his business ventures with J. Willard Marriott, his experiences in World War II, and his professional life as a county lawyer and rancher in Vernal Utah. Also included in the collection are legal documents for his own family's properties and properties of his clients (dating back to 1885), speeches and donations given to BYU, stocks, blueprints to mining operations, military documents, Colton's birth certificate, and foreign currency. Also included are two scrapbooks dated 1924 to 1925, compiled by Hugh W. Colton, one dealing with Hugh's mission and the other a family scrapbook. Collection dates from 1885 to 2006.


  • 1885-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

Sterling Don Colton was born on April 28, 1929 in Vernal, Utah to Hugh Wilkins Colton and Marguerite Maughan. He pursued studies in banking and finance at the University of Utah, and obtained a juris doctorate from Stanford University in 1953. The following year he married Eleanor Ricks, and they eventually had four children. Colton settled his family in Salt Lake City, Utah where he worked as a partner at Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy between 1957 and 1966. He then took a position with the Marriott Corporation, where he led a career as general counsel and a vice president from 1966 to 1995. He has also served as a vice president of the Colton Ranch Corporation since 1987.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Colton served as president of the Church's Canada Vancouver Mission following his retirement, from 1995 to 1998. He then served as president of the Washington D.C. Temple from 1999 to 2002. He died on October 8, 2019 in Provo, Utah.

Biographical History

Hugh Wilkens Colton was born to Sterling Driggs Colton and Nancy Wilkens Colton on January 11, 1901 in Vernal, Uintah County, Utah. Colton was a co-founder of the Marriott Cooperation. In 1927 he opened a root beer stand in Washington with Marriot. They opened three more Hot Shoppes with Marriott, but sold his interest to him for $5,000. Colton is a graduate of both the University of Utah and George Washington Law School. He was an army veteran from D-Day and recieved many awards including the Silver Star, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Medal of Honor in Belgium. He increased to level of colonel in the army. He was a rancher and a lawyer. He was also the Director of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He was married to Marguerite Maughan. He died April 14, 1990, at home in Maeser, Vernal, Utah.

Biographical History

Lee Roderick was born in 1941. He has written biographies of Orrin Hatch, Hugh W. Colton, and Ralph M. Baruch. Roderick has also worked as the Washington Bureau Chief of Scrips League Newspapers, the News Director of KSL Television, and the Director of the Annual Fund at Utah State University.


8 cartons (8 linear ft.)

2 oversize folders (2.16 linear ft.)

1 oversize item (1 linear ft.)

1 microfilm box (0.5 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1.66 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Collection materials collected and donated by Sterling D. Colton, son of Hugh Colton, in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Other materials donated by Lee Roderick (Sterling Colton's biographer) on behalf of Sterling D. Colton in 2018.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Sterling Colton; 2011, 2013, 2014, 2020.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Lee Roderick; 2018.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.VII, August 2007.)

Processing Information

Processed; Elizabeth Ballif; 2012.

Processing Information

Processed; Erin Owens; August 2015.

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford; February 2016.

Processing Information

Processed; Eli Allen; November 2021. Addendum added.

Register of Hugh W. Colton papers
Elizabeth Ballif
2012 April 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States