Skip to main content

Uintah Stake Academy records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1555

Scope and Contents note

The Uintah Stake Academy records provides a glimpse into the administration and operation of a Church school at the turn of the century. Although the Academy was in operation from 1888 to 1923, there are large gaps in the records, the bulk of which cover the years 1905-1920. Not all of the record types are represented consistently for these years.

The papers are arranged in two main series, Uintah Stake Academy scholastic records, 1888-1932, and Uintah Stake Academy financial records, 1907-1925, with the Uintah Stake Academy Vernal Seminary papers, 1923-1925, forming a third separate series. The basic arrangement of the collection is chronological with some alphabetical arrangement by addressee occurring within the correspondence when duplication of data occurs.

The scholastic records consist of roll books; school plans and registers; grade books; student correspondence; records of the Uintah Stake Academy Alumni Association; correspondence with teachers and prospective teachers; teachers' contracts; and histories of the Academy and the Uintah Basin area.

The financial records include correspondence with the Commissioner of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the General Board of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Uintah Stake. Also, there are financial reports for the Academy; student account records; records of accounts with merchants; bank statements; promissory notes; orders and inventories of supplies; financial correspondence with merchants detailing purchases and overdue accounts; bills and receipts; cash account ledgers; and correspondence concerning territorial matters in the Uintah Basin region and the nearby Indian reservation. The Vernal Seminary papers contain identical record types to these.


  • 1905-1920


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

The copyright for this collection rests with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. There are no restrictions on the research use of the collection. Permission to publish material from the Uintah Stake Academy records must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Mormon academy, in operation from 1888 to 1923, located in Vernal, Utah. This and other academies were founded under the 19th century policy of the Mormon Church Board of Education to establish schools in the various stakes of the Mormon Church.

The Uintah Stake Academy was founded September 15, 1888, pursuant to a letter of instruction from Wilford Woodruff, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was the policy of the Church Board of Education under the direction of Karl G. Maeser to establish schools in the stakes of the Church or in enough of the stakes so that all Church members could receive the benefit of these institutions.

The first Board of Education of the Uintah Academy consisted of Reuben S. Collett, Phillip Stringham, Henry A. Woodruff, C. C. Bartlett, George P. Billings, Barnabas L. Adams, and James Hacking. The school was opened during October of 1891, with Professor Henry Peterson acting as principal. He was hired for a salary of one hundred dollars per month. Professor Peterson was succeeded as principal by Nelson G. Sowards, 1892 to 1894; Andrew B. Anderson, 1895 to 1901; Don B. Colton, 1901 to 1903; Raymond Partridge, 1903 to 1905; J. William Robinson, 1905 to 1906; William J. Snow, 1906 to 1908; Hyrum Manwaring, 1908 to 1910; N. L. Nelson, 1910 to 1912; Robert H. Sainsbury, 1912 to 1919; H. Lorenzo Reid, 1919 to 1920; and Ernest A. Jacobsen, 1920 to 1923, the year of the Academy's closing.

The site for the school, an acre and fifty-eight rods of land centrally located in Vernal, Utah, was purchased from J. R. Workman for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. The students occupied rented quarters until 1892, when one room was erected on what became the Tabernacle block of Vernal. A second room was added in 1893, and then a third was made by partitioning the larger of the other two. Steps were taken toward the erection of a building adequate to the needs of the school, but owing to unforeseen circumstances, active building operations were not begun until the spring of 1911. The result was the building which the Uintah Academy occupied until its closing in 1923.

At first only the seventh and eighth grades were taught; ninth and tenth grades were added in 1896; an eleventh grade during 1910-1911; and the twelfth, in the year 1914, thus establishing a full four year institution. In 1922, the ninth grade was discontinued, making the Academy at its close a senior high school.

The enrollment at the Uintah Academy during the first year was only sixteen students; in 1922, 262 pupils were enrolled; and in 1923, this figure decreased to 160. There was a total of 328 graduates from this school during its history, four the first year and thirty-two, the last.

The Uintah Stake Academy closed its doors in 1923 as one of the last remaining L.D.S. Church Academies. Most academies had closed down earlier for financial reasons. The property and Academy building were sold to the Uintah School District Board of Education.

[This historical information was drawn from various sources found in the scholastic records, Box 1, (see Container List), specifically from the article, 328 Graduates from U. A. During Life of School, (page 51 of the Uintah Stake Academy Alumni Association history book, Box 1 Folder 9), and the History of the Uintah Stake Academy, 1888-1910, (Box 1 Folder 16).]


2 oversize boxes (4 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Scholastic and financial records.

Arrangement note

Arranged in three series: 1. Uintah Stake Academy scholastic records, 1888-1932. 2. Uintah Stake Academy financial records, 1907-1925. and 3. Uintah Stake Academy Vernal Seminary papers, 1923-1925.

Other Finding Aids note

While this finding aid provides only a series level description, a more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Included in the finding aid in print is an index to the annual record of the Uintah Academy, Volume 1 in the Uintah Stake Academy Archives.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

After the close of the Academy, the school's papers were stored by the Vernal Seminary and the Uintah Stake until their donation to Brigham Young University in August of 1976 by Irvin Haws, a member of the Presidency of the Uintah Stake.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Irvin Haws; 1976.

Appraisal note

19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Related Materials

See MSS 90 Uintah Stake Correspondence and MSS 91 Uintah County.

Separated Materials note

Two letterboxes, equalling four linear inches, of Uintah Stake correspondence and one letterbox of copies of Uintah County Juvenile Court records were cataloged as separate collections. See MSS 90 Uintah Stake Correspondence and MSS 91 Uintah County.

Processing Information note

Processed; Helen L. Warner and Dennis Rowley; 1989.

Register of the Uintah Stake Academy records
Helen L. Warner and Dennis Rowley
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States