100 Years Ago: Tax, Tax, Tax

Tax returnThe following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazines of April 1911 and May 1911.

Inheritance Tax

The largest inheritance tax on record in the United States was lately received by the state of Utah. The check, dated March 1, 1911, was received by State Treasurer David Mattson, on the 9th of March, from Mrs. Mary W. Harriman, executrix, and was made out for the amount of $798,546.85, being the inheritance tax on the late Edward H. Harriman’s property in Utah.

The legislature on the 10th passed a bill appropriating $750,000 of the amount towards the building of the state capitol, in Salt Lake City, which had been arranged for earlier in the session, and for which a bond issue of one million dollars had been authorized.

[The story also appeared in The New York Times. The inheritance tax was 5% on $15,980,937 of Union Pacific stock. The Union Pacific Railroad was incorporated under the laws of Utah, hence payment to the state. In 2011 the Federal estate tax was 35% with Utah no longer having an inheritance tax nor an estate tax.]

Corporation Tax

The corporation tax provision in the Payne-Aldrich tariff act was held by unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court, rendered March 13, to be valid. The decision was announced by Justice William R. Day, appointed to the Supreme Court from Ohio, in 1903.

The opinon was an elaborate treatment of the subject, and the tax was declared to be an excise tax on the doing of corporate business, and not a direct tax on the ownership of property. It was held that the tax was not applicable to the real estate “trust” of Boston, and the Minneapolis syndicate, since they were not “doing business” within the meaning of the law.

An income of approximately twenty-five million dollars annually will be assured to the government by this decision.

[In 2011, Federal tax rates on corporate taxable income varied from 15% to 35%. In 2010, 6.6% ($138.2 billion) of Federal revenue came from corporations.]

Income Tax

The national income tax amendment to the national constitution, submitted by resolution of Congress in July, 1909, has been acted on favorably this year by nineteen legislatures, eleven states have thus far rejected it. Since the amendment must be approved by three-fourths of the states, nine more states are necessary for favorable action.

Since the constitution fixes no time limit to legislative action, the legislatures which rejected it this year may approve it next. Utah so far has not joined in favor of the proposed measure.

[On February 25, 1913, the amendment was ratified by the necessary three-fourths of the states, and became a part of the Constitution. On October 3, the Revenue Act of 1913 was enacted which re-imposed the Federal income tax. The Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah legislatures rejected the amendment. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia never considered the amendment.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. April, 1911. No. 6 and “Passing Events”, May, 1911. No. 7
Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: 1st Flag, 9th Legislature, 61st Congress

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of April 1911.

First State Flag

Flag of UtahAn official state flag for Utah, to be given to the Battleship Utah together with the silver service, has been officially adopted by the legislature. The flag was made by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and presented by them to the state.

[When the flag arrived at the USS Utah, it was discovered that the shield on the flag was in full color instead of white, and a gold ring around the shield had been added. Rather than have the flag remade, the Utah legislature changed the law to allow the USS Utah version to become part of the official flag. In 2011, the legislature fixed a mistake promulgated since 1922, when the year 1847 was stitched just above the year 1896, instead of on the shield.]

9th State Legislature

The Utah Legislature closed its long session of sixty-nine days on Saturday morning at 11:50, March 18. Many important laws were passed, including:

  • Regulating the liquor traffic.
  • Prohibiting the sale or exchange of cigarettes or cigarette paper.
  • A nine hour law for women.
  • Giving first and second class cities a commission form of government.
  • Providing for the erection of a state capitol building.
  • A provision for the increase of the state revenue without increasing the set levy.
  • For the erection of an Armory building for the Utah National Guard.
  • For the erection of a main building for the University of Utah.
  • A gymnasium for the Agricultural College at Logan.
  • The establishment of a state highway.
  • The creation of an emigration and labor bureau under state supervision.

61st Congress

Many important enactments passed directly and indirectly affecting Utah in the 61st Congress. The most important measures were:

  • $25,000, to be expended in the extermination of the alfalfa weevils on Utah farm lands.
  • Relief to prospective homesteaders on the Uintah Indian reservation, providing that a homesteader is only required to reside on the land for a period of eight months.
  • The state was given, for educational purposes, the group of federal buildings at Randalet, in Uintah county, formerly used by the government for Indian schools.
  • $15,000 for the construction of a steel bridge across the Duchesne river in Wasatch county.

[In 2008, Utah received $17.1 billion from the Federal Government made up of $5.6 billion in retirement and disability, $3.4 billion in grants, $3 billion in procurement, $2.4 billion in salaries, and $2.7 billion in other payments. Measured by per capita, at $6,255, Utah receives the least of any state.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. April, 1911. No. 6.
Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: General Conference Statistical Report

An excerpt from President Joseph F. Smith’s April 1911 General Conference opening address:

I have had prepared just a few little statements which will indicate to you, I think, better perhaps than I could tell you from memory, although they are familiar to me, the condition of the Church and of the labors and accomplishments thereof during the year that has only recently closed. I have an item here that there have been two new stakes organized in 1910, namely the Duchesne and the Carbon stakes of Zion. There have been organized fifteen new wards during the same period. There are now 62 organized stakes of Zion, and 696 wards, and 21 missions.

Joseph F. Smith

President Joseph F. Smith

All of these require the constant supervision and attention not only of the bishops and the presidents of stakes, and the high councils of these various organizations, but of the presidency of the Church, by whom communications are constantly received from all these presidents, or the most of them, and frequently many of them, and frequently from almost all these wards.


The number of persons that have been baptized in the stakes of Zion and in the missions, during the year 1910, was 15,902.

Birth and Death Rates

The birth-rate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the year 1910, was 38 per thousand, the highest birthrate in the world, as far as available statistics show.

The death-rate of the Church, for the year 1910, was 9 per thousand, the lowest death-rate in the world, as far as we have been able to ascertain from published statistics.

Marriage and Divorce

There were 1,360 couples married in the temples in 1910, and there were 1,100 couples married, of Church members, by civil ceremony during the same year.

There was one divorce to each 5,000 Church members. The average divorce rate in the United States is one to each 1,100 souls. This shows that our divorce rate is only about one-fifth of the average rate in our nation.


There were 2,028 missionaries laboring in the various missions on December 31st, 1910.

There was expended by the Church, in maintaining missions and for fares of returning missionaries, during the year 1910, the sum of $215,000. This amount does not include the very large sum, in the aggregate, furnished by the people to assist their sons and daughters, or husbands and fathers, while in the mission field.

Upwards of $300,000 was paid by the Church during 1910 for maintaining our Church schools; and over $200,000 was paid out in the Church to assist the poor, during the year 1910.

All expenses incurred on account of the general authorities of the Church, of operating expenses of the president’s office, the historian’s office, and the presiding bishop’s office, were paid out of revenues derived from investments made by the trustee-in-trust, within past few years. This leaves the tithes of the Church to be used for the building of ward meeting houses and stake tabernacles, for maintenance of Church schools and temples, for missions abroad, and for the support of the poor.

Comparisons With 2011

As reported by President Smith, two stakes and 15 wards were organized in 1910 for a total of 62 stakes and 696 wards. Reported in Conference today, in 2010 there were 31 stakes and 236 wards formed, for a total of 2,896 stakes and 28,660 wards.

At the end of 1910, there were 2,028 missionaries in 21 missions. At the end of 2010, there were 52,225 missionaries in 340 missions. In addition there were 20,813 Church Service Missionaries.

In 1910 there were 15,902 baptisms and in 2010 there were 272,814 convert baptisms and 120,528 new children of record.

In 1910 there were 398,478 members and in 2010 there were 14,131,467 members.

In April 1911 there were 4 temples in operation. In April 2011 there were 134 temples in operation, 4 temples announced at Conference and a further 22 temples previously announced or under construction.

The $715,000 for maintaining Church schools and missions, and support of the poor, in constant 1913 dollars, would amount to $15,983,428 in 2011.


  • The Eighty-First Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 6, 1911, President Joseph F. Smith presiding.
  • Live KSL TV LDS General Conference broadcast, April 2, 2011.
  • 2011 Deseret News Church Almanac.

Rickety signature

100 Years Ago: Wireless, Parliament, Cities of the Sun


Experiments in wireless telegraphy at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, circa 1902

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of March 1911.

Wireless Telegraphy

Wireless telegraphy has achieved a new triumph. The telegrams announced, a few days ago, that a physician on an ocean inner prescribed for and cured a case of ptomain-poisoning on a ship, eight hundred miles from the physician; and likewise the announcement has been made, through the telegrams, that a ship on the coast of Japan communicated with San Francisco, over five thousand four hundred miles away.


In the palace of King Noah, Zara is wooed by Amulon but loves Alma

[An early theory on the causes of food poisoning involved ptomaines, alkaloids found in decaying animal and vegetable matter. While some alkaloids do cause poisoning, the discovery of bacteria left the ptomaine theory obsolete.]

The Cities of the Sun

“The Cities of the Sun” is the title of a story-book issued by Elizabeth Rachel Cannon, and illustrated from paintings by George M. Ottinger, and photographs by the author. It contains five excellent stories of ancient America, founded on historical incidents in the Book of Mormon, and is made attractive by nineteen illustrations.

The stories are intended to interest the reader in the Book of Mormon itself, and are attractive both in matter and presentation.

[Read The Cities of the Sun on Google Books.]


The British Parliament, which was dissolved on the 28th of November last, met January 31, 1911. The dissolved parliament was the shortest in duration, in a century, having been elected January, a year ago, assembled February 15, 1910, and dissolved, as stated, November 28.

The parliament had 275 liberals, 40 labor members, 71 nationalists, 11 independent nationalists, and 273 unionists. The chief issue involved was the veto power of the House of Lords. The new parliament opened Feb. 6, when King George used the new form for the Declaration of Faith which is not offensive to Catholics.

[In 2011, the parliament had 57 Liberal Democrats, 258 Labour, 6 Scottish National Party, 1 Independent, 8 Democratic Unionists, 307 Conservative, 5 Sinn Féin, 3 Plaid Cymru, 3 Social and Democratic Labour, 1 Green, and 1 Alliance.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. March, 1911. No. 5.
Lead photograph: Library of Congress, Experiments in wireless telegraphy
Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: Insurrection, Death, North Pole

Robert Peary and Bob Bartlett

Robert Peary and Captain Bob Bartlett standing on a ship, Battle Harbor, Labrador, circa 1909

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of March 1911.

Insurrection In Mexico (Again)

The insurrection in Mexico, in the interest of Francisco de Madero, the defeated candidate for the presidency, which broke out on November 17 last, is still in progress in northern Mexico. Considerable trouble has been experienced by roving bands of robbers in Chihuahua, where they have attacked settlements which they considered were unable to defend themselves.

Several conflicts with government troops have taken place, and things are in an uncertain condition in that state. So far the settlements of the Latter-day Saints have not been disturbed, though much anxiety has been felt, and the situation is serious.

[Not much has changed in 100 years. Today’s Mexican Drug War, an armed conflict among rival drug cartels and between the drug cartels and the Mexican government, killed 12 mayors and a candidate for governor in 2010. Among the states that suffer most is Chihuahua, mentioned in the 1911 story.]

Falling Mule Death (Amended)

[This is a continuation of last month’s story]
Elder John Edward Kirkman, who came to his death in Hawaii, on January 10, it appears did not fall from a precipitous cliff into the sea. He came to his death in trying to cross a mountain stream which was unusually swollen. He got into the center of the stream, when his mule lost its footing, and he was washed with the animal over a high waterfall, some twenty feet below the crossing, which neither he nor his companion, who wisely did not venture to cross the stream, knew existed.

After strenous effort, the body was found in a cave below the fall; it was veiled by the falling waters and washed continually with the rainbow spray, so that his body was preserved as though in sleep. It is expected the body will be brought to Utah for burial.

North Pole (Almost)

Peary reached the north pole within a mile and three-fifths, according to the government report made by an expert who examined his observations. It thus appears that the exact spot was not reached, but it is evident that it was near enough for all practical purposes, and no one else is likely to attempt the feat in the near future.

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. March, 1911. No. 5.
Photograph: Library of Congress, Peary & Bartlett, Battle Harbor
Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: War, Death, and Western Pacific

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of February 1911.

No More War?

For the abolition of international war, Mr. Andrew Carnegie has transferred to a board of trustees, twenty-seven in number, Senator Root of New York as president, ten million dollars, in five per cent first mortgage bonds.

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie in 1913

The proceeds, five hundred thousand dollars annually, is to be freely used by the board to establish a lasting, world-wide peace.

When war is abolished, the fund is still to be used for the banishment of the next most degrading evil.

[100 years later, we have wars or conflicts in Afghanistan, Balochistan, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, North Caucasus, North West Pakistan, Sahara, Somalia, South Thailand, South Yemen, Sudan, and Yemeni.

Founded in 1910, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is still in operation.]

Falling Mule Death

Elder John Edward Kirkman, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Kirkman, of Salt Lake City, and who was laboring as a missionary in the Hawaiian Islands, came to his death by drowning in the sea, on January 10.

He was riding a mule along the edge of a precipitous cliff on the island of Maui, when the mule missed its footing and fell with its rider into the sea, and both were carried away with the tide.

Elder Kirkman’s body was found on January 15, and was buried in Kipehulu.

[This is not the end of the Falling Mule story]

Passenger Interchange

The Western Pacific Railway has arranged with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Santa Fe for the interchange of passengers. This now gives Salt Lake City three trans-continental lines.

The Western Pacific promises to become a strong factor in the material development of the territory traversed by it in Utah, Nevada and California.

[Western Pacific was acquired in 1983 by Union Pacific. In 1988, Rio Grande Industries purchased the Southern Pacific Railroad, the combined company taking the Southern Pacific name. In 1995, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. In 1996 Southern Pacific was purchased by Union Pacific.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. February, 1911. No. 4.
Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: Wards, Liquor, and Lynchings

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of February 1911.

Number of Wards

The number of wards in the various stakes of Zion increased from 689, in 1909, to 696 in 1910. There are now 62 stakes, not including the California mission, where five wards were organized in 1910.

Duchesne stake, with four wards, and Carbon, with seven wards were organized in 1910. Bear Lake stake has 23 wards, the largest number in any of the stakes; Oneida and St. George each has 20; Cassia and Granite each 19; then Blackfoot and Sevier 18 each; and Summit 17.

[100 years later, on January 1, 2010, the Church reported 20,518 wards and 2,863 stakes.]

Liquor Regulation

Utah State Capitol

In 1911 the Capitol building did not yet exist but efforts were underway to choose a site.

The Utah Legislature, ninth session, met on January 9, 1911.

Governor William Spry read his message to the joint session on the 10th. It is a lengthy document touching on the needs of every department of the state, and recommending the passage of a local option bill “with provision for the proper regulation and control of the liquor traffic, as pledged in the platform” of the Republican party.

Senator George Sutherland was elected to succeed himself as U. S. Senator at the conjoint session, Jan. 18.

[In 1913, the ratification of the 17th Amendment provided for election of senators by popular vote rather than appointment by the state legislatures.]

Death to Americans

Rioting in Mexico, against Americans, took place in the city of Mexico, November 9, when the mob paraded the streets crying death to Americans, and threatening the American consulate. At Guadalajara there was anti-American rioting. The cause of the trouble was the lynching of a man, who was supposed to be a Mexican, at Rock Springs, Texas, November 3, which awakened bitter resentment in Mexico.

The disturbance, however, was promptly suppressed, more than two hundred rioters being arrested. The matter has been fixed up between the two governments, and the governor of Texas has promised to use every effort to punish the leaders of the lynchers.

Later, a revolution was planned to overthrow the government on November 20, but it failed, not without considerable bloodshed, however, and much alarm, especially in the state of Chihuahua, where matters are still in uproar at this writing.

[At least 597 Mexicans were lynched between 1848 and 1928. Between 1848 to 1879, Mexicans were lynched at the rate of 473 per 100,000 of population.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. February, 1911. No. 4.
Photograph: Scott Catron
Rickety signature.

Epic Excerpts: Stephen Covey on Management

Stephen R. Covey is the author of the best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Other books he has written include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, The Divine Center and Spiritual Roots of Human Relations.

Dr. Covey, father of nine and a grandfather of fifty-two, lives with his wife Sandra in Provo, Utah. He is currently a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Covey is a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a two-year mission in England for his church. Covey served as the first president of the Irish Mission of the church starting in July 1962.

I have read several of Stephen Covey’s books and have noted some passages about leadership and management that I like.

Stephen Covey

Difference Between Leadership And Management

You can quickly grasp the important difference between leadership and management if you envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. They’re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, “Wrong jungle!”
But how do the busy, efficient producers and managers often respond? “Shut up! We’re making progress.” (Seven Habits, p 101)

Management is Discipline

Effective management is putting first things first. While leadership decides what “first things” are, it is management that puts them first, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, Management is discipline, carrying it out. (Seven Habits, p 148)

Lead People, Manage Things

You can’t lead inventories and cash flow and costs. You have to manage them. Why? Because things don’t have the power and freedom to choose. Only people do. So you lead (empower) people. You manage and control things. (The 8th Habit, p 101)


Time management is really a misnomer, because we all have exactly the same amount of time, although some accomplish several times as much as others do with their time. Self-management is a better term, because it implies that we manage ourselves in the time alloted us. Most people manage their lives by crises; they are driven by external events, circumstances, and problems. They become problem-minded, and the only priority setting they do is between one problem and another. Effective time managers are opportunity-minded. They don’t deny or ignore problems, but they try to prevent them. They occasionally have to deal with acute problems or crises, but in the main they prevent them from reaching the level of concern through careful analysis into the nature of the problems and through long-range planning. (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 138)

The Bottom Line

Management deals more with control, logistics, and effiency. Leadership deals with the top line, management deals with the bottom line. The hand can’t say to the foot, “I have no need of thee.” Both leadership and management, effectiveness and efficiency, are necessary. (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 255-256)

No Feeling, No Heart

People who are excellent managers but poor leaders may be extremely well organized and run a tight ship with superior systems and procedures and detailed job descriptions. But unless they are internally motivated, little gets done because their is no feeling, no heart; everything is too mechanical, too formal, too tight, too protective. A looser organization may work much better even though it may appear to an outside observer to be disorganized and confused. Truly significant accomplishments may result simply because people share a common vision, purpose, or sense of mission. (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 248)

Weaknesses Become Irrelevent

Remember, in a complementary team, individual strengths (voices) become productive and their weaknesses become irrelevent because they are compensated for by the strengths of others. (The 8th Habit, p 113)

Positive Synergy

People spend their creativity on their own goals and dreams — and much of the energy is lost to the organization. Negative synergy is an enormous waste of human talent. The formula for positive synergy is involvement + patience = commitment. The employee behind the desk should be treated like the customer in front of the desk. There is nothing under heaven that can buy voluntary commitment. You can buy a man’s hands and back, but not his heart and mind. (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 179)

The Greatest Creation

Let us realize as executives or as workers in any endeavor in any organization that people are the most important thing in this world. They are the greatest creation of God. (Spiritual Roots of Human Relations, p 119)

The Whole Person

Now we work with fairness, kindness, efficiency, and effectiveness. We work with the whole person. We see that people are not just resources or assets, not just economic, social, and psychological beings. They are also spiritual beings; they want meaning, a sense of doing something that matters. People do not want to wotk for a cause with little meaning, even though it taps their mental capacities to the fullest. There must be purposes that lift them, ennoble them, and bring them to their highest selves. (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 179)


Management is the breaking down, the analysis, the sequencing, the specific application, the time-bound left brain aspect of effective self-government. (Seven Habits, p 147)

By The Rules

It seems that people tend to codify past successful practices into rules for the future and give energy to preserving and enforcing these rules even though they no longer apply. Indeed, traditional procedures and practices die hard! (Principle-Centered Leadership, p 245)

True Worth

The problem is, managers today are still applying the Industrial Age control model to knowledge workers. Because many in positions of authority do not see the true worth and potential of their people and do not possess a complete, accurate understanding of human nature, they manage people as they do things. This lack of understanding also prevents them from tapping into the highest motivations, talents and genius of people. (The 8th Habit, p 16)

More For Less

The capacity to produce more for less is based on unleashing the human potential throughout an entire organization, rather than again falling into the traditional trap of having people at the top make all the important decisions and having the rest wield the screwdrivers. This approach simply does not work in modern, tough times. (The 8th Habit, p 302)

Rickety signature.

100 Years Ago: Women, Corn, and Census

Genevieve Clark

Suffragist Genevieve Clark, circa 1914

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of 100 years ago.

Women’s Right To Vote

Women gained the right to vote, in the November 8 election of 1910 in the state of Washington. Woman suffrage amendments to the state constitutions were submitted in that state, in Oregon, South Dakota and Oklahoma, and all except Washington rejected the amendments. There are five states in the United States in which women are now permitted to vote on the same terms as men, namely: Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Washington.

[In 1920 the nineteenth amendment was ratified, prohibiting states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote on account of sex.]

Corn Crop

The corn crop for 1910 was the greatest ever grown in the United States. For the first time in our history as a nation, we have succeeded in producing three billion bushels. This amount of corn translated into the terms of money and buying power must necessarily give a faster beat to the business pulse of the whole country, and naturally it will have a bearing in producing better financial conditions and cheaper food.

[Today the U.S. produces almost 12 billion bushels of corn a year, 40% of the world’s harvest.]


Census returns of the thirteenth census show that Utah has a population of 373,351, which is 96,602 more than at the census of 1900, when the population was 276,749, an increase of 31.3 per cent in ten years, making the state 42nd in rank. Its population now entitles the state to another Congressman, under the present congressional apportionment of 194,182, but the new apportionment may raise the number.

The population of continental United States is 91,972,266; an increase in ten years of 15,977,691, or 21 per cent.

[Census returns of the twenty third census show that Utah has a population of 2,783,885, which is 560,696 more than at the census of 2000, when the population was 2,223,189, an increase of 23.8 per cent in ten years, making the state 34th in rank. Its population now entitles the state to another Congressman, under the present congressional apportionment of 647,000, but the new apportionment may raise the number.

The population of the United States is 308,745,538; an increase in ten years of 27,323,632, or 9.7 per cent.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. January, 1911. No. 3.
Rickety signature.