Living History: Pioneer generosity shines in a time of need

The early years of Anglo settlement in the Salt Lake Valley were years of shortages. Some later told their children that seagulls had beaten back the crickets one year and saved part of the growing grain, but the crickets came back year after year.

And no seagull — or anything else — could prevent wear and tear to a laborer’s clothing, nor produce the fabric to make new clothing before Utah’s woolen industry was developed in the 1860s. Cloth was one of the scarcest necessities in the early territorial period, all of it freighted at heavy expense across the continent. The amused comments of travelers often note the scarecrow-like appearance of Utahns of the 1850s.

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