The Latter-day Saint Woman Who Inspired KFC and Why She Had a BYU Building Named After Her

by | Feb. 06, 2019

Mormon Life

The story of L.W. “Pete” Harman is somewhat well-sung. After striking up a deal with Colonel Harland Sanders, the two opened Harman’s Cafe, which became one of the first fast food restaurants in existence. The two soon began the franchise KFC, and Harman takes credit for the development of the bucket packaging and his emphasis on the “Finger-lickin’ good” motto.

But his origins begin with someone whose story has gone mostly unsung. Caroline Hemenway Harman — or Aunt Carrie, as she was known in the community and to Pete Harman — was such an example of self-reliance and service that a building on the Brigham Young University campus bears her name.

“As I read about her and learned about the type of life she lived, I was truly impressed by the Christlike attributes this wonderful woman held,” said Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The records written by people who were related to her indicate that she was courageous, intelligent, very kind, full of charity and love and goodness, and would bring sunshine everywhere she went and would always stand up for the weak and the unfortunate.”

Story by Valerie Johnson. Lead image by Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News.
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