Yes, I’m back after a long hiatus. I finally finished my Ph.D. (physics), so I hope I’ll be able to start blogging on a semi-regular basis. For the next few months I’ll be posting on education in 19th century Utah. Actually from 1870 to 1900. The data for this and upcoming posts came from the annual Report of the Commissioner of Education (abbr. COE). I’ve spent over a year collecting data and I’ve developed a method to “normalize” the data so that state by state comparisons are on a more similar scale. Owing to the fact that from state to state the legal school age differed, to make comparisons I needed to estimate the number of school age children between 5 and 18 for each state. For my age correction method see Age Corrections for Education Data for discussion and methodology.
Also, the end notes have a lot of information so you might want to check those out too.
Introduction and background
Some of you may be wondering, “What’s so interesting about education funding? It doesn’t sound interesting at all.” True. Normally the history of education funding is mega boring and of interest only to academics who study education history. But Utah is different. As almost everything was back then (19th century), education was part of the larger debate about Mormonism. It was held by many non-Mormons that the Latter-day Saints did not value education, and, as such, their children were poorly educated and therefore credulous enough to believe those hysterical, superstitious Mormon beliefs. But, it was thought, education could free the Mormon children from their defective beliefs. When armed with a good education “there is no room then for the errors of Mormonism” (The Situation in Utah: The Discussions of the Christian Convention, 1888, p. 102). Thus, education was a tactic in the larger struggle against the Mormon system. The 1873 Report of the Commissioner of Education points out, in reference to solving “the Mormon problem,”
In studying the difficulties existing in the Indian Territory and Utah, it is very surprising that profound statesmanship has paid so little attention to education as the most efficient means for their solution. (COE, 1873-74, p. xxi).
With this goal in mind several Protestant and Catholic denominational schools were established in the Utah Territory.
Unfortunately for the Utah Territory its schools were struggling. This weakness provided an opening for the establishment of non-Mormon, mostly Protestant, denominational schools, many of which were intended to save the Mormon children. In 1883, speaking to a large gathering of Christian educators, one Rev. Henry Kendall said of these denominational schools,
These schools are all in reality, though not obtrusively, Christian schools. All their teachers are really missionaries, and they do much in the way of personal missionary labor…thus the preachers and the teachers constitute one consecrated and harmonious band engaged in undermining the whole system of Mormonism. (Christian Educators in Council, Ocean Grove, N.J., August 9-12, 1883, p. 135)
I hope to eventually do a post on the denominational schools. But for now it is sufficient to say that they failed in their goal to convert the Mormon children. After twenty-five years of efforts a Methodist investigating committee reported,
As far as converting the Mormons is concerned money has been largely wasted. If 200 real Mormons have been changed into real evangelical Christians during the time, we have been unable to discover them.
Even today education quality in nineteenth century Utah is used against Mormonism. The June 5, 2006 issue of the Weekly Standard has an article written by Stanley Kurtz titled “Polygamy versus Democracy: you can’t have both.” He writes that during these early days the “[Mormon] religious leaders schooled their families privately, while most of the territory’s children remained illiterate.” His assertion about Mormon illiteracy is patently false. (See my response here.) But it was that statement that motivated me to begin researching early Utah education, and for the past year, collecting data.
I hope this post is not too long. Lately I’ve been trying to keep them shorter by focusing the subject.
Mormonism, the value of an education
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life…he will have so much the advantage in the world to come (DC 130:18-19).
Education has always been important to Mormons. Joseph Smith taught, “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge” (TPJS, p. 217; also here). The belief that “the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (DC 93:36) and that we should seek learning “out of the best books…even by study and also by faith” (DC 88:118) are deeply ingrained within Mormon beliefs.
However, despite a deep love of education early Mormons possessed a strong hostility to taxes. In the 1864-65 Territorial School Report Superintendent Robert L. Cambell wrote, “While the sentiments of the people are so favorable to education they are equally unfavorable to taxation.” Brigham Young (second President of the Church) once said, “I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another…Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! That is not in keeping with the nature of our work” (JD 18:357).
Naturally he was not opposed to free education per se, but he was opposed to free education funded by compulsory taxation. Though he may not have been completely opposed to appropriation of public funds for the support of public schools. In 1873 he said, “There are many of our people who believe that the whole Territory ought to be taxed for our schools. When we have means, that come in the proper way, we can make a fund to help the poor to school their children, and I would say amen to it” (JD 16:19).
Mormon hostility to dependence on tax money stemmed partly from a strong sense of individual independence but also a sense that Mormonism as a community had to be independent from all external influences. Mormon Apostle Daniel H. Wells once sermonized that the goal of Mormonism is to “make ourselves independent of every people and nation upon the earth” (JD 9:61). In 1867 Apostle Wilford Woodruff said, “We have to build up Zion independent of the wicked; we have got to become self-sustaining” (JD 12:13). In 1867 Brigham Young said, “[Zion will] be developed in our midst, and we will be as independent as ever the children of Zion can be in our capacity” (JD 12:29). If Zion, or the church, is to be independent of “every people and nation” then dependence on taxes for education is inconsistent with that goal—tax money always comes with strings attached. (See also .)
Early Utah schools were quasi-public. Anyone could attend, but a pro-rated tuition fee was charged. Moreover, these schools were deliberately reinforcing the Mormon value system. Before the arrival of the railroad in 1869 Utah’s population was so overwhelmingly Mormon few objected to this arrangement. It was not until a significant number of non-Mormons arrived that tensions began to develop. Non-Mormons fought to establish non-sectarian public schools free from the Mormon system by pursuing free school laws. The Mormons by enlarge, and being a political plurality, vigorously and successfully opposed them.
To my knowledge, by 1870 every state in the Union had a free school law in place. After the Civil War every territory admitted to the Union had a free school law in its first constitution. Utah’s free school law came in 1890, six years before statehood but twenty to thirty years behind the national trend. In the era before free schools were the norm, two objections were commonly raised against free education. They were (1) taking a man’s property to educate another man’s children is like taking another man’s plough to plough his neighbor’s field, and (2) it was believed free education would injure private and denominational schools. (Public Education in the United States, p. 122.) Both objections were raised by Utah’s Mormons. As already quoted above, Brigham Young opposed free education because he saw it as taking property from one person and giving it to another. And in 1884 one article in the Church owned Deseret News pointed out that “supporting schools by taxation has been opposed” by church leaders “because institutions supported by general taxes cannot be conducted on a religious basis…We believe that there should be schools for the children of the Latter-day Saints, taught by Latter-day Saints, with Latter-day Saint text books, and supported entirely by the funds of the Latter-day Saints” (Deseret News, December 3, 1884, p. 8, column 5). Additionally, there was a strong sense that “all men and all women [should] bear their own burdens according to their strength… let every father and mother begin the work of education with their offspring, and teach them to bear their own burdens at the earliest practicable day” (Elder Erastus Snow, 1875; JD 17:365).
The early days
Education in Utah started with the arrival of the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Within a few months sixteen year old Mary Jane Dilworth opened a small school in a military tent shaped like a wigwam. She had earlier been set apart by Brigham Young to be a teacher. As towns were established, schools were established. And in those early days official buildings were multipurpose structures. They could serve as a meeting-house, a church, a social hall, and a school. Many of the early school buildings were constructed by donated labor. For example, by 1870 four adobe schools existed in the city of Logan (incorporated in 1866), built by donations of rock, lumber, paint, books, bushels of wheat, and labor (A History of Cache County, Chapter 8). According to historian Levi Edgar Young, from examining the records of thirty-eight towns, each town had a school in operation within its first season. Much of the teaching was done on a voluntary basis and the curriculum consisted principally of the three Rs: “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic.”
Though enthusiasm for education was high, without tax support, quality suffered. Because the schools were tuition based the tuition fee had to be collected. To quote from a paper by sociologist Stanley Ivins,
In the summer of 1880, John R. Park and Milton H. Hardy reported that, “In the majority of cases,” the school trustees did not assume the responsibility they should in “the whole matter of tuition fees under their control.” It was found that, in some districts, the trustees collected the tuitions and paid the teacher a salary. In others, they set the tuition fees but left their collection to the teacher. And in some districts, they did nothing but “give their consent to the employment of the teacher and to pay him the public allotment,”…The teacher was then on his own, with the responsibility of setting and collecting tuition fees, and for the general management of the school.” (Ivins, S.S., “Free Schools Come to Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 22, No. 4, p. 321, 1954)
This state of affairs remained standard on into the 1880s. Because tax support was generally weak parents had to pay tuition to send their children to school, and because cash money was scarce teachers were sometimes paid with farm produce.
The development of school finance
The development of public school finance in Utah was slow.
In 1852 the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah empowered local trustees to “assess and collect a tax upon all taxable property” in their districts, “for the purpose of building and keeping in repair suitable school houses.” In 1853 incorporated cities were given the power to collect property tax for the support of public schools. In 1854 it was required the tax rate be decided by “the vote of the district meeting.” This law was a major obstacle to raising money for schools, as people are generally oppose to higher taxes. In some areas one-time taxes were levied for specific purposes such as paying teachers, the construction and repair of school buildings, and buying books; or to pay the tuition for poor families. In some cases taxes were collected in the form of produce, wood for fuel, or work exchange. In Redmond, “It was decided to take up land and farm it, and use the proceeds to finance the school,” enabling all children to attend. An 1865 law specified that each school district may, by a two-thirds majority vote, employ tax money to provide books and pay teachers–no specific provision for paying teachers from tax money had existed. This tax was “not to exceed two per cent.” An 1866 law permitted school trustees to asses a tax for building and repair of school houses “not exceeding one-fourth of one percent,” without putting it to a vote. The tax could be increased to three per cent by a two-thirds majority vote at a district meeting; additionally, a tax “not exceeding one per cent” could be levied to “pay teachers and furnish fuel, books, maps and other suitable articles for school purposes,” also by a two-thirds majority vote.
Some districts exercised the option to levy additional tax and voted to tax above the minimum amount. But even before this, some districts were appropriating sufficient tax money to support a free school or reduce the tuition rate. In 1856 Brigham City voted a one percent tax; in 1869 American Fork voted to have a free school, the first in Utah; in 1870 Hyrum had a free school; and in 1871 the Provo 2nd Ward had a free school. In 1874 the Salt Lake City 25th District voted to have a free school. (For more free schools see .)As time went on more and more communities voted to support their schools and pay their teachers with tax money, though in most areas parents were still obliged to pay a tuition fee. According to Ivins, in 1867 eight of Utah’s 18 counties had some tax support for their public schools; in 1871 only seven did. Because these early laws placed most of the financial burden on the individual school districts it was the poorer districts that harbored the greatest hostility toward tax supported schools. Consequently public education in those areas suffered. The better-off districts were more willing to vote for higher taxes.
In 1872 a railroad tax was levied upon railroad companies in the territory for the use of the common schools. In 1874 $15,000 dollars was appropriated for the use of common schools, yearly, for the following two years. About this the Territorial Superintendent O.H. Riggs said, “Though (it was) but a small amount, yet it proved to be a spark, from which a flame of interest has been kindled, that has never before been felt in the Territory.” That same year a law was enacted that placed a fine on the owners of stray animals and made the money available for the support of the common schools. In 1876 the yearly $15,000 appropriation was increased to $25,000, twenty thousand of it was for payment of teacher salaries, allotted according to average daily attendance. In 1878 a territorial tax was levied on all taxable property in the territory, “for the benefit of the district schools.” According to the 1879 COE Report $107,446 of school income came from taxes, which amounted to 78% of total school income. However, by 1881 only 61% of total school income came from taxes, in large part due to increased income from non-tax sources.
Pressure for free schools was building until finally on March 30, 1890 a “free school law” was passed. Titled, “An Act to provide for a uniform system of Free schools throughout the Utah Territory,” this act was the beginning of Utah’s free schools.
While the (tax income)/(total income) ratio is low compared to other states, the expenditure per child still qualifies as ordinary for most years from 1870 to 1899, that is, in the middle 50%, between the 25th and 75th percentile.
Apparently after the free school act was passed a good deal of money was used to upgrade old buildings and to construct new ones. From the 1891-92 COE report $346,619 of school monies were used for “sites, buildings, furniture, libraries, and apparatus.” (103). This was the fifth highest for the Western Division (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California). The following year Utah spent $744,385, the second highest for the Western Division. In the 1893-94 COE report it was back down to $376,471, but still the second highest in the Western Division.
 T. Edgar Lyon, “Evangelical Protestant Missionary Activities in Mormon Dominated Areas 1865-1900,” (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Utah, 1962, p. 246-250, 107; taken from Frederick S. Buchanan, “Faith in Schooling: Solving the Mormon Problem,” Review Journal of Philosophy and Social Science, vol. 3, 1978, p. 161, ISSN 0258-1701). Also cited in Scott C. Esplin, Education in Transition: Church and State, Relationships in Utah Education, 1888-1933, Ph.D. diss., BYU, 2006, p. 59.
 Robert L. Cambell, Territorial School Report, 1864-65; taken from History of Public Education in Utah by John C. Moffitt, p. 122.
Also Cambell wrote in that same report,
“Tuition fees range from four to six dollars per quarter for teaching the common branches…Schoolhouses have been (with few exceptions) built by voluntary contribution. There being no school fund available, fees for tuition are paid by the parents or guardians of the pupils, except in a few districts, where, in conformity with the provisions of last year’s school bill, a tax as assessed for that purpose” (Ibid.).
Also, “the most deeply rooted feelings are entertained against high taxation” (Ibid.).
In 1869 Cambell wrote, “Legislators from other counties represent that it would involve the assessment of such a heavy tax as but few of their constituents would be willing to pay” (Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah, Eighteenth Annual Session, 1869, p. 177).
 Speaking of the non-Mormon denominational schools in Utah, Brigham Young once said, “if these schools can receive our children—and they are receiving many—and teach them without money and without price, send your children there” (Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints, 1873, pp. 704-705).
 On December12, 1853, Governor Young speaking to the Legislative Assembly of Utah pointed out that much of the territory is now settled and the population well established. Consequently,
…the people are better prepared than heretofore to pursue the more profitable avocations. You will therefore consider the necessities of the Territory, as well as the condition of the people…if you should find it in your power, consistently, to make provision for the further encouragement of education, for the support of common schools, for manufactures, for the payment of expenses incurred for the suppression of Indian aggression, to aid in the construction of the public buildings, for the erection of bridges, and the support of the poor, you will find them all objects worthy of your consideration, and dependent upon some degree upon the judicious patronage of a liberal government. (Brigham Young, “Governor’s Message,” Journal of the Legislative Ass. Of Utah, 1853; See also Millennial Star, April 8, 1854)
Also Governor Young said in 1854,
Hitherto, the cause of education has been entrusted with the Board (of regents) by the Legislature who probably conceived they had sufficiently discharged their duties by having invested the regents with full power and authority to act in relation to that subject. But it is a subject of vast importance, and involves trusts of too weighty consideration to be neglected for any reason at present existing. It is a subject fraught with momentous interest to us, and our youth, who are soon to become our representatives upon the earth, and will, if neglected, recoil with bitterness upon our own heads when too late to remedy. (Brigham Young, “Message to the Legislature,” Dec. 11, 1854; taken from Millennial Star, April 28, 1855)
 Apostle George Q. Cannon said in the April 1881 General Conference, “Let us advance education by individual effort. I hope we shall never have heavy taxes in this Territory” (“Education-Its Advantages Among the Saints Etc.,” JD 22:277).
 “It is stated that while there has been no affirmative teaching of polygamy in the public schools there have been many evidences of a respectful silence with reference to violations of the law against it” (Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1887-’88, p. 149)
 In 1877 the Liberal Party candidate for Territorial Superintendent of District Schools, M. W. Ashbrook, wrote,
The final and absolute emancipation of serfdom from Utah must be eventually achieved through the education of the masses…We demand a free public school system for Utah wherein sectarianism shall be wholly eliminated, and teachers in numbers and competent to impart knowledge to all and every child of our Territory…We desire taxation of all property, including that of churches, for the support of free schools. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1877, p. 4)
I should point out that Ashbrook was running against John Taylor, an Apostle in the Mormon church. In Salt Lake County, where most of the non-Mormons lived, Ashbrook received 1426 votes, and Taylor received 3812 (Salt Lake Tribune, August 12, 1877, p. 4, column 2). After the death of Brigham Young, John Taylor became the 3rd President of the Mormon church. Upon becoming church President Taylor resigned as Territorial Superintendent and selected his son-in-law, L. John Nutall, to replace him (Buchanan, Frederick S., “Brigham Young and the Schools of Utah,” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 4, 1982, pp. 435-459, footnotes 18-20).
Prior to 1887 the Territorial Superintendent of District Schools was an elected official. But in 1887 the U.S. Congress abolished the position and ruled, “it shall be the duty of the Supreme Court of said Territory to appoint a commissioner of schools…” (Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1887-’88, p. 147).
For L. John Nuttall see C. G. Jensen, “A Biographical Study of Leonard John Nuttall,” p. 104, MS thesis, BYU. For a list of Utah territorial superintendents see Tenth Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Utah, 1914, p. 64.
 “No state admitted to the Union after 1858, excepting West Virginia, failed to insert such a provision [for free common schools] into its first state constitution” (Public Education in the United States, p. 180-181).
“…in 1871 the rate-bill had entirely disappeared throughout the Union. It was time it was abolished, for it was everywhere described as the ‘odious’ rate-bill” (The Free school system in the United States, p. 75).
For a list of the years the rate-bill was abolished in several states see A history of public permanent common school funds in the United States, 1795-1905, p. 27, and Public education in the United States: a study and interpretation of American educational history, p. 151.
 This article was presumably written by the editor, Charles W. Penrose.
 Education in Utah, Levi Edgar Young, “Education in Utah,” Improvement Era, July 1913, vol. 16, no. 9.
The first school in Utah was opened in October, 1847. The teacher was Mary Jane Dilworth (Hammond), and an old military tent shaped like an ordinary Indian wigwam served as a school room. Rough logs were used for seats, and the teacher’s desk was an old camp stool, which had been brought across the plains. Maria Dilworth Nebeker says in her autobiography:
I attended the first school in Utah taught by my sister, Mary Jane, in a small round tent seated with logs. The school was opened just three weeks after our arrival in the valley. The first morning we gathered before the door of the tent, and in the midst of our play, my sister called us and said, ‘Come children, come; we will begin now.’ There were just a few of us, I think only nine or ten. One of the brethren came in, and opened the school with prayer. I remember one thing he said. It was to the effect that ‘we be good children and he asked God that the school would be so blessed that we all should have his holy light to guide us into all truth.’ The first day, Mary Jane taught us the twenty-third Psalm, and we sang much, and played more.
Mary Jane Dilworth (Hammond), Utah’s first school teacher, was of Quaker parentage, and was born in Westchester County, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1831. Her parents were Caleb and Eliza Dilworth, devout in their religion and steadfast in the adherence to principle. Caleb Dilworth’s ancestors had taken an active part in the settlement of Pennsylvania, and his father was soldier in the colonial army under George Washington. The family became independent, in fact had some means, and early in the forties, they emigrated to the “Mormon” centre of Nauvoo, Illinois. They went through many of the harrowing persecutions of their people, and with the main body of “Mormons” made their way to Winter Quarters on the Missouri River, where they did their share in making preparation for the long journey of their people to the Rocky Mountains. While at Winter Quarters, Miss Dilworth taught a school in a little rock house. In 1847, she left with her people for “the promised land of the far West.” There were some fifteen hundred souls in the company, under the personal direction and command of Jedediah M. Grant. Near Grand Island, the company was met by Brigham Young, who was returning to Winter Quarters. It was here that he “set Miss Dilworth apart to teach a school in the Old Fort.”
 Young, L. E., “The Pioneers and Early Education,” The Utah Educational Review, April-May 1913, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 38-43.
 Laws of Utah, “An Act in relation to common schools,” March 3, 1852.
The Deseret News reports, “No one who has read the school laws can doubt the power of the Trustees to assess and collect a tax to build a school house in their ward or district, and to keep the same in repair. But to impose a tax upon the citizens to pay the Teacher is unauthorized by law” (March 19, 1853, p. 3).
 Laws of Utah, “AN ACT in relations to the Assessment, Collection and Expenditure of a Tax for Road and other purposes within incorporated Cities,” June 4, 1853.
[Incorporated cities] are hereby authorized annually to assess, collect and expend the necessary tax for roads, streets, schools and other public purposes.(Chapter 59)
 Laws of Utah, “AN ACT relating to common schools,” Dec. 30, 1854.
Said trustees shall assess and collect a tax upon all taxable property in said district, at such rate per cent as may be decided upon by vote of the district meeting.
 About this J. C. Moffitt, Superintendent of Provo City Schools, wrote in 1946, “This democratic procedure of having the people determine the rate of taxation became the custom for may year, and did not always contribute to the welfare of the schools” (Moffitt, 1946, p. 135).
 Moffitt, “The History of Public Education in Utah,” 1946, p. 129-130; Ivins footnote 34-38, 40-42.
On September11, 1876, ‘the Trustees ordered that wheat be taken on delinquent school bills at 75c per bu….and that the Bishops of the several wards be requested to give the same notice in the war meeting, also….a quantity of wood at $5.00 per cord.’ On December 9, 1877, ‘It was decided [by the Board]….to collect the delinquent school bills & [the collector]….was authorized to receive 10 cords of wood at $5.00 per cord & good lumber at $18.00 a thousand, Mds., grain, fruit, Lath & Shingles at $4.50 per thousand’ (Moffitt, 1946, p. 127-128; brackets Moffitt’s).
See also Ivins footnote 34, 35.
 Ivins, footnote 35.
 Laws of Utah, “AN ACT Consolidating and amending the School Laws,” Jan. 18, 1865.
 Laws of Utah, “AN ACT for the establishment and support of common schools,” Jan. 19, 1866.
The Trustees shall provide a suitable school house or school houses and keep the same in repair, for which purpose they are hereby empowered to assess and collect annually a tax on all taxable property within their District, not exceeding one-fourth of one per cent.; should more than one-fourth of one per cent. be needed per annum to build and repair school houses, or for other school purposes…the rate may be increased to any sum not exceeding three per cent., as shall be decided by a vote of two-thirds of the tax payers voting at a meeting called for that purpose…and by a similar vote a tax may be assessed and collected, of any sum not exceeding one per cent. per annum, to pay Teachers and furnish fuel, books, maps and other suitable articles for school purposes. (Sec. 7)
 Ivins, footnote 47. See a letter signed “Basso” to the Deseret News, December 12, 1869. In 1881 the American Fork free school was still in operation, (Deseret News, April 6, 1881, p. 7, column 3-4)
 Ivins, footnote 46, 47, 48, 50; Salt Lake Herald, December 30, 1871
 Two free schools, in the 14th Ward and 6th Ward (Deseret News, Dec. 5, 1860, p. 8, column 3).
Free schools for Boys and Girls (Deseret News, June 6, 1860, p. 1).
Free school in the 25th school district (Deseret News, Feb. 4, 1874, p. 8, column 5).
Free tax supported school in Washington County (Deseret News, July 14, 1880, p. 14, column 1).
For a while free education was offered at the University of Deseret on the condition that those who received free education would teach for a number of years in the common schools (here).
 Ivins, footnote 43.
 Laws of Utah, “An Act further defining the duties of County and School District Collectors,” Feb. 16, 1872.
 Laws of Utah, “An act appropriating money for school purposes,” Feb. 20, 1874.
 O.H. Riggs, Territorial School Report, 1874-75; taken from J. C. Moffitt, The Development of Public School Finance in Utah, 1958, USU Special Collections, pp. 17-18.
…the owner of any stud horse, jack or ridgil, over eighteen months old, or any ram over three months old, who shall permit the same to run at large…shall be liable to pay a fine of not less than one dollar nor more than twenty-five dollars for each offense, which fine may be recovered in any court having jurisdiction, and shall be paid into the county treasury for the benefit of common schools. (Laws of Utah, “An act pertaining to animals running at large…,” Feb. 20, 1874)
The county superintendents of district schools are hereby authorized and required to proceed against all delinquent district pound keepers, or other parties, who have failed to shall fail to pay the school funds due, or which hereafter become due, arising from the sales of estrays or from other sources… (Compiled Laws of Utah, 1876, vol. 1, part 3, p. 689; also here)
 Laws of Utah, “An Act for the establishment and support of district school, and for other purposes,” Feb. 18, 1876. Also quoted in its entirety in the Deseret News, March 15, 1876.
 Laws of the Territory of Utah, 1878, Ch. 8, Sec. 1; taken from Moffitt (1958), p. 19. For a newspaper commentary on this law see Deseret News, “What’s the three mills for?”, August 7, 1878, p. 8.
Other interesting quotes
In 1872 the Deseret News notes that the school houses in Utah County, “were crowded to their utmost capacity” (Deseret News, Jan. 3, 1872, p. 1, column 2).
Editor of Deseret News,
All in all, I cannot see that the much boasted free school system of the States would be any benefit to our people, situated as we are, and under the present circumstances (Deseret News, May 10, 1876, p. 2, column 3).
St. George, Utah, a Deseret News Editor writes,
We have also a Presbyterian school here, conducted by persons who offer to teach free, to all who will attend. Thus far their patience has not been taxed by the large number of children they have had to teach, as, for some time, the school room and teacher were present, but the scholars did not put in an appearance, though now one or two apostates have begun to send their children, because, they say, it is a free school. Yet their names are found among those who voted against a free school here about one year ago (Deseret News, Dec. 22, 1880, p. 10, col. 5)