Deseret Morning News archives

President Grover Cleveland signed the proclamation on Jan. 4, 1896, and made it official: Utah was a state.

Back home, Superintendent Brown of the Western Union Telegraph Co. was the first to get the word. He rushed into the street to shoot off his shotgun, and the celebration began.

A parade was whipped up, comprised of a platoon of police, carriages full of present and former territorial officials, surviving pioneers of 1847, as many bands as could be gathered up in short order and anyone else who wanted to march.

This day had been a long time coming. Although the original Mormon pioneers left Nauvoo intending to get away from the United States, it did not take them long to realize the necessity of joining the union. The Territory of Utah was created in 1850 — and severely whittled down as states and territories were created around the Mormons. Nearly 50 years and seven official petitions later, Utah got its own star on the flag.

Some 112 years later — with a newly refurbished Capitol building to its credit — the state is going strong. In honor of Statehood Day, here's a chance to see what you know about our state and its history — and maybe learn some new things along the way.

1. How many governors has Utah had during its 112-year tenure as a state?

a. 23

b. 16

c. 19

d. 26

2. Can you identify Utah's state:

a. hymn

b. rock

c. tree

d. gem

e. animal

f. fish

3. The first Europeans to travel into the territory that is now Utah were Spaniard Franciscans Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante. In what year did their explorations take place?

a. 1776

b. 1540

c. 1820

d. 1720

4. Where did the name Utah come from?

a. "Yutah," a Shoshone word for mountains.

b. "Utahah," an Anasazi word for people of the north.

c. "Ewtah," a Navajo name for Shoshones who lived in the area.

d. "Uttah," a Book of Mormon word for mountains.

5. All states are allowed to have two statues of famous residents in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. For a long time, Utah's only statue was Brigham Young. In 1990, a second statue was added of:

a. Philo T. Farnsworth

b. Ab Jenkins

c. Reva Beck Bosone

d. Maurice Abravanel

6. What was the name of the pre-historic lake that covered most of what is now Utah, and who was it named for?

7. The first white person known to have visited the Great Salt Lake came by in 1825. He was:

a. John C. Fremont

b. Kit Carson

c. Jedediah Smith

d. Jim Bridger

8. Match the following counties with their county seats:

a. Daggett

b. Summit

c. Kane

d. Juab

e. Uintah

f. Emery

g. Grand

h. Garfield

i. Piute

j. Wayne

1. Loa

2. Junction

3. Manila

4. Coalville

5. Moab

6. Nephi

7. Panguitch

8. Castle Dale

9. Kanab

10. Vernal

9. The first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July, 1847. How many total immigrants arrived in the valley that first year?

a. 3,490

b. 1,637

c. 642

d. 2,211

10. One reason the government sent troops to Utah as part of the "Utah War" in 1857 was to escort a new, non-Mormon, territorial governor to replace Brigham Young. This man was:

a. Albert Sidney Johnston

b. Alfred Cumming

c. John Milton Bernhisel

d. John W. Dawson

11. In his explorations throughout the area between 1869-1872, John Wesley Powell discovered the last river to be named in the United States. This was the:

a. Colorado River

b. Green River

c. Escalante River

d. Virgin River

12. The highest elevation in Utah is King's Peak at 13,498 feet. What is the lowest elevation in the state? (A bonus point if you know where it is.)

a. Sea level

b. 1,650 feet

c. 980 feet

d. 2,000 feet

13. Which Utah senator holds the record for serving the most terms in office?

a. Jake Garn

b. Arthur V. Watkins

c. Reed Smoot

d. Orrin G. Hatch

14. Who was the first governor of the state of Utah?

a. Heber M. Wells

b. William Spry

c. John C. Cutler

d. Charles R. Mabey

15. How long did it take to build the Salt Lake Temple?

a. 40 years

b. 50 years

c. 22 years

d. 35 years

16. Utah has an area of 84,916 square miles. How does this rank with other states in the union?

a. 17th

b. 11th

c. 22nd

d. 8th

17. What is the current state motto of the Utah Office of Tourism?

18. The Utah Arts Council has the distinction of being the oldest such organization in the country. When was it founded?

a. 1896

b. 1850

c. 1889

d. 1904

19. Mining has been one of Utah's most important industries over the years. Match the following mining moguls with the description that best fits:

a. Daniel C. Jackling

b. Patrick E. Connor

c. Thomas Kearns

d. Jesse Knight

e. John Kemple

1. Discovered the Silver Reef mine in 1866

2. Was a developer of the Silver King mine

3. Discovered the Humbug mine near Eureka

4. Is known as the "Father of Utah Mining"

5. Founded the Utah Copper Company

20. Match the following with the number that fits:

a. Number of national parks

b. Number of national monuments

c. Number of ski resorts

d. Number of national forests

e. Number of state parks

f. Number of National Scenic Byways

g. Number of Utah Scenic Byways

1. 13

2. five

3. six

4. 10

5. 23

6. 43

7. seven


1. b; 2. a-"Utah, We Love Thee," b-coal, c-blue spruce, d-topaz, e-elk, f-Bonneville cutthroat trout; 3. a; 4. c; 5. a; 6. Lake Bonneville, named for French explorer Benjamin Louis de Bonneville; 7. d; 8. a-3, b-4, c-9, d-6, e-10, f-8, g-5, h-7, i-2, j-1; 9. b; 10. b; 11. c; 12. d (Beaver Dam Creek); 13. d; 14. a; 15. a; 16. b; 17. Life Elevated; 18. c; 19. a-5, b-4, c-2, d-3, e-1; 20. a-2, b-4, c-1, d-3, e-6, f-7, g-5.


Score one point for each correct answer. (Question 6 has two answers; each are worth a point, as are each of the correct matches on the matching questions). Total possible is 45 points plus the bonus on Question 12.

If you scored 38-46: You are a true Utah afficianado and scholar.

If you scored 27-37: Not bad; have you learned something new?

If you scored 15-26: Maybe you need to pay more attention to your surroundings.

If you scored below 15: Slept through Utah history and geography did you?

Sources: "Utah History Encyclopedia," edited by Allan Kent Powell; "Through Our Eyes," Deseret News; Official Utah Highway Map, 2007;;; "This Is the Place! A Crossroads of Utah's Past," by Pat and Will Bagley (Buckaroo Books, $16.95)

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