IIKARL G> MAESER 1828-1901
|Website Link Index|
Orson Pratt Brown's Acquaintance in the Mormon Colonies
Karl G. Maeser
Karl G. Maeser (18281901), one of the leading educators of the Church, was born, reared, and educated in Germany. While teaching there he met the missionaries and was baptized in 1855 in the Elbe River by Franklin D. Richards. Following the baptism the two men engaged in a conversation through the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues.
Brother Maeser came to America in 1857, but did not arrive in Utah until 1860. He became the private tutor of Brigham Young’s family in 1864. In 1888 he was called by the First Presidency to be the first superintendent of all Church schools.
In 1876 skilled German educator Karl G. Maeser took over the principalship of the Brigham Young Academy and began a stellar career in Church education, which later included serving as Superintendent of Church Schools. By the twentieth century this small institution had grown to become Brigham Young University.
In 1877 a second academy, Brigham Young College, was opened in Logan and continued until 1926. The buildings of the college were then turned over to the city of Logan. Plans also went forward to establish a third academy, called Salt Lake Stake Academy, in Salt Lake City. This academy did not begin actual operations until 1886. It went by several names and eventually came to be known as Latter-day Saints’ College. The college officially closed in 1931 during the depression. Faculty members then organized a business college on their own, which was later acquired by the Church and named LDS Business College.
These three academies exemplified Brigham Young’s educational ideals, emphasizing a broad, liberal arts education, high moral principles, and religious training from the scriptures. Teacher training (normal) schools were also established at these institutions. These academies were forerunners of over twenty academies in various communities that would characterize Church education during the rest of the century and the early part of the twentieth.
During the last decade of his life, Brigham Young continued to extend the borders of the Latter-day Saint commonwealth by colonization and to oversee further expansion in missionary work and immigration. By the end of his life, Mormon colonies had been established in Arizona, and missionary work extended into the Republic of Mexico.
Because missionaries continued to bring in converts who then immigrated to Utah Territory, Church leaders regularly sought new areas to colonize. As early as the 1850s, Church explorers had penetrated Arizona, but the aridity of the deserts, the lack of information on the territory south of the massive Colorado River, and the raiding Indians made it difficult to attempt any colonizing during the 1850s and 1860s. In 1870 the government pacified the Navajos, who had been raiding settlements in southern Utah since 1865. This led the way for a string of settlements to be established from Kanab, Utah, to Lee’s Ferry on the Colorado River in Arizona as a springboard for further colonization.
As the winter of 187273 began, Brigham Young invited long-time friend of the Saints Thomas L. Kane and his wife, Elizabeth, to accompany him to St. George. During this trip President Young laid plans for a gathering place for the Saints in Sonora Valley, Mexico. Proposed settlements in Arizona were to form a connecting link between Utah and Mexico.
Establishing colonies in Arizona continued to be exceedingly difficult. In the early spring of 1873, President Young dispatched another set of explorers, the Arizona Exploring Company, which consisted of fourteen men, to visit the Little Colorado River area, the Rio Verde country, and the San Francisco mountain region, all south of the Colorado River. These explorers also became discouraged because the arid, broken countryside was difficult to traverse. Nevertheless, the determination of Brigham Young to colonize Arizona was not to be denied, and in 187475 he sent additional scouting parties to study the area.
Early in 1876 the First Presidency called two hundred “missionaries” to be part of four companies under Lot Smith, Jessie O. Ballenger, George Lake, and William C. Allen. By year’s end four struggling colonies were established in the lower valley of the Little Colorado. For many years these citizens in Arizona struggled to harness the water of the river through dams. By 1880 other colonizing parties settled along Silver Creek, a major tributary of the Little Colorado, further upstream, and near Mesa, in central Arizona. One successful village was Snowflake, named after Elder Erastus Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who encouraged the colony, and their leader, William J. Flake.
Because Arizona settlements were struggling to survive, there was not an immediate push further south into Mexico. Brigham Young, however, desired that missionaries be sent to Mexico. In 1875 the prophet called Daniel Webster Jones, who had served in Mexico during the Mexican-American War, to head a mission and translate the Book of Mormon into Spanish. Elder Jones was soon unexpectedly joined in this project by Meliton G. Trejo, a native of Spain, who had recently joined the Church, stating that he had been inspired to seek out the Lord’s people in the Rocky Mountains. By the end of the year Elders Jones and Trejo and four others departed for Mexico. They crossed the border in January 1876. Although they encountered much opposition from the various clergy, the missionaries held some public meetings and also mailed out five hundred copies of “Selected Passages of the Book of Mormon” to leaders of more than one hundred communities throughout Mexico.
The missionaries also located an area in the state of Chihuahua that they felt would be suitable for a future Church colonization. In the fall of 1876, Elder Trejo and Elder Helaman Pratt proselyted in the state of Sonora. In 1879, Elder Moses Thatcher of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles headed a delegation of missionaries into Mexico City and succeeded in laying a solid foundation for the Church in that land.
Right Click mouse on image - then click on view image - to see enlarged photo
PAF - Archer files =
Photos and information from http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/chft/chft-31-35.htm
"Story of the Latter-day Saints", Allen and Leonard, pp. 36669, 386, 388.
Additions, bold, [bracketed], some photos, etc., added by Lucy Brown Archer
Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org