Family Life and Rural Society in Spring City, Utah : The Basis of Order in a Changing Agrarian Landscape
Christy, Howard A.,Embry, Jessie L.
Community Development in the American West : Past and Present Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Frontiers
Charles Redd Monographs in Western History, No. 15. Provo, Utah
Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University
'Most scholars of Mormon history have argued that the Church played a dominant role in Utah community life in the nineteenth century and that the control declined during the twentieth century. In this article, Michael S. Raber, a consulting anthropologist with Raber Associates in Cobalt, Connecticut, argues that individual households and families had a greater effect on the development of the Mormon town than the Church. Using the information he gathered in Spring City for his dissertation, he points out that while ward leaders directed early cooperative efforts in Sp;ring City, heads of households actually controlled these efforts. Rather than the Church retreating on economic issues in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuriy, Dr. Raber sees the decreasing church control as the result of succesful development of independent farming households.'