Religion, politics, and sugar: the Mormon Church, the federal government, and the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1907-1921
One famous target of Progressive Era attempts to rein in monopolistic big business was the eastern Sugar Trust. Less known is how federal regulators also tried to break monopoly control over beet sugar in the West by going after the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, a business supported and controlled by the Latter-day Saints church and run by Mormon authorities. As sugar beet agriculture boomed, the Mormon church’s involvement led directly to monopolistic practices by Utah-Idaho Sugar and to federal investigations. Church leaders encouraged members, a majority population in much of the intermountain West, to patronize the company exclusively, as suppliers and consumers. As early as 1890, Mormon church president Wilford Woodruff had called missionaries to raise money for the fledgling company and asserted divine inspiration for church support.
Utah-Idaho bridged the cooperative, theocratic, self-sufficient economic model of nineteenth-century Mormonism and the integration of the Mormon West into the national market economy. Religion, Politics, and Sugar shows, through the example of an important western business, how national commercial, political, and legal forces in the
early twentieth century came west and, more specifically, how they affected the important role the Mormon church played in economic affairs in the region.
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The Establishment of the Sugar Industry
Before the Hardwick Committee of
National Sugar Policies and the First World War
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Amalgamated Sugar Amalgamated Sugar Company American Sugar Refining Arrington Papers Beet Growers beet sugar companies beet sugar industry BGSC box 1o Charles Nibley claimed Collections and Archives Cong Cooper corporation county agents Cutler declared Docket 3o3 Docketed Case Files economic enterprise Farm Bureau farmers Federal Trade Commission folder Food Administration Grant Hardwick Committee Havemeyer Heber Hoover IASBG Idaho Sugar Company indictments Industry in Utah Intermountain investigation Joseph F June 23 labor Latter-day Saints LDS church Lehi manufacturers Mormon Nibley to Smoot Nibley's Politics president produce profits Reed Smoot Refining Company Hearings Religion Rigby Salt Lake City Salt Lake Tribune Sanders Senator Series 12 Smith Smoot Papers Special Collections sugar beets sugar factories sugar prices Sugar Refining Company Thomas tion United Utah and Idaho Utah State University Utah Sugar Company Utah-Idaho officials Utah-Idaho Sugar Company Utah-Idaho's directors West Wilford Woodruff Writings of Leonard