After making a study of the pre-railroad Utah mail service, I have found it appropriate to categorize certain broad elements. This thesis is divided into eight parts, each part following in chronological order except for the one dealing with the Pony Express and the telegraph. Which covers approximately the same period of time as the chapter entitled "Resumption of the Mail." Though there was a most definite overlapping of time for these two historical phases, it would seem that there was adequate justification for making two chapters.
The initial chapter in this thesis pertains to the unofficial mail, beginning in 1847. There was certain communication through and within the area of Utah before this, however; but there was no significant purpose to me in making a study of it at this time. My main objective deals with Utah from the beginning of its permanent settlements.
The study deals with the following categories: (1) the unofficial mail between 1847 and 1850; (2) the beginning of the official mail in 1850; (3) the mail service during the middle of the 1850's; (4) the transition period between the early mail years and a more reliable service; (5) the resumption of the mail after certain significant difficulties; (6) the Pony Express and telegraph service; (7) the improvement in the transcontinental mail service through Utah as the routes from East to West were consolidated; (8) and finally, the concluding years up to the driving of the last spike of the first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
The chief sources of information were government documents, contemporary newspapers, and miscellaneous materials from the archives of the Historian's Office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. Much general and specific information was also obtained from reliable historians, past and present.
There are maps, charts, tables, and portraits included in this thesis for added informaiton and interest.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



Date Submitted


Document Type





Pony express, Postal service, Utah, Mormons