Major Howard Egan Family Foundation

Sailor Rope Maker Captain in Nauvoo Legion Bodyguard to Joseph Smith Mormon Battalion Envoy Captain of the 9th 10 of the original 1847 Pioneer Vanguard Company Gold Rush Trading Post Owner Trail Blazer Cattle Drover Major in Utah War Pony Express Rider & Superintendent of Line from Salt Lake to California Stage Station Owner Friend & Missionary to Indians Salt Lake City Policeman Bodyguard to Brigham Young
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Egan Education Day

Egan Education day

The Egan Education Day portion of the 200th Jubilee Celebration of the Birth of Major Howard Egan consists of three events: a morning Mormon Trail Walk, an afternoon Visit of Egan Sites, and an evening Egan Symposium:

8:30am – 11:15am. Meet at 8:30am sharp, at the “Rotary Glen Park” next to Hogle Zoo.
(Directions to the Park: Just past Hogle Zoo, E Sunnyside Ave becomes Emigration Canyon Rd.Mormon Trail Then take 1st right into the parking lot. We will assemble there to explain the trail route, and immediately car caravan to the hike starting point.)

It’s the authentic Mormon Trail that Howard Egan traveled over many times. It was used by the 1847 Pioneers, the Pony Express, and stage coach lines. Howard went over it at least 7 times during his lifetime. It’s a pleasant, mountain hike. 4 year-olds and 75 year-olds can do it. It’s 4.5 miles. Takes 2.75 hrs. It goes up through a narrow canyon, where you will see beautiful trees, streams, and beaver ponds. Bring good walking shoes, hat, sun-block, water, and a walking stick.

2:00pm – 4:00pm. Meet at 2:00pm sharp, at the “Salt Lake City Cemetery” Sexton’s Office.
(Use Cemetery’s south entrance at 4th Avenue and N Street. This is a “walk and drive tour” to Egan sites in SLC.)

An Egan historian will share details and stories as we visit:
• Salt Lake City Cemetery: Grave of Howard Egan and other Egan family members.
• Capitol Hill Mormon Battalion Monument: Howard sent to get Battalion pay.
• Lion House: Howard helped guard and nurse Brigham Young.
• Brigham Young’s Grave: which Howard guarded.
• Pioneer Camp Grounds: where the 1847 Pioneers camped.
• Egan Home Location: Howard & Tamson’s principal home.
• Pony Express Marker where the Pony Express office was located.
• DUP Pioneer Museum: Exhibiting personal belongings of Major Howard Egan, his family, and the era.

(Sponsored by: BYU Redd Center for Western Studies, Sons of Utah Pioneers, and the Egan Foundation.)
7:00pm – 9:30pm. The Symposium will be held at Salt Lake City’s newest event venue, the Viridian Events Center (8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan UT.

viridian event center

Newly discovered information and great stories about “The Life and Times of Major Howard Egan” will be presented by four exciting speakers, historians, and authors: 1) William G. Hartley (associate professor of history, emeritus, BYU; and author of 16 books and more than 100 academic articles.) 2) Ronald O. Barney (historian, writer, editor and archivist in the Church History Department for 33 years; author of 3 historical books and numerous historical articles.)    3) Brenden W. Rensink (the Assistant Director of BYU’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and an Assistant Professor of History at BYU; previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of History, University of Nebraska; and previously an Historian and Documentary Editor for the Joseph Smith Papers Project at the LDS Church History Department.) 4) Elayne E. Allebest (M.A. in American Studies; member of various university advisory councils; Board Member of the Howard W. Hunter Foundation; and descendant of Major Howard Egan.) Full biographies of all 4 speakers are set out below.

There will also be musical numbers by Irish singers and a Descendant’s choir.


Bio’s of Egan Symposium speakers:

1. William G. Hartley

William (“Bill”) Hartley is associate professor of history, emeritus, Brigham Young University, where he spent 29 years with the Smith Institute and the History Department writing LDS history and teaching. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from BYU and completed doctoral course work at Washington State University. In 1972 he joined church historian Leonard Arrington’s staff of research historians, writing Latter-day Saint history full time and helping launch the department’s oral history program. In 1980, after the staff transferred to BYU to become the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History, he continued writing Mormon history and became an associate professor in the BYU History Department. His research has specialized in three arenas: the historical development of organizations and priesthood offices in the LDS Church, Mormon Trail emigration, and writing family biographies. He’s been a board member and president of the Mormon History Association and founding president of the Mormon Trails Association. He’s served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Mormon History and Mormon Historical Studies. He is co-editor of three Joseph Smith Papers volumes, and is the history consultant for the KSLTV weekly Sunday documentary program, “History of the Saints.”

He has authored 14 books and more than 120 articles and chapters dealing with LDS history and biographies, and is recipient of 5 best book awards and 4 best article awards from the Mormon History Association, Association for Mormon Letters, Utah Historical Society, and John Whitmer Historical Association. In 2012 the Mormon History Association awarded him the Leonard J. Arrington Award for a lifetime of distinctive contributions to cause of Mormon History. His current projects are biographies of Mormon frontiersman Howard Egan and LDS Church Architect Edward O. Anderson, and a book dealing with Mormon Trail and its emigrants 1846-1868.

Bill served a mission in the Eastern States/Cumorah missions and has been a high councilman and bishop. He and wife, Linda Perry, live in Saratoga Springs, Utah, and are parents of six children and have fourteen grandchildren.

2. Ronald O. Barney

Ronald (“Ron”) Barney received a B.A. degree in history from Weber State University and a M.S. degree in History from Utah State University. He worked for the Church History Department for 33 years as a historian, writer, editor and archivist before retiring in June 2011. He worked on the Joseph Smith Papers as Associate Editor in the formative years of the renewal of the project. He was also creator and Executive Producer of the Papers of Joseph Smith television series from 2007-2010, and was Executive Director of the Mormon History Association, 2011-2014.

His historical publications have appeared in BYU Studies, the Ensign, and elsewhere. He has written three books, the first—One Side by Himself: The Life and Times of Lewis Barney, 1808-1894, published by Utah State University Press—won the David W. and Beatrice C. Evans Biography Award and the Mormon History Association Best Biography Award for 2002. His second book, The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847: Norton Jacob’s Record, also published by Utah State University Press, won the Utah State Historical Society Best Documentary Book Award for 2006. His third book, a biography, W. Mack Watkins: A Biography was published in March 2010. He has also served on the editorial boards of the Western Historical Quarterly, BYU Studies, and the Journal of Mormon History.

Ron served in the Northern States Mission. He and his wife, Marilyn, reside in North Salt Lake, Utah, and have three children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

3. Brenden W. Rensink

Brenden Rensink is a historian of the North American West, Borderlands, Indigenous Peoples, and Genocide Studies, and holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

He is the Assistant Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and an Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. Previously, he held positions as an Historian and Documentary Editor for the Joseph Smith Papers at the LDS Church History Department, a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and adjunct professor at Weber State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Wesleyan University.  He is a frequent Conference and Seminar presenter, has published numerous articles, and recently co-authored the Historical Dictionary of the American Frontier, to be distributed later this year by Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, and has also authored another forthcoming book: Native but Foreign: Transnational Cree, Chippewa and Yaqui Refugees and Immigrants in the U.S.-Canadian and U.S. – Mexican Borderlands, 1880-present, to be published by Texas A&M Press.  

4. Elayne E. Allebest

Elayne Allebest obtained a B.A degree from BYU in 1971, completed two years of post-graduate studies at University of California, Riverside and UCLA 1984-1985, and received a M.A. degree in American Studies at California State University, Fullerton in 2014. She worked on the Oral History Program at Claremont Graduate University, which gathered oral histories of LDS women, many of which were published in Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection by Claudia L. Bushman and Caroline Kline. Elayne has also written papers on a variety of subjects, ranging from “The Mormon Perspective on Nature” to the “Life of Samuel Johnson”.

She is a member of the Mormon History Association, has served on the Advisory Council for the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Utah Valley State University, on the National Advisory Council for Southern Virginia University, Buena Vista, Virginia, on the Council for Mormons Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Howard W. Hunter Foundation, which funds the Chair for Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Elayne is a Major Howard Egan researcher, a family history genealogist, and Vice President of the Major Howard Egan Family Foundation. She is the daughter of Inis Egan Hunter, and a direct descendant of Major Howard Egan.

Elayne served a mission in Norway for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1971 to 1973. She and her husband, Edward, live in Laguna Hills, California, and are parents of three sons and have seven grandchildren.


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