leaders were spokesmen for agriculture and in the process gave agrarian
values many of the attributes of religious teaching. Central was the
idea that in God's providence the "desert will blossom as the rose."
Corollaries abounded: God tempered the elements; stream flows increased;
natural drawbacks such as drought, insects, and cold were softened by
the "Spirit's genial influence." As one leader said, it was not the
"outsiders who . . . built up the country" but the Saints. If the land
were "regulated as it would be under the government of God" problems
would cease to exist. Land would form the nucleus of "prosperity, wealth,
and comparative independence." For the "ransomed of the Lord" who gathered
to the mountain Zion it was an escape to a pastoral promised land. Historian
Earl Pomeroy has observed that in building a landed Zion, Utah's founders
brought rural ways into their cities. Even in Salt Lake City rural characteristics
were strong. Early travelers found it to be more "a gigantic village"
than a city. Until at least the year 1900 many of its people lived near
the land, cultivated gardens, raised chickens, milked cows, and supported
the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society. At the city's center
stood the Tithing Office haystacks. By 1873 a farmers' market provided
an outlet where for the next seventy-five years small growers dealt
directly with consumers and retailers. Hay markets flourished. In many
ways, Salt Lake City epitomized a continuing split in Utah's personality.
It was very much part of America's urban surge, yet it remained a city
the heart of which was committed to rural values and farm-based stability.