The Wild Man From Garfield

The Wild Man From Garfield

One hundred and twenty one years ago the Salt Lake Tribune wrote an article about the “wild man from Garfield.” After a floor speech so passionate others in the building believed there was a fight on the House floor, he was the one dissenting vote on an amendment to the University of Deseret charter that would change the name to the University of Utah.

Today, more than a century later, we’re willing to bet the Salt Lake Tribune will write an article, this time about the “wild man from Garfield’s” great-grandson.

We don’t expect Representative Ipson’s floor speech on HB 61 to be quite as riotous as his ancestor’s, but this morning will not only be a historic moment for Dixie State College, but Representative Ipson as well.

HB 61 gives Dixie State university status, a move that has been many years in the making. In 2005, Dixie State College began offering bachelor’s degrees in “core” areas consistent with four-year colleges. Now, Dixie State offers 43 baccalaureate degree programs in 23 content areas.

Representative Ipson’s bill will go into effect July 1, 2013. It includes a one-time $4 million appropriation from the state education fund to be used “to provide infrastructure and meet benchmarks that will facilitate the transition from college to university status, including increased efficiency and expediency of instructional delivery and developing capacity partnerships with other institutions.

The bill will be heard at 10:15am on the House floor February 13, 2013.

In case you’re interested, here’s a transcript of the Salt Lake Tribune article from exactly 121 years ago:

“The wild man from Garfield broke loose in the House yesterday on the proposition to change the name of the University from Deseret to Utah. He thought it was an outrage, so he did, and a going back on the memory of the pioneers who blazed the trail (as Mr. Lawrence showed they followed the Oregon emigrants’ trail) out to ‘these valleys. In the mountains.’ The din made by the wild man caused a rush into the House chamber from all parts of the building, most people thinking it was a fight. Smiles of amusement succeeded when they found it was only on of the old style fanatical roars. The Garfield man got off the old chestnut about ‘Deseret’ meaning “honey bee,” an absurdity altogether, for by no possibility could the word mean anything of the sort. Deseret is little desert; only that, and nothing more.”