Archive for September, 2016

September Announcement for the Utah Westerners

John M. Browning:  American Inventor and Gun Maker

Presented by Lenny Rees

Historian, Browning and Winchester

John Moses Browning (1855-1926) was born in Ogden, Utah.  He was a firearms designer who developed military and civilian firearms, cartridges and gun mechanisms.  He started at age thirteen working in the gun shop of his father, Jonathan Browning (1805-1879).   He also developed automatic and semi-automatic firearms and had 128 gun patents.  He was awarded his first patent at the age of twenty-four.  Other significant contributions include: development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms; improvements to single-shot, lever-action and slide-action rifles and shotguns; development of the first autoloading pistols; development of the first gas-operated machine gun; as well as contributions to the development of automatic cannons.   Many of his guns were copied and are still manufactured.  Lenny Rees will be speaking on John M. Browning’s history, the company that he founded and his work in the firearm industry.

Lenny Rees retired from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in December, 2007.  He started working for Browning as customer service agent in January, 2008.  In the spring of 2015 he accepted the position as historian for Browning and Winchester, where he enjoyed working in “dusty books and microfiche records.”  Rees lives in Roy, Utah and with his wife Sonja.  He has five daughters, fifteen grandchildren and seven grandchildren.



September 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

August Announcement for the Utah Westerners

The Mountain Meadows Tumuli: Reassessing the Massacre Landscape

Everett Bassett

Relying on the earliest reports and sources, in 2014 Everett Bassett successfully identified two of the graves U.S. Army soldiers used in 1859 to inter the scattered remains of the victims of the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Everett Bassett has 35 years-experience in archaeology and has directed archeological projects in Great Britain, Australia, Egypt, Sudan, and throughout North America. He currently lives in San Francisco where he is a co-owner of Transcon Environmental, an environmental engineering concern. Everett has conducted extensive research in Utah and the American West. His projects have included: researching and recording over 3,000 historic mines for the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, Abandoned Mines program; researching and excavating the Salt Lake City Block 49, Tooele, and Midvale pioneer cemeteries; recording and excavating the community of Hamblin, UT; and identifying and recording the Gila Trail in Arizona. In 2015 he successfully identified the Mountain Meadows massacre locations and the two mass graves constructed by the U.S. Army in 1859.

September 7, 2016 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

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