Joseph T. Kingsbury
Joseph Thomas Kingsbury was Acting President of the University of Deseret, now known as the University of Utah, from 1892 to 1894. In 1894 he was replaced by James E. Talmage, in 1897, was appointed President of the university, he held that position until he resigned because of a campus controversy in 1916. In spite of his resignation, Kingsbury's combined service as president of the university was longer than any other since. Joseph T. Kingsbury was born on November 4, 1853 to pioneer parents Joseph C. Kingsbury and Dorcas Moore, in Weber County, Utah. A few years after his birth, his family moved to Salt Lake City from the farm in Utah. Kingsbury’s father was a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kingsbury married Jane Mair on August 7, 1879, they had six children. Kingsbury attended the University of Deseret from 1872 to 1875 and Cornell University from 1875 to 1877. Kingsbury received his doctorate in 1894 through non-resident study from Illinois Wesleyan University. Kingsbury joined the small faculty of the University of Deseret in 1878.
His teaching assignments included physics, mineralogy, geology and civil government. Kingsbury was the acting president of the University of Utah from 1892 to July 1894, when he became university vice president under James E. Talmage, he returned to the presidency on a permanent basis in 1897. He implemented plans to move the university to a new site on lands purchased from your Fort Douglas. During Kingsbury’s presidency the university added a law school. In 1907, a department of law was founded, with Kingsbury as one of its initial faculty members. In 1913, the department was organized into the School of Law. University expansion continued. From 1900 to 1916 the total number of students tripled. An escalating series of controversies began in 1914 — stemming from a similar 1911 controversy at Brigham Young University — which resulted in Kingsbury’s resignation in 1916. On June 14, 1914 Milton H. Sevy, a student speaking at commencement, criticized Governor William Spry, the conservative atmosphere of Utah, the political influence of Mormon leaders.
The following spring Kingsbury moved against professors supportive of Sevy’s speech. On February 26, 1915, Kingsbury announced that the university would not reappoint two professors and two instructors. On March 1, he announced Osborne J. P. Widtsoe would replace George M. Marshall as the chair of the English department. A majority of enrolled students signed petitions protesting the firings. On March 17, a day after the Board of Regents upheld the dismissals, fourteen faculty members resigned in protest. Three more departed in subsequent weeks; the controversy aligned opponents of Church influence with earlier detractors of Kingsbury’s leadership. Frank E. Holman, the dean of the law school accused Kingsbury of maintaining a policy of repression. Others were concerned that the dismissals of the four non-Mormons and the promotion of Widtsoe reflected Church interference. Though Kingsbury had been connected with the anti-Mormon Liberal Party, Mormon apostle Anthon H. Lund supported Kingsbury on the Board of Regents.
The dismissals and protests were reported in the national press. They prompted the first investigation conducted by the American Association of University Professors, spearheaded by Arthur O. Lovejoy and John Dewey; the AAUP published, in December 1915, its inaugural volume of the Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, including the document now known as the 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure — the AAUP’s foundational statement on the rights and corresponding obligations of members of the academic profession. Majorities on the Board of Regents supported Kingsbury despite calls for his resignation. In April, Kingsbury traveled to the eastern United States to recruit replacements for departing faculty. Kingsbury resigned as president on January 20, 1916. John A. Widtsoe became the next university president. While accepting his resignation as president, the board gave Kingsbury an appointment in the chemistry department. Because, controversial, Kingsbury instead was given other work in the University, including chairing a committee on graduate work.
Kingsbury was an uncle of Joseph F. Merrill. In 1930 university auditorium was named Kingsbury Hall in his honor. Kingsbury died on April 1937 in Salt Lake City. Bowen, Craig H. Academic Freedom and the Utah Controversies of 1911 and 1915, Unpublished Master's thesis, J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Deals with the first institutional inquest, or academic freedom investigation conducted by the American Association of University Professors, at the University of Utah in 1915, compares it with a similar 1911 controversy at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; the University of Utah inquest was spearheaded by AAUP founders Arthur O. John Dewey. Call Number: LC72.3. U8 B68 1995. Filed with the present work is a companionate'Pictorial Scrapbook' to the two Utah controversies, containing additional notes and references, photocopied images and news clippings. Call Number: LC72.3. U8 B682. Chamberlin, Ralph V; the University of Utah: A History of its First Hundred Years, 1850 to 1950, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press.
Metzger, Walter P. "The First Investigation", AAUP Bulleti
A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes and functions, have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, land prices, ground conditions, specific uses, aesthetic reasons. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures. Buildings serve several societal needs – as shelter from weather, living space, privacy, to store belongings, to comfortably live and work. A building as a shelter represents a physical division of the outside. Since the first cave paintings, buildings have become objects or canvasses of much artistic expression. In recent years, interest in sustainable planning and building practices has become an intentional part of the design process of many new buildings; the word building is the act of making it. As a noun, a building is'a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place'.
In the broadest interpretation a fence or wall is a building. However, the word structure is used more broadly than building including natural and man-made formations and does not have walls. Structure is more to be used for a fence. Sturgis' Dictionary included that " differs from architecture in excluding all idea of artistic treatment; as a verb, building is the act of construction. Structural height in technical usage is the height to the highest architectural detail on building from street-level. Depending on how they are classified and masts may or may not be included in this height. Spires and masts used as antennas are not included; the definition of a low-rise vs. a high-rise building is a matter of debate, but three storeys or less is considered low-rise. A report by Shinichi Fujimura of a shelter built 500 000 years ago is doubtful since Fujimura was found to have faked many of his findings. Supposed remains of huts found at the Terra Amata site in Nice purportedly dating from 200 000 to 400 000 years ago have been called into question.
There is clear evidence of homebuilding from around 18 000 BC. Buildings became common during the Neolithic. Single-family residential buildings are most called houses or homes. Multi-family residential buildings containing more than one dwelling unit are called a duplex or an apartment building. A condominium is an apartment rather than rents. Houses may be built in pairs, in terraces where all but two of the houses have others either side. Houses which were built as a single dwelling may be divided into apartments or bedsitters. Building types may range from huts to multimillion-dollar high-rise apartment blocks able to house thousands of people. Increasing settlement density in buildings is a response to high ground prices resulting from many people wanting to live close to work or similar attractors. Other common building materials are concrete or combinations of either of these with stone. Residential buildings have different names for their use depending if they are seasonal include holiday cottage or timeshare.
If the residents are in need of special care such as a nursing home, orphanage or prison. Many people lived in communal buildings called longhouses, smaller dwellings called pit-houses and houses combined with barns sometimes called housebarns. Buildings are defined to be substantial, permanent structures so other dwelling forms such as houseboats and motorhomes are dwellings but not buildings. Sometimes a group of inter-related builds are referred to as a complex – for example a housing complex, educational complex, hospital complex, etc; the practice of designing and operating buildings is most a collective effort of different groups of professionals and trades. Depending on the size and purpose of a particular building project, the project team may include: A real estate developer who secures funding for the project. Other possible design Engineer specialists may be involved such as Fire, facade engineers, building physics, Telecomms, AV (Audio V
University of Utah
The University of Utah is a public research university in Salt Lake City, United States. As the state's flagship university, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs; the university is classified among "R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity" with "selective" admissions. Graduate studies include the S. J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah's first medical school; as of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest institution of higher education, it received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, moved to its current location in 1900. The university ranks among the top 50 U. S. universities by total research expenditures with over $518 million spent in 2015.
22 Rhodes Scholars, four Nobel Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, eight MacArthur Fellows, various Pulitzer Prize winners, two astronauts, Gates Cambridge Scholars, Churchill Scholars have been affiliated with the university as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. In addition, the university's Honors College has been reviewed among 50 leading national Honors Colleges in the U. S; the university has been ranked the 12th most ideologically diverse university in the country. The university's athletic teams, the Utes, participate in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, its football team has received national attention for winning the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Soon after the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake valley in 1847, Brigham Young began organizing a Board of Regents to establish a university; the university was established on February 28, 1850, as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, Orson Spencer was appointed as the first chancellor of the university.
Early classes were held in private homes. The university closed in 1853 due to lack of funds and lack of feeder schools. Following years of intermittent classes in the Salt Lake City Council House, the university began to be re-established in 1867 under the direction of David O. Calder, followed by John R. Park in 1869; the university moved out of the council house into the Union Academy building in 1876 and into Union Square in 1884. In 1892, the school's name was changed to the University of Utah, John R. Park began arranging to obtain land belonging to the U. S. Army's Fort Douglas on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley, where the university moved permanently in 1900. Additional Fort Douglas land has been granted to the university over the years, the fort was closed on October 26, 1991. Upon his death in 1900, Dr. John R. Park bequeathed his entire fortune to the university; the university grew in the early 20th century but was involved in an academic freedom controversy in 1915 when Joseph T. Kingsbury recommended that five faculty members be dismissed after a graduation speaker made a speech critical of Utah governor William Spry.
One third of the faculty resigned in protest of these dismissals. Some felt that the dismissals were a result of the LDS Church's influence on the university, while others felt that they reflected a more general pattern of repressing religious and political expression that might be deemed offensive; the controversy was resolved when Kingsbury resigned in 1916, but university operations were again interrupted by World War I, The Great Depression and World War II. Student enrollment dropped to a low of 3,418 during the last year of World War II, but A. Ray Olpin made substantial additions to campus following the war, enrollment reached 12,000 by the time he retired in 1964. Growth continued in the following decades as the university developed into a research center for fields such as computer science and medicine. During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the university hosted the Olympic Village, a housing complex for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Prior to the events, the university received a facelift that included extensive renovations to the Rice-Eccles Stadium, a light rail track leading to downtown Salt Lake City, a new student center known as the Heritage Center, an array of new student housing, what is now a 180-room campus hotel and conference center.
The University of Utah Asia Campus opened as an international branch campus in the Incheon Global Campus in Songdo, South Korea in 2014. Three other European and American universities are participating; the Asia Campus was funded by the South Korean government. Campus takes up 1,534 acres, including the Health Sciences complex, Research Park, Fort Douglas, it is located on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley, close to the Wasatch Range and 2 miles east of downtown Salt Lake City. Most courses take place on the west side of campus, known as lower campus due to its lower elevation. Presidents Circle is a loop of buildings named after past university presidents with a courtyard in the center. Major libraries on lower campus include the J. Willard Marriott Library and the S. J. Quinney Law Library; the primary student activity center is the A. Ray Olpin University Union, campus fitness centers include the Health, Physical Education, Recreation Complex and the Nielsen Fieldhouse. Lower campus is home to most public venues, such as the Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Jon M. Huntsman Center, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, a museum with rot
Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah is a museum located in Salt Lake City, United States. The museum shows exhibits of natural history subjects, with an emphasis on Utah and the Intermountain West; the mission of the museum is to illuminate the place of humans within it. The new building, named the Rio Tinto Center, opened in November 2011; the museum located in the University's Research Park. The museum was conceived in 1959, when the University of Utah faculty committee decided to consolidate natural history collections from around its campus; the museum was established as the Utah Museum of Natural History on the University of Utah campus in 1963 by the Utah State Legislature. It opened in 1969 in the former George Thomas Library and included specimens from the Deseret Museum as well as from the Charles Nettleton Strevell Museum, located in the old Lafayette School on South Temple Street from 1939 until 1947; the paleontology collections acquired a important amount of new collected specimens during the 1960s fossilised remains of dinosaurs.
It all began when a young local paleontologist called James Henry Madsen Jr. obtained his Master of Science in 1959 in the University of Utah. The following year, as of 1960, Madsen was hired as an assistant for Professor William Lee Stokes of the Princeton University, who at that time performed the dauntless project to extensively dig the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. Since the 1920s it had been established by geologists that this quarry is one of the most important paleontological sites found in the United States, still in the early 1960s tens of thousands of disarticulated dinosaur bones were buried in the rock, awaiting to be excavated; because the bone bed was so vast and contained a so huge quantity of fossilised bones, it seemed obvious to Stokes and Madsen that it was impossible for a single unique institution to dig up a number of specimens being realistically representative of the overall total. To accomplish this task, or at least a reasonable part of it, Stokes and Madsen founded the "University of Utah Cooperative Dinosaur Project", thank to initial funds allowed by the University of Utah and its Department of Geology.
This project worked 16 years during in close collaboration not only with museums and institutions within the USA but with prestigious international museums and research centers. Since financial assistance was brought by all the institutions who had participated in the project, the Dinosaur Project granted them casts or original composite specimens of the dinosaurs found in the quarry. In the running time of the "Cooperative Dinosaur Project" tons of fossilised bones were dug up from the quarry, numerous remains of species as famous as Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Stegosaurus and, of course, among others. In addition to these known species, two new species were discovered and named: Stokesosaurus and Marshosaurus, whose holotypes are preciously preserved in the Natural History Museum of Utah. In 1976 the University of Utah stopped the project. To continue financing his research, Madsen founded Dinolab, a company that casted and sold skeletons of dinosaurs to museums, institutions or private buyers.
Madsen died in 2009 and Dinolab disappeared in 2014, but thank to the "University of Utah Cooperative Dinosaur Project" and Madsen's excavations in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Natural History Museum of Utah possesses nowadays on display the biggest collection in the world of Allosaurus skeletons, among some additional dinosaur skeletal mounts belonging to other species. In 1963 Dr. Jesse D. Jennings, a professor and archaeologist was appointed director of the museum; the "Utah Museum of Natural History" opened to the public in 1969. Jennings was the director for 10 years and in 1973, Don Hague, the museum's curator and first paid employee became the director. Hague led the museum for nearly 20 years, retiring in 1992. Dr. Sarah George is the current director. In 2011 the museum moved from the old George Thomas Library location at 1390 Presidents Circle into the Rio Tinto Center, in the University of Utah's Research Park 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City.
The move resulted in a change of name to the Natural History Museum of Utah. The Rio Tinto Center is a 163,000-square-foot building set in foothills of the Wasatch Mountains; the building's highest point is a round structure on the back or east side which houses the Native Voices gallery. The architects for the building were Ennead Architects from New York City and GSBS of Salt Lake City. Ralph Appelbaum Associates designed the exhibits; the Natural History Museum of Utah has more than 1.6 million objects in its collection that are used for research and education. The Museum's collections emphasize the natural history of Utah and are accessible to researchers from around the world; the majority of the collections are from public lands within the inter-mountain region of the United States. Collections are used in studies on geological and cultural diversity, the history of living systems and human cultures within the Utah region; the goal of the museum is to increase the collections while providing the widest possible access to that information.
1,000,000 objects. Archaeological collections of 3/4 million objects Associated records from more than 3,800 sites Ethnographic collections including more than 2,000 objectsThe curator of anthropology is Duncan Metcalfe, the collections manager is Glenna Nielsen-Grimm. 12,000 vertebrates, 4,000 invertebrates, 7,000 plants. 140,000
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
John R. Park
John Rockey Park was a prominent educator in the Territory and State of Utah in the late 19th century, in many ways was the intellectual father of the University of Utah. There is a statue of John Rockey Park in an alcove just to the left of the west entrance to the University of Utah main administration building which bears his name. There is a plaque fixed to the base of the statue; the plaque lists biographical dates and statistics from Park’s life and career, repeats the following quote from an 1885 speech he gave to future teachers: I would have you remember that the best intellectual ability... will result in worse than failure, unless it has underlying it a stratum of moral culture.... Always remember in your teaching that the grand purpose of your labors is to make citizens - active, intelligent and moral men and women; this you cannot do by any narrow routine of school forms. - Address to Normal Graduates, Class of 1885 Park was born in Ohio. As a young man he attended Tiffin's public school.
From 1848 to 1850, Park was a student at the Seneca County Academy in the nearby town of Republic, Ohio. While Park studied at the Academy, he was fortunate to associate with and learn from Thomas W. Harvey, the Academy's principal. Harvey went on to write a number of grammar books, he became a rather well-known figure in Ohio education history, he was one of several gifted teachers who would have an influence on Park, by extension, on all of the students Park would teach in his own career as a teacher and teacher trainer. After completing his preparatory studies, Park went on to graduate from Ohio Wesleyan University. From 1853 to 1855, Park was employed as a teacher for the first time. In 1855, Park entered medical school at New York University where he was a student of the chemist and philosopher, John William Draper. In life, Park would "gratefully acknowledge" the positive influence that Draper's teaching and friendship had on his life. In 1857, Park received his MD, he began practicing medicine that same year.
By 1860, Park had decided to leave the practice of medicine. Instead, he ventured. In July 1847, fourteen years before Park's arrival, Brigham Young and the first large group of Mormon pioneers arrived in the area which now comprises the state of Utah. In 1849, Young submitted a bold proposal to the U. S. Congress, asking that a large portion of the land, ceded to the United States at the end of the Mexican American War be admitted to the Union as the State of Deseret. At the time, Congress was consumed with an issue which would only be resolved by the Civil War: whether slavery should be permitted to extend into the western territories. A year and a half after the State of Deseret was proposed, Congress passed the Compromise of 1850; the Compromise reduced the proposed state's borders, renamed it the Utah Territory, specified that slavery would be permitted in the new territory if the inhabitants voted to permit it. Utah's Mormon settlers were different from the "rugged individual" adventurers who would pour into the American West before and after the Civil War.
Mormon theology emphasized a kind of "mutual service salvation", Mormon communities idealized mutual aid to such an extent that they attempted to implement a Christian collectivist economic system called the United Order in the 1830s briefly in the 1850s, again in the 1870s. Despite federal efforts to rigorously enforce separation of church and state, the Utah territorial government retained some elements of a theocracy. Park's effectiveness as an educator would hinge on his ability to appreciate the benefits of, to be accepted into, a community, unique for its time and place. Education in Utah Territory was shaped by the religious philosophy of its Mormon settlers. Mormons held that "he glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words and truth." Like their lax attitude toward separation of church and state, the Mormons did not make great efforts to distinguish between truth received from spiritual revelation or from empirical confirmation. In essence, they were willing to cross the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains walking beside covered wagons or pulling handcarts so that they could engage in a search for light and truth using methods that valued both secular truth and spiritual truth.
After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley the Latter-day Saints began making plans to ensure that their children received the basics of a secular and religious elementary education. A few weeks after the first crops were planted in the mid-summer of 1847, a school was established. In 1848, Young sent an open letter to those who would soon be emigrating to "Zion", asking them to "improve every opportunity of securing at least a copy of every valuable treatise on education." During the 1850s, local LDS Church meeting houses served as school houses for the community's children during the week, the schools used Mormon scriptures as supplemental texts. A territorial "Superintendent of Schools" position was created in 1851. However, as the settlers struggled with the realities of frontier life during the 1850s, there just weren't sufficient resources to ensure that schools throughout the Utah Territory taught to uniform standards. So, when Park arrived in 1861, the Territory's schools differed in the quality of education they offered.
The settlers started planning for a university as as
John A. Widtsoe
John Andreas Widtsoe was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1921 until his death. Widtsoe was a noted author and academic. Widtsoe was born on the island of Frøya in Norway. At birth his hand was attached to the side of his head, but he had an operation to correct this problem; when Widtsoe was two, his family moved to the Norwegian mainland city of Namsos. His father named John, died in February 1878; this left his mother, Anna, as a widow with two young sons to take care of: Widtsoe, five, his younger brother Osborne Widtsoe. The family moved to Trondheim. In 1883, Widtsoe immigrated to the United States with his brother, they arrived in Utah Territory in mid-November. Widtsoe was baptized a member of the LDS Church the following April. Widtsoe graduated from Brigham Young College in Utah, he attended Harvard University, graduating with honors in 1894. In 1898, Widtsoe was ordained to the office of seventy and set apart to do missionary work in connection with his studies in Europe.
He entered the University of Göttingen and graduated with the degrees of A. M. and Ph. D. in 1899. For part of his time in Europe, Widtsoe lived in Switzerland; the police wanted proof that he and his wife were married, since they had neglected to bring their American wedding certificate with them, they were married a second time. In August 1900, Widtsoe became the director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Utah State Agricultural College. While in this position, he founded The Deseret Farmer with Lewis A. Merrill and J. Edward Taylor, their goal was to have it be a popular magazine that would be implemented by farmers. In 1905, Widtsoe was dismissed from the agricultural college as a result of political debates about its future and feelings of William Jasper Kerr, the university's president, that Widtsoe was insufficiently supporting him. For a short time, Widtsoe was a professor of agriculture at Brigham Young University, is arguably the founding father of BYU's college of biology and agriculture..
Soon, however, he returned to Logan and succeeded Kerr as president of Utah State Agricultural College. He served as the president of the University of Utah from 1916 until his call as a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve in 1921. Widtsoe was the fifth Commissioner of Church Education from 1921 to 1924 and was the seventh commissioner from 1934 to 1936. During his time as an apostle, Widtsoe taught a religion class at the University of Southern California. For two years in the 1920s, Widtsoe lived in Washington, D. C. where he supervised the reorganization of the Federal Bureau of Reclamation. Widtsoe was associated with the Improvement Era before he became an apostle, he was associate editor of the magazine from 1935 until 1952. As editor of the Improvement Era, Widtsoe "directed its growth from a magazine for the youth to the voice of the whole Church". One of Widtsoe's employees while at the magazine was Hugh Nibley, who Widtsoe convinced to become a professor at BYU. Widtsoe was a member of the church's Genealogy Committee, being one of the main people behind the implementation of the Temple Index Bureau.
In 1923, Widtsoe accompanied fellow apostle, Reed Smoot, on a journey to Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries, during which they secured recognition and opened the way for missionaries of the church to return to these lands. From 1926 until 1932, Widtsoe served as president of the European Mission. While in this office, he convinced the First Presidency to call a separate president of the British Mission, so that the president of the European Mission could focus on supervising the missions in continental Europe. While president of the European Mission, Widtsoe dedicated Czechoslovakia for the preaching of the gospel, worked with Arthur Gaeth in starting the mission there. Widtsoe married Leah Dunford, a daughter of Susa Young Gates, a daughter of LDS Church church president Brigham Young, their first child, Ann Gaarden Widtsoe, was born in Germany. The couple went on to have eight children. Widtsoe worked with his wife and mother-in-law to write a biography about Young. Widtsoe edited a book containing significant teachings of Young.
Widtsoe was the lead compiler of Gospel Doctrine, a collection of sermons and teachings of LDS Church president Joseph F. Smith. Widtsoe and his wife authored The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, a book which advocates the incorporation of healthy eating habits into the Word of Wisdom. Widtsoe wrote A Rational Theology as Taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, cited by LDS authors such as J. Reuben Clark, he wrote Evidences and Reconciliations, a compilation of his Improvement Era writings, answering common questions on matters of faith. In this work, Widtsoe acknowledges that there are multiple interpretations that Latter-day Saints can hold on certain issues. One example is his explanation of the time involved in the creation of the earth: he indicated that faithful Latter-day Saints could hold the "six-day", "six-thousand-years", or the "undefined-period" interpretations of the creation. Although Widtsoe focused on explaining the rationale for the "undefined-period" interpretation, he did not belittle the other two or state that they were unorthodox.
In 1939, Widtsoe publish