Utah Military Records Collections
The systematic collection of military records on Utah veterans officially began September 12, 1942 when Governor Maw issued a proclamation creating the Department of War History and Archives within the Utah State Historical Society. The proclamation asked Utah citizens to furnish to the department any documentation on Utah citizens serving in WWII and designated the new department as the official repository for such materials. In addition, the department negotiated an informal agreement with the Selective Service System and the several branches of the U.S. military to abstract federal service information onto index cards, and obtain copies of some actual records. Until 1957, the primary local repository for Utah military service records was the Utah Adjutant General’s Office.
On March 23, 1957 the Utah State Legislature officially established the Utah State Archives as a division within the State Historical Society. They also provided for the transfer of the Graves Registration and Marking Division of the Adjutant General’s Office (Utah National Guard) to the Historical Society, and created the Military Records Section within the Archives to manage the program. The act called for the section to collect and maintain a record of the military service of all veterans buried in the state, and all other military records pertaining to Utah. The act inaugurated the expansion of the Historical Society’s war archives program to include records of all previous Utahans’ military service, not just WWII.
As part of this program the Archives acquired service cards on Utah veterans of the Spanish American War, Mexican Boarder Campaign, and WWI which the federal government had provided to the Utah Adjutant General. It also acquired a large collection of Utah Territorial Militia (Nauvoo Legion) records from the Adjutant General and several private donors. By 1965, the Military Records Section was subsumed by the larger Archives and the systematic collection of Utah military service records ended