Series 3976

Office of the State Auditor Letterbooks, i 1890-1915.

5.20 cubic feet

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

See history of the records' creator.

Summary of Records

These letterbooks contain press copies of outgoing correspondence from the State Auditor's office.

Scope and Content

These letterbooks contain press copies of outgoing correspondence from the auditor's office. The auditor was responsible for superintending the fiscal concerns of the state, in large part monitoring the county collection and remittance of taxes and their disbursement via warrants drawn on the state treasury. Consequently many letters were generated, particularly to county officials and the state treasurer. Copies of reports from the auditor are also included. In addition to his fiscal position, the auditor held other offices briefly as Recorder of Marks and Brands (1896-1917), Sealer of Weights and Measures (1898-1911), and Commissioner of Statistics (1907-1911). Limited correspondence regarding these additional office functions appear.
One of the most frequent categories of correspondence is to county officials regarding reporting of taxes. The accounts kept by the county collector, county assessor, county treasurer, county auditor, and county clerk (as clerk of the County Commissionwhich could abate taxes) as well as those of the state treasurer were audited by the state auditor. Reports were submitted regularly to the state auditor by the officials. Much correspondence details discrepancies within a report and between reports of the different officials. Irregular valuations, disbursements, or abatements are also noted. Other correspondence encourages the timely and complete filing of reports and the remittance of funds.
Any funds withdrawn from the state treasury required a warrant from the auditor, thus warrant correspondence is also common. One of the most common expenses, kept in a separate account, was for bounties on varmints. The county clerk sent a certificate to the auditor indicating what individual was claiming the bounty and the auditor authorized the issuance of a warrant. There is frequent correspondence relating to the proper format for claiming and cashing the warrant. School funding also was kept separately and there are frequent letters tocounty clerks, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and individual school superintendents relating to the collection and disbursement of school taxes. After 1909, with the establishment of a road commission and special district taxes for roads, the auditor directly issued warrants to the road commission for materials and payroll, so related correspondence becomes abundant.
Part of the salaries of district court and various county officials (eg. District Judges, Attorneys, County Assessor, County Treasurer, etc.) was also funded by the state, so there are various letters on the correct reporting of those claims. Witnesses and jurors also received some expense monies from the state. There is occasional correspondence with individuals and court officials (including the county clerk who served as district court clerk) regarding payments.
Periodically state agencies would ask for a statement of their balance or of warrants issued from their legislative appropriation which theauditor would provide. Unlike school, bounty, or road commission expenditures, requests for warrants to most state agencies had to be submitted via the Board of Examiners; thus there is some correspondence with the Board, but little to most individual agencies. When the state treasury lacked the funds necessary in any account, letters explaining when payment could be expected are common.
Other miscellaneous administrative correspondence also occurs. These include cover letters to accompany new forms to county officials, property inventories of equipment in the auditor's office, and letters attempting to organize in-state conferences for county auditors or regarding interstate conferences with other state auditors. Rarely personal correspondence is included with topics ranging from campaigning for higher office to ordering shirt collars.
In addition to his fiscal functions, the State Auditor was the Recorder of Marks and Brands from 1896-1917. Thus these letterbooks also include somecorrespondence regarding the registering of brands, peaking in 1897 and 1912 following legislative acts requiring the renewal or forfeiture of brand registrations. However most brand correspondence was kept separately. The auditor was also the Sealer of Weights and Measures from 1898 to 1911, but little correspondence appears relating to that function, the auditor claiming to be busy with other functions and not having been budgeted a deputy for that purpose. Another office, briefly held (1907-1911) and rarely generating correspondence, was the Commissioner of Statistics, a position created to collect and disseminate information on agriculture, mining, population, and other characteristics of the state.

Research Note

The location of volumes covering gaps in the sequence is unknown.


Chronological. Occasionally pages may be used out of order, particularly pages toward the end of a volume.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Use Restrictions

These records are available for reproduction and use.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Acquisition Information

These records were acquired from the creating agency through established retention schedules.

Processing Information

Archivally processed in 1990 by A.C. Cone, updated with the location of earlier volumes in 1996 and 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Indexes: Each volume has an alphabetical index.

Related Material

Public documents serial set from the Secretary of State, Series 240, includes the auditor's annual reports which provide a more thorough discussion of topics common in correspondence.
Warrant registers from the Office of the State Auditor, Series 510, contains many warrants discussed in the letterbooks.
Journals from the Office of the State Auditor, Series 512, are daily account books which include many of the warrants discussed in these letterbooks.
Administrative records from the Office of the State Auditor, Series 514, include incoming correspondence sometimes referred to in the outgoing correspondence present here.
Brands letterbooks from the Recorder of Marks and Brands, Series 601, include more correspondence on brands than that included here.

Container List

111890, May 12-1895, Jan 29
121895, Feb 1-1896, Dec 7
211897, Oct 28-1899, Jun 30
311901, May 3-1902, Feb 3
411902, Feb 4-Sep 30
421902, Sep 30-1903, Jul 3
511904, Aug 12-1905, Aug 28
521909, Oct 1-1910, Mar 30
611910, Apr 1-1911, Apr 3
711912, Jan 3-Dec 30
811913, Aug 1-1914, Feb 21
911914, Feb 21-Sep 26
1011914, Sep 26-1915, Mar 26
1111915, Mar 26-Sep 27