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Provo Founder’s Day

Wednesday, April 1 Kenneth L. Cannon II will present the annual Provo Founder’s Day Lecture at 3:00 pm in the Special Collections Classroom on level 1 of the Harold B. Lee Library.

Lecture Description: Provo residents fought for construction of a new union train depot for almost twenty years, from 1891 to 1911.  Controversies ranging from uncooperative railroad lines to strong disputes between factions within and without Provo conspired against a new depot. West-side merchants led by Thomas N. Taylor and east-side individuals and institutions led by Jesse Knight disputed the location of the new depot before a sharply divided city council, in court, and in a close special election.  Even the LDS Church president and the governor of Utah were enlisted and took sides. Eventually, the differences were resolved and Provo’s lovely union depot was constructed on Sixth South between Second and Third West.  These controversies provide a glimpse into the people and institutions of Provo at the beginning of the twentieth century and some understanding of age-old issues in Provo’s history.

About this Year’s Presenter: Ken Cannon grew up in Provo and graduated from Provo High.  He graduated summa cum laude in history from BYU in 1978 and was awarded a master’s degree in American history and a law degree from BYU at the same time in 1982, graduating with honors in both endeavors.  He has published extensively on historical, legal historical, and legal issues and has received a number of awards for his articles.  He published the previously mentioned book on Provo and Orem in 1987.  Ken has practiced corporate bankruptcy law for many years in Utah, New York, and around the country as he has represented parties in some of the largest Chapter 11 reorganization cases ever filed.  He has been an adjunct faculty member at J. Reuben Clark Law School and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for over fifteen years. He is currently working on a biography of George Q. Cannon’s three oldest sons, John Q., Frank J., and Abram H.  Ken lives in an 1898 Victorian house in the Avenues neighborhood in Salt Lake City with his lovely wife Ann. They have five sons, two daughters in law, two dogs including a massive Newfoundland, three cats, and a very talkative parrot.