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Join us for a lecture called J.C. Penney and His Many Utah Connections given by Linda Thatcher on Thursday, May 3rd from 5-6pm at the Park City Museum Education and Collections Center located at 2079 Sidewinder Drive.
Friday, May 9, 1969 was proclaimed “J. C. Penney Day” by Utah’s governor, Calvin R. Rampton. Penney was “not just passing through;” he had established and maintained his Utah connections for the past sixty years. After graduating from high school, James Cash Penney worked in a dry goods store in Hamilton, Missouri, but moved to Colorado in 1897 for health reasons. He became involved with the Golden Rule Mercantile Company and within a decade he had acquired ownership of the company. In 1909 he moved to Salt Lake City to set up a corporate headquarters and lived there for six years before moving to New York. In 1913, all his stores were consolidated under the J. C. Penney banner.
Linda Thatcher, will discuss Penney’s family, including his first wife, Berta A. Hess, who is buried in Salt Lake’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery and his second wife, Mary H. Kimball, who was born in Salt Lake City. Her father was the mayor of Park City, Utah. She will also discuss his community involvement; for example, he was a member of Wasatch Lodge #1 of the Free and Accepted Masons of Utah and often participated in their meetings. Thatcher will also discuss the larger J. C. Penney Company which incorporated in Utah and the opening of Penney stores throughout Utah and the role they played in the local communities.
Linda Thatcher earned a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree from Utah State University as well as a Master’s from BYU in Library Science. She worked for Utah State History from 1976 to 2007 as the Collections Manager. She has written several articles and co-edited two books: Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History and Women in Utah History: Paradigm or Paradox?