Local author, historian, and former Dixie College President Doug Alder will be our speaker at the Cotton Mission Chapter dinner meeting on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30pm. Dinner is $14 per person.
Alder was president of Dixie College in its pre-university days from 1986-1993 and is a past president of the Mormon History Association. He co-authored “A History of Washington County” with former St. George Mayor Karl Brooks in the 1990s and recently compiled a number of addresses from the lecture series named for Brooks’ historian mother, Juanita Brooks, in a book called “Honoring Juanita Brooks.” He is also the author of “A Century of Dixie State College of Utah” and the co-author of “All That Was Promised: The History of the St. George Temple.
His new book “Dixie Saints” deals with social history of southern Utah and is gleaned from 425 interviews with common southern Utah people, instead of historical figures. Rather thanfollowing the political perspective, the narrative in this book focuses on the everyday lives, interests, and activities of farmers, ranchers, teachers and otherswho built up our community in its early years.
The book draws from 425 interviews, recorded on about 650 audio tapes, beginning in 1968. The interviews focused on the “third generation” of Dixie Saints, mostly born in years between 1890 and 1910. The interviewer, Fielding Harris conducted the interviews, financed by Melvin Blomquist. Transcribing of the tapes was not finished until many years later in 2013. That is when Alder began delving into ways to make the stories into a book.