What number was high during pioneer times, at least much higher than today?
a. Temple attendance
b. Infant mortality
c. Elders per capita on missions
d. Sacrament attendance
The University of Deseret, under the title of “Parent School,” was opened for the first time on Monday, November 11, 1850, in the home of John Pack in the Seventeenth Ward. Dr. Cyrus Collins, A.M., en route of California and the gold fields, halted his journey long enough to instruct the first class of forty men and lectured on history, literature, and philosophy. Before the end of the quarter, Dr. Collins had been succeeded by Chancellor Spencer and W. W. Phelps” whose lectures were scholarly and inspiring, despite primitive surroundings.” Owing to the lack of room, the school was organized for men only. The tuition was eight dollars per quarter.
The second term was opened in February 1851 in the upper room of the Council House. At this session, forty pupils, male and female, were enrolled. Subsequently the school was held in the Thirteenth Ward hall. A few years later, however, owing to the lack of funds and limited patronage, the Parent School was discontinued. For nearly fifteen years, the University continued in abeyance with only a nominal existence. Then, in 1867, the school was reopened as a commercial college under the supervisor of D. O. Calder. The first “real University” had it inception in 1869 under the brilliant leadership of Dr. John R. Park.
Chronicles of Courage, Lesson Committee (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 1997), 8: 370.