Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » When 10c Bought More Than … Well, When 10c Bought Anything

When 10c Bought More Than … Well, When 10c Bought Anything

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 19, 2011

From the Improvement Era, 1933 —



  1. 10 cents a month really seems low, even for depression era 1933. Was the church trying to make the Lion House self sustaining?

    Which brings up another question. At Brigham Young’s death, did the Lion House belong to him and his heirs, or to the church? I tried hacking the voice mail accounts of all the heirs, but you know, there are just so many of them. Perhaps there is a publishing mogul out there that might help…

    Comment by kevinf — July 19, 2011 @ 11:34 am

  2. So if you went there and weren’t a member, did you get to use the rest rooms or not?

    Comment by Cliff — July 19, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  3. I think the answer is “it belonged to the Church” despite Brigham Young’s preference that it belong to the wife that was living there.

    And speaking of wives, is the Martha G. Smith any relation to Joseph F.?

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 19, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  4. Martha Gee Smith was a daughter-in-law, wife of Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith.

    I’m not certain of the exact chain of ownership of the Lion House. It belonged to the Church, as TOClark mentions, by about the turn of the 20th century, but whether it came directly to the Church after Brigham’s death or sometime later, or how ownership was affected by the escheatment of church property after the Edmunds-Tucker Act, I don’t know. Quite a few wives and children would have been living there when he died. (Beehive house history next door is easier: it passed to John W. Young after Brigham died; he sold it to the church, which managed to hang on to it as a “parsonage” during the escheatment years.)

    Nor do I know about restroom use by non-members — I suspect if you weren’t a member, or the guest of a member, it wouldn’t occur to you to apply!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 19, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  5. Gee, I kinda wish we had something like that now. It would be wonderful to be able to drop by a place of other LDS women to hang out or learn things on a schedule that works for me and my family. (As opposed to our once-every-three-months-if-we-remember Enrichment meetings. Yeah it’s easier to make the time for but it’s so spread out, how do you make friends? It must be nice to live where there’s a ward on every block but out here in Eastern Canada, a ward can easily cover half a city.)

    Comment by proud daughter of eve — July 19, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  6. In 1933, minimum wage was $0.33, and gold was $26 an ounce.

    Minimum wage is now $7.25 per hour, and gold is $1,600 per ounce.

    So doing the math, $0.10 in 1933 translates to between $2.15 and $6.40 in 2011, as a percentage of minimum wage and the price of gold, respectively.

    Pretty cheap for monthly social club dues.

    Comment by Matthew Chapman — July 19, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  7. I’m just glad you can get Diet Coke in the Lion House Pantry these days.

    Comment by Grant — July 19, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  8. Is a Diet Coke more exciting than what Susa found in the Lion House?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 19, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  9. Yikes! Well, maybe Susa’s “friend” was just looking for some Diet Coke. It hasn’t always been easy to find near Temple Square.

    Comment by Grant — July 19, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

  10. So does the fact that I can remember 10c pay phone calls date me?

    It’s cool to see what kinds of things the Church did when it was smaller. There are always tradeoffs with growth.

    I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Lion and Beehive Houses. My mom was a tour guide back in the day. She’s a total history buff and I caught her love for the place.

    Comment by Michelle — July 20, 2011 @ 12:10 am

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