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    Follow the Stories | Salt Lake City, Utah (2007)

    The First Mormon Actor: Philip Margetts Archive

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    • Philip Margetts Archive

      Roadshow guest Michelle brought in a sizeable collection of family pictures and documents related to her great-grandfather, Philip Margetts, a theatrical figure in 19th-century Salt Lake City.



    • Philip Margetts Archive

      An oil portrait of Margetts by Salt Lake painter George Ottinger. Margetts came to the Utah Territory from England in 1850 with a passion for theater, and quickly became a prominent and well-loved comedic actor in Salt Lake City.


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      Margetts became a citizen of the Utah Territory on April 14, 1857, as shown by this certificate issued by the U.S. Supreme Court for the Territory of Utah.


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      A photograph of downtown Salt Lake City, ca. 1855. Margetts was a wine merchant by trade and his establishment, the somewhat paradoxically named California Wine Depot, is visible in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.



    • Philip Margetts Archive

      In this studio portrait, Margetts (seated) appears with S.B. Young (left), nephew of Brigham Young.


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      In this photograph Margetts appears performing as a comic character named "Mister Toodles."


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      Part of Michelle's family archive includes special playbills printed on silk. This one describes an 1874 Salt Lake Theatre benefit performance, featuring "Mr. Phil. Margetts, The Favorite Local Comedian" who "kindly Volunteered and will appear as EZEKIEL TEARNER in 'BOWL'D OUT.'


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      A collection of Margetts' letters and diaries make up one of the most significant portions of Michelle's collection. The writings show that Mormon leader Brigham Young was an enthusiastic supporter both of Margetts and of community theater in Salt Lake City.


    • Philip Margetts Archive

      Lecky called Michelle's collection an "exceptional archive" in excellent condition, placing its value at $100,000 to $150,000. Michelle was shocked and said she planned to donate the materials to the university library.
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