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Centennial: What A Woman...The Silver Queen


by Sheri Sohm. History contains the stories of men, women and children. Biographies and personal histories add to the understanding of a time and place.


  • Reading adapted from Brigham Street, by Margaret D. Lester, published by the Utah State Historical Society.
  • Student worksheet.
  • Teacher or students may wish to contact the Utah State Historical Society for pictures and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum that houses artifacts belonging to Susanna.
  • Personal history of an older neighbor, grandmother or grandfather.

Background for Teachers

The stories of women and minorities are often overlooked in history books. Individuals are responsible for Utah's rich cultural and history. By studying Susanna the Silver Queen students will also learn about historic architecture, clothing styles, mining, Park City life, economics, social morés, technology, etc.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Students will realize that women have played a strong role in the history of Utah.
  • Students will understand that the study of individuals can give glimpses of the life and times of the era.
  • Students will experience personal histories.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material for the Utah Centennial Lesson Plans book.

Pass out lined paper. Ask students to write about three personal experiences. First they will write about their earliest memory. The second assignment will be to relate a frightening experience and the third will be describe an exciting experience. Pair students to share their stories. Explain that history is includes stories of individuals as well as of groups.

Ask students to read the story of Susanna the Silver Queen.

Students will create a worksheet.

What insights into the history of the times can be gained through the story of Susanna Bransford Emery Holmes Egeria Engaliltcheff? What can be learned about the economics, style, architecture, and society of Utah in the late 1800's and early 1900's through the study of this individual?

Connecting the Past to the Present: Assign students to find family stories. They can interview parents, grandparents or other relatives. Have students share particularly interesting stories with the class. Students should listen to the stories and note details that give them insights into the history of the time.

Explain that stories of individuals are called personal histories. Accounts of real people make history come alive and help us understand the era in greater depth.


Have students choose one of their written experiences from the beginning of the lesson. Ask students to rewrite and elaborate their favorite story to be included in a book of class personal histories. Explain the concept of a timeline. Help students create a timeline of their life. They should mark the interesting or eventful points on the line. Ask students to identify an event in their life that would give future readers a better understanding of the present time. It may add insight into the education system, school yard games, celebrations, friendships, community projects, etc.

Collect these stories for a centennial booklet. Date the booklet and give it a name identifying it as a collection of personal histories.

Answer the questions on the Worksheet.

Created: 02/13/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018