Utah History Encyclopedia


By Leonard J. Arrington
Charles Redd was born in Bluff, Utah, on 8 May 1889, the sixth of eight children of Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr., and Eliza Ann Westover. Charles, always referred to as "Charlie," spent his childhood and youth in Bluff on the San Juan River in southeastern Utah. He attended Brigham Young University, where he studied agriculture and business and was active in sports, politics, and debate. He served a proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific Northwest from 1911 to 1913 and then returned to La Sal, in southeastern Utah, to manage the newly purchased La Sal Livestock Company. Charlie expanded the ranch and eventually assumed full ownership of it and successor Redd ranches.

An active manager, Charlie Redd hired the men, kept the accounts, and supervised the irrigation and haying operations. He watched over the herds of sheep and cattle as well as the lambing and calving and shearing operations, hauled salt and supplies, and built fences, sheds, and corrals. He built a store and was local postmaster for fifty years. He also operated a car and farm implement dealership. Through hard work, frugality, and wise investment, he improved the quality of his herds and expanded into western Colorado.

Redd helped organize and then presided over the National Wool Marketing Association; he was chairman of the Utah Water and Power Board and a director of Utah Power and Light Company, Amalgamated Sugar Company, and Pacific National Life Assurance Company. Active in politics, he was elected to three terms in the Utah Legislature (1923-31) and was a delegate to three national Republican party conventions. He was a member of the board of trustees of Utah State University and the regional executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America. He entertained important foreign visitors and was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to and friendship with Great Britain. On a local level, Redd was president of the State Bank of San Juan, president of the first BLM advisory board, and a director of the Grayson Cooperative Company, the Blanding Irrigation Company, and the Federal Land Bank.

In 1972 Charles Redd established the Lemuel H. Redd Chair in Western History and the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. He read widely, traveled extensively, and encouraged independent thought on religion, politics, and economics. He was good-natured, democratically minded, and helpful. He was a conservationist of the land and water, and inaugurated grass seeding and water development programs. He was applauded by the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and other ranchers.

Charles Redd and his wife, Annaley Naegle Redd, had eight children. He died in Provo, Utah, on 30 March 1975.