Resolutions of Respect for the Late Hon. Orson Pratt

The following were adopted this afternoon, being the report of the special committee through Mr. C. W. Penrose, chairman:

Whereas, In the dispensation of Divine Providence, the late Speaker of this House, the Honorable Orson Pratt has been called to a higher sphere, having departed this life on the 3rd day of October, 1881, and,

Whereas, Our departed friend and associate was worthy of our highest regard and the general esteem and affection in which he was held by the public at large as well as by his co-laborers and intimate friends, and,

Whereas, It is our duty and privilege to express in some public manner our appreciation of his many good qualities and efficient public services.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives regards the life and labors of the Honorable Orson Pratt with profound admiration and his character with deep respect.  Gifted with remarkable power, possessing a vigorous intellect and, until his later years, with great physical strength, his highly cultivated powers of mind and body were fully and freely given for the benefit of his follows.  As an astronomer he shone with stars of the first magnitude.  As a mathematician he stood in the foremost rank.  As a theologian he had few equals.  As a writer he was forcible, logical, perspicuous and convincing.  As a public speaker he was bold, original, masterly and eloquent.  As a legislator he was cautious, discreet, liberal and progressive.  As a gentleman he was courteous, sedate, affable, and considerate.  His career was most remarkable, showing what may be achieved by self-culture and perseverance in the face of the greatest obstacles.  In his boyhood he devoted himself to the good of his race, and he never ceased his exertions until cut down by the scythe of the universal reaper.  He was a successful explorer, hardy pioneer and one of the very first colonists of this arid, mountainous region.

He was a member of this Assembly at the first session, was returned every succeeding session when not engaged abroad, and during seven terms acted as Speaker of the House, being its final authority on all questions of rule and order, and no decision that was rendered was ever appealed from. Strictly temperate in his habits, honorable in his dealings, firm in his convictions, courtly in his demeanor, choice in his language and venerable in his appearance, he commanded respect from all who were favored with his acquaintance.

We recognize his worth, we deplore his absence, we venerate his memory.  And while deeply condoling with his bereaved family, and the Territory of Utah in the great loss sustained through his departure, we rejoice in the incalculable good that has accrued from his noble works, and the benefits that will be derived from his literary legacies and his illustrious example.  He rests from his toll, he sleeps with the just; and no historic title, whether of plumed warrior, learned sage, or crowned king will shine more brightly in the eyes of Utah’s people than the great and honored name of Orson Pratt.

And be it further resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes, and that five copies be engrossed and presented to the family of the esteemed deceased.

C.W. Penrose, Chairman.

[Deseret News, Mar. 7, 1882]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mar. 7, 1882, 2]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]

Return to Tributes to Orson Pratt