Inside the luxurious department store founded by one of the most important figures in Mormon history
- Brigham Young was the powerful second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- But this Mormon leader also founded a retail co-operative during his tenure with the church.
- That retail co-op, called ZCMI, opened up a luxurious flagship department store in Salt Lake City.
Brigham Young was one of the most important figures in Mormon history, perhaps second only to his predecessor Joseph Smith.
As head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Young led his church to colonize Utah, waged a war against the United States, and advocated the expansion of slavery in the years before the Civil War.He also founded a successful retail outfit.
Young's role in setting up the Zion's co-operative Mercantile Institution - or ZCMI - wasn't simply a pastime or a diversion. Young launched ZCMI in order to further Mormon interests and economic success within Utah. But the business co-operative survived long enough to become an icon of Salt Lake City until the very end of the 20th century.
Here's a look inside the now-defunct business, courtesy of The University of Utah's photo archives: