Simon Bamberger was one of the most significant figures in Utah political history. His election as governor in 1916
bridged the chasm between Mormons and non-Mormons which had cut through Utah politics for nearly a half century.
Despite anti-Semitic incidents in the 1916 campaign, Bamberger won the support of many Mormons partly because
of his support of prohibition along with his personal abstention from alcohol and tobacco. According to one anecdote:
On a visit to Sanpete County, Bamberger alighted from the train and was
met by a local delegation headed by a tall, robust Norwegian with a flowing
beard. In contrast, Bamberger, who was short and stubby, heard this towering
Norwegian greet him with a menacing threat.
"You might just as vell go right back vere you come from. If you
think we lat any damn Yentile speak in our meeting house, yure mistaken!"
Bamberger looked up into the face of the determined looking leader
and slowly replied: "As a Jew, I have been called many a bad name, but
this is the first time in my life that I have been called a Damn Gentile!"
Instantly the menacing attitude of the leader of the committee relaxed,
and, throwing his arm around Bamberger's shoulders, he exultingly exclaimed,
"You a Yew, an Israelite! Hear him, men, he's not a Yentile; he's a
Yew, an Israelite!" and then to Bamberger: "Velcome, my friend, velcome,
our next Governor."
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and accompanying photographs for the Simon Bamberger House.