There suddenly rose up before me the memory of the Territory of Utah, and of the capital thereof, Salt Lake City. The Mormon metropolis is, in one respect, a Stratford-on-Avon writ very large indeed. Through all the streets extend narrow ditches full of running water; and every part of the city has once or twice a week the chance to get a supply of pure water to wet the soil and quicken the vegetation. Throughout all the streets there is a luxuriant growth of shade trees, among which the locust, maple, and box-elder are the favourites. Almost every house has a garden; and, thanks to the "meandering streamlets," Salt Lake City bears the aspect, of one vast orchard, full of splendid apples, pears, plums, and apricots.
But the irrigating ditches are kept clean, and sermons on the best way of cleaning them are preached from time to time in the Great Tabernacle of the Saints. The city is divided into wards. Every ward has its overseer or superintendent; and this functionary compels all the inhabitants to turn out and work at public improvements. There is no shirking. Every one has a responsibility to guard and watch his own property, take care of his own irrigating ditches, and help to keep his ward in clue repair. Perfect order, neatness, and tranquillity reign in Salt Lake City. There is no drunkenness; there are no loafers or burglars there; and, but for the monstrosity of polygamy, the Goshen which the Latter-Day Saints have reclaimed from the desert would be, I suppose, the most virtuous place to be found on the face of the earth.
Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2256—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 29, 1882, p.103
See also: Salt Lake City