In 1842, Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society, the women’s organization in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Relief Society began by meeting in members’ homes where they taught, nurtured, and served each other as well as other members of the Mormon church, all under the organization’s first president, Emma Smith. The Relief Society continued to act as an auxiliary organization of the Church while the Mormons resided in Nauvoo, throughout their westward exodus, and once the Saints settled in the Salt Lake Valley. In 1882, forty years after the Relief Society was created, the First Relief Society Hall was erected in Santaquin, Utah. Joseph Chatwin constructed the one room structure under the direction of the society’s president, Elizabeth Stickney. For sixty more years, this hall would serve the Relief Society until it was sold to Santaquin city in 1942 to serve as a public library and, later, a civic center. The building remained standing until 1963, when it crumbled to the ground. This site remained an important part of the history of Santaquin as well as the history of the Relief Society, and The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers created a monument in 1964 to mark the special place.
This hall in Santaquin, as well as other Relief Society halls throughout Utah and the Western United States, served the women of the Relief Society by providing them a place to serve the community and individuals in need, discuss public issues that involved them, and teach one another their religion. These halls gave women freedom to organize in a way that had never been known before in Utah.