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Hyrum Smith property records and family record

Hyrum Smith (1800–1844) was the older brother of the Prophet Joseph. He was martyred with his brother in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844.

As we prepare to remember the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on the 173rd anniversary of their deaths on June 27th, L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of additional documents from the Hyrum Smith papers (Vault MSS 774) that were recently digitized. These include property records and a family record.  The property records digitized recently include the following:

The family record is a genealogical record of Hyrum Smith and his descendants, spanning four pages found in middle of the family bible; dated 1834-1872.

This completes the digitization of the Hyrum Smith papers (Vault MSS 774). We hope these documents will be of use to researchers, family, and other interested parties.

Jensen family journals and histories

Missionaries from the Southern States Mission, late 19th Century. Photo courtesy of LDS Church History Library.

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Jensen family journals and histories (MSS 6189). This collection contains journals and family histories of members of the Jensen family, including Louis Reuben Jensen, Kirsten Marie Sorensen, Doyle S. Jensen, and Winston McKay Jensen. Most of the diaries deal with missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Louis served a mission in the Southern States Mission from 1898-1900; Doyle served missions in the Swiss and German Mission (1908-1911) and California Mission (1928); and, Winston served a mission in the Central States Mission from 1956-1958. Also includes information on family life in Idaho and genealogy. Kirsten’s family history includes a typescript of her journal and poetry, along with additional Jensen family history information and family life in Idaho in the early 20th Century.

The Jensen family was established by Louis Reuben Jensen (born 1865) and his wife Kirsten Marie Sorensen (1868-1973). They married in 1885 and had eleven children. The Jensen family lived primarily in Bingham County, Idaho. Doyle S. Jensen (1890-1945) was one of their children. In 1914, he married Ruth Zimmerman, and they had ten children. Winston McKay Jensen was born to Doyle and Ruth Jensen in 1935.

Merry May Booth Talmage journal

Merry May Booth Talmage, ca. 1890

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Merry May Booth Talmage journal (MSS 1607). Merry May Booth Talmage is the wife of Elder James E. Talmage, the author, educator, scientist, and Apostle. This handwritten diary of Merry May Booth Talmage, the only diary of hers still in existence, was started just as May was leaving her home in Alpine to begin teaching at a school in Kaysville, Utah, in September 1887. Entries include engagement to James E. Talmage, her former professor at Brigham Young Academy, in February 1888, and her first years of marriage. Dated 1887-1892.

Merry May Booth Talmage was born on September 29, 1868 in Alpine, Utah to Richard Thornton Booth and Elise Edge. At the age of sixteen, she attended Brigham Young Academy. Soon after graduating, she began a brief teaching career in Kaysville, Utah, before being engaged to marry her former professor at BYA, James E. Talmage. The couple married on June 14, 1888 in Manti, Utah, and they had eight children together.

Merry May Booth Talmage, ca. 1926

May was a teacher in Kaysville, Utah and part of several educational organizations, including serving as vice president of the first Free Kindergarten Association in Utah. She was involved in the suffrage movement, serving on the executive board for the Utah Territorial Woman’s Suffrage Association. In 1893 she went to Chicago and delivered a paper to the World’s Congress of Women, and in 1906 she attended the Trennial of the National Council of Women in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1892, May was called as aid to the general board of the Young Woman Mutual Improvement Association. She was active in committees within this organization and served as editor of the “Young Woman’s Journal.” In 1925, May accompanied her husband and two children to England where Elder Talmage served as president of the European Mission until 1928. While in Europe, May helped in organizing and assisting the women of the Church of the various countries there, as well as the missionaries throughout Europe.

Merry May Booth Talmage died on April 6, 1944 in Ogden, Utah.

Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association papers

“Equal Rights Banner” newsletter cover, vol. 1, no. 1, 1893 July 16

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association papers (MSS SC 48).  This significant and rare collection related to women’s history in Utah contains handwritten documents of the papers of the Woman’s Suffrage Association which met in Beaver, Utah. Items include minutes, newsletters, songs, and regulations for the group. Also includes a letter from Emmeline B. Wells to Mary A. White, president of the association, dated 1895, and a “Equal Rights” banner. Dated approximately 1892-1895.

The Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association was an active branch of the Woman Suffrage Association (WSA) in Beaver, Utah, in the 1890s. It was formed at a time when woman’s suffrage leadership in Salt Lake City was asking women to form branches of the WSA in their own counties and towns. Eventually nineteen Utah counties had branches of the Association. These branches paid dues that were used to help Utah’s territorial suffrage leaders to attend national meetings, and also served to promote education, improve attitudes, and influence politicians concerning the suffrage movement throughout the territory.

The Beaver County branch of the WSA flourished from 1892-1895, and membership included some of the leading men and women of the county, including Mary A. White, wife of Charles D. White, Beaver Stake President; W. G. Bickley, musician and city choir director; William and Matilda Fotheringham, county clerk and bishop; Daniel and Ruth Tyler, mission president and writer; Lucinda Howd, wife of one of the original settlers of Beaver; Sarah Caroline Maeser, wife of Reinhard Maeser, school prinicipal, and mother of Karl G. Maeser; and, J. R. Murdock, a wealthy town politician and stake president.

The Beaver County Woman’s Suffrage Association appears to have gone out of existence after the right for women to vote was written into the constitution of the new state of Utah in 1895.

Henry T. Reynolds letter

Fort Stevens, Washington, D.C., 1864

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Henry T. Reynolds letter (MSS SC 438). Reynolds wrote this letter in 1862 during the Civil War while stationed at Fort Good Hope, also known as Fort Wagner, in southeast Washington, D.C., to his uncle, Matthew Taylor, in Washington, Pennsylvania. The letter is written on printed stationary of the Pennsylvania Volunteers and mentions the gunboat USS Pensacola traveling down the Potomac, camp conditions, the death of Matthew Luis and why part of the letter is in pencil. The letter, dated January 13, 1862, was written during the defense of Washington, D.C., the initial duty for which the 85th Pennsylvania Infantry was asked to render.

USS Pensacola, Alexandria, Virginia, 1861

The 85th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Uniontown, Pennsylvania beginning October 16, 1861 and mustered in for a three-year enlistment under the command of Colonel Joshua B. Howell. After defending Washington, D.C. until March 1862, this unit was involved in several battles over the next two to three years, including the following: Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Williamsburg, Battle of Seven Pines, Seven Days Battles, Battle of Kinston, Battle of White Hall, Battle of Goldsboro Bridge, Second Battle of Fort Wagner, Second Battle of Charleston Harbor, Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Second Battle of Deep Bottom, Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads, Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road.


Andrew Locy Rogers missionary diary

Andrew Locy Rogers (1854-1943)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Andrew Locy Rogers missionary diary (MSS 6179). The diary documents Rogers’ service in the British Mission, where he served in Ireland and Scotland.  His diary documents his experiences in a series of communities from 1909-1910, and chronicles experiences with mission companions. He describes his interactions with other religious denominations, including the Presbyterian Church and the Young Men’s Christian Association. His diary also includes original poetry and local humor.

Andrew Locy (or Lacey) Rogers was born on December 19th, 1854 in Farmington, Utah, to Thomas Edward Rogers and Aurelia Read Spencer Rogers. Answering the call of President Brigham Young in 1876 for volunteers to help establish a Mormon community in Northern Arizona, Locy relocated immediately. On August 27th, 1879 he married Clara Maria Gleason in Salt Lake City. The couple soon returned to Arizona where they raised a family of ten children. Known as “Uncle Locy” or “Honest Locy” in his hometown of Snowflake, Arizona, Andrew Rogers also served three Mormon missions, one in Arizona as a young man, another to Ireland and Scotland in the British Mission when he was in his mid-fifties (1908-1910), and, one to California when he was in his early seventies (1926-1927). His wife Clara died in 1932. Five years later, in 1937, he married Florence Evelyn Thomas Blaine. Andrew Rogers died November 20, 1943 in St. Johns, Arizona.

Questions asked during the Mormon Reformation

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Questions to be asked the Latter-day Saints (MSS SC 292). This item is a handwritten list of questions made by Andrew S. Gibbons to be asked to LDS Church members during the Mormon Reformation.  This list was likely created between 1856 and 1857 while Gibbons was living in Iron County, Utah.

Brigham Young

According to Wikipedia, “The Mormon Reformation was a period of renewed emphasis on spirituality within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It took place in 1856 and 1857 and was under the direction of President of the Church Brigham Young. During the Reformation, Young sent his counselor Jedediah M. Grant and other church leaders to preach to the people throughout Utah Territory and surrounding Mormon communities with the goal of inspiring them to reject sin and turn towards spiritual things. The most conservative, and even reactionary, elements of LDS Church doctrine dominated the public discussions during the Reformation. As a result of the Reformation, almost all “active” or involved LDS Church members were rebaptized as a symbol of their commitment.” To learn more about this event in 19th Century LDS Church history, visit the article by Paul H. Peterson in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the Wikipedia article, or this site on the Mormon Wiki.

William Harrison Maughan missionary journal

William Harrison Maughan (1834-1905)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: William Harrison Maughan missionary journal (MSS 4109). This journal was kept by Maughan from February 1875 to July 1876 while serving a mission in England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1874 to 1876. It describes Maughan’s sickness in England and his efforts to preach to the people, including family members and other ministers. The journal ends in July 1876 and has some details about Maughan’s return to the United States.

William Harrison Maughan was born on May 7, 1834 in Alston, England, to Peter Maughan and Ruth Harrison. In 1841, when he was approximately seven or eight years old, Maughan immigrated to the United States with his family. They first moved to Kirtland and then Nauvoo seven weeks later. In Nauvoo, Maughan heard the Prophet Joseph Smith speak and it had a lasting impression on him for the rest of his life. Maughn accompanied his father to explore for coal at Rock Island to add to the supply at Nauvoo, Illinois. He and his family left on the trek to Salt Lake City and arrived on September 17, 1850.

Maughan married Barbara Morgan on December 25, 1853, in Tooele, Utah, and they had eleven children together. He also had five other wives: Euphemia Nibley, Rachel Ann Barnes Woodward, Mary Jane Lloyd, Margaret Wilson Nibley, and Elizabeth Brice Hill. On November 12, 1859, Maughan was called as a the bishop of the Wellsville Ward in Cache Valley, Utah, and he kept this office for approximately forty years. On June 25, 1900, he was released as bishop and ordained as a stake patriarch. From May 1875 to July 1876 he served a mission to England and presided over the Birmingham conferences. Like many other polygamists during this time, he was also imprisoned and served a jail sentence for a few months because he had multiple wives.

He died on August 29, 1905, in Wellsville, Utah.

History of the Doctrine and Covenants exhibit

We are pleased to announce a new exhibit in Perry Special Collections that takes the viewer through the history of the Doctrine and Covenants, from handwritten manuscripts to broadsides, to being published in book form in 1835. The highlight of the exhibit is BYU’s only copy of the Book of Commandments, predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants and probably the rarest of all LDS printed items!

Later editions of the Doctrine and Covenants with significant additions or deletions are also displayed, including the 1844 Nauvoo edition (added the section on the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith), the 1876 edition (added 26 additional revelations, including Joseph Smith’s revelation on plural marriage), and the 1921 edition (removed the Lectures on Faith, which had been there since 1835). Also shown is an 1835 letter from Oliver Cowdery to Newel K. Whitney regarding original copies of a revelation, and James E. Talmage’s journal where he documents revisions he was asked to make in 1921 as part of the Doctrine and Covenants Committee.

This exhibit will be on display in the Reading Room in Special Collections from March 29 – April 21. Come see this new exhibit and learn more about the history of this significant book of modern day scripture!

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff diary

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff, 1836-1916

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: H. H. Cluff diary (MSS SC 1946). Collection includes a handwritten diary by Harvey H. Cluff from 1887-1888. Cluff records events relating to his church activities. He talks about church talks, church courts, and reactions to the activities of federal officials who were pursuing Mormons because of the practice of polygamy. Cluff presents copies of letters written by Mormon Church leaders and gives an account of his arrest for polygamy on 30 April 1887.

Harvey Harris Cluff (1836-1916) was born in Kirtland, Ohio, to a family of converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They later moved to Missouri and Illinois, and settled in Utah in 1850. Cluff spent much of the 1850s manufacturing furniture, served in the Nauvoo Legion, and was one of the original trustees of Brigham Young University (1875-1897). He would eventually marry three wives–Margaret Ann Foster, Emily Greening Till, and Sarah Louisa Eggertsen–and they bore him ten children between 1857 and 1889, six of which lived to adulthood.

Cluff spent 1865-1868 on a mission to Great Britain, and after an 1869-1874 mission to Hawaii returned as president of the Hawaiian Mission from 1879-1882. He also later served as a counselor in the presidency of the Utah Stake. Harvey Harris Cluff died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 19, 1916.

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