William Jordan Flake diary
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: William Jordan Flake diary (MSS SC 1453). This is a handwritten diary kept while Flake was kept in the Yuma, Arizona, prison for polygamy. It includes a map of the lay out of the facility and descriptions of the treatment of the Mormons by the guards, including work by the prisoners to repair and unload railroad cars. Also includes poetry and information from letters he received from his family.
William Jordan Flake was born on July 3, 1839 in Smith Creek, North Carolina to James Madison Flake and Agnes Haily Love. In the 1840s his family moved to Mississippi, where they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They migrated west with the Church, settling in San Bernardino, California by the 1850s. In 1858 Flake married Lucy Hannah Smith in Beaver, Utah, where he set up a cattle ranch. He later married Prudence Jane Kartchner in a polygamous marriage in 1868. In 1877 Brigham Young called Flake and his family to help settle the Arizona Territory. With other pioneers he settled
Snowflake, Arizona in 1878. Under the Edmunds Act he was imprisoned for polygamy around 1883. He died on August 10, 1932 in Snowflake.