Guide to the Orson F. Whitney Diaries,
1877-1931

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Results

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Whitney, Orson F.(Orson Ferguson), 1855-1931
Title: Orson F. Whitney Diaries
Dates: 1877-1931 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 6 boxes (2.75 linear feet)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 188
Summary: his collection consists of photocopies of Orson F. Whitney's diaries from 1877-1931, a handwritten autobiography, a notebook, and an account book.
Repository: Utah State University.
Manuscript Collections

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Material in English 

Biographical Note

Orson Ferguson Whitney was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday, July 1, 1855. His father, Horace Kimball Whitney was the eldest son of Newel Kimball Whitney, the second Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mother, Helen Mar Whitney, was the eldest daughter of Heber Chase Kimball, one of the original Twelve Apostles and later a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church.

Early in Orson F. Whitney's life, he was educated in the common schools of Salt Lake City and worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. Thereafter he attended the University of Deseret, now the University of Utah. His final year at the University (1873—1874) was followed by a one-year mission for the LDS Church in October of 1876. During the spring of 1877, Elder Whitney went alone to Northern Ohio, preaching, baptizing, studying the gospel, and writing for the Salt Lake Herald. Whitney returned to Utah in the spring of 1878, arriving home on the first day of April. Two weeks later he was employed by the Deseret News. In August of 1878 he was promoted to city editor of the Deseret News.

On July 14, 1878, Orson F. Whitney was made bishop of the Salt Lake City 18th ward. During that winter (1878—1879) Bishop Whitney went on a preaching tour of Cache Valley, Utah. In the fall of the following year, on December 18, 1879, Whitney married Miss Zine Beal Smoot of Provo, Utah. Over the course of their twenty-year marriage Zine bore Orson nine children; Horace Newel (1880), Emily (1885), Helen Margaret (1887), Margaret (1889), Charles Byron (1891), Albert Owen (1893), the twins—Paul Van Cott and Virginia Clayton (1899), and Heber Kimball (1899).

In February of 1880, a year-and-a half after their marriage, Orson F. Whitney was called on a LDS mission to Europe to labor in the editorial department of the Millennial Star in Liverpool. While on this mission, Whitney's second son Heber Kimball died, whom he had never seen. Whitney labored in England for three-and-a-half years, until his return home to Salt Lake City on July 7, 1883.

Upon his return, Whitney resumed his position at the Desert News, but later resigned in December of 1884 to become the city treasurer. He was reelected every two years until 1890. During this time, and perhaps in secret, on July 24, 1888, in Colonia Diaz, Mexico, Orson took a second wife by marrying Mary Minerva Wells of Salt Lake City. Residing together at various time in Logan, Utah, they had two children; Murray Wells (1892) and Wendell Webb (1895). In 1896 Whitney accepted the chair of philosophy at Brigham Young College in Logan were he resided until July of 1897.

On May 20, 1900, at the age of 41, Zine Beal Smoot Whitney died, leaving eight children in the care of her husband and his second wife Mary. Later that year, on October 11, 1900, Orson and Mary were remarried in the Salt Lake Temple. In 1901 Orson served in the state legislature pushing for the adoption of the Evan's Bill, a bill that sought to grant legal protection for plural marriages that occurred before statehood. In 1907 Orson was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a high calling within the LDS church. Thereafter, his spiritual profession required him to travel a great deal, often to various towns and cities across the United States.

Over the course of Orson's public career he published many articles and books, among them; Baptism—The Birth of Water and of Spirit, The Strength of the Mormon Position, Voices From the Mountains, Gospel Themes: a Treatise on Salient Features of Mormons, Popular History of Utah, History of Utah, The Life of Heber C. Kimball, and Through Memory’ Halls; The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney. In addition to publishing, during the 1920s Orson delivered spiritual lectures that were broadcasted live on Sunday evenings over KSL radio, Salt Lake City.

On May 16, 1931, Orson F. Whitney died at the age of 76. Mary M. Whitney died four years later on January 25, 1935

Content Description

This six box collection consists of photocopies of Orson F. Whitney's diaries from 1877—1931, a handwritten autobiography, a notebook, and an account book

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Use :  

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Orson F. Whitney Diaries must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: Orson F. Whitney Diaries USU_COLL MSS 188, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 188, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged in chronological order.

Processing Note :  

Processed in July of 2004

Related Materials :  

Orson F. Whitney LettersCOLL MSS 167

Helen Mar Whitney Letters COLL MSS 179


Detailed Description of the Collection

Box
Folder
1 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1877 January 17 - 1882 December 8
1 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1879 January 1 - July 5
1 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1879 July 6 - December 20
1 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1879 December 21 - 1882 September 2
1 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1882 September 29 - 1883 April 22
1 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1883 April 23 - July 8
1 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1883 July 13 - 1885 April 26
1 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1885 November 1 - 1887 December 26
1 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1888 January 1 - 1889 March 3
1 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1889 March 3 - June 27
1 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1889 June 30 - December 28
1 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1889 December 30 - 1890 June 13
1 13 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1890 June 27 - 1882 May 21
1 14 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1883 May 21 - 1893 September 17
1 15 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1893 September 24 - 1895 October 4
1 16 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1895 October 4 - 1896 December 29
1 17 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1897 January 1 - 1898 January 1
1 18 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1898 January 1 - December 18
2 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1901 January 1 - April 17
2 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1901 April 28 - November 23
2 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1901 November 23 - 1902 February 17
2 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1902 February 28 - June 3
2 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1902 June 3 - December 22
2 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1902 December 23 - 1903 March 9
2 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1903 March 13 - July 1
2 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1903 July 1 - December 14
2 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1903 December 15 - 1905 February 23
2 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1905 February 25 - March 29
2 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1905 April 6 - June 5
2 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1905 June 5 - July 31
2 13 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1905 August 3 - October 21
2 14 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1905 October 26 - December 25
2 15 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 January 1 - April 10
2 16 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 April 10-14
2 17 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 April 24 - June 3
2 18 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 June 3 - July 16
2 19 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 July 16 - August 13
2 20 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 August 13 - October 7
2 21 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 October 7 - November 25
2 22 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1906 November 25 - 1907 January 6
3 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1907 January 7 - April 26
3 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1907 April 27 - July 14
3 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1907 July 15 - August 29
3 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1907 August 30 - October 16
3 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1907 October 16 - 1908 January 18
3 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1908 January 19 - April 13
3 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1908 April 14 - September 1
3 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1908 September 2 - October 31
3 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1908 October 31 - December 31
3 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1909 January 1 - May 22
3 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1909 May 22 - August 14
3 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1909 August 14 - October 31
3 13 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1909 November 1 - 1910 January 16
3 14 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1910 January 17 - March 23
3 15 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1910 March 24 - June 13
3 16 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1910 June 13 - September 5
3 17 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1910 September 5 - December 11
3 18 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1910 December 11 - 1911 March 14
3 19 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1911 March 14 - June 5
3 20 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1911 June 6 - July 31
3 21 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1911 August 2 - 26
3 22 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1911 August 26 - October 5
3 23 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1911 October 5 - 1912 February 13
3 24 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1912 January 1 - April 23
3 25 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1912 April 25 - July 21
3 26 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1912 July 25 - 1913 January 26
3 27 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1913 January 26 - May 13
4 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1913 May 14 - July 20
4 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1913 July 21 - December 31
4 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1914 January 1 - May 30
4 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1914 May 31 - December 31
4 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1915 January 1 - April 3
4 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1915 April 5 - August 3
4 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1915 August 6 - December 20
4 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1915 December 26 - 1916 June 23
4 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1916 July 1 - September 17
4 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1916 September 18 - November 23
4 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1916 November 21 - December 31
4 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 January 1 - March 10
5 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 March 11 - April 30
5 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 May 1 - June 12
5 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 June 17 - July 31
5 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 August 4 - September 20
5 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1917 September 21 - December 30
5 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1918 January 1 - April 8
5 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1918 April 19 - September 1
5 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1916 September 3 - December 1
5 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1918 December 9 - 1919 May 31
5 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1919 June 1 - October 3
5 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1919 October 4 - 1920 March 15
5 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1920 March 21 - July 17
5 13 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1920 July 18 - November 26
5 14 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1920 December 3-18
5 15 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1920 December 25 - 1921 March 19
5 16 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 April 2 - May 29
5 17 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 May 30 - June 24
5 18 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 June 25 - August 2
5 19 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 August 3-27
5 20 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 August 29 - September 21
5 21 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 September 22 - October 16
5 22 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 October 17 - November 18
5 23 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1921 November 19 - 1922 January 18
5 24 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1922 January 19 - March 26
6 1 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1922 April 1 - May 27
6 2 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1922 May 28 - September 28
6 3 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1922 September 28 - November 22
6 4 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1924 January 27 - April 6
6 5 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1924 April 6 - May 20
6 6 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1924 May 27 - September 1
6 7 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1924 September 2 - 1925 January 28
6 8 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1925 February 1 - June 25
6 9 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1925 June 29 - December 16
6 10 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1925 December 27 - 1926 July 4
6 11 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1926 July 4 - 1927 February 26
6 12 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1927 February 26 - June 25
6 13 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1927 June 25 - December 18
6 14 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1927 December 25 - 1928 October 7
6 15 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1928 October 13 - 1929 August 23
6 16 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1929 August 25 - 1930 May 31
6 17 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1930 June 15 - 1931 January 19
6 18 O.F. Whitney Diaries (click to view) 1931 February 12 - April 4
6 19 Handwritten autobiography, pp. 1—105 (click to view) Undated
6 20 Handwritten autobiography, pp. 107—209 (click to view) Undated
6 21 Handwritten autobiography, pp. 211—239 (click to view) Undated
6 22 Notebook (click to view) Undated
6 23 Account book, labeled "Miss Emma Wells" (click to view) Undated

Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Whitney, Orson F.(Orson Ferguson), 1855-1931--Diaries.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Mormon Church--Apostles--Diaries.
    • Titles within the Collection :
    • Desert News.
    • Latter-day saints Millennial Star.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Journalists--Utah--Salt Lake City--Diaries.
    • Mormon Church--Missions--England--Liverpool.
    • Mormon missionaries--England--Liverpool--Diaries.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Utah--History

    ^ Return to Top