Guide to the Horace Hall Cummings family papers,
1969-2008

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cummings, Horace Hall, 1858-1937
Title: Horace Hall Cummings family papers
Dates: 1865-1937 ( inclusive )
1880-1887 ( bulk )
Quantity: 7 boxes (3 linear ft. )
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 226
Summary: Collection is comprised mostly of letters received by Horace Cummings. Although he is probably best known as the general superintendent of Mormon Church schools, this collection documents two earlier periods of the life of Horace H. Cummings. First was his short residence in Logan, Utah in the fall and winter of 1880-81 where he taught at Brigham Young College and published the Logan Leader, a weekly newspaper. Second was his Mormon mission to Mexico from 1885-1887 where he served as mission president in 1887. Collection includes correspondence from his wife Barbara Matilda, Erastus Snow, Henry B. Eyring, B.F. Cummings Sr., Julian Moses, and Helaman Pratt. Also includes his Mexican mission account book, the 1880-81 account book for the Logan Leader, and various personal and family ledgers dating from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

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: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Historical Note

Horace Hall Cummings was born in Provo, Utah on June 12, 1858. He was the son of Benjamin Franklin and Catherine Hall Cummings. The young Horace Cummings worked at a variety of jobs. At various times he was as a printer's devil at the Deseret News, worked in the finishing department of the Deseret Woolen Mills and quarried granite for the Salt Lake temple. He attended the Deseret University and studied under Dr. John R. Park But Cummings had attended only three terms when he was forced to quit school in order to support his family.

Looking for work, Cummings found a job teaching school at Mill Creek. This job turned into a lifelong career as an educator. In addition to a profession, Cummings found a wife as a result of that teaching job. Barbara Matilda Moses, whom he married on August 4, 1881 was a student in Horace's first classroom in Mill Creek. Barbara Matilda or Tillie, was the daughter of Julian and Ruth Ridge Moses. The Cummings had seven sons and two daughters. On April 13, 1890 Horace Cummings married a second wife, Matilda Sophia Wilcox Bliss.

Although most of his life was spent in the Salt Lake Valley Cummings spent the fall and winter of 1880-81 to the north in Cache Valley. In Logan, he taught at the Brigham Young College in Logan. At the same time, he and his brother B.F. Cummings Jr. bought and operated the Logan Leader a weekly newspaper. To bring in additional income Cummings kept books for Barber & Sons, taught a winter term in the fifth ward and served as a private tutor.

An active member of the Mormon Church all his life Cummings served a mission to Mexico from 1885 to 1887. While in Mexico he distributed the first shipment of Books of Mormon translated into the Spanish language. He also translated sections of the Doctrine and Covenants into Spanish. He followed Helaman Pratt as the mission president in 1887. As mission president he helped build up the Mormon colonies in Chihuahua by sending converts to settle there.

After his mission, Cummings was very successful in his career. He was in charge of the Utah Educational Exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair at St. Louis, Missouri. He wrote textbooks on elementary science that were used for many years. But the pinnacle of his career was serving for thirteen years as the general superintendent of Church schools. Horace H. Cummings died in Salt Lake City on August 1, 1937.

Content Description

Although he is probably best known as the general superintendent of Mormon Church schools this collection documents two earlier periods of the life of Horace H. Cummings. First, his short residence in Logan, Utah in the fall and winter of 1880-1881 and second, his Mormon mission to Mexico from 1885 to 1887. Cummings served as mission president for one year in 1887. The collection consists of correspondence, ledgers, notes for missionary discussions and Christmas cards.

The collection is comprised almost entirely of letters received by Horace Cummings. The bulk of the letters were written by Barbara Matilda Moses, or Tillie as she was called, to her fiancee, and later husband, Horace H. Cummings. She wrote the first group of letters in 1880-1881 while Cummings was living in Logan, Utah teaching at the Brigham Young College. Tillie wrote the second group of letters in 1885-1887 when Cummings was in Mexico. Her letters have been arranged chronologically. For most months there are four or five letters.

In addition, the collection includes letters from Apostle Erastus Snow, Apostle Henry B. Eyring, B.F. Cummings Sr., Julian Moses, and Helaman Pratt. These letters are arranged alphabetically by the author. Some of these letters, including those from Henry B. Eyring in Box five folders seven through eleven, are in Spanish.

The obvious gap in this collection is the lack of letters from Horace Cummings to his correspondents. Only a few of Horace's letters are represented. The reason for this gap is unknown. One important letter, in which Horace plays a practical joke on Tillie by telling her that he has taken a second wife in Mexico, survives. It can be found in box four folder twelve. Other letters from Horace can be found at the end of box four.

The collection also includes Cummings's Mexican mission account book, the 1880-1881 account book for the Logan Leader, and various personal and family ledgers dating from the 1860s to the 1930s.

Sizeable collections of letters written by nineteenth century Mormon women are rare. Tillie's letters are rich in information about the daily life of an average woman in territorial Utah. But what makes this collection unique is how it candidly reveals attitudes about polygamy. Tillie and her husband joke, and tease each other about polygamy in the letters. This is a highly unusual perspective on the subject. Additionally, this collection documents the Mormon presence in Mexico during the 1880s and the founding of the colonies there.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Patrons must sign and comply with the USU Special Collections and Archives Use Agreement and Reproduction Order form as well as any restrictions placed by the collector or informant(s).

Permission to publish material from the Horace Hall Cummings family papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Horace Hall Cummings family papers, 18651937. (COLL MSS 226) Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged in numeric sequence according to Box and Folder

Acquisition Information :  

Acquisition information is unknown. However, the ledger housed in box 7 folder 5 was purchased by Ryan Roos in 2010 and added to the collection in 2013. Roos purchased the ledger in 2007 from Pioneer Book in Provo, Utah, who aquired if from an elderly resident.

Processing Note :  

Collection Processed by: John L. Powell. Register Created by: John L. Powell, October 9, 1997.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Box
Folder
1 1 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 September 28
1 2 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 October 5
1 3 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 October 15
1 4 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 October 25
1 5 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 October 28
1 6 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 November 9
1 7 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 December 3
1 8 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1880 December 16
1 9 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 January 7
1 10 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 January 14
1 11 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 January 19
1 12 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 January 27
1 13 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 February 3
1 14 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 February 4
1 15 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 February 11
1 16 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 February 18
1 17 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 February 25
1 18 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 March 18
1 19 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 March 24
1 20 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 April 13
1 21 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 April 19
1 22 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 April 23
1 23 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 June 2
1 24 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 June 9
1 25 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 June 16
1 26 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1881 June 27
2 1 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 July 10
2 2 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 July 16
2 3 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 July 23
2 4 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 July 29
2 5 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 August 6
2 6 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 August 9
2 7 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 August 27
2 8 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 September 9
2 9 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 September 10
2 10 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 September 16
2 11 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 September 26
2 12 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 October 1
2 13 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 October 9
2 14 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 October 16
2 15 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 October 29
2 16 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 November 5
2 17 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 November 10
2 18 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 November 19
2 19 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 November 26
2 20 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 November 30
2 21 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 August 12
2 22 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1885 December 27
2 23 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 January 3
2 24 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 January 8
2 25 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 January 30
2 26 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 February 3
2 27 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 February 8
2 28 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 February 15
2 29 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 February 25
2 30 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 March 4
2 31 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 March 11
2 32 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 March 18
2 33 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 March 25
2 34 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 March 31
3 1 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 April 28
3 2 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 May 2
3 3 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 May 13
3 4 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 May 27
3 5 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 3
3 6 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 9
3 7 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 10
3 8 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 16
3 9 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 24
3 10 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 June 27
3 11 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 July 7
3 12 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 July 16
3 13 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 July 21
3 14 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 July 29
3 15 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 August 4
3 16 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 August 5
3 17 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 August 10
3 18 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 August 20
3 19 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 September 1
3 20 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 September 10
3 21 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 September 16
3 22 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 September 23
3 23 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 September 30
3 24 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 October 7
3 25 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 October 12
3 26 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 October 22
3 27 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 October 27
3 28 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 October 29
3 29 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 November 10
3 30 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 November 19
3 31 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 November 21
3 32 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 December 2
3 33 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 December 9
3 34 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 December 16
3 35 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1886 December 23
4 1 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 January 6
4 2 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 January 27
4 3 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 February 10
4 4 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 February 17
4 5 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 February 24
4 6 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 March 10
4 7 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 March 19
4 8 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 March 24
4 9 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 March 31
4 10 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 April 7
4 11 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 April 14
4 12 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings
letter from Horace to Tillie enclosed
1887 May 12
4 13 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 May 19
4 14 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 May 26
4 15 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 June 15
4 16 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 June 23
4 17 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 July 7
4 18 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 July 14
4 19 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 July 22
4 20 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 July 28
4 21 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 August 11
4 22 Letter from Barbara Matilda Moses (Tillie) to Horace Cummings 1887 October 6
4 23 Letter from Horace Cummings to Tillie Undated
4 24 Letter from Horace Cummings to Catharine Hall (his mother) 1885 November 26
4 25 Letter from Horace Cummings to Erastus Snow 1886 December 23
5 1 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1887 November 107
5 2 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1887 November 29
5 3 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1887 December 8
5 4 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1887 December 26
5 5 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 January 13
5 6 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 January 17
5 7 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 February 6
5 8 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 February 18
5 9 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 April 14
5 10 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 May 5
5 11 Letter from Henry Eyring to Horace Cummings 1888 May 19
6 1 Cummings, B.F. Jr. 1885 July 16
6 2 Cummings, B.F. Sr. 1885 September 13
6 3 Cummings, B.F. Sr. 1886 March 30
6 4 Cummings, Horace Jr. 1885 July 23, August 9, November 30
6 5 Cummings, Horace Jr. and Julian 1887 April 21
6 6 Cummings, J.C. 1886 October 29
6 7 Cummings, Imogene 1880 November 7
6 8 Goddard, Joseph 1888 May 8
6 9 MacDonald, A.F. 1887 July 1
6 10 Miranda, Rafael 1888 April 24; 1887 November 15
6 11 Moses, Julian 1881 June 26, August 21
6 12 Moses, Julian 1886 July 2
6 13 Perez, Amondo Enero 28, de 1888
6 14 Pratt, Helaman 1887
6 15 Richardson, C.E. 1888 April 26
6 16 Smith, William 1885 August 3
6 17 Parry, Joseph Hyrum 1887 August 13
6 18 Snow, Erastus 1886 December 15
6 19 Snow, Erastus 1887 February 7
6 20 Snow, Erastus 1887 May 6
6 21 Snow, Erastus 1887 May 18
6 22 Snow, Erastus and H. Pratt 1887 May 29
6 23 Snow, Erastus 1887 June 5
6 24 Snow, Erastus 1887 June 15
6 25 Snow, Erastus 1887 June 19
6 26 Snow, Erastus 1887 July 24
6 27 Tamayo, Marcos 1887 November 27
6 28 Young, Emmie 1885 October 2
6 29 Young, Emmie 188? December 19
6 30 Young, Emmie
(Christmas Card Enclosed)
1885 December 22
6 31 Young, Emmie
(Christmas Card Enclosed)
1886 October 29
6 32 Young, Emmie 1886 December 12
6 33 Logan Leader Account Book 1880-1881
6 34 Mexican Mission Account Book 1886-1889
6 35 Receipt and release from estate of Barbara Moses 1891 July 10
6 36 Christmas cards received by Horace Cummings 1880s
6 37 Mill Creek Water Suit
6 38 Two discussions with Reverends Santos Reyes Leon 1887 May 22
6 39 Envelopes
7 1 Ledger containing sundry accounts (black 15cm) 1911-1934
7 2 Cummings family Ledger (marbled 33 cm) 1867-1890
7 3 Ledger B.F. Cummings sundries (brown 17 cm)
Removed from Cummings family ledger.
1893-1898.
7 4 Loose papers removed from front of Cummings family ledger
7 5 Cummings, Horace, small pocket ledger 1881-1884

Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Cummings, B. F.--Correspondence.
    • Cummings, Barbara Matilda Moses--Correspondence.
    • Cummings, Horace Hall, 1858-1937.
    • Cummings, Horace Hall, 1858-1937--Correspondence.
    • Eyring, Henry, 1901--Correspondence.
    • Moses, Julian--Correspondence.
    • Snow, Erastus--Correspondence.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Mormon Church--Colonization--Mexico.
    • Mormon Church--Missions--Mexico.
    • Mormon women--Correspondence.
    • Mormons--Attitudes--Polygamy.
    • Mormons--Correspondence.
    • Polygamy.

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