Guide to the George Washington Thatcher family papers,
1872-1917

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Thatcher, George Washington, 1840-1902
Title: George Washington Thatcher family papers
Dates: 1872-1917 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 47
Summary: The bulk of the collection is letterbooks (1880-1901), dealing primarily (after 1883) with the affairs of the Thatcher Brothers Banking Company; also includes materials concerning the L.D.S. Church in Cache Valley, the Logan L.D.S. Temple, the Utah and Northern Railroad, Logan City Government, and the Democratic Party. Personal materials include correspondence with plural wife, Fanny, and son, George, and provide information on the inner workings of the institution of plural marriage. The miscellaneous papers are largely of a financial nature, and include papers of Noble Warrum, R.W. Sloan, Edward E.H. Holden, and several mining companies. Also includes class notes and missionary journal of George W. Thatcher Jr. promoting the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA) in southern Utah and commonplace book of Jean C. Thatcher.
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: 435 797-1663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

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

Biographical Note

George Washington Thatcher was born February 1, 1840 in Springfield, Illinois to Hezekiah and Alley Kitchen Thatcher. In 1844 the Thatcher family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and in 1847 they moved to the Utah Territory settling in present day Salt Lake City, Utah. In the spring of 1849 the Thatcher family moved to Auburn, California working in California's Gold Rush. Hezekiah, among his other economic ventures, opened an eating house with lodging in Auburn that proved quite profitable. During this time George worked for his father as a hotel keeper, a rancher, and in merchandising. After acquiring a firm financial basis, in 1857 the Thatcher family returned to the Utah Territory. In 1858 George worked with the Native American Agent, Jacob Forney, on a mission to the southwest Native American tribes. From 1860 to 1861 George was employed by the Russell, Majors, & Waddell Co. as a Pony Express rider.

On April 4, 1861 in Salt Lake City, George married Eunice (Luna) Caroline Young, the daughter of Brigham Young the territorial governor and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From 1861 to 1867 George was the manager of his father-in-law property in Big Cottonwood. George also managed the Salt Lake Theatre and Brigham Young's interests within Salt Lake City. In March 1867 George took a second wife, Fannie Young, another daughter of Brigham Young and the half sister of his first wife. From 1868 to 1869 George and John W. Young supervised the construction of the railroad grade for the Union Pacific Railroad in Echo and Weber Canyons. In 1871 George, in partnership with John W. Young and H. P. Kimball, oversaw the construction of track for the Utah & Northern Railroad Company. (See Caine Coll 26: The John W. Young Papers.)

In 1873 George was called to serve as a missionary in Great Britain for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After serving a one-year mission, George returned to the Utah Territory and formed another partnership with John W. Young and H. P. Kimball to construct the Utah Western Railroad. In 1847 George was elected as a member of the Salt Lake City Council and served a two-year term.

In 1876 George moved to Logan, Utah were he continued to work as the Superintendent of the Utah & Northern Railroad Company until 1882. In 1877 he became the Trustee for the Brigham Young College (formerly in Logan). In 1883, Logan's first bank, the Thatcher Brothers & Banking Company was formed through a partnership between George W. Thatcher, Sr., Moses Thatcher, Sr. (George's brother), H. E. Hatch, W. D. Hendricks, S. T. Josselyn, and W. A. Rossiter. George served as the bank president until 1902.

From 1893 to 1896 George was a member of the Utah Commission and in 1894 he was elected Mayor of Logan for a two-year term. In 1900 he was the Utah Democratic party's candidate for nomination as Governor of Utah. In 1900 he also represented Utah as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention held in Kansas City. George W. Thatcher, Sr. died at his home on December 23, 1902.

Source: "George W. Thatcher" The Crimson, Brigham Young College, Logan, Utah, Vol. 1, No. 5 (April 22, 1904).

Content Description

This three-box collection contains the papers of George W. Thatcher, Sr. spanning the period of 1872 to 1917. This collection is comprised of seven volumes and loose papers consisting of George's correspondence, legal papers, financial papers, and papers relating to Thatcher's children, George W. Thatcher, Jr. and Jean C. Thatcher. The bulk of this collection consists of George's outgoing correspondence in the form of his letterbooks.

Books 1-5 consist of George's five letterbooks which contain nearly 2,700 pages of his outgoing correspondence spanning the period from 1880 to 1901. His correspondence discusses his business ventures, railroading, banking, political activities, family life, Mormonism, polygamy, his brother Moses Thatcher, Sr.'s 1896 expulsion from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other topics. Book 6, George W. Thatcher, Jr.'s 1891 diary, was written during a missionary trip through southern Utah with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' YMMIA program. Book 7 consists of notes taken by George W. Thatcher, Jr. during his studies at the University of Deseret in 1885. Books 8 and 9 consist of Jean C. Thatcher's notes on music and her "Commonplace Book," which records quotes, essays, and other personal notes. box 3 contains correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, and other material connected to George W. Thatcher, Sr.

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.

Permission to publish material from the George Washington Thatcher family papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

George Washington Thatcher family papers, 1872-1917. (COLL MSS 47). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged by type of material.

Acquisition Information :  

The material in this collection was obtained by Utah State University Special Collections & Archives in two batches in 1977 and 1979 from Patience Thatcher, the granddaughter of George W. Thatcher, Sr.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Letterbooks of G. W. Thatcher, Sr.
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 Bk 1: Letterbook
494 pages
1880-1883
1 Bk 2: Letterbook
504 pages
1883-1886
1 Bk 3: Letterbook
504 pages
1886-1890
1 Bk 4: Letterbook
493 pages
1890-1894
2 Bk 5: Letterbook
701 pages.
1894-1901

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Papers concerning G. W. Thatcher, Jr. and J. C. Thatcher
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
2 Bk 6: Diary, George W. Thatcher, Jr.'s missionary labors in southern Utah 1891
2 Bk 7: Class notes, from G. W. Thatcher, Jr.'s studies at the University of Deseret 1885
2 Bk 8: Jean C. Thatcher's "Commonplace Book", contains notes, essays, quotes, etc. 1896
2 Bk 9: Jean C. Thatcher's "Record", contains notes on the study, instruction, and performance of music circa 1917.

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Papers of G. W. Thatcher, Sr.
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
3 1 Thatcher's LDS Church papers
six pieces
1890-1891
3 2 Papers concerning the Brigham Young College
six items
1894-1899
3 3 Thatcher-Preston burial plot
one item.
1880
3 4 Hezekiah Thatcher estate settlement papers
five pieces
1881-1886
3 5 George W. Thatcher, Sr. estate settlement papers
thirty-five pieces.
1904-1906
3 6 Thatcher Milling Company papers
three pieces
1881-1893
3 7 Cache Pressed Brick Company stock certificates
two pieces
1892-1893
3 8 Rich-Cache Mining Company stock certificates and papers
thirteen pieces
1892-1898
3 9 Sundown & LaPlata Mining Company stock certificates and papers
eight pieces
1892-1903
3 10 Ima Consolidated Mining & Milling Company stock certificates
three pieces
1902-1903
3 11 E. & F. Mining Company stock certificates and correspondence
nine items
1903-1908
3 12 Stock certificates, miscellaneous
four pieces
1889-1890
3 13 Insurance policy papers
seven pieces
1893-1896
3 14 Deeds
four pieces
1872-1883,
3 15 Deeds
thirteen pieces
1878-1900,
3 16 Salt Lake City land papers
four items
1892-1908
3 17 Deeds concerning Luna Y. Thatcher 1902 and 1915
3 18 Nelly M. Blair financial papers
eight pieces
1892-1898
3 19 Papers concerning Noble Warrum
ten pieces
1893-1897
3 20 Papers and correspondence concerning R. W. Sloan
nineteen pieces
1889-1906
3 21 Papers and correspondence concerning Edward H. Holden (Thatcher's nephew)
twenty-four items
1897-1899
3 22 Papers and correspondence concerning Andrew Brixen
five pieces
1900
3 23 Mortgage papers
three items
(one item concerns The Logan Journal).
1890-1908
3 24 Releases of mortgages
six pieces
1903-1910
3 25 Miscellaneous financial papers
seventeen items
1889-1910
3 26 Miscellaneous correspondence
eleven items
1894-1908
3 27 Extract of Logan City Council minutes
five pages
1901

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Holden, Edward E. H.
    • Sloan, Robert W.
    • Thatcher, Fanny Young, 1849-1892.
    • Thatcher, George Washington, 1840-1902.
    • Thatcher, George Washington, 1868-1950.  ( contributor)
    • Thatcher, George Washington, 1868-1950.
    • Thatcher, Jean Crismon, 1868-1960.
    • Thatcher, Luna Caroline Young, 1842-1922.
    • Warrum, Noble.
    • Family Names :
    • Thatcher family.
    • Corporate Names :
    • Brigham Young College (Logan, Utah)
    • Democratic Party (Utah)
    • Logan Temple (Utah)
    • Rich-Cache Mining Company (Utah)
    • Sundown and La Plata Mining Company (Utah)
    • Thatcher Brothers Banking Co. (Utah)
    • Thatcher Opera House (Logan, Utah)
    • Utah and Northern Railway Company.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Banks and banking--Utah--Cache County.
    • Mines and mineral resources--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)
    • Mines and mineral resources--Utah.
    • Mormon Church--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)
    • Mormon missionaries--Utah--Diaries.
    • Polygamy.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Logan (Utah)--History.
    • Logan (Utah)--Politics and government.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Commonplace books--Utah--Logan--1896.
    • Mormon missionary journals--Utah--1891.

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