Skip to main content

Kirkham, Francis W. (Francis Washington), 1877-1972



  • Existence: 1877 - 1972

Biographical History

Francis W. Kirkham (1877-1972) was an educator and businessman in Utah.

Francis Washington Kirkham was born in 1877 in Lehi, Utah. He is known as a prominent educator as well as the author of "New Witness for the Christ in America: Evidence of Divine Power in the 'Coming Forth' of the Book of Mormon." At the young age of fifteen, Kirkham studied business under James E. Talmage, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kirkham attended Brigham Young Academy; however, his studies were placed on hold for three years while he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand. His mission inspired him to write a grammar book to help new missionaries learn the Maori language. In 1901, Francis W. Kirkham was married in the Salt Lake City Temple to Martha Alzina Robinson. He also returned to Brigham Young Academy (BYU), graduating in 1904 as valedictorian. After graduating from BYA, Kirkham worked as a businessman in Canada for three years. He later attended the University of Michigan for his bachelors degree, following which he taught at Brigham Young University for two years. Francis W. Kirkham decided to enroll in law school at the University of Utah where he was in the law school's first graduating class. He continued his graduate studies at Stanford and went on to earn his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley. For a period of time Francis W. Kirkham served as the president of the LDS Business College, the head of vocational education for the State of Utah and the superintendent of the Granite School District. While serving as the superintendent of the Granite School District he wrote the book "Educating all the Children of all the People." The book gained him national recognition and led to Kirkham being appointed the head of the New York City-based National Child Welfare Association. During his time in New York, Kirkham studeied the Book of Mormon in depth as he had greater access to resources within the area. He published a compilation of these works in 1937 entitled "Source Material on the Book of Mormon" which was the main basis for his book "A New Witness..." Kirkham later also worked as a manager for a Salt Lake City-based insurance company for several years. Francis W. Kirkham died in 1972.

A new witness for Christ in America, the Book of Mormon, 1967:t.p. (Francis W. Kirkham)

Francis W. Kirkham papers, 1877-1972 (Francis W. Kirkham; educator and businessman)

FamilySearch, 14 July 2010 (Francis Washington KIRKHAM; b. 8 Jan 1877; d. 14 Sep 1972), Nov. 19, 2010 (Francis W. Kirkham; Francis Kirkham; W. Francis Kirkham; Francis Washington Kirkham; b. Jan. 8, 1877 in Lehi, Utah; d. Sept. 14, 1972 in Salt Lake City, Utah; resident of Provo, Utah; farmer, canal builder, teacher; served as a missionary to New Zealand; taught at Brigham Young University)

Found in 34 Collections and/or Records:

Francis W. Kirkham leaflets, brochures and pamphlets, 1900-1962

Identifier: MSS 1562 Series 3 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains leaflets, brochures, and pamphlets related to Francis W. Kirkham's work within the education system. The subseries dates 1900-1962.

Dates: 1900-1962

Francis W. Kirkham papers, 1898-1947

Identifier: MSS 1562 Series 5
Scope and Contents

Contains miscellaneous papers related to Francis W. Kirkham. Included are letters, photographs, notes, newspaper clippings, and various other materials. The series dates 1898-1947.

Dates: 1898-1947

Francis W. Kirkham papers on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1908-1969

Identifier: MSS 1562 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains papers from Francis W. Kirkham related to his work within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Included are correspondence, newspaper clippings, research papers, notes and various other materials. The series dates 1908-1969.

Dates: 1908-1969

Francis W. Kirkham personal papers, approximately 1877-1972

Identifier: MSS 1562 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains various papers from Francis W. Kirkham regarding his personal life. Among the papers are letters, diaries, personal papers (including biographical information), photographs, and various other materials. The series dates 1877-1972.

Dates: approximately 1877-1972

Francis W. Kirkham scrapbooks, 1902-1944

Identifier: MSS 1562 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains scrapbooks relating to Francis W. Kirkham either directly or through extension of family. The subseries dates from 1902 to 1944.

Dates: 1902-1944

Sarah Fletcher Jones letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324532]
Identifier: MSS SC 2529
Scope and Contents

Handwritten letters addressed to Francis W. Kirkham. They were written in Provo, Utah and were often signed with "Your Cincere & Affectionate friend." Jones signed her name both as "Sadie" and as "Sayde." The items are concerned with personal matters and happenings in Provo, Utah.

Dates: 1896-1898

Jonathan Golden Kimball letter

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230323559]
Identifier: MSS SC 2382
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed letter dated 31 Jan. 1900 and addressed to Francis W. Kirkham, Mormon author and businessman. Kimball extends Kirkham an honorable release for serving in an unnamed Mormon Church assignment.

Dates: 1900 January 31

Spencer W. Kimball letter to Francis W. Kirkham

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324581]
Identifier: MSS SC 2495
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed letter dated 25 Feb. 1960 and addressed to Francis W. Kirkham. Kimball thanks Kirkham for sending him a copy of his book "A New Witness for Christ in America--Volume II." Kimball writes that he will read it and that he appreciates Kirkham's efforts.

Dates: 1960

Francis W. Kirkham correspondence

 Collection — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324599]
Identifier: MSS SC 2496
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed correspondence. Eight of the items were sent to Kirkham and one was sent by him. These items were to and from General Authorities and other leaders of the Mormon Church. The collection includes letters from Oscar A. Kirkham, A. Theodore Tuttle, Marvin J. Ashton, LeGrand Richards, S. Dilworth Young, and Reed Smoot. These persons thank Kirkham for sending them copies of his books.

Dates: 1915-1960

Francis W. Kirkham correspondence

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230321892]
Identifier: MSS SC 2352
Scope and Contents

Handwritten correspondence to and from Francis and to and from his wife, Zina Robinson Kirkham (died in 1941). The items deal largely with personal and family matters.

Dates: 1891-1911

Additional filters:

Collection 21
Archival Object 13
Letters 28
Education 11
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 10
Material Types 7
Correspondence 6