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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 diaries

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 772
Scope and Contents Handwritten diaries. Kirkham describes his early life before starting his diaries in 1893. In the first volume, Kirkham writes about his education. The volumes numbered 2 through 13 were kept when he was serving on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand. These items contain accounts of his daily activities and extensive comments on the customs of the Maori people of New Zealand. The fourteenth volume tells about the completion of Kirkham's schooling and...
Dates: 1893-1902

Francis W. Kirkham letter

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230322932]
Identifier: MSS SC 2376
Scope and Contents

Handwritten letter, on "Provo City, Utah" stationary, which is dated 10 Oct. 1900 and addressed to "Dearest Zina." The item was signed by "Francis" who is believed to have been Francis W. Kirkham. Francis writes to his "sweetheart" telling her of his activities at Brigham Young Academyin Provo, Utah.

Dates: 1900 October 10

Francis W. Kirkham letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230310531]
Identifier: MSS SC 1311
Scope and Contents

Four typed and signed letters by Mormon Church leaders Ezra Taft Benson (1943), Bruce R. McConkie (1960), LeGrand Richards (1958), and J. Reuben Clark (1948), addressed to Francis W. Kirkham in Utah. Benson mentions visiting a number of "cooperatives,' McConkie expresses appreciation for a book received, Richards talks about the gathering of the Jews to Israel, and Clark speaks of his intention to write a book on the life of the Savior.

Dates: 1943-1960

Francis W. Kirkham letters received

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324524]
Identifier: MSS SC 2528
Scope and Contents

Handwritten and signed letters addressed to Francis W. Kirkham. These items came from friends and family members living in Provo and Lehi, Utah. The materials relate largely to family and personal matters.

Dates: 1897-1972

Francis W. Kirkham papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1562
Scope and Contents

Contains various papers from Kirkham, documenting his work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Utah education system, the Cooperative Life Insurance Association, and his personal life. Included are correspondence, personal papers (including biographical information), scrapbooks, leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, and various other materials. Materials date from between approximately 1877 and 1972.

Dates: approximately 1877-1972

David O. McKay letter

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 2381
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed letter dated 12 Dec. 1942 and addressed to Francis W. Kirkham, Mormon author and businessman. McKay thanks Kirkham for giving him a book which Kirkham had written.

Dates: 1942 December 12

David O. McKay letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324185]
Identifier: MSS SC 2488
Scope and Contents

Two typewritten and signed letters dated 16 Sept. 1936 and 28 Jan. 1937. The items were addressed to Judge Daniel Harrington and Francis W. Kirkham. McKay informs Harrington that he agrees with him on the matter of Herman W. Peery of, mayor of Odgen, Utah. McKay also believes that Peery should withdraw his candidacy for governor of Utah. McKay thanks Kirkham for sending him copies of some of his publications and looks forward to reading them.

Dates: 1937 January 28; 1936 September 16

David O. McKay letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230324748]
Identifier: MSS SC 2494
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed letters dated 19 Oct. 1942 and 3 Feb. 1944. The items are addressed to Dr. Francis W. Kirkham. McKay thanks Kirkham for information on the proper pronunciation of names found in the Book of Mormon.

Dates: 1944 February 3; 1942 October 19

Oral history interview with Francis W. Kirkham

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 9
Scope and Contents

Interview by Hollis Scott with Francis Kirkham regarding his book "A New Witness for Christ in America," and some recollections of the Brigham Young Academy. Includes transcript and sound recording.

Dates: 1966

Oral history interview with Francis W. Kirkham

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 19
Scope and Contents

Interview by James R. Clark with Francis Kirkham concerning his experiences at Brigham Young Academy, 1893-1904. Includes transcript and sound recordings.

Dates: 1972

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