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:

LeGrand Richards letter

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230322957]
Identifier: MSS SC 2589
Scope and Contents

Typewritten letter dated 19 Dec. 1942 and addressed to Francis W. Kirkham of Brigham Young University. Richards thanks Kirkham for a copy of Kirkham's "A New Witness for Christ in America."

Dates: 1942 December 19

Joseph F. Smith letters

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 2497
Scope and Contents Handwritten and typewritten letters dated 6 May 1881 and 17 Dec. 1914. The handwritten item is addressed to Charles Coulson Rich of Paris, Idaho. Smith tells Rich about the activities of John Taylor, third president of the Mormon Church, and about financial matters. The typewritten item is addressed to Francis W. Kirkham who is called to be the president of the New Zealand Mission for the Mormon Church. This letter is signed by Smith and the other two members of the First Presidency of the...
Dates: 1914 December 17; 1881 May 6

John C. Swensen letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230322924]
Identifier: MSS SC 2375
Scope and Contents

Handwritten, typewritten, and signed letters dated August 9 and October 10, 1904 and addressed to Francis Kirkham, a Mormon author and businessman. Swenson writes about the progress and the condition of Brigham Young University.

Dates: 1904

John Andreas Widtsoe letter

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230323534]
Identifier: MSS SC 2380
Scope and Contents

Typewritten and signed letter dated 31 March 1932 and addressed to Francis W. Kirkham, Mormon author and businessman. Widtsoe tells Kirkham how some statistics on the Mormon Church were compiled.

Dates: 1932 March 31

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