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Whitney, Orson F. (Orson Ferguson), 1855-1931

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1855-1931

Biographical History

Orson F. Whitney (1855-1931) was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a writer, poet, and editor.

Orson F. Whitney was born on July 1, 1855, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Horace K. Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball Whitney. As a young man, Whitney wanted to be an actor and he spent many hours preparing for the stage by studying elocution, fencing, and grammar. However, during General Conference in 1876, Whitney was called to serve in the Eastern States Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mother sold her land and used the money to fund Whitney's mission. While on his mission, Whitney discovered his interest in the Gospel as well as in writing and speaking. He started a regular column of his missionary experiences in the "Salt Lake Herald" under the pen name Iago. In 1878, twenty-three-year-old Whitney was called to serve as the bishop of the Eighteenth Ward, a calling he held for 28 years. In 1906, Whitney was called to be an Apostle in the Church. He also completed three more missions for the Church, including being the president of the European Mission in 1921.

In 1879, Whitney married Zina Beal Smoot and they had nine children together. Whitney also had two more wives: Mary Minerva Wells and Emma Whitney Wells. During his life, Whitney edited the "Salt Lake Herald," served on the city council, participated in the Home Dramatic Club, engaged in politics, and wrote poetry and books. In 1890, he published his first book, a biography of his grandfather Heber C. Kimball. That same year, Wildford Woodruff and John O. Williams commissioned Whitney to write "History of Utah"; he produced two volumes of the work by 1894 and the third in 1898. He also published a biography of Lorenzo Snow, an autobiography, and several books of poetry including his lengthy epic poem "Elias: An Epic of the Ages."

Whitney died on May 16, 1931, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Citation

General Authority Pages, via WWW, 2008 (wanted to be an actor and he spent many hours preparing for the stage by studying elocution, fencing, and grammar; during General Conference in 1876, called to serve in the Eastern States Mission for The Church; His mother sold her land almost immediately after his acceptance of the call and used the money to fund Whitney's mission; discovered his interest in writing and speaking; started a regular column of his missionary experiences in the "Salt Lake Herald"; pen name Iago; 1878, twenty-three-year-old Whitney bishop of the Eighteenth Ward; held for 28 years; In 1906, called to be an apostle; three missions for the Church; president of the European Mission in 1921; married Zina Beal Smoot and they had 9 children together; two more wives: Mary Minerva Wells and Emma Whitney Wells; edited the "Salt Lake Herald," served on the city council, participated in the Home Dramatic Club, engaged in politics, and wrote poetry and books; In 1890, he published his first book, a biography of his grandfather Heber C. Kimball; Church commisioned Whitney to write "History of Utah"; produced two volumes of the work by 1894 and the third in 1898; published a biography of Lorenzo Snow, an autobiography, and several books of poetry including his lengthy epic poem, "Elias, An Epic of the Ages")

Family Search, via WWW, April 18, 2014 (born on July 1, 1855, in Salt lake City, Utah, to Horace Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball; married Zina Beal Smoot and they had 9 children together. Whitney also had two more wives: mary Minerva Wells and Emma Whitney Wells; died on May 16, 1931, in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Found in 33 Collections and/or Records:

David O. McKay letter to Orson F. Whitney, 1922

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 17
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Materials include an original letter from David O. McKay to Orson F. Whitney written on October 30, 1922. In the letter, McKay congratulates Whitney on recovering from surgery he had while president of the European mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also informs Whitney about his travel arrangements to come from Canada to England. Dated 1922.
Dates: 1922

George H. Hansen albums, 1914-1963

 Series
Identifier: MSS 1628 Series 1
Scope and Contents note Scenes from Hansen's mission in England, travels and studies in Mexico, Texas, and California, geology trips, visit to Indonesia to establish a geology department at Gadjah Mada University, and his college years and service in the Utah State ROTC; Afton Allred Hansen's mission to the Eastern States in the 1920s; Bessie Hansen and her family and friends in Richfield, Utah, her nursing work, on camping trips and other vacations; Mildred Allred with her friends and family, on trips to Bryce Canyon...
Dates: Other: 1914-1963

George H. Hansen loose photographs, 1900-1980

 Series
Identifier: MSS 1628 Series 2
Scope and Contents note Photos of: George on his mission to England, on geology field trips, on his visit to Indonesia, in the ROTC; of Afton Allred Hansen on his mission to the Eastern States; of Bessie Hansen in Richfield, on vacations, and with her family and friends; of Mildred Allred on her mission to California; of the Greco family (George's aunt); of George's family while he was growing up in Richfield; of the Utah Agricultural College Fair; of Afton as a teacher, missionary, and mother; of George and Afton and...
Dates: Other: 1900-1980

George H. Hansen negatives, 1896-1972

 Series
Identifier: MSS 1628 Series 4
Scope and Contents note Negatives of: George Hansen at Utah State, family trips, and geology; Bessie Hansen with her family and friends; George's mission to England; findings of fossils, arrowheads, and interesting rocks; the trip to Indonesia; redistricting studies; fishing trips; artifacts from a trip to Mexico; Utah maps and documents; Utah gas and oil studies, soil profiles; etc.
Dates: Other: 1896-1972

George H. Hansen slides, 1915-1971

 Series
Identifier: MSS 1628 Series 3
Scope and Contents note Slides of: George and Afton's family and their travels, and family reunions; Afton's BYU tour to Europe; trips (George and Afton, Mildred) to Hawaii, China, Indonesia, Africa, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia, Denmark, Norway, England, Fiji, Egypt, Greece, India, the Holy Land, Turkey, etc.
Dates: Other: 1915-1971

George H. Hansen photograph collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1628
Abstract This is primarily a collection of original Hansen prints, slides, and negatives and also includes photographic albums belonging to George Hansen, Afton Allred Hansen, and Bessie Hansen.
Dates: approximately 1896-1980

Heber M. Wells letters to Orson F. Whitney, 1926-1930

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 18
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Materials include correspondence sent to Orson F. Whitney from Heber M. Wells, who was the governor of Utah at the time. The letters say that Whitney and Wells had been friends since childhood and they contain discussions of poetry, writing, and family matters as well as general friendly banter. Dated 1926-1930.
Dates: 1926-1930

Horace G. Whitney letter to Orson F. Whitney, 1914-1917

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 20
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Materials include correspondence from Orson F. Whitney to his brother Horace G. Whitney, who, at the time, was the business manager of "The Deseret News". In the letters, Horace tells Orson that he needs to condense his manuscript to six hundred pages before they can publish it. Dated 1914-1917.
Dates: 1914-1917

Horace K. and Helen Mar Whitney papers, 1847-1866

 Sub-Series — Box: 4, Folder: 10, item: 1-7
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 3 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Materials include keepsakes, letters, and poems collected by Horace K. Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball. Includes cards and a woven envelope that were made by or given to Helen. There is also a letter from Helen to Horace. Materials also include an envelope that belonged to Louisa Beaman, the first plural wife sealed to Joseph Smith. Dated 1847-1866.
Dates: 1847-1866

John A. Widtsoe letters to Orson F. Whitney, 1916-1930

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 19
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Materials include correspondence sent to Orson F. Whitney from John A. Widtsoe, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Widtsoe compliments Whitney on his series of books about Utah history, his book "Saturday Evening Thoughts", and his tract collection "The Way, The Truth, The Light". He also informs him that his only son will be serving in the British Mission while Whitney is the mission president there. Dated 1916-1930.
Dates: 1916-1930