Schmid and Topham family collection of Richard Benson, Alvin Benson, and William Richard Smith missionary journals
The collection also includes facsimiles of the diaries printed on photo paper and digitized images on discs. Also includes a transcription of Richard Benson's 1844 journal (original not extant) and his 1866-1867 mission journal; a family history of Richard and Phoebe Benson by Rodney A. Rowley, 2012; and, a transcription and history Alvin Benson's first mission journal, 1897-1898.
- Benson, Richard, 1816-1895 (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
4 boxes (2 linear ft.)
3 folders (0.15 linear ft.)
The Marshall Topham (1947- ) and Nancy Schmid Topham (1949- ) family began with their marriage on May 29, 1971, in St. George, Utah. After marrying, Marshall graduated with a master's degree in Entomology from the University of Hawaii and later earned a teaching certificate from Southern Utah University so that he could teach science in secondary schools.
Nancy was a stay-at-home mom and homemaker who worked hard to raise their six children. Nancy is also the granddaughter of William Richard Smith who was the president of the Woodruff (Utah) Stake from 1928 to 1934.
Afton Rowley Topham (1923-2014) was Marshall's mother and the daughter of William Clair Rowley and Roberta Benson Rowley who married on May 3, 1922. She was born on January 21, 1923 in Parowan, Utah. Afton married Waldo Smith Topham on December 26, 1945. Afton descended from the Benson line. Afton died on August 23, 2014, in Cedar City, Utah.
Richard Benson was born on March 29, 1816, in Wrightington, England to Thomas Benson and Margaret Marsden. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1837 by Elder Heber C. Kimball. Richard served his first mission in Newcastle, England from approximately 1841 to 1842, where he baptized forty-seven people including his future wife Phoebe Forrester. After his mission he traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois to be with the main body of the church. In 1844 he returned to England and married Phoebe on June 20, 1844, in Cheshire, England, and in 1845 they returned to Nauvoo. They traveled with the saints to Salt Lake City in approximately 1850, and they settled in Parowan, Utah, where they had the last of their nine children. Then in 1866 Richard was called to serve his second mission in England, which he did from 1866 to 1868. After his mission he became a buisnessman in Parowan, Utah. Richard died on August 2, 1895, in Parowan, Utah.
William Richard Smith was born on March 21, 1884 in Logan, Utah, to parents Isaac Smith and Harriet Camilla Ensign. He was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and educated at the Woodruff School in Logan. Smith had a fairly carefree childhood in the countryside and when he became of age he attended the Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) from 1902 to 1906. After his mission to Germany, which he served from October 1906 to July 1909, he finished his last year of schooling, graduating in 1910. After returning from his mission William Richard Smith proposed to Zina Vivian Crouch, whom he had been writing while on his mission. They were married on July 28, 1910, in Logan, Utah. They had two daughters; Vivian Priscilla Smith (1912-1992) and Helen Jean Smith (1924-1996).
After their marriage, William and Zina moved to Columbus, Ohio so that Will could study veterinary medicine at Ohio State University, which he did for two years. During this time he supported his family by borrowing money from his brother and working odd jobs around the community. After graduating in 1912, the family moved to Preston, Idaho, where Will practiced veterinarian medicine. However he had always wanted a cattle ranch, so in 1914 he went into a joint venture raising horses, white faced cattle and sheep in Cleveland, Idaho. In 1922, Will returned to Utah State Agricultural College in Logan to earn a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. After graduating in 1923 he accepted a position as County Agricultural Agent for Uinta County, Wyoming and moved to Evanston, Wyoming. In 1932, he was appointed manager of the farm operated by the Wyoming State Mental Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming. In 1928, Will was called as the second president of the Woodruff (Utah) Stake, a calling he held until 1934. In December of that year the family left Wyoming and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where Will practiced veterinary medicine. He was the first veterinarian in Las Vegas and his area included Moapa and Virgin Valleys. William Richard Smith died in the Rose de Lima hospital on June 10, 1950, in Henderson, Nevada.
Alvin Benson was born on November 17, 1859, in Parowan, Utah, to Richard Benson and Phoebe Forrester. He married Elizabeth Ellen Orton on November 16, 1881, in the St. George Temple and they had eight children together. He served a Mormon misson in California from 1897-1899, and when he returned he became mayor of Parowan, Utah in 1899. He later turned to farming after his days in office were over. Alvin Benson died on March 10, 1942, in Cedar City, Utah.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Existence and Location of Copies
- Benson, Alvin, 1859-1942 -- Diaries
- Benson, Richard, 1816-1895 -- Diaries
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- Missions and Missionaries
- Mormon Church -- Missions -- California
- Mormon Church -- Missions -- England
- Mormon Church -- Missions -- Europe
- Smith, William Richard, 1884-1950 -- Diaries
- Benson, Richard, 1816-1895 (Creator, Person)
- Benson, Alvin, 1859-1942 (Creator, Person)
- Smith, William Richard, 1884-1950 (Creator, Person)
- Topham (Family : 1971- : Topham, Marshall, 1947- ) (Collector, Family)
- Register of Schmid and Topham family collection of Richard Benson, Alvin Benson, and William Richard Smith missionary journals
- Zoë Brimhall
- 2014 December 15
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 2016 October 21: Title, scope and content note, and biographical notes for Topham family and William Richard Smith corrected and updated; Ryan K. Lee; October 21, 2016
- 2017 November 10: Added some transcriptions and photocopies to Box 1 and updated scope and content note and added Existence and Location of Copies note; Ryan Lee.
- 2017 November 28: Added additional transcriptions created by department. Ryan K. Lee