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Walter M. Wolfe diary and congressional testimony

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8374

Scope and Contents

Collection contains transcriptions pertaining to the life of Walter M. Wolfe. Material includes a transcription of his diary about life in Mexico as a missionary and explorer dated 1900 to 1901. It also includes copies of the congressional transcript of Wolfe's testimony from the Reed Smoot United States Senate hearing in 1906. Dated 1900-1906.


  • 1900-1906


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Walter M. Wolfe diary and congressional testimony must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Walter M. Wolfe (1859-1932) was a Mormon geology professor in Utah.

Walter M. Wolfe was born on March 28, 1859, in New York City to parents Aaron Roberts Wolfe and Laura Frances Jackson. Wolfe was baptized in a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1890, and served three missions for the Church. The first mission was in Colorado from June to August 1897 and he was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Seventy before leaving for Colorado. The second mission was in Mexico from April 1900 to October 1901 (also known as the Brigham Young Academy South American Expedition) and the third was in England from October 1902 to July 1904.

Wolfe taught history and Latin at Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah, from 1892 to 1902. He also taught geology at Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University) from 1904 to 1906. In 1896, he was awarded a diploma, Bachelor's of Didactics, in honor of his service and work for Church schools. However, while at the Academy, he was asked to resign since he had stopped paying tithing--Wolfe voluntarily agreed. During the period of his church membership, Wolfe wrote articles for various Latter-day Saint publications such as the Young Woman's Journal and Millenial Star. In 1904, Wolfe began to grow disillusioned with the Latter-day Saint church because of various reasons, including polygamy and politics. He stopped paying tithing and informally withdrew his membership in 1906, after which he provided testimony to the United States Senate during the Reed Smoot hearings.

Wolfe died on March 23, 1932 in Parkville, Missouri.

Administrative History

The United States Senate (est. 1787) forms one-half of the United States of America's bicameral legislature, or Congress, and is located in Washington D.C.

The United States Senate was established on July 16, 1787, by the framers of the Constitution. It originally convened in 1789 in New York City and for the next ten years was located in Philadelphia before moving to Washington D.C. in 1800. The Senate's membership includes two senators representing each state and speaking for the needs of their constituencies. The Senate has the power to conduct impeachment trials, review and approve or reject presidential appointees to executive and judical branches, amend or approve treaties (by a two-thirds vote), filibuster legislation, and conduct investigations in the executive branch and outside American society. The leadership of the Senate is comprised of political party leaders and minority party leaders, committee leaders and members, and senate-elected officers and officials. The constitutionally mandated offices are vice president and president pro tempore.


2 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy 1.V, November 2013).

Related Materials

For other materials related to Wolfe's experience in the Brigham Young Academy South American Expedition and articles he wrote, see Walter M. Wolfe collection (UA 366).


Located in box 8374

Processing Information

Processed; Zoë Brimhall, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2014.

Register of Walter M. Wolfe diary and congressional testimony
Zoë Brimhall
2014 February 04
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States