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Charles L. Walker history of the St. George Temple, 1939

 File — Folder: 2
Identifier: MSS 8222

Scope and Contents

Contains a 32 page handwritten copy of the history of the Mormon temple in St. George, Utah by Charles L. Walker. The subject material is dated 1871-1877, but Walker's oldest daughter, Zaidee Walker Miles, copied the content in her own handwriting in 1939.

The history begins with a meeting on April 15, 1871 where a letter was read from President Brigham Young that announced a temple would be built in St. George. Walker includes details about the temple construction, workmen, and dedicatory services. As a celebrated hymn writer, Walker also includes lyrics for hymns he wrote and performed in conjunction with the construction and dedication of the St. George Temple.

Charles L. Walker mentions several Church authorities who visited during the construction and dedication of the St. George Temple including Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, and George A. Smith.

The history concludes with an account of the first baptism for the dead performed in the St. George Temple in January, 1877. President Wilford Woodruff baptized Susie Amelia Young Dunford for and in behalf of her friend, Mary Sheppard. President Brigham Young and Charles Walker both witnessed the event.


  • 1939


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 Charles L. Walker and Zaidee Walker Miles papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical / Historical

Charles L. Walker (1832-1904) was a Mormon poet, hymn writer, and pioneer southern Utah.

Charles Lowell Walker was born in Leek, Staffordshire, England on November 17, 1832. When he was a young boy, Walker and his family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley.

He married Abigail Middlemass Walker on September 28, 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Shortly after their marriage, Brigham Young called Charles L. Walker to the "Cotton Mission," which was to move south and settle Saint George, Utah. Charles and Abigail left Salt Lake City on November 17, 1862 and arrived in Dixie on December 9, 1862. Together they had eight children.

Walker took a second wife, Sarah Smith (1858-1932), on January 12, 1877 in Saint George, Utah. She also bore him eight children.

Walker wrote hymns and poetry and worked with many other Mormon men constructing the St. George Temple from 1871-1877. He wrote the hymn "Dearest Children, God Is Near You." He also kept journals during the construction of the St. George Temple and witnessed the first baptism for the dead performed in that temple in January, 1877.

Walker died at age 72 on January 11, 1904 in Saint George, Utah.


1 folder

Language of Materials