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Church papers, approximately 1917-1967

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1993 Series 1

Scope and Contents

This series contains Richards' correspondence and other papers with prominent LDS Church leaders including Heber J. Grant, Joseph F. Smith, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., John A. Widtsoe, David O. MacKay, and Stephen L. Richards. This series spans from circa 1917 to 1967. It icludes two letters, 1938 and 1951, two Title Insurance and Trust Company documents, dated 1949, 1951, correspondence between Preston Richards and J. Reuben Clark, Jr., circa 1917-1949, and correspondence, mostly legal correspondence concerning property, between Richards and the First Presidency, circa 1949-1951. It also contains newspaper articles, legal documents, and correspondence pertaining to the lawsuit of Edwina Booth vs. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation. Included are also papers concerning land for church buildings and temples.


  • approximately 1917-1967


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessarycopyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Preston D. Richards papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Preston Doremus Richards (1881-1952) was an educator, politician, lawyer, and church leader.

Preston Doremus Richards was born September 15, 1881 to Willard B. and Ann Doremus Richards in Mendon, Cache County, Utah. He was the grandson to Willard Richards, a counselor to Brigham Young. Richards was educated in Salt Lake City, and began teaching shortly after, serving as the principal of four Salt Lake County Schools, as the supervisor of the Granite School District, and as a faculty member at the University of Utah. While teaching he was also voted to the Utah State Legislature and became one of the youngest members to serve. He continued in education by working on school legislation. He gave many speeches in support of the candidates he favored. He was once a delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1950 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator for Utah. After his teaching career, he pursued a law degree at the University of Chicago and Columbia University. He graduated with an LL.B degree, cum laude from the University of Chicago. He married Barbara Howell of Salt Lake City on September 17, 1912. They had four children together. For four years Richards served as Assistant Solicitor General of the State Department of the United States under President William Howard Taft. At this time he worked closely with J. Reuben Clark, Jr., who was undersecretary of state. While in Washington, Richards formulated the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution of the United States. He also authorized the proclamation of statehood for Arizona in 1912. He wrote many articles on the Consitution, some of which are in this collection, and was noted as a constituional lawyer because of his extenstive knowledge. When he returned from Salt Lake City he became a partner of the law firm of Clark, Richards and Bowen, with partners J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and Albert E. Bowen. They had branch offices in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. The offices were discontinued when Clark and Bowen were called to be general authorities of the LDS Church. Richards was also very active in LDS Church affairs. He served a mission to England as a young man. He served on a General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association for 15 years. While living in Los Angeles he was a member of the Los Angeles Stake presidency. He was instrumental in bringing about the purchase of the site of the Los Angeles LDS Temple. He also corresponded closely with many general authorities and officers of the LDS Church such as Heber J. Grant, Joseph F. Smith, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., John A. Widtsoe, David O. MacKay, and Stephen L. Richards. Much of that correspondence is contained in the collection. He was active in the Los Angeles Breakfast Club as well as many other civic organizations in Los Angeles and in Utah. He worked to organize the University Religious Conference at the University of California at Los Angeles and at the University of Southern California. In his later life, one of his hobbies was farming the 160-acre farm he owned in Salt Lake County. He was also instrumental in obtaining legislation for the building of a park around the "This Is The Place" monument in Emigration Canyon. Richards died of a heart attack January 31, 1952 in Salt Lake City at age 70. His funeral was held February 4, 1952 at the Assemby Hall at Temple Square.


17 folders

Language of Materials