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Joseph Heber Thurber journal, 1886-1889

 Item — Folder: 2
Identifier: MSS 8230

Scope and Contents

Journal covers the dates November 2, 1886-August 9 1888.

The first entry occurs in Greenwich, Utah when Joseph Heber Thurber (1858-1948) was charged with unlawful cohabitation. On December 27, 1886 Joseph Heber Thurber was officially sentenced 4 years in the Utah Penitentiary and a $500 fine for polygamy and an additional 6 months and $200 for unlawful cohabitation. He traveled straightway to the Utah Penitentiary on December 28, 1886. Though he was sentenced to over 4 years, he served 2 years and 2 months when he was pardoned by United States President Grover Cleveland on February 27, 1889.

The majority of the journal entries describe Joseph Heber Thurber’s life and experiences in the Utah Penitentiary, or the "Pen." Lorenzo Snow, a Mormon apostle and future prophet, was detained in the same prison when Joseph Heber Thurber arrived. Thurber witnessed and rejoiced in Snow's release on February 8, 1887.

Joseph Heber Thurber describes the conditions and activities that took place in the Utah Penitentiary including meal time routines, religious sermons from visiting preachers, the work he and the other inmates complete on the physical facilities, and a bookkeeping class he attends and later teaches. He also details the visits he receives from friends and his correspondence with family members.


  • 1886-1889


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 Stanley and Myron Thurber collection of Thurber family papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.


190 p. ; 17 cm

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States