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Norma Larson Elliott collection on Mons Larson

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8676

Scope and Contents

Contains several biographies about Mons Larson and his wives; letters among family members; Larson, Malmstrom, and Eklund genealogy research notes; family reunion records; family photographs, including one that is attached to curved glass; and a draft of the Mons Larson Book of Remembrance. Also includes a DVD of much of the material. Dated 1882-1999, with the bulk of the materials dated 1946-1999.


  • 1882-1999
  • Majority of material found within 1946-1999


Language of Materials

Materials in English with one letter in Swedish, with a translation in English.

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 Norma Larson Elliott collection on Mons Larson must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Norma Larson Elliott (1916-2009) was a Mormon family history specialist in Arizona.

Norma Larson Elliott was born on May 30, 1916 to Margaret Smith and Alof Pratt Larson in Lakeside, Arizona. She studied family history at Brigham Young University in 1962, and it remained a passon for her whole life. She not only found much of the genealogy that is listed for the Larson, Smith, Hunt, and Marsden families, but also collected their histories. She also maintained records about her parents' homestead businesses, Latter-day Saint missions, and lives.

She had no children of her own, but was a motherly influence in the lives of her nieces and nephews.

Elliott died on June 5, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.

Biographical History

Mons Larson (1823-1890) was an early Mormon Pioneer who helped to settle Utah and Arizona.

Mons Larson was born on June 6, 1823, in Skegling, Sweden, to parents Lars and Beretta Jonsson Olson. He married Elna Olsson (1826-1914) in 1852 in Halmstad, Sweden, and together they had eight children. He also married Lorentina Olivia Andersson Eklund on January 23, 1875, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and together they had nine children.

As a youth, Larson was a carpenter, so particular and neat in his work that he became a cabinetmaker for the King of Sweden. He was a big, powerful man, much admired for those traits in Sweden, who had the strength of character to follow through with a decision. Mons and wife, Elna, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1856. In 1859, they joined with other Saints who traveled to America and Utah. He built his own handcart to travel the last part of the journey, but after they arrived in Utah, it was mistakenly taken from them for others to use because he had not yet learned English.

They settled in Tooele, Utah, where they lived in a mud hut and worked as a farmer hired hand and a weaver to feed and clothe their small family. Later, they moved to West Jordan, where Mons could work as a carpenter, farm, and freight work. After a few years, they took the opportunity to move to Santaquin, where they could buy some land to build a home and small farm.

While living in Santaquin, Elna encouraged Mons to take a second wife, but he had had a dream of the woman whom he should marry, and needed to wait for her to arrive. Olivea and her family soon arrived in town, straight from Sweden, and Mons recognized her as the woman in his dream. Early the next year, they were married.

Mons wrote to Olivea's brother, inviting him to join the family in Utah, and asking for a donation to help him travel to Arizona on a mission for the church, noting that he had wealth but no money. The brother arrived a year later. In 1877, Mons and Elna and their younger children loaded their wagons and traveled to Arizona in answer to a call from Brigham Young to help colonize in Arizona; Olivia and her children were left in Santaquin, along with the adult married children, until she was ready to travel, a few months later. Mons chose Snowflake to settle his family, and immediately set about building a home and planting crops so he could return to Utah to get Olivia and children.

While returning to Arizona, Larson joined with a group who were going to try a new road through Escalanta; they became part of the group who built a road through Hole-In-The-Rock, a chasm into the upper end of the Grand Canyon. It took the company four months to build a steep roadway down to the Colorado River; they then had to build a raft to cross the river; and another, shorter roadway needed to be built on the southern side of the river to get out of the canyon. After eleven months of travel, the family arrived in Snowflake, where the whole family was finally reunited. Then a year later, the entire family moved to Pima, Arizona.

In an effort to escape the persecution against polygamists, Mons took Olivia to Mexico until the persecution abated, about a year later, and he moved Olivia and her children to his homestead, leaving Elna in Pima.

It was said of Larson that when he made a trade with anyone, he always looked or did it to the other man's interest. The whole Larson family always did their best to obey the council of church leaders, knowing that they were on a mission and tried to fulfill the tasks given them to their best. They knew that the Lord would bless them and protect them.

Larson died on April 25, 1890, in Glenbar, Arizona.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

2 folder (0.3 linear ft.)

Custodial History

Collection was inherited, collected, and created by Norma Elliott, who later passed it on to her sister, Dorothy Lisonbee, who donated it to the library in 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dorothy Lisonbee; 2014.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Related Materials

See also Norma Larson Elliott family papers (MSS 8264).

Processing Information

Processed; Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2015.


Register of Norma Larson Elliott collection on Mons Larson
Margaret Weddle
2015 February 9
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