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William Ajax letter to William Lewis

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8692

Scope and Contents

Materials include a photocopied letter from William Ajax (Centre, Utah) to William Lewis (Aberdare, Wales), dated March 18, 1893. Ajax writes about Wales, Utah, and the building of the Salt Lake City temple. He says that the fine quality masonry has been built by Welshmen. He also talks about his education, current interests, describes his emmigration from Wales to Utah, and discusses his opinions about Mormonism and religion. Dated March 18, 1893.


  • 1893 March 18


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 William Ajax letter to William Lewis must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

William Ajax (1832-1899) was a missionary, translator and editor for LDS Church publications in Wales and England, and owned and operated a store and inn in Utah.

William Ajax was born on March 13, 1832, in Llantrisant, Wales, to Thomas Truman Ajax and Rebecka Darcus. However,he was raised by William and Frances Maxwell, whom he considered to be his father and mother, instead of his birth parents. He was briefly educated as a child but eventually became a farm hand from the age of ten to the age of fifteen, abandoning his academic education. He worked for railroads and coal mines until he was twenty-two years old. In November 1853 William joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Soon after his baptism he was called to be a missionary in Wales.

In 1859 William was called to be a translator and editor for the Church's Welsh periodical, "Udgorn Seion." This began a period of self-education for William. He taught himself Greek, Latin, and French while also studying English and other subjects. In March 1861 he moved to Liverpool, England, to work on the "Millennial Star" publication staff. On August 6, 1861, William and Emma Jemima Hughes were married. Together they emigrated to Utah and arrived there on October 5, 1861. Over the years William and Emma had nine children together. In Utah, William ran a general store and operated a successful inn. By 1893, Ajax had stopped considering himself a member of the Church, but he maintained positive feelings about Mormons and religion in general.

William Ajax died on October 2, 1899, in Centre, Utah (also known as Ajax, Utah).

Biographical History

William Lewis was an associate of William Ajax who supplied the latter with thirteen copies of Lord Bute's address from the Rhye Eisterfodd. In 1893 Lewis lived in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Deanna Astle in 1990.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Deanna Astle; 1990.


Utah and the Western American and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).


16 sheets ; 28 x 22 cm

Processing Information

Processed; Zoë Brimhall, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2015.

Register of William Ajax letter to William Lewis
Zoë Brimhall
2015 February 27
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