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Joseph L. Lyon papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 9216

Scope and Contents

Contains research material on the topic of cancer, thyroid disease and leukemia, and cardiovascular disease in Utah, compiled by Joseph L. Lyon during his career as an epidemiologist. Contains materials related to people from the Pacific islands and Latter-day Saints in Utah, including statistics on demographics and epidemiological studies done. Also contains draft and published versions of scientific papers written by Lyon, professional and personal correspondence from the 1960s to the 1980s, and Lyon's personal correspondence and journals as well as some autobiographical writings and other papers. Some correspondence relates to his research on radiation exposure in Utah during above-ground nuclear tests. A bound book of copies of Latter-day Saint temple blueprints by Emil Fetzer, a cannonball excavated in Nauvoo, Illinois, and an adobe brick from the original Salt Lake Temple wall is also included. Materials dated approximately 1841-2021.


  • approximately 1841-2021


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 use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Joseph was born in Salt Lake City on May 13, 1939. As a young man in 1957, he served six months active duty in the United States Army. Near the beginning of 1958, he enrolled at the University of Utah and studied for a year and a half before leaving on a Latter-day Saint mission to New Zealand in June 1959. He returned to the University of Utah in 1963 and graduated in 1967 with a degree in medicine. After interning in surgery and emergency room medicine, he entered Harvard School of Public Health pursuing a master's degree in public health. There, he found great interest in epidemiology. He taught the subject of chronic diseases at the University of Utah for over 40 years and was prolific in academic publications as well. His research included the effect of radiation from nuclear testing in Utah.

Joseph married Juneil Fetzer on July 31, 1964. They had six children. Joseph passed away on September 19, 2021.


8 boxes (3.9 linear ft.)

1 oversize folder (0.1 linear ft.)

5 cartons (5 linear ft.)

2 folders (0.02 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Joseph Lynn Lyon, October 2018 and March 2019, and October 2022. The cannonball was excavated at Nauvoo by former Nauvoo Restoration historian and University of Utah Institute director T. Edgar Lyon and given to his son, Joseph L. Lyon. The Temple brick was also acquired by T. Edgar Lyon and given to his son, Joseph L. Lyon.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Joseph L. Lyon; October 2018.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Joseph L. Lyon; March 25, 2019.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Joseph L. Lyon; October 2022.


20th and 21st Century Western and Mormon Americana (LDS scholarship and historiography, II,B,5,III, 2016)

Processing Information

Processed; Andrew VanDomelen; 2019

Processing Information

Processed; James Krzymowski; October 18, 2021.

Processing Information

Processed; Sydney Gee; March 2023. Addendum added.

Register of Joseph L. Lyon papers
Andrew VanDomelen
2019 May 16
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