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James A. McMurrin papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 510

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of the following: part of a history of James L. McMurrin, written by himself; a log kept immediately preceding, during and immediately following, the Northwestern States Mission Presidency served by the McMurrins; a few items of correspondence related to Church and mission activities; a few photographs; many sermon notes of varying lengths; newspaper and magazine clippings; publications pertinent to the White House Conference on Aging, 1971, Utah Council on Aging, and the Freedom Bond Drive; mimeographed letters written while serving as mission president; various certificates of appointment and award; a working copy of "Power Requirements Survey of Utah", 1946; mimeographed copy of LDS Indian Student Placement Program,1955;"Book of Mormon"study handbook; miscellaneous publication and brochures.

The Northwestern States Mission log, which chronicles the daily activities of President McMurrin, lacks any significant descriptive material for accurately identifying personalities other than President and Mrs. McMurrin. The collection is enhanced by newsclippings.


  • 1898-1975


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the James A. McMurrin collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

James A. McMurrin (1889-1976) was a Mormon Church leader, author, and Utah politician.

James Albert McMurrin, son of James L. McMurrin and Edith Mary Turpin, was born April 10, 1889, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Oxford, Idaho, but after the death of his father, his mother took James and her three younger children to live at Logan, Utah.

On March 7, 1917, James married Phoebe Mavil Allen in the Salt Lake Temple. She was born July 11, 1890, at Cove, Cache County, Utah, daughter of Joseph Smith Allen and Phoebe Anderson. To them were born one son, James Allen and Phoebe Anderson. To them were born one son, James Allen, (December 28, 1917) and two daughters, Janet Lucile (December 23, 1921) and Alice Mae (July 24, 1927), all three at Logan, Utah.

James A. McMurrin was active in Utah politics. He served as a State Senator from Cache County, and for a time he was Secretary of the Senate. He served the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a missionary in Scotland, from 1909 to 1911. He and his wife also served a brief mission in California. From December 1950 to September 1955, he served a brief mission in California. From December 1950 to September 1955, he served as President of the Northwestern States Mission at a time when the influence of that mission and its program was felt to a significant degree in other mission and its program was felt to a significant degree in other missions of the Church. After his release, he continued his interest in community affairs. Part of the collection was generated as a result of these activities, which were related to the Freedom Bond Drive of 1963, the Utah Council of the Aging, and the White House Conference on Aging, in 1971, which McMurrin attended.


4 boxes (2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Diaries, correspondence, an autobiography, sermon notes, conference talks, articles, award certificates.

Arrangement note

The collection is arranged into nine series: 1. James A. McMurrin journals, 1898-1900, 1950-1955; 2. James A. McMurrin correspondence, 1956-1975; 3. James A. McMurrin Northwestern States Mission letters and reports, 1948-1955; 4. James A. McMurrin sermon notes; 5. James A. McMurrin research and reference materials, 1948-1972; 6. James A. McMurrin photographs; 7. James A. McMurrin certificates, 1938-1974; 8. James A. McMurrin newspaper clippings; and 9. Miscellaneous James A. McMurrin publications and brochures, 1946-1971.

Other Finding Aids note

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

The James A. McMurrin collection was donated to the Harold B. Lee Library by Mrs. James McMurrin, Logan, Utah, November 18, 1976.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Mrs. James McMurrin; 1976.

Appraisal note

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

Separated Materials note

A Plan for Effective Missionary Work, transferred to Special Collections. Utah Senate Journal, January 10 - March 9, 1949; Utah House Journal, January 10 - March 9, 1949; Adjust Your Business to the New Legislation, 1939, Tax Research Institute of America; Agingmagazine, November/December 1971, and September, 1967, transferred to the Harold B. Lee Library.

The original photographs were removed from this collection and transferred to the Photo Archives where they form the James A. McMurrin Photograph Collection. Photocopies of the prints are retained in Box 2, Folder 7. Identification of each photograph is given below in the Container List, under Box 2, Folder 7.

Processing Information note

Processed; 2003.

Register of the James A. McMurrin papers
Barbara Coonley Hollis
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States