Skip to main content

Burton K. and Mabel Pearce Farnsworth papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2282

Scope and Contents

Papers reflect Burton Farnsworth's activities as Director of Secondary Education for the state of Utah, 1934-1945, and as a member of the presidency and general board of the YMMIA, while George Q. Morris served as president. Includes photocopied diary of Farnsworth written during his mission to Samoa, 1911-1914; volume includes post-mission entries by his wife, Mabel Pearce Farnsworth. Also includes photocopied diary of Mabel Pearce Farnsworth, 1910-1913, reflecting her activities in Montpelier, Idaho, before and during her marriage to Burton K. Farnsworth.


  • 1910-1945


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 Burton K. and Mabel Pearce Farnsworth papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Burton K. Farnsworth (1890-1945) was a Mormon educational administrator in Utah.

Burton Kent Farnsworth was born on March 6, 1890 in Beaver, Utah to Franklin D. Farnsworth and Melissa White. Raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Farnsworth was baptized in 1898 and later served a mission to Samoa from 1909 to 1912. He completed an LL.B. degree from the LaSalle Extension University, and bachelor's and master's degrees at the Utah State Agricultural College (USAC) in Logan, Utah. He later completed a doctorate in education at the University of California, Berkeley in 1933.

Farnsworth began his teaching career in Montpelier, Idaho in 1912. He then moved to the teach at Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Idaho, and later served on the education faculty of USAC. In 1925 he took the position of superintendent of schools for Millard County, remaining in Fillmore until 1931. After completing his doctoral studies, in 1934 he became the Director of Secondary Education for the state of Utah. During this time he also served as a member of the presidency of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association beginning in 1937.

Farnsworth married Mabel Pearce in the Salt Lake Temple on October 3, 1913, and they had six children.

He died on October 27, 1945 while on a Church assignment in Seattle, Washington.

Biographical History

Mabel Pearce Farnsworth (1891-1981) was a Mormon social worker in Utah.

Mabel Purnecy Pearce was born on August 27, 1891 in Montpelier, Idaho to Charles Rodwell Pearce and Agnes Hogensen. She attended school in that area, and after graduation taught school in Georgetown, Idaho. There she met Burton K. Farnsworth, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 3, 1913. She left teaching to raise their family, keeping house in Brigham City, Logan, Fillmore, and Salt Lake City among other locations. The couple eventually had six children.

After her husband's death in 1945, Mabel returned to school earning degrees in Social Work. She then worked to support her family as a social worker in Salt Lake County until her retirement in 1958.

Mabel was active in her community and church, serving at various times as a Relief Society president, MIA counselor, and stake Primary board member. She was also active in the of Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

She died on May 26, 1981 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


10 boxes (4.75 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dean Burton Farnsworth; 2000.


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

Register of Burton K. and Mabel Pearce Farnsworth papers
Garrett Schroath
2011 March 21
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