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William Allred autobiography and journal

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 4110

Scope and Contents note

William M. Allred began this autobiography and journal in 1885 in St. Charles, Bear Lake County, Idaho. The autobiography is a valuable first-hand narrative of events in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also gives a good history of events in the Allred family. Refer to the biographical history below for important Church events Allred witnessed.

The journal portion of Allred’s book begins in February 9, 1883 (he copied the first portion of it into this volume from his other journal) and ends on November 17, 1887.

1 volume. 99 pages. Hardback book with patterned red, yellow, and black cover. 7 by 12 inches.


  • 1819-1887


Conditions Governing Access note

Restricted: Original restricted from use until conservation work done. Use photocopy.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the William Allred autobiography and journal must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

William M. Allread (1819-1901) was an Mormon convert who met many early church leaders and crossed the plains with the early saints to Utah.

William M. Allred was born to Isaac and Mary Calvert Allred on December 24, 1819, in Bedford County, Tennessee, 50 miles south of Nashville. His parents moved to Missouri when he was ten or eleven years old. He heard Hyrum Smith and John Murdock preach. He and his family were baptized in 1832, and suffered severe persecution as a result. He first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith when Smith was leading Zion’s Camp. He was present when the Nauvoo Expository was destroyed and for Joseph’s last speech. Allred’s journal contains many things Joseph Smith taught. Two of his brothers fought in the Mormon Batallion—they were so hungry at times that they had to eat very unpleasant things.

Allred met Orson Pratt’s sister-in-law, Orissa Angelina Bates at singing practice. He married her at Orson Pratt’s home on January 9, 1842. Joseph Smith was present for the wedding. They had twelve children.

Allred crossed the plains with his family in 1851. Allred was in charge of Orson Pratt’s teams, which were mostly wild cattle and very hard to control. His son, Lansing, was not yet nine years old, but he drove the family’s oxen while Allred helped out with other teams. His six-year-old daughter, Mary Adaline, had an eye condition that required her to stay in the dark. His wife gave birth to a stillborn daughter; they named her Amelia Lorinda before burying her. Also, his four year old son miraculously escaped what would have been a tragic injury.

After reaching Utah, Allred bought a home near the Temple block. He took care of Orson Pratt’s affairs while Orson went to Washington on a mission. His daughter’s eyes were healed by the power of the Priesthood. He moved to Grantsville, Utah, in 1856. He took Martha Jane Martindale as a second wife around February 1857 (other sources list July 1856). Johnson’s Army came against Utah in 1857 and Allred volunteered to go to Echo Canyon to stop them.

Martha Jane gave Allred one son, Edgar Martindale (1858-1925). Her second daughter, also named Martha Jane (1860-1860), only lived for a few hours. Her mother died a few days later, in November 1860. His oldest daughter was also married in 1860, his oldest son in 1867. In 1871, grasshoppers destroyed the Saints’ crops. President Brigham Young told the Saints that the grasshoppers would leave if the Saints did right. In 1878, his wife passed away. He married Mary Eleanor Osbourn that same year. In 1883, smallpox spread through Montpelier, Idaho where he was living.

He passed away on June 8, 1901, four years after this journal ran out of space for him to write. Although he passed away in Fairview, Lincoln County, Wyoming, he was buried in St. Charles, Bear Lake, Idaho (on June 11).


2 folders (0.2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The journal and autobiography of William Allred, an early member of the LDS church, 1819-1887.

Custodial History note

Donated by Harold S. Budge in 1993.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Harold S. Budge; 1993.

Appraisal note

LDS cultural, social, and religious history (Collection development policy of 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).

Related Archival Materials note

AC 901 .A1a no.4416 Allred, William Moore, 1819-1901. A short biographical history and diary of William Moore Allred, 1819-1901. The same autobiography and journal (typed and bound).

Processing Information note

Processed; H. Christine Swindler; 10 July 2007.

Register of William Allred autobiography and journal
H. Christine Swindler and Karen Glenn, student processors and John Murphy, curator
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