Skip to main content

Lorin Farrar Wheelwright papers

Identifier: MSS 3164

Scope and Contents

Collection primarily documents the activities of Lorin Farrar Wheelwright but contains some of the personal papers of his parents David R. and Valborg Rasmussen Wheelwright from 1890 to 1980, including documents pertaining to their lives as children, students, parents, missionaries, and workers through personal autobiographies, pictures, journals, correspondence, and personal writings.

The bulk of the collection contains personal documents of Lorin Wheelwright's life in music, education, lithography, religion, and civic leadership while in Oswego, New York, and in Utah. His musical documents contain lesson plans, class projects, newspaper clippings, personal music studies and tests, which pertain to his career as a teacher and administrator. Between 1967 and 1974 Wheelwright served as the Dean of Fine Arts of Brigham Young University in which this collection contains his correspondences, publications, and projects dealing with his commitment to the Board of Student publications, and the BYU Centennial and Mormon Festival of Arts projects. Throughout his life he served as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the collection contains his personal religious papers from 1952 to 1964. They include papers and correspondence dealing with the Sunday School General Board, Instructor manuscripts (an LDS magazine), and documents kept while serving in the ward and stake levels.

Wheelwright fulfilled civic duties and leadership as he interacted with the Utah Legislative Council and Coordinating Council of Higher Education in which the collection contains correspondences, reports, and bulletins surrounding each council's activities. The collection also contains Wheelwright's activities with Grove Finance/Beacon Financial Inc. as a chairman, in which he took part in a bankruptcy issue against Hal Haycock. The collection contains court orders, schedules, hearings, and reports. The largest part of the collection is composed of Wheelwright's activities in his Lithography business in which he worked for twenty-eight years. Publications, manuscripts, correspondences, and financial statements all document his success as a lithographer.


  • 1890-1980


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 the Lorin Farrar Wheelwright papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Lorin Farrar Wheelwright (1909-1987) was a Mormon educator, composer, musician, and administrator in Utah.

Lorin Farrar Wheelwright was born on December 20, 1909 in Ogden, Utah to David S. and Valborg Rasmussen Wheelwright. He showed an early talent for music, and studied under Edward P. Kimball and Alexander Schreiner. He later expanded his training attending Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He earned a master's degree at the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from Columbia University. Among the works he composed are many hymns that remain in the Latter-day Saint hymnbook.

Wheelwright worked at a variety of institutions in Utah and New York, including the Oswego State Teacher's College (now State University of New York at Oswego), the Branch Agricultural College (now Southern Utah University), Brigham Young University, and the Salt Lake Public Schools. He later left education to form his own music publishing company, Wheelwright Lithographing Company. He also served in the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a member of the Sunday School General Board from 1956 to 1971, and as associate editor of the Church publication The Instructor.

In 1967 he was recruited to serve as dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University. During his tenure the faculty of the college was expanded, and the curriculum modified to focus on professional preparation. He also helped reorganize the Daily Universe as a student laboratory newspaper, produced college-oriented recordings for Church-wide distribution, and established the Mormon Arts Festival. Following his retirement in 1972 he was appointed to the university's Centennial Celebration Committee.

Wheelwright married Ila Eugenia Spilsbury in 1933 in St. George, Utah. Together they had four children. He passed away on November 4, 1987 in Provo, Utah.


195 boxes (97.5 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1 linear ft.)

1 half box (0.25 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged into nine series: 1. Wheelwright family papers, circa 1881-1964. 2. Personal correspondence and other material, circa 1923-1976 (chronological). 3. Personal papers, circa 1932-1969 (chronological). 4. Musical career papers, circa 1936-1963 (chronological). 5. Civic papers, circa 1936-1969 (chronological). 6. Religious papers, circa 1952-1977 (chronological). 7. Lithography business papers, circa 1946-1973 (subject). 8. Administrative papers, circa 1957-1976 (subject). 9. Papers on Grove Finance and Beacon Financial, Inc., circa 1978-1985 (chronological).

Other Finding Aids

Inventory available in repository.

Custodial History

Donated by the Lorin F. Wheelwright Family Trust in 2004 and 2005.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Lorin F. Wheelwright Family Trust; 2004 and 2005.


Contains the papers of a BYU professor.

LDS scholarship and historiography (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.III, August 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Melba Richey, University Archivist, and John Murphy, Curator; 2006. Processed; Elizabeth Ballif, student processor, and John Murphy, Curator; 2010.

Register of the Lorin Farrar Wheelwright papers
Amy Perez, Melba Richey, and John Murphy
2008 June
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