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Octave W. Ursenbach papers

Identifier: MSS 3116

Scope and Contents

Collection consists primarily of personal and family information, such as material regarding Ursenbach's Priesthood ordinations and service as an LDS missionary in the Northern States mission, as a Priesthood officer (bishopric, bishop, stake presidency, stake president) in the Lethbridge Stake, Alberta, Canada, as president over the Canadian Mission, and as president of the Alberta Temple. It also includes records of Ursenbach's ancestors and genealogical work done for them (Swiss and French lines, mostly), correspondence, photographs, many personal diaries and journals, manuscripts of assorted prosaic and poetic compositions of his father, Octave Frederic Ursenbach, and abundant personal notes on religious topics. Also included are miscellaneous religious and historical mementoes, financial information, family possessions and histories, etc.


  • 1832-1988


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 Octave W. Ursenbach papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Octave W. Ursenbach (1893-1981) was a Mormon missionary and ecclesiastical leader in Alberta.

Octave Willis Ursenbach was born September 6, 1893, in Morgan, Utah, the son of Octave Frederick and Hannah Maria Turner. He attended Ricks Academy and graduated in 1908. The family moved to Salt Lake City, where Ursenbach studied at LDS Business College, worked at ZCMI, and served as a Sunday School librarian. In 1910, the family moved to Raymond, Alberta, Canada, when his father was called to teach at the Knight Academy. Here Ursenbach served as a Sunday School teacher in the Lethbridge ward and worked for King Brothers Mercantile Store until he received his call to the Northern States Mission in 1914. Upon his return in 1916, he served as a scoutmaster in the Lethbridge ward and secured employment with Ellison Milling and Elevator Company. He married Jessie Redd on February 21, 1918, and continued to work and improve at Ellison for the next twenty years, when he was called to be the President of the Canadian Mission in Toronto, still receiving a yearly salary from Ellison all the time he was gone. After his release in 1947, he returned to Ellison, and began service as President of the Lethbridge Stake. He was then promoted to manager of the grain department at Ellison in 1951. In 1956, he and Jessie were called to preside over the Cardston, Alberta Temple, and from then until 1961 employment with Ellison was gradually cut down to 2-3 days work per month. Upon his release from Alberta in 1968, he resumed work there three days per week in order to make time for personal projects, retiring permanently from the company on December 31, 1972, at the age of 80. Octave Ursenbach left this life on January 23, 1981.


6 cartons ((6 linear ft.) )

1 oversize folder (0.3 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. Octave F. Ursenbach publications, 1832-1961. 2. Octave W. Ursenbach family papers, 1865-1988. 3. Octave W. Ursenbach religious papers, 1832-1986. 4. Octave W. Ursenbach diaries, 1931-1975.

Custodial History

The collection was donated by Wayne Ursenbach in 2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Wayne Ursenbach; 2004.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Processing Information

Processed; John Murphy and Amanda Clark; 2007.

Register of Octave W. Ursenbach papers
Andrea Wyss
2011 April 12
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