David O. McKay letter to Orson F. Whitney, 1922
Scope and Contents
Materials include an original letter from David O. McKay to Orson F. Whitney written on October 30, 1922. In the letter, McKay congratulates Whitney on recovering from surgery he had while president of the European mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also informs Whitney about his travel arrangements to come from Canada to England. Dated 1922.
- McKay, David O. (David Oman), 1873-1970 (Person)
- Whitney, Orson F. (Orson Ferguson), 1855-1931 (correspondent, Person)
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 Orson F. Whitney papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Biographical / Historical
David O. McKay (1873-1970) was a teacher and educator as well as the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1951 to 1970.
David Oman McKay was born in 1873 in Huntsville, Utah. In 1897 he graduated from the University of Utah and immediately afterward was called to serve a two-year mission to Scotland for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. On January 2, 1901, he and Emma Ray Riggs were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They had seven children together, one of whom died as a child. Although he began as a teacher, McKay eventually became principal at Weber Stake Academy (now Weber State University) and served on the Board of Trustees from 1908 to 1912. He later served on the Board of Regents of the University of Utah (1921-1922) and the Board of Trustees of Utah State Agricultural College (1940-1941). He was superintendent of the Church's Sunday schools from 1918 to 1934, and in 1919 he became its first Commissioner of Education. From 1922 to 1924 he served as President of the European Mission and from 1951 to 1970 he served as the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
McKay died on January 18, 1970 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Biographical / Historical
Orson F. Whitney (1855-1931) was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a writer, poet, and editor.
Orson F. Whitney was born on July 1, 1855, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Horace K. Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball Whitney. As a young man, Whitney wanted to be an actor and he spent many hours preparing for the stage by studying elocution, fencing, and grammar. However, during General Conference in 1876, Whitney was called to serve in the Eastern States Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mother sold her land and used the money to fund Whitney's mission. While on his mission, Whitney discovered his interest in the Gospel as well as in writing and speaking. He started a regular column of his missionary experiences in the "Salt Lake Herald" under the pen name Iago. In 1878, twenty-three-year-old Whitney was called to serve as the bishop of the Eighteenth Ward, a calling he held for 28 years. In 1906, Whitney was called to be an Apostle in the Church. He also completed three more missions for the Church, including being the president of the European Mission in 1921.
In 1879, Whitney married Zina Beal Smoot and they had 9 children together. Whitney also had two more wives: Mary Minerva Wells and Emma Whitney Wells. During his life, Whitney edited the "Salt Lake Herald," served on the city council, participated in the Home Dramatic Club, engaged in politics, and wrote poetry and books. In 1890, he published his first book, a biography of his grandfather Heber C. Kimball. That same year, Wildford Woodruff and John O. Williams commissioned Whitney to write "History of Utah"; he produced two volumes of the work by 1894 and the third in 1898. He also published a biography of Lorenzo Snow, an autobiography, and several books of poetry including his lengthy epic poem "Elias: An Epic of the Ages."
Whitney died on May 16, 1931, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory also available at: http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS15.xml
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcription available in Box 5.