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Levi Edgar Young letters to Orson F. Whitney, 1912-1926

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 21
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Image of Levi Edgar Young letters to Orson F. Whitney
Image of Levi Edgar Young letters to Orson F. Whitney

Scope and Contents

Materials include letters sent to Orson F. Whitney from Levi Edgar Young, a member of the history department of the University of Utah. They include comments about Whitney's published works, gratitude for Whitney's letters after the death of Young's mother, and his opinion about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's new films. Dated 1912-1926.


  • 1912-1926


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

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.

Biographical / Historical

Levi Edgar Young (1874-1963) was a member of the First Council of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1909 to 1963.

Levi Edgar Young was born on February 2, 1874 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to parents Seymour B. Young and Elizabeth Riter. Young attended University of Utah and graduated in 1895 with a B.S. degree. After graduation he taught at the Lowell School in Salt Lake City and the LDS College before becoming a history professor at the University of Utah. Young was also active in his church service. He was called on a mission to Europe from 1901 to 1904, during which he presided over the Swiss and Austrian mission from 1902 to 1904. After returning home he married Valeria Brinton on June 18, 1907, and over the years they had three children together. In 1909, Young was called to be one of the first seven presidents of the Quorum of the Seventies for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Young continued his education and studied history at Harvard and Columbia, eventually earning an M.A. degree from the latter in 1910. Eventually, in 1936, he was appointed as head of the Department of Western History at University of Utah.

He died on December 13, 1963, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


1 folder

Language of Materials


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Existence and Location of Copies

Transcription available in Box 5.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States