Orson F. Whitney correspondence with Rudger Clawson and Charles W. Nibley, 1921-1922
Scope and Contents
Materials include a report from the European mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written by Orson F. Whitney to President Rudger Clawson and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In another letter, to Presiding Bishop C. W. Nibley and his counselors, Whitney says that he is returning home from the European mission after being honorably released as president so that he can recover from health problems. There is also a letter to Aloysius Linatello, rector at the University of Padua in Italy, declining an invitation to the celebration of the seventh centenary of the founding of their university. Dated 1921-1922.
- Whitney, Orson F. (Orson Ferguson), 1855-1931 (Person)
- Nibley, Charles W. (Charles Wilson), 1849-1931 (Person)
- Clawson, Rudger, 1857-1943 (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
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
Rudger Clawson was an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1898 to 1943.
Rudger Clawson was born on March 12, 1857 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to parents Hiram Bradley Clawson and Margaret Gay Judd. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the South where he witnessed anti-Mormon mobs murder his mission companion, Joseph Standing, in 1879. On August 1, 1882, he married Florence Ann Dinwoodey and the two had one child together. On March 29, 1883, he married another wife, Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, and they had nine children together. In 1884 Clawson became the first Mormon polygamist to be convicted and imprisoned for violating the Edmunds Act of 1882. He served his prison sentence from 1884 to 1887 and was released early by President Grover Cleveland. After his release in 1887 he was called as the Stake President of the Box Elder Stake in Utah. Eleven years later, in 1898, he was called by Lorenzo Snow to be an apostle for the Church and eventually became the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1921. He served in this capacity until his death.
He died on June 21, 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Biographical / Historical
Charles W. Nibley (1849-1931) was the fifth presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1907 to 1925 and second counselor in the First Presidency from 1925 to 1931.
Charles Wilson Nibley was born on February 5, 1849, in Hunterfield, Scotland, to parents James Nibley and Jean Wilson. In 1855 his family immigrated to the United States to join the rest of the Latter-day Saints in Utah. They lived in Rhode Island before moving to Utah in 1860. Eventually they settled in Wellsville, Utah. When Nibley left home he moved to Brigham City, Utah where he worked for Morris Rosenbaum and became a partner in his store. Here he met Rebecca Neibar, whom he married in 1869. Later in his life Nibley also married two other wives: Julia Budge and Ellen Jane Ricks.
From 1879 to 1885 Nibley managed a lumber company for the Church, which eventually led him to start the Oregon Lumber Company in 1889. Nibley was a successful businessman and eventually became a multimillionaire due to multiple investments and involvement in various industries including railroads, insurance, banking, politics, and agriculture. He was also prominent in Church leadership circles. In 1907 he was called as the presiding bishop for the Church. In 1925 he was released from this calling and given the calling to be Heber J. Grant’s second counselor in the First Presidency, a role he held until his death in 1931. His service in this role is notable since he is one of few men who served in the First Presidency without having been ordained to the office of apostle first.
He died on December 11, 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.