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John M. Bernhisel personal papers, circa 1825-1910

Identifier: MSS SC 331 Series 2

Scope and Contents note

Letters to his wife, envelopes, deeds, estate settlement papers, family blessings, and wallet.


  • Other: circa 1825-1910


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Papers of John M. Bernhisel must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

John M. Bernhisel (1799-1881) was a legislator and businessman in Utah.

John Milton Bernhisel was born in Pennsylvania on June 23, 1799, to Samuel Bernhisel and Susannah Bower. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Philadelphia in 1827. After graduating, he practiced in New York City until he heard the preaching of two elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after which he left for Nauvoo to join the Saints in 1842. He was close to both the prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He married a widow, Julia Ann Haight, and also Elizabeth Barker in Nauvoo, Illinois. He arrived in the Utah Valley in 1848. On August 4, 1851, Dr. John M. Bernhisel was unanimously elected as Utah's first delegate to national Congress. During his term of service the construction of the National Central Railroad to the Pacific Coast, an act for suppression of Indian hostilities, the first postal service between the East and Utah, and other important issues were dealt with. He was elected the first vice-president of Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution, one of the founders of the University of Deseret (now the University of Utah), and even selected the books and had them shipped across the plains for the university's library. He died at the age of 82 in 1881.


6 folders

Language of Materials