Skip to main content

John Y. Bearnson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 6014

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains the personal papers and business records of John Y. Bearnson. Collection includes political papers (on issues such as Communism, Voting, Christian Crusade, Civil Rights, etc.); Springville and Salt Lake City companies’ records; stocks; accountant records; and personal correspondence. The collection spans from circa 1920-1980, with bulk 1945-1970.


  • 1920-1980


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 John Y. Bearnson papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

John Jack Young Bearnson (1899-1985) genealogist, accountant and President of the Icelandic Association.

John Jack Young Bearnson was born February 22, 1899, at Winter Quarters (near the present town of Scofield), Utah, to Finnbogi and Josephine Marie Christen Jensen Bearnson. He married Birdella Reynolds in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple on October 8, 1925. Bearnson served in both World War I and II. He was involved in many groups including the Federalized National Guard, the Kiwanis Club, the American Legion, and was general marshal of the Springville Days celebration in the spring of 1983. He was an active member of the LDS church and served as a bishop and a member of the high council.

An avid genealogist, Bearnson traced his own generations back to 239 AD. He was the President of the Icelandic Association. During his tenure, he organized a three-day centennial celebration to recognize 100 years since Icelandic immigrants established Spanish Fork. Icelanders from all over the US, Canada, and Iceland came to celebrate. He was given the Order of the Falcon by the President of Iceland for promoting good relations between Iceland and the US. He and his wife opened their home to more than 80 Icelanders, including the Nobel prize winner Hadler Laxnux.

Bearnson was an accountant by profession and owned Jack’s Toggery on Main Street in Springville. In 1977 he and his wife were called to preside over the Icelandic mission and helped to purchase the ground for the first chapel in Iceland. He died November 15, 1985, at his home in Springville.


22 cartons (22 linear ft.)

9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Collection of personal papers and business records of John Y. Bearnson, 1920-1980.

Custodial History note

Donated by Cathy Hammon in 1992.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Cathy Hammond; 1992.

Appraisal note

Utah and the American West (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).

Processing Information note

Processed; Melissa Cowles; 4 December 2007.

Register of John Y. Bearnson papers
Melissa Cowles and Karen Glenn, student processors and John Murphy, curator
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