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Margaret Smith Larson and Norma Larson Elliott collection on Joseph West Smith

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8652

Content Description

Collection contains biographies of Smith, his wives, and their ancestors, written by their descendants; journals and transcripts of journals of Smith and his wives; correspondence among the family; Smith, Marsden, Fish, and Goodall genealogy; and family photos. Also contains the Joseph W. Smith Book of Remembrance that was created by his seventeen children, especially Margaret Smith Larson. Dated 1814-1994.


  • 1814-1994


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 Margaret Smith Larson and Norma Larson Elliott collection of Joseph West Smith papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Joseph West Smith (1859-1944) was a Mormon pioneer who helped to settle the Snowflake, Arizona area.

Joseph West Smith was born on September 6, 1859, in Minersville, Utah, to parents Jesse Nathaniel and Margaret Fletcher West Smith. He married Sarah Ellen (Nellie) Marsden (1860-1924) on November 5, 1879, in St. George, Utah, and together they had twelve children. He also married Della Fish (1864-1934) on October 29, 1886, in St. George, Utah, and together they had eight children.

Smith and his new wife Sarah left for the Territory of Arizona soon after getting married. There, he helped settle Snowflake and the surrounding area as one of the founding pioneers to that area. He served the community, state, and federal government in areas of the Irrigation Congress, the Arizona Counsel of Defence, the Kansas City International Congress, and delegations to Washington and New York City.

Smith worked as a home builder, farmer, teacher, mail man, banker, mayor, insurance salesman, dairy man, and cash store (grocery, etc) owner. He was highly involved in church work also, and served as missionary, Superintendant of YMMIA, patriarch, and temple worker.

Smith died on December 22, 1944, in Snowflake, Arizona.

Biographical History

Norma Larson Elliott (1916-2009) was a Mormon family history specialist in Arizona.

Norma Larson Elliott was born on May 30, 1916 to Margaret Smith and Alof Pratt Larson in Lakeside, Arizona. She studied family history at Brigham Young University in 1962, and it remained a passon for her whole life. She not only found much of the genealogy that is listed for the Larson, Smith, Hunt, and Marsden families, but also collected their histories. She also maintained records about her parents' homestead businesses, Latter-day Saint missions, and lives.

She had no children of her own, but was a motherly influence in the lives of her nieces and nephews. Elliott died on June 5, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.

Biographical History

Margaret Smith Larson (1884-1973) was a Mormon pioneer, educator, merchant, and postmaster in Arizona.

Margaret Smith was born on May 14, 1884 in Snowflake, Arizona, to parents Joseph West Smith and Sarah Ellen (Nellie) Marsden Smith, Margaret was the third child of the twelve they eventually had. Graduated from the Snowflake Stake Academy, then went on to teach. On June 1, 1904, she married Alof Pratt Larson in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had eight children: Hellen, May Belle, Maxine, Marsden, Norma, Gladys, Joseph, and Dorothy.

Together with Alof, she was a pioneer, homesteading in Lakeside, Arizona; later, she ran the Taylor Cash Store and was the Post Mistress in Taylor, Arizona. She loved to play the piano or organ and sing; and she loved being involved in her communities. She held many offices in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including president of the ward Relief Society. She and her husband served two missions to the Maricopa Indians of Arizona and in Hawaii. She lived in Snowflake, Taylor, Lakeside, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Margaret died on August 10, 1973 in Phoenix, Arizona. She is buried in Lakeside, Arizona.


2 boxes (1 linear ft.)

1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The items in this collection were passed down to Smith's granddaughter, Dorothy Lisonbee, who donated them to the Library in 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dorothy Lisonbee; 2014.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Related Materials

There is more information about Joseph West Smith in the collection Norma Larson Elliott family papers (MSS 8264).

Processing Information

Processed; Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2015.

Register of Margaret Smith Larson and Norma Larson Elliott collection on Joseph West Smith
Margaret Weddle
2015 January 7
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