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Alof Pratt Larson and Margaret Smith Larson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8763

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the papers of Alof Pratt and Margaret Smith Larson, residents of Snowflake, Lakeside, Phoenix, and Taylor, Arizona. Includes correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, school notes, items from the Taylor Cash Store, legal papers, missionary notes and journals, family history research and stories, and notes from Alof's various careers and church service. Materials are dated 1900-1973.


  • approximately 1900-1973


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 Alof Pratt Larson and Margaret Smith Larson papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Alof Pratt Larson was born in Snowflake, Arizona, on November 7, 1882, to parents Alof and May Louise Hunt Larson. He married Margaret Smith (1884-1973) on June 1, 1904, in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Latter-day Saint's Salt Lake City Temple, and they had 8 children: Helen (1905-2003), Maybelle (1907-1972), Maxine (1909-1994), Marsden (1912-1992), Norma (1916-2009), Gladys (1919-1970), Waldo (born 1921), and Dorothy (born 1924). He never finished high school, but was self-educated in many areas. Over the course of his life he became proficient at 31 different trades, including: auto mechanic and driver, blacksmith, builder, carpenter, deputy sheriff, farmer, government inspector, homesteader, horseman, plasterer, railroad worker, road worker, sawyer, sheep sheerer, surveyor, miner, and teacher- a true pioneer and jack-of-all-trades. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teacher, missionary to the Maricopa Indians and on the Hawaiian Islands, and 1st bishop of the Lakeside ward.

He died on August 12, 1961, in Lakeside, Arizona, while on a family vacation to the lands he had homesteaded. He is buried in the Lakeside, Arizona City Cemetery, which was on land he had donated to the city for that purpose.

Biographical History

Margaret Smith Larson (1884-1973) was a pioneer 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. She 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 for many years. 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.


3 cartons (3 linear ft.)

6 oversize folders (1.8 linear ft.)

6 folders (0.12 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Alof Pratt and Margaret Smith Larson created and collected the items in this collection, then passed them down to their youngest daughter, Dorothy Larson Brown Lisonbee, who then donated them to the Harold B. Lee Library in 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dorothy Lisonbee; 2015.


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

Processing Information

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

Register of Alof Pratt Larson and Margaret Smith Larson papers
Margaret Weddle
2015 August 10
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