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Winchester family papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 815

Scope and Contents

Materials primarily include correspondence between members of the Benjamin Winchester family. Some of the letters are written between family members who were visiting their grandparents in the Salt Lake Valley during the Civil War. The bulk of the correspondence is to and from Benjamin's oldest son, Savillian. Also includes business material and various receipts relating to Benjamin's life in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Dated 1864-1908.


  • 1864-1908


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

Biographical History

Savillian Augustus Winchester (1843-1914) was a son of Benjamin Winchester (1817-1901) and Mary Hannah Stone (1820-1902), early converts to Mormonism.

Savillian Augustus Winchester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 6, 1843, to Benjamin and Mary Hannah Stone Winchester. He married Rachel Elizabeth Clark on October 30, 1871, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and they had four children. Savillian died in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on March 30, 1914.

Biographical History

Benjamin Winchester (1817-1901) was an early convert to Mormonism; participated in the Zion's Camp march to Missouri; was ordained a Seventy; and performed extensive missionary service for the early Mormon Church. Later he would leave the Church due to disagreements with church leadership and lived out most of his life in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Benjamin Winchester was born at Lindy's Lane, Pennsylvania, to Stephen Winchester and Nancy Case on August 6, 1817. His family joined the Mormon Church in 1833 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Benjamin accompanied his father on the Zion's Camp march in 1834, attended the School of the Prophet's in Kirtland, Ohio, and was ordained a Seventy in 1835. He was a missionary and leader of the Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and published several Mormon works there, incuding a history of the priesthood and "The Gospel Reflector," a newspaper. Benjamin married Mary Hannah Stone on February 25, 1840, and they had five children who lived to adulthood. Conflicts with authorities of the Mormon Church combined with his disagreement to the practice of plural marriage forced Benjamin to leave the Church, and he was excommunicated on September 26, 1844. Benjamin had short-lived support for Sidney Rigdon's movement, but later owned a cigar shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1846-1854, and finally moved his family to Council Bluffs, Iowa. During most of his life in Iowa he worked in the brick making business, and also dabbled in farming and fruit growing. Benjamin remained in Iowa until his death on January 25, 1901.

Biographical History

The Benjamin Winchester (1817-1901) and Mary Hannah Stone (1820-1902) family began with their marriage on February 25, 1840. They had five children who survived into adulthood, and the family became early members and leaders of the Mormon Church in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The Benjamin Winchester (1817-1901) and Mary Hannah Stone (1820-1902) family began with their marriage on February 25, 1840. They had five children who survived into adulthood, including Savillian, Americus, Benjamin Jr., Josephine Marion, and Francis Amelia. They were early members of the Mormon Church, Benjamin having joined while a youth in 1833, and lived in Ohio and Pennsylvania until Benjamin, Sr. left the Church in 1844 due to disagreements with church leadership. The family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later Council Bluffs, Iowa. Many of Benjamin's family, including his parents, migrated to Utah with the majority of the Mormon Church, although his children appear to have remained in Iowa.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Letters were created or collected by Savillian Winchester, and following his death in 1914, they went into the possession of his daughter, Bessie Bayless, who also made her home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, until her death in 1981. At her death, the materials passed into the possession of her daughter, Eunice Eddy of Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1983, David J. Whittaker visited with Mrs. Eddy and obtained the originals for Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Eunice Eddy; 1983.


The Mormon family (The Archives of the Mormon Experience.)

Processing Information

Updated record; Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2013.

Register of Winchester family papers
Benjamin Sipes
2010 July 19
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