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Wandle Mace autobiography

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 786

Scope and Contents

Contains the handwritten autobiography of Wandle Mace. Account includes information about Mace's youth in New York City; joining the Mormon Church in the 1830s; moving to Illinois; helping build the Nauvoo Temple; service in the Nauvoo Legion; and, fighting in the Battle of Nauvoo in 1846. Also includes accounts of living in Iowa for over a decade prior to making their way west to Utah; traveling to Utah in a wagon train in 1859; moving to Southern Utah and settling in Kanab; and all major events in Utah until about 1871. Also includes Mace's testimony prior to his death in 1890, and concludes with several excerpts of discourses by Joseph Smith in the 1840s, along with Mace's own writings on various doctrines of the Mormon faith. Written in 1890.


  • 1890


Conditions Governing Access

Originals restricted. Photocopy available for public use.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Wandle Mace autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical / Historical

Wandle Mace (1809-1890) was a mechanical engineer who helped build the Nauvoo Temple, a veteran of the Battle of Nauvoo, and early Mormon pioneer in southern Utah.

Wandle Mace was born on February 19, 1809, in Johnstown, New York, to John Mace and Dinah Campbell. In his youth, his family moved to New York City and Wandle apprenticed with a blacksmith and later learned to make coaches, street sweepers, and other machines, receiving patents for some. On November 9, 1828, Wandle married Margaret Merklee, and they had at twelve children together, only four living to adulthood.

Wandle Mace grew up attending the Presbyterian Church. In the 1830s, he learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized by Parley P. Pratt in the winter of 1837-1838. On September 11, 1838, Wandle and his family, including three children, left for Missouri to join the Saints there. They arrived in Illinois in November 1838, just to hear that the Saints were being forced out of Missouri. So, Wandle and Margaret living in Quincy, Illinois, until moved north to Nauvoo in 1842.

While in Nauvoo, Wandle used his skills in mechanics to build and repair mills and a foundry, and eventually was called to help build the Nauvoo Temple by building cranes to hoist stones up on the temple walls. He also supervised the timber work and various other jobs. He labored on the temple even during times of persecution, until it was finished and dedicated. He was also a member of the Nauvoo Legion. Wandle and his family were in Nauvoo in September 1846 when a mob attacked the city in what is known as the Battle of Nauvoo, and Wandle fought in some of the battles. They left Nauvoo on September 16, 1846, and settled in Keokuk, Iowa. While in Iowa, Wandle and Margaret would lose one daughter, and bear two sons, both who died within a year of birth. Margaret would also succumb to illness and passed away on June 13, 1854. On her deathbed, she asked Wandle to marry Rebecca Howell, a girl they hired from England. Wandle and Rebecca were married on June 18, 1854.

Wandle Mace, Rebecca and two of their children left for Utah on June 28, 1859, traveling with the Edward Stevenson Company. They reached the Salt Lake Valley on September 16, 1859.

Once in Utah, Wandle moved to Southern Utah, and lived in Cedar City and St. George. He was eventually called to settle Kanab, Utah, where he lived until his death on August 10, 1890.


2 folders (0.2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Provenance of item unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source and date of acquisition unknown.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.4, November 2013).

Existence and Location of Copies

Photocopy of the original is located in folder 2 (formerly MSS 921). Typescripts of the original are also available in published form at BX 8670.1 .M15 and BX 8670.1 .M15 1990z. These typescripts are not complete.

Processing Information

Record updated; Ryan K. Lee; 2016.

Register of Wandle Mace autobiography
Leslie Evens
2011 November 29
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