Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper papers

Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper papers

Dates: 1851-1977

Collection consists primarily of correspondence between Lauper and various members of her family (notables include her sons-in-law, Crawford Gates and Richard L. Bushman). It also includes her journals and diaries and other biographical material, files documenting her involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Gordon and Vernon family history materials (including papers, correspondence, life histories, journals, and scrapbooks), as well as travel files and letters and cards of sympathy. Dated from 1851 to 1977.

  • Extent: 7 cartons (7 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Lauper, Jean Vernon Gordon, 1904-1977
  • Call Number: MSS 1559
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 1559; Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper papers; 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 1559, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Claudia Bushman (daughter of Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper) in 1978.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Claudia Bushman; 1978.
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online.
Subject Terms
Bushman, Richard L.--Correspondence; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Genealogy; Gates, Crawford--Correspondence; Church music--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Material Types
Genre / Form
Diaries; Letters
Processing Information
Processed; Amanda Clark; 19 July 2007.
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Lauper (Jean Vernon Gordon) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Karen Glenn and Amanda Clark, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-11-17T04:08-0700
Finding Aid Language
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Jean Vernon Gordon Lauper (1904-1977) was a talented musician, genealogist, and homemaker.

Jean Lauper was born on April 6, 1904, to James Frater and Margaret Elizabeth Schutt Gordon in Stirling, Alberta, Canada, the last of four children. Part of a musical family, Jean developed an early love of and talent for good music as well as for sewing, taking over where her mother had neither the skill nor the inclination. When she was thirteen, the family moved to Salt Lake City, where Jean received further musical training. The family later moved to Los Angeles, where she got a job at the May Company and was selected to receive further training in seamstressing in order to provide assistance to struggling customers. It was while employed there that she met a young vacuum salesman by the name of Serge Lauper. The two kept company for over a year and married on October 6, 1929, despite Serge's assignment to business in Oregon. Jean joined him after four months. Later that year he was transferred to Oakland, where two of their four daughters were born. In the fall of 1937, they moved into a custom-built house on 24th Avenue in San Francisco, which would remain the family home for the next 50 years. "Jean's life centered in that home. At the living room piano she worked over the music her choruses would sing. There she entertained company in her uniquely enthusiastic and creative way. In the study she made the endless encouraging telephone calls which kept her projects afloat and wrote letters to her family and friends. In the kitchen she cooked up the batches of brownies and fudge and the decorated cakes for which she was well-known. In the closets was the evidence of her creative and precise sewing. In her bedroom she sewed almost daily, completely cleaning up all evidence of scraps and threads after every use. She would lay out a cut fabric for a new dress for one of her daughters after the children had left for school, and by the time school was out, the dress was often ready for a final fitting. Her stock of fabrics filled drawers and cupboards throughout the house, which reflected her tastes and activities." Jean later developed talent in typing and bookkeeping when her husband started his own business; and when her mother, who had come to live with her, died in 1966 at the age of 100, she became an ardent genealogist until her own death, the result of a stroke, on September 15, 1977.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts