Francis W. Kirkham papers

Francis W. Kirkham papers

Dates: circa 1877-1972

Collection comprises various papers from Francis W. Kirkham, documenting his work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Utah education system, the Cooperative Life Insurance Association, and his personal life. Included are correspondence, personal papers (including biographical information), scrapbooks, leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, and various other materials. The collection dates circa 1877-1972.

  • Extent: 2 oversize boxes (1 linear ft.). -- 18 cartons (18 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Kirkham, Francis W. (Francis Washington), 1877-1972
  • Call Number: MSS 1562
  • 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
Materials are in English.
The collection has been arranged into five series: 1. Francis W. Kirkham personal papers, 1877-1972; 2. Francis W. Kirkham business papers, 1921-1962; 3. Francis W. Kirkham educational papers, 1911-1970; 4. Francis W. Kirkham Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints papers, 1921-1969; 5. Francis W. Kirkham miscellaneous, 1898-1947.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Francis W. Kirkham 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 1562; Francis W. Kirkham papers; 19th & 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University.
Custodial History
Purchased from Francis W. Kirkham in 1981.
Acquisition Information
Purchased; Francis W. Kirkham; 1981.
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Kirkham, Francis W. (Francis Washington), 1877-1972--Archives; Business, Industry, Labor, and Commerce; Education
Genre / Form
Letters; Printed ephemera; Scrapbooks
Processing Information
Processed; Kiren Dulai; 2010.
Appraisal Information
LDS Scholarship and historiography (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Kirkham (Francis W.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Kiren Dulai, student processor; John Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-07-08T12:04-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Francis W. Kirkham (1877-1972) was an educator and businessman in Utah.

Francis Washington Kirkham was born in 1877 in Lehi, Utah. He is known as a prominent educator as well as the author of "New Witness for the Christ in America: Evidence of Divine Power in the 'Coming Forth' of the Book of Mormon." At the young age of fifteen, Kirkham studied business under James E. Talmage, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kirkham attended Brigham Young Academy; however, his studies were placed on hold for three years while he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand. His mission inspired him to write a grammar book to help new missionaries learn the Maori language. In 1901, Francis W. Kirkham was married in the Salt Lake City Temple to Martha Alzina Robinson. He also returned to Brigham Young Academy (BYU), graduating in 1904 as valedictorian. After graduating from BYA, Kirkham worked as a businessman in Canada for three years. He later attended the University of Michigan for his bachelors degree, following which he taught at Brigham Young University for two years. Francis W. Kirkham decided to enroll in law school at the University of Utah where he was in the law school's first graduating class. He continued his graduate studies at Stanford and went on to earn his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley. For a period of time Francis W. Kirkham served as the president of the LDS Business College, the head of vocational education for the State of Utah and the superintendent of the Granite School District. While serving as the superintendent of the Granite School District he wrote the book "Educating all the Children of all the People." The book gained him national recognition and led to Kirkham being appointed the head of the New York City-based National Child Welfare Association. During his time in New York, Kirkham studeied the Book of Mormon in depth as he had greater access to resources within the area. He published a compilation of these works in 1937 entitled "Source Material on the Book of Mormon" which was the main basis for his book "A New Witness..." Kirkham later also worked as a manager for a Salt Lake City-based insurance company for several years. Francis W. Kirkham died in 1972.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts