John Y. Bearnson papers

John Y. Bearnson papers

Dates: 1920-1980, bulk 1945-1970, 1945-1970

This collection contains the personal papers and business records of John Y. Bearnson. Collection includes political papers (on issues such as Communism, Voting, Christian Crusade, Civil Rights, etc.); Springville and Salt Lake City companies’ records; stocks; accountant records; and personal correspondence. The collection spans from circa 1920-1980, with bulk 1945-1970.

  • Extent: 22 cartons (22 linear ft.). -- 9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.). -- 1 oversize box (1 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Bearnson, John Y. (John Young), 1899-1985
  • Call Number: MSS 6014
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84606;
  • 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 the John Y. Bearnson 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 6014; John Y. Bearnson papers; 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 6014, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Cathy Hammon in 1992.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Cathy Hammond; 1992.
Subject Terms
Civil Rights; Iceland; Mormons--Utah; Politics, Government, and Law; Salt Lake City (Utah)--Business
Processing Information
Processed; Melissa Cowles; 4 December 2007.
Appraisal Information
Utah and the American West (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Bearnson (John Y.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Melissa Cowles and Karen Glenn, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-10-08T08:54-0600
Finding Aid Language
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

John Jack Young Bearnson (1899-1985) genealogist, accountant and President of the Icelandic Association.

John Jack Young Bearnson was born February 22, 1899, at Winter Quarters (near the present town of Scofield), Utah, to Finnbogi and Josephine Marie Christen Jensen Bearnson. He married Birdella Reynolds in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple on October 8, 1925. Bearnson served in both World War I and II. He was involved in many groups including the Federalized National Guard, the Kiwanis Club, the American Legion, and was general marshal of the Springville Days celebration in the spring of 1983. He was an active member of the LDS church and served as a bishop and a member of the high council.

An avid genealogist, Bearnson traced his own generations back to 239 AD. He was the President of the Icelandic Association. During his tenure, he organized a three-day centennial celebration to recognize 100 years since Icelandic immigrants established Spanish Fork. Icelanders from all over the US, Canada, and Iceland came to celebrate. He was given the Order of the Falcon by the President of Iceland for promoting good relations between Iceland and the US. He and his wife opened their home to more than 80 Icelanders, including the Nobel prize winner Hadler Laxnux.

Bearnson was an accountant by profession and owned Jack’s Toggery on Main Street in Springville. In 1977 he and his wife were called to preside over the Icelandic mission and helped to purchase the ground for the first chapel in Iceland. He died November 15, 1985, at his home in Springville.

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John Murphy
Curator - 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts