John M. Bernhisel papers

John M. Bernhisel papers

Dates: approximately 1825-1964

Collection includes letters, certificates of election, receipts, invitations, calling cards, maps, envelopes, deeds, family blessings, and a wallet with an engraving plate. Papers related to the settlement of the Bernhisel estate and secondary sources are also included with the collection.

  • Extent: 1 oversize folder (0.3 linear ft.). -- 2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Bernhisel, John M. (John Milton), 1799-1881
  • Call Number: MSS SC 331
  • 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
The collection includes three archival series: 1. John M. Bernhisel political papers, circa 1847-1864; 2. John M. Bernhisel personal papers, circa 1825-1910; and 3. John M. Bernhisel secondary sources, circa 1909-1964.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Papers of John M. Bernhisel 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 SC 331; John M. Bernhisel papers; 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following Citations: MSS SC 331, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Acquisition Information
Other Finding Aids
Box-level inventory available online.
Related Material
A photograph of Brigham Young's grave transferred to Photo Archives.
Subject Terms
Bernhisel, John Milton, 1878-1957; Church and state--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Land tenure--Utah; Library legislation--Utah; Medicine and Health; Politics, Government, and Law; Public Works; Science, Technology, and Health; Utah Expedition (1857-1858); Utah--Politics and government--19th century; Washington D.C.
Genre / Form
Certificates; Deeds; Letters; Maps
Processing Information
Processed; John M. Murphy, curator and Melissa Cowles, student processor; April 2007.
Appraisal Information
19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Bernhisel (John M.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Melissa Cowles
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-08-19T10:52-0600
Finding Aid Language
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

John M. Bernhisel (1799-1881) was a legislator and businessman in Utah.

John Milton Bernhisel was born in Pennsylvania on June 23, 1799, to Samuel Bernhisel and Susannah Bower. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Philadelphia in 1827. After graduating, he practiced in New York City until he heard the preaching of two elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after which he left for Nauvoo to join the Saints in 1842. He was close to both the prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He married a widow, Julia Ann Haight, and also Elizabeth Barker in Nauvoo, Illinois. He arrived in the Utah Valley in 1848. On August 4, 1851, Dr. John M. Bernhisel was unanimously elected as Utah's first delegate to national Congress. During his term of service the construction of the National Central Railroad to the Pacific Coast, an act for suppression of Indian hostilities, the first postal service between the East and Utah, and other important issues were dealt with. He was elected the first vice-president of Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution, one of the founders of the University of Deseret (now the University of Utah), and even selected the books and had them shipped across the plains for the university's library. He died at the age of 82 in 1881.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts