Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Saint Images, 1903
 


Latter-day Saint Images, 1903

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 14, 2008

Greetings from Latter-day Saint Sunday Schools throughout the world, 1903 —


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Karachi, India
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   Airdrie, Scotland

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Hyrum, Utah, 3rd Ward

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   Independence, Missouri
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Frederikshavn, Denmark
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   Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
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Glasgow, Scotland
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San Francisco, California
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Glendale, Utah
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    Sydney, Australia
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“Highland Boy” Mine, Utah
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16 Comments »

  1. I’m intrigued with the Karachi, India and the Independence, MO photos. I knew that missionary work took place in India during the 19th Century, but I didn’t know that there was any trace of the Church by the 20th Century. The Independence photo is interesting. It looks like they’re meeting in a house. With the announcement of a temple being built in Kansas City, I looked up the number of stakes in the greater KC area and there are at least seven. I talked to my brother who lives just outside of KC and he says there is talk of creating another stake. Isn’t it amazing how the Church has grown in that area over the last 100 years!

    Comment by Steve C. — October 14, 2008 @ 7:19 am

  2. I, on the other hand, did not know about missionary work in India in the 19th century, so that first picture intrigued me the most. Keep these coming, I just love to see the different places.

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — October 14, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  3. Here’s the odd thing — I know people whose forebears came from Hyrum, Independence, and Frederikshavn. I wonder if some of these faces are the grandparents of people I know?

    Comment by Mark Brown — October 14, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  4. I love it when you post these, Ardis, thanks.

    Comment by Amira — October 14, 2008 @ 9:43 am

  5. I’m so glad to see approving comments — I love to put these together, but I wondered whether you were getting tired of them.

    The one that strikes me is San Francisco. One of the earlier posts from the 1920s showed a much, much smaller group. I’m wondering if that first one was only a single class, or whether the 1906 earthquake drove that many Mormons out of the area. I also like the one taken at the Highland Boy mine — that would have been a small, dirty, inelegant place, but look how everyone still has a “Sunday best” outfit to wear for picture day.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  6. The Highland Boy was a copper mine in the Bingham district. This photo would have been taken in the company town, I suppose. From all appearances, a pretty nice place for the day and time.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 14, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  7. Ardis, these shorts posts composed primarily of images are especially enjoyable on days when I’m too busy to do much actual blog reading. Thanks, and keep them coming.

    Comment by Christopher — October 14, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  8. Ardis, my suspicion is that the Karachi folks are English church members there in government service of some sort, but I don’t know how you would verify that.

    I have a nephew who is currently serving in India on his mission, in the coastal city of Vishnakapatnam (spelling is approximate). He’s 6’4″ tall, reddish brown hair, and pale, freckly face. One other missionary in his district is 6’6″ tall, bright red hair. As they are not allowed to actively proselyte, and can only teach someone who approaches them first, being tall, pale, and redhaired attracts a lot of attention there, opening doors (literally) for them to do missionary work.

    Keep these coming. The picture you had of the Antimony Sunday School in the 1930s or 1940s a few weeks back had a couple of my brother in law’s ancestors, including an uncle and some others that he knew personally.

    Comment by kevinf — October 14, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  9. Ardis,

    I note that women typically removed their hats for a photo — all except the Highland Mine shot. Women’s hats were an extravagant fancy in those days, it seems. Funny that so many of the photos you chose show everyone with their heads uncovered.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 14, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  10. Jim, I have a collection of 1902 photos to put up sometime — ladies all over the world are wearing their picture hats that year. I don’t know, but wonder if a fashion change, or the request from church leaders sometime in that era that women remove their hats as a courtesy in church, might have come at exactly that time, with the ladies at the mines being some of the last to change. It sure is a clear difference in this set of pictures though, isn’t it?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  11. Ardis, I will never get tired of these pictures. NEVER.

    Is it noted anywhere if some of these pictures are of specific organizations – like, perhaps, the Primary in the Scotland picture?

    Comment by Ray — October 14, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  12. Mark, a good share of those people in the Hyrum 3rd Ward Sunday School have descendants still in Hyrum, and some probably still in the 3rd Ward. I have a picture of Hyrum 2nd Ward taken a year earlier with every person identified–not so with the 3rd Ward.

    Comment by Maurine — October 14, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  13. Ray, most (not all) of these images came from the Juvenile Instructor, suggesting that they were Sunday Schools. Very rarely are they specifically identified, unless a school is so large that a picture is identified as being of, say, “the intermediate class” or “the parents’ class.” Beginning in 1904, there was a real drive to open Sunday Schools for non-member children, and when I see photos of very large groups of children in places where I wouldn’t expect to find a large membership, I suspect that many if not all of the children are non-members. But in the groups pictured here, there seems to be a pretty good ratio of children to adults, as though they really are photos of branches or of member Sunday Schools. (Not that the other pictures aren’t interesting — I’ll publish some of those, but with a title that doesn’t imply that we’re seeing mostly LDS faces.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  14. Kevinf: I wondered the same thing about the Karachi members–if they weren’t English members. I looked closely at the people to see if they looked Indian. It’s hard to tell.

    These photos are great. Like everyone else, I like to look at them and see where we were 100 years ago. My wife was also impressed with a recent set of these photos that she decided after the Primary program to take a picture of our branch Primary children for perhaps a future post on this site. :-)

    Comment by Steve C — October 14, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

  15. I’d guess that all those men on the back row are natives of “India.” Karachi of course is now in Pakistan, and has been since Partition in 1947. Their dark hair and facial features appear to be of the common type from that area.

    An Indian friend of mine says that the general rule is that the farther north one goes in the subcontinent, the lighter skinned the population. Thus Kashmiris can be nearly as light-skinned as Caucasians, whereas people like her from Bangalore tend to be quite dark.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 14, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  16. The April 1909 issue of the Improvement Era featured an interesting article, “From India’s Coral Strand,” on the creation of the Karachi branch in 1903. I won’t reproduce the article, but the conversion story of Robert Marshall, who first received church literature in the 1850s, and his family is worth reading. Six of the first thirteen members in Karachi were members of Marshall’s household. (I would guess that Marshall is the man in the photo with the long beard.)

    Comment by Justin — October 15, 2008 @ 7:51 am

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