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Latter-day Saint Children, 1927

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 13, 2009

Mormon children, always in motion, their energy channeled into constructive activities by the Primaries of 1927:

Weber, Utah
1st Ward
Cast of the cantata “Strange Visitors”

Lehi, Utah
4th Ward
Children’s Hospital Benefit Parade

Maricopa, Arizona Stake
90 Bluebirds (10- and 11-year-old girls)
Visiting Arizona Temple

Alameda Neighborhood Primary
Oakland, California Branch
Dancing the Hornpipe

Ashley Ward, Utah
Primary Conference

Blanding, Utah
Seagull Girls (12- and 13-year-olds)
Visiting Local Pioneers

Genoa, Idaho
Bluebird Girls, with the quilt they made for the Children’s Hospital

Ocean Park, California
Trail Builders
Boys’ Band

Compton, California
Beach Outing

Douglas, Arizona
Maypole Dance

Ogden 13th Ward
Trail Builders
Cast of “David’s Thanksgiving”

Douglas, Arizona
Trail Builders

Fremont, Utah
Seagull Girls

Inglewood, California
Seagull Girls
Swimming

Trail Builders
Lewiston, Idaho
Raising Funds for Children’s Hospital

Seagull Girls
Lewiston, Idaho
Raising Funds for Children’s Hospital

Junction, Utah
Maypole Dance

Pioneer Stake
Salt Lake City, Utah
“The Spirit of Spring” Pageant

Pomerene, Arizona
Learning Indian Lore

San Diego, California
Migrant Workers’ Camp

Seagull Girls
Performing at June Conference

Seagull Girls
Milford, Utah

Trenton, Utah
Martha Washington Party
Dancing the Minuet

Greenlakes Branch
Seattle, Washington

Afton, Wyoming
Costumed for Primary Play

Diamondville, Wyoming

McGrath, Canada
Seagull Girls



22 Comments »

  1. Those “Spirit of Spring” costumes don’t have sleeves! For shame!

    The activities pictured are certainly more interesting than anything I did in primary. Our major activity was a yearly Easter egg hunt on the meetinghouse lawn. I wonder whether the activities in 1927 improved attendance.

    Comment by Ariel — February 13, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  2. Ardis,

    That picture of the Lehi 4th ward hospital benefit parade brought back a memory.

    I remember participating in the Primary Penny Parade to benefit the children’s hospital. We decorated our wagons and bicycles and paraded back and forth in the church parking lot, with our parents as spectators. I think I must have been very young, no more than 4 or 5, because I don’t remember much at all. I had forgotten completely until I saw this picture.

    Comment by Mark Brown — February 13, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  3. My mother would have been in the Inglewood Ward that year, but, alas, too young to be in the photograph. You’re getting closer, Ardis!

    We used to have a parade in Provo–I think they called it the Around the Block Parade. One year I recall they must have combined all the stakes in town, because I decorated my bike and rode down Center Street with a whole mob of other children. An orderly mob, I should say.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 13, 2009 @ 10:22 am

  4. Pretty please may I have a link to the original picture of the Junction War Maypole dance?!?!?! My grandmother would have been 10-years-old that year.

    Comment by Chad Too — February 13, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  5. Junction WARD, that is. sorry.

    Comment by Chad Too — February 13, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  6. Chad, I’ll send you my scan — ditto for anybody else who sees a picture they might want.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 13, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  7. I’m looking at the picture of the Mesa Temple, trying to figure out whether they’re facing east towards Hobson or west towards Lesueur. (It’s not north or south, because there are seven windows facing those directions.) In either case, it looks very different now. There’s a relecting pool and cactus garden on the west side and trees on the east side. And both entrances look very different, too.

    Comment by Researcher — February 13, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  8. I had some funny comment about pole dancing in Douglas, AZ and Junction, UT, but thought better of it at the last moment. I second the notion that some of this all looks like more fun than anything I ever did in primary, other than the incident with the skunk, of which I can still claim plausible deniability.

    Comment by kevinf — February 13, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

  9. Thanks for collecting these. This was fun. I could imagine some of these kids as grandparents telling their grandkids, “Back in my day, for Primary, we used to do a maypole dance/boys’ band/pageant, etc.”

    My sentimental side loved seeing the one of the Seagulls in Blanding, Utah and their “Visiting Local Pioneers.” This was so touching. As I looked at those youngsters (several of whom may still be alive) standing next to real pioneers, it made our shared pioneer past seem not so long ago. Wow – what a trip.

    Comment by Hunter — February 13, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  10. Wonderful, Ardis – simply wonderful.

    My sarcastic side couldn’t help noticing . . . crosses on children?? Oh, my! I particularly liked the boys’ band picture. I couldn’t tell if the director was wearing a fake mustache and headpiece – or if that was his actual hair. Either way, his expression is priceless.

    kevinf, maybe Ardis will allow you to regale us with the story of the skunk. It’s a story I would love to read – even as a comment here.

    Comment by Ray — February 13, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

  11. Kevin: You are hereby requested to tell us the tale of ol’ Pepe LePew.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 13, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  12. Alas, a confession. No skunk. I was trying to think of what really standout experience I had in primary and couldn’t come up with one, so I dropped a red herring. I really had a pretty mundane experience there. None of it ever looked as much fun as this. I felt safe and comfortable and loved, and I must have learned something there. Perhaps it is the distance that makes it murky.

    However, at school, it was a different story, from throwing up on the elementary school principal’s desk when she doubted I was really sick, to the giant smoke bomb the last day of my senior year in high school that resulted in a 24 hour suspension. I emptied a whole wing of the school, some 500 students. My senior yearbook is full of references to “The Bomber”. In these more “enlightened” days, I’d have been charged with a felony. I got off easy.

    Comment by kevinf — February 13, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  13. I did try and catch a skunk for a junior high school science project, and it did not go well. Suffice it to say that multiple showers and discarding a complete wardrobe were required before my mom would approach me.

    Comment by kevinf — February 13, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  14. Okay, the stink bomb escapade is just as good as a skunk could have been, Kevin!

    Thanks for your comments, all, both the enjoyment of these pictures and the memories of your own Primary days that they recall. I remember that we had parties and carnivals, and every year while I was in Primary we still threaded streamers of crepe paper through the spokes of our bikes or trikes or wagons to parade around the block or even just around the church parking lot. Dropping pennies into the cardboard bank shaped like the Primary Children’s Hospital made me feel like I was really helping what were then called “crippled children.” Most of that faded away during the years I was teaching weekday Primary (I was given my very first class, 3 year olds, when I was just 11 and not yet graduated from Primary. Somebody needed to take that class, and I was thrilled to be asked.) I don’t ever remember costumes or plays or cantatas, though. Or maypole dances. I would have liked a maypole dance.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 13, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  15. kevin, one of my best friends in middle school made a bullet-casing bomb, and two other friends blew up a toilet in the girls’ restroom. They got caught, since they left (one giant and one tiny set of) footprints in the dirt outside the second story window from which they jumped. Given the small size of the student body, figuring out that those particular bandits were the culprits wasn’t difficult.

    My friend’s brother wasn’t pleased, since the high school administration made the obvious connection to a similar stunt at the high school shortly before the middle school toilet went to the great restroom in the sky – and he got nailed. My friend wasn’t pleased by the beating his brother gave him, either.

    Sorry for the threadjack, Ardis, but it was a natural connection – so please forgive me.

    Comment by Ray — February 13, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  16. Ray,

    There are other bombs in my background, but I had several friends whose involvement in bombmaking did draw the attention of the FBI. The good news is that after the FBI showed up at his house while his mom was making him breakfast, the ensuing interrogation, fines, indentured labor to repay the damages, my friend went on to become the Stake President in the stake where he grew up. Repentance is so sweet.

    Comment by kevinf — February 13, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  17. I’d like to meet that man, kevin – although I’m not sure it’s a good idea for him to tell that experience to the Young Men in his stake.

    Comment by Ray — February 13, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  18. They clearly had no stigma against bobbing one’s hair in the 1920s. Wow, what fun photos.

    Comment by jeans — February 14, 2009 @ 5:40 am

  19. Does anyone know any of the names of the Blanding Utah Segull Girls (or pioneers) featured in the above photo?

    Comment by Beverly Guymon Vowell — December 10, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  20. There are no known identifications for any of these pictures. It would be easy enough for someone with the time to devote to it to construct a list of Primary girls in that ward of the right age, but that wouldn’t match up the names to any particular faces.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 10, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  21. That is my wife’s family in Pomerene Arizona

    Comment by Richard — August 30, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  22. It’s always fun to hear that a reader has found a connection to one of these pictures, Richard. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 30, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

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