Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » William Alonzo Hyde: More Than the Author of an Article

William Alonzo Hyde: More Than the Author of an Article

By: Curtis Allen - July 11, 2009

Curt A. recognized the author of the 1911 article on the Sacrament (excerpt with commenters’ remarks posted here; full text posted here). It was so interesting and worthwhile that I didn’t want it buried in comments where many of you, having already read the post, would miss it. Curt A. has given permission to publish it as a guest post instead, and also furnished the photograph.

From his dissertation on the sacrament, it is obvious that President William Alonzo Hyde was no ordinary man. A little bit about him might be interesting:

He was born in Kaysville, Utah in 1863 to Rosel Hyde and Mary Ann Cowles. His parents had emigrated to Utah in 1849 with the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer company. William came from pioneer stock and also an early Church family. His grandfather was Heman Hyde, the first convert in the area of Freedom, New York where Warren Cowdery was placed in charge of the branch and Heman was ordained a Teacher by Parley P. Pratt. Six days later the Prophet Joseph Smith stayed in Heman’s home. Many of the family came to Utah. The town of Hyde Park, Utah (north of Logan, is named for its first bishop and President Hyde’s uncle and namesake, William Hyde.
William’s education was obtained in district schools, one year at the University of Deseret and personal effort in reading. He was said to have the soul of an artist in drawing and in writing and could “sustain a mood or uncover a purpose in a beautiful word picture in serious writings. Many of his short works were in the form of parables.” He was often called upon to entertain with readings and had talent as an impersonator.

William married Mariah Reddish in Logan in 1886. He was appointed postmaster in Layton that same year and served as justice of the peace until 1892. In 1894, he moved his family to Idaho where he established the first business, a dry goods store, and built the first home in what was to become the town of Downey, but which at that time was a sagebrush flat about 35 miles south of Pocatello. His brother George soon followed him and found land to homestead, also joining in the dry goods business. Other settlers and business people joined in the settlement and the community was on its way.

To expand his opportunities, William sold his interests in the business and moved his family to Pocatello in 1900 where he started a grocery business. Through the years he became involved in other businesses and in the community. He was set apart as the president of Pocatello Stake in 1901 and served 29 years. He also served as a probate and police judge. At one point in his career, he wrote his “Creed”: “to be in the sunlight of success, yet feel my littleness; to be under the cloud of reverses, yet feel my strength; to have the patience of faith and the power of purpose; to know the pure and to love it; to instinctively know a lie and abhor it; and hating all lies, to be so near to the fountain of truth that I may not thirst in vain; to square my soul with the Infinite each hour by prayer; to be denied, yet still to believe; to love others much, and to be loved a little in return; to recognize in common things — the song, the flowers, labor, laughter and bright eyes – the tenderness of God; to have good books, and so, good thoughts; to feel ever in my heart the promise; to look, to smile – this was life indeed.” He died in 1934 and is buried in Pocatello.



  1. Curt, what a very moving expression of faith by Brother Hyde. He was indeed a skilled wordsmith. Thank you for posting a little about his life.

    Comment by Alison — July 11, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  2. The idea is along the lines of the modern mission statement, but his “Creed” is far more moving than any mission statement I ever read.

    I can tell I’m going to have to locate more of his writings, and I suspect some of them will end up posted here.

    Thank you, Curt.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  3. It was good to see a photo, too. Thanks.

    Comment by Hunter — July 11, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  4. He was said to have the soul of an artist in drawing and in writing and could “sustain a mood or uncover a purpose in a beautiful word picture in serious writings….” What a wonderful way to portray someone’s writings. Like Ardis says, we need to uncover more of his words.

    Comment by Maurine — July 12, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  5. “To be denied, yet still to believe.” Wow, thank you for that.

    Comment by Meghan — July 14, 2009 @ 6:20 am

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