Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Missionaries, 1912

Latter-day Missionaries, 1912

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 05, 2009

Mormon missionaries look like Mormon missionaries, no matter the place, no matter the year, don’t they? Here’s an album of elders and sisters, proclaiming the gospel in 1912:

Ironton, Missouri

(R.S. Dalley, Driggs, Idaho; Homer Taylor, Marysvale, Utah — my grandfather; James B. Thomas, Logan, Utah; W. Charles Garner, Roy, Utah)


Greeley, Colorado

(back: J.N. Carroll, Midway, Utah; Sister and President John L. Herrick, Denver, Colorado; J.C. Campbell, Rigby, Idaho;  middle: H.L. McDermott, Clifton, Utah; Cora Hansen, Rexburg, Idaho; J.N. Dayley, Burley, Idaho; Ethel M. Call, Rigby, Idaho, E.J. Wilson, Jr., Hyrum, Utah; front: William Hurd, Snowville, Utah; Joseph Jensen, Independence, Missouri; C.R. Hart, Raymond, Idaho; J.A. Eyre, Minersville, Utah)


Billings, Montana

(left to right: Byron Beck, Sanford, Colorado; L.A. Haws, Vernal, Utah; Leo Cornish, Cove, Utah; W.M. Adamson, Tooele, Utah)


Rhode Island


Sunderland, England

(standing: Joseph Parmley, Winter Quarters, Utah; J. Eugene Lichfield, Provo, Utah; sitting: Nathaniel Ludlow, Spanish Fork, Utah; Victor E. Gilbert, Winter Quarters, Utah)


Toluca, Mexico

(back: Joseph V. Elton, Garcia, Mexico; Joseph E. Huish, Morelos, Mexico; James Whipple, Dublam, Mexico; local priest Elisee Jiminez, San Pablo; front: Edmund W. Richardson, Diaz, Mexico; Broughton Lunt, Pacheco, Mexico)


Copenhagen, Denmark

(back: James A. Christensen, Carl E. Neilsen; sitting: Henry Christiansen, Aaron P. Christiansen, William Henry Petersen, Andrew C. Anderson)


Charleston, West Virginia

(back: William A. Casper, Menan, Idaho; Alfred A. Bybee, Lyman, Colorado; Eddie R. Johnston, Paris, Idaho; George William Bowers, Dempsey, Idaho; Rea Gardner, Spanish Fork, Utah; Ray R. Chugg, Ogden, Utah; Mark Cook, Vernal, Utah; middle: Leonard R. Bailey, Calders Station, Utah; Jeremiah Baker, Mendon, Utah; George H. Ransom, Lewiston, Utah; David Cheney, Sunnydyl, Idaho; Charles S. Crow, Salt Lake City; front: France F. Wetzell, Salt Lake City, Utah; Frank L. Winter, Rexburg, Idaho)


Spokane, Washington

(back: Fred G. Carlile, Heber City, Utah; George C. Wood, Woods Cross, Utah; Nephi P. Nielsen, College Ward, Utah; middle: P.M.V. Anderson, Ephraim, Utah; L.E. Talbot, Kimball, Canada; Katherine L. Woodbury, Salt Lake City; Horten E. Fackrell, Bountiful, Utah; Victoria Egbert, Layton, Utah; Melvin K. Walker, Oakley, Idaho; front: Victor L. Hansen, Elwood, Utah; F.F. Brown, Blackfoot, Idaho; R.H. Hale, Oakley, Idaho; Mission President Melvin J. Ballard; M.J. Stringham, Vermillion, Utah)


Queensland, Australia

(standing: Fred S. Alvard, Daniel H. Heaton, Paxman Hatch; sitting: Grant D. Staples, Charles H. Hyde, J. Arthur Orme; front: David Nash and John Smith)


Lynchburg, Virginia

(front: Ernest Turley, Juarez, Mexico; H.B. Aycock, Pikeville, North Carolina; back: Marion Whittle, Marysville, Idaho; Joseph W. Hess, Plymouth, Utah)

Holbaek, Denmark

(Elders Lars Jensen, Mapleton, Utah, and N.L. Hansen, Brigham City, Utah, with English class)

Chicago, Illinois

(standing: J.H. Buckmiller, A.N. Smith, A.H. Wells, C. Stephens, John Schenk; sitting: G.F. Wendell, Viola V. Howard, Rebecca P. Atkin, Leona Ossman, N.B. Chugg)

Norfolk, Nebraska

(George W. Rhodes, Salt Lake City, Utah; M.w. Hansen, Mink Creek, Idaho; C.N. Liljenquist, Salt Lake City, Utah; William A. McFarland, West Weber, Utah)


Adelaide, Australia

(standing: Alfred Brooksby, Fredonia, Arizona; Matthew Holt, South Jordan, Utah; John Fullmer, Abraham, Utah; William B. Moore, Ogden, Utah; Preston D. West, Morgan, Utah; sitting: Wesley E. Tingey, Centerville, Utah; James F. Palmer, South Jordan, Utah; C. Leroy Haskell, Payson, Utah)


Bergen, Norway

(in front of new mission home)


Holdenville, Oklahoma

(back: Wallace Hurd, Cardston, Alberta; Vaughan Taylor, Fairview, Whoming; front: Charles H. Gates, Escalante, Utah; Archie E. Bee, Bloomington, Idaho)



(standing: C.C. Pendleton, Cedar City, Utah; T. Norton Brunker, Willard,Uutah; Price Brinkerhoff, Woodruff, Arizona; William H. Facer, Malad, Idaho; Joseph W. Alston, Magrath, Alberta; Austin Sessions and John T. Grant, Chesterfield, Idaho; Frank Hartle, Vernal, Utah; sitting: Alexander Brown, Lehi, Utah; M.W. Lewis, Kamas, Utah; Bennett Lindsay, Heber City, Utah; J.H. Hutchison, Marysvale, Idaho; Thomas L. Butterfield, Riverton, Utah; Ray Parkinson, McCammon, Idaho; Eugene Morris, Beaver, Utah; William W. Farley, Peterson, Utah)


Rotterdam, Holland

(standing: Oscar T. Parker, Joseph Reed, Joseph B.  Knight, David E. Ostler; sitting: L. Hamilton Taylor, O. Earl Thomas; Roscoe W. Eardley, Bererena Tiemersma, Ray Van Wagoner)


Trondjem, Norway

(standing: Martin Christopherson; sitting: John H. Evenson; Leroy L. Larsen — all from Farmers Ward, Salt Lake City, Utah)


Sapporo, Japan

(standing: Thomas L. Chipman, American Fork, Utah; William S. Ellis, Pleasant View, Utah; sitting: E. Leroy Anderson, Salem, Idaho; A.B. Hintze, Holliday, Utah)


Haugesund, Norway

(J.E. Larsen, Taber, Canada; Lawrence C. Monson, Salt Lake City, Utah)


Independence, Missouri

(top: L. Swainston and V.F. Spencer, both Burley, Idaho; J.O. Sorensen, Georgetown, Idaho; Henry iller, Thayne, Wyoming; R.P. Murray, Wellsville, Utah; middle: Nettie Mecham, Morgan, Utah; W.S. MacKay, Taylorsville, Utah; Cora Hawley, Seattle, Washington; John F. Allred, Ogden, Utah; front: J.W. Smith, Grantsville, Utah; Elmer Jackson, Randolph, Utah; Jesse Walton, Miller, Utah)


Montgomery, Alabama

(Edgar E. Burke, Springerville, Arizona; Frederick L. Bangerter, Granger, Utah; Guy V. Lamoreaux, Hubbard, Arizona; Leonard Hatch, Hatch, Idaho)



  1. I love the Japanese elders – did they usually dress like that to comply with local tradition, or was that just costume for the camera? (a bit like the missionaries here in Scotland who buy kilts to wear when they go home)

    Comment by Alison — August 5, 2009 @ 6:39 am

  2. Like the kilts, Alison. I’ve seen other pictures of the elders in western dress, and when I was reading diaries researching Tsune Nachie, I saw at least one reference to buying kimonos for souvenirs. Still, it makes a great picture, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 6:49 am

  3. Sorry, but in 2009, one of those elders is throwing out a gang sign.

    (Now get off my lawn! :) )

    Comment by queuno — August 5, 2009 @ 7:16 am

  4. Which one?! (And pray tell, how do YOU know, eh?)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 8:00 am

  5. What great pictures. Can you believe bowties and mustaches. My how the rules have changed.

    Comment by Mex Davis — August 5, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  6. Actually, I was surprised to see the large number of clean-shaven faces. (Well, I sort of expected it on the sisters.)

    It was interesting to see an elder in the Mexico photo who looks like he might be a native. And I laughed at the the photo from Nebraska (about two-thirds down the list), where the four elders look like they’re all cramped into one window sill. (I can just hear the photographer posing them: “Hmm, let’s see. Let’s put you all . . . HERE!”) The other thing that struck me was how old they all look.

    Thanks for this. It was great fun to see.

    Comment by Hunter — August 5, 2009 @ 9:30 am

  7. With the Meiji Restoration (beginning 1868), the Japanese (especially Japanese men) rapidly adopted western dress. So, the missionaries would ordinarily have worn their suits, just as missionaries today. And, like the Japanese men, they might have worn kimono around the house, or on holidays, when all the Japanese would also wear their kimono to the temples or the festivals.

    A light cotton summer kimono is 1,000 times more comfortable than a suit and tie on a humid Japanese summer day.

    Even more comfortable might be something like this: Yoshiro Mifune’s costume in The Seven Samurai–the ultimate in short shorts!

    I realize that remembering Japanese names is much like crossing a trackless desert without landmark or compass or sun or stars to guide one, but the Japanese member you mention is Tsune Nachie.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 5, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  8. Unlike most of the member photos that I’ve posted, the missionary photos tend to be identified, and I probably should have done that. Maybe I still will, when I have a spare hour. Until then, if anybody thinks they might see a familiar face, I could probably find a minute to verify the names on a few pictures.

    Mark, I’ve fixed my typo (I really can remember her name because I worked so hard to find enough to write about her).

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  9. There’s something hilarious to me about missionaries with bow ties.

    Comment by Clark Goble — August 5, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

  10. There’s something hilarious to me about anybody with a bow tie!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  11. Well, well, well. Next time I drop by the library, I’m wearing a bow tie!

    Part of it, I’m sure, is pure bloodymindedness. “I’ll be different from you even if it means I’ll look silly.”

    Another is the sheer snobbery at success in tying the blasted things. Any mere mortal can tie a four-in-hand or a windsor knot–but those of us who can tie a bow tie are a cut above the general run of humanity.

    Then there’s the “I’ve never spilled soup on my bow tie” argument. Ever seen how much a tie costs? And what it’s worth the first time you spill any food at all on it?? Talk about rapid and complete depreciation!

    (By the way, are missionaries not allowed to wear bow ties? Someone’s comment above seemed to imply that.)

    Comment by Mark B. — August 5, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

  12. Oh, well, uh, er, um, by hilarious, I of course meant debonair, elegant and exceptionally dignified.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  13. Thanks for the great pix. The names and places match so well – Tingey from Centerville, Facer from Malad, Hansen form Mink Creek (the only other name would be a Rasmussen, from that beautiful little nook northeast of Preston), Chugg from Ogden, Ludlow from Spanish Fork, Comish (not Cornish) from Cove. Wonderful little towns that produced great folks, their only export. In the library, show the one with the Hatch from Hatch to Elder Parkin and he’ll sniffle – his ancestors founded the town and now it barely exists as does Chesterfield, just next door.

    Comment by Curt A. — August 5, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

  14. Thanks for posting these pictures. Roscoe W. Eardley in the Rotterdam, Holland photo is my great-great-grandfather. Since I first discovered your blog about a year ago, I’ve always hoped that someday I might see one of my ancestors!

    Comment by Bill West — August 5, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  15. Bill, I owe your gr-gr-grandfather Eardley a big thanks for a kindness he did to my mother once, back in about 1939 or 1940. I’ll write to you to tell you about it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 5, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  16. Dark suits, white shirts, and ties has been standard missionary attire for quite some time now, hasn’t it?

    I was surprised by the number of missionaries from the “outlying areas.” Lots of elders from Idaho, Cache Valley, Heber Valley, Box Elder County, etc. and only a few from the Salt Lake Valley itself.

    I befieve that in this period, they still called young married men on missions, and traveling without purse or scip was common. (I’m glad I served when I did!)

    Comment by Clark — August 5, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

  17. I recognized Charles S. Crow in West Virginia. He is my great grandfather and one of Charley Crow’s sons.

    Is one of the outfits beign worn called a “Prince Albert Suit?” I read about it being common missionary attire a few years before this.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — August 5, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

  18. That’s three of us who have found grandfathers in pictures this year — cool! (I don’t know the style of the Prince Albert suit — maybe someone else does.)

    Clark, while I was looking up the names to add to this, I saw that one of the reports specifically attributed the success the elders were having to the faith shown by their traveling without money. Ouch.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 6, 2009 @ 4:31 am

  19. Here’s a view of a Prince Albert coat.

    It’s described as a long double-breasted frock coat for men.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 6, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  20. I have two ancestors in the same picture.

    Charles S Crow is my great great grandpa on my dad’s side
    standing next to him is David Cheney who is my great great grandpa on my mom’s side.

    I believe Elders Cheney and Crow were companions. My mom discovered the connection when looking at a photo (not sure if it was this one or not) at her new parents-in-laws home and seeing her own great grandfather in it.

    Bruce, were related somehow. My grandmother is a Crow.

    Comment by Steve G. — August 6, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  21. I don’t have any grandfathers, but Wesley E. Tingey of Centerville is a grandfather of my cousins. I really like these missionary pictures. Keep sending them if you have more.

    Comment by Maurine — August 6, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  22. Dang, I should have said that I didn’t have any grandfathers in these pictures. I definitely do have two grandfathers, duh!

    Comment by Maurine — August 6, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  23. I loved looking at these and am glad it’s available on the internet. How can I identify a similar picture of a group of men who were missionaries to Great Britian/Scotland with my husbands grandfather? Where can I research to find names of others in our old photograph of 1896?

    Comment by P.Moses — November 12, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

  24. None of the church magazines were publishing missionary photographs quite that early, so you won’t find a duplicate (with identification) there, as I did with these. You might try the Church History Library, which has a manuscript mission history of the British Mission that would list all the elders who were in that field at that time. It isn’t likely that you would be able to figure out that *this* elder was John Smith and *that* elder was Richard Jones, but if you have any clue (exact date? a place?) that would pin the photo to a given event, you’d at least have a good idea of who is in the group.

    This is the kind of research that you’ll need to go to the library yourself to do; it would be more than the staff could do for you by email.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 12, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  25. Where did this photo album come from? My friend’s g-grandpa is one of the elder’s in the Louisiana photo.

    Comment by Cam Steinbusch — November 27, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  26. Cam, I scanned the photos from the pages of the Improvement Era and Liahona: The Elder’s Journal of 1912. How fun to hear that one of these elders is more than a name and a picture!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 27, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

  27. This will surely date me, but I rather like the Prince Albert coat. (RE: #19) I think that it looks rather dignified.

    Ardis, also having been amused by the missionaries in Japan decked out in their kimonos for their group photograph brought to mind the brethren sent to the S.W.I.M. (Southwest Indian Mission). While at BYU I became acquainted with a Utah cowboy who served his mission there. He said it was wonderful to serve a mission on horseback and wearing jeans, boots and just a white shirt. (No ties!…except on Sunday, I think.) Have you ever come across any photos of those brethren with their horses? They were the genuine article in that they had to ‘go native’ as part of their missionary service. Most of these brethren were either cowboys, rancher’s sons, or young men accustomed to spending more than a day in a saddle. When I drive down to Arizona to visit relatives, I traverse the Navajo Nation from north to south. A few minutes south of Cameron on the west side of Hwy 89 is an LDS Chapel which I feel is a monument to all of the S.W.I.M. missionaries that served the Navajo (Dineh) people.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — November 27, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

  28. I haven’t noticed any such picture, Velikiye, but it will be worth watching for!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 27, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

  29. About that picture about the S.W.I.M. I seem to recall a New Era article in the 1970’s that featured a missionary on horseback and wearing jeans and boots, it had pictures and everything. I could be wrong though as to the mission.

    Comment by Cam Steinbusch — November 27, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  30. For what it’s worth: My dad was an assistant manager for JC Penny in Arizona. He always told us how the Indian missionaries would come in to buy jeans and white shirts.

    Comment by Steve C. — November 28, 2009 @ 8:36 am

  31. What wonderful pictures. In the picture from Montgomery, Alabama the 3rd person from the left is not Guy V. Lamoreaux. I am a granddaughter of Guy and this is not him. Will this be corrected?

    Comment by Janet A. — October 24, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  32. Janet, I can only reproduce the captions as they appeared in the magazines where these photos were published. Your comment will have to alert other visitors that the identification of that elder may not be correct.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 24, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  33. That reminds me, Ardis–I really need to get my Grandfather’s missionary journal from my aunt and let the Church History Library copy it. He was in the “old” Japan Mission from 1918-1921 or thereabouts. I have a picture of him with David O. McKay during his trip there, which I’m sure you’ve seen…

    Comment by Nate W. — October 25, 2010 @ 12:39 am

  34. Nate, I’ll channel Pres. Kimball and say, “Do it!”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 25, 2010 @ 6:15 am

  35. I’m scanning my old photos and I have a huge stack of missionaries that went to Norway in the early 1900’s. Any idea who would be interested in them?

    Comment by kathy johnson — July 11, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  36. Yes! The Church History Library would appreciate having them (preferably the originals, but high quality scans would also be useful). If they’re identified, so much the better — but even if they aren’t identified by name, if they’re of missionaries or members, the Church wants ’em.

    Contact the Acquisitions Department, Church History Library, 15 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-1600 (email at churchhistorylibrary [at] ldschurch [dot] org). Brad Westwood is the manager of that department — he’d assign a missionary to work with you to get any information about the pictures that you might have, and how they came into your possession, and whatever else they might want to find out.

    Thanks for looking around for someone who wants them, rather than tossing them. Truly, these kinds of generous deposits into the library are a historian’s dream come true.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  37. The picture of the three men in Trondhjem, Norway is labeled incorrectly. The man sitting on the left is Martin Christopherson (not the one standing). He is the brother of my gg-grandmother, and I have plenty of pictures of him to know what he looks like.

    Comment by Astrid — January 21, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  38. Note 37 – about “the picture of three men in Trondhjem, Norway is labeled incorrectly”. I agree that it is labeled incorrect. The man sitting on the left is Martin Christopherson, he is my g-grandfather. I also have large copy of the same photo.
    Craig Christopherson

    Comment by Craig Christopherson — February 25, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

  39. In regard to comment #35 by Kathy Johnson, yes! I am very interested in any collection of missionaries from the earlier part of the 1900’s. My grandfather, Laurence C. Monson, is pictured at least once, maybe twice on this blog.

    Comment by Joe Monson — August 1, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  40. Joe, the majority of the “Latter-day Saint Images” posts have at least some missionary groups. You may know this already, but if you click on the “Topical Guide” link at the top left-hand corner of this page, you’ll get a listing of all previous Keepa posts. Use Ctrl+F (or whatever search function is on your system) to search for the title “Latter-day Saint Images.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 1, 2014 @ 12:53 pm