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Latter-day Saint Images, 1921

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 19, 2010

Pictures from our family photo album of 1921:

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Montpelier Stake, Idaho
Fathers and Sons Outing

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Omaha, Nebraska

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Missionaries
Lowell, Massachusetts

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Missionaries
Waco, Texas

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Missionaries, Arizona

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Missionaries
Miami, Oklahoma

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Orland, California

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Missionaries
Queensland, Australia

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Hull, Yorkshire, England

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Marysville-Yuba City, California

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Sanford, Colorado

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Wenatchee, Washington

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West Seattle, Washington

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Preston, Idaho 4th Ward
Beehive Girls and Mothers

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Salt Lake Stake
Fathers and Sons Outing

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San Francisco, California
MIA Workers

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Scouts at BYU Leadership Week

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Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Scouts

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Salt Lake City
Scouts at State Capitol

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Massachusetts
Sister Missionaries

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Scouts Nature Study Hike at BYU

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Missionaries
Nottingham, England

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Missionaries
Memphis, Tennessee

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Missionaries
London, England

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Missionaries
Chicago, Illinois

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Taylor Stake
Fathers and Sons Tug-o-War

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Uintah Stake
Fathers and Sons Outing

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YLMIA, Samoa

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Fathers and Sons Group in Logan Canyon

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Idaho Falls 2nd Ward
Beehive Girls

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La Verkin, Utah
Beehive Girls

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Korongata, New Zealand
MIA Girls’ Field Hockey Team

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Lowestoft, England, MIA

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Social Dance Instruction, BYU

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Missionaries
Cardiff, Wales

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Missionaries, with David O. McKay
Tonga

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Missionaries
Berlin Conference

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Missionaries
Gridley, California

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Eastwood, Nottingham, England

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BYU State Basketball Champs

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Charleston, West Virginia
Beehive Girls

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Chesterfield,Idaho
Beehive Girls

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Deacons Participating in BYU Leadership Week

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Douglas, Arizona
Beehive Girls

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Elders Roofing Chapel
St. Paul, Minnesota

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Bingham, Utah
Scouts Collecting Christmas Donations

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Blackfoot Stake, Idaho
Fathers and Sons Outing

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Boise Stake, Idaho
Fathers and Sons Outing

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Box Elder Stake, Utah
MIA Baseball Champs

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Handsworth, England
Primary

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Aalborg, Denmark

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Pleasant View Ward, Utah
Beehive Girls

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BYU Cross Country Team

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Missionaries
Wales



37 Comments »

  1. I thoroughly enjoy looking at these treasures from the past. Miami, OK (pronounced by the locals as “Miam-a”) was in one of my former stakes. There is still a church unit there. Quite a few missionaries at the Berlin conference. This is interesting because in the aftermath of World War I, native Germans served as the bulk of the missionary force in Germany until American missionaries arrived in the early 1920s. I’d suspect that many of the missionaries are native Germans. Is that Heber J. Grant on the first row of the San Francisco photo?

    Comment by Steve C. — January 19, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  2. Wonderful photos. I like the variety, and all the photos of the sister missionaries. Were there age or other requirements for sister missionaries back then?

    Comment by Researcher — January 19, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  3. Steve, I think you’re right about that being HJG. Not only does it look like him, but a visit from the church president would seem to be a good occasion for taking a branch picture. And I do wish identifications were available on the missionary photos so you’d know for certain how many local elders there are in that picture — men who go into the missionary corps so soon after a war when so much else could be done to rebuild their country are dedicated, I think.

    Researcher, I don’t know what requirements were in effect then. It would be fun to know, if I can think of a way of finding out.

    Glad you liked this. I kinda went overboard on the number, but they represented so many places and so many activities that I hated to leave any out.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 8:46 am

  4. I think I spy President Grant in the centre of the front row of the London photograph, too. He fairly got around that year!

    Comment by Alison — January 19, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  5. Re #4 – pardon my mistake, ’twas George Albert Smith.

    Comment by Alison — January 19, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  6. Was George Albert Smith European mission president at the time? That might explain why he was in the London picture.

    Comment by Steve C. — January 19, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  7. Missionaries in Arizona in 1921? Were they in what used to be called the “Southwest Indian Mission”?

    Comment by Mark B. — January 19, 2010 @ 11:34 am

  8. Y’all keep me busy looking up answers!

    George Albert Smith was president of the European Mission from 1919 to 1921.

    Arizona was administered by the California Mission at this period, with at least two conferences (Northern and Southern) in Arizona. I don’t know which group is represented by this picture. The Southwest Indian Mission wouldn’t come along until the 1940s. I think.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  9. RE: #7 I don’t think that the S.W.I.M. Elders would have been dressed in suits. Since they were called to serve on the reservations they were dressed in boots, jeans, and white shirts. The most common means of travel was horseback. Most of the brethren called to serve in the mission were from ranching families and were accomplished wranglers.

    Ardis, I am shocked that Lowell, Massachusetts, was assigned a mere four missionaries since it was one of the largest mill towns the Commonwealth, and little Gridley, California, an agricultural town, got dozens. Thoroughly enjoyed the photo of Wenatchee, Washington, which was one of my old areas. The Saints are now firmly established there with the local grocery store chain (Zittings) and one of the largest apple growers being members. Of course that was 41 years ago; I hope that their descendants remained true to the Faith.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — January 19, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  10. Velikiye is shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you! :)

    In many cases, these photographs appear to be memorializing missionary conferences rather than the elders assigned to work regularly in any given town. That many missionaries assigned permanently to Gridley or any other town its size would have overwhelmed the town and been grounds for calling out the National Guard!

    Good to know this grouping includes a picture of a place you once served, Velikiye. Giving various readers a personal touchstone is one of the results I hope for whenever I pull together a batch of photos.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  11. I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of people in the West Seattle picture. Some of the older folks here in Seattle have talked about only a dozen or so members in the whole area prior to WWII, which I always thought was probably way too few.

    Also, I thought the Preston, Idaho picture was “Sweet!”

    Comment by kevinf — January 19, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  12. Judging by First Presidency letters in 1915 and 1922, it does not appear that specific age requirements were in effect at the time for women serving missions.

    1922: “Several of our missions are in need of lady missionaries-sisters who are not too young, and who have good educations and have been active in the auxiliary organizations of the Church at home.”

    1915: “We are greatly in need of lady missionaries in the United States Missions, and would be pleased to receive from you the names of sisters who are physically and financially able to perform missions, and whom you can recommend.

    Care should be exercised in selecting lady missionaries. They should be good, steady, representative women, not too young, with a good education and knowledge of the Gospel, and who have had experience in the auxiliary organizations of the Church.

    We are especially in need of a few stenographers, and hope you will also be able to suggest sisters qualified for this labor.”

    Comment by Justin — January 19, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  13. Thanks, Justin — as usual, you put your finger right on what is needed.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  14. Just checked GosepeLink 2001, and I found this from the January 1921 Improvement Era:

    Third Semi-Annual Conference, Gridley, California

    This conference convened Oct. 29, 30 and 31. Eight meetings, including a priesthood meeting were held. Relief Society meeting, and six general sessions were also held. On the evening of Nov. 1, a social was held for the missionaries and Saints at the Liberty branch chapel. The total attendance of the conference was two thousand forty-eight. Pres. Jos. W. McMurrin, secretary Elias A. Lemon and Sister Louise Jones were in attendance. Most of the missionaries were speakers and the meetings were well attended. The greatest hospitality was extended to all visitors. A spirit of brotherhood prevailed and those in attendance took encouragement from the remarks and testimonies of the various speakers. The spirit of the gospel was manifest in Gridley.—Elder Ove C. Inkley.

    Comment by JimD — January 19, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  15. Bingo! Thanks, JimD.

    (Now, really — does any blog have better readers than Keepa? I think not.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  16. Loved the wonderful variety. Great to see so many different activities and locales, both near and far. Thanks!

    Comment by Hunter — January 19, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  17. Wonderful, Justin! Thanks. It’s hard to tell exactly from the photos, but it looks like “not too young” probably translates into mid-20s or older.

    And, in regards to JimD’s quote in #14, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the name “Ove” used outside my own family. Amazing. A glance at New Family Search suggests that it is not altogether rare, and this one was probably Clarence Ove Inkley (1898 – 1989) a man with some good Norwegian roots, but pure English on the “Inkley” side of the family.

    Comment by Researcher — January 19, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  18. Inkley: That looks a lot like an illiterate Cockney told the immigration officer his name was Hinckley, and the officer spelled it just as he heard it.

    I had a counselor in a presidency years ago who had served in the Southwest Indian Mission, and, frankly, I can’t imagine him on a horse–even allowing for the 12 or 15 years that had passed since he returned from his mission.

    Comment by Mark B. — January 19, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  19. West Seattle! I’m actually fairly surprised by the number in the photo.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 19, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  20. The West Seattle picture was so wide that I couldn’t enlarge it enough to see the faces — if any of you fans of West Seattle want a scan to enlarge at will, just say the word.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 19, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  21. It’s hard to tell exactly from the photos, but it looks like “not too young” probably translates into mid-20s or older.

    I can’t speak regarding average age, but I looked up the names of a handful of sister missionaries listed in the pages of the Liahona in 1920-1921. The ages ranged from 20 to 26.

    Comment by Justin — January 20, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  22. You’re amazing, Justin.

    Was that comparable to the ages of the elders at the time? At which point did the age move to a fairly consistent 19 and 21 as a minimum?

    (Not something I need to know, certainly, but interesting to consider when looking at all these photos of the missionaries.)

    Comment by Researcher — January 20, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  23. I’m not certain about the ages of the elders, Researcher, but they seem older than today’s missionaries.

    It appears that 19 became the standard age for elders in 1960 and 21 the standard age for women in 1964. Prior to that time, the standard for women was normally 23 (Jessie L. Embry, “LDS Sister Missionaries: An Oral History Response, 1910-1970,” JMH 23.1[Spring 1997]: 112-14).

    Comment by Justin — January 20, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  24. …”Who was that masked man?”…

    Comment by Researcher — January 20, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  25. I can’t speak to the time when mission ages were set at 19/21, but in my research I’ve gotten the impression that during the 1930s it wasn’t uncommon to be a bit older, usually early 20s. One missionary I can across had been ordained a Seventy (back in the day when they had stake seventies) before he left on his mission. I think that was unusual and not the norm.

    Comment by Steve C. — January 20, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  26. One data point–my mother was 22 in 1947 when she began her mission. (Which proves nothing about the standard, except that if there was a customary age of 23 it wasn’t rigidly adhered to.)

    Comment by Mark B. — January 20, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  27. One data point–my mother was 22 in 1947 when she began her mission. (Which proves nothing about the standard, except that if there was a customary age of 23 it wasn’t rigidly adhered to.)

    I agree. In discussing the age policy for women, Embry’s article quotes the instructions in the 27 September 1950 FP letter: “Young women should be twenty-three before they are recommended for missionary service. However, because of special requests from mission presidents for more experienced help, the age limit has temporarily been lowered to twenty-one.” Referring to the age limit of 23, Embry parenthetically notes: “It is not clear when this age limit was made a policy, but it had been in place as early as the 1930s.” She did not include a footnote here, so I would be interested to learn the basis for her statement.

    Comment by Justin — January 21, 2010 @ 9:50 am

  28. My Gridley friend says that the town was founded by Latter-day Saints. Certainly there are a lot of Mormons there now, especially considering how tiny the place is.

    Fun to see early Chicago missionaries up there. I’ve got a permanent soft-spot for the work in Illinois.

    Comment by Jami — January 21, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  29. Another note regarding the age policy: I randomly looked up biographical data on two women who were called to serve in 1935 (names were noted in the Liahona). As far as I can determine, one was 22 and the other was 18 (nearly 19) upon arrival in the mission field.

    Comment by Justin — January 21, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  30. Ardis,
    Do you have a higher resolution version of the Sanford, Colorado photo? It may be a long shot, but there was at least one Cane Creek family living there at the time and I was hoping to see if they are in the photo.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — March 3, 2010 @ 7:19 am

  31. I’ll send you what I’ve got. These scans were all made at 600 dpi, but they were made from poorly printed half tones, sometimes postage-stamp size, so “resolution” is a relative thing.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 3, 2010 @ 7:27 am

  32. Ardis or Bruce,
    Where you able to recognize any family from the Sanford, Colorado photo? I also had family around that time there. Could I get the high res copy too? Thanks!

    Aaron

    Comment by Aaron — August 14, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  33. Aaron, I’ll send the photo (it’ll have to be after I get home tonight). I scan these at 600 dpi, but don’t expect too much — the pictures are usually very small (sometimes not more than an inch and a half square), and they’re printed on cheap paper in yellowed magazines. That means you get pretty clear pictures of the dots they’re made up of! Still, sometimes people have been able to recognize people from enlarging the scans.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 14, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  34. Orson F. Whitney of the Twelve in the Wales pictures, last one in the series. Also David O. Mckay in the Queensland pictures, I think, 1920-21 was when Elder McKay was doing his round the world tour as how he got to Tonga and Australia

    Comment by Cameron — August 15, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  35. Cameron is definitely good at this game! Two more brownie points awarded. Collect enough of them and — and — well, I don’t know, but keep collecting them.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 15, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  36. Bravo! And isn’t the usual prize a get-out-of-Sunday-School-free card? : )

    Comment by Amy T — August 15, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  37. Like Radar O’Reilly’s uncanny ability to detect incoming choppers and to finish other people’s sentences I have always had it I suppose!

    Comment by Cameron — August 16, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

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