Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Saint Images, 1912

Latter-day Saint Images, 1912

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 22, 2010

When I put together these albums I sometimes think I deliberately lean toward the exotic and overlook the Saints who lived in prosaic ol’ Utah — so let’s start this page with a group from Sanpete County in the heart of Mormon territory:

Ephraim, Utah, North Ward

Auckland, New Zealand, Sunday School Christmas Picnic

Branch Orchestra of Basel, Switzerland

Salt Lake City 17th Ward

Choir of Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss-German, Netherlands, and Belgium Mission Conference
Former Students of BYU

Swiss-German, Netherlands, and Belgium Mission Conference
Former Students of LDS University

Quincy, Illinois

Missionaries serving in Belfast, Ireland

Elders of McAlester, Oklahoma

LDS Choir of Nottingham, England

Sunday School of Jonkoping, Sweden

Berlin, Germany, Sunday School Book of Mormon Class

Sunday School, Linton, Indiana

Elders Serving in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Choir of Hamburg, Germany

Wedding Party and Elders of Konumui, New Zealand



  1. Random thoughts:

    1) Salt Lake 17th Ward–Too bad they don’t build chapels like that.

    2) Quincy Ill.–Is that the Nauvoo Sunstone that is now in the Smithsonian in DC?

    3) I like how the missionaries dressed in Amsterdam. I wish we would have been allowed to dress like that on my mission.

    4) Hamburg Choir–That looks like the meeting hall of the Hamburg-St. Georg branch. I’ve seen pictures of the H-SG branch from the 1930s. It was the branch Helmuth Huebener was from.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 22, 2010 @ 7:34 am

  2. Wow. That 17th Ward building is something else.

    I like the picture of the sunstone and all those bowler hats.

    Comment by Researcher — September 22, 2010 @ 7:50 am

  3. I should perhaps not break your hearts by posting this September 1966 picture of the same 17th Ward chapel:

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 22, 2010 @ 8:36 am

  4. Too bad about the 17th ward chapel. I’m sure they replaced it with a wonderful cookie-cutter McChapel.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 22, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  5. Where did you find all these great photos? Are they from the Utah State Archives, or from the Church archives? I’d love to know the names of the people in the Ephraim photo, as well as the 17th ward, or to be able to enlarge the photos to look at specific people to compare them to my family photos taken in the same cities at the same time frame.

    Comment by Marianne Egan — September 22, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  6. Comment #3 needs a “Graphic content, viewer discretion advised” warning. That really hurts!

    Comment by Clark — September 22, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  7. I always enjoy looking at these pictures. The North Ephraim Ward picture that starts off the series is fun. These are authentic farmers. You can see the farmer tan line on the faces of several of the men, something I remember my Uncle in Idaho had from working all day in the sun with a hat on.

    Great stuff.

    Comment by kevinf — September 22, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  8. Marianne, these photos are scanned from various old church magazines. Once in a while the names of missionaries will be given, or the name of the superintendent in a Sunday School photo, but generally the people are not identified except for place and sometimes organization (choir, Primary class, etc.).

    As always, I’ll be glad to email a scan of any photo of particular interest to anybody who wants it. Be aware, though, that since these are usually half-tones printed on cheap paper, usually no more than two or three inches in greatest dimension in the original printing (and very often much smaller, as small as postage stamps), they don’t yield a whole lot more detail from enlarging them.

    You can find other sets of photos in this series by clicking on “Topical Guide” in the upper left-hand corner of this screen, then doing a text search (Ctrl-F) for “saint images”.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 22, 2010 @ 11:34 am

  9. Hard to know if there are any of my people in the Ephraim photo, though possibly.

    Is that 17th Ward chapel window the source for years of JMH covers?

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 22, 2010 @ 11:43 am

  10. If you attend the Ephraim North Ward today, you’ll see similar well tanned faces and white foreheads. You may even be able to pick out a few descendents by family resemblence. I’m guessing at least one of those pictured is a member of the Olsen Family.

    Comment by Seldom — September 22, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  11. Seldom, were you perchance at the Olsen Family Reunion in American Fork a couple of weeks ago? 😉

    Comment by JimD — September 22, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  12. Years ago, when I was a BYU student, I had occasion to look up the Improvement Era issue containing the First Presidency statement on the Origin of Man. I remember being startled by a photograph of my grandfather as a young man with a group of other missionaries in Australia. I keep hoping you’ll post the picture of my grandfather.

    Comment by Left Field — September 22, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  13. This one, of a group of elders in New South Wales, Left Field? (It’s the only one I happen to have in my file from Australia that year, but I’ll look for others if this isn’t the right one. If it is the right one, I’ll email you a copy.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 22, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  14. That’s not it, but thanks for checking. My grandfather spent quite a bit of time in Tasmania, but he was on the mainland as well. I seem to remember it being in the same issue as the Origin of Man statement, but perhaps it was in a different issue, but bound with that volume. Or maybe I have it all wrong. It’s getting harder and harder to remember anything that happened during the Reagan Administration.

    Comment by Left Field — September 22, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  15. Okay, Left Field — I’ll find it.

    Watch This Space

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 22, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  16. I don’t normally say much about your LDS images posts, but I enjoy them all. Thanks for your efforts in putting them “out there.”

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 22, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  17. Ardis,
    I can’t get enough of old photos like these. Thanks for posting them.

    Comment by mmiles — September 22, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  18. I concur — these never get old. I’ve enjoyed everyone’s comments, too. Thanks!

    Comment by David Y. — September 23, 2010 @ 9:08 am

  19. J. (#9),

    The old JMH cover was based on the Salt Lake City 10th Ward Chapel window (according to the inside cover of each issue), though upon examining them, I think it looks much more like the 17th Ward window above. If you compare, the cover design resembles the pattern of it much more than it does the 10th Ward window.

    Comment by Christopher — September 23, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  20. I cover this subject in chapter four of my unpublished monograph on the history of LDS journal cover art and design. The 1991 and Spring 1992 issues of JMH identified the design as an abstraction of the window tracery from the Seventeenth Ward chapel. The Fall 1992 issue identified it as an abstraction of the window tracery from the “Salt Lake City Ward.” The following issue, Spring 1993, the design was first identified as an abstraction of the window tracery from the Tenth Ward. This connection continued until JMH dropped the window tracery cover design in 2009.

    I pulled up a newspaper article on the dedication of the 17th Ward Chapel here.

    Comment by Justin — September 24, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  21. The newspaper article on the dedication of the 17th Ward Chapel was wonderful. Thanks, Justin!

    Comment by David Y. — September 24, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  22. I heart Justin.

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 24, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  23. Ardis
    Copyright question. Can I copy the British images you capture onto my blog? Like this image of the nottingham choir?
    thanks peter fagg

    Comment by peter Fagg — March 30, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  24. peter, I scanned these from the church magazines of whatever year a post is dated (1912 here, but many other years have been posted), which are all out of copyright, so be my guest. I hope no one would copy an entire post — which I realize you aren’t suggesting — and it would be nice if you publicized Keepa a bit by mentioning where you got your images, but do please help yourself to any individual images you would like.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 30, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  25. Enjoyed seeing the picture do the missionaries at McAlester, Oklahoma. The first organized Sunday School in this area was held in my Grandparent’s home – W. O. Bud and Ella Duff. My mother Lillian Duff Scifres attended that first organized Sunday School. Today we have a Ward in McAlester and are part of the Ft. Arkansas Stake.

    Comment by Karl Scifres — September 10, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

  26. Karl, you made my day with that comment! Thank you so much.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 10, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

  27. Ardisa, I’m glad that I could make your day. I was just wondering if you remember where you got this picture and if you have any ideas how I might be able to find out their names. Btw, we have a Facebook page in McAlester called, “If You Remember This You Must Be From McAlester OK. The lady who does that page (not connected to the Church) found your picture by googling McAlester, OK. Anyway, she posted it and it showed up on my Facebook page.

    One of the things I’m going to be working on is a history of the church in McAlester. Do you know if there’s any department of the Church that might be able to help me with that project?

    Lastly, do you still publish this blog? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Comment by Karl Scifres — September 11, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

  28. Karl, I can almost certainly find the names of the four elders pictured, although it might take me a day or three.

    The first place I’d try is: ; then click the “Church History Library” button (on the right edge of the screen, down a little ways from the top); then click “Ask a Librarian.” I don’t know how much research they would be able to do for you, but there might be some sources that they could copy for you. I have another idea or two that might pan out, after you try “Ask a Librarian.”

    And yes, I do still publish this blog. I’ve been lazy for the past three weeks or so, but ordinarily there are several posts a day. Click on the masthead (Keepapitchinin with the letters in stars and stripes), and that will take you to the top of the first page with today’s posts in view.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 11, 2014 @ 4:03 pm

  29. Thanks for your reply. I’m looking forward to checking with the “ask a librarian”. Please do let me know if you find out their names. I am on Facebook, so you could communicate with me that way if you are a facebooker. Thanks again!

    Comment by Karl Scifres — September 11, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

  30. One more thing – it would also be nice if we could know the missionaries’ home town if that info is available. Thanks!

    Comment by Karl Scifres — September 11, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

  31. I was looking at this and thinking how much I enjoy seeing old posts when they get bumped up by recent searches and comments. Then I saw that I had commented on this four years ago.

    I’m afraid my faulty memory sent you off in the wrong direction looking for my grandfather. I searched the online Improvement Era this morning, and I also couldn’t find the photograph. Then I realized that I should have thought to verify that the Origin of Man article corresponds to the period when my grandfather was actually on his mission.

    Apparently I didn’t encounter my grandfather’s photograph when reading the Origin of Man, but when reading the doctrinal exposition on the Father and the Son, which was published several years later. Just one page turn past the end of the exposition, I found my grandfather Omni Abinadi Porter sitting in a group of Tasmanian Elders on page 944 of Volume XIX, August 1916. The names of the other elders are familiar to me from having read my grandfather’s mission journal.

    Comment by Left Field — September 13, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  32. And my grandfather is the best-looking of the bunch, if I may say so.

    Comment by Left Field — September 13, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  33. Naturally, Left Field! :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 13, 2014 @ 9:57 am

  34. Sorry, I’ve waited so long to follow up with, but I’m still interested to know the names & home towns of the four eldersl you showed from McAlester, OK. Thanks!

    Comment by Karl Scifres — February 25, 2015 @ 9:37 am

  35. Names very seldom appear in the materials I scan for photos, Karl. Sorry — I can’t help you.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 25, 2015 @ 9:59 am

  36. I wonder if some of these pictures can be matched using the ward histories available in the Church History Library (shameless plug).

    Comment by Frank Pellett — February 25, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  37. Be my guest, Frank. :) I don’t have time to volunteer the terrific amount of (likely fruitless) labor involved in such an effort.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 25, 2015 @ 10:39 am