Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Saint Images, 1940 (2)

Latter-day Saint Images, 1940 (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 18, 2013

Missionaries Returning from South Africa

(first row, left to right:) Carlyle B. Eyre, Gail C. Meier, King S. Udall, L. Wayne Redd, Francis G. Tate
(second row:) Walter M. Lewis, Richard A. Seare, Jay S. Broadbent, William W. Heal, Robert Q. Shupe, Quinten E. Crockett
(third row:) Newell S. Black, Phil C. Dana, J. Keith Hansen, Norman S. Howells, Jay L. Chatterley, Leslie W.J. Beer
(fourth row): O. Ned Kirkham, Grant B. Shaw, Richard F. Thorley, Sidney V. Badger, Robert B. Douglass, Scott M. Whitaker, H. Max Bergeson
(fifth row:) Max W. Simkins, Harold S. Barnes, Jr., John N. Eldredge, Terrell R. Woodmansee, Preston T. Marchant, Richard G. Sharp, John G. Knudsen
(also aboard, not pictured:) Donald B. Garrick



Bakersfield, California
M Men and Gleaner Banquet


Garvanza, California
Chapel Groundbreaking, Bishop Harold Gunn


Missionary “Basketeers” of Detroit
(front, left to right: Leland Hiltbrand, LeRoy Taylor, Donald Poulton, Reed P. Larson.
(back, left to right: Clarence Buehner, Russell Hansen, Max McKinnon, Clark Hillam


Sister Smurthwaite, Sister Paul, at Mesa Temple


Primary Children of
Homestead Ward, Sacramento (California) Stake


Sisters Missionaries at Santa Barbara, California, Train Station, 19 July 1940
(Ardis Wilson, Ida Jensen, Pres. Erickson, LaRae Nuffer, Lucy Ann Vaughn


Natchitoches, Louisiana
Chapel Dedicated 1 January 1940


Manitoba, Canada
Converts Baptized 1 August 1940


Manti, Utah, North Ward
Sunday School Officers and Teachers


Porterville, California
Elders Milton Rasmussen and Garden Barney


Logan Square (Chicago)
Sunday School Officers and Teachers


First Presidency
David O. McKay, Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr.


Japanese Mission, Hawaii

(front row:) Ekins, Bills, Margetts, Newman (second row:) Murphy, Wenns, Alldredge, Christensen (third row:) Sorenson, Kearns, Pay, Nelson,
Biddouph, Matthews, Kingsford, Lynn, Dickman, Johnson


Missionaries Visiting Temple Lot
Independence, Missouri


RLDS Auditorium Under Construction
Independence, Missouri
(visited by missionaries in previous photo)


Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cast of Sunday School Play, “Don’t Tell Mother”


Detroit, Michigan
Elders Papa, Bartlett, and Pond

Shoshone Men Attending Conference
(year is approximate)


Sunday School
Charleston, West Virginia


Oneida and Franklin Stakes, Idaho
Reunion of Returned Missionaries


Troop 558
1st Eagle Scout Troop in Chicago Stake


Tour Guides, KSL Studios, Salt Lake City




  1. Wow! Those tour guides look like airline pilots. Some fascinating snapshots, Ardis.

    Comment by Alison — September 18, 2013 @ 7:51 am

  2. I love the picture from Manitoba, Canada!

    Comment by Cameron — September 18, 2013 @ 9:09 am

  3. I wonder in the first picture on shipboard, if Elder Garnick, not pictured, is seasick, or just the one taking the picture. Fascinating, as always.

    Comment by kevinf — September 18, 2013 @ 9:28 am

  4. Another great selection. Thanks, Ardis! I appreciate the captions, and especially enjoy the diversity of locales. (Any chance Detroit basketballer Max MacKinnon is related to Bill … ? :-) )

    Comment by Gary Bergera — September 18, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  5. Alison, this makes me want to see the uniforms of the elevator operators in the same building!

    Cameron, I thought about you when I picked this one, and wished I knew their names just in case you might recognize the families. No such luck, though.

    Kevin, let’s hope he’s the photographer … although we both know what a Mormon tradition seasickness was …

    And Gary, that’s such a long shot that it should score more than three points! :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 18, 2013 @ 9:46 am

  6. I think Jay Broadbent returned eventually to Provo, Utah, where he was a doctor (obstetrician?) and delivered my little brother. (An obituary for Jay S. Broadbent in the Provo Daily Herald, February 9, 2010, suggests that he is the guy–mission in South Africa, OB/GYN practice in Provo from 1954 onward.)

    I wondered about the risks of traveling by ship on the Atlantic Ocean in 1940–even for a U.S. flagged vessel like the S.S. President Polk. But seeing the “San Francisco” on the lifebuoy made me wonder if they traveled east from South Africa, across the Indian and Pacific Oceans to the west coast of the United States.

    As best I can tell after a few minutes of searching, the S.S. President Polk was owned and operated in 1940 by American President Lines, which did a substantial trans-Pacific business. So maybe they did return to the U.S. that way.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 18, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  7. Sobering to see that group of returning missionaries on what appears to be the SS President Polk following their safe return to San Francisco. December of 1941, my Uncle John Morgan Rex shipped out of San Francisco on the USS President Polk. Instead of the mission his mother planned for him, he was headed to the South Pacific where his plane was shot down while he assisted in the evacuation of Java the following Spring. His letter written home while on board stated: “The S.S. Pres. Poks is just a new ship and I am traveling 1st class. Oh for swell.”

    Comment by Bessie Sanborn — September 18, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  8. Wahoo! Another connection, I might get to be a keepaninnie yet. (2 in as many months, I think.) But I have an endowment date of January 1940 for Harold S. Barnes, (1st cousin 2x removed) so I wonder why he would be returning from a mission so quickly or if they were leaving instead?

    Comment by Rachelle — September 18, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  9. Rachelle — you ARE a ‘ninny — the elders had been sent out of South Africa because World War II had started. We Americans usually think of the war as stating at the end of 1941, but for Europe it had started in 1939. Even South Africa, as far away as it was from any battlegrounds that early, had to be concerned about its security and its food supplies, so foreigners were told to leave.

    Bessie, I don’t know whether I love your comment more for its humor or its pathos, but either way I love. What a connection.

    And Mark, you always come up with the oddest, sometimes almost bizarre connections! Thanks, too, for considering the direction of travel — we need context wherever we can find it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 18, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

  10. I have a few more, Ardis! Starting with that sister missionary in Santa Barbara named Ardis.

    But I’ll wait for someone with closer ties to the Udall family to make the connections between King S. Udall and David King Udall.

    There aren’t many families in the church named Papa–but one member of that family married a girl from my dad’s hometown, Snowflake, Arizona, and two of their children have lived in our Brooklyn, New York, ward during the past 15 years or so. I don’t know the Papa family genealogy, though, so would have to ask them to tell whether there’s any connection to the Elder Papa in the photograph.

    And, there were two ships (that I’ve discovered so far) named President Polk. The second was delivered to American President Lines in 1941 and operated in Pacific transport service for the government from December 5, 1941 until requisitioned by the Navy September 6, 1943. After requisition, it was known as U.S.S. President Polk. In January 1946 it was returned to APL and the “U.S.S.” was dropped from its name, since it obviously wasn’t a “United States Ship” anymore.

    Given those dates, it appears that the returning missionaries were on the first President Polk, and that John Morgan Rex was on the second vessel of that name.

    Just one brief addition to Ardis’s comment: South Africa was part of the British Empire in 1940, so it was a combatant in World War II from September 1939 onwards. The German navy wasn’t large, compared to the Royal Navy, and its surface fleet wouldn’t have done well in a battle with the main battle fleet of the Royal Navy. But the Admiral Graf Spee, a German battle cruiser, sank nine ships in the South Atlantic during the first three months of the war, before being chased into port in Montevideo where it was scuttled in December 1939, so the South Africans had legitimate reason to worry that they (or their shipping) might be subject to attack.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 18, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  11. And, since you were dying to know, I found a site that contains Sailing Schedules for Dollar Steamship Lines (which had been acquired by American President Lines but had kept the name). Unfortunately, only the covers of the schedules are shown, so it’s impossible to tell which vessels worked which routes.

    One of the Dollar Lines’ vessels was the President Polk, and, for the period October 1935 to August 1937 (the closest I could get to 1940), the list of Ports of Call included:

    Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila;
    Boston, New York, Havana, Cristobal, Balboa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yokohama, Honolulu, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila;
    Boston, New York, Havana, Cristobal, Balboa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Penang, Colombo, Bombay, Suez, Port Said, Alexandria, Naples, Genoa, Marseilles

    Nothing in South Africa. Which means that they would have had to find some other way to get to Singapore or Kobe or Manila or Hong Kong. Or Colombo, where they could have discovered that every prospect pleases and only man is vile.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 18, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  12. Thank you Ardis!!! I know of maybe 2 or 3 people in the stake who might possibly know who these people are but none of the people in the photograph look familiar to me, ah well! Interestingly enough the mission president at that time, Pres. David? Broadbent’s granddaughter was the wife of the Mission Pres. in 2009-2012, she got the call to come to Winnipeg and she was beyond excited because she knew that’s where her Grandpa had served years before and she didn’t know that anyone today at CHQ would have even known that, but God knows!

    Comment by Cameron — September 18, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  13. No personal connections to the photos, but just wanted to comment that I really enjoyed seeing another set in this series. What variety! Thanks.

    Comment by David Y. — September 18, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  14. I have nothing to add except that this whole thing is so amazing.

    Comment by Carol — September 18, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  15. Wonderful collection, Ardis. Thanks for your dedication to continuing this particular series. Love the Temple Lot picture.

    Comment by reed russell — September 19, 2013 @ 11:23 am

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