The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

Lydia Dunford

2 July 1846–1 March 1923

Born 2 July 1846 at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England.[1] Daughter of George Dunford and Sarah Jones.[2] Sailed from Liverpool, Lancashire, England, to New Orleans on the Argo, 11 Mar. 1850; returned to Liverpool, 1850; and emigrated from Liverpool on the Jersey, arriving in New Orleans 22 Mar. 1853.[3] Married George Alfred Alder, 8 Apr. 1864, in St. Louis; ten children.[4] Baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 13 Apr. 1867.[5] Migrated to the Salt Lake Valley with the George Dunford pioneer company, arriving 26 Sept. 1867.[6] Served as secretary of the Salt Lake City Seventeenth Ward Relief Society, 1868–1886, and on the stake Relief Society board, 1898.[7] Served as secretary of the Great Indignation meetings held in Salt Lake City, 6 and 14 Jan. 1870, to protest federal legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to anyone practicing plural marriage.[8] Served as secretary and vice president of the Woman’s Suffrage Association.[9] Member (1893–1909), historian (1898–1908), and president (1901–1904) of the Utah Women’s Press Club, a literary organization founded by EBW.[10] Author of Mormon Tabernacle Choir in California, 1896, and The Holy Land, 1912.[11] Husband died, 4 Jan. 1898.[12] Contributing writer to the Woman’s Exponent, 1899–1910.[13] Attended the International Council of Women with EBW in London, June 1899.[14] First widow to serve a full-time mission; served in Great Britain, 1899–1901.[15] Assistant to the Relief Society general board, 1901.[16] Speaker at the International Council of Women conference held in Berlin, 11 June 1904.[17] Speaker at the International Congress of Women in Rome, 1914.[18] Died 1 Mar. 1923 in Salt Lake City.[19]

 

[1] “England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837–2008,” database, FindMyPast.com (http://findmypast.com, accessed 16 Jan. 2020), Lydia D. Dunford. 1851 England Census, Trowbridge, Melksham, Wiltshire, England, ref. H.O. 107/1840, p. 16, Lydia Dunford. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 13 Dec. 2017), Lydia Dunford (KWJ7-YJT). 

[2] 1851 England Census, Trowbridge, Melksham, Wiltshire, England, ref. H.O. 107/1840, p. 16, Lydia Dunford. “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, vol. F, 16 June 1866–25 Oct. 1868, p. 280, line no. 3240, Lydia Dunford, 18 Jan. 1868, microfilm 183405, DGS 5270328 (restricted access), FHL. 

[3] “Lydia Dunford,” Saints by Sea (https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu, accessed 16 Jan. 2020). George Dunford, Reminiscences and Journal, 1879, pp. 26, 27, 33, 34, 37, MS 1722, images 28–29, 35–36, 39/243, CHL.

[4] George Dunford, Reminiscences and Journal, 1879, p. 63, MS 1722, image 65/243, CHL. Utah since Statehood: Historical and Biographical, vol. 3 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1919), 502–505. “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, vol. F, 16 June 1866–25 Oct. 1868, p. 280, line no. 3240, Lydia Dunford, 18 Jan. 1868, microfilm 183405, DGS 5270328 (restricted access), FHL. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 13 Dec. 2017), Lydia Dunford (KWJ7-YJT). Sarah Kate Johnson Stanley, “Lydia Dunford Alder: The Life of the Mormon Poet, Suffragist, and Missionary” (Honors Program thesis, Brigham Young University, 2018), 18–19.

[5] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, vol. F, 16 June 1866–25 Oct. 1868, p. 280, line no. 3240, Lydia Dunford, 18 Jan. 1868, microfilm 183405, DGS 5270328 (restricted access), FHL. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 13 Dec. 2017), Lydia Dunford (KWJ7-YJT). Sarah Kate Johnson Stanley, “Lydia Dunford Alder: The Life of the Mormon Poet, Suffragist, and Missionary” (Honors Program thesis, Brigham Young University, 2018), 19.

[6] “Lydia Dunford,” Pioneer Database (http://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravels, accessed 17 Jan. 2020). Lydia D. Alder, “Reminiscences of the Pioneers of 1854,” Improvement Era, July 1908, 708–713.

[7] Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, Seventeenth Ward Relief Society, vol. 5, 1871–1884, pp. 1, 11, 13–14, CHL. “R. S., Y. L. M. L. A. & P. A. Reports,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Jan. 1885, 126. “Relief Society Conference,” Deseret Weekly, 26 Mar. 1898, 461.

[8] “Great Indignation Meeting, to Protest against the Passage of Cullom’s Bill,” Deseret News, 14 Jan. 1870, 2. “Great Indignation Meeting, to Protest against the Passage of Cullom’s Bill,” Deseret News, 19 Jan. 1870, 554–556. Proceedings in Mass Meeting of the Ladies of Salt Lake City, Protest against the Passage of the Cullom’s Bill, January 14, 1870 (Salt Lake City: n.p., 1870), copy at CHL.

[9] “Woman Suffragists,” Utah Enquirer, 15 Jan. 1889, 1. Carol Cornwall Madsen, An Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2006), 249. “The Ladies’ Meet,” Sunday Herald (Salt Lake City), 13 Oct. 1889, 1. “Ladies Attention,” Salt Lake Herald, 7 Feb. 1889, 8.

[10] “Utah Woman’s Press Club,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Dec. 1901, 63. “History of U. W. Press Club,” Woman’s Exponent, Jan. 1908, 48. “History of U. W. Press Club,” Woman’s Exponent, Apr. 1908, 64. “History of U. W. Press Club,” Woman’s Exponent, May 1908, 71.

[11] Lydia Dunford Alder, Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Salt Lake City: Cannon Publishing House, 1896). Lydia Dunford Alder, The Holy Land (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1912).

[12] Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, Death Records, 1898, p. 65, line 2448, George Alfred Alder, Salt Lake Management and Archives, Salt Lake City.

[13] “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Aug. 1886, 46. “To My Dear Friend Camilla C. Cobb,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 May 1893, 166. “The Day of Peace,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 May 1899, 1. “Thirteen Today,” Woman’s Exponent, May 1903, 91. “History of the U.W. Press Club,” Woman’s Exponent, May. 1908, 71. “Bingen on the Rhine,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Jan. 1914, 95.

[14] “An Important Gathering of Women,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 June 1899, 4. Elizabeth V. Burt, Women’s Press Organizations, 1881–1999 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), 219. “Utah Ladies in London,” Deseret Evening News, 23 Aug. 1899, 5.

[15] Missionary Department Missionary Registers, 1860–1959, vol. 3, p. 99, CHL. “Lydia Dunford Alder,” Go Ye into All the World: Missionary Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary/?lang=eng, accessed 19 June 2018). “Three Lady Missionaries,” Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 1899, 7. Lydia D. Alder, “Thoughts on Missionary Work,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Aug. 1901, 21–22.

[16] Jill Mulvay Derr, Janath Russell Cannon, and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 174, 236.

[17] Carol Cornwall Madsen, An Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2006), 463–464. “Utah Woman Was a Speaker Today,” Deseret Evening News, 13 June 1904, 1.

[18] Lydia D. Alder, “Utahn’s See Famous Play of William Tell at Interlaken,” Deseret Evening News, 25 July 1914, 5. Jill Mulvay Derr, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew J. Grow, eds., The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2016), 625. “Funeral for Prominent Church Worker Sunday,” Deseret News, 2 Mar. 1923, 4.

[19] “Utah Death Certificate Index, 1904–1961,” database and images, Utah State Archives (http://archives.utah.gov, accessed 15 Apr. 2015); from Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, series 81448, file no. 323/436 (1923), Lydia Alder. “Funeral for Prominent Church Worker Sunday,” Deseret News, 2 Mar. 1923, 4.