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Orson Ferguson Whitney

1 July 1855–16 May 1931

Born 1 July 1855 in Salt Lake City.[1] Son of Horace Kimball Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball.[2] Grandson of Newel K. Whitney, EBW’s second husband.[3] Frequent visitor at EBW’s home, sharing music and conversation with her daughter Emmie Whitney Wells.[4] Student at the University of Deseret, 1869–1874.[5] Principal founder and president of the Wasatch Literary Association, 1874.[6] Gave up acting career to serve a mission to the eastern United States, 9 Oct. 1876–1 Apr. 1878.[7] Appointed as bishop of the Salt Lake City Eighteenth Ward, 14 July 1878.[8] Appointed city editor of the Deseret News, 10 Aug. 1878.[9] Married Zina Beal Smoot, 18 Dec. 1878.[10] Appointed to serve a second mission to Great Britain; edited the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, 1881–1883.[11] House minute clerk of the Utah territorial legislature, 1888.[12] Participated in plural marriage.[13] Commissioned to write the four-volume History of Utah, 1890–1894.[14] Member of the Utah Senate, 1899–1902.[15] Ordained as an apostle, 8 Apr. 1906.[16] Served as president of the European mission, May 1921–Nov. 1922.[17] Returned home from his mission to recuperate from problematic surgery, 1922–1923.[18] Wrote poems “To His Memory” and “To the Master,” which became the hymn “Savior, Redeemer of My Soul,” 1923.[19] Returned to his apostolic responsibilities.[20] Died 16 May 1931 in Salt Lake City.[21]

 

[1] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, p. 28, Orson Ferguson Whitney, microfilm 183407, DGS 5270330 (restricted access), Special Collections, FHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 21. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 23 Feb. 2018), Orson Ferguson Whitney (KWZB-L94). 

[2] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, p. 28, Orson Ferguson Whitney, microfilm 183407, DGS 5270330 (restricted access), Special Collections, FHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 16, 18. 1860 U.S. Census, Great Salt Lake City Ward 18, Salt Lake Co., Utah Territory, p. 211, Orson F. Whitney. 

[3] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1889,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p. 545, Newel K. Whitney, microfilm 183374, DGS 5265582 (restricted access), Special Collections, FHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 16. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 140.

[4] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 57–58. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 140, 169, 174.

[5] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 44, 55. Holiness to the Lord! Second Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students in the University of Deseret for the Academical Year 1869–1870 (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1870), 9.

[6] Wasatch Literary Association, Wasatch Literary Association Minute Book, 1874, p. 6, MS 2689, CHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 55. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 139.

[7] Mission Department, Missionary Registers, vol. B, 25 Apr. 1860–27 Apr. 1894, p. 38, CR 301 22, image 39, CHL. “Local and Other Matters,” Deseret News, 10 Apr. 1878, 3. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 66–67, 72, 73.

[8] “A New Bishop,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 16 July 1878, p. 3. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 105.

[9] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 111.

[10] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1889,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, p. 136, Orson Ferguson Whitney, microfilm 183402, DGS 5270325 (restricted access), FHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 116–117.

[11] Mission Department, Missionary Registers, vol. B, 25 Apr. 1860–27 Apr. 1894, p. 61, CR 301 22, image 62, CHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 123.

[12] “Territory of Utah Legislative Assembly Rosters, 1851–1894,” (Salt Lake City: Utah State Archives, 2007), 55. Orson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 223n.

[13] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 194.

[14] Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1892–1904). Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 202–203.

[15]Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1904), 4:329. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 224, 225, 234.

[16] “The Three New Apostles of the Church Who Were Named Yesterday,” Deseret Evening News, 9 Apr. 1906, 1. Missionary Department, Missionary Registers, vol. E, 15 July 1919–31 Dec. 1929, CHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 262.

[17]Missionary Department, Missionary Registers, vol. E, 15 July 1919–31 Dec. 1929, p. 50, CR 301 22, image 55, CHL. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 306, 339.

[18] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 339, 347.

[19] Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1985), 112. Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 349–350.

[20] Orson Ferguson Whitney, Through Memory’s Halls: The Life Story of Orson F. Whitney As Told by Himself (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing and Publishing, 1930), 357.

[21] “Utah Death Certificate Index, 1904–1961,” database and images, Utah State Archives (https://archives.utah.gov, accessed 27 Feb. 2018); from Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, series 81448, file no. 822/350 (1931), Orson Ferguson Whitney.