University of Arizona

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Papers of David King Udall

David King Udall (1851-1938) grew up in Nephi, UT and married Eliza “Ella” Luella Stewart (1855-1937) of Kanab, UT. He then took up his first mission for the Mormon Church by laboring in England from 1875 to 1877. Returning to Utah, he moved to Kanab in 1878 where he partnered in business with his wife's family.

Ordained as Bishop in June 1880, he was called to lead a colony of Mormons to St. Johns, a small settlement of Americans and New Mexican Hispanics in northeastern Arizona Territory. There he engaged in a wide variety of activities to provide for the development of the community and his homestead. He married his plural wife, Ida Hunt (1858-1915), in 1882.

Jailed on a sham perjury charge in 1885, he returned to serve his community by developing better roads, contracting mail service, establishing a local school, and representing the area as a member of the 20th territorial legislature. Until his death in 1938, David K. Udall, together with Ella, served his church in Arizona in many capacities, as president of St. Johns Stake and as President of the Arizona Temple in Mesa.

The strengths of this collection consist of the rich family correspondence, especially with Pearl Udall Nelson, daughter of David and Ella; biographical and genealogical information about the Udalls; and the Mormon settlement of St. Johns, AZ. David K. Udall is substantially portrayed in his mission diaries, in his trial and imprisonment, and in his business activities.