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David K. Udall papers, 1847-1988

MS 294

Collection Summary

Creator: Udall, David King, 1851-1938
Collection Name:David K. Udall papers,
Inclusive Dates: 1847-1988
Physical Description:3 feet
Abstract:The strength of this collection consists of the rich family correspondence, especially with Pearl Udall Nelson; biographical and genealogical information about the Udalls; and the Mormon settlement of Saint Johns, Arizona. David K. Udall is substantially portrayed in his mission diaries, in his trial and imprisonment, and in his business activities
Collection Number:MS 294
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733

Biographical Note

David King Udall was born on September 7, 1851 in Saint Louis, Missouri, as his parents emigrated to Utah from their native England. He grew up in Nephi, and married Eliza Luella Stewart (1855-1937, known as Ella) of Kanab. 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 engaged in business with his wife's family.

Ordained a Bishop in June 1880, he was called to lead a colony of Mormons to Saint 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 Saint Johns Stake and as President of the Arizona Temple in Mesa.

His children by Ella were Stewart, Pearl, Erma, Mary, Luella, David, Levi, Paul, and Rebecca. His children with Ida were Pauline, Grover, John, Jesse, Gilbert and Don. For additional information on his life see Arizona Pioneer Mormon: David King Udall his story and his family.

Scope and Content Note

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

There is less documentation on his life before 1880 and after 1930, on his roles as President of the Arizona Temple, as developer of schools and roads, as legislator, and as voice for his autobiography. There is little information on the endeavors of Ella and Ida Udall, and on the lives of many family members. There are few photographs of either family gatherings or of scenes from Apache County.


This collection is organized into eight series
Series I: Biographical and Historical Information, ca. 1880-1988
Series II: Correspondence, 1847-1949
Series: III: Diaries, 1875-1933
Series IV: Trial Files, 1885-1886
Series V: Reminiscences, 1932-1960s
Series VI: Business Files, 1872-1936
Series VII: Map, 1902
Series VIII: Printed Materials, 1855, 1899
Series IX: Materials held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Archives Division, relating to David K. Udall, 1829-1910





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

See also Levi S. Udall Papers, MS 293, and Stewart L. Udall Papers, AZ 372

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Nelson, Pearl Udall
Stewart family - Genealogy
Udall family - Archives
Udall, David King, d1851-1938 - Archives

Geographic Name(s)
Apache County (Ariz.) - History
Saint Johns (Ariz.) - History

Hunt Irrigation Co.
Missionaries - England - Diaries
Mormons - Arizona - History
Trials (Perjury) - Arizona

Genre Form(s)

Administrative Information

Credit Line

David K. Udall papers(MS 294).Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

Biographical and Historical Information. , ca. 1880-1988
Contains biographical and genealogical information on members of the Udall family, beginning in the early 18th century, but focusing on those descended from David Udall (1829-1910). Also includes information on family reunions; certificates awarded to David Udall and David K. Udall; photographs; comments from Elma Udall and Rex Lee at the presentation ceremony of the papers to the University in 1988; and miscellaneous historical files relating to the Saint Johns Stake and surrounding Apache County, Arizona.
11 Family Tree, pedigree charts, and research notes by Elma Udall and Geoffrey Copus. , ca. 1974-1977
12 David K. Udall. , 1920s-1930s
13 Eliza Luella Stewart Udall. , 1920s-1961
14 Children and 50th Wedding anniversary. , 1920s-1970s
15 Estate papers of Joseph Udall. , 1941-1948
16-8 Family reunions and organizations. , 1934-1988
19 Certificates. , 1877-1922
110 Presentation of Udall Papers. , 1988
111 Photograph: David and Eliza Udall. , 1850
112 Photograph: First group of ordained workers, Arizona Temple, Mesa, includes David K. Udall; Lyman Dam overflow. , 1927, 1932
113 Historical materials: Saint Johns Stake. , ca. 1940-1970
114 Historical Materials: St. Johns / Apache County. , 1940-1970
Correspondence. , 1847-1949
Contains handwritten, typed and photocopied letters to D.K. and Ella Udall mostly from their siblings, children and extended family members in Arizona and Utah.
The most detailed family correspondent is Pearl Udall Nelson (1880-1950). Her letters to home recount her daily experiences from childhood through adulthood including visits to her grandparents home in Kanab; attendance at church services and meetings; visits with relatives; travels and education in Utah, Arizona, and California; her osteopathic practice in Mesa and Salt Lake City; and her life with husband Joseph Nelson and stepchildren.
Other correspondents include members of the Pace, Stewart, Tenney, and Wimmer families, John D. Lee, David Udall, Ida Hunt Udall, and cousin Alice White.
Of interest also are letters from leaders of the Latter-Day Saints church, including Francis M. Lyman, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George Reynolds, Lorenzo Snow, Heber J. Grant, and Joseph F. Smith, to Bishop David K. Udall relating to the settlement and management of the Saint Johns Stake in Arizona.
Additional correspondence is found in the Biographical, Trial, and Business Files.
21 Nelson, Pearl Udall. , 1918-1946
22 Callisson, Maud Pace. , 1897-1923
23-7 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. , 1875-1935
28 Mariger, Sarah Stewart. , 1883-1902
29 Nelson, Joseph and George. , 1920-1949
210-17 Nelson, Pearl Udall. , 1893-1917
31-6 Nelson, Pearl Udall. , 1918-1946
37 Pace Family. , 1911-1929
38 Sherwood, Erma Udall. , 1921
39 Smith, Pauline Udall. , 1908-1923
310 Stewart Family. , 1872-1934
311 Stewart Levi. , 1870-1875
312 Stewart, Tommy. , 1885-1930
313 Tenney Family. , 1880-1933
314-15 Udall, David. , 1847-1849, 1875-1908
316-19 Udall, David K. , 1874-1936
4 1 Udall, David K. Jr., and Aurora M. , 1908-1936
42 Udall, Eliza Luella (Ella) Stewart. , 1875-1937
43 Udall, Ida Hunt. , 1889-1911
44 Udall, Jesse. , 1918-1941
45 Udall, Joseph. , 1855, 1899
46 Udall, Lela Lee. , 1921-1949
47 Udall, Levi S., and Louisa Lee. , 1899-1923
48 Udall, Louisa. , 1876
49 Udall, Mary. , 1880
410 Udall, Rebecca. , 1875-1905
411 White, Alice. , 1912-1946
412 Wimmer family. , 1898-1900
413 General, A-Z. , 1874-1940
414 Unidentified. , 1870-1935
415 Postcards and miscellaneous. , 1873-1940
Diaries. , 1875-1933
Contains seven handwritten diaries of D.K. Udall. The first briefly outlines various jobs such as stock deliveries or construction work, and recounts an 1878 trip to Kanab. The next four are detailed accounts of his activities while on mission for his church in England from April 1875 to June 1877, and his return to Utah. The 1876-1877 volume lists his priestly endeavors of baptisms and confirmations, some family genealogical information, and several clippings from English newspapers about Mormon meetings. The sixth diary is sporadic and covers his farming activities in Apache county in 1898, and then has short entries for 1921 and 1933.
The seventh diary is a record of his trial in Prescott, imprisonment in Detroit, and return home in December 1885. There is a typescript copy titled "Brief Journal in Prison" which was prepared by Pearl Nelson in 1932. Her copy varies slightly in places from the originals.
There is also a microfilm copy (from the Latter-Day Saints, Archives Division) of David Udall's diary in Box 8 which documents in brief entries his marriage, emigration to Utah from England, and family, church, and farming activities from 1851 to 1910. A typescript copy of this diary, supplied by Elma Udall, is also present.
51-6 Diaries. , 1875-1898
61 Trial and prison diary. , 1885
Trial Files. , 1885-1886
Contains handwritten letters, statements, trial transcript, presidential pardon, and clippings. The letters are from Udall's lawyer, John A. Rush; prison superintendent, John Nicholson; and several Mormon friends. The trial and pardon statements are by D.K. Udall, his attorneys, the prosecuting attorney, and the clerk of the 3rd district court; also present are notes on the trials by Levi S. Udall. The pardon was granted by Grover Cleveland.
62 Letters, statements, notes. , 1885-1886, 1950s
63 Trial transcript. , August 3-5, 1885
64 Pardon. , 1885
65 Clippings. , 1885
Reminiscences. , 1932-1960s
Contains typewritten and handwritten recollections by D.K. Udall and others. Udall's concern his mail contracts between 1881 and 1920, and his memories of William Paxman, Lot Smith, and John W. Young. The remaining narratives and notes relate to the Berry family; Evans Coleman on cowboy chuck-wagons; J.N. Heywood's childhood in Alpine, Arizona; Don Lorenzo Hubbell; and "a Trip to the Grand Canyon" by George A. Udall.
66 Udall, David K. , 1932-1935
67 Berry, Rachel, Evanss Coleman, and others. , 1930s-1960s
Business Files. , 1872-1934
Contains handwritten and photocopied correspondence, legal records, financial records and related materials involving D.K. Udall. The general file covers mainly his bankruptcy case, and the formation and operation of Lyman Reservoir Company, Lyman Land Company, and Lyman Irrigation Company.
The townsite documents relate to the Mormon settlement near Saint Johns, including the bill of sale and deed to property and water rights to Ammon Tenney and Udall from the Barth brothers. Also present is a letter protesting the Mormon settlement from Marcos Baca y Padia, Lorenzo Hubbell and others, and Udall's reply. There are also two ledgers, with indexes, to D.K. Udall's business and mail accounts; and a minute book and stock book to the Hunt Irrigation Company.
68 General. , 1897-1934
69 Udall homestead and land applications. , 1872-1912
610 St. Johns Townsite. , 1879-1880
71 Ledger. , ca. 1910-1925
72 Ledger (mostly mail accounts). , ca. 1915-1920
73 Minute book: Hunt Irrigation Co. , 1914-1918
74 Stock book: Hunt Irrigation Co. , 1914-1936
Map. , 1902
Survey and legal description for Udall Reservoir, handwritten, on linen paper.
75 Map. , 1902
Printed Materials, 1855, 1899
An early Mormon catechism, and a biographical yearbook with photographs, autographs, and general information of the Arizona state legislature in 1899.
76 Catechism for children exhibiting the prominent doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints by Elder John Jacques. Liverpool: F.D. Richards. , 1855
77 Arizona's Twentieth Legislature, by James H. McClintock, Phoenix, Arizona. , 1899
Materials held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Archives Division, relating to David K. Udall. , 1829-1910
81 David Udall to William Doust. , 1847-1849
82 Journal of David Udall. Includes microfilm copy, and typescript transcription by Elma Udall. , 1851-1910
83 Collected letters of the D.K. Udall Family. 2 Volumes. , 1859-1935