Anthony Woodward Ivins papers, 1852-1974  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Ivins, Anthony Woodward, 1852-1934
Anthony Woodward Ivins papers
1852-1974 (inclusive)
3 linear feet
Collection Number
MS 0167
The Anthony Woodward Ivins papers (1852-1974) contain diaries, journal, correspondence, articles, patriarchal blessings, and family history items.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Anthony Woodward Ivins was born in 1852 in Toms River, New Jersey. He was a cousin of Heber J. Grant. Ivin's family moved to to Salt Lake City in 1853. Subsequent to his baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1860, Brigham Young asked his parents to become some of the first settlers in St. George, Utah. Ivins served a mission for the LDS Church in Mexico during 1875-1877. One year later he married Elizabeth A. Snow, daughter of the apostle Erastus Snow. During the first year of his marriage, Ivins performed another mission when he was sent to proselytize the Navajo and Pueblo Indians living in Arizona and New Mexico. A third church mission occurred in 1882-1884 when he was assigned to Mexico City. For more than fifty years Ivins served the L.D.S. church in numerous capacities. Between 1879 and 1895 he acted as the president of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and became the first counselor in the St. George stake. Ivins was appointed in 1895 as president of the Juarez stake in Mexico where he remained until he was released from his duties in 1908. While residing in Mexico, Ivins became fluent in the Spanish language was very conversant with the history and culture of the Mexican people. Among the many assignments given to Ivins was that of a church authority who issued statements on subjects deemed worthy of a publicly stated L.D.S. church position. In 1907 President Joseph F. Smith ordained him as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and in 1918 Ivins was selected as the general superintendant of the Y.M.I.A. . President Heber J. Grant promoted Ivins to the post of the second counselor in the first presidency in 1921 and named him as the prophet's first counselor in 1925.

A man of many talents and interests, Ivins was a prominent civic leader. Following the completion of his first mission, he became a constable in St. George. Ivins, who was one of the founders of Utah's Democratic party, served the St. George and Washington county community in several capacities, viz., municipal councilman, city attorney, mayor, assessor, policeman, deputy sheriff, and prosecuting attorney. He was first elected to political office in 1877. An influential political leader, Ivins remained active in Democratic politics for sixteen years. In 1891 the federal government appointed him to be the first agent to work with the Shivwits branch of the Piute nation. Through Ivins' diligent efforts, federal money was allocated to purchase land upon which a Shivwits reservation was founded. Not only did he frequently send food and clothing to the Piutes, Ivins also attempted to find them jobs for which they were paid decent wages. Consequently, the Piutes honored him in a 1925 ceremony during which "Chief Tony" was welcomed as a member of their tribe. Three years of U.S.government service ended when he was compelled to resign in 1894 in order to serve as a representative on Utah's territorial legislature. Within a year Ivins was selected as a delegate to the Utah State constitutional convention where he emerged as an effective advocate for the cause of the women's right to vote in Utah elections. His participation at the convention attracted such popular acclaim that Utah newspapers believed that he would be the leading Democratic candidate for governor. Shortly after this speculation appeared in the press, the First Presidency of the L.D.S. church dispatched him to Mexico, thus ending his political career.

A self-educated man whose formal educational training was minimal, Ivins earned the respect of his fellow Utahns due to his success as a trial lawyer, his accomplishments as a surveyor of land, canals, and roads, his medical aptitude in treating wounds and diseases, and his familiarity with the literature in the fields of chemistry, geology, minerology, engineering, biology, history, political science, and sociology. An avid reader, he perused numerous works detailing the exploits of explorers, frontiersmen, and artists. In 1922 Ivins was named president of L.D.S. university. After having been a member of the board of directors of the Genealogical Society of Utah for sixteen years, the society asked him to fill the position of the organization's president in 1925. Utah State Agricultural College recognized his lifetime achievements in 1934 when it awarded him with a honorary Doctor of Laws. Ivins, who was an ardent supporter of public education, presided over the U.S.A.C.'s board of trustees for fifteen years, and was honored as the college's 1931 yearbook dedicatee. An author of innumerable L.D.S. church publications, he wrote a book entitled "The Relationship of Mormonism and Masonry". The L.D.S. church purchased the work's publication rights for twenty-five thousand dollars in December 1934.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Ivins commenced his adult life by engaging in agricultural pursuits, ultimately owning a two thousand acre property in southern Utah. His interest in the raising of livestock originated in his tending the family's cows as a young man. These tasks required that he learn how to ride horseback, an activity which he continued to enjoy thoughout the remainder of his life. Ivins called himself a "graduate blacksmith" having shod as many horses as could be found in a U.S. cavalry detachment. As a cattle and sheep rancher, he managed the Mojave Land and Cattle company, the Kaibab Cattle company, and a large ranch in Enterprise. While Ivins was presiding over the Juarez stake, he was responsible for the well-being of three thousand Mormon settlers who moved to parts of Mexico which were under his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The Mexican Colonization and Agricultural company, which Ivins directed as vice-president, purchased land upon which the colonists resided. Ivins also was involved in the establishment of cooperative mercantile, manufacturing, milling, and electrical businesses and plants in the Mormon colony. Several Utah financial institutions benefited from his guidance. Ivins was president of the Utah Savings and Trust company, vice president of Utah State National bank, chairman of the executive committee of the Zion's Saving Bank and Trust company, and director of the Deseret Savings bank. Other business activities in which he was engaged included serving as president of the Amalgamated Sugar company, acting as the vice president of the Beneficial Life Insurance company, and fulfilling the duties as a director of Z.C.M.I., the Hotel Utah, the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad company, and the Utah Power and Light company.

Anthony Woodward Ivins died at the age of 82 on 23 September 1934.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Anthony Woodward Ivins papers (1852-1974) contain diaries, journal, correspondence, articles, patriarchal blessings, and family history items.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Diary, Articles and CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1-14
1 15-17
1 18
1 19
"Letter from Mexico: Impressions of a Mormon"
1 20
"A Study of Evolution"
1 21
"God's Dealings with Mankind"
1 22
"Indian Traditions and Customs"
1 23
"An Address"
1 24
1 25
Patriarchal Blessings
1 26-27
Anna Lawrie Ivins, "Anthony W. Ivins"
1 28
Monument Dedication Services
1 29
Elizabeth Ashby Snow Ivins
1 30
Autobiography of Anna Ivins Wilson
1 31
Personal Correspondence
Personal Correspondence
6 1-9
Correspondence with H. Grant Ivins

Journal and Assorted MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
7 1
Journal of Anthony Woodward Ivins
Pages are missing from the years of 1883 and 1889.
7 2
Newspaper Clippings
7 3
Testimony of Israel Ivins
7 4
Correspondence: Monument Meadow Massacre Monument
7 5
Assorted Materials

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mormon Church--Apostles--Diaries
  • Mormon Church--Mexico
  • Mormons--Biography
  • Mormons--Diaries
  • Personal Names :
  • Ivins, Elizabeth Ashby Snow
  • Wilson, Anna Ivins
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Articles
  • Autobiographies
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries