Guide to the David A. Hales Westminster College Librarian's research materials on the William and Jeannette Ferry family

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: David A. Hales Westminster College Librarian's research materials on the William and Jeannette Ferry family
Dates: 1998-2010 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-192
Summary: This collection consists of research materials on the Ferry family collected 1998-2010 by David A. Hales, librarian at Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. The materials were used in preparation for his article, coauthored by Sandra Dawn Brimhall, entitled "William and Jeannette Ferry : Presbyterian pillars in Mormon Utah" published in the Utah historical quarterly, 2011, vol. 79, no. 2, pages 122-143.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

series: Series 1. Ferry family
box 1, folder 1: William Ferry -- General information
box 1, folder 2: William Ferry -- Articles
box 1, folder 3: William Ferry -- Legal cases
box 1, folder 4: Jeannette Ferry
box 1, folder 5: Thomas Ferry
box 1, folder 6: Hancock family
box 1, folder 7: Hollister family
box 1, folder 8: Other Ferry family members
box 1, folder 9: Ferry family homes
box 1, folder 10: Ferry Hall (Westminster College, Utah)
series: Series 2. Michigan business associates
box 1, folder 11: Akeley Institute and Healy Cady Akeley
box 1, folder 12: Michigan associates
series: Series 3. Research correspondence
box 1, folder 13: Hal Compton
box 1, folder 14: Sally Elliot
box 1, folder 15: David Seibold
box 1, folder 16: Correspondence with various others
series: Series 4. Background materials
box 1, folder 17: General articles and book excerpts
box 1, folder 18: Miscellaneous materials

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

David A. Hales: David A. Hales was born October 14, 1942 in Oak City, Utah to Albert Sloan Hales and Rachel Lucile (Roper) Hales. He was raised in Deseret, Utah and graduated from Delta High School. The Hales and Roper families were among the first Mormon pioneers in the area starting in the 1860s.

David Hales received a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University, an M.L.S. from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and an M.A. in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a librarian and professor of library science at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for 23 years. His last 6 years at the library, he was Head of the Alaska & Polar Regions Department. Retiring in 1995, Hales was awarded Professor Emeritus status in May 1996.

While in Alaska, Hales served as president of the Alaska Library Association, the Fairbanks Genealogical Society, and the American Native Press Research Association. He co-authored a book entitled Alaska sources, and published extensively in history, library science, and genealogy publications such as Alaska history, RSR : Reference services review, Provenance, Native Press Research Journal, and Heritage.

David Hales returned to Utah in 1995 as Director of the Westminster College Library, retiring in Summer 2010. Between 1998 and 2010 he researched an important family connected with early Westminster College history, the Col. William M. and Jeannette Ferry family. The Ferry's had donated the land for the Westminster College campus and later funded one of the original buildings, Ferry Hall, erected in 1908 and demolished in 1987, it stood on the present site of the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Building.

Hales is the author of many Utah historical quarterly articles, including: "There goes Matilda : Millard County midwife and nurse" about Matilda Hales, published in 1987. Topics of other U.H.Q. articles include early Utah schools, Wallace Henry Thurman (Utah contributor to the Harlem Renaissance), gypsies in Utah, Frances Burke (Toquerville Presbyterian missionary), and health care in Millard County, Utah.

Hales is a past president of the Utah Library Association. Following his retirement from Westminster College, he taught for a year in China at Nanjing University. In 2013 the Council of Intermountain Archivists (CIMA) awarded David Hales the Cooley Distinguished Archival Career Award. Currently living in Utah, David Hales and his wife Gail have 3 sons and a daughter: Christopher David Hales (b. 1980), Rachel Maudene (Hales) Buyler (b. 1983), Alexander Sloan Hales (b. 1988), and Brendan Albert Hales (b. 1990).

Col. William Montague Ferry and Jeannette A. Hollister family: William Montague Ferry was born July 8, 1924 on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the eldest son of Rev. William M. Ferry and Amanda White Ferry. In 1834 the family moved to Grand Haven, Michigan. William attended Sanderson Academy in Ashfield, Mass. and studied one year at the University of Michigan, Kalamazoo Branch. In 1850 he founded the Ottawa Iron Works (Ferrysburg, Mich.) At age 27, on October 29, 1851, he married Jeannette A. Hollister, daughter of John Bentley Hollister and Mary Chamberlain Hollister. Jeannette was born August 31, 1828 in Romeo, Michigan. She attended an academy which would later become the University of Michigan, and later, as women were unable to enroll in college-level programs, she attended a "ladies' school" which was to become the University of Rochester. She learned French, German, and Greek. She was proficient in Latin as well. In 1850 Jeannette was named principal of the "female department" at St. Mark's College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In 1861, as the Civil War broke out, William Ferry enlisted at age 37 in the Fourteenth Michigan Infantry Volunteers. In 1862 his commission as a captain was signed by President Lincoln. By the end of the war, he was a lieutenant colonel. The Ferrys had 6 children, 4 of whom died in childhood. The two surviving daughters were Mary M. Ferry (Mrs. Eugene Allen) and Kate Ferry (Mrs. George A. Hancock).

The family continued living in Michigan until 1878 when they moved to Park City, Utah where the Ferrys started a company to supply water to the town and its silver ore mills. Members of the "Michigan Bunch", business collegues of Col. Ferry, had moved previously to Park City to speculate on silver mines. In 1883, Col. Ferry bought the Walker & Webster Mine; he also owned the Quincy Mine. As a mining magnate, rather than build a home in Salt Lake City, the colonel built the finest home in Park City. The house became a gathering place for Protestants active in religious and educational endeavors in the area. Jeannette Ferry was active in Presbyterian womens' missionary societies, and in 1883 travelled with Rev. Duncan James McMillan to visit Presbyterian mission schools south of Salt Lake City. She was also active in the women's suffrage movement and a member of the Ladies Anti-Polygamy Society in Utah. Colonel Ferry, also interested in religion and education, was very active in politics. He was a member of the Utah Liberal Party, appointed a probate judge for Summit County in 1880, and ran on the Democratic ticket for U.S. Congress, but was defeated. In 1888, Col. Ferry started a 4-year term on the National Democratic Committee. In 1904 he was the American Party candidate for governor of Utah, endorsing separation of church and state, and strong public schools. John C. Cutler (Republican) won the election.

Presbyterians had sent missionaries into the Utah Territory in 1869; the Mormons had arrived 22 years earlier. Attempts to proselytize adult Mormons met little success. In 1874 the First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City was dedicated, and in 1875 opened the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute in the church building basement with 27 students. In 1892 the Utah Presbytery adopted a resolution to establish a Presbyterian college in Utah. The college opened in Fall 1897 with 6 students, housed in the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute's building, now a 4-story building in Salt Lake City.

The need for a separate building for the college prompted suggestions that Colonel Ferry be approached as a donor. A committee met with Col. and Mrs. Ferry at the Salt Lake City home of their daughter, Kate Ferry Hancock. With encouragement from his wife Jeannette, Col. Ferry agreed to purchase land for the college, stipulating that a portion of campus was to erect a women's college building, and that a women's board of directors be appointed to oversee construction of the women's building. Col. Ferry recommended his wife and two daughters as members. Additionally, Col. Ferry pledged funds to construct Converse Hall, the first building on the new campus. Col. Ferry served briefly as a member of the original Board of Trustees, but died on January 2, 1905. His funeral was the largest held in Park City; his coffin was transported on the Union Pacific railroad to Grand Haven, Michigan, where he was buried in Lake Forest Cemetery in the family plot.

Following the death of her husband, Jeannette Ferry worked with the woman's board to see that the women's building on the Westminster College campus was constructed and well-managed. She pledged $15,000 to help erect the building to serve as the women's dormitory. Named Ferry Hall, the cornerstone was laid on July 21, 1908. Jeannette Ferry moved to Redlands, California in her later years and died there on November 4, 1917 at age 89. She was buried in Grand Haven, Michigan near her husband. At a memorial service held at Westminster College's chapel, eulogies were given by Rev. Josiah McClain (member of the Board of Trustees) and Dr. William M. Paden (Presbyterian synodical missionary for Utah) acknowledging the many ways in which both Jeannette and William Ferry had generously supported the new college.


  • Hales, David A. and Sandra Dawn Brimhall. "William and Jeannette Ferry : Presbyterian pillars in Mormon Utah", published in Utah historical quarterly, Spring 2011, Vol. 79, No. 2.
  • Hales, David A. correspondence with Sarah Shaw, Sept. 15-16, 2014.
  • Raines, M. Diane. Presenter's text for the 2013 Cooley Distinguished Archival Career Award given to David Hales at the Council of Intermountain Archivists (CIMA) meeting, Oct. 25, 2013 at Utah Valley University Library.
  • Utah historical quarterly website, viewed online Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Utah Library Association website, viewed online Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Westminster College website, viewed online Aug. 21, 2014.

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of research materials on the Ferry family collected 1998-2010 by David A. Hales, librarian at Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. The materials were used in preparation for his article, coauthored by Sandra Dawn Brimhall, entitled "William and Jeannette Ferry : Presbyterian pillars in Mormon Utah" published in the Utah historical quarterly, 2011, vol. 79, no. 2, pages 122-143. The materials are primarily photoreproductions of historical articles and photographs from a variety of periodicals and books. There are also correspondences between Hale and other researchers and historians.

The journal containing the published article may be viewed online at: Utah Historical Quarterly, (Vol. 79, No. 2) Spring 2011 issue. A copy of the Hales/Brimhall article has been placed in the final folder of the collection (Box 1, Folder 18).

Photoreproductions of articles in the collection are from many newspapers and journals, including the Deseret news, Ogden standard examiner, Davis County clipper, Park record (Park City, Utah), Salt Lake tribune, Evening press (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Grand Haven tribune, Home mission monthly (Presbyterian Church), and the Journal of Presbyterian history, "Special issue on Presbyterians and Mormons" (Winter 2002, vol. 80, no. 4 ).

Correspondence found in the collection includes e-mails between David Hales and: Diane Barrett, Douglas R. Brackenridge (Utah Presbyterian history researcher, Trinity University, Texas), Hal Compton (research historian, Park City Museum), Judy Dykeman (researcher, Park City Museum), Sally Elliott (researcher on Park City mining history), Stan Lindaas, David Seibold (Grand Haven researcher), Jeanette Weiden (Loutit District Library, Grand Haven, Michigan).

General family information is found in the collection on: Col. William M. Ferry, Jeannette Hollister Ferry, Edward Payson Ferry, Clara Virginia Ferry, William Montague Ferry (nephew of Col. Ferry), Noah Henry Ferry, Thomas White Ferry (1826-1897), George Rattle Hancock, Kate Harwood Ferry Hancock (1856-1940), Hollister Hancock (Col. Ferry's granddaughter), and the Hollister family,

Other materials in the collection concern: The Hancock Mansion (444 S. 700 E., Salt Lake City), Healy Cady Akeley (1836-1912) and the Akeley Institute (Grand Haven, Michigan), Ferry Hall (previously on the Westminster College campus), "The Michigan Bunch" (a group of business associates from Grand Haven, Michigan who speculated in the silver mining business in Utah), Ferry homes.

Miscellaneous items in the collection: a photocopy of Col. Ferry's Civil War pension card, information on William Montague Allen's military service, a copy of the death certificate of Mary M. Ferry Allen (eldest surviving child of William and Jeannette Ferry), and a list of Special Collections holdings at the University of Utah on the Ferry family.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Open to public research.

Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.

Restrictions on Use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.

Preferred Citation:

David A. Hales Westminster College Librarian's research materials on the William and Jeannette Ferry family, 1998-2010, ACC-192, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


The materials are arranged in four series:

  • Series 1. Ferry family
  • Series 2. Michigan business associates
  • Series 3. Research correspondence
  • Series 4. Background materials

Processing Note:

Processed November 2013 by Nicole La Count.


Hales, David A.


Collection materials are in English.


0.6 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written November 2013 by Nichele La Count; expanded August 2014 by Sarah Shaw

EAD Creation Date:

2014 August 19 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Related photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Related collections and photographs held by other institutions:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Ferry Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Presbyterian universities and colleges--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:


Personal Names:

Akeley, Healy Cady, 1836-1912
Allen, Mary Montague Ferry, 1853-1953
Ferry, Jeannette Hollister, 1828-1917
Ferry, Thomas W. (Thomas White), 1827-1896
Ferry, William Montague, 1824-1905
Hales, David A.--Archives
Hancock, Kate H. (Kate Harwood), 1856-1940

Family Names:

Ferry family

Geographical Names:

Grand Haven (Mich.)--History--Sources
Ottawa County (Mich.)--History--Sources
Park City (Utah)--History--Sources
Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources