Guide to the William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 4. Utah and Mormonism publications

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 4. Utah and Mormonism publications
Dates: 1880-1935 (inclusive)
Collection Number: MSS-002D
Summary: This collection consists of articles and pamphlets published between 1880-1935 and collected by William M. Paden, predominantly on the topics of polygamy and Mormonism. Although Paden was the minister at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, not all of the materials were written from the Presbyterian point-of-view; some were published by the LDS Church. This collection is Series 4 of 5 in the Paden papers (MSS-002A to MSS-002E).
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Anonymous (Titles B-H)
box 1, folder 2: Anonymous (Titles L-T)
box 1, folder 3: Barry, Richard
box 1, folder 4: Best, Nolan R.
box 1, folder 5: Bird, R. Leo
box 1, folder 6: Burrows, Julius C.
box 1, folder 7: Campbell, William R.
box 1, folder 8: Cannon, Frank J.
box 1, folder 9: Congressional Record
box 1, folder 10: Cradlebaugh
box 1, folder 11: Dickson, William H.
box 1, folder 12: Dubois Fred T.
box 1, folder 13: Fairfield, Edmund B.
box 1, folder 14: Foote, E. S.
box 1, folder 15: Freece, Hans P.
box 1, folder 16: Fulk, R. L.
box 1, folder 17: Goodwin, C. C.
box 1, folder 18: Hart, Albert Bushnell
box 1, folder 19: Helmick, Daniel M.
box 1, folder 20: Hendrick, Burton J.
box 1, folder 21: Ironside, H. A.
box 1, folder 22: Jaques, John
box 1, folder 23: Kelly, Robert L.
box 1, folder 24: Knox, Philander C.
box 1, folder 25: Landis, Charles B.
box 1, folder 26: Lewis, Alfred Henry
box 1, folder 27: Lyman, Richard R.
box 1, folder 28: Martin, E. S.
box 1, folder 29: Martin, James S.
box 1, folder 30: Mason, William E.
box 1, folder 31: McNiece, Robert G.
box 1, folder 32: Miller, O. R.
box 1, folder 33: Mills, Edward Laird
box 1, folder 34: Montgomery, Andrew J. (on Paden)
box 1, folder 35: Morgan, John
box 1, folder 36: Musser, A. Milton
box 1, folder 37: Neal, R. B. (The Sword of Laban, Vol. 1, No. 7, Feb. 1909, Pikeville, Ky.)
box 1, folder 38: Roosevelt, Theodore
box 1, folder 39: Schroeder, A. T.
box 1, folder 40: Seventies Correspondence School
box 1, folder 41: Sjodahl, J. M.
box 1, folder 42: Sloan, R. W.
box 1, folder 43: Smith, Elbert A.
box 1, folder 44: Smith, Joseph (LDS)
box 1, folder 45: Smith, Joseph (RLDS)
box 1, folder 46: Smoot, Reed
box 1, folder 47: Strong, Josiah
box 1, folder 48: Talmage, James E.
box 1, folder 49: Tanner, Alva A.
box 1, folder 50: Taylor, John
box 1, folder 51: Tucker
box 1, folder 52: Utah Commission
box 1, folder 53: Wake, Richard
box 1, folder 54: Williams, David M.
box 1, folder 55: Wishard, S. E.
box 1, folder 56: Young, Brigham
box 2 (oversized), folder 1: Andrews, J. C.
box 2 (oversized), folder 2: Heslip, John
box 2 (oversized), folder 3: Leslie's Weekly--Utah
box 2 (oversized), folder 4: Paden, William M.

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

William Mitchell Paden was born December 3, 1854 in Vanceville, Pennsylvania to Edward B. Paden (1820-1903) and Rachel Ann Paden (1928-1906, nee Amrine). He was raised in their Presbyterian home in Pigeon Creek, Pennsylvania. William was the first of 9 children in the family, his siblings being Henry Amrine Paden (1857-1892), Rev. Thomas Ross Paden, Sr. (1859-1933), Frances Mary Paden (1861-1942), Lulu Rachel Paden (1863-1938), Margaret J. Paden (b. 1866), John Marquis Paden (1870-1948), Olive A. Paden (1873-1940), and Boyd Emery Paden (1875-1946), all born in Pennsylvania.

William Mitchell Paden enrolled in Princeton College in New Jersey in 1876, and stayed at Princeton for his seminary training from 1880 to 1883. After graduation and ordination by the Redstone Presbytery, he was called to become the pastor of the Hollond Memorial Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

During the summer of 1887, Paden was invited to speak at the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. Samuel Wishard, the Synod executive who extended the invitation, asked him to stay in Utah to work within the Great Basin pastorate. Paden returned briefly to Philadelphia and delivered his resignation to his congregation.

On November 1, 1887, Paden delivered his first sermon in Salt Lake City and would serve as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church until October 15, 1912. During his time as pastor, Paden cleared the Church's existing $10,000 debt and "liquidated a loan from the Board of Church Erection." Other accomplishments included an increase in membership, the hiring of an assistant pastor, installing an organ in 1911, the opening of a mission in the southwest section of Salt Lake City, and reaching an enrollment of 700 with an active membership of 500.

After a brief trip to Pennsylvania, Paden returned to Utah to become the assistant to Josiah McClain until McClain's retirement in 1913 and was then promoted to the position of Synodical Superintendent of Missions. In 1928, at the age of 74, Paden retired to concentrate fully on his writings. He became recognized through his writings by both Mormons and non-Mormons as an authority on Mormonism. In addition to writing about Mormonism, he devoted his time to the history of the Utah Synod. While his journal writings have never been published, several of his sermons and various articles were published.

Throughout his professional life, Paden was concerned with the involvement of the LDS church in politics. His primary concern was polygamy, and the sense of lawlessness that he believed was a result of its practice in Utah. He actively campaigned against the election of Brigham H. Roberts and played a key role in the movement that prevented Roberts' seating in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was also an influential figure in the unsuccessful attempt to unseat Utah Senator Reed Smoot. Paden, among supporters like Senator Fred T. Dubois of Idaho, fought to remove Smoot.

He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah) from 1898-1915.

William Mitchell Paden died on September 16, 1931, in St. Luke's Hospital in Salt Lake City, and was buried in the Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Washington, Washington County, Pennsylvania near his childhood home.

Sources of this biographical note:

  • Baird, Paul Jesse. The mystery of ministry in the Great Basin. Miami, Arizona : Tri-Church Parish of Copper Hills United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., undated, p. 12.
  • Paden/Peden Family History and Genealogy, entries for William Mitchell Paden and Edward B. Paden, viewed online May 28, 2015 (
  • Pastoral history of First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, viewed online May 7, 2015 (

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of articles and pamphlets published between 1880-1935 and collected by William M. Paden, predominantly on the topics of polygamy and Mormonism. Although Paden was the minister at First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, not all of the materials were written from the Presbyterian point-of-view; some were published by the LDS Church. This collection is Series 4 of 5 in the Paden papers (MSS-002A to MSS-002E).

These publications were used primarily to support claims made by the Anti-Mormon movement, though some were used for general reference purposes. The "Book of Claims" by Joseph F. Smith is an example of the latter cause, while a copy of Brigham Young's will serves the former.

The materials in this collection are as varied and diverse as their subjects. Consistent with the rest of the Paden papers, the topics of polygamy and Mormonism dominate the nature of these records. Examples of this can be found in Blood Atonement, Crimes and Treason of the Mormon Church, as well as an issue of R. B. Neal's newsletter, The Sword of Laban.

The publications serve as examples of the struggle between the Mormons and non-Mormons. An excellent example of this is the publication titled Deseret News. This publication attacks the newspaper for allegedly "distorting facts to suit the needs of the LDS Church".

Not all of the subjects are strictly anti-Mormon; some publication detail the early history of the LDS church, and in the case of the publication Revelation To Build The Temple, offer an explanation of the doings of the Mormon church.

Of historical significance, a Congressional record is included, that documents the blocking of B.H. Roberts from taking his elected seat in the U.S. House of Representatives (1899). A speech related to the Robert’s trial is included, delivered by Charles B. Landis (1900). Similarly, speeches delivered during the Reed Smoot hearings are included as well, by Senators Julius C. Burrows (two in 1906), Fred T. Dubois (1906), and Philander C. Knox (1907).

Of special interest is a short biographical memorial written by Andrew J. Montgomery about Paden (Box 1, Folder 34).

The anonymous publications (Box 1, Folder 1-2) include the following titles:

  • Blood Atonement
  • Christianity and Mormonism
  • Conditions in Utah (1925–26 ed.)
  • Conditions in Utah (1927–28 ed.)
  • Crimes and Treason of the Mormon Church
  • Deseret News
  • Elder Roberts's Defense of the Book of Mormon
  • Elder Roberts’s Challenge Concerning the Book
  • Epitome of the Faith and Doctrines
  • Essentials – Evangelical vs. Mormon
  • Great American Despotism
  • Hand-Book on Mormonism
  • Hollond Reminder (mentions Paden)
  • Leading Questions Answered
  • Light on Mormonism
  • Mormon Expositor (vol. 1, no. 1)
  • Mormon Principals and Practice
  • Mormon Prophet vs. The Bible
  • Mormonism Revealed By Government
  • Mormonism Up-to-date
  • Pledges Have Been Broken
  • Reorganization of the [LDS Church]
  • Report of the YMCA of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Report on Plural Marriage
  • Revelation to Build the Temple
  • Thy Refuge
  • Translation of the Book of Mormon
  • True History of the Amnesty Proclamation

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:

William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 4. Utah and Mormonism publications, 1880-1935, MSS-002D, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Arranged alphabetically by author's name, thereunder alphabetically by title of publication, and then chronologically within each folder. Publications lacking an author's name are in an "Anonymous" file arranged by title of the publication.

Processing Note:

Note on processing of the full set of Paden papers (MSS-002A to MSS-002E): The William Mitchell Paden collection was processed by Josh Ivie in 2005, described in five series, and originally assigned as one collection number (ACC-008). While the original order of the records is unknown, the collection's final arrangement is based on careful examination and consideration of all records. The dates on many of the records are missing, due to age, damage, or lack of inclusion. Some records are incomplete, missing parts due to damage (e.g., a second page of an article). An attempt was made to link these gaps to the loose articles included, but not all could be found.

While it is unclear when Westminster College acquired the Paden Collection, Paul Jesse Baird's "Presbyterian Pioneers in Utah," (1996) provides an explanation. Baird describes a "catch-all" trunk Paden used to collect all types of records related to the Presbyterian Church. Paden was said to have used this trunk during the years that he was pastor of the Salt Lake First Presbyterian Church, and later as he served as the Synodical Superintendent of Missions. After his death, his sister, Lou Rachel Paden, moved the trunk to the attic of the Westminster College library, of which she was a librarian. The next time the trunk was known to be opened was during President Steele's presidency (1939-1952). Paden also donated a large portion of his library to the college. Unfortunately, most of that library was lost in the Converse Hall fire of 1926.

Further documentation of this collection's origins can be found in the correspondence of Paden's nephew, T. Ross Paden located in the Emil Nyman Westminster College Library Archivist's biographical files, 1909-1981 (ACC-057). Paden's nephew wrote on June 10, 1981 to Westminster College archivist, Emil Nyman, asking about the status of his uncle's collection as well as informing Nyman that he was sending other records that belonged to his uncle. It is unknown what materials were then added.

It is a fact that college archivist Emil Nyman knew Paden personally; records dated after Paden's death were most likely placed in his collection by Nyman.

Materials within the Paden papers that have no relationship to Paden or his work were removed, including records dated after Paden's death. For more information regarding William Mitchell Paden see the George W. Martin papers, 1884-1937 (MSS-001) and the Presbyterian Church in Utah collections (MSS-003A to MSS-003C).

A decision was made in 2013 to split the Paden papers into five collections (one for each series) in line with the historical treatment of other multi-series collections held by the Giovale Library Archives. The resulting set of Paden collections are:

  • William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 1. First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City records, 1873-1975 (MSS-002A)
  • William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 2. First Presbyterian Home Mission records, 1881-1928 (MSS-002B)
  • William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 3. First Mormonism and politics newspaper clippings, 1880-1935 (MSS-002C)
  • William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 4. Utah and Mormonism publications, 1880-1935 (MSS-002D)
  • William Mitchell Paden papers. Series 5. Writings, 1886-1932 (MSS-002E)

Note on processing of Series 4, Utah and Mormonism publications (reassigned as MSS-002D): Anonymous publications were placed at beginning of the collection, arranged by title. Oversized materials were separated and placed at the end of the collection interfiled alphabetically by author's name or publication title.


Paden, William Mitchell, 1854-1931


Collection materials are in English.


1.0 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written 2005 by Josh Ivie. Expanded June 2015 by Sarah Shaw.

EAD Creation Date:

2015 June 2 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Related photographs held by other institutions:

Related collections held by other institutions:

Subjects +/-

Subject Terms:

Anti-Mormonism--United States--History--Sources
Controversial literature--Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Controversial literature--Mormon Church
Mormons--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States--History
Mormons--Political activity--United States--History
Polygamy--Law and legislation--United States
Polygamy--Religious aspects--Mormon Church

Form or Genre Terms:

Clippings (information artifacts)
Publications (document genre)

Personal Names:

Burrows, Julius C. (Julius Caesar), 1837-1915
Dubois, Frederick T. (Frederick Thomas), 1851-1930
Knox, Philander C. (Philander Chase), 1853-1921
Landis, Charles B. (Charles Beary), 1858-1922
Montgomery, Andrew J.
Neal, R. B. (Robert B.), 1847-1925
Paden, William Mitchell, 1854-1931--Archives
Roberts, B. H. (Brigham Henry), 1857-1933
Smith, Joseph F. (Joseph Fielding), 1838-1918
Smoot, Reed, 1862-1941
Young, Brigham, 1801-1877--Will

Geographical Names:

United States--History--Sources