Guide to the George W. Martin papers. Series 1. Correspondence

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: George W. Martin papers. Series 1. Correspondence
Dates: 1885-1918 (inclusive)
Collection Number: MSS-001A
Summary: This collection consists of correspondence of Rev. Dr. George W. Martin, dating from 1885-1918. Martin served as a Presbyterian minister in Manti, Utah and was a leader in the anti-Mormon movement. The materials include incoming, outcoming, and third-party correspondence. This collection is Series 1 of 3 in the Martin papers (MSS-001A to MSS-001C).
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Incoming correspondence (1881-1887)
box 1, folder 2: Incoming correspondence (1888-1913)
box 1, folder 3: Incoming correspondence (1914-1916)
box 1, folder 4: Incoming correspondence (1917-1918)
box 1, folder 5: Outgoing correspondence (1885-1911)
box 1, folder 6: Outgoing correspondence (1912-1916)
box 1, folder 7: Third-party correspondence (1893-1913)

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

George Washington Martin was born in Marion Township, Hocking County, Ohio on April 27, 1848 in Logan, Hocking County, Ohio to John Shaw Martin and Mary Wiley Black. He was raised on a farm, attended Ohio University (B.A. 1895) and Union Theological Seminary (B.D. 1879). He became a prominent Presbyterian missionary and minister in Utah and a leader in the anti-Mormon movement in Utah. While Martin's work was centered on the community of Manti, his influence extended throughout central Utah and especially in the cities of Ephraim and Gunnison.

The Manti Mission was opened in 1877 and the church was organized in 1878. Reverend Martin arrived in Manti in 1879. The First Presbyterian Church building in Manti, Utah was constructed under Martin's supervision and dedicated in 1881. The building was constructed of oolite, from the same quarry as the Mormon Manti Temple. Martin served the Manti church from 1879 until his death forty years later in 1919. The church continued until 1940, when it was dissolved. It was one of several Presbyterian churches built in central Utah's Sanpete and Sevier Valleys from 1875 to 1917.

G.W. Martin married Matilda Peebles Work and had four children. Three of their children graduated from the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute. Daughter Jane Martin became a teacher at West Side High School, Salt Lake City. Daughter Mary Martin was an instructor at Westminster College, and later Principal of the New Jersey Academy for girls in Logan, Utah. One of their sons, Theodore Day Martin, born in Manti, Utah on August 24, 1885, graduated from Hamilton College and Union Theological Seminary, became a high school principal in Richfield, Utah, and the first executive secretary of the Utah Education Association in 1924.

George W. Martin was a member of the organizing committee creating Westminster College and an early trustee of the college. The last six year of his life, G.W. Martin was President of the Board of Trustees at Westminster College. He died March 1, 1919 at St. Mark's Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah. His funeral was held in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. Speakers at the funeral were Dr. William M. Paden (Synodical Supt. of Presbyterian Home Missions in Utah), assisted by several other Presbyterian ministers from Utah, and Westminster College President H.W. Reherd. The attendees were both Presbyterians and Mormons.

Sources for Martin biographical note:

  • website viewed August 29, 2012
  • Brackenridge, R. Douglas. Westminster College of Salt Lake City : from Presbyterian mission school to independent college. Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press, 1998
  • George W. Martin obituary in The Utah Westminster, Vol. 5, No. 6, March 1919, p. 1-3.
  • Utah State History Markers and Monuments database, viewed online August 29, 2012
  • Westminster College, Giovale Library archival materials in collections: ACC-011, ACC-015, MSS-001, MSS-011

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of correspondence of Rev. Dr. George W. Martin, dating from 1885-1918. Martin served as a Presbyterian minister in Manti, Utah and was a leader in the anti-Mormon movement. The materials include incoming, outcoming, and third-party correspondence. This collection is Series 1 of 3 in the Martin papers (MSS-001A to MSS-001C).

The collection largely reflects Martin's work and not his personal life. He rarely alludes to his activities with various other organizations. Martin's history as an agitator is not evident through the records he kept; his work as a pastor overshadows his work as an activist in this collection.

Incoming correspondence (Folders 1-4) date 1881-1919. The materials are a mix of typed or handwritten letters primarily from Utah towns (Richfield, Logan, Parowan, Salt Lake City, Saratoga Springs) but also from various Boards of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, based then in New York City.

Box 1, Folder 1: One letter, dated Dec. 1, 1885 is from Mrs. F.E. Haines (on letterhead of the Woman's Executive Committee of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, New York City). She reports she has received "the curriculum of study prepared by Prof. Millspaugh and yourself" (Jesse F. Millspaugh was Principal of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute from 1885-1890). She had received a telegram that Rev. George W. Leonard of Springville, Utah had died suddently, and was please to hear of the baptism of "your little Theodore Day". A letter dated Aug. 17-29, 1887 has an account of the meetings of the Teachers' Convention and Presbytery of Utah Fall sessions held in Manti, Utah.

Box 1, Folder 2: There is a letter dated Sept. 19, 1894, Ogden, Utah from "S.E. Wishard, the Synodical Missionary for Synod of Utah, which embraces Utah, Western Wyoming, and Idaho" discussing a candidate for teacher at the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and that "Dr. McNiece recommends her". Another letter, from W.M. Paden, dated Aug. 5, 1898 relates that he thinks he "may go to Wasatch on Monday morning, take the tram to Alta at the head of Little Cottonwood, and see if I can get a horse or pony to carry me over the divide to Brighton's and Park City, and then come down by the railroad". There are letters from George F. McAfee and Harvey C. Olin, both officers of the Board of Home Missions, New York, discussing titles to properties and expenses, with references to Dr. Wishard. Additional letters are from Josiah McClain, John Dixon, and T.M. Keusseff, all related to Presbyterian Church matters.

Box 1, Folder 3: Several letters dating 1914-1915 concern the Board of Home Missions establishing a western office, located in St. Louis committed to "the work among the Indians, the Mexicans, and the Mormons" (letter dated Aug. 1, 1914 from B.P. Fullerton, Western Secretary, Board of Home Missions). Other letters are the responses in Utah from Presbyterian ministers and missionaries to the resulting reductions in financial support to Utah missions.

Box 1, Folder 4: Letters and postcards in this folder, dating 1917-1918 are all handwritten from Presbyterians in various Utah locations (Cedar City, Mt. Pleasant, Salt Lake City, Green River, Delta, Hurricane, Parowan, Lund and St. George). Several letters are from W.M. Paden. The subject of many letters includes hardships of being underfunded. A letter dated Feb. 15, 1918, Green River, Utah from W.G. McConnell mentions that his church is "interested in Red Cross work here" and would welcome hosting the next meeting of the Presbytery. One letter (Hurricane, July 3rd) from the missionary T.M. Keusseff, tells Dr. Martin that they have just put up a tent with 78 in the tent and 47 outside on Friday evening, and on Sunday 130 in the tent and about 140 outside. "Dr. Paden and I spoke at their meeting hour also by invitation. The bishop is very cordial".

Box 1, Folders 5-6: Outgoing correspondence includes copies (or edited drafts) of 13 letters dated 1885-1916. Eleven are in Martin's hand, two are typewritten. One dated Sept. 11, 1885 is to Miss Sadie L. Brown, Salt Lake regarding her going to American Fork to teach but he reports "there is no vacancy to which I could recommend you at present". Another letter, dated 1886 to "Rev. A.J. Beekman, Allentown" describes Southern Utah's weather, scenery, sandstone formations, silver and copper deposits, and St. George "the metropolis of all southern Utah. He writes that the Mormons are "very well satisfied that they are in the right ... our mission schools in these parts must not be abandoned" and signs the letter "G.W. Martin, Dist. Missionary, Manti". Some letters are to ministers in New York, including one dated March 11, 1911 to Dr. Dixon on "Remarks on Estimates for Presby. of So. Utah" in which Martin appraises Dixon of some facts regarding various missions and churches (Panguitch, Junction, and Circleville; St. George; Sunnyside and Castle Gate; Salina and Gunnison; Richfield and Manti; Cedar and Parowan; Scofield and Clear Creek). Martin reports to Dixon again in a letter dated March 19, 1914. A letter to Rev. Josiah McClain dated Sept. 16, 1912 starts "Dear Bro.: Like a thunderclap from a clear sky came the two resignations, or notices rather, of Drs. Day and Paden".

Box 1, Folder 7: Third-party letters include 20 handwritten letters, 1 postcard, and 4 typed letters. Many of the letters are dated February 1893 addressed to Emma J. McVicker from Utah Presbyterians reporting on the status of Presbyterian missions, schools, and churches around the state. Two typescript letters sent in March 1913 from Josiah McClain to Rev. John Dixon, New York City, with a copy to Dr. Martin, report on the Gunnison, Salina, and Green River Church "fields" and recommend grants from the Board to missionaries in those fields. One typed letter dated March 20, 1910 from Tacoma, Washington is from D.O. Ghormley, Synodical Missionary, Home Missions Synod of Washington addressed to Rev. McClain W. Davis, Green River, Utah informing him of an "overture" made to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America which was unanimously passed: that the Synodical Missionaries not be replaced by Field Secretaries, but be retained, supervised and reporting to the Synod in which they work, rather than the national-level Presbyterian Church Board of Home Missions. The final document in this file is a copy of an article from The Utah Westminster, Vol. 5, No. 6 (Salt Lake City, Utah, March 1919), pages 1-3 reporting the death of Rev. George W. Martin, D.D..

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:

George W. Martin papers. Series 1. Correspondence, 1885-1918, MSS-001A, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Arranged by incoming, outgoing, and third-party correspondence, and thereunder chronologically within each folder.

Custodial History:

While it is unknown when the College acquired this collection, Paul Jesse Baird's Presbyterian pioneers in Utah (1996) refers to a trunk used by William M. Paden to collect materials relating to the 'Presbyterian work in Utah'. It also mentions that the George W. Martin's collection, including his extensive collection of correspondence, was also placed in this trunk. The contents of the trunk were said to have been used by Paden during his lifetime and then were acquired by his sister, Lou Rachel Paden at his death in 1931. The trunk was then said to have been placed in the attic of the Westminster College's library by Ms. Paden. While no records have documented this account, the similarities between the three collections (George W. Martin, William Paden, and the Presbyterian Church in Utah Collection) are unmistakable and it is a fact Lou Paden was a librarian at Westminster College for more than thirty years (1905–1936).

Acquisition Information:

G. W. Martin's collections and libraries were offered to Westminster College and the Presbyterian Church by his son, Theodore Day Martin. This is the official source of Westminster College's George W. Martin collection. While it is not know which specific documents were donated by T.D. Martin in 1974 and which documents were contained within the records collected by Paden, they were all later brought together at Westminster College.

Processing Note:

Note on processing of the full set of Martin papers (MSS-001A to MSS-001C): The George W. Martin papers were processed by Josh Ivie in 2005. While the collection's original order is unknown, an arrangement plan was created to organize the records into the following three series: Correspondence, Utah and Mormonism publications, and Subject files. This collection was accessioned as ACC-026 and reassigned in 2009 as MSS-001.

A decision was made in 2015 to split the Martin papers into three 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 Martin collections are:

  • George W. Martin papers. Series 1. Correspondence, 1885-1918 (MSS-001A)
  • George W. Martin papers. Series 2. Utah and Mormonism publications, 1880-1937 (MSS-001B)
  • George W. Martin papers. Series 3. Subject files, 1884-1919 (MSS-001C)


Martin, G. W. (George Washington), 1848-1919


Collection materials are in English.


0.25 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

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

EAD Creation Date:

2015 August 8 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections in Giovale Library Archives:

Related photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Related collections and photographs held by other institutions:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Presbyterian Church (Manti, Utah)--Archives
Presbyterian Church (Manti, Utah)--History--Sources
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.--Board of Home Missions
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Synod of Utah--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Anti-Mormonism--United States--History--Sources
Presbyterian Church--Utah
Presbyterian church buildings--Utah

Form or Genre Terms:


Personal Names:

Martin, G. W. (George Washington), 1848-1919--Archives
Davis, McClain W.
Dixon, John, 1847-1935
Haines, F. E. H., Mrs
Fullerton, B. P.
Ghormley, D. O.
Keusseff, Theodore M.
McAfee, George Fletcher, 1841-1907
McConnell, W. G.
McClain, Josiah
McVicker, Emma J., 1849-1916
Olin, Harvey C.
Paden, William Mitchell, 1854-1931
Wishard, S. E. (Samuel Ellis), 1825-1915

Geographical Names:

Manti (Utah)--Church history--Sources
Manti (Utah)--History--Sources