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Leonard J. Arrington Diaries – “College and Graduate School”

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November 29, 1938

Rhodes Scholarship Committee

I have known Mr. Arrington for the past four years.  During the first two years our association was out of the classroom; the last two years Mr. Arrington has been a student in some of my classes and acted as my assistant in grading quiz papers in Principles of Economics.

Mr. Arrington’s scholarship is of such a high caliber that it needs very little comment.  He has always been the premier intellect in any student group where I have met him.  His wide range of interests has led him to read and study far beyond the requirements of his formal academic needs.  He is, therefore, able to carry on an informed discussion of events, which shows an awareness of underlying conditions, which one unfortunately does not meet with more often.

Mr. Arrington’s extracurricular activities are of a varied nature.  These include varsity debating, in which he has always taken an active part.  He is at present a senior member of the Student Executive Board.  During his four years in college Mr. Arrington has shown an enthusiastic interest in tennis and track, both sports in which he is an active participant.

I rate Mr. Arrington as one of the best qualified and all around men that I know.  I believe that he would prove himself an honor to the University of Idaho and the community at large if he were to be chosen for a Rhodes Scholarship.

Signed William C. Moore    

Assistant Professor of Economics   

[LJAD, letter of recommendation to Rhoads Scholarship Committee, written by William C.  Moore, Assistant Professor of Economics, U of I, November 29, 1938]

Committee Picks Twin Falls Youth

Boise, Dec. 15 (AP)—Leonard Arrington, 21, of Twin Falls, was selected today by the Idaho Rhodes Scholarship committee to compete for the Oxford University award before the regional committee at Spokane, next Saturday.

Arrington, a graduate of Twin Falls high school and now a senior at the University of Idaho, Moscow, was chosen over Walter Brown of Lewiston, a University of Idaho graduate and the only other candidate.

The regional committee will interview scholars form Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Montana and North Dakota.  Four students will be selected to receive two-year scholarships to Oxford University in England and a $2000 annual allowance.

Arrington is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Noah W. Arrington, farmers near Twin Falls.

[LJAD, newspaper article, “Committee Picks Twin Falls Youth”,

December 15, 1938]

Local Man Honored—Mr. and Mrs. N. W. Arrington of Twin Falls have received word of the election of their son, Leonard, senior at the University of Idaho at Moscow, to Phi Beta Kappa, national honorary scholastic fraternity.  He also is going to California Friday on a debate tour and will stop at the San Francisco exposition.  When he returns he will visit here with his parents.

[LJAD, newspaper article, ca. April 1939]

Ten Top Seniors

The Argonaut herewith sticks out its collective neck and ventures to canvass the campus for the 10 outstanding SENIOR men.  Yes, we know that fault will be found with some of the selections, particularly after haring the vitriolic discussion among staff members when it was drawn up.

(Skip several paragraphs) 

1.  Leonard Arrington—one of the bright boys in economics, ember of Phi Beta Kappa, has also served on the Executive bard.  Deficient in crowd pleasing personality, perhaps, yet of enough other qualities to make this list.

[LJAD, newspaper article, “Ten Top Seniors”, ca. May 1939]

Arrington Accepts Teaching Position At North Carolina

Leonard Arrington, Twin Falls, semester graduate in economics, and for the past two years assistant in the department of economics, has recently accepted a $600 teaching fellowship at the University of North Carolina for 1939-40.  Only one such fellowship is offered each year.

Arrington, widely known on the campus as an economics tutor, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was an Idaho Rhodes scholarship nominee this year, and has debated four years.

Going to Chapel Hill, N. C., by way of the New York World’s fair, Arrington will assume his duties in August.  The fellowship will enable Arrington to earn his M.A. degree.

[LJAD, newspaper article, “Arrington Accepts Teaching Position At North Carolina”, ca. June 1939]

I was especially glad to get your reaction to my letter discussing our post-war plans.  I take it that you feel it would be to our long run interest for me to get my Doctors.  Also that we had better get it as quickly as possible, with due regard for our happiness together.  I know I couldn’t go back to Chapel Hill & study full-time.  War time gives you the spirit & will to want to do something.  During times of change like this, one wants to be in there pitching, using whatever talents he has in a desirable way.  One definitely does not want to sit in a library studying & observing while others are moving the world.  At least, not me.  When the world—and you & I achieve more stability we can go to Chapel Hill for a year or two to finish it up.  We ought to be able to do that within 3 or 4 years.  Your suggestion is the best one, I believe, that we should talk to Dean Brown, then go West & see what we can do there, and take the job seeming to offer the best position & opportunity for study along with it.  Come to think of it, it will not be necessary or wise to talk to Dean Brown first. He has already promised me my old job back with a promotion to Ass’t. Prof. He would not appreciate it if I should tell him I was considering the West.  It will be not trouble to resign if we do decide to stay West.

My feeling about the West is 1.  It will give me a chance to do research for a thesis on the Welfare Plan.  2.  It will give both of us a chance to learn a little about the West & decide where we want to settle.  So let’s think more about it & keep our minds open to accept the best opportunity we get.  Above all, as you say, we must keep uppermost in our minds the plans we have for a home & family.  I think it is wonderful that you are learning to cook& sew so well–& all the other things you are doing to learn to keep our house useful & attractive & care for a family.  Oh yes, I got an Italian prisoner to make a little baby bracelet out of some special telephone wire.  It is very pretty & cute.  I can’t wait till we have one that can wear it.  I got one to make a baby ring out of plastic, but we left before he finished it.  Did I tell you I got a cute little brass hammer from an Arab boy!

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Sunday A.M., October 24, 1943]

I hope you went to hear Apostle Callis when he was in Raleigh.  He was Pres. of the So. States Mission when Dad was on his mission.  He is one of Dad’s best friends—Dad has a picture of him in his Bishop’s office—which Apostle Callis was driving one of Dad’s tractors (just as you did when you were there).  Dad is proud of it.  It is thru Apostle Callis that Dad has a little pull in the Church & thru him that I hope to be able to get the Church let me have all records, & cooperation necessary to write my Doctor’s thesis on the Church Welfare Plan.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, November 11, 1943]

Speaking of the subject of where to settle, that I wrote about in last nite’s letter.  I think maybe I ought to take a course or two in State & Local Finance at Chapel Hill to prepare me for that work.  Perhaps I should consider the possibility of doing my thesis on Idaho’s silver mines, Forest industry, or the Potato industry.  That is, in place of doing it on the Church Welfare Plan.  It’s just a thought.  I’ll have to write on what they agree on in Chapel Hill.  Whatever they suggest will be the one I’ll do.  Regardless, I want us to go West after a year at Chapel Hill, and I think you agree.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Wednesday, January 19, 1944]

By the way, as far as I’ve been able to learn, Congress has passed & the Pres. has signed the soldiers’ educational bill.  This gives us exactly what we hoped for:

1.  $300 mustering out pay.

2.  Unemployment Compensation during all the time I’m not in school for 2 years after war.  This amounts to $15.00 per week.  You see, I’ll be classified as a Professor & if I don’t get a job as one, I’ll be unemployed & get the $60.00 per month.

3.  While in school we will get $75.00 per mo. living expenses plus all tuition. 

 So you see things look bright for us.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Thursday, 6 April 1944]

I’m getting in a saving mood right now.  With our troops almost on the German frontier now I feel the war can’t last much longer.   It ought to end around December or January anyway.  And if I don’t get that gov’t aid to go to school we’ll need all the money we can lay our hands on.  For a while I thought there was a chance I might get that Commission & be able to send you home $100 a month or so.  Now I realize it is hopeless. It will never be possible.  New Commissions just aren’t available to non-combat men overseas.  There already many more Officers than they can use.  I have never heard of a non-combat man being commissioned overseas in any but a theatre of war.  And we will never be in such a theatre.  Consequently, all this business about coming overseas after the war turned out to be jumping at conclusions.  I’ll probably be sent back to the States after 18 months or 2 years overseas.  That’s the way it looks now, anyway.  And, personally, I feel that’s the best way out.  I’m glad I was transferred from the 152nd for many reasons, & I feel I have just as good a chance going home soon in this outfit.  Of course, I might be wrong, but then I won’t regret it because I made the best choice I could & there is no use crying over spilt milk. 

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Friday, 01 September 1944]

Of course, I am in Italy, and I shall be here for a good while, but I want to learn French & German so I can pass my language exams without any trouble when we go to Chapel Hill for our degree.  After a few months you can send a German grammar & reader.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Tuesday, 3 October 1944]

There is another little problem I want to mention, which is that by the time I get back I may have been overseas 21/2 or more years.  Naturally, there would be a strong desire, after we’re united, to see Wayne, Kenneth, Mom, Dad & all the kids.  If we wait till we go west, it’s another year.  I’ve thought a little about it and here’s an idea.  After our honeymoon and so forth, we’ll settle down at Chapel Hill.  After a period of 1, 2, or 3 months I may be able to get everything by the board except my thesis and maybe a language for the degree.  I’d plan on writing my thesis on the Church Welfare Plan.  After those preliminary months at Chapel Hill, maybe I could get approval to take you out west, where, for a period of say 4 or 5 months I’d do research  (and incidentally see all the folks).  Then we’d return to Chapel Hill, and in a couple of months I’d finish up the whole she-bang, get the degree, and we’d head west for good.  I mention this as a possibility.  First, I’d want to know if you approved. If you did, then we’d have to work things out with Dean Carroll at Chapel Hill.  It might disqualify us for school money for Veterans.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Sunday, 29 June 1945]

Milan, Italy

30 July 1945

Apostle John A. Widstoe

Church Office Building

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother Widstoe,

Before presenting my request I should like to explain that I am 28 years old, a member of the Church in good standing, and have been a student and teacher of economics at the University of North Carolina.  With the exception on one course, one language, and the dissertation I have completed all requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics.  Upon being discharged from the Army I wish to return to Chapel Hill in order to obtain my Ph D.  During the next few months I shall have considerable spare time and I should like to do some preliminary research for the dissertation.

Inasmuch as I am a child of the West—Twin Falls, Idaho—I wish to write a dissertation about an aspect of Mormon or Mountain region economics.  Three topics suggest themselves:  (a) Economic Aspects of the Church Security Plan:  (b) Economic Doctrines of the L.D.S. Church:  (c) The business connections of the L.D.S. Church

Could you give me advice as to whether these fields have already been covered, whether the literature is adequate for a Doctor’s dissertation, whether the research would have to be done entirely in Salt Lake, and whether the Church would cooperate in giving material for research.  Or perhaps some other subject suggests itself more readily, such as economic aspects of Western irrigation or the Utah-Idaho Sugar Beet Industry.

I would prefer, of course, to do research in a field suggested and approved by the Church.  Would you give me some council on the matter; or, if impossible, pass this request to someone competent to advise me?  I should be very grateful.

Your brother,

Tec 5 Leonard J. Arrington


Hq. co. 2675th Regt (ovhd)

APO 394

c/o Postmaster, New York, N.Y.

[LJAD, letter to Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Monday, 30 July 1945]

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The Council of The Twelve

47 E. South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

August 7, 1945

Tec 5 Leonard J. Arrington


Hq. co. 2675th Regt (ovhd)

APO 394

c/o Postmaster, New York, N.Y.

Dear Brother Arrington:

Your letter of July 30th has just been received here.  It still takes a little time to get mail across the Atlantic.

You are undoubtedly planning your life well.  Finish up your work for a doctor’s degree, now that you are so near it.  While the degree itself is only a label, yet it is a label, which opens the way to employment in many places, and will open the way also for such professional pursuits, as no doubt you have in mind as your life’s concern.

If you desire to write a thesis dealing with some phase of the economics of the Latter-day Saint Church, you have a field at your command.  Very little has been done in that field.  There have been some master’s degrees at the B.Y. U.,  and one or two at the U. of U., and some in other universities on related subjects but nothing that will hold you from doing your work.

“The Economic Aspects of the Church Security Plan,” which you mention, would be a right up-to-date, modern theme.  “The Economic Doctrines of the L. D. S. Church,” which you also mention, would have to be backed up with  economic practices, else it would be a simple doctrinal thesis.  That would be very good, but perhaps not quite so interesting to the reader.

“The Business Connections of the L.D.S. Church,” your third suggestion, would be rather extensive; and I should think  that you would do well, if you should choose that subject, to take one or two of these enterprises, such as the sugar company or the Z.C.M.I., for your special consideration.  A very interesting book has just been published, dealing with the sugar company, written by Fred G. Taylor.  Since you are so far away, I suppose it is useless to try to send you a copy, but it tells the story without touching upon the economics of the subject.

Material dealing with the Church security plan could probably be furnished in a very large amount from here; the same with the economic doctrines of the Church.  However, economic connections of the Church would require more of your presence here; in fact, you should be here for a little while in any event, whatever subject you take.

After you make up your mind as to one or two themes, it might be well to write me again, and I will be glad to present them to the Authorities of the Church for their inspection and willingness to give the assistance you need, by providing material in the archives of the Church.

Of course, “Economic Aspects of Western Irrigation” appeals to me very greatly because of my own close association with irrigation.  But there is much more written on that subject than on the other subjects you have mentioned.

There is plenty of material available, fully adequate for a doctor’s dissertation, in any of these subjects; that is, as I have seen doctor’s dissertations myself.

I shall be glad to hear from you again on this subject.

You must have had an unequal experience in the army.  We are all hoping and praying that the war may soon end, and that we can all begin again to tread the path of peace as in the past.

We send you our very best wishes, and pray the Lord to bless you abundantly according to your needs.

Cordially your friend and brother,

John A. Widtsoe

[LJAD, letter to LJA from John A. Widtsoe, Tuesday, 7 August 1945]

Apostle Widtsoe gave me some pointers on the dissertation and encouraged me to write him again when I have definitely decided what to write my thesis on, saying he would take it up with the General Authorities to give me access to the Church Archives.  

Today we got on the ball and issued two price memos.  I‘m trying to encourage Mr. Stauffer, to stay on another couple of days and finish up another couple of memos.  Then I’ll be setting pretty for the period he is  gone.  Mr. Stauffer has been very nice the last couple of days and I have appreciated it.  Before he hits for the States I think I’ll hit  him for a letter, which will summarize all the work, I’ve done for him and be a record just in case I ever look for a job.  I think he’ll write me a good one, just as Dr. Ratchford did after I left OPA.

[LJAD, letter to Grace, Wednesday, 22 August 1945]

Dear Dr. Woosley:

Mr. Earl Hicks and Mr. L. J. Arrington, graduate students in the Department of Economics and Commerce, may offer Italian as their modern foreign language in fulfillment of the language requirement for the degree of Master of Arts.

With best regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

A. K. King

Associate Dean

 [LJAD, letter to Dr. J. B. Woosley, Department of Economics, U. of N. C., from A. K. King, Associate Dean, 14 January 1946]

Apostle John A. Widtsoe

Church Office Building

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother Widtsoe,

On 30 July last, while serving in Italy with the Army, I wrote to you for advice in the matter of choosing a subject for a doctoral dissertation in the filed of economics.  You replied with much helpful advice e in your kind letter of 7 August.  You suggested I write you when my plans became more definite.

I have now returned from overseas and am once more a civilian.  For the present I have resumed my work as Instructor in Economics at N. C. State College of Agriculture and Engineering.  I am trying to get caught up with all the developments in my field during the three years I have been in the service.  In June my wife and I plan to come to Utah and Idaho for the summer.  Perhaps it would be possible for us to see you a few minutes, if your workload would permit it.

The Graduate Faculty of the University of North Carolina have stated that they see no objection to the topic “The Economic Aspects of the Mormon Church Security Program, and, as you mentioned, it seems to have many possibilities.  I am trying to round up as much material as I can from here and hope to get a good start on it while I am in Utah this summer.  I realize, of course, that it would be necessary to have the approval of the General Authorities in order to have access to the Church Archives.

I am anxious to write on a Western topic, preferably a Church one, in as much as it is my desire to teach in the West when I have obtained the Degree.  Another economist would probably not be a liability either to the Church or to the Intermountain Region.

Your brother,

[LJAD, letter to John A. Widtsoe, Apostle, 21 February 1946]

March 19, 1946

Mr. Leonard J. Arrington

19061/2 Fairview Road

Raleigh, North Carolina

My dear Brother Arrington:

It was good to hear from you again as under date of March 8th, and to know that you have now returned and are once more a civilian.

You will be able to find ample material for your doctor’s dissertation under the title “Economic Aspects of the Mormon Church Security Program.”  When you get here, I think you will be able to pick up very quickly a very great amount of printed or typewritten material on the subject.

When you and your wife do get here, be sure to call at the office to see me.  I would like to have a chat with you.

Congratulations on having this subject approved, and much success in moving towards your doctor’s degree.

Cordially yours,

John A. Widtsoe

[LJAD, letter from John A. Widtsoe, Apostle, 19 March 1946]

The Dean called me in, said he would teach 1st term of summer school, I would teach second.  Begins July 28.  I would have the Principles course and a couple of advanced courses.  He wished me to get the Ph.D. from N.C. and he hoped I could get it in a couple of years.  He thought I should write my thesis on the Church Security Plan.  He thinks J. Reuben Clark, Jr. was guiding spirit of the plan, organized for the purpose of retaining the loyalty of the LDS by taking better care of them than would any other agency.

[LJAD, Log of Classes Held at USAC Fall Quarter 1946-47, 13 November 1946]

“The Role of the Mormon Church in the Economic development of the Intermountain West from 1847 to 1906” is the subject which Leonard J. Arrington, assistant professor of economics at Utah State Agricultural college in writing his doctoral dissertation.

The economist returned to the campus recently after completing work for the Ph.D. degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He will be awarded the doctorate in economic theory and agricultural economics in ?…1951.


? Arrington has done research at the Historian’s office of the LDS church in Salt Lake City, at the Library of congress and the National Archives at Washington, D. C., and at the New York Public Library.

His study has shown that this region is not only the only one in the nation, which has been substantially influenced by a church but also that its very existence has depended to a large extent upon the beneficial policies of the Mormon Church.

[LJAD, Newspaper “Aggie Professor Tells Role of Mormon Church In West”, ca. January 1951]


Yesterday evening at 9:25 President Joseph Fielding Smith died of a heart attack at the home of his daughter Mrs. Amelia (Bruce R.) McConkie.  This offers an opportunity to make a few reflections upon the Prophet.  He has served as President of the Church since January 1970, a period of 2 ½ years.  He would have completed 96 years by the middle of this month.

Although I had probably heard Joseph Fielding Smith from the pulpit when I was young, I first met him personally in July 1946 when I came to the Church Office Building to do research on my doctoral dissertation in the Church Historian’s library.  Joseph Fielding Smith was Church Historian, as he had been since 1921.  I first went to Dr. John A. Widtsoe and discussed a possible topic in relation to the economic policies and activities of the Church.  Dr. Widtsoe suggested that I do a historical analysis of the role of the Church in the economic development of the mountain west.  He suggested chapters on land settlement, irrigation, the beet sugar industry, banking, etc.  He said most of the work could be done in the Church Historian’s library.  He reminded me that allegations had been made from time to time by scholars working and that they were not cooperative in furnishing materials.  He advised me to begin work by using available printed materials and then asking for manuscript materials one at a time, as I needed them.  He suggested I avoid any blanket requests for “everything you have on such and such a subject.”

Deciding that his suggestion was a good one, I went to A. William Lund, who was in the office I now occupy.  I told him what I planned to work on and told him the sort of things I would need to see.  After various Sanpete Scandinavian stories and jokes and considerable parleying around, he finally told me that in order to use the materials that I would need to see, I would have to obtain the approval of the Church Historian Joseph Fielding Smith.  A. William Lund was Assistant Church Historian.  I asked him when I could see Brother Smith, and he said that was up to Brother Smith, and his secretary.  I went to see his secretary Ruby Egbert.  She checked with President Smith and told me to come back at 2:00 p.m., which I did.  At 2:00 I was back there and she buzzed Brother Smith and said for me to go on in.  I went in and stood in front of his desk for a period of time that seemed to me interminable—anyway several minutes.  During this time he was writing at his desk and made no acknowledgment of my presence standing there before him.  He wrote several sentences, made some corrections, looked up some things in the scriptures, and after sometime he looked up at me and in an irritated manner said “Well?’’

I then told him briefly what I planned to do.  He then looked down at his desk, started writing again, and without looking at me simply muttered, “Well, you may use our materials.”

I went back to Brother Lund, told him that Brother Smith had given me permission.  Brother Lund then wrote something down, perhaps the topic of my research project and took me to the outer room of the library.  The room that is now used by the girls who serve the general public—just outside room 300.  There were, I think, four large tables in that room, which included the room where researchers are now placed, and he said that I could occupy a chair at the first table.  He explained the procedure by saying that I would look up an item in the card index, then go to the shelf and get it, and then take it to my table, and I must do this one item at a time.  If there was something I could not find, I was to ask the librarian, who was Brother Smith’s brother Alvin Smith to help me find it.  I worked in this manner during the remainder of the summer of 1946 and during the summers of 1947, 1948, and 1949.  I do not remember during any of this period going to Brother Alvin Smith.  He always seemed to be occupied with other things, and I had the impression he did not really know where things were located.  And anyway, I was a bashful country boy and was not the aggressive type.  When I had questions I went to a clerk in the library, who was Brother Earl Olson, grandson of Andrew Jenson and son of Eva Jenson Olson who was brother Lund’s secretary.  Brother Olson helped me find things and was very efficient and courteous, though businesslike.  He did not seem to have a paternalistic attitude toward the records, and was quite willing to allow me to roam at will, which I did.  When I ran across some record that I was afraid somebody might prevent me from using, such as the diary of Wilford Woodruff, I sometimes remained in an obscure corner in the stacks and copied out needed entries without taking it out to the desk in the research room.  As I recall now I had to show the Assistant Librarian, Brother Olson, each item I took out and then show it to him again as I took it back to the stacks.  I do not recall anybody in the office at that time—the summer of 1946—but Brother Smith, who never seemed to go into the library portion, Brother Lund who seemed to spend most of his time receiving visitors and people who wanted to research and answering correspondence; Brother Alvin Smith who seemed to wander aimlessly about the library telling stories, etc., Brother and Sister Olson who seemed to do all the work, and Brother Joseph Peterson who got material from downstairs.  Within another year or two came Vic Checketts who also helped get materials from downstairs; and also Preston Nibley who seemed preoccupied with compiling books for publication.  He occupied Andrew Jenson’s old office.

There were others who did research at the library at that time, but none who seemed to stay for a very long period.

On my research project I began by reading Fred Taylor’s book on the beet sugar industry, George Thomas on the development of irrigation institutions, and a number of articles including those by Hamilton Gardner in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.  Next I went to Ph.D. dissertations, of which I remember most clearly Feramory Y. Fox on Irrigation and land settlement and his manuscript on “Cooperation Among the Mormons.”  Before I had been in the library more than a week I discovered the Journal History.  I decided that if I were to do a comprehensive history and description of economic activities, I would have to go through the Journal History page by page—at least I would start and see if it paid off.  I had the impression that the index was not particularly good for my purposes, since it was predominately a name, person, and place index.  So I took from the self the Journal History which began with July 1847 and went page by page and volume by volume through that massive scrapbook compilation for the remainder of that summer and for the next three summers.  I took down every reference, which had to do with economic policies and activities.  I did this on 81/2 by 11” sheets and used my own portable typewriter.  In those days there was no checking of notes with Brother Lund.  I simply copied what material I wished to copy and nobody asked to see the notes or check what I was doing.  In this manner I went through the Journal History page-by-page, day-by-day from 1847 to 1906—something like 500 or 600 volumes.  I accumulated enormous notebooks full of notes.  During the winter, while teaching at Utah State, I sorted these out by topics so that I had separate file folders on each of the enterprises of the Saints.

When I went back to the University of North Carolina for the academic year 1949-50 to complete coursework and exams for the Ph.D., I spent much of my time writing up two or three of these projects.  I remember specifically writing up the coin and currency experiences of the late 1840s and early 1850s, Zion’s Board of Trade, and Deseret Currency Association of which I had discovered the minute book, which no person had previously seen, and the construction of dams in Deseret in Millard County.  I also did a longer piece on the Church tithing system as a term paper in Dr. Clarence Heer’s class, and he was quite complementary.  He thought that it might be reworked into a suitable chapter for the dissertation.  My memory of the dissertation is so bad at this late date that I do not recall whether or not it was included.  

Upon my return from UNC in the summer of 1950 I took occasion to show the Deseret piece to William Mulder of the University of Utah, who was managing editor of the Western Humanities Review.  Bill said the article had promise, made a few suggestions for revision and suggested that I submit it to Western Humanities Review.  It was the first article I submitted to a professional journal and was accepted immediately and published with only minor changes.  This heartened me enough to submit the coin and currency piece to the Utah Historical Quarterly, just beginning its regular appearance, and the Zion’s Board of Trade piece to Western Humanities Review.  These were also accepted.  By 1951 I had four professional pieces either accepted for publication or already published.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday 3 July 1972]

At my direction Sister Edythe Romney has furnished me with notes toward a history of the Church on Harkers Island, North Carolina.  There had been some missionary work there, but a sustained drive to obtain converts was made just after the turn of the century.   The Saints finally were enough that they needed a chapel.  They built one, about 1905.  This was soon burned, and many threats made about tarring and feathering the missionaries.  Some shots were fired at members and missionaries, but none killed.  They rented a building to meet in.  This was also burned.  They began meeting in the open.  After a number of threats, they were finally advised by the First Presidency not to hold public meetings.  After the lapse of many years they began meeting again.  The climate of opinion was far more favorable.  This about 1915.  They soon built another chapel.  My father says they built one when he was there in 1925 or 1926, and that is presumably the one they were meeting in when I went to the island in 1941 or 1942.  I don’t recall how I happened to go there, but remember doing so.  I seem to recall going out to the island by boat.  I remember clearly the white wooden structure, which served as chapel, and met some members who remembered my father.

Would be interested to do a history of missionary work in some parts of the South like this as the basis for an article on Southern violence.  Use the article in AHR (or was it JAH?) on Southern violence, and generalize on the number of missionaries killed, when they were killed, the number of threats, tars and featherings, other manifestations of violence.  Why?  Southern Baptist and Methodist preachers misguided?  Not just the Negroes or Blacks.  White Mormons as well.  Thieves, etc. of any color.  Lynchings, etc.  Southern violence worse than Western violence, as DeVoto contends.

The holdover of prejudice in N.C. is illustrated in my own experience.  Shortly after I started to teach at N.C. State in January 1941, I was walking to my room and was picked up by Clyde Smith, professor of entomology at the College.  He soon asked me where I was from, etc. and learned I was from Idaho.  He then asked me if I was a Mormon, etc.  He confessed that he was a Mormon by upbringing, from Brigham City, and had graduated from Utah State Agricultural College.  Said when he came to N.C. he was advised by his department head and dean to keep his Mormon religion quiet, if he wanted to retain his job there.  There was no Mormon congregation in Raleigh.  And I have the feeling that the missionaries did not know of him and did not visit him, but that may be wrong.

Actually, when I arrived, I hunted around to see if there was a Mormon congregation, and found that for the past few months a small group had been meeting in the IOOF hall, which was on the third floor over Isley’s Drug Store on Fayetteville Street, just across the street from the state capital grounds going south on Fayetteville. (Pronounced Fetval).  I do not recall how I found this out; perhaps by asking somebody in Durham where I had sometimes met with the Saints when I was at Chapel Hill.

Anyway, I went to the Raleigh group, probably a Sunday in January 1941 shortly after I moved to Raleigh.  As I recall, there were two missionaries, Chloe Hodge and her mother, Oscar and Flonnie Rogers, and old Brother Tippetts.  I think four local people in that first meeting.  I do not recall the first missionaries, but early ones included Elder Cook, Sister Johnson, Sister Tucker, etc.  They held Sunday morning service—we had to clean up after the IOOF drinking parties, set up chairs, build a fire to get warm, etc.  I seem to recall evening Sacrament Service also.

After we had been meeting a while, and the missionaries working, and a few people began coming to the College to get their Ph.D.’s from BYU (Knudsens, Bradys, Hendersons, Tanners), we had enough for a branch.  Under Elder McKean, I think, they made me branch president, with Nyle Brady and Marion Henderson as counselors.  Then one day Elder Graham Doxey came to Raleigh for a conference.  We arranged a place for them to meet—Pullen Hall at N.C. State, and put an item in the newspaper.  A right good story in the Raleigh News & Observer which I wrote and Chloe got into the paper.

The article carried my name, and the wife of the mayor, or former mayor (I’m not sure whether he was still in office or not) saw that a NC State prof was a Mormon.  She complained to Colonel Harrelson, who passed it on to Dean B. F. Brown in whose college I served.  Dean Brown called me in and said he had no objection to my being a Mormon and being active in the local congregation, but it would be wise for me to keep my name out of the paper in the future or he might be forced to get rid of me.  There were overtones that suggested he would really prefer if I were not active in the local group since my name would inevitable be circulated.  Anyway, I told him I would try to be more discreet.  I do not recall the name of the mayor, but it might have been Royster or Ragland.  I think it began with “R.”

Not long after the we were of sufficient size and affluence that we shifted from the dirty, smelly IOOF Hall to the Raleigh Women’s Club, which was located on Hillsboro, about three bocks west from the Capitol.  We had been meeting there several weeks—perhaps a few months—when this Mrs. Ragland or Royster, or whatever her name, found it out, and got a motion through the club to deny us the right to rent it on Sundays.  She said it wasn’t proper for the Women’s Club to rent their facilities to Mormons who degraded women.  I wrote a long letter explaining that we did not degrade women and sent it the secretary of the Club, Mrs. Highsmith (whose husband was a prof. of education, as I recall).  She sympathized with us, but said there was nothing she could do but appeal, using my letter.  She did, but still no.  Se we moved out to Marion Henderson’s office on Glenwood Ave.

Thinking back about these experiences, I thought I should want to locate somewhere in the West when I married and had a family so I could bring them up in the Church and in an area without prejudice.  But now, Raleigh has a large LDS group—two churches—and a very fine reputation.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday, 17 May 1973]

I should explain why I didn’t go on a mission for the Church. I suppose that my mother and father had always expected that I would go on a mission. They didn’t say much about it. Our home was a home of work and the dinner table conversations always related to our work assignments, not to such speculative things as our futures. They sent my older brother on a mission about 1930 or 1931 to the Southern States. As I recall he served under LeGrand Richards and was in South Carolina most of the time. When I came home from the University of Idaho in the summer of 1936 my father asked me about going on a mission. I told him I did not want to interrupt my schooling, at least at that stage.

I had gone to the university to major in agriculture. I had a Union Pacific scholarship for $100 which was important to me. I received $50 of it fall semester and another $25 when I registered for the second semester, so that I had received $75 total. I was to receive the last $25 during the fall of 1936 but only if I registered in the college of agriculture. I was disappointed with my freshman year at the University of Idaho. I thought I was going to learn how to farm. I did not know that people went to the university, not to learn to farm but to become trained in agricultural science. Upon graduation they then went to work for the government for the Department of Agriculture or for state extension service or for some agricultural company—McCormick Dering Seed Company or something on that order. This was a shock to me to realize that a person did not go to college to become a better farmer. The courses I took included a year of chemistry, a semester of botany, a semester of zoology, a year of math, as well as a year of English. I enjoyed the English and Zoology but none of the other courses. Although I received a grade of “B” both semesters in chemistry, I did not understand it, had no interest in it, and could not see that it had any relationship to farming. Nor did I enjoy the courses in botany and horticulture. I enjoyed very much the zoology, perhaps because I had gone through a course in biology in high school. I received an “A” in zoology. And because of my intense interest in it, I thought perhaps I would have made a good doctor if I could have afforded to go to medical school. It was absolutely out of the question, so I did not seriously consider it.

I had had good training in English and spelling in grade school, junior high and high school, and I enjoyed very much writing original orations for the Future Farms public speaking contests. I also enjoyed very much the leadership work in Future Farmers. While I was in my first year in FFA I was elected reporter and wrote some papers for the high school student newspaper. I also wrote an article on my friend Howard Annis of Twin Falls which was published in American Farm Youth Magazine.

When I enrolled at the University of Idaho, I saw in the student newspaper, the Argonaut, the request for people to serve as reporters for the different colleges. I volunteered to do the reporting for the college of agriculture and did write many articles during the year. When I was in English class the professor asked us to do some autobiographical writing. After I had made out my report the professor made it a point to contact me after class and say, “I should think you might be interested in going to law school. You look to me like you would make a fine lawyer in an agricultural region.” This is the first time that idea had occurred to me. I went to the dean of the law school and told him that I might be interested and asked him many questions. Among other things I asked him what I should concentrate on as an undergraduate if I were to go to law school. He said, “Take some history, lots of English, and take all the economics you can stand.” He said that grades in law school had a closer correlation to grades in economics than any other field of study.  

My original intention was to take agricultural economics as a major. Two reasons for this: the first that it was the only major in agriculture that would seem to be helpful to a person on a farm. The other reason was that I had become fascinated with agricultural economic problems when I was preparing my orations for FFA. When I spoke with advisors in the college of agriculture about returning in the fall of 1936 to major in agricultural economics, I plead to be excused from taking another year of chemistry but they refused. It was required! My friends also strongly advised me to take the general economics class in place of the regularly scheduled agricultural economics class. In order to do this I had to register in the college of social sciences and not in the college of agriculture. This meant that I had to give up my last $25 of my Union Pacific scholarship.

For some reason that I do not now recall, I was permitted to work in the agricultural chemistry laboratory during the fall semester of 1936. This was under an NYA program. I had worked during 1935 hauling manure and helping with the construction of some agricultural building. I think most of the time was spent hauling manure, again on NYA for 35 cents an hour for forty-three hours for a total of $15.15 per month. This had provided my basic expenses during the year.

During the fall quarter of 1936 I thus registered in the college of social sciences with a major in pre-law so that I could take general economics and would not have to take chemistry. At the end of fall semester I was able to get an NYA job working in the library. I enjoyed that very much. I was completely enthralled with economics. I read not only the regular text but other texts as well. I read every bit of reading matter that the professor suggested plus other books and articles that I found in the library. I was particularly excited with the style of writing and analysis of a professor of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. His name may come to me later. I received  top grades in general economics and found that my mind was good for economic analysis. I never did get over my enthrallment with economics and ended up with a major in that. I then applied for various graduate fellowships and did receive one from the University of North Carolina, which I accepted gladly. I gave no further thought to going to law school.

At the end of my first year at the university of Idaho, to repeat, I was sufficiently uncertain about my major and the future that I wanted to have at least one more year at the university before going on a mission–if I was to go. Although my father seemed to be anxious for me to go, he allowed me to return to college without a great deal of fuss. After the second year, however, he was quite insistent about me going on a mission. By that time I was so excited about economics that I didn’t want to interrupt it and felt that I should continue with my university education. My father asked me to have an interview with President Charles A. Callis, his president of the Southern States Mission and at that time an apostle. My father set up an appointment with him and I did chat for awhile with Brother Callis. He did not seem to be at all insistent. He simply mentioned the advantages of going on a mission, but he really did not try to argue me out of going back to school. His was a low-key approach; I appreciated that. I told him I would think about it but that my present inclination was to go back to school. He said something like, “That’s fine if that is the way you feel after praying about it.” My father later asked me about the interview and I told him that Brother Callas thought I should do what I thought was best. My father seemed to accept that.

One thing that troubled me was that my father seemed to be prepared to send me on a mission but had insisted he could not afford to send me any money to help me at the university. I probably did not receive more than $15 or $20  from him during my first year and probably not more than that during my second year at the university. And he was willing to sign that he could not afford to send me to college, so that I could receive the NYA help. How then could he find the $50 or $60 necessary each month to support me on a mission? If he was able to support me on a mission, I felt he should help me to go through college. I suppose if he had been helpful to me at college I might have felt more dependent upon him and more anxious to go on a mission.

Anyway, I definitely decided to return to the university in the fall of 1937 and ended up not performing a proselyting mission for the Church.

I have not felt guilty about not going on a mission, but I suppose I have been more anxious to perform services for the Church in other ways that might make up for that. Thus I was very active when the opportunity came in Raleigh, North Carolina and became a branch president. I also was very active in the Logan Tenth Ward and later in USU Stake when we moved to Utah.

When I was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina I read widely and among other things subscribed to Harper’s Magazine. I particularly enjoyed the “Easy Chair” by Bernard DeVoto and “One Man’s Meat” by E. B. White. I suppose my interest in the latter was a kind of nostalgia for the farm. He had many, many articles about farming and New England and I read and reread these with enormous interest. I even clipped them out so I could preserve them. By reading these, I not only satisfied some of this feeling of nostalgia, but also learned something about writing style. I have always thought he was one of the finest stylists in the United States. 

Children can be cruel.  They will laugh at children who are abnormal.  They will make fun of unfortunate people who are ugly or have a big nose or have a glass eye or are cross-eyed or have a shriveled arm or are not very bright or have some other problem.  Teenagers have a strong bent toward conformity and will do cruel acts toward others who have their own reasons not to conform.  I remember an occasion when a boy had longer hair than the custom and a group of young people forcibly held him down and whacked off his hair with horse shears.

I also was not beyond participating in such groups myself.  At the University of Idaho during my second year there came to live in the Institute of Religion James B. Condie, who had just returned from a mission to France.  Nobody else in the Institute and hardly anybody else at the university had a mustache.  I remember participating in a group at the Institute who held him down and while he wept shaved off his mustache.  As I look at it now, this was no better than fraternity groups which forcibly poured whiskey down the throat of a person who had not been previously drunk.

[LJA Diary, 25 Mar., 1975}

Dear Lowry,

It was very kind and generous of you to write to me on April 29 some thoughts that have occurred to you as the result of my commencement address. I think you know that I have enormous respect for you and your many contributions over the years to Mormon culture and American culture, I have enjoyed looking at your memoirs which your wife was good enough to send to us.

I think you also know that a work by one of your students, T. Lynn Smith, first interested me in Mormon studies. It was the spring of 1941 just before Pearl Harbor. I was working toward a Ph,D. in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I was offered a position as full-time instructor in economics at North Carolina State College in Raleigh. In order to facilitate my doctoral program, I obtained permission to do a minor in rural sociology and agricultural economics by taking instruction at North Carolina State College. I, therefore, signed up for a seminar for rural sociology conducted by C. Horace Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton gave me a hand full of rural sociology books to read. Among them was Paul Landis and T. Lynn Smith. I saw the brief reference in the T. Lynn Smith to The Mormon Village. This referred me to your studies, which I pursued with enormous interest. I also subscribed to a Harper’s magazine in which an article, “The Waters In” by Juanita Brooks was published at that same time, so I got so excited about the Mormon culture that I started reading other things that were in the national press–things by Bernard DeVoto and others.

Then, of course, came Pearl Harbor. I volunteered for service and I did not complete my doctor’s. After discharge from the Army in 1946, I asked my graduate advisor at Chapel Hill if I might do a study on some aspect of the economic development of the West. He encouraged me in doing this partly because the regional studies had been popularized at UNC and it seemed appropriate to them for a native Westerner to do a West topic for a dissertation.

I applied for a position at BYU, University of Utah, University of Colorado, University of Wyoming, Boise State, Colorado State, University of California at Berkeley and elsewhere, but was given the best offer by Utah State University (then USAC). So I went to USAC. Franklin Harris had just returned from Iran and was our president, and he certainly encouraged me in doing Mormon studies. My key interview was with Dr. John Widtsoe, who suggested I work on the contributions of the Mormons toward the economic development of the West. This lead to a successful Ph.D. dissertation and eventually to the various articles and books which I have since published.

May I explain also that I grew up on a farm in Twin Falls County, Idaho–one of eleven children born to LDS converts from Oklahoma. The Twin Falls area had not more than thirty or forty families who were LDS. The community as a whole was generally unfriendly toward Mormons, which means that all of my friends, associates, teachers, and so on were non-LDS–in fact, if anything, anti-LDS. So l never did realize there was such a thing as a Mormon subculture until I was introduced to that concept by T. Lynn Smith, yourself, and others. Mormonism was just a church one went to every Sunday–or at least every Sunday that it was convenient for us to go. Perhaps being reared outside of the culture has given me more perspective than some other persons.

Best wishes.


[LJA to Lowry Nelson, 1 May, 1975; LJA Diary]

A Recollection of LJA about Hitchhiking

When I was a student at the University of Idaho, 1935-39, Moscow was located some 600 or 650 miles north of Twin Falls. I didn’t have a car and had no money to pay fare on public transportation. Anyway, there was not a good bus or rail connection between Twin Falls and Moscow, so I hitchhiked. I did not have difficulty in doing this since I put a big sticker of the U of I on my old suitcase and also wore a frosh beanie cap so that I was easily identified as a U of I student. Since occasionally people were going the full distance from Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and other places to Moscow, I often was able to obtain rides the whole distance. This made for interesting travel and conversation.

When I became a graduate student in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina I hitchhiked most of the distance between Idaho and Chapel Hill. On some occasions I rode the bus to Oklahoma to stay with cousins Lois and Mildred Botkin. In some cases I hitchhiked and would take the bus from there to Chapel Hill. Also in going to church Sundays in Durham I usually hitchhiked from Chapel Hill to Durham.

After my first year at Chapel Hill I hitchhiked the southern route back to Idaho, going first from Chapel Hill to New Orleans, where I visited with the FFA Vice-President of 1934-35, C.A. Duplantis, Jr. Then I went on through Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I spent a day with Ann Ramsay and her aunt. Ann was a graduate student of economics at UNC. Then I went up to Taos, New Mexico, where I spent the day and night with Clark Failes and his missionary companion. Then I hitchhiked on to Los Angeles where I remained two or three days with a girlfriend I had met in Twin Falls by the name of Lois Heitler. She was a cousin of Wanda Dunn, whom I knew in Twin Falls. I then hitchhiked from Los Angeles up to Twin Falls. All of this occurred during the early months of World War II. The announcement of the German declaration of war against Poland occurred in September, 1939, while I was at the home of Mildred and Lois Botkin. The German invasion of France occurred while I was hitchhiking across country in June of 1940, and I remember listening to the broadcast of Winston Churchill in which he used the phrase “blood, sweat, and tears” on the radio in Ann Ramsay’s home in Santa Fe.

When I returned to North Carolina in the fall of 1940, I went first to the home of Dr. Porter and Sarah Hopkins in Enid, Oklahoma. I particularly wanted to visit their adopted daughter, Betty Jo, to whom I had been writing. That romance did not go at all well, but I did have a nice visit for a week or so with relatives. Then, I recall, I took the bus to North Carolina. I often hitchhiked from Chapel Hill to other areas on weekends and on other occasions. When I went to Raleigh in January, 1941, I purchased a car–my first car–an old Plymouth. I recall how hard it was to start. Since I lived at a home at the top of a little hill, I always parked it in a way that I could start down hill and start the car in that way.

When Grace and I went back to North Carolina in 1949-50, Grace remained in Raleigh to work in her mother’s beauty shop, Hayes-Barton Beauty Shop. I secured room in the graduate dorm at Chpe1 Hill and hitchhiked to Raleigh each Friday and back to Chapel Hill each Sunday evening or Monday morning–I don’t recall which. I did this throughout the year.

In those days it was not regarded as dangerous to hitchhike. Very rarely did one ever hear of a story of any violence on the part of hitchhikers or of those who picked them up. Cars were relatively rare; persons who had them were regarded as responsible and it was not at all rare for a person to thumb a ride. Never at any time did I have a bad experience hitchhiking. It was all very pleasant and educational. I had opportunities to talk with people from all varieties of life from many parts of the country–and the world–and learned a great deal.

It is perhaps the story of the generation gap that explains why I was uneasy when Carl decided to hitchhike through Canada to Nova Scotia and back to New York, Washington D.C., and Logan. This he did in the late summer of 1969, just before he left for his mission to Bolivia. I never discouraged him or allowed myself to be critical or shocked; but, of course, I was uneasy because of the many stories that were told. Carl says his experience was very educational and pleasant. He was gone, as I recall, four weeks, and during that time went from Logan to Yellowstone Park to British Columbia, across to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on to Ottawa, Montreal, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Isle, then back through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Washington D.C., and to Logan. During the entire period he spent less than $100. He seems to have enjoyed the experience very much.

[LJA Diary, 4 Feb., 1976]


When I went to Raleigh to teach at N.C. State in January, 1941, I inquired until I discovered that a little group of LDS converts was meeting each Sunday in the third floor of the I.O.O.E. hall on Fayetteville Street, the principal street of Raleigh, one of the first two or three buildings on the west side of the south entrance to the State Capitol building. There were at the time two families who had members attending. These were Chloe Hodge, her mother, and Flonnie Hodge Rodgers and her husband Oscar and their child Janice. Also a Brother Tilton, occasionally his wife and two daughters,

Lucille and another whose name I don’t recall, attended. Usually two elders were present. Also occasionally two sisters, missionaries, were present. Usually just four or five people including myself. One of the missionaries took charge.

This continued throughout 1941. It was not a very pleasant place to meet. I usually arrived early Sunday morning, built a fire, and cleaned up the cigarette butts and whiskey bottles and so on left from the party of the night before. During the fall of 1941 we had two additional families come to work on doctoral programs at N.C. State. Both were BYU graduates; Martha and Nyle Brady, in soil and agronomy, and three children, Robert, Donald, and Dorothy; and Russell and June Knudsen, in mathematics. By this time also Marion Henderson and his wife Jane and a child or two had come back from his degree at BYU, so the group was growing. We also had move to Raleigh, Kenneth and Christine Spencer, both southerners and converts to the Church who had been married in Columbia, South Carolina. With all of these university-connected people we were able to induce Clyde Smith, who had been a professor of entomology at N.C. State for several years and also a graduate of USU, to attend. He and his wife, both LDS reared, had not been attending the LDS church because he had been advised not to have anything to do with Mormonism or to admit he was a Mormon at N.C. State. It seems that by this time there may have been also another convert or two. In the early spring of 1942 we held a conference in Raleigh. It was just before that conference–as I recall about March 1942–that I was asked by the president of the mission, Brother Jensen in Louisville, to be branch president. As I recall I was set apart by Elder Gilbert McLean, now a resident of Salt Lake, who was an assistant to the mission president or district supervisor. I chose as my counselors Marion Henderson and Nyle Brady, with Ken Spencer as clerk. We must have been a little on the intellectual side–a little too much for the satisfaction of certain people like Brother Tilton. I think he did not attend as regularly as before. We were cautioned two or three times by Elder McLean about intellectualizing the Gospel so much. My own feeling was that the college people predominated in the group and it was more important to keep them active and working in the Church than the two or three local families who were not university educated. Moreover, we had strong support in this policy from Chloe Hodge and her family.

We had a very active Mutual. We developed our own lessons, which involved studies of other religions, studies of religious philosophies and literature, as well as a lot of group activity. We had as many as 25 or 30 attending our MIA, and I regarded it as a great success. We also had good talks in Sacrament meetings and good lessons in Sunday School. I think Marion Brady, Chloe Hodge, and myself took turns teaching the Sunday School lesson for the adults. Another family to come in were Champ and Kay Tanner. Kay was great on the piano, just as Chloe had been. I remember the one and only time I sang a solo in church was during the winter of 1942-43 when I sang “The Holy City” accompanied by Kay Tanner. Another family to come in during the winter of 1942-43 was an animal specialist who was a graduate of USU and later went to the Department of Agriculture Research Division in Washington and held a high position there. I don’t recall his name but he attended a number of times. I remained as branch president until I was drafted in the spring of 1943, at which time Marion Henderson became president. Marion later became bishop and still later the Raleigh, N.C. stake president. I recall that for MIA lessons we had Father Joseph Federal, now Bishop Federal of Utah, who at that time was in Raleigh, gave us a couple of talks on Catholicism, also Ken Cameron, a teacher of English at N.C. State and graduate of Princeton, who was an ordained Episcopal minister. I don’t recall others but I know there were some. We did hold two or three baptisms and one funeral–of Sister Hodge. I presided at these exercises. I also recall presiding at a conference held in Pullen Hall on the N.C. State campus.

I also remember doing home teaching and conducting two or three cottage meetings at homes of members.

We located a better place to meet at the offices of the Raleigh Women’s Club and met there for a few months until some members of the club got wind that Mormons were meeting there. One of these was the wife of the former mayor of Raleigh. They circulated a petition among the members and got the officers to recede permission for us to rent the hall each Sunday on the grounds that Mormons degraded women.  We then met at the place of business of Marion Henderson. The same women who had taken the cause against us in the Women’s Club also met with my dean at N.C. State to try to get me fired. He warned me not to be too public about my LDS work, warned me not to have my name put in the paper as a N.C. State professor, and so on. I agreed to keep a low visibility but continued to function. It was at that time I think that I decided I would not remain my professional life at N.C. State. 

[LJA Diary, 7 Apr., 1976]

Recollections of U of I Experience

For some reason I always expected to attend the university–“to go to college” as we always used to say it. My older brother LeRoy did not go to the university nor was there any particular urging from  my parents. My recollection is that my father did not want me to go, thinking I would be a better farmer if I stayed at home. My Aunt Bessie (Mrs. Bruce) Arlington always encouraged me to go, and no doubt my teachers in high school.

My decision to go to the University of Idaho at Moscow is related to my associations in the FFA. I first attended a state FFA convention in Moscow in October of 1933 when I was a junior in high school. This experience got me acquainted somewhat with the Moscow campus. I attended again in October 1934 when I was beginning my senior year in high school. At that time I was elected Idaho state FFA president. I recall that we stayed at one of the fraternity houses and that some of the fraternity boys made a big pitch for some of us to associate with their fraternity when we enrolled in the university. Most of us were turned off by this. For one thing, we had heard that it was expensive to belong to a fraternity. For another thing, we had heard that the fraternities emphasized social life instead of studying, and this included beer parties, drinking parties, smoking, and so on. Moreover the very forward manner of the fraternity boys didn’t seem appropriate for our bashful farm backgrounds. But we did have a good reception among the Agriculture faculty at the University. The Dean of Agriculture, E. J. Iddings, attended part of our convention. Mr. Lattig, associated with the University, was a state advisor, and attended all of our meetings. There were also other members of the Agriculture faculty that welcomed us, showed us around, and participated in the convention.

When I was about to graduate from high school, I applied for a Union Pacific scholarship which amounted to $100. I was awarded one of these. The presumption in the scholarship was that I would attend the University of Idaho. I recall upon somebody’s urging, perhaps my father, writing to BYU. BYU wrote back an acceptance and sometime during the summer a BYU professor or administrator, whose name I do not recall, visited me in our home in Twin Falls County. He promised me a $200 working scholarship. This meant that they promised me $200 worth of work at the rate of 35 cents per hour. I think I never did seriously consider going except to Moscow, and a $100 workless scholarship seemed to be superior to a $200 work scholarship, because I could still work under the arrangement with the University of Idaho and earn extra money.

When I was at the state convention in October 1934 I recall going by the LDS Institute of Religion and asking George Tanner, the director of the Institute, if I could stay there. George promised me that I could. That settled the problem of housing.

I left for Moscow in September 1935 with my suitcase and expected to hitchhike. I was picked up on the highway to Filer where my brother left me by the Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brother Condie, who said he would be driving all the way to Moscow–what a lucky development! He said that he would be staying all night in Boise and that he would be glad to take me all the way if I would pay for my hotel expense, which I agreed to do. It was a delightful ride–about 650 miles from Twin Falls to Moscow. The superintendent was a very interesting conversationalist and loved to talk; what he said was interesting and important. He was also LDS–from Preston. At any rate I put up at the LDS Institute House in Moscow.

George Tanner, impressed with the difficulty LDS students had in financing an education, had organized a cooperative eating arrangement. This pertained not only to LDS students but to others as well. It centered around Ridenbaugh Hall, but LDS Institute students through his influence were welcomed into the co-op. The idea was that a mature student would be appointed business manager for the co-op and do all the buying, a full-time cook would be employed to make up the menus and do the cooking, and student committees would then take turns helping the cook, carrying out the food, washing dishes, and so on. Each person took his turn. About seventy students living in Ridenbaugh and about twenty-five living at the LDS Institute were in the co op. Buying our food in this manner at wholesale prices and doing our own work without having to pay anything to the university for overhead insured that we could get by on our meals very cheaply. As a matter of fact, we were able to get by for $11 per month for our meals. This seems unbelievable, but anyone who saw what we ate would understand how it was possible–lots of potatoes, very little meat, small helpings, and so on. Anyway, it seemed to be healthy. My recollection is that each person had to work in the kitchen one day a week, but that may not be correct. There was a good article on the history of this co-op in the Improvement Era for January of 1942. I’ll try to get a Xerox copy of this. Preston Mortimer, an older student, was the business manager during the years I was at Moscow. He was LDS and lived at the LDS house. We had an organization with a regular board, and I was elected a member of the board the third year I was at the university. A meeting of people who worked in co-op houses in western universities was held at the University of Washington in Seattle that year and I attended as delegate of the University of Idaho group. It turned out to be sponsored by a newly converted Communist, and he attempted to base all of the sessions around Communist ideology. I think none of the rest of us were Communists. We reacted against this, and we changed the format to include discussion of practical problems such as problems of credit, the making up of menus, and so on.

My recollection is that we paid $15 a month for our room at the LDS Institute. With $11 for food that meant $26 a month for room and board. My recollection is that my total expense during the first year that I attended the University was $285 for the whole year. There was very little added expenses–a little for books, an occasional movie, and an occasional milkshake Sunday evening at Jerry’s in downtown Moscow. That was my introduction to the milkshake. I had never had one before and believe that I had never heard of it before then. Jerry made delicious chocolate milkshakes, and I have loved them ever since.

I must have been a pretty smelly, unkempt fellow. I simply did not have any money and could not afford to spend for anything unnecessary. I washed my own clothes in the basement of the Institute. My recollection is that I wore one pair of socks for a full week, a shirt for a full week, and I wore one set of underwear for a full week. I often wore, my ROTC uniform and do not recall that I ever washed or ironed one.  I recall getting an occasional haircut—waiting until the hair was long and then telling the man to cut it real short. I recall also going to the movie occasionally Saturday afternoon, which had a cheaper rate than going in the evening.

The fellows at the LDS Institute were all of LDS background but not necessarily all active LDS. Probably not even a majority of them went to church regularly to the Moscow branch, which included professors, townspeople, and students. Probably not more than fifty LDS students attended Sunday School and not more than twenty-five attended Sacrament Meeting. My recollection is that I did not attend regularly, but I went perhaps half the time. The basic spirit in the Institute was not overly LDS oriented. By that I mean that there were persons there who drank occasionally and perhaps one or two who smoked occasionally. There were social exchanges with some of the sororities and women’s residence halls. Since there were not very many LDS attending the University of Idaho–and very few girls—it was rare for a person to find an LDS date. I probably had no dates during the first two years. At least I do not recall any. The first date I recall was with a girl to go to the Junior Prom. I was at that time chairman of the Junior Parade Committee and felt an obligation to go. It was formal and I recall haying to rent a tuxedo for the purpose. If I hadn’t been running for office–I was running for the Idaho Student Executive Board–I would never have thought I could afford it.

I probably had two or three dates my senior year, but that’s probably all at the University. I did have dates quite often when I was in Twin Falls during the summer with LDS girls from Twin Falls Ward. I remember dating Brenna Rappeleye, Barbara Bitter, and Ione Jensen—maybe two or three others.

While home during my sophomore year, I became acquainted with June Peck and went more or less regularly with her during the next two summers and wrote to her fairly regularly. She came to my graduation in Moscow in 1939–I believe my parents brought her. I suppose everybody expected me to marry her. However, I was very eager to do graduate work toward a higher degree and did not see that it was “in the cards” for me to begin a family. I think she was very disappointed that I didn’t ask her, but I had not led her at any stage to think that I would. Those were the days when we operated under the instructions and admonitions of Richard R. Lyman, who explained that one should not kiss a girl until he was engaged to her. I do not recall that I ever kissed June.

I recall the first time I ever kissed a girl and this was a kind of fluke. It was when I was home one summer from the University and a woman in the neighborhood decided to put on a neighborhood play. I was invited to take part in the play as leading man, and my opposite was Verna Bevs, an LDS girl who lived in our neighborhood, I think a year younger than me. As a part of the play I had to kiss the heroine. I worried about this for several weeks and finally had a date with her and tried out a kiss. I had a few additional dates, but the play fell through and it was all for naught. It is unbelievable for me to look back and realize what a bashful farm boy I was. Certainly it was not because I lacked sexual urges and feelings. I certainly had these and had a considerable curiosity about sex, but those were the days when there was not much that could be read and people did not talk much about it. I remember trying to find books in the library that might say something about the subject and did not find much beyond the traditional “birds and the bees” pamphlets which were written for junior high school students.

When I left to go to the University of Idaho my father gave me a $5 bill, and I think my mother secretly gave me some money as well, perhaps as much as $15. My Aunt Bessie sent some money also, probably $5. I had a little money saved up from my FFA project but nearly all of the income from the poultry enterprise was retained by my father. When I registered in the fall, I discovered 1 would not receive immediately the $100 Union Pacific scholarship. Instead I would be given $75 the first year and $25 upon enrolling in agriculture the second year. This was probably at the insistence of the College of Agriculture of the University of Idaho that administered the scholarship–probably not a requirement of the UP. However, I recall I received $50 when I registered the first semester and $25 when I registered the second semester and would get the remaining $25 when I registered the second year, provided, of course, I registered in the College of Agriculture. Since I decided by the end of the first year not to register in the College of Agriculture, I never did receive the last $25.

My decision not to register in the College of Agriculture had to do with my desire not to take a second year of chemistry. Although I received a good grade in chemistry–an A on both exams but a C in both labs during the two semesters, for a B in Chemistry 1 and 2, I really didn’t understand what it was about and didn’t care. I didn’t like the smells. I had absolutely no interest; in fact, a positive disinterest. But even if one majored in Agricultural Economics, as I was told, one had to take a second year of chemistry–one semester of organic and one semester of inorganic. I not only believed this was silly, but I simply didn’t want to take it, so I moved over to the College of Arts and Sciences and majored in general economics instead of agricultural economics. It would have been my preference to have majored in the latter if the chemistry hadn’t been required. 

Recognizing that I would have to have work, I learned that the easiest arrangement would be for me to apply for National Youth Administration work. Under this arrangement a student had to certify that he did not have enough money to attend college and his parents had to sign a statement that they could not afford to support him. I filled out the form and sent it to my father to sign, which he agreed to do though it must have hurt his pride a good deal. Anyway, the alternative for him was to support me and that would have hurt him even more, l suspect. I was then accepted for NYA work. NYA was administered by the University. A person could earn 35 cents an hour for forty-three hours per month, which meant a total of $15.05 per month. They assigned me during the fall semester to pitching manure–pitching gold dust, it was called–at the University farm. In the spring I was assigned to work in the agricultural chemistry laboratory. This was no doubt based on the good grades I received in chemistry, but I hated it. I stuck with it all quarter washing beakers mostly, but also performing some other tasks–those connected with sampling blood of animals. I had a fine scientist to work under, but he was somewhat eccentric. Anyway, he and I got along very well.

I began again working in his lab in the fall of 1936. After two or three months, I was able to arrange a switch to the library. So for the remainder of my years at Moscow I worked as an NYA assistant in the library. I enjoyed that work very much. I did collating, worked at the desk, worked in the research room–did a variety of different things. This enabled me to get acquainted with the library, its functions and its holdings. In addition I picked up a few odd jobs. I remember weeding a few gardens of members of the faculty.

During my senior year I decided to move from the LDS Institute for two reasons: first, the senior year was the principal year of social activities, and I did not want to take the time to participate in all of the social activities; second, I thought I would have more time to be alone to read–without having to talk and play around with roommates. I arranged with an LDS woman whose husband was not LDS to stay in her basement on condition I would work out my room for her. I did some work in her garden and helped her fix up the basement. It was not a very good arrangement, but it was quiet and I did have a lot of time to myself to read. I had to walk all the way across town, which meant a walk of perhaps two or three miles every day to school and back. During the last few months at the University I found one closer to the campus.

I had had a dream as a youth of becoming a United States Senator from Idaho. My hero was William E. Borah. I went to all his talks in Magic Valley, met him occasionally, and had a little correspondence with him. He encouraged me, as did my debate teacher. I was interested in politics at the University, took a minor in political science, and thought for awhile that I would go to law school. Two things discouraged me from going to law school. The first was the extra money. I asked the dean of the law school what kind of courses I should take to qualify me for law school. He said to take all the economics and English I could stand. He said grades in law school have a closer relationship, with those in economics and English than any other courses. So I did take some courses in literature and I began my sophomore year the general course in general economics. I liked economics very much, thought it suited me, and devoted a great deal of my outside reading to economics works and decided to stay in the field. 

At the same time I thought of getting my name up around campus in order to run for an office. When I entered as a freshman, some friends of mine in the LDS Institute, Gilbert Snow and Ross Butler, nominated me and campaigned for me for president of the freshman class. I was not elected. I did write articles for the Idaho Argonaut about the College of Agriculture. I was regarded as the College of Agriculture reporter. I managed to get an article in about every other week during the year. This was good training, but I did not know then that I could write. During my junior year, I campaigned for somebody for junior class president. He was a fraternity man and was elected. He appointed me chairman of the Junior Class Parade. This emboldened me to run for the Executive Board, a group of nine students who made the basic policy decisions for the associated students for the University of Idaho. Hardly any but fraternity and sorority students had ever been elected to any positions at the U of I. Since the numbers of non-fraternity and non-sorority members was far in excess, I thought it appropriate to organize an independent party to contest the fraternity and sorority party. I do not recall who else participated with me in the organization of the party, but at any rate, we did organize one and did get representatives from each of the fellows and girls dormitories. Since I wanted to run for office, I was not chairman of the party. My recollection was that it was Joe Carr, but I participated in all of their decisions. We published a number of handouts or flyers, and I did most of the writing for these. It appealed to independent students. When I applied to run for the Executive Board, I was invited to speak in each of the resident halls and felt I had excellent support. In the resulting election it was by progressive ballot representation–the Australian ballot–I was the third to be elected out of the nine and the strongest of the independents. We did manage to get four independents elected to the nine-man board. Several weeks later we received a tip from a disgruntled fraternity politician that the ballot box had been stuffed–specifically that 200 ballots had been prepared by one of the fraternities to plug their man for Executive Board as well as the fraternity candidate for student body president. The fellow they plugged was Ray Givens, who later graduated from the law school and later became a judge on the Idaho Supreme Court. Anyway he was the top man on the Executive Board. We then investigated and accumulated many pages of evidence. We decided to present this evidence at a special meeting of the Executive Board. We went to the meeting with all the evidence and brought with us Walt Olson, who I think had been our candidate for president. But Walt Olson and myself were able to bluff our way sufficiently to induce the newly-elected student body president to confess that he knew that the ballot box had been stuffed. This confession made it possible for us to declare the election null and in a re-election Walt Olsen was elected, and I was the top man elected to the Executive Board. Those who perpetrated this little experience in frustrated democratic voting are prominent citizens in Idaho, and I will not reveal their names. Both of them were expelled from the University of Idaho but both received degrees elsewhere and returned to Idaho to become fine prominent citizens. I see one of them quite often and neither one of us has ever mentioned that experience. I am sure he hopes I have forgotten it, and I see no point in bringing up a painful and embarrassing memory to him.

May I say by way of extenuation that we in our party were not above questionable tactics. Knowing the odds against us and the tactics used by fraternities in elections, we managed to get the cards of persons who would not be able to vote and had other people vote these cards. We probably got as many as twenty or thirty extra votes by this arrangement. Technically that was illegal.

I very much enjoyed my experience on the Executive Board during my senior year. It was good training for me in the responsibility of administration and government. However, I will say that the real decisions were made by the university’s public relations officer who worked with the student body.

At the university I was active in debate all four years and during the last two years was a member of the “senior team.” My partner during both years, as I recall, was Leslie McCarthy. He is now a judge in Northern Idaho. I recall during our junior and senior year attending tournaments in California, Oregon, Washington, and debating teams at colleges in Idaho. I enjoyed these experiences very much. Coach Whitehead was very friendly and helpful. At one of the tournaments in Southern California I was signed up for extemp speaking under which they give you a number of topics on which to read and then you draw to speak on one of these topics in the tournament. I was number one man in the competition in the first round and therefore one of the finalists. I drew for the final round the WPA. As a part of the talk I told a story about the WPA–something like the principal accomplishments were to build houses and at any moment out of six WPA workers, two would be on their way to the house, two would be inside, and two would be leaving. Obviously this was about a privy and somehow or other this was not an appropriate story. Coach Whitehead said I came in sixth out of six finalists because of this story, which was not thought to be in good taste.

My favorite course during my freshman year at the university was zoology. As a student in General Agriculture I had to take Horticulture, Agronomy, Botany, Chemistry, Zoology, and freshman English. For some reason or other that I never understand–perhaps my grade on the entering exam–I was placed in a special class in English in which all members of the class were supposed to be top-notch students in English. It was sort of an honors class. The professor, W. C. Banks, ran an unstructured class. Instead of giving us training in grammar, spelling, and so on, he talked about a variety of subjects, got us to do a wide range of reading, and we wrote occasional essays and research papers. I enjoyed the class very much, and I am sure profited very much from it. I remember going to him at the end of my freshman year to ask his advice about switching from the College of Agriculture. He is the one who thought it natural for me to aim toward law school, and I think it was upon his advice that I went to the dean of the law school before switching over to the College of Arts and Sciences.

But as I say, the class I enjoyed most and spent most time on was probably zoology. I had had a fine high school teacher in biology, Miss Minier.  I had done well in that class. She had chosen me and my friend, Howard Annis, to dissect a dogfish shark. We enjoyed this. I enjoyed very much dissection, recall buying a special little knife or taking one home from school and dissecting some animals at home. My mother was horrified, as was my sister, but I remember the wonder we all felt when I dissected a live mouse and we watched its heart continue to beat. This fitted in with capanizing chickens in high school.  So when I took the class at the university I already had a natural aptitude and had already done some reading. While Botany and Agriculture and Horticulture and Chemistry were all dull, Zoology was exciting.

There was another reason for the excitement. My roommates and others at the LDS house had gotten all stirred up about evolution and whether one could accept evolution and fit it into LDS theology. Under their prodding I had read George Dorsey’s, Why We Behave Like Human Beings, which is a naturalistic explanation of behavior. I read it two times very carefully, a few pages each night as one might read the scriptures. In fact my roommate Curtis Taylor regarded it as a kind of scripture. But reading this book only induced me to read other books to do with evolution. I must have read three or four. I also wrote to my Uncle Earl in New York to ask him what he thought about the subject. His reply, as l recall, was that one has to be eclectic or pluralistic in the interpretation of phenomena. Our Zoology lecturer gave us a number of lectures on the origin of life and on evolution. I appreciated them and agreed with them and really saw no conflict with Mormonism. This was probably helped by classes I had taken from the institute from George Tanner, who has always contended that there was no basic conflict between science and true religion.  He pointed out to me some things written by LDS people that harmonized science and religion. In preparation for the final exam in Zoology, I had studied all my notes pretty carefully. The night before the exam, I happened to mention to Will G. Reese that I was preparing for the final. He said he had taken the course the previous year and that the professor required you to know the classification of the animal kingdom. You had to know the whole six pages, single-spaced, memorized by heart–the names of all the phyla and all the species. That sounded incredible. I hadn’t even attempted to memorize the classifications, but he was so sure that I sat down with the intention of memorizing as much as possible. All during the evening I memorized and then during the night I studied two hours then slept one hour and then studied two hours. By morning I had memorized all six pages. I went to the exam and the principal part of the exam was to reproduce the classification. I went through this without a single mistake and received an A+ on the exam. I was told afterward that I was the only person in the history of this course that had been able to reproduce the entire outline. I took pride in this as I did in the course.

A number of people suggested that it would have been appropriate for me to have taken a pre-med course and majored in medicine. The enjoyment of dissecting would suggest that I would have been happy as a surgeon, but I never did give serious thought to going to medical school. Economically it wasn’t in the cards.  My parents could not have helped me and there were no scholarships in those days, so I did not give consideration to it. Nor did I give serious consideration to animal husbandry. By the end of the freshman year I had put in a request to be excused from second year chemistry and had been refused, so I had made up my mind to move into the College of Arts and Sciences.

I did so well in economics my sophomore year that Professor Erwin Graue asked me to be his assistant in grading papers for the Economics 5l and 52. I did this during my junior and senior years and also assisted in grading the papers of other courses which I had taken. I received an A in every single course that I took in economics, devoted much time to reading everything the professor suggested and read other things as well. In a given course I read not only the assigned textbook but also three or four textbooks on each topic, and I read monograph works as well as journals and magazines in each of the fields. By the time I graduated I really had a splendid introduction to classical economics. 

It is strange that I received absolutely no introduction to Keynesian economics, although the General Theory had been published in 1936. My introduction to Keynesianism occurred at the University of North Carolina in 1939-40. With Professor Graue’s advice I took courses also in political science, literature, and history. The courses in history were from Frederick Church who had something of a reputation. He was dry, the course was dry–l could not stand it. I never would have thought that I would have ended up in history–economics was exciting, but not history. I did enjoy the course in literature and the courses in political sciences. 

A couple of additional facts about my four years at the University of Idaho.

(1) Each male student at the University of Idaho was required to take ROTC training during his first two years. Since the United States had not been in a war for some time and was not expected to get into war, this was mostly a farce.  We had lectures during the winter and drilled during good weather each fall and spring. We, of course, wore ROTC uniforms on Tuesday and Thursday when we had these classes. As indicated previously, I often wore my ROTC uniform other days as well because I did not have sufficient clothing. There was an important Pacifist agitation during the middle 1930s. An article in Fortune exposed the enormous profits made by a few persons on military contracts during World War I. There were also a number of books and articles, particularly by Pacifist Christian groups. I read some of the literature but confess that I was not converted to Pacifism. But I did think military training was useless–it was, and I had no respect for military officers, most of whom seemed to me to be near alcoholics. The grades in our military courses were largely if not entirely based on attendance. Since I did skip a few, I think I ended up with B’s and C’s in ROTC. To indicate how much a waste this was, at no time when I went into the Army in World War II did anybody ask me if I had ROTC training. When I volunteered it everybody made a nervous giggle and suggested that wouldn’t help me any. And it is true, it didn’t. I have left a separate recollection  dealing with one semi-Pacifistic involvement in which I had a previous participation called the Veterans of Future Wars.

(2) Every student at the U of I was required to take a course in physical education each semester. I took a wide variety of subject courses. They included swimming, softball, social dancing, fencing, etc. It was a long way from the campus down to the gym and I did not always feel like going down to do the exercise and coming back to campus, particularly when I had to walk so far from where I lived. So my attendance was not too regular, and since grades in these classes were primarily based on attendance, I did not do too well, and of course the A grades in every class went to the athletes. I recall getting C’s in most of them and a D one time in swimming. All of these grades counted toward our average, which I did not think was fair, but they did nonetheless. I did not get straight A’s a single semester at the University of Idaho, although there were some semesters when I received A’s in everything but military and/or PE.

(3) I did make Phi Beta Kappa during my senior year at Moscow. I was surprised to have made it because my average was probably not above the equivalent of 3.6 or 3.7. I graduated with high honors, not with highest honors. I do not know recommended me to Phi Bet. I did not have the opportunity to apply and would not have thought it worthwhile to apply if it had been called to my attention. But it was an honor which I have often found worthwhile to use. In some Eastern colleges the Phi Bet key is an open sesame to certain things in the library and archives and into certain intellectual circles. There was not a Phi Bet chapter at USU; there is one at the University of Utah, and I have been invited to their meetings, but have not found it convenient to attend; I have enjoyed the Phi Bet magazine. The predominant honorary society at USU was Phi Kappa Phi.  After I had been there several years, I was invited to submit an application to join. I said that I would not beg to join or fill out all the forms necessary, but if they wanted to accept me on the grounds that I was a Phi Bet that I would be glad to accept and participate. They did accept me on that ground, and I did participate in the activities of Phi Kappa Phi during the last years I was at USU. Nine members of the staff at USU in 1969 were Phi Bets, and we put through an application to get a Phi Bet chapter established there, but it was turned down.

(4) During the last year I was at the University of Idaho they started a Lamda Delta Sigma chapter. I joined, but I do not recall participating in any socials or other activities. I do remember that I gave my pin to my mother and how pleased she was to wear it. I received it back after my mother’s death, and Grace has it somewhere.

(5) During my senior year I was encouraged by Professor Graue to apply for a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in England. He wrote a fine letter for me and my letter of application apparently was looked upon favorably. A group of us from colleges in Idaho went to Boise for the state eliminations. I was the first choice at this affair and went to the regional competitions in Spokane, Washington. Each of the candidates had to answer questions in front of fifteen people. My interview went fine until one of the persons present asked me about Keynesianism. I was ignorant on the subject and did not give satisfactory answers to his questions. For that reason, and perhaps others I am not aware of, I was not chosen as one of the regional awardees. When that decision was made, I then applied to approximately a dozen universities for a graduate fellowship. Among others, I applied to Harvard, Chicago, Yale, North Carolina, Louisiana State, Cincinnati, University of California at Berkeley, Minnesota, Duke, and Illinois. I was offered scholarships or fellowships at about half of these. The best was a $500 Kenan teaching fellowship in economics at the University of North Carolina. Upon the advice of Dr. Gause I accepted this one or maybe it wasn’t entirely his advice, but that I was anxious to get down into the ancestral state of the Arringtons. Not only the Arringtons lived in North Carolina for almost 200 years, but my father had been a missionary and for a year had been president of the North Carolina conference. Dr. Gause thought it was the best university in the South (it was), liked the emphasis upon regional studies (very perceptive), mentioned the cultural achievements of the university (like Professor Koch in theater and Paul Green). Considering it was the only teaching fellowship, l was glad to accept. I found out later the UNC had never offered before to a westerner and did this as an experiment. They were also impressed as to my ability to teach by my debating experience. I was very happy and my family were very happy that I had received the fellowship and would be able to attend there. They would pay the $500 and tuition free arrangement would make it possible for me to cover my expenses and without any additional income. I was especially happy to discover the additional things one could learn there. I attended lectures on religion and philosophy, on art and music–attended many musical concerts, attended many plays, art movies, and so on. It was a very satisfying experience, probably better than I would have had any other place. I turned out to be very fortunate that I did not receive the Rhodes scholarship. War broke out in Europe in September 1939 and those who had been awarded Rhodes scholarships were parceled out among colleges in the Ivy League–Harvard, Yale, Princeton and elsewhere. I wouldn’t have been able to go to Oxford anyway.

(6) We should probably include a paragraph or two on the history of the University of Idaho, the geography, and campus and so on. There is a good history of the University of Idaho by Rafe Gibbs which is available in most libraries.

(7) I went home to work on the farm during the summers of 1936 and 1937. During the summer of 1938 I stayed at the home of Herman Fails in Boise. He had to go somewhere in Eastern Idaho to look after a sister or brother. Clark had been called on a mission, so I was supposed to be the man of the house for Sister Fails and her younger children. I was to help put up the hay, milk the cows and feed them, slop the pigs and to other jobs around the house. At the same time, I was to take over his job as janitor for the LDS stake house in Boise. This was a pleasant summer and brought in a little income as home well as support. I enjoyed the experience. I was back on the farm for the summer of 1939 before I went to UNC.

It was not possible for me to go home at Christmas time partly because of the lack of money to get back and forth and partly because I wanted to use the vacation to accumulate work time, so I wouldn’t have to do so much work during the period when I was taking courses. My recollection is that I did manage to get home Christmas vacation 1938-39 because my cousin Woodrow, who was a graduate student at Moscow, loaned me his Model T and I managed to get a number of fellows to ride with me to pay the expenses of gas and so on.

[LJA Diary, 13 May, 1976]

Recollections of UNC

After I graduated from the University of Idaho in June, 1939, I spent the summer working on my father’s farm near Twin Falls. As I recollect, I was the chief irrigator–more or less full-time irrigating all summer. I also recollect reading in the evenings, among others the Children of God by Vardis Fisher, which I rather enjoyed but did assume it was a very accurate characterization of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the first week of September I took the bus to Oklahoma to visit with relatives there. I recall staying at the home of Aunt Myrtle in Enid, visiting with her and cousins Mildred and Lois. I slept on the floor in the front room. About 3 or 4 a.m. the morning of September 9 I heard somebody yelling out on the street. I got up and looked out and saw a boy selling newspapers. He was yelling something very loudly that I couldn’t quite make out. I saw other people in their pajamas and nightgowns getting papers from him and I got one as well. Huge big headlines said “Germany Invades Poland. War Declared.” This was how we learned of the outbreak of World War II. I don’t recall giving any serious consideration to whether or not this might change my life.

I continued by bus to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I would be teaching and studying. I found a room at the home of Reverend McDuffie, a retired Baptist preacher, at 303 East Rosemary in Chapel Hill. This was not very far from the campus and offered a large room where I could set up a table and a small single bed–a rather hard one. Reverend McDuffie was in his 80’s, tall, broad, a big shock of white hair, a rather commanding presence. He talked a countryish dialect, not a cultivated upper-crust North Carolina brogue. He spent each day sitting on the porch–all Southern homes it seemed, had porches–chewing tobacco and spitting. Sometimes he cleared the porch and sometimes he didn’t. The porch had patches of brown discoloration here and there and a foul smell was in the bushes at the edge of the porch, no doubt from years of spitting. Reverend McDuffie was a pleasant person, though uneducated and not very sensitive. He had a literalistic interpretation of the Bible and was what we would call a Bible Fundamentalist. He did not practice or preach the high personal morality of the Gospels but emphasized certain Biblical fundamentals such as the necessity of baptism, paying tithing, and so on. He did not believe that women should smoke cigarettes nor show their knees. He thought the modern generation was sinful. He also thought “niggers,” as he called them, should be kept in their place.

There was a colored maid who made my bed as well as other tasks around the house. She was perhaps 25 years old. She was the first black that I had met on a personal basis. I recall asking her how I should refer to her. Did she prefer that I call her a negro, negress, or what. She said, “We likes to be called colored.” So from that point on I referred to them as colored people. I had an interest in learning more about blacks and walked to “Nigger Town” west of Chapel Hill occasionally on Sunday afternoons. I think this town was called Carrboro. Often on those Sunday afternoons I saw families–or at least the man and wife–sitting on the porch reading the Bible. I had conversations with them, discovered an intensity of religious feeling and belief, and also a quiet, dignified, friendly manner. I liked them.

I also liked Chapel Hill. In those days it was a lazy little country village and I suppose not more than 3,000 students at the university, most of whom did not get downtown very often. On the south side of the street were a number of churches nicely landscaped. On the north side were about two blocks of shops and business establishments. I recall eating most of my dinners at one of these places about three blocks west on East Rosemary. I suppose there was a cafeteria at the university where I ate lunch, but I do not recall it–nor do I recall eating lunch for that matter. There was an ice cream place on West Main Street where I often went to get butter pecan ice cream cones–never have had anything so good since–they must have used lots of cream. Chapel Hill was primarily a community of literati–people writing novels, writing and producing plays, engaging in endless philosophical debates, and so on.

Pending the discovery of an LDS congregation nearby, I decided to attend the Presbyterian Church. I suppose this was the influence of my major professor, Milton S. Heath, who was an elder there, or it may have been because it was the nearest to my room. At any rate, I attended there fairly often. I recall a Reverend Donald Stewart, a high-church Presbyterian from Scotland who gave rather intellectual talks. I enjoyed them and also enjoyed singing the Presbyterian hymns. I remember a few occasions when they had the sacrament but I don’t recall whether or not I partook of the sacrament. They used wine.

I was charmed by the southern colonial-style architecture of the university. The stately old brick edifices, some of which had been constructed 150 years earlier; the ivy growing up the sides of all the buildings; the brick sidewalks; the ample lawn and statuary here and there; the black janitors in each of the buildings. There were a few women students at the university, and I do not recall that I had a single date while attending there. In fact, I recall becoming acquainted with only four women. One was Elizabeth Donovan pursuing a Ph.D. in economics. Her husband was a professor of public finance from Florida, C. H. Donovan. My recollection is that she failed her Ph.D. orals and then left her husband to go elsewhere. He later remarried. A second woman was Betsy, or Elizabeth Parker, who had become a secretary in the Economics Department. She was taller than I and for that reason I suppose I did not develop any romantic interest in her, but we did become friends; and I remember being invited to dinner at her home in Raleigh and visiting with her brothers, all of whom were much taller than I, and I recall feeling apprehensive because they seemed upset at the possibility that their sister might be interested in me. The third was Edna Douglas, who was also a fellow graduate student in economics. She was very bright and literary—composed poetry and wrote beautiful prose. The fourth was Anne Ramsey, about whom more later.  Each of the Ph.D. candidates at UNC were given desks in one big room in the Economics buildings. There were only about ten of us actively pursuing the Ph.D. Edna’s desk was next to mine and so we chatted often. I looked upon her only as an intellectual friend. She seemed to be a sexless person and I developed no romantic feeling for her. Upon her invitation I did visit her home in High Point two or three times. Ultimately Edna did receive the Ph.D. and has been a long-time professor of consumer economics at Washington State University in Pullman. I have seen her two or three times since her location there. She has published a number of works in professional magazines.

I was one of two Kenan fellows in economics at UNC. The other was W. H. Joubert who had taught in Louisiana and who was a short wiry fellow just like myself. Our responsibilities were to teach beginning classes in economics (Econ 31, 32). We both enjoyed teaching and often interchanged examples, analogies, methods of putting certain points across, and so on. There were three or four persons closer to the degree who also were teaching the same class. This group of student instructors–some six or seven people–were under the direction of Professor Rex Winslow, and he used to gather us together about once a month to talk about teaching. It was very good training. He discussed teaching methods and tactics as well as subject matter. The use of mathematics in economics was just at that time coming into vogue. I had had no training at all in it and yet the text we used included some mathematical and calculus analysis. Professor Winslow discovered that others in the group were also relatively uninformed on calculus, and so he organized a night class with professors of economics alternating with professors of math. Perhaps a dozen of us attended this class regularly. I profited very much from this class, and it served me in good stead not only as a teacher and student at UNC but also as a professor at Utah State. I have always been grateful for that background which provided me as much math as I have ever needed.

My classes at UNC, which I met every day, usually included some 30 to 40 students. I had no difficulty in teaching–got along just fine with the students, some of whom were as old as I. Most were North Carolina country and city boys, but there were a few Jews from New York and other parts of Yankeeland. UNC had the honor system, which meant the professor had to be out of the room when exams were given. So far as I could tell, the honor system really worked. The students had a secret committee of persons who monitored the exam secretly and reported any violations to the student officers.  I do recall an instance in which a student answered one question by quoting directly word for word, maybe two pages, froma different textbook. Under the rules I was required to report this to the student body. They examined the evidence and upon their recommendation the student was expelled from the university.

I became friendly with a number of students, some of whom have become important persons in the South. One of the students, Arthur S. Link, was a member of the Dialectical (Di) Senate, a group of students who discussed important government questions, probably modeled after the Cambridge and Oxford unions. Anyway, I was asked a couple of times to come in as a guest lecturer to present some side of an economic question.  I enjoyed this.  Arthur Link has since become a famous professor at Princeton and an authority on Woodrow Wilson and his administration.

As a graduate student, I was required to take a full-year class every day in economic theory and doctrine, taught by Milton S. Heath. It was essentially a review of the history of economic thought, with emphasis on the background of the principal economists and also their theories and hypotheses. I recall reading through Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, word for word, and also the works of a number of other economists and philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas More, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Bentham, Henry George, and Thorstein Veblen. Of course, I had already read Marshall. I also read List and English translations of some of the German and Austrian economists. This was a marvelous review and helps to explain my interest all along in the history of economic thought. I also took a good class in labor economics from Harry Wolf, banking from John Woosley, and public finance from Clarence Heer. I also took two classes from Erich Zimmermann, one on commodity economics and the other on international trade. I enjoyed both very much and got a good background in resource economics that has helped me very much. And also a class on monetary theory by Franz Gutmann, refuge German Jew who was given a professorship by UNC as their way of helping Jewish refuges from Germany. I learned virtually nothing from

Professor Gutmann, though he certainly was friendly and anxious to help. In all of these courses I studied hard, devoted a lot of care to preparing a good term paper, and received good grades.

I felt very fortunate in attending a university with such a long and prestigious cultural tradition. I attended weekly lecturers by prominent professors, both UNC and from elsewhere. I also attended regularly the Carolina Playhouse of Prof. Koch. They were doing regional plays that year, particularly several written by Paul Green. I also attended musical concerts and displays of art; also Sunday afternoon movies. These were mostly historical and “cultural” movies. I suppose at the time they were called “art movies” but that term has come to refer to movies displaying nudity or dealing with sex and these were not of that character. There were movies in a number of different languages. One that I saw two or three times was on the life of Beethoven, I think a French movie; and there were also Russian, Spanish, and German movies as well as some of the better earlier American movies.

I had been ordained an Elder by J. Albert Phillips, a Twin Falls High Councilman who was probably “put up to it” by my father, a fellow High Councilman. I think he ordained me in the summer of 1939 before I left for Chapel Hill. I remember thinking that I might not want to live up to the commitments required of an Elder and being argued into approving of the ordination by my older brother LeRoy who kept saying, “What have you got to lose?  And you might want it later and not have anybody qualified to ordain you.” I discovered a Mormon congregation meeting in Durham. There were very poor bus connections on Sundays between Chapel Hill and Durham, but I did attend a few times during the year; and I do not recall whether this was in the morning or in the evening–Sunday School or Sacrament Meeting or both. At any rate, I enjoyed being there and discovered that my father had organized the Durham branch when he was a missionary there in l925. Several of the persons there remembered him—Cody Smith, Wallace Draughan, and James Bennett. A professor of anatomy at Duke University, James Duke, had grown up in Utah and was a good influence in the branch there.

The climate of the South was pleasant, but the high humidity (57 inches per year) was not healthy for me. In the fall–and every fall thereafter that I was in North Carolina–I came down with a cold. It spread to sinus infection and then I got bronchial asthma. I felt reasonably good but did have asthma trouble and was in the hospital two or three times during the year. I enjoyed walks through the trees–magnolias, dogwoods, huge lovely oak trees, and others. The yards were beautiful with azaleas and honeysuckle and other Southern bushes. Lots of wonderful odors and colors. While the temperature did not go down very far in the winter, the high humidity made the cold very penetrating. During the summer the humidity was so high that one rolled in sweat every night. I enjoyed the birds; redbird or cardinal, mockingbirds, blue jays, thrushes, orioles. I went on many hiking trips through the woods looking for birds and enjoying their songs. Living also at Reverend McDuffie’s was Herbert Murray who had taught history at the Gainesville, Georgia Girls’ School. He was very pleasant and quiet and we got along together well. He was working on a Ph.D. in history. He taught me much about the South. Somehow or other I also became acquainted with another Ph.D. in history, Oscar Svarlein, a Norwegian immigrant who spoke with a heavy accent and who was an older person, still single. He and I had many conversations and found that we had much in common.  He had worked as a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest for some years. Both later finished their degrees; Murray returned to Georgia and Svarlein ended up teaching at a small college in western North Carolina.

I wanted to enjoy everything at the university. I went to all the football games and enjoyed Charley Choo-Choo Justice, a nationally recognized quarterback. Also went to many basketball games and other sports affairs. It was a very full year culturally for me.

Through conversations with another Ph.D. student, James Waller, I was introduced to the Southern Agrarians, their literature and their thought. I drunk it all in deeply and willingly, I was really quite excited with their books. I read not only the basic books, I’ll Take a Stand and Who Owns America, but also several books by Donald Davidson whose style I admired, Frank Owsley whose Common Man: Interpretation of History I appreciated. This introduced me to the literature of the English equivalents called “Distributists,” including Hilaire Belloc who wrote The Servile State and a number of other books and short stories which I read; also G.K. Chesterton who had written a number of “Catholic” books along the Distributist lines. I enjoyed his work as well as his exciting style. I was also introduced to Douglas Jerrold and Christopher Dawson, both of whose articles and books I read with appreciation. I also read some books about the South such as Jonathan Daniels, A Southerner Rediscovers the South and two or three others I don’t recall. Strangely, I don’t recall reading any Southern novels.

I decided to hitchhike from Chapel Hill back to Twin Falls to spend the summer working for my father. And so when school was out in June I took off with a suitcase going first to New Orleans, where I visited for two or three days with CA. Duplantis who had been a vice-president of the National FFA when I served as vice-president. He and his father ran a big sugar cane plantation at Houma, Louisiana. I had a very pleasant visit and stay there and also spent a day or two in New Orleans seeing some of the sights. I then hitchhiked across Texas to New Mexico and visited in Santa Fe with Ann Ramsay and her aunt who had a home there. Ann was working toward a graduate degree at UNC and was a graduate of one of the prominent girls’ schools), Radcliffe, I think, and had served as an organizer for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. She was thoroughly sympathetic with organized labor and helped me, a graduate of an Idaho farm, to understand organized labor’s position. Anyway, shortly before the end of the ’39-40 school year when she learned that I was hitchhiking west she told me she would be visiting her aunt in Santa Fe and invited me to stay there for a night or two, so I did. I should explain there was also no romantic interest there. She already had a rich boyfriend and she came from a well-to-do family. She was also somewhat taller and larger than I–in those days that made a difference. It was while at her place in June 1940 that we listened over the radio to the news broadcasts which reported the German victory over France and the famous “blood, sweat, and tears” talk of Winston Churchill. After a couple of days there I hitchhiked to Taos, New Mexico, where Clark Failes was doing missionary work–or was he teaching there? At any rate, I did find him and spent a night sleeping in the furnace room of the chapel. Then hitchhiked to Los Angeles to visit Lois Heitler.

Lois was a cousin of Wanda Dunn, a friend of ours in Twin Falls. Lois had apparently visited with Wanda in the summer of ’39 and I apparently had a few dates with her as well as with Wanda, Brenna Rappeleye, Barbara Bitter, and June Pock. I corresponded with Lois during the year at Chapel Hill, and I am sure thought to myself as I left Chapel Hill to go by way of Los Angeles that if she and I hit it off well I might become engaged. She had been a student at UCLA. I stayed at her house, visiting with her and her mother for two or three days. Well, we did not hit it off so famously. I am sure she was not ready to become engaged and maybe I wasn’t either. Anyway, it was pleasant but a rather cool and brief courtship. I think I got carried away and kissed her the night before we left, and my recollection is that I wrote her later and apologized for taking that liberty. Anyway, that ended my visits to and correspondence with her.

Then I hitchhiked to Twin Falls where I arrived around the first of July, after about three weeks on the road. My recollection is that I served again as irrigator on the farm. Also read a few books. I don’t recall my social life during that summer.

Hitchhiked back to Chapel Hill that fall, stopping again, I think, in Oklahoma to visit relatives there. My Kenan Teaching Fellowship in economics was renewed and I continued to teach Econ 31 and 32. I took an exciting class that fall that had a permanent influence on my social and economic philosophy. It was a class from Edward Bernstein, a New York Jew who had graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City. A brilliant person; articulate and serious. He had written a book about business cycle theory which he intended to publish and he lectured from the manuscript of this book. I don’t know whether he ever published the book, but he has served for the last 20 years or so as the Director General of Research for the International Monetary Fund.

At any rate, his class in business cycles was at least for me a class in Keynesian economics. Shamefully I had not been exposed to Keynes’ General Theory while I was at the University of Idaho. I had read some of his things but not the General Theory. I was completely absorbed in Keynes and his work during the fall quarter. I read the General Theory, nearly everything else by Keynes, a lot of reviews of his book, and indeed got such an understanding of Keynesian theory that I did a little tutoring of other graduate students on Keynes. I pretty well accepted his ideas and decided at that time I would like to do a doctor’s dissertation on Thomas Malthus, a precursor of Keynes.

Just as we started the winter quarter in January, our graduate advisor, John Woosley, told me there was a vacancy in economics at NC State College in Raleigh and that he would be glad to recommend me for the job. He said I had a good reputation as a teacher and he thought it might help me to take a job there and teach for a year or two before completing my Ph.D. I was pretty young to do a Ph.D. he thought (I was only 22). I went to Raleigh and was interviewed by Dean B. F. (for Benjamin Franklin) Brown. Dean Brown offered to pay me $800 to teach during the next two quarters in place of a Mr. Green who was ill. I agreed to do so. He liked my teaching and during the spring asked me to teach summer school which I agreed to do and also to teach during the next academic year at a salary of $2,000, which I agreed to do. As a part of the “deal” the Chapel Hill people agreed to allow me to take out a minor in agricultural economics and rural sociology, which I could complete at NC State. I therefore took classes in Ag. economics from G.W. Forster, Gunnar Lange from Sweden, more-recently economics minister of Sweden, and rural sociology classes from C. Horace Hamilton. I did well in these classes and did complete a minor at N.C. State.

I was invited to assist in teaching a class in agricultural economics in which three of us would write out our lectures and try to get a text published. There was a need for a good text utilizing the new economics in the field of agricultural economics. The project was under the chairmanship of Dr. Lange.  Besides myself the other participant was Vittorio Sullam, a refuge from fascist Italy who was also working on a doctor’s. I learned afterwards he was Jewish, although very tall and very blonde. I learned afterwards also that Dr. Lange had come to Raleigh because his wife was Jewish. Anyway, they were all brilliant people and I very much profited from association with them; upon looking back at it, I should have felt a sense of pride that they invited me to co-author this book with them. We did complete the rough manuscript of a book, but so far as I am aware it was never published. As America got into the war our little triumvirate broke up. Lange went back to Sweden, Sullam took a job with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., and I went into the OPA and ultimately the Army.

I enjoyed teaching at NC State, had some fine students, and got along well with them and with the department. Other members of the Econ Department were R. O. Moen, C.L. Shulenberger, a mason, and of course Dean Brown. I had a nice office in Steele Hall, worked carefully on my lectures and presentations and exams, and believe I did a good job.

In Raleigh I immediately found the little Sunday School group meeting in the IOOF Hall which I left an account of elsewhere. After the expiration of that year of teaching I taught first session summer school and during the second session measured cotton for the USDA in Lilesville, of which I have an account elsewhere.

[LJA Diary, 25 May, 1976]

Recollection of the University of Idaho

When I was a junior at the University of Idaho, I was encouraged, particularly by two fellows at the institute who were a year ahead of me in school, William G. Reese and Kent McQueen, to go on to graduate school and to strengthen my chances for getting an assistantship or fellowship. Will G. and Kent were both very bright, both were majoring in psychology, and both expected to do graduate work themselves. Both were from the Preston Idaho area. Both were better acquainted with the academic process than I and had given me good suggestions all the way along.

Will G. and Kent suggested that my chances of getting an assistantship or fellowship were much better if I had a year of graduate work to my credit. They estimated my chances would be multiplied two or three times if I had a year of graduate work on my record. But how could this be done? They pointed out that a person could be classified as a graduate student if he were within four credits of meeting the minimum graduation requirements. I went through my credits and discovered that I could qualify to be listed on graduate status if I took courses during the summer of 1938 (the summer after my junior year), and if I took two correspondence courses. I therefore remained at Moscow during the summer of 1938 and took summer school courses in political science, as a special instructor would be visiting there. While it was impossible to do correspondence work as a full-time student, I could sign up to take a couple of correspondence courses and not turn them in finally until the month intervening between the end of summer school and the beginning of school in the fall. I signed up to do one in social science and another in government and business. I did complete the courses and therefore qualified to be listed as a graduate student concurrently with finishing my senior year at the university. Under these arrangements my application for an assistantship or fellowship was greatly strengthened and helps to explain my success in obtaining worthwhile offers.

[LJA Diary, 4 Jun., 1976]

[Interview of George S. Tanner by Rebecca Cornwall, 15 Jun., 1976.  Tanner was the director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Idaho from 1931 to 1960]

C: You have told me already a lot about evolution and Leonard’s problems with evolution, and so if you have anymore you’d like to tell me about that.

T: Well, why don’t we put it on the tape. I remember very distinctly–this is one of my most vivid memories–one afternoon I was sitting in the office at the LDS Institute and Leonard Arrington–probably a sophomore I would guess–I wouldn’t be sure the year he was–came in, and I could see he was definitely agitated.  He came in and wanted to know if he could talk with me awhile, and I said “You bet, that’s exactly why I’m here. I’m very anxious to talk with students that would like to have me ta1k with them.” And the first thing he said was that “I have been taking some classes.” He didn’t tell me who the professor was–you probably know who that is. He was given some information there that was very upsetting, and he came in and wanted me to tell him all about evolution in one short lesson, which isn’t easy to do–it’s quite a big subject. And he said to me, as near as I can recollect, “Just what is the score on this? Just what is there about evolution?” And I remember my conversation very, very well. I said, “Now Leonard, you’re not the first of our young men to come up here and get upset, and you certainly won’t be the last to come. But I want to tell you just a little bit of the way I’m looking at this thing. There are a lot of classes here at the University in which evolution will appear. Any of the science courses you take–in medicine. There will be so many of the courses you take that evolution will simply be taken for granted, and for someone to completely try to dodge the question of evolution is just quite out of the question and can’t be done.” I said, “Your folks pay taxes. This institution is run on taxes that are paid in the state. The state legislature appropriates money here, and I am sure your father’s paid some of the money that keeps this institution running. And this institution thinks that the courses being taught are good or they wouldn’t put them in. So why don’t you go ahead and study here. Your folk may not agree with what you’ll learn in this course of evolution, but you go right ahead and study and when you’re through with it, you’ll be so much better prepared than to decide whether evolution is good and to pre-judge it. The Bible says, ‘He that judgeth a thing before he hath studied it is not, very wise,’ and I think it is very unwise for anyone to pre-judge evolution. So why don’t you just go ahead and take the courses and don’t try to fight against the material they put in. If you don’t want to believe it, that’s up to you, but go ahead and study it, and when they give you examinations, answer the questions they ask the way you know they want them answered, and if that isn’t the way you feel about it, wait until the course is over and then make up your mind.” That was essentially what I told Leonard. That was forty years ago, but I remember that conversation very vividly.

C: In his diary Leonard says there was quite a stirring among the Institute boys on evolution that year. Was that every year? 

T: I imagine that has been a continual thing. I don’t recall that there was quite a stir, but Leonard himself was quite vocal, and he just may have stirred this up. Now we had a lot of boys there. He will tell you maybe about Bill Reese and Kent McQueen and there were equally bright fellows. Kent McQueen’s IQ may have even been higher than these other boys, and they got most of their evolution from Dr. Barton–went into Barton’s courses on psychology. Half the courses on the campus–if you get away from home economics and music and physical ed. and things like that–half of the courses on the campus will presuppose evolution–take it for granted. They won’t even ask any questions as far as it being a fact. Now, the details of it are something else. And I know Barton just enjoyed warming these fellows up. We had professors on the campus who talked about giving the students the shock treatment. Now I’m not in favor of giving anybody a shock treatment–I don’t think that’s a good way to do it. A developmental type of thing is better than just shaking them loose. Some of them like to shake them loose, and Barton was one of them. And after Barton retired, William H. Boyer, they called him Butch Boyer, became the head of the Psychology Department, and he was more anxious than Barton was to shake them up. So you can easily see why these fellows in the Institute maybe all got pretty well shook up. But Kent McQueen and Bill Reese and others–I think there was a Don Sargent–took a lot of these courses and probably did an unusually large amount of talking during that period. I doubt if there was any other period that I was there that so much of this was discussed. You see, I could have gone in and said to these fellows, “I want you to just get out of those classes and avoid them.” That would have been easy, but that would have been wrong because we need to know about these things. From my point of view, we don’t just learn one side of things. University of Chicago President Hutchins–Robert Maynard Hutchins—said, “Sure we can teach evolution”–he was the president of the University of Chicago. “Sure we teach evolution here and we teach cancer, too, but we don’t expect because we teach cancer that it is good and want everybody to take it, nor do we think because we teach evolution that it is necessarily good and want everybody–but we want to know about it. But we teach all.” Qh, the thing they were talking about to him was Communism. And he says, “We teach Communism here too, and we teach cancer, and that doesn’t mean that they’re good. We teach it so people will know about it–neither for or against it so that they will be informed about it.” And this is what I wanted these fellows to do there at the University was to become informed about evolution, and I’m not going to indoctrinate them for it or against it; I think that’s what God gave us our gray matter for was to use, and I think most of them used it pretty wisely.

Leonard went home and told his parents about evolution, and they became pretty stirred up about what he was learning at college, especially his father. When he found out what this had done to this boy, this broadened him out and gave him a vision of things so he could see the whole picture and nor moral position down there, and his parents think that George Tanner is all right.

C: I haven’t asked Brother Arrington about the talks he had with his parents afterwards.   I’ll have to.

T: Yes, you be sure that you talk with him some about that. There has been a lot of this type of thing go on, and so much of it. I don’t know if I told you when we were talking over the phone, that I was given one time a topic when I was a ward teacher–this was in Sugar City, Idaho; this is the place that has been so completely inundated this last week. And the subject I was to talk about was evolution, and they gave me a high school boy to take out–the subject was evolution. Now whoever did that must have been just a little bit off. Think about a high school kid like that talking about evolution, and I said when we got out there, “Now what do you know about evolution?” And he said, “I don’t know anything about it.” And I said, “What about the people we’re going out to teach?” And he said, “I don’t think they do either.” I said instead of us condemning it–they haven’t said for us whether to be for it or against it. Instead of us being for or against it, why don’t we talk about it a little bit and give them a little picture of what it’s all about.” And everybody that we talked with that I know of was happy to just know a little bit about it. Dr. Widtsoe said quite a bit about it. The Search for Truth is one book that had quite a bit about it–I have several little pamphlets. I’ve got an article by Dr. Eyring up on the campus–a little pamphlet that’s quite long and quite narrow.

[LJA Diary, 15 Jun., 1976]

1. We came to N.C. to recapture the Southern heritage of our children. Grace will tell of her Southern heritage.

2. The Arringtons originally came from N.C. and Tennessee. Converted by missionaries in 1890s. Went to Oklahoma, then early in 20th century to Idaho. My father returns to NC in 1925-26 as missionary. (One woman in congregation told me afterward the was baptized by Dad.) Organized many branches still not existing.

3. LJA to Chapel Hill in 1939. Attends Durham branch. Accept position at NC State in January 1941. Discovered only a Sunday School in Raleigh. Meeting on 4th floor of IOOF Hall, now torn down, immediately south of State Capitol on Fayetteville Street. The first Sunday new Chloe Hodge and mother, Flonnie and Oscar Rogers, and two male missionaries. The next Sunday two sets of missionaries. And, oh yes, the Wiley Tilton family. We continue to meet for Sunday School and preaching services.

4. In fall of 1941, some graduate students from BYU: Bradys, Knudsens, Tanners, and Marion and Jane Henderson. Hold MIA also. Two sets of missionaries still work Raleigh. Discover also Clyde Smith as a professor of entomology at State College. In spring of 1942 Elder McLean organizes a branch. LJA as president, Nyle Brady 1st c., Marion Henderson as 2nd c,, Kenneth Spencer as clerk. Some of us go into the service in spring of 1943, but Branch continues. Get 30 to 40 out to meetings.

5. My first responsibility as branch president a sad one: officiating at funeral of Sister Hodge. But also baptism of Sister Capps.

6. Return at end of war for 6 months, for a year in 1949-50, a few months again in 1952, and for a few days, but not Sunday, in 1949. Grace in 1975.

7. Bear testimony. 

[Notes for LJA talk in Raleigh First Ward, 25 Sept., 1977]

As I mentioned to you in my letter last Tuesday, Kathleen and I mailed the Brigham Young galley proofs-cum page proofs that day. Wednesday Harriet and I drove to BYU. She went on to Springville and spent most of the day at a women’s exhibit at the Springville Art Museum. I talked on the Japanese Relocation Camp at Topaz in Dick Poll’s History of Utah class and spent the rest of the day going through the University of Idaho student newspaper, The Argonaut, for the years I attended the U of I, 1935 to 1939. I went to BYU again Thursday, spent all day, and finished going through the paper and had it returned to the U of I library.

Although I had saved a number of clippings from the paper, I had not saved nearly all of them that I needed to have a full account of my life there. I discovered, for instance, that I was in debate all four years and participated in several tournaments and intercollegiate and public debates each year. I also got full documentation of the organization of the Independent Party, of which I was the first chairman and principal founder. This was a party of the non-Greeks on campus, and we eventually won the class and student body elections the last year I was there. I also got a full account of the Religion and Life week in 1939 which had an impact on my life and thought. This was the occasion when a dozen top religious leaders of various denominations came to the campus and gave talks and held seminars during a Religious Emphasis week. Finally, I found all the articles I had written as the reporter for the College of Agriculture when I was a freshman. It was a very stimulating experience to relive my undergraduate days. The paper came out each Tuesday and Friday. The difference in times is illustrated by a column which ran one year with an article in each issue on a certain faculty member. It was entitled “And they are human, too.” That would be taken for granted today! Our residence hall, the LDS House, consisting of some thirty-five men, during my junior year, got a higher grade point than even the highest women’s house. The first time this ever occurred, and perhaps the last time as well. Our average was 5.2 out of a potential of 6.0. Pretty good average for a house that didn’t pay any attention to grade averages in selecting people to stay there.

[LJA to Children, 18 Nov., 1984]

As I have gone over the materials and documents relating to my life, I have been impressed with the continuity of three themes or emphases. The first is the enormous amount of time I put into the subject of religion–the time I spent writing about it, the massive collection of clippings and excerpts, and the hundreds of pages of typed selections from books and articles that relate to religion. The second is the preoccupation I have had with expressing things well–the large number of quotations from authors of books and articles that express ideas in imaginative and meaningful ways. A third impression is that I have been quite introspective, writing a story of my life when I was ten, again when I was thirteen, and again when I was fourteen; keeping diaries with some personal impressions of people and events when I was thirteen, when I went back to the FFA Conventions when I was seventeen and again when I was eighteen and nineteen, writing letters everyday when I was in the Army, keeping a full diary during the first year I was at Utah State, and the full diary I kept when I was Church Historian. And of course, the personal history I wrote with the assistance of Becky Cornwall in 1976. I am sure that I must have had a mistaken sense of my own importance to have been so preoccupied with my own thoughts and experiences.

During my junior year in high school I took typing, perhaps the single most important thing I did. During that year, as a part of my typing practices and at the same time to be serviceable in other interests, I typed my debate speeches, FFA speeches, material that I used in debate and FFA work, my 2 1/2 minute talks in church, and excerpts from books and articles I read that were interesting and well-expressed. I did the same my senior year, although I was very busy on correspondence connected with my jobs as state president and national vice president of the FFA. Most of these typescripts I still have.

When I went to the University of Idaho I was required, as a student in agricultural sciences, to take botany, zoology, agronomy, horticulture, and chemistry. It was inevitable that I should be confronted with the necessity of reconciling science and religion, and so my papers include countless pages of typed quotations from books and personal thoughts and essays that deal with this problem. This interest in religion in relation to higher learning continued during all four years I was at the University even though, at the end of my freshman year, I shifted out of agriculture into arts and sciences. Once again, my papers include copies of letters I wrote, copies of significant statements and paragraphs in novels and books that I read, papers I wrote for English classes, debate talks, and my thoughts on a variety of subjects, particularly religion. I have whole notebooks full of papers—notes from lectures, quotations from books I read, talks I gave, and so on. It is very clear that I was preoccupied with religion and must have spent a good deal of my time, despite studies and work, reading and writing about it.

A very significant thing happened when I was a senior at the University. It was a very busy time for me. My partner, Leslie McCarthy, and I were the University’s Number One debate team and we did considerable traveling to various universities to debate other schools. At the same time I was the chairman of the Independent Students party and I had been elected by them as a member of the Associated Students Executive Board. I thus participated in regular meetings to discuss matters relating to student government. Having determined that I should apply for a fellowship to pursue graduate work I was engaged in writing various universities to apply for graduate assistantships and fellowships. Finally, I was the economics department assistant and spent much time reading papers and coaching athletes, sorority girls, and fraternity students. All of this in addition to studying for my various classes, for I was determined to impress all of my professors that I was an “A” student and deserved good letters of recommendation. My transcript shows that I did receive A’s in such courses as advanced economic theory, history of economic thought, business cycles, international economics, statistics, and graduate seminars in economics and philosophy.

But the single most important thing that happened during my senior year, so far as my ultimate career was concerned, was the University sponsorship of a “Religion in Life” week. This was the first year this conference was held at Moscow, and, I think, the last. Held in March 1939, the conference was supported by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, the National Intercollegiate Christian Council, the Council of Church Boards of Education, and by the Student Christian Volunteer Movement. Locally, the week was supported by the Idaho Institute of Christian Education, the Moscow Inter-Church Council, and the Moscow LDS Institute. During the week of March 12 to 16 the campus was host to about a dozen speakers from the principal churches. Although most of them represented the major Christian denominations–Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Disciples of Christ, there were also representatives from the Jewish and Buddhist faiths. Our LDS Institute director, George Tanner, managed to persuade Frank West, church commissioner of education, to go to Moscow to represent the LDS Church, but at the last minute he came down with the flu and we ended up with no LDS speaker. Each of the invited speakers was invited to stay with a particular fraternity or sorority, to participate in evening “rump sessions” at these, and to “hold forth” in a public discussion each day at 4 p.m. There were general assemblies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday for all students and faculty which were well attended because classes were dismissed.

The invited lecturers included persons prominent in the educational programs of the major denominations. Those that I remember included Dr. James R. Branton, of Linfield College, a Baptist College in McMinnville, Oregon, near Portland; Dr. Grace Sloan Overton, of the University of Michigan, who was a popular lecturer on Christian marriage and the home for the Methodist Church; and Dr. Jesse M. Bader, director of the University Christian Missions. But the most distinguished and most eloquent was Dr. Benjamin Mays, dean of religion at Howard University, then a black university in Washington, D.C. Dr. Mays gave the opening general assembly talk in our Field House. It was perhaps the single most eloquent talk I have ever heard. Dr. Mays, who just died this spring at the age of 89, went on to become president of Morehouse College, a black university in Atlanta founded at the end of the Civil War. The son of sharecroppers, Mays once told his students, “They can make you sit in the back of the streetcar, but no one can confine a mind.” One Morehouse graduate who took that advice to heart was the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who called Mays “my spiritual mentor and my intellectual father.” Mays gave the eulogy at King’s funeral.

Hearing Dr. Mays was an important experience for me, not only for his manner of presenting religion and Christianity, but also because he was the first black educator I had encountered. It was helpful for me to have had exposure to a prominent black educator before I went to North Carolina that fall.

Even more important, perhaps, was learning how to present and discuss religious questions before a public body. These educators were frank, open, and informative. They were neither dogmatic nor opinionated. They listened, were respectful of students and their questions, and discussed religious questions in a manner that was serious, meaningful, and sometimes eloquent. They did not avoid difficult problems, were willing to express personal opinions, and were skilled in utilizing humor to maintain interest and good feeling. There was no attempt to convert, no downgrading of dissenting opinions, no attempt to play on the emotions. These presentations were good models for me as I later made presentations of my own in Mutual, Sunday School, and priesthood classes; in talks to young people’s groups in my own and other churches; and in my articles on religious subjects for various professional publications.

One final outcome of the Religion and Life week was a product of the failure to have an LDS speaker. In each presentation to which I listened I kept thinking, “We ought to have this said in LDS language; we need an LDS version of that; these things should be expressed making use of our own LDS revelations and insights.” With both delight and complete surprise I have found among my papers of this period the preface and outline of a book I proposed to write under the title, “Growing Up Religiously.” Apparently written the weekend after Religion in Life week was over, it suggested a treatment of the Mormon conception of the good life. This involved, I wrote, the harmonization and realization of qualities that sometimes seem to work in opposition to each other. The qualities I listed were: honesty, sincerity, courage, temperance, tolerance, understanding, kindliness, cheerfulness, a sense of life and destiny, and love for people. I wrote, “It is the togetherness of all these that represents the attainment of perfection. Not the attention to each separately, but the synchronization and harmonizing of all of them.” I also typed out many pages which I still have under the general heading of “Thoughts on Religion by L.A.” Obviously, the Religion in Life week had affected me profoundly even though, at that particular time, I was also heavily engaged in debate, campus politics, economics, my job, and trying to obtain a graduate scholarship.

The summer that followed, when working on the farm as a chief irrigator for some two hundred acres, I took time to read, and most of it on religion. I read three novels by Theodore Dreiser, two books on science and religion, Vardis Fisher’s Children of God, several books on philosophy, and no doubt other things as well.

In the fall of 1939 I went to the University of North Carolina, enrolled in graduate classes in economics, taught a daily class in beginning economics, and read widely in the field so as to acquaint myself with all the literature. Nevertheless, I find among my papers many typescripts of excerpts from novels and non-fictional works that had no relationship to my economics courses. It is clear from my notes that I read dozens of books, about evenly divided between economics on the one hand, and religion, philosophy, and literature on the other. I also wrote many memoranda on note pads with observations on various topics, particularly on religion.

Although these recorded comments, made during the year and a half I was at Chapel Hill (September 1939 to December 1940), were considerable, the next period of systematic and extensive writing was during the first few months I was in Raleigh, that is, January 1941 through August 1942. My writing during that period includes: eight chapters on economics for a textbook on principles of agricultural economics; two long term papers for a class in rural sociology; a series of lectures for a class in religion for our LDS Mutual group in Raleigh; and outlines and “position papers” for a book I hoped to write under the tentative title “The Social Philosophy of a Latter Day Saint.” The latter was to include chapters on the LDS view of “The Nature of Man” and “The Nature of Society,” both of which I wrote, and projected chapters on such things as Mormon economics, Mormon social patterns, Mormon culture, and so on.

It was during these months that I discovered the professional and semi-professional literature, thin as it was, on Mormon history, economics, and sociology. I read all the books in the N. C. State library that dealt with the Mormons, read what the encyclopedias had to say; read the interesting articles in the Improvement Era which, during those particular years, featured articles by outstanding and thoughtful Latter-day Saint religionists, scientists, and social scientists: John A. Widtsoe, Lowell Bennion, G. Homer Durham, William Mulder, Ralph Chamberlin, Heber Snell, Franklin S. Harris, Harold Christensen, Parley Christensen, and William R. Palmer. These and other competent scholars were writing articles for the manuals for Mutual and Sunday School classes, and texts for classes at BYU and in the church Institute and seminary system. It was all very exciting to me, as it was to LDS intellectuals throughout the church. The influence of John A. Widtsoe, James E. Talmage, B.H. Roberts, Orson F. Whitney, Richard R. Lyman, Joseph F. Merrill, all of whom were intellectuals, and at the same time General Authorities, was clearly felt. I suppose that, as a budding economist, I was anxious to study and interpret our LDS experiences and thoughts from the viewpoint of an economist. So far as my records show, however, I gave no thought to the possibility of doing a dissertation on the subject, as I later came to do after World War II.

The most important impressions I gained out of this year and a half of study were: that the Mormon experience was a subject worthy of scholarly endeavor; that the scholarly study of LDS history, culture, and thought were receiving the encouragement of our General Authorities; and that educated non-Mormons would regard a scholarly interpretation of Mormon history and policy with respect. These impressions stayed with me, and undoubtedly influenced me to decide, during my years overseas with the Army, that I should return to the West and write my doctoral dissertation on the role of the Mormon Church in the economic development of the West.

Three factors prompted me to do this writing and studying about religion and Mormonism in 1941 and 1942. First, the class in rural sociology, which introduced me to a whole literature about rural life patterns that helped me relate what I was thinking about at a more advanced level to my experience on the farm and in the FFA. Second, I started to have dates with an economics department secretary, Doris Freeman, who was a Baptist and provoked me into doing some writing and thinking about Mormonism in relation to other religions. This tendency was accelerated when I met Grace in October 1941. She was very interested in religion, asked a thousand questions, requested specific information on Mormon history and thought, attended our Mutual classes, and was a catalyst for many of my ideas. Third, in the fall of 1941, about the time I met Grace, four BYU couples came to Raleigh to do doctorates at N. C. State. That they were thoughtful and well-educated persons who were bound to have a significant influence on my life and thought is indicated by their subsequent careers. Nyle Brady, later became, in succession, professor of Soils at Cornell, head of the Soils Department there, head of research in the Department of Agriculture in Washington, and director of the International Rice Institute in Manila. Russell Knudsen became a professor of math at Purdue and eventually a dean. Champ Tanner became professor of soils at Wisconsin, and later head of the department there. Marion Henderson intended to get a degree in agricultural economics and rural sociology but, as his family rapidly grew, went into business in Raleigh and eventually became the first LDS stake president there.

As this “invasion” occurred, our tiny little Raleigh group of four families responded by allowing me to arrange for a mutual class, of which I served as the teacher and leader, which sponsored dances, dinners, and entertainments, and also conducted weekly classes on religion, philosophy, history, and so on. I still have some of the class outlines I prepared, and it is clear that they were the equivalent of graduate level instruction in various aspects of religious thought and practice. They dealt not only with LDS thought and practice but went beyond that as well. All of our LDS people were loyal, including some who drifted in later, and we eventually organized a branch, of which I was the first president and remained so until I was drafted into the Army. It was an exciting experience for me, intellectually and emotionally.

This was not the final period of intense religious study and writing, for it was to bear fruit in a few months of intense productivity several years later. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and our declaration of war against both Germany and Japan, I made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain an appointment as an officer in the Navy and Air Force. That failing, in the fall of 1942 I obtained a position as economic analyst with the North Carolina Office of Price Administration. I worked energetically on that job until I was drafted into the Army in March 1943. After almost three years I returned to Raleigh in January 1946 to teach at Meredith College and N. C. State. I passed my language exams in Italian and French, arranged to do a doctoral dissertation on an aspect of Western economic development, and secured a job at Utah State University (then Utah State Agricultural College). 

During the first years in Logan, we remodeled our home, I taught a variety of economics classes at USAC, I did research in the Church Archives in the summers, and we began our family with the birth of James in 1948. During the academic year 1949-1950 I applied for leave without pay, obtained a scholarship from the Committee on Research and Economics and took Grace and James to Raleigh, where I enrolled for a year of classes at UNC. I did well in the course work, withstood the preliminary oral test in the spring, passed the written exams, and returned to USAC prepared to continue research and get a dissertation written. 

Something must have happened to stimulate me during that year in Chapel Hill (I stayed in a graduate dorm during the week and hitchhiked to Raleigh on weekends). My professors must have encouraged me to publish, and perhaps I had time to work up my research notes. At any rate, upon our return to Logan in the fall of 1950, I completed and sent for publication in professional journals no less than four professional papers within a period of four months. This momentum continued throughout 1951, though not quite at the same rate. I read my first professional paper to the Utah Academy, sent off my first book review to a professional journal (The Southern Economic Journal), and completed and mailed article after article to professional journals. More or less in the order of mailing them off, I sent:

“The Deseret Telegraph: A Church-Owned Public Utility,” sent to the Journal of Economic History and published in the spring 1951 issue.

“Zion’s Board of Trade: A Third United Order,” sent to the Western

Humanities Review and published in the Winter 1950-51 issue.

“The Transcontinental Railroad and Mormon Economic Policy,” sent to the Pacific Historical Review and published in the May 1951 issue.

“Property Among the Mormons,” sent to Rural Sociology and published in the December 1951 issue.

“Taming the Turbulent Sevier: A Chapter of Mormon Desert Conquest,” sent to Western Humanities Review and published in their August 1951 issue.

“Iron Manufacturing in Southern Utah in the 1880s: The Iron

Manufacturing Company of Utah,” sent to the Business History

Review and published in their September 1951 issue.

“Brigham Young and the Transcontinental Telegraph Line,” sent to the Improvement Era, which published it in the July 1951 issue. 

Several other articles were published within the next year or two in the Utah Historical Quarterly, a second article in Pacific Historical Review, my third and fourth articles in the Western Humanities Review, and additional papers delivered and abstracts of them published in the Proceedings of the Utah Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters. These were among the finest articles I have ever published. All of this in preparation for my 449-page dissertation, which used two or three of my papers as chapters but, more important, used the findings of some of the other articles as raw material for constructing some of the chapters. 

That dissertation, incidentally, was written during January, February, and the first week of March, 1952. I had taken a half-year’s leave without pay from USAC to work on it. Submitted to my committee in Chapel Hill in March, it was read and approved, and Grace and I and James and Carl then drove to Chapel Hill during the latter part of March, where we had the dissertation typed, passed the final oral or “defense” and received the Ph.D. 

During all of this intense period of productivity, Grace was pregnant with Carl Wayne (he was born in September 1951), James was growing into boyhood (he was three in December 1951), and we were busy in church and family life. I shouldn’t wonder if Grace felt neglected during that period, the most productive professionally I have ever had. I now wonder if I gave her all the support she needed and wanted. But it was an exciting period for me intellectually, for I was now making my own contributions to Mormon historical and professional literature. Moreover, these publications pushed me publicly into the world of Mormon scholarship. I received letters from many of the leading scholars, was visited by many of them, was invited to deliver lectures to civic clubs, study groups, and university classes, and was recognized as an important contributor to Mormon history and economics. 

This newly won status was officially ratified when I was invited to speak to and join the Mormon Seminar being organized at the University of Utah by William Mulder and Sterling McMurrin. Although I did not attend all the meetings of this group, I did attend frequently enough to become acquainted with many prominent Mormon educators and scholars, particularly older ones whose primary contributions had been made during the 1920s, 30s, and ’40s. All of them were complimentary and encouraging. Perhaps the most satisfying commendation came from Lowell Bennion, director of the Institute of Religion at the University of Utah and probably the single most respected author and educator in the church. It was he who had started the process of my acquisition of a testimony of the truth of the Restored Gospel with his manual, Why Religion, which I had studied as part of a Mutual assignment while I was still in high school. It was this manual which had pointed out that Mormonism is the truth, that it incorporates all truth, whether from science, art, or theology; and that primary beliefs of the church are the law of eternal progression and the belief that we must be ever dedicated to seeking knowledge by learning and by faith. That same Lowell Bennion wrote to me early in 1952, after having read four or five of my articles: “Leonard, we like your realistic yet constructive tone. We want to encourage you in this, hoping you can avoid the extremes of ‘chip on the shoulder’ on the one hand or the justifying the mistakes on the other. Mormonism is hard to write about objectively and sympathetically. You are in a rich field that really interests us.”

In the years that followed that year and a half of prodigious scholarly output (July 1950 to the end of 1951), I have continued to write and publish professional papers. I have published books, given lectures, assisted in organizing the Mormon History Association and Western History Association, and served ten years as Church Historian. All of this, in a way, is the end product of those years of thought and study as an undergraduate at the University of Idaho and as a graduate at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. 

[The Beginnings of My Interest in Mormon Scholarship; LJA Diary, Christmas 1984]

Saturday, April 8, 1950, the day I took my “preliminary oral examination” for the Ph. D. at the University of North Carolina, was a day of judgment, a day of reckoning.

The process of earning a Ph. D. in economics during the years I was at the University of North Carolina is not well understood. When I was at the University of Idaho, my friend Will G. Reese, a year ahead of me, a brilliant psychology student, and a fellow resident of the LDS Institute in Moscow, had told me in the spring of 1938, before his own graduation, that if I planned to go on for graduate work I could get a head start by completing requirements for the B.A. by the fall of 1938. The University, he pointed out, would allow a person to enter graduate school if he or she was within four credits of graduation. He and I counted up the number of credits I had earned. By going full-time during the summer, and by taking courses by correspondence during the interim between the end of summer school and the beginning of fall semester, I could then declare that I was then only four credits from having enough to graduate and could thus get credit for a full year of graduate study while I was finishing my senior year. I could then apply for a graduate fellowship or scholarship as an “advanced” graduate student; i.e., with one year already behind me.

This I did. During the summer session I took a seminar in contemporary philosophy from Dr. C. W. Chenoweth, a popular lecturer; World Politics, from former Congressman Burton L. French; and National Government and Administration from Prof. Chamberlain prof. of political science and later a dean at Columbia University. During the intersession I took correspondence courses in Money ant Banking from Dean Farmer of the Business College; and Current Social and Political Problems from Dean T. S. Kerr of the College of Arts & Sciences. I received an A in all these courses, and thus was listed as doing concurrent graduate study during my senior year.

For graduate training, I needed to have a scholarship of some kind. I had no funds and I knew my parents would not give me anything. Scholarships were not all that common in the thirties. We had just been through a depression and universities were not well funded. I talked with Dr. Erwin Graue, my department head, and with others, about schools to try. My recollection is that I applied to eleven different universities, including; Oklahoma, Duke, Princeton, Columbia, Illinois, Univ. of California at Berkeley, University of North Carolina, Cincinnati, Louisiana State, and Chicago. I received scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Duke, and University of North Carolina. The largest offer was from UNC, a $500 Kenan Teaching Fellowship. This paid my tuition, and paid $500 for teaching one class each quarter in beginning economics. I learned later that they had only two Kenan fellowships; the other was given to a teacher at Louisiana State. They had never given a fellowship or assistantship to anyone from west of the Mississippi, and so the award to me was based on my good academic record, my year of graduate work at Idaho, my winning the Rhodes Scholarship nomination from Idaho, my service as an assistant to the economics department at Moscow, my representing the University in debate, and the high recommendations of Dr. Graue; I do not recall that they had the national Graduate Record Examination at the time.

When I entered the Ph. D. program in September 1939 they expected that it would require at least three years to complete the course work because I would be teaching one course each quarter and thus could not take a full load. Beyond that, they thought it would take at least two years to do the dissertation. And, of course, I would have to pass examinations in French and German. The courses I would be required to take covered ten broad fields of economics: economic theory, history of economic thought, economic history, business cycles, labor economics, money and banking, public policy, public finance, resource economics, and international economics. I had at least one course in each of these fields, and in some of them as many as three courses. 

In these graduate seminars they did not gave A, B, C grades, but only P or Fail. P meant A or B. I received a P in all my courses, so no problem getting credit. Whether I was an average graduate student or superior, I had no way of knowing. They renewed my Kenan Fellowship for the second year.

After four quarters of work, the department chairman came to me and said that

Prof. Green at N. C. State in Raleigh hat a heart attack and they needed someone to take his place for the winter and spring quarters. They would pay $800, and they would like me to accept. It meant a delay in my Ph. D. program, but it would be a favor to N. C. State, would give me some experience in teaching, and, if I wished, I might take graduate courses in agricultural economics and rural sociology at N. C. State and count then toward my Ph. D. program. I accepted the offer and went to Raleigh. I remained there from January 1941 to April 1943, when I went into the U. S. Army. In the meantime, I spent the summer of 1941 at Chapel Hill and took several courses, thus completing much of my Ph. D. program.

I was in the Army from April 1943 to January 1946. Upon returning, I was given my job back at N. C. State. Having married, I now looked for a “permanent” position in a department in the West and received the best offer from Utah State. I began teaching there in the fall of 1946 and remained there until the spring of 1972.

While I was at N. C. State in the winter and spring of 1946 I arranged to have Italian accepted as one of my Ph. D. language requirements in lieu of German, and passed the exam without difficulty. So that was one language completed.

After three years at Utah State, Sept. 1946 to June 1949, I asked for leave without pay, and with some financing by the G. I. Bill (Public Law 346) I enrolled for a year at UNC to finish up requirements for the Ph. D.; i.e., all but the dissertation. This meant: (1) passing the examination in French, which I did on the first go-round, even though a very difficult examination; (2) taking a full course load each of three quarters and passing all courses; (3) taking a series of written examinations on course work done as a graduate student; (4) and taking the preliminary oral examination, which accepts or rejects the student as a candidate for the Ph. D. If all of these are surmounted, one then writes a dissertation, submits it to his dissertation committee, and when they are satisfied with it, does a public “defense of thesis.” If one passes that examination, he is then granted the Ph. D. at the next Commencement.

A word about the courses. A few of them are intended for advanced undergraduates and graduates alike. But the majority of them, or at least the “key” ones, are seminars. These are usually not lecture classes. The students sit around a large table with the professor for a morning or an afternoon once or twice a week. There are individual reports, group discussion, and presentation of research papers. In interaction with fellow graduate students one developed the ability to discuss and criticize reports and papers by peers. In such seminars, reinforced by many course exams and individual reading, one prepares for the formidable “Preliminary Oral” that gives him or her permission to write the dissertation and finish out the degree.

Having filled the requirements, one is now ready for the supreme test. On the one hand, one is terrified at the prospect; on the other hand, one must surmount it if one wants “the carrying card” of the profession. The exam is the professional equivalent to the ritual of coming-of-age in primitive societies in which, after days and nights of a frenzy of dancing and chanting, one is prepared to walk on hot coals or eat the flesh of an enemy one has killed or dive to the bottom of the lake. Or, to change the image, it is the supreme moment of trial to the olympic athlete, who has gone through years of training and competition and is now poised for the effort that would test whether all of this would prove out, whether it would end in triumph or ignominy. Passing the test was by a no means automatic. I was told that three persons had failed the exam in the previous year, and the person who had taken the preliminary oral just prior to mine had not survived. The possibility of failure was real.

Shortly after the end of the winter quarter at UNC, on March 28, 1950, the department chairman, John B. Woosley, announced that my preliminary oral would be held at 9:30 am on Saturday April 8, 1950, in Bingham Hall (the economics building) room 108. I would be examined in five fields, with 25 minutes allotted to each. Professors Milton Heath and Frank Kettke would examine me on public policy. Professor Daniel H. Buchanan would examine me on economic history. Professor Clarence Heer would examine me on public finance. Professor G. W. Forster would examine me on agricultural economics. Professor C. Horace Hamilton would examine me on rural sociology. In addition, Professor Dudley Cowden would be there to examine me on statistics, a requirement of every candidate for the doctorate. Professor Clarence Philbrook, a pipe-smoking, tough-minded theorist, would be there to question me on economic theory, also a requirement of every candidate, and Professors Olin T. Mouzon and Harry Wolf would question me on resource economics and labor economics because I had had courses from both of them. The allocated time for these last was twenty-five minutes.

As the date of the exam approached, I reviewed notes I had made for all my classes, I anticipated questions that might be asked and formulated responses in my mind, and I tried to be calm and confident. I learned that it was customary for each candidate to go to each of the examiners to see if they had any specific suggestions of books or articles to read, as preparation. Most of them said, simply, “Arrington, you know what you ought to do to be prepared; go to it!” I began to get apprehensive. I had the advantage of having taught courses in many fields at Utah State. I had taught classes in economic principles, intermediate theory, economic history, government regulation of business, history of economic thought, money and banking, and labor economics. I decided that the only problems I had were in economic theory and statistics. Although I had taught a class in statistics at Utah State, it was not a field that I felt confident in. And as for theory, everybody knew that Philbrook could toss impossible questions. He was to be feared. On the other hand, I felt that the chairman of my graduate committee, Milton Heath, would be helpful and supportive, and he was the senior member of the department, well respected by everyone.

As the day of reckoning came ever closer, I became terrified of what

Cowden might do to me on statistics. I went through his text, Applied General Statistics and tried manfully to digest all of it. This became a preoccupation—too much of a preoccupation. The night before the exam–the one night I must have a good sleep in order to be alert and articulate at the examination, I tossed and turned, slept hardly at all, tried to prepare in my mind answers to hypothetical questions Cowden might ask. One strange thing happened. I don’t know how to explain it. We were staying in Nana’s home on 1632 Bickett Boulevard, in Raleigh. It was a bright night, with a full moon. It was a lovely time of the year in North Carolina. Azaleas were out, dogwoods were blooming, the air was scented with fragrance from many flowers. Sometime around 10 p.m. a mockingbird stationed himself on a tree outside our bedroom window and began to sing. Although it seems incredible, he sang all night! What a comforting thought, what a consolation, what a pleasant diversion! I have felt partial to mockingbirds ever since.

We drove over to Chapel Hill the next morning and Grace remained in the Carolina Inn while I went to my Thermopylae. All of the interlocutors were there, plus a few others–everyone in the department was invited, and some of the advanced graduate students. It is now thirty-eight years since the exam and of course I cannot remember any of the questions. I thought I did particularly well on the questions of Heath, Kottke, Buchanan, Heer, Forster, and Hamilton. The moment of terror came when they called on Cowden. Professor Cowden, a noted national authority on statistics and author of the text most widely used in the nation, started out laconically, “Mr. Arrington, have you ever taught a course in statistics?” Of course I had. “What text did you use?” Before I could respond, Dr. Forster objected. It was an unfair question, he said. But Cowden knew what he was doing. “What text did you use?” While Forster continued to murmur, I smiled a little and said I had used Croxton and Cowden, Applied General Statistics. Cowden ginned and said, “You showed very good judgment; I pass.” 

That was all the quizzing on statistics; huge sigh of relief.

On theory, Philbrook had a question or two, which were intended to intimidate me, I think. I responded easily to the first; no problem. On the second, I hesitated for a moment and Dr. Heath began to phrase the question differently, so the answer would be obvious. There was a little argument between Heath and Philbrook, but respectful of his elders, the brash young Philbrook yielded to Heath. I gave the obvious answer and that was that.

The examination lasted the fun two hours and one-half–until noon. In fact, it was slightly after noon that I was shown out of the room. I was told to wait in the hallway for the judgment of the committee. In about ten or fifteen minutes, Dr. Heath exited the room and looked for me, took me back into the room, and declared, in front of all of them, that they had unanimously declared me “Passed.” There was then some applause, which took me by surprise. I had passed!

I headed for Grace, we had lunch at the Carolina Inn. She hat a terrible headache, induced no doubt by my tossing and turning the night before–by my own seeming lack of confidence. But she took some pills and was all right by evening.

In retrospect, I think I did well, but I felt better with it behind me. As I recall, having been passed, I simply did not attend any more classes. That part of my training was completed. It was now, finish the dissertation and get the degree.

Grace and I and little Jamie returned by car to Logan in June 1950. I resumed teaching at Utah State, completed the dissertation by March 1952, drove to Chapel Hill that month, took the final defense in April, tuned in the approved dissertation in May, and returned to Logan in June. The certificate of my Ph. D. degree, dated August 22, 1952, is on my wall. 

[The Day of Reckoning; LJA Diary, 22 Jun., 1988]

I have been asked to say a few words about how I happened to write Great

Basin Kingdom. Doing so will give me the opportunity of giving credit to several people that were particularly helpful.

It was my good fortune to do my graduate work at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. When I went there, in 1939, the South was going through a cultural renaissance, and North Carolina professors were leading the way. There were a group of poets, novelists, playwrights, and journalists reasserting the legends and historical incidents of the Old South–John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, Paul Green, Thomas Wolfe, W. J. Cash, W. T. Couch, and Jonathan Daniels; there was the scholarly concentration on regional studies by Howard W. Odum, Rupert Vance, Samuel H. Hobbs, C. Horace Hamilton, and other sociologists; and there was Milton S. Heath, my graduate advisor, in Economics. Heath always insisted that as I became immersed in Southern studies, I should expect to return to the West and do studies of the economics and history of my native region.

While exhilarating in this intellectual ferment, to my great surprise, in the spring of 1941, I read the description of a Mormon village in T. Lynn Smith’s Sociology of Rural Life. With mounting excitement I read similar commentaries about Mormon life in the works of other sociologists, both Mormons and non-Mormons. I found studies of Mormon communities by Lowry Nelson, which led me to a search for other articles and books on the secular aspects of Mormon life–works by historians, economists, historians, and folklorists. I was particularly fascinated to find an article published by Richard T. Ely in Harper’s in 1903 on “Economic Aspects of Mormonism.” I happened to meet Ely in the annual convention of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia in December 1941, and mentioned to him how much I enjoyed that article. He then gave me a personal lecture on the importance of the Mormons in American history and their praiseworthiness as a people. It was all a heady brew (that’s not a very good image, is it?) for an aspiring graduate student who happened to be an Idaho Mormon chicken farmer.

All of this did not jell, however, until I was in Italy during World War

II. In July 1945, two months after the surrender of Germany, I was located at Milan and began to think about what would happen when I was finally discharged and could return to North Carolina to complete graduate work and write a dissertation. I find in my files the carbon of a letter I wrote at that time to Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former president of the Utah State University and the University of Utah, and then an apostle of the LDS Church, in which I asked him if he thought a dissertation on the economic institutions and activities of the Mormons would be practical. He replied, in a letter I still prize, that such a study would be desirable, that there was ample material, and that he was aware of the difficulty of gaining access to the materials in the Church Archives. With respect to the latter, he wrote that if, at the beginning of my research, I asked them only for printed materials, and as the days and weeks went by, gradually progressed on to theses, scrapbooks, ward records, diaries, and name files, and if I patronized the library regularly, worked quietly, and kept my nose clean, he was sure that, in the end, they would give me access to everything I wanted to see. This, of course, is what eventually happened, and I was able to examine a large number of documents that had previously not been seen by any professional scholar.

At any rate, with this encouraging response, I planned, upon my return to Chapel Hill and Raleigh, to do a dissertation on some aspect of Mormon economics. My graduate advisor approved, wrote letters of support to economics departments in Western universities, and I finally received an appointment to Utah State University, where I remained for twenty-six happy years.

I went there in the summer of 1946, began research immediately in the LDS Archives, and continued with that research in the summers of 1947, 1948, and 1949. I worked through the Journal History, day by day, 1847 to 1906. I returned to North Carolina for completion of graduate course work in 1949-1950, finished language requirements, took the preliminary oral and final written exams, and wrote several essays on Mormon economic policies and institutions in preparation for the dissertation, which I finished in the spring of 1952 and took the final oral. (1. Women 2. Extent of coop institutions 3. Diaries of ordinary people, not just BY)

At that time, my advisor, Dr. Heath, thought I should give serious consideration to publishing an expanded version of the dissertation through the Committee on Research in Economic History, which had a grant from Rockefeller to publish several volumes on American Economic History through Harvard University Press. Upon Dr. Heath’s recommendation, that Committee sent me a grant to work on the manuscript, and I finally finished an 800-page manuscript in the summer of 1954. Under the title, “Building the Kingdom: Mormon Economic Activities in the West, 1847 to 1900” I sent the manuscript off to the Committee and it was read by Lewis Atherton, Edward Kirkland, and Herbert Heaton. They wrote long commentaries, with many helpful suggestions, both specific and general. I worked through them and had a manuscript ready within a year. But the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that the manuscript was, in the words of my colleague, George Ellsworth, a wonderful piece of research from which a splendid history could be written. It was too detailed, it didn’t have any central theme, it was, to be honest, tedious and dull. I was due for a sabbatical from Utah State, so my department head and I decided to use it rewriting the book. I applied for a six-month fellowship to the Huntington Library and a six-month fellowship to Yale. Both were granted, so we headed first for Southern California in the fall of 1956. Huntington was good enough to give me an office, opposite from that of Allan Nevins, I am proud to say, and I began the new work. Huntington was excited with what I was doing and soon promised a full-year fellowship, so we ended up not going to Yale. At the rate of one chapter per month, I wrote Great Basin Kingdom, completing it in the fall of 1957. It was accepted with hardly any alterations by the Committee, and it was published by Harvard Press in 1958. Some of my colleagues were surprised that it was more history than economics. So was I. But not chagrined. My fellow economists were as pleased as I.

That is not the whole story of the book, however. When I had begun my work on Mormon economics in the summer and fall of 1946, I was fortunate to have helpful interviews with several Utah scholars and oldtimers. I was able to talk with William Wallace, often called the father of Utah irrigation, who was old enough to have been with his father when he had a private consultation with Brigham Young in the 1870s. Charles C. Richards, then 96, told me about some financial dealings of the Church I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. So did LeRoi C. Snow, secretary to the Church’s First Presidency at the turn of the century. I talked with Ephraim Ericksen, Joseph Geddes, Feramorz Y. Fox, Preston Nibley, Dale Morgan, Wilfrid Poulson, T. Edgar Lyon, Leland Creer, A. C. Lambert, Juanita Brooks, with my department head, Evan Murray, and other Mormon scholars whose names will be familiar to many here tonight. When I went back East in 1949 I was able to have interviews with Oscar and Mary Flug Handlin, Frederick Merk, and Arthur H. Cole, each of whom did not hesitate to stress the importance of the Mormons in American history and to emphasize that I must follow through. Cole, a typical Harvard man, even offered to get me a job in a respectable eastern university so I wouldn’t have to remain at that “agricultural college out in, where was it, Utah or Idaho or somewhere!”

A red-letter event occurred in December 1950, when I met George Ellsworth, who had come to join our faculty in the Department of History. It was very exciting to me, and I was all a-tingle. With a brilliant mind, sound training in history at Berkeley, a precise writing style, and helpful manner, George was just the person to tutor me in the intricacies of Mormon history, literature, and historiography. With Gene Campbell, who had just come to the Logan Institute of Religion and who had a Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern California, and Wendell Rich, also at the Institute in Mormon philosophy, we formed a little group that met once a month in our homes to read papers and benefit from each other’s scholarly criticism. I also took two seminars from Professor Ellsworth. What I learned from him was indispensable in writing Great Basin Kingdom. He was a great and generous teacher, and when I finished the draft chapters, I sent them to him, and his comments were very helpful. I owe much to him, and I am happy he is here so that I can acknowledge all this in his presence.

Other important and profitable conversations were held with Thomas O’Dea, Bill Mulder, Austin and Alta Fife, Richard Poll, Gus Larson, Russell Mortensen,

Everett Cooley, and Merle Wells. There are evidences of all these conversations in Great Basin Kingdom and other things I published afterward. I should also mention my students, some of who are here this evening, from whom I learned a great deal—about Utah, about Mormonism, and about the art of communication. In regard to the reception of the book, I need to say three things. The first is that it came out in the fall of 1958 when we were on a Fulbright in Italy. I didn’t see a copy of the book until the week after Christmas, and of course did not return until the following July, so there was no promotion, autograph parties, no presentation occasions. As far as I am aware, not a word about it was said in any of the Salt Lake newspapers.

The second thing is that as the book began to be sold and read, particularly by historians and graduate students, I began to get letters, complimenting me on the book and then asking me, ever so timidly, ever so obliquely, whether I was a Mormon. They suggested that they had been unable to determine my religious affiliation by reading the book. If I was a Mormon, why wasn’t the treatment more faith-promoting; if I was a Gentile, how could it be so even-handed and fair? Among those in the audience this evening is a professor at BYU who assigned the book to the forty students in his History of Utah class and required them to write a review of it. Then, on the final exam, he asked them to assess whether the author of the book was a Mormon. He sent me a copy of their responses. Roughly half of them concluded I was a Mormon, the other half that I was not. This was perhaps the supreme compliment that a book like this could have been given. (Insert John Hughes)

One other episode deserves mention. No less a person than that distinguished political scientist, Edward C. Banfield, author of The Moral Basis of a Backward Society and other important books, now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, came all the way to Logan to meet me to determine whether I was a Mormon and to what extent a faithful one. We invited him and his wife to dinner, of course, and as soon as we knelt in front of the table to have our prayer, he was ready to go home; he had his answer. Whether this surprised or pleased him, we were never able to determine, but it was clear that the book had made him sufficiently curious to learn whether a book like Great Basin Kingdom could have been written by a historian and social scientist who was also an orthodox Mormon.

All of this is interesting in view of the fact that when I went to the Church Historical Department as Church Historian in 1972, one of my colleagues thought I should be sure that the Church Library had copies of all my publications. So I went through the cardex there to see what they had. Sure enough, they had Great Basin Kingdom. Off to one corner of the cardex was the notation, “a”. I was anxious to find out what that meant, and finally learned that a little “a” in the corner of the index card meant “anti-Mormon.” Why would it have been classified as anti-Mormon? I asked. “Well,” one person replied, “it was a scholarly book, which meant it wasn’t designed to be faith-promoting; and if it wasn’t for the Church, then, by classification, it had to be against. Moreover, it didn’t go through a Church reading committee, which meant it wasn’t approved. And if it wasn’t approved, then, by definition, it must be…” well, you get the story. Needless to say, that policy was scrapped, and I hope it hasn’t been revived since I left the Historical Department!

Many years ago, Thomas A. Edison said, half in jest I suspect, that genius was one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. A more modern inventor declared that, in his opinion, a successful invention was twenty percent inspiration, forty percent perspiration, and forty percent luck. Well, I think the element of luck should be given some consideration, but certainly there is plenty of perspiration in producing a book that has a lifetime of more than two or three years. If it is innovative, there must also be present some boldness, some audacity. And if that were true in the case of Great Basin Kingdom it must have come from the encouragement of those who pushed me on: Lowell Bennion, George Ellsworth, Grace Arrington, Milton Heath, Franklin Harris, Evan Murray, Milton Merrill, John Hughes, Charlie Stewart, and others.

As an economist, one of my favorite people was and is John Maynard Keynes, who could not only do economics, but could write it as well. Bertrand Russell once said of him that when Keynes concerned himself with politics and economics he left his soul at home. “This is the reason for a certain hard, glittering, inhuman quality in most of his writing,” wrote Russell. This, looking at it from my point of view, was a compliment. To say it another way, realities are not as dangerous as conceits, and one’s soul surely grows from hard facts bravely met. Personal preoccupations and didactic motives may be worthy, but they should not be allowed to repress our intellectual musings or our independent efforts to report our findings honestly and with due consideration to imperfect humanity. Only by our industry, imagination, and self-criticism will our community move toward greater knowledge and understanding and a more thoughtful uncertainty concerning our human heritage. Just as we must oppose in the strongest way shoddy scholarship, prejudicial writing, and fearful timidity in dealing with essential facts, we must be resolute in defending our right and obligation to preserve our credibility and our reputation for integrity.

Acknowledging that we sometimes poke ashes with embers, the Lord will surely prefer us to err on the side of honest disclosure. “God,” according to Moffatt’s translation of the prophet Isaiah, “does not need our lies”–our prettied-up pictures of events and personalities of the past. Writers of great fiction as well as writers of passages in Holy Writ make crystal clear that God is in the position of having to depend upon human instruments somewhat less than perfect in working out His purposes.

The renowned Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Kung, has observed: “The neglect of truthfulness leads to hypocrisy, but the exaggeration of truthfulness leads to destructive fanaticism.” Whether as historians or as educators, we must guard against both. May our works of scholarship be marked by thorough research and superior writing, giving our readers new experiences, expanded horizons, and more profound understandings of our common past. 

[Leonard Arrington Remarks for Great Basin Kingdom Symposium Banquet; LJA Diary, 4 May, 1988]

I have already reported, in a little reminiscence entitled “The Day of Reckoning,” how, during the night of April 7-8, 1950, the night prior to my preliminary oral, a Mockingbird stationed himself on a tree outside our home in Raleigh, North Carolina, and sang all night.

[Reminiscence about April 7, 1950, and Mockingbirds; LJA Diary, 5 Mar., 1989]

Questions from Becky Cornwall to LJA about Utah State University chapter of his biography.

2. If it is not treated in that entry, why did you abandon the Italian dissertation? How extensive was your negotiating with Earl Hicks? That one letter?What finally determined the Mormon topic?

I abandoned the Italian dissertation for two reasons: Lt. Earl Hicks haddecided to write on the subject and I felt he had prior right to do it becausehe had preceded me in Italy and had supervised the census which I only concludedand published. I did no negotiating with him. When Dr. Woosley, graduate student advisor for econ. candidates, told me he understood Earl wanted to work on the subject, I wrote to him (Earl). He replied that he did planto do so. My recollection is that he did not encourage me to work onit also. The second reason is that I was anxious to get a position in theWest and it was impractical to think that I could do a dissertation on Italywhile in the West because there were no library materials. And, I suppose,I was anxious myself to do some studies of the West–to learn more of the history and economics of my native region. I do not recall that I wasdisappointed with Hicks’ reply. I thought something could be carved out ofthe West–its economy and history. I was thinking of something about theWest or Mountain West as a whole. I do not recall that I expected to dosomething on a Mormon topic. I do not recall expecting to find that theMormons had done enough to warrant a dissertation. I suppose I felt theMormons would justify a chapter, but not the full treatment which I gave them.

[LJA Diary, 2 Oct., 1976]

Questions from Becky Cornwall to LJA about Utah State University chapter of his biography.

12. How was the branch going when you returned to Raleigh? What did you doand Grace do in it?

When I returned to Raleigh in l949-50, the branch had grown considerably. Perhaps 30 people. I do not recall what Grace and I did. Maybe that meanswe had no assignment, but we must have. I just don’t recall. I do recall giving a talk. When we returned in 1952, the branch was still larger. Maybe50 people. I recall giving a talk then, but we were not there long enoughto have an assignment. There are now two chapels there, and a stake. Ourfriend and my 1943 counselor, F. Marion Henderson, was the first stake presidentand served several years, and is now a patriarch, I think.

[LJA Diary, 2 Oct., 1976]

Story of my First Meeting with Elder Joseph Fielding Smith

In the summer of 1946 after I had talked with Doctor Widtsoe and haddetermined to begin studying and research in preparation for a dissertation onMormon economic activities, I asked for an appointment with the church Historian,Elder Joseph Fielding Smith. I had to get the permission of Brother A. WilliamLand first, and he tried to discourage me by saying that I couldn’t see anythingsignificant without the approval of Apostle Smith, and he gave the impression that Joseph Fielding Smith very seldom assented. He promised to set up anappointment for the next day. The next day I went to Elder Smith’s secretary,Ruby Egbert, and she said that she did not know if Brother Lund had madean appointment; she hadn’t been informed, but was there anything wrong with myseeing him right now? 1 said fine. I said, “What do I do? Knock on his door?”She said, “No, just walk in.” So I opened the door and walked in and said,”Elder Smith, may I see you for a few moments?” He did not look up, did notsay anything, didn’t even grunt. He seemed to be copying some scriptures outof the Bible and continued to do so. I stood in front of his desk for what seemedto be an interminable period–probably as long as 4 or 5 minutes. He didn’tacknowledge me in any way. He seemed to be composing an article and lookedup several references and copied them out. After I had stood there stone silentfor the 4 or 5 minutes he finally looked up very tentatively, still holdingthe pencil in his hand and the Bible open to a given place. He said–I thoughtsarcastically–“Well?” I said, “Elder Smith, I have been taking with BrotherLund about doing a doctoral dissertation on the economic activities of the Latter-day Saints. For this purpose I need your permission to do research in theChurch Archives. I have talked with Dr. Widtsoe who thinks it is an appropriate topic, and I feel sure there would be material in the Archives that would behelpful. May I have your permission to use the materials here in the Library?”Elder Smith simply said, “I guess there would be no harm in that, but…” and looked down again at the books and papers and resumed his copying ofscriptures from the Bible. He did not look up at me again. He did not dismissme; I was not quite sure he was through with me. I waited there another twoor three minutes, and he continued his work, so I said, “Thank you, BrotherSmith,” and walked out. I then went to Brother Lend and told him that BrotherSmith had given his OK. “Did he really?” said Brother Lund. I said, “Yeshe did.” I am sure that I talked more positively than I felt, but BrotherLund accepted it and showed me a desk in the library and said, “You may workat this place,” showing me a corner of the desk near the window. He said, “Youask for one item at a time from the library and we will give it to you.When you have finished with that, ask for another and in that way you may haveone document with you at the table at any time.” “May I take whatever notes areappropriate from them?” I asked. He said, “Yes, of course.” So I began goingthrough the Journal History of the Church, one volume after another and didnot complete the journal history up to 1905 until after four summers’work. Then I began to examine other documents and manuscripts in the Archives.At no time was any document refused me and at no time were my notes everexamined or asked for. I did see much material which today is consideredclassified. The librarians even allowed me during the third summer to go throughfiles in the library archives and to check out and pick out things that seemedimportant. I discovered many things which they did not know existed and whichI did not call to their attention. I simply used them and put them backon the shelf. Some items I used in the library itself at one of those littlestack tables they had to place a book upon. I stayed in the archives as longas a week at a time using material there. I tried to seem as inconspicuousas possible, and nobody bothered me. This was the period when there was nocensoring of notes and no restriction of material, or if there was, there was noneon my work. So I can say that the writing of my dissertation and Great BasinKingdom and other articles done during the period ’46-52 was done without anycensoring or restriction whatsoever. It was only after the graduate studentsstarted pouring in from BYU about 1951-52 that they began to require that yousubmit notes and to restrict materials that you could examine.

[LJA Diary, 24 Nov., 1976]