The Giant Joshua, Chapters 15 and 16: Polygamy raids, life on the underground, and the real-life stories behind the novel

Portrait of Mormon polygamists in prison, at the Utah Penitentiary, circa 1889. Photo by Charles Roscoe Savage/Harold B. Lee Library/Creative Commons

By Andrew Hall

We are nearing the end of this monumental novel, with only the final, 17th chapter to cover next week. As we previously announced, we will hold a Zoom event on Sunday, October 11, 8:00 pm Mountain Time (7:00 pm Pacific), where all can come and share their questions and comments on The Giant Joshua. The event will feature several people who knew Maurine personally sharing their memories of her, including the poet Carol Lynn Pearson, Maurine’s biographer Veda Hale, the author Marilyn Brown, and the publisher Curtis Taylor. Lynne Larson and I, who have been writing these weekly posts, will also attend. All who have read or are reading the novel are invited to attend and participate.

Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85698612887

Meeting ID: 856 9861 2887

Chapters 15 and 16

Eugene England, in his 2001 essay, “Whipple’s The Giant Joshua: The Greatest but Not the Great Mormon Novel”, expressed both his admiration for the novel and his disappointment with the last chapters. He wrote the essay not long after meeting the aging Whipple, and concluded that the failure of the last few chapters stemmed from her inability to find peace with her Mormon heritage. While I find much more to enjoy and learn from these chapters than did England, his perspective is worth examining.

“It is not only, as the critic of Western literature, Ray B. West has noted, ‘the most complete record of a small pioneer community’, but it is also the richest, fullest, most moving, the truest fiction about the Great Basin pioneer experience that I have found. Whipple is nostalgic, able to praise in epic terms the communal strengths of Mormonism, able to see those strengths with unusual insight, but finally, because of her lack of understanding and loss of faith in the Church of her own time, unable to keep faith with her ancestors, and thus finally with her own creations . . . The novel loses its quality in the last 100 pages: Her powerful theme of human struggle is fragmented by indecision about what motivated the struggle; her fine central characters are victims of her own fierce revenge and finally of her even more destructive sentimentality. The rich, muscular plot is betrayed by a turn to melodrama . . .  I believe the great Mormon novel will be written by someone at peace with the Mormon past and at home in its present—yet someone who retains both the critical objectivity and the artistic flexibility to mold the raw materials of the Mormon tradition closer to their own heart’s desires and thus reveal a unique esthetic and ethical perception of human acts and motives. She, or he, will have a balanced sense of both individual and community integrity, will have good vision in both the eye of faith and the eye of knowledge, will see the faults without rancor or self-righteous pride and the virtues without sentimentality or self-consciousness. The writer of the great Mormon novel will be someone whose conscience remains sensitive and courageous but whose wounds have healed. Maurine Whipple was not quite that person; the tragedy is that with some help . . . serious encouragement, loving criticism—even some indication that others were learning from her—she perhaps might have been that someone.”[1] 

I am not convinced that Maurine’s attitude towards the Church is what led to the flaws of the final chapters, and I am not interested in chasing the white whale of “the great Mormon novel”, but I agree that Maurine began to lean on melodramatic tropes and cardboard villains towards the end.

Chapters 15 and 16 cover the period from Brigham Young’s death in 1877 to the height of the polygamy raids in 1887. We see Clory’s son Jimmie from ages 4 to 14, setting up the sequel, Cleave the Wood, which will center on Jimmie and others of his generation. Whipple only completed five chapters of the sequel, which will be published in the forthcoming volume, A Craving For Beauty: The Lost Works of Maurine Whipple (BCC Press). One chapter of Cleave the Wood, set in 1893, features the cowboy Jimmie returning to St. George, and reminiscing about the events of these two chapters, retelling them from his point of view.

These chapters focus on the years after the Edmunds Act was passed in 1882, which made practicing polygamy a felony, and allowed government marshals to punish polygamists without due process. The law forced many Mormon polygamists to go “on the underground”, which included temporarily splitting up families, moving to distant settlements near the Arizona border, hiding in fields, and teaching their children to publicly deny knowing who their fathers were.[2] The polygamy raids can be seen as the last great persecution that the early Church members faced.[3]

Whipple’s detailed portrayal of these privations highlights these chapters. A scene in which Clory visits her friend Palmyra Wight, only to be trapped by raiding deputies who force their way into the house, is a dramatic example. As the first wife, Pal does not need to hide, but she hustles her husband David out of the house, and hides her sister wife Lucy, close to giving birth, in a back room. The deputies find Lucy and brutally interrogate her. Fearing Clory will also be mistaken for one of David’s wives, Pal hides her under a bed for hours. While hiding, Clory sees “all the long travail of her people and the women who had borne the brunt of it . . . as if all those women were reaching out their burden of wrongs to her, she was filled with so black a hate that she wanted to scream aloud.” (578)

Whipple’s depiction of the raids, however, has some weak points, as she portrays the two deputies assigned to St. George as moustache-twirling villains—drunk, violent, and obscene—caricatures rather than characters. 

While Whipple expresses anger over the way the Mormons were treated, she also gives a final condemnation of polygamy in her portrayal of Clory’s emotional decline. Abijah has been called to be President of the Logan Temple, but the Church has ordered him to take only one of his wives north with him, and for months he refuses to tell Bathsheeba and Clory his decision. Clory is desperate to go, so she can raise her children without fear of arrest, for an opportunity to be nearer to “civilization”, and to be in a cooler climate. However, Abijah ends up marrying Young Julia Hansen, a shallow flirt, “a pert minx with bold, big-boned bustle,” who is younger than most of his own children, and taking her with him to Logan. Marrying Julia goes against all he had preached for years about a woman’s proper comportment, but his desire for more children (none of his children were “religious” enough to his satisfaction) blinds him to her faults, despite the pleas of his wives, children, and neighbors. Interestingly, this situation was based on the true story of Whipple’s grandfather, J.D.T. McAllister, who was called to preside over the Manti Temple in 1893, and took with him only his youngest wife, leaving behind Whipple’s grandmother, Cornelia Agatha Lenzi McAllister, behind.

The portrayal of the ridiculously shallow Young Julia, and Abijah’s foolish infatuation, is another instance of slapdash characterization in these final chapters. The fatal shooting of Lars Hansen when he comes out of hiding, desperate to stop his daughter’s marriage, by the deputies is another groan-inducing moment of melodrama. It does, however, lead to a lovely scene in which Lars says farewell to his family, in particular his final words with his first wife Yulia. Their romance, which began (as they frequently and jocularly admit) when they met in an Illinois brothel, is one of the gems of the novel.

The sufferings of the Underground period, and the humiliation at being dismissed by her husband, nearly destroy Clory. “‘I can’t stand it,” she cried with all of her being, ‘I can’t stand it.’. . . No longer was she strong, mistress of her life and her own soul. Sometimes polygamy seemed more than a condition, it was a Thing and she had thrown herself against it and been bruised” (580-581).  Abijah, in his farewell Sunday address, focuses on his own suffering rather than the family he leaves behind. When he comes to say goodbye to Clory, she had already “emptied her heart” of him, and flippantly holds out her hand for a farewell handshake. However, after he leaves, she “was limp for a moment, thinking how it would feel to be old, to be finished, alone and lonely, with life still unappeased in her heart.”  

As she frequently does in her hardest times, Clory climbs Sugarloaf, the hill overlooking the town (a favorite practice of Whipple’s as well). There she meets Erastus Snow, who had just been released from prison. She confesses to him her feelings of failure and hopelessness, and her lack of a standard Mormon “testimony”. Erastus comforts her, repeating the book’s thesis that the pioneer effort was worth it, despite their individual suffering, because it furthers the “Ideal” of a Zion community.

“I’m not sure what a testimony is, myself. The way I look at it, the thing we’ve got that’s immortal is an Idea . . . Thou shalt love they neighbor . . . Everybody’s reaching for it, only some religions are going ‘cross-lots, some kitty-cornered. None of us have yet come within a million miles of it, but the big thing is that we try. And as long as we try and admit we’re trying, there’s hope. A mosque or a pagoda or a Tabernacle . . . I believe that to be Zion’s mission to mankind, Clorinda Agatha—to create among these barren hills a little inviolate world, a little sanctuary where the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God are not just words but living, breathing realities . . . You may lose, Clorinda Agatha. I may lose. Zion may lose, for a time. But the Idea”—he saw all those myriads, the oppressed and downtrodden, marching hand in hand straight into the dawn of a better world—“the Idea can’t lose.”

Eugene England ended his 2001 essay in this way: “Ray B. West once wrote that the American novel—and especially the Western novel—has not been characterized by excellence of style or compactness of design but has been known for ‘a native vigor, a robust and almost reckless kind of energy’ and criticized for a consequent ‘roughness’. Joshua is strengthened by not being pure in form, by being alloyed with folklore and vernacular poetry, history and doctrine, by audacious changes in point of view as Whipple breaks from Clory as the central consciousness to the mind of Erastus Snow or Brigham Young or even to the whole world itself personified—even moving a few times into her own undisguised voice in the present . . . When Whipple is able to remain true to her root strength, she achieves something none of those [other writers of her generation] has. Other novels are in many ways superior to The Giant Joshua—for instance, in stylistic consistency and uniformity of vision, in unobtrusive steadiness of characterization, in the structured power of denouement and resolution, all of which are essentially formal qualities, ones which fulfill our esthetic sense and training. But despite all this, Whipple’s novel is moving and extremely valuable, it seems to me, because it successfully conveys to our minds and hearts a rare and challenging moral and religious vision, not the most orthodox Mormon one but a deeply felt and wondrously imagined Mormon one. Her flawed masterpiece stands as a blessing and challenge to Mormon culture, perhaps especially to Mormon writers, most of whom have yet to learn what they might from her achievement and to surpass it.

Whipple Notes

The Miracle of the Spillway

Chapter 16 ends with a story of David Wight having a vision of building a spillway on the Virgin River, the solution to the many years of failed attempts to prevent its devastating flooding, and the miraculous arrival of men and equipment to finish the job. Whipple based this on a true story about Benjamin Jarvis, who was the father of one of her friends, which she retold in a 1972 essay, “The Miracle of the Spillway”, part of an unfinished effort in that period to write a book about the history of Southern Utah. That essay will appear in the forthcoming A Craving for Beauty.

Real-life inspirations for Clory and Abijah

It has been said, particularly by Jessie Embry, that Maurine used “tired stereotypes” of polygamy that did not match the historical reality.[4] However, Maurine used real-life St. George pioneers she was familiar with as the models for her characters. It has long been assumed that Maurine’s maternal grandparents, Cornelia Agatha Lenzi and John Daniel Thompson McAllister were her main inspiration. While it is true that there are several key connections between Maurine’s fictional characters and her grandparents, the experiences of Jane and James Bleak were also major inspirations for her characters

While looking through an archive, I discovered the following letter from Maurine to Carl Weeks (1876-1962), a Des Moines businessman who had a long-standing interest in the St. George area.  

“[I hear] you’d like to know who my characters are. How in hell should I know? I only wrote the darned book! However, I can tell you this much: our neighborhood has reached the mud-slinging and chicken-stealing stage of their feud. Some say Abijah was my grandfather Whipple, others my Grandfather McAllister (my mother’s father, the first President of the temple in St. George), but that can’t be right, because I can’t remember either of them! Some others say it must be James G. Bleak. Let us just confess that Abijah is a composite of all the polygamists I’ve ever heard about and my own knowledge of human nature. Most of the other characters are almost entirely out of thin air. But, and this is important, the characters are true to life and times in which they lived . . . The thing you must remember about all this is that they’re still my people, and I love ‘em!” [5]

That got me interested in looking up James G. Bleak. Bleak was the official Church historian of the Cotton Mission and St. George, and his massive The Annals of the Southern Mission (1907) was one of Maurine’s main historical sources. Whipple personally knew Jane Bleak, who was still alive in 1940, and thanked her in the book’s acknowledgments page.

The situation of the four wives of James Bleak resembled several aspects of Abijah’s four wives. James and his first wife, both from England, were about the same age. He married an “older” (30-year old) English woman in 1860. They appeared to have a chilly relationship, and she died before the other wives. In 1861 he was forced by circumstance to marry Jane, a 15-year old girl, who was put in his trust by her parents, and with whom he previously had a “uncle-niece” relationship. His fourth wife, whom he married in 1882, long after he married his third wife, was much younger than any of the others, having been born in 1861.

The following is from a short history of Jane Thompson Bleak written by Mabel Jarvis. Jarvis was a St. George journalist and a friend of Maurine’s, and her article was written in 1938, just before The Giant Joshua. Notice the many similarities between Jane’s story and The Giant Joshua.

Jane Thompson’s parents, from England, were friends with James Bleak, and Jane at 15 had gone across the plains with the Bleaks while her parents were still in the East. She called the Bleaks “aunt” and “uncle”.

“Just six weeks after their arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah [in 1861], came the call for the Pioneers to make the trek to Dixie. The Bleaks were responsible for Jane whose parents had entrusted her to them, and there was not time to get further permission to take her with them to St. George nor did they feel they could leave her in Salt Lake City to make her own way. Under these unusual circumstances President Brigham Young advised James G. Bleak to take this young girl as his polygamous wife, and though she at first opposed the idea, when she herself talked with Brigham Young and learned from him the wisdom of his advice, she abided by it and through the years found the complete fulfillment of President  Young’s promise that blessings would follow her in this Union and she should never find cause to regret, although she shrank at first from such a responsibility, and could not understand how his two wives could be entirely in accord with the procedure. She was married in Endowment House on October 26, 1861, and on November 1st they began the journey to Dixie, arriving just a month later at the old Adobe Yard Camp. Being a joyous vigorous young girl she even found cause for merriment on this long journey, made more friends along the way, among them Ann Catherine Jarvis, and today at ages 92 and 89 respectively, these Pioneer girls tell merrily of some of the humorous events of the pilgrimage, though with the others they endured the wearying work and hardships along the way.

“They traveled in two wagons bringing with them a goodly supply of clothing, etc., and food for a year and a half. James G. Bleak’s other two wives, Betsey and Caroline both had children, and one, a baby boy named Joseph was very ill, so ill the latter part of the journey they carried him on a pillow . . . After those tiresome weeks over the unbroken roads, through long stretches of snow and barren wastes, to come suddenly upon this peaceful valley, she remarks, St. George looked to me as lovely as a bit of Heaven with the sun shining and the rich green grass, so late in the year.” 

“When they moved into lots in the spring of 1862 they located on the corner opposite diagonally northwest from where she now lives, just three blocks west of Tabernacle corner and there pitched their one large and one small tent and were less cramped for room than at the old camp. And wanting her own privacy Jane scooped out her own dugout, roofing it over with a thatch of water willows which their neighbors . . .brough for her from the river margin. And this little 6 by 8 foot room wasn’t much for a young bride’s suite, but it gave her a place to be by herself and fix up as she wanted.

“During those early years she was so full of energy and often went to the fields with the Bleak boys who were about her age and helped them with the hoeing, cane stripping, cotton picking and gathering of the hay, grain and field crops . . .

“In 1872 James G. Bleak was called on a Mission to England and while he was gone his wife with the help of her small children dug the soil, planted the garden, watered and weeded it and raised a nice variety of vegetables, which many passers-by admired. Then with Grandma Olive Wolley she secured work making overalls and shirts for the Government to be given to the Indians and in this way along with the garden kept out of debt and clothed and fed herself and three children while her husband was absent.”[6]

Because of his duties, James did not know his children well. One daughter reported, “We did not know father, but we were always proud of him.” He insisted his children not call each other half-brothers or half-sisters, saying to them, “You’re not half there. You’re all there. You’re brothers and sisters.” He worked for the Church, and never had much money to support is families. His children did not receive much education, to his sorrow, and most of his sons started working at an early age. His wives all did side-jobs to support the family. He was often on the run from Deputy Marshals during the latter part of the 1880s. The temple was his sanctuary, and almost a prison, during this period. He recorded that he sent 261 days in the temple in 1887.[7]

A major difference between Jane Bleak and Clory MacIntyre is that Jane enjoyed the position of James’ favorite wife throughout their happy marriage, and they had 13 children.

Next, let’s look at the similarities between Clory and Abijah and Maurine Whipple’s grandparents, Cornelia Agatha Lenzi and John Daniel Thompson McAllister.

Cornelia Agatha Lenzi (1844-1920) was the daughter of Martin and Elizabeth Lenzi, born in Philadelphia. Her father joined the Church in the 1850s, and was friends with J.D.T. McAllister, who had lived and served as a missionary in Philadelphia. He and his wife Elizabeth Height had two children, but she did not join the Church, and the marriage dissolved. Martin remarried and emigrated to Utah in 1857, taking his two children with him. Most of these particulars resemble the fictional Clory, whose mother remained in Philadelphia, and sent occasional luxuries to her. In the novel her father dies after participating in the Mormon Battalion, but in real life Corneila’s father Martin lived until 1898, winning some renown as an artist, and serving as the secretary of the Deseret Academy of Arts in Salt Lake City. Cornelia became deaf due to a case of the mumps at around age 12. She was known to have a beautiful singing voice but was not able to sing as an adult. Her father arranged for her to marry J.D.T. McAllister as his third wife, in 1867, when she was 23.   

John D. T. McAllister (1844-1910) was born near Gloucester, New Jersey (unlike the Scottish Abijah). Like Abijah, he was known as “Handsome Mac”, he had a strong, stern personality, was known for his resonant singing voice, and for his loyalty to Church authorities. Unlike Abijah, he also wrote songs (including “The Handcart Song”), and often directed and performed in plays. He was baptized in 1844, served as a captain in the ill-fated 1856 handcart companies, and served in the militia that launched guerilla raids against Johnston’s Army. He married nine times, including several marriages to elderly women.[8]

John D. T. McAllister was called to work as a carpenter in the construction of the St. George Temple in 1876 (not, like Abijah, arriving with the first settlers in 1861). He brought with him his seventh wife, Matilda Christina Nielsen. Matilda has some attributes that may have gone into the characterization of Clory. She was only 21-years-old when she married 49-year-old John, and they had only been married a few weeks when they traveled to St. George. Wayne Hinton has written, “She harbored notions of romantic love that his other wives, even those who had not married him for economic or theological reasons, apparently were careful not to assert in the interests of harmony in the family. She began teaching him to speak Danish, an activity that has come down in the family as a ploy to divert his attention to her.”

John thought that his time in St. George would be temporary, but he was called to be president of the St. George Stake. He then called for two of his wives, Ellen and Cornelia, to bring their children and join him in the South. Several of his other wives remained in Salt Lake City. In 1880 he married the 25-year-old Ann Eliza Wells

In 1884 John was called as the St. George Temple President, while also still serving as Stake President. Entering the time of the polygamy raids, he frequently stayed overnight in the temple. He arranged that his wives would live separately, to lessen their chances of being arrested. In 1885 Matilda, suffering from the strain of living on the underground, and also because of jealousy of the younger Ann Eliza, asked for a divorce. Although he tried to persuade her to change her mind, they were divorced in 1886. Matilda moved back to Salt Lake City, although she later returned to St. George.

John was stern and demanding towards his children. When a daughter married outside of the temple in 1887, he demanded that all of his family gather at one of the houses and hear a letter read to them, bearing his testimony and clearly instructing his children to be obedient to him, including his insistence they marry in the temple. Angeline, the mother who had given her consent for the marriage, felt that she had been publicly chastised, and demanded a divorce, which was granted almost immediately. 

In March 1889 he was arrested for “illegal cohabitation” by U.S. marshals, and was tried in September 1889 in Beaver, Utah. Cornelia’s deafness proved an obstacle to the prosecution. John received a light sentence, paying court costs and escaping any jail time.

In March 1893, John was called to serve as president of the Manti Temple. This is somewhat similar to Abijah’s call to the Logan Temple, as was his decision to take only one wife with him. He wrote to Cornelia, “I will not ask you to sacrifice your home again or to take upon you new responsibilities.” He asked his youngest wife Ann Eliza to accompany him to Manti. Wayne Hinton writes, “In an ironic development, his [ex-wife] Matilda also moved to Manti in April 1897 and ill, was accepted into McAllister’s home where Ann Eliza cared for her until her death.” John had Matilda resealed to him in the Manti Temple after her death.

In September 1909 John went back to St. George and visited Cornelia and another wife. He contracted a cold and died in Cornelia’s home.

Maurine was only seven years old when her grandfather died, but she got to know her grandmother Cornelia, who lived until 1920, very well. She wrote a student essay about her grandmother in the early 1920s.

“There came what I can imagine to be the greatest trial of all. Her church said, ‘Marry this man.’ And she married him, even though he already had two wives, was many years older than she, and even though she hardly knew him. The fact that he was a good man and that she learned to love him devotedly does not make her early struggle less real.

“Her marriage was the beginning of her life in St. George—a land at that time of nothing but sagebrush and horned toads and treeless sands. Only a person with vision could have seen beauty in such ugliness. She saw the hidden beauty, but she longed for her Salt Lake home until the day she died. Perhaps that home came nearer than anything else to her memory of her childhood home. Tragedy lies in the fact that even after her children were raised, circumstances would not permit her to end her days in her beloved Salt Lake.

“She grew from a beautiful young woman with black eyes and hair and red cheeks to a sweet old lady in St. George. And from the day she arrived another specter dogged her footsteps—ill health. The climate never agreed with her. However, here she raised her family, most of the time alone and on fifteen dollars a month. And here she found, perhaps, her truest happiness, when her children were little. In spite of bitter poverty and fear—of the marshals who came seeking her husband, of bad Indians, of death who stalked her household and claimed one of her precious brood—in spite of everything she found much happiness. Her worst trial, perhaps, was that she could not afford advantages for her children; she could only impart to them her own high courage and faith and serenity . . .

“Her love for the beauty and peace and order of those early years never left her. All her life, those memories remained, and who knows that they were not the cause of many a silent battle against the fate that took her from pretty clothes, lovely surroundings, handsome suitors, the grace and dignity that are the divine right of every girlhood, to crude, primitive pioneering and responsibilities that made her a woman before she was a girl. We do know that she never complained. She was doing what she thought was right . . . 

She suffered a great deal during her last illness. She seemed to be unconscious most of the time, but do any of us really know? At least, the watchers by her bedside could see that her face was distorted by her agony and that, suddenly, in place of the misery, a smile of utter sweetness flooded her countenance. She needed no words to tell them that someone had come out of the dim past to help her begin the long journey. Her passing seemed to be symbolic of her whole life—a soul that could smile in the face of death itself.”

That deathbed smile of contentment would be used by Maurine in her depiction of Clory’s final mortal moments, as we will read about in next week’s final post. Thank you for sticking with this long story!


[1] Eugene England. “Whipple’s The Giant Joshua: The Greatest but Not the Great Mormon Novel”, Association for Mormon Letters Annual, 2001. P. 61-69.

[2] See Kimberly Jansen James , “’Between Two Fires’: Women on the Underground of Mormon Polygamy”, Journal of Mormon History, 8, 1981, and Martha Sonntag Bradley. “‘Hide and Seek’: Children on the Underground”,  Utah Historical Quarterly, 51:2, Spring 1983.

[3] It is surprising that more novels have not been written about this fascinating and dramatic period. Actually two came out in 2019, John Bennion’s murder mystery An Unarmed Woman, and Ann Weisenburger’s The Glovemaker, which was an Association for Mormon Letters Novel Award finalist.

[4] Jessie L. Embry. “Overworked Stereotypes or Accurate Historical Images: The Images of Polygamy in The Giant Joshua.” Sunstone, April 1990.

[5] Maurine Whipple to Carl Weeks, October 17, 1941.

[6] Mabel Jarvis. “Jane Thompson Bleak: Aged Pioneer Woman Recounts Life Events”. Unpublished manuscript, 1938.

[7] Caroline S. Addy. “James Godson Bleak: Pioneer Historian of Southern Utah.” Brigham Young University MA Thesis, 1953.

[8] Wayne Hinton. “John D. T. McAllister: The Southern Utah Years, 1876-1910”. Journal of Mormon History, 29:2, 2003.

Comments

  1. matthew73 says:

    I don’t have anything profound to say, but just want to express how much I’ve enjoyed this series. I’ve had too much going on in my personal life to take the time to draft any substantive comments or to engage in the discussion, although I’ve wanted to. In the mid-80s I attended BYU as an English Major undergrad and was able to take an LDS literature class from Gene England. The Giant Joshua was one of the books we read and discussed and I still have my copy. I have recommended it on multiple occasions and am disappointed that it is not better-known. I loved the book (acknowledging the disappointing last chapters) and have immensely enjoyed this series. Thanks for taking the time to draft these posts and for your efforts to raise awareness of this book.

  2. An amazing review. I enjoyed reading about people from St. George. It was fascinating to see how she drew out of the lives of actual people to create her characters.

  3. Thank you for this series. I have especially appreciated the background and information about Maurine’s life.

  4. I’ve seen the accompanying picture before and I understand there are not a few church leaders in it, but I don’t know which ones. Is anybody able to identify any of them?

  5. Matthew J Harmer says:

    George Q. Cannon is the one seated in kind of the center of the entire group, wearing prison stripes, directly behind the man in the dark suit.

  6. Matthew J. Harmer, thank you!

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