Harriet Ann Thatcher Preston diary

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Harriet Ann Thatcher Preston diary (MSS SC 1381).  This handwritten and bound diary dates from late 1872-mid 1873, and describes daily events from Preston’s life, including an account of a train trip from Utah to the East that Preston took with her husband, William B. Preston, who was later called as Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church.  At the time of this journal, William was serving as a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature as well as bishop of Logan, Utah. Harriet is sister the Apostle Moses Thatcher (1842-1909).

William B. Preston (1830-1908), husband of Harriet Ann Thatcher Preston.

William B. Preston (1830-1908), husband of Harriet Ann Thatcher Preston.

Harriet was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1838 and migrated to Utah in 1857 with a wagon train led by her father, Hezekiah Thatcher. In response to a call for Saints to gather to Utah during the Utah War, this company traveled from Pleasant Hill, California, over the Sierra Mountains to Carson Valley. They joined with Saints from that place and elected Perrigrine Sessions to be captain of their joint company the remainder of the way to Utah. William Preston was also part of this company, and the two were married in February 1858. In 1859 the Prestons moved to Logan in Cache Valley to become some of the first settlers in that valley, and William B. Preston was named bishop of Logan. He would later serve in the territorial legislature and in several ecclesiastical positions until being called as Presiding Bishop of the Church in 1884. He was released in 1907 due to health reasons, and would die of pneumonia the following year. Harriet died in 1920 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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