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Contributions of the Class of 1891: O. W. Andelin

While other members of the Class of 1891 later returned to teach at Brigham Young Academy and Brigham Young University, O. W. Andelin joined the faculty immediately after receiving his collegiate degree with the BYA class of 1893. Over a twenty year teaching career he contributed to the growth of the university, though, as his son described him, he remained “an active student all his life.”

Photograph of O. W. Andelin

Olof Wilhelm Andelin

Andelin was born in Salt Lake City to Swedish immigrant parents in 1867, and raised in central Utah. As a teenager he was trained in his father’s craft of masonry, and later worked as a photographer’s assistant in southern Utah. He determined to pursue an education, and studied at the Fillmore Stake Academy from 1887 to 1890. While there he married Mary Elizabeth Turner, and they had six children. After completing his studies in Fillmore, he attended Brigham Young Academy, receiving a normal degree in 1891 and a Bachelor of Pedagogy in 1893.

After graduation, President Benjamin Cluff pressured Andelin to remain at the Academy as a teacher. While this was not his original intention, he was successful as a teacher, and well-liked by his students. This marked the beginning of a twenty year career at the Academy and University, which included teaching a range of subjects from Church history, to German, French, and Latin. He also served as the assistant chorister in the Domestic Organization, librarian, and eighth grade teacher in the Training School.

Working at the university during this period was in many ways an act of consecration. Faculty members were often paid in tithing script, which was redeemable at the bishop’s storehouse. Due to low salaries at the university, Andelin eventually purchased a plot of land on 700 East between 500 and 600 North where he planted orchards and grew vegetables. Mary Andelin also took in boarders to supplement the family income.

In 1912 Andelin left the university faculty, and thereafter focused on his fruit and vegetable farming. He also started an insurance business, which he continued after a move to Salt Lake City in 1931. He later died in Salt Lake in 1946.

More information about Andelin’s life and service at Brigham Young University is available in his faculty file (UA 909 box 3 folder 16), which includes multiple biographical sketches by his son Aubrey). Another version of the sketch is available online through FamilySearch.

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