Merry May Booth Talmage journal
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Merry May Booth Talmage journal (MSS 1607). Merry May Booth Talmage is the wife of Elder James E. Talmage, the author, educator, scientist, and Apostle. This handwritten diary of Merry May Booth Talmage, the only diary of hers still in existence, was started just as May was leaving her home in Alpine to begin teaching at a school in Kaysville, Utah, in September 1887. Entries include engagement to James E. Talmage, her former professor at Brigham Young Academy, in February 1888, and her first years of marriage. Dated 1887-1892.
Merry May Booth Talmage was born on September 29, 1868 in Alpine, Utah to Richard Thornton Booth and Elise Edge. At the age of sixteen, she attended Brigham Young Academy. Soon after graduating, she began a brief teaching career in Kaysville, Utah, before being engaged to marry her former professor at BYA, James E. Talmage. The couple married on June 14, 1888 in Manti, Utah, and they had eight children together.
May was a teacher in Kaysville, Utah and part of several educational organizations, including serving as vice president of the first Free Kindergarten Association in Utah. She was involved in the suffrage movement, serving on the executive board for the Utah Territorial Woman’s Suffrage Association. In 1893 she went to Chicago and delivered a paper to the World’s Congress of Women, and in 1906 she attended the Trennial of the National Council of Women in Toledo, Ohio.
In 1892, May was called as aid to the general board of the Young Woman Mutual Improvement Association. She was active in committees within this organization and served as editor of the “Young Woman’s Journal.” In 1925, May accompanied her husband and two children to England where Elder Talmage served as president of the European Mission until 1928. While in Europe, May helped in organizing and assisting the women of the Church of the various countries there, as well as the missionaries throughout Europe.
Merry May Booth Talmage died on April 6, 1944 in Ogden, Utah.