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James Richard Bodily mission diaries

James Richard Bodily (1872-1967)

BYU Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a newly digitized collection: James Richard Bodily mission diaries (MSS 6120).  The collection includes two diaries from Bodily’s mission to the Southern States for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One journal is a “synopsis of (his) missionary labors,” beginning from the time of his call to his journey to the Southern States from Utah. Elder Bodily makes reference to conditions and also many of the individuals and families he had the privilege to visit, teach, and baptize. The second journal continues to document his labors in the Southern States Mission. In the second journal Elder Bodily documents the weather as well as people he meets with and teaches. Dated 1897-1900.

James Richard Bodily was born on February 1, 1872 in Hyde Park, Utah, to William and Sarah Talbot Bodily. He married Margaret Charlotte Cole, the daughter of Joseph and Celia Cole, in the Logan Temple in Logan, Utah, June 2, 1897. Fifteen days after their marriage, James left home to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Southern States. He spent most of his mission in Kentucky; he returned home September 2, 1899. In 1902 James and Margaret bought a 160 acre farm in Cherryville for $3000.00. While in Cherryville, James taught school. He purchased additional farms and homesteaded 160 acres at Bancroft in 1912. They lived there fourteen months before selling it and purchasing additional acres. The couple had five children, all of whom were educated in the Whitney Grade School and Preston High School. James was clerk of the Whitney School Board and took an active part in the construction of the school in 1924. After spending the last 19 years of life in Mesa Arizona, he passed away April 12, 1967 at the age of 95 in the Preston Hospital and was laid to rest in the Whitney Cemetery beside his wife who had died three years before.

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