Elias Blackburn papers
BYU Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a newly digitized collection: Elias Blackburn papers (Vault MSS 785). This collection contains records on the early ecclesiastical history of Provo, Utah. Records include accounts of sermons of the period by several prominent leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Mormon Reformation of 1856-1857, and document the response of the community, including rebaptisms and Church disciplinary matters. Also includes Blackburn’s personal family record, and records of donations by Loa (Utah) Ward members for the building of the Manti Temple during Blackburn’s tenure as bishop. The dates of materials in the collection span 1851 to 1887.
Elias Hicks Blackburn was born 17 September 1827 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Blackburn and Elizabeth Bone. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1845. After his baptism, he assisted with the construction of the Nauvoo Temple and in 1846 took part in the Saint’s exodus west. Elias Blackburn twice served as a bishop in the Church. He was called as the first bishop of Provo, Utah Territory, in 1851. Blackburn was appointed bishop of Loa, Utah, in 1879, although he was not formally set apart until 1885. He served in that capacity until 1889. He was married to six plural wives in his lifetime. Elias Hicks Blackburn died at Loa, Utah, on 6 April 1908.