Dorothy Smith & Ellsworth Clark Archive

Dorothy Smith & Ellsworth Clark Archive

For our inaugural Featured Archive it is only fitting that we start with the archive of the woman who inspired us to build Kindex: our Grandma Dorothy Smith Clark.  She is, and will always be our inspiration for building Kindex and rescuing family records.

Scope and Content

The archive contains letters, photos, documents, diaries, personal writings, verse, and art created by Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark between 1916 and 2008. It also includes additional photos and documents created by associated family and friends related to Dorothy and Ellsworth, including letters, documents and photos dating from the late 19th-century.

Notable content

  • Diaries and letters containing LDS Church History in Lethbridge, Alberta from 1915-1930
  • Close associations with LDS artist Torlief Knaphus and Mormon leaders including Hugh B. Brown
  • Caretaking of the Cumorah Farm in Palmyra from 1934 to 1939
  • Religious and social history in Salt Lake City from 1929 to 1940

See categories below for additional details about each archive Collection.

Accessibility and Permissions

  • Title: Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark Archive
  • URLhttps://smith-clark.kindex.org
  • Archive Owner: Cathy Gilmore
  • Total Records: 1573
  • % Indexed: 24%
  • Accessibility: Public
  • Permissions:
    • Public: Search, view indexed records (no account required)
    • Guest: Search, index records, view all records (Free Kindexer account required)
    • Collaborator: Search, index records, view all records, contribute records, access archive from Archives list. Collaborator status is invite-only and must be requested from the archive owner. Kindex account reqired (Kindexer, Cloud, Closet)
  • Source: Records gathered, scanned, and added to archive collaboratively by descendants of Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark.

Art

Dorothy was a prolific amateur artist who used many mediums to express her creativity. Collection includes 83 pieces, including watercolors, oils, sketches, calligraphy, and handmade cards.

Poetry

While most of the poetry in this collection consists of love poems exchanged between Dorothy and Ellsworth, there are a handful of poems she wrote later in life that she gifted to her children and grandchildren. Collection includes 22 poems.

Photos

With 461 images, Dorothy and Ellsworth's photo collection is the largest collection in the archive. Dates span from late 19th century to the 2008. Locations: Lethbridge, Alberta; Snowflake, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Southern Idaho, Pacific Northwest, and sites related to early LDS Church history.

Letters

With a total of 343 letters, the Letters collection includes courtship letters and correspondence written both to and from Dorothy and Ellsworth. This collection is rich with social, church, and family history. Letters span from 1915 to 2000 over 100 years of family history.

Diaries

Dorothy’s collection of eight, notebook-style diaries are primarily from her young adult years dating from 1927 to 1932. Early diaries were written in Lethbridge, Alberta and Salt Lake City, Utah, and contain an abundance of church and social. Later diaries purposed as note-keeping and verse books. These are a treasure to have, as Dorothy was not a prolific journal-keeper. Diaries include editorial notes Dorothy to the pages later in life.

Book of Remembrance

Quite possibly the highlight of the archive, Dorothy’s Book of Remembrance is a study in multiple disciplines, including photography, art, family history, genealogy, and design. Dorothy began her Book of Remembrance in the early 1930s, and added to it throughout her life. At 154 pages, this is the first of many books she began for herself and her siblings, children, and grandchildren.

Biographical Sketch of Dorothy Smith Clark

Born in the pioneer community of Snowflake, Arizona to Hyrum and June A. Bushman Smith and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta, Dorothy Smith had a creative and kind nature which found expression playing the good fairy and leaving secret gifts to delight her family. Dorothy’s talent in art became a serious pursuit when the Smith family relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1929. There she continued her studies at the University of Utah, met future husband Ellsworth M. Clark, and gained employment as a decorator at H.R. Kress.

While still a young mother, Dorothy completed her Book of Remembrance. A work of art in its own right, its pages reveal her deep sense of ancestral belonging, records of her parents’ and grandparents’ spiritual gifts, and a recognition of her own divine purpose and talents. As Dorothy developed her own spiritual gifts, her ability to discern the needs of others and act in faith became a catalyst for ministering to others, notwithstanding the fear and shyness she often felt. To the question posed to the Savior, “Who is my neighbor?” Dorothy could answer: the plumber, the piano tuner, the refugee, or the outcast—anyone in her path in need of help.

Dorothy’s 1964 poster sketch titled “We Believe in Sharing” affirmed the scope of her desires: to give all she had—her talents, testimony, labor, food, and possessions, bringing “more happiness, enrich[ing] the world, sharing all that has come to us as a church and as individual members.” Often overcome with social anxiety or limited by poor heath, Dorothy preferred personal visits to projects, created art to share the gospel, and wrote hundreds of inspired letters that today stand as a testimony of her covenant to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” (Mosiah 18:8-9). Without prejudice or judgment, her nurturing influence reached beyond her own nine children when she became foster mother to two Navajo children and a personal advocate for many Southeast Asian refugees who affectionately called her “Mother Clark”.

While Dorothy’s art was never exhibited, her painting of Paul Wildhaber’s “The Armor of Righteousness” was the centerpiece of her home. Unlike others who traditionally depicted male religious figures in armor, 20-year-old Dorothy changed the painting’s subject from hero to heroine, thus broadening the view of those who are “armed in righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14). From her childhood fairy gifts to the ministering of the needful and forgotten, her visionary example of what a faithful woman can do endures through her depiction of this righteous and strong heroine.

Dorothy Smith Clark
26 April 1911 – 3 February 198

Solving Archival Challenges for the Mormon Battalion Association

Kindex co-founder Kimball Clark and Laura Anderson, Senior Historian at the Church History Library, will present “Crowdsourcing Your History: Collaborative Archives for Families, Groups, and Societies”  at the RootsTech Demo Theater on Thursday, March 1 at 10:20 a.m. We recently asked Laura Anderson, Senior Historian at the Church History Library, to share how she uses Kindex to make Mormon Battalion Association records more accessible and engaging. We thank her for sharing her thoughts with us below.


Two days before volunteers left to serve in the Mormon Battalion, LDS Church President Brigham Young said their “lives should be spared and [their] expedition result in great good, and [their] names be handed down in honorable remembrance to all generations.”1

In order for that to happen, we need to know all about their stories. We needed to tell not only their stories, but the stories of their families. With 500 men and about 2,000 people total, that’s a lot of research. I knew that researching one at a time would not work, so we needed to create a searchable archive from the thousands of records we have related to the Mormon Battalion. I’ve had people transcribe for me in the past, but it was very time-consuming to keep track of it all, and difficult to avoid the duplication of work.  I wanted a way to transcribe and search al the documents on a central platform. 

At Rootstech 2017 I found Kindex, and it was just the solution I needed: a collaborative indexing platform where I could gather and organize the Mormon Battalion records. I began adding records, transcribing, and inviting others to help. As we progressed in transcribing the archive, Kindex listened to my feedback and were even willing to prioritize software features that I needed.  With Kindex I can track our collaborators and the progress we make on indexing. 

In addition to solving the transcription challenges, Kindex also makes it easy for anyone to access and search the archive. Before Kindex, the records scattered in various places so they were difficult for the average person to discover. Now, we have all the records accessible in a central archive that is getting more searchable every day. Through this archive, Kindex is helping me keep that promise to keep their lives in “honorable remembrance”.

To search the Mormon Battalion Archive, or to become a volunteer indexer on this project, go to https://mormonbattalion.kindex.org and click Request Access. 


 

  1. William Hyde, The Private Journal of William Hyde (privately published, 1962), 19; spelling standardized.
  2. Cover art located in the Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. No additional info available at time of publication.