Franklin S. Harris is best known for his time as President of Brigham Young University, but there are many other aspects of his life that are less well-known that are important and interesting.
Frank grew up in somewhat unique circumstances, with his father having two wives, forcing the family to move to Mexico to avoid US laws against polygamy1. Because of this, Frank grew up speaking Spanish, which would have been his first introduction to foreign-language learning. While Frank was at BYU, he also studied French, and he spent much of his adult life traveling all over the world.
Although Frank didn’t necessarily always learn the language of the countries he visited, his love for other languages and cultures has been passed on to much of his posterity. I have seen this influence on my family and in my life very strongly. My dad and his brothers have always been interested in learning about other cultures, and my dad has certainly passed on his love of languages to me and my siblings:
My dad speaks fluent German, and some French and Hebrew, and he can read and understand some Czech, Bulgarian, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, and Spanish. He majored in Linguistics at BYU and is always making connections between languages and teaching these skills to me and my siblings.
My oldest brother speaks fluent Finnish and has studied Arabic, German, Czech, and Japanese; my second oldest brother has studied Chinese, Czech, and French; my third brother has studied Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Bulgarian, Czech, and a little bit of Armenian and Georgian; I have studied a little bit of Czech and Bulgarian and German, and I’m currently studying Arabic and Spanish; my younger brother has studied a little bit of Georgian, Armenian, Czech, and Bulgarian, and is planning to study Russian when he comes to BYU; And my sister has studied a little bit of Czech, Bulgarian, and German and who knows what she’ll decide to study in the future.
Franklin S. Harris’s influence in my life is clear through the interest in language that my whole family has. This book is a short children’s biography of Franklin S. Harris, written from information gathered from The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris by Janet Jenson, Family Search, memories from my grandfather, and Recollections of Franklin Stewart Harris by Franklin Stewart Harris, Jr. I decided to translate it into Farsi and Arabic, because these are two languages which Frank interacted with, and that members of my family have studied. I am currently studying Arabic here at BYU, and my brother Phineas is on his mission in Bulgaria speaking Farsi. I hope that this children’s book about my ancestor can help to connect me and my family to one of our ancestors through language.
Translated into Arabic by Lillian Jensen and Dalton Bradford. Translated into Farsi by Phineas Jensen. Illustrated by Lillian Jensen.
فرانک هاریس در بنیامین، یوتا در اوت سال ١٨٨۴ به دِنیسون و یونیس هاریس متولد شد.
ولد فرانك هاريس في بنيامين في ولاية يوتا لدنيسون ويونيس هاريس في أغسطس 1884.
Frank was a quiet child. He liked playing with toys more than playing with the other children.
فرانک بچهٔ آرامی بود. بازی کردن با اسباب بازی را بیشتر دوست داشت تا بازی کردن با بچه های دیگر.
فرانك كان ولد هادئ. أحبّ يلعب مع العاب أكثر من اللعب مع الأطفال الاخرين.
پدر فرانک دو تا همسر داشت پس مجبور شدند به مکزیک بروند برای اینکه تمام خانواده با همدیگر زندگی کنند.
والد فرانك كان لديه زوجتان فكان يجب أن تنتقل عائلة فرانك إلى المكسيك لعيش العائلتان جميعا.
Because Frank was raised in Mexico, he learned Spanish from a young age8. He learned to speak French, German, and Farsi during his life.
به خاطر اینکه فرانک تو مکزیک بزرگ شد، از سن جوانی زبان اسپانیایی را یاد گرفت. در عمرش یاد گرفت فرانسوی، آلمانی، و فارسی هم صحبت کند.
لأن أنشأ فرانك في المكسيك، فهو تعلم اللغة الاسبانية منذ سن صغير. خلال حياته هو تعلم اللغة الفرنسية واللغة الالمانية واللغة الفرسية.
Frank went to high school at Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, and then continued his education at Brigham Young University9.
فرانک دبیرستان را تمام کرد در آکادمی بریگهم یانگ در پرووو، یوتا سپس آموزشش را در دانشگاه بریگهم یانگ (BYU) ادامه داد.
حضر فرانك المدرسة الثانوية في اكاديمية بريغام يونغ في مدينة بروفو في ولاية يوتا، ثم استمر بدراساته في جامعة بريغام يونغ
While he was at BYU, Frank met Estelle Spilsbury, and they fell in love and got married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 18, 190810.
در حالیکه فرانک در BYU بود با استِل سپیلسبوری آشنا شد و عاشق شدند و در معبد سالت لیک ازدواج شدند در ۱۸ ژوئن ١٩٠٨
بينما كان في جامعة بريغام يونغ، تعرف فرانك على استيل سبيلزبوري، ووقعا في الحب وتزوجا في معبد سولت لايك في 18 يونيوعام 1908
Later that year, Frank and Estelle went East so that Frank could get his PhD at Cornell University in New York.
کمی بعد در همین سال فرانک و استل به آمریکای شرقی رفتند تا فرانک بتواند دکتری را بگیرد در دانشگاه کورنل تو نیویورک.
لاحقا في تلك السنة، ذهبا فرانك واستيل الى الشرق حتى يحصل فرانك على الدكتوراه في جامعة كورنيل في ولاية نيو يورك.
Estelle had their first baby, Arlene, on May 25, 190911.
استل بچهٔ اولشان را، آرلین، به دنیا آورد در ٢۵ مه ١٩٠٩
ان جبت استيل ولدتهما اسمها ارلين في 25 مايو عام 1909.
After Frank received his PhD from Cornell, he returned to Utah to teach at the Agricultural College of Utah in Logan12.
بعد از اینکه فرانک دکتری را از کورنل دریافت کرد به یوتا برگشت تا در کالج کشاورزی یوتا تو شهر لوگان آموزش بدهد.
بعد أن حصل فرانك على الدكتوراه عاد الى يوتا ليعلم في كلية يوتا الزراعة في مدينة لوغان.
فرانک و استل ۶ تا فرزند را داشتند: آرلین، فرانک جونیور، چانسی، هِلِن، لیاه، و میلدرِد.
انجابا فرانك واستيل ستة اولاد: ارلين، فرانك الصغير، تشانسي، هلن، ليا وميلدرد.
بعد از آموزش دادن فرانک رئیس BYU شد. فرانک BYU از یک دبیرستان به دانشگاه واقعی عوض کرد.
بعد التدريس اصبح فرانك رئسا لجامعة بريغام يونغ. غير فرانك جامعة بريغام يونغ من مدرسة الى جامعة حقيقية.
Frank and Estelle traveled all over the world together18.
فرانک و است با هم در سراسر جهان مسافرت کردند.
سافرا فرانك واستيل حول العالم جميعا.
Frank and Estelle lived in Iran for 3 years. They loved learning about the literature, history, food, and culture of Iran.
فرانک و استل ۳ سال در ایران زندگی کرد. خیلی دوست داشتند در بارهٔ ادبیات، تاریخ، غذا، و فرهنگ ایران یاد بگیرند.
عاشا فرانك واستيل في إيران 3 سنوات. حبا التعليم عن الأدب والتاريخ والأكل وثقافة إيران.
Once, while in Iran, his Iranian guide had shown him some agricultural areas and it got dark, and they got lost. Frank used the stars to help guide them back to civilization19.
یک بار تو ایران راهنمای فرانک بعضی مساحت های کشاورزی به او نشان داده بود و تاریک شد و گم شدند. فرانک ستاره ها را استفاده کرد تا خود را به مدنیت راهنمایی کند.
مرة واحدة في إيران قد قدم مشرفهما الإيراني له كم منطقة زراعية ثم اصبح اليوم مظلما وضاعوا. استعمل فرانك النجوم لتوجيههم الى الحضارة.
Frank also visited other countries in the Middle East, traveling to Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq20.
فرانک همینطور با صفر به مصر، فلسطین، لبنان، سوریه، عربستان سعودی، و عراق از خاورمیانه بازدید کرد.
اضافة زار فرانك الشرق الاوسط مسافرة الى المصر والفلسطين واللبنان والسوريا والسعودية والعراق.
Most of his world travels were for work, but he learned a lot about the different cultures and customs of the world in his travels.21
بیشتر از مسافرتهای جهانش برای کار بودند، اما خیلی یاد گرفت در بارهٔ فرهنگها و عادت های مختلف جهان در مسافرت هایش.
قام باغلبية رحلاته العالمية من شانه العمل ولكن تعلم كثيرا عن الثقافات المختلفة وعادات العالم من خلال رحلاته.
1In 1890, after two decades of fighting and avoiding US laws against polygamy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a proclamation stating that the Church was no longer going to teach or permit polygamy in order to comply with the laws of the US. This proclamation is now published as “Declaration 1” in the Doctrine and Covenants. [“The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/the-manifesto-and-the-end-of-plural-marriage?lang=eng.] back
2I decided to translate the life of Franklin S. Harris into a trilingual, illustrated children’s book because it incorporates two important parts of Frank’s life that I feel connected to: his multilingualism, and his love of art. back
3Franklin S. Harris was my great-grandfather on my father’s side (my grandfather’s grandfather). He was born on August 29, 1884 and died on April 8, 1960. [“Franklin S. Harris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Nov. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_S._Harris.%5D
4Franklin and his family didn’t live in Benjamin for very long, so it was a little unusual for him to have been born there. [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 1]
5Full name Denison Emer Harris. His middle name, Emer, came from his grandfather, who was Martin Harris’s brother. [FamilySearch, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KWC3-HMP.%5D
6Frank’s father and mother decided to enter into plural marriage shortly before the Manifesto [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 1].
7The families were very equal, even to the number of children. Both wives had nine children [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 1].
8Frank even sometimes wrote in his journal in Spanish. When he wrote in his journal about Estelle, who would later be his wife, he often wrote in Spanish. [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 31]
9Frank was mentored while at BYU by a professor named John A. Widstoe. In fact, Frank was so beloved by his professors, he didn’t even have to take his final exams to graduate [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 28-29].
10Frank was not a very romantic man. When he got married, all he wrote in his journal was, “Got married. Mr. and Mrs. C. had a few friends at their home.” [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 32]
11Again, Frank didn’t seem to be very emotional when his first daughter was born. He wrote, “Preparations began for an event. Estelle sick. Up all night.” Then on 25 May, “Baby born at 11 in forenoon.” [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 33]
12Frank was also offered a job at Cornell for a much higher salary, but he decided to return to Utah[Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 36].
13I am a descendant of Franklin S. Harris through Leah Harris Jensen
14This painting is the only one in the book inspired by a real photograph from Frank’s biography.
15Frank made many changes to BYU while he was president there. One of the more interesting ones is that he announced that the book of student rules would be discarded. The only rule would be that students conduct themselves “as every honest Latter-day Saint should.” [Jenson, Janet. The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris. IBEX Publishers, 2003, pp. 77]
16Frank was president of BYU from July 1921 to June 1945 [“Franklin S. Harris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Nov. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_S._Harris.%5D
17Frank’s world travels were very important in the transition of BYU from a college to a university. When I asked my grandfather what he remembered about Frank, he said, “I think many people thought his travel was extravagant but he was trying to pull the university from a very small school to a world-class university, and he couldn’t achieve this without first-hand knowledge of what existed in the rest of the world.” [Jensen, William Dorius. “Re: Franklin S. Harris files.” Received by Lillian Jensen, 18 Oct. 2019]
18Frank and Estelle traveled all over Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East together. For some of these trips they had their family with them as well. As Franklin S. Harris Jr. said in his remembrances of his father, “One time at family dinner father and I were speaking of Paris with nostalgia. One of my younger sisters said that Paris was dirty, but father replied, yes, but it was romantic dirt.” [Harris, Franklin Stewart Jr. Recollections of Franklin Stewart Harris. 1980]
19This story is another memory from my grandfather. He wrote, “[Franklin S. Harris] visited us in Southern California when I was 7 or 8. We had some other cousins staying with us and we were sleeping outside. He came out to talk to us and gave us an astronomy lesson. He also told us about an event in Iran, where his Iranian guide had shown him some agricultural areas and it got dark, and they got lost. He used the stars to help guide them back to civilization. He noted the irony in the fact that he had to tell the Iranian how to get back, as the earliest astronomers were in Iran, but his guide was completely ignorant of astronomy and navigation!” [Jensen, William Dorius. “Re: Franklin S. Harris files.” Received by Lillian Jensen, 18 Oct. 2019]
20Although Frank never learned any Arabic as far as I know, because he spent time in the Middle East, I felt connected to him through my study of Arabic, and because of that connection, I decided to translate this short book into Arabic.
21This translation omits large portions of Franklin S. Harris’s life. When translating this into the new medium, I had to decide what was possible to translate into Farsi and Arabic, as well as what would be the most important parts to include in a children’s book. Because of this, I omitted much about his world travels, career at BYU, and all of his political campaigns. What remains is the information that I thought was the most accessible for children and the most important parts of his life.