Transcription Phase

For the first phase of the project, I compiled relevant information in a very basic format to prepare to translate the material into a new format. Most of this information was copied and pasted from The Many Lives of Franklin S. Harris by Janet Jenson. Some of it was paraphrased, and the rest is interesting information from Family Search or other sources.

  1. Little about the parents, where they were living, where they came from, etc.
    1. Harris family came from Great Britain
    2. Emer Harris(Martin Harris’ brother) was FSH’s great grandfather. Emer was more stable in the church than Martin
    3. Stewart line came from Scotland
    4. FSH’s Stewart great-grandfather was Philander Barrett Stewart 
  2. birth (place, date, stories?, etc.)
    1. It was unusual that Franklin Stewart Harris was born in Benjamin, Utah. His parents had been on a teaching mission in Tooele, Utah and were about to start school in Provo. Tooele had needed a strong leader and teacher to control the spirit of “hoodlumism” in a wild element in the town and Karl G. Maeser recommended Dennison Emer Harris. In order to get him to come, authorities called him on a mission. Obedient (as was his father before him and his son after), he accepted the call, although it was a disappointment to him not to continue his education. Such was the dedication of Frank’s father to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He successfully taught in Tooele as school principal for two years before he asked for a release in order to attend Brigham Young Academy. For a month or two between leaving Tooele and going to Provo, Dennis spent some time with his family in Monroe, while his wife Eunice stayed at her sister’s home in Benjamin. Since her sister, Sarah Koontz, was a nurse, it was decided that Eunice would stay there until after the birth of their second child. That is why, on 29 August 1884, Franklin Stewart Harris was born in an adobe house on the Stewart ranch, just west of the cemetery mound, in Benjamin, Utah. A month later Eunice, with her two children, joined her husband in Provo. So it was that young Frank spent the first year of his life in Provo, where he would later spend so many years.
    2. He didn’t know either of his grandfathers
  3. childhood(polygamist colony in Mexico), early education(any good stories from here)
    1. At the close of the 1885 school year, Dennis accepted a position as principal of the Payson City schools for the coming year. Frank spent his early childhood in a rented home in Payson. In later years he wrote, “I was born between Benjamin and Payson, and all my early childhood memories are centered around Payson; so I feel very much as if that were my home.” (To Lee R. Taylor, 29 Aug. 1935) In 1887 they built their first home, but Eunice moved into it alone, as her husband was called on another mission. A year earlier, he and Eunice decided they would follow the teachings of their religion and enter into plural marriage. These were the last years of plural marriage before the Manifesto, and there was a great deal of harassment as well as legal proceedings against polygamists. They nevertheless decided that they would follow the teachings of the Church, and in July 1886 Dennis married Annie Jane Wride. His two families operated as a harmonious unit from then on, and even in her old age Eunice attested to the value of what they had done in entering plural marriage. The two wives were equal, even in the fact that each bore nine children, although Annie did have an additional stillborn child.{grew up mostly in Payson, parents entered into plural marriage right before the change was made}
    2. He was a quiet child, preferred toys and pets to playing with the other children
    3. He was “especially fond of his mother all his life”
    4. They moved to Mexico(colonia diaz, then colonia juarez) to avoid persecution for polygamy
  4. Higher education(university), young adult life
    1. Went to BYU and met John A Widstoe, who had been the director of the Utah Agricultural Experiment station at the Agricultural College of Utah(USU), but had been dismissed because of political differences and come to BYU to teach
    2. FSH became an assistant of Widstoe and worked with him his senior year before he graduated(without having to take his tests, might I add)
    3. That was when he met Frankie Estella Spilsbury and started courting her
    4. After graduation, Frank went to ACU with Widstoe and worked with widstoe there
    5. He wrote about the time he spent with Estelle during Christmas break in Spanish, either to keep it secret, or to add romance? He proposed during the break and she said yes
    6.  he seemed to be taking a crash course in French as he studied it nearly every day for two weeks. It is probable that this cramming was in preparation for entrance into Cornell University. As early as April he had approached Jens Johansen about borrowing money to go East to school. His parents were proud of his goal to get a Ph.D. that “exceeded our most extravagant dreams for him” (E. S. Harris n.d. Auto, 54), but with their many children, “encouragement was about the only help that the family could give him.” (E. S. Harris, n.d. Frank, 5) Two friends came through to help him get the loan—his ever-staunch supporter John A. Widtsoe, and the bishop of his ward in Logan, John Q. Adams. They signed notes with him so he could get a four hundred dollar loan from Johansen at ten percent interest. Frank repaid the loan within two months of returning to Logan.
    7. With the mercenary side of things taken care of, Frank was able to go forward with the romantic aspect of life. His journal entry for his Salt Lake Temple wedding was hardly romantic, however. He noted, “Got married. Mr. and Mrs. C. had a few friends at their home.” (Diary, 18 June 1908) In later years he talked of getting married from the Widtsoe home, as the parents of neither were around (To Frank Jr., 13 Oct. 1932), but it seems it was actually the C’s (probably Estelle’s sister, Belle [Isabel] S. Christensen) who hosted festivities after the marriage. Estelle’s mother, at least, was present, as they took her to the theater the night before the marriage. His parents were almost certainly both in Canada at the time, and her father probably did not make the trip to Salt Lake from Toquerville. The newlyweds spent a few days in Provo and Salt Lake visiting friends and relatives before taking the train to Logan where Frank continued to work in the lab until the end of July. On the road from the depot in Logan they were given a rice shower by Alice Dunford, George R. Hill Jr., and Ernest Carroll. They lived with the Widtsoes where they had an interesting experience on 28 June when Lucy Walker Kimball came to dinner. She was a plural wife of Joseph Smith and talked a great deal about him
    8. After a few days spent fixing up their living quarters at 122 Linden Ave., Ithaca, Frank started right in with his school work. The first time he looked over the campus he pronounced it a “great place,” and it seems that his three years at Cornell were a good experience. They did not have a lot of money. In fact, the first year they shared an apartment with a couple who had two children. They arranged hours on the coal stove so as not to interfere with each other. Coal burning stoves heated the rooms which were lighted with kerosene lamps. (Estella Spilsbury Harris in Vignettes, 86-87) Being a married student was an unusual situation in those days. Many years later Frank would be asked if college students should marry. He answered that he thought married college students were more stable, but that if a student did not have the right kind of wife, he would have to drop out of school to support her immediate wants. Estelle was the right kind of wife, being as frugal as Frank was, and they made time to enjoy together cultural pursuits, religious activities, and the rich intellectual life of the university. Frank believed Estelle had been an “invaluable stimulation and encouragement and helped me in many ways.” (Culmsee 1950; see also Stark 1988, 24) 
    9. During the Christmas holidays he worked in the laboratory of one of his professors, Dr. Thomas Lyttleton Lyon, doing analytical work. This may be the time when one biographer reported that he earned twenty-five cents an hour as a lab assistant. (
    10. “Preparations began for an event. Estelle sick. Up all night.” Then on 25 May, “Baby born at 11 in forenoon.” 
    11. Although there were a number of Utah people at Cornell, they did not have an established branch of the LDS Church or hold any church meetings. They did get together frequently for dinners or social functions.
  5. After graduation from Cornell
    1. This was followed up by a formal letter in October offering him a professorship in agronomy for not less than eighteen hundred dollars a year. Frank was offered three thousand dollars a year to stay at Cornell and teach (Middleton 1935), but he made the decision to return to Utah. Often in later years he would tell people of this when they were concerned at how little they were making at Brigham Young University. He always maintained that he never regretted making that decision. In April 1911 a telegram came from Widtsoe confirming his appointment as professor of agronomy at eighteen hundred dollars a year plus a free house on campus
  6. President of BYU
    1. President of BYU 1921-1945
    2. He was considered for the president of U of U
    3. Harris turned BYU from a high school with a small college program into a real university: As a new president Harris considered the academic structure and expected to “reorganize the institution along modern lines and make of it a university that can be accorded fullest recognition and also an institution that can give the maximum service to the people of the Church particularly as well as to the entire intermountain country.” (To Hugh W. Woodward, 17 June 1921) When he arrived, BYU’s reputation was as a high school and a normal (or teacher training) college. There were only 438 college students as compared with 807 high school and elementary students. (Boyle 1945) As when Harris was a student, the high school and college students were in classes together. (Cannon 1974, 81) An administrative council which had governed the university the year before he came made an attempt to change the reputation by dividing the university into the School of Education (the former Church Teachers College) and the School of Arts and Sciences. Harris went further by separating out the high school, putting it in its own building (Cannon 1974, 90),10 and changing the name of the High School Building to the Education Building. (K. A. Miller 1989, 31) He organized five colleges within a few years after his arrival: Education, Arts and Sciences, Commerce and Business Administration, Applied Science, and Fine Arts. He also organized the Graduate Division (although graduate work had been authorized in 1916), the Research Division, and the Extension Division. Although most of the colleges and divisions began to grow and prosper, the climate was not ripe for the Research Division and there was not time yet for much research, so Harris oversaw the work of that division, and initially did a lot of the research himself. (
    4.  Many say that he is the one who turned it into a university, although the actual date when the name was changed from Brigham Young Academy to Brigham Young University was 1903.
    5. One of the small things was his immediate negotiation with Provo City officials to change “Academy Avenue” to “University Avenue”
    6. He created education week: Soon after his arrival in Provo, Harris instituted Leadership Week, which evolved into Education Week.
    7. The students were probably particularly happy with one innovation Harris made. 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,” (From B. F. Larsen, 13 Feb. 1959, Provo Chamber testimonial) or as “men and women in the real sense.” (President Harris gives welcoming 1923) This innovation was in spite of the fact (or perhaps because of it), that the superintendent of church schools sent a circular letter in July 1921 regarding a dress modification campaign which, among other things, urged that girls be discouraged from wearing chiffon, loose sweaters, lace stockings, and French heeled shoes. (From Adam S. Bennion, 12 July and 27 Sept. 1921)
    8. BYU enrollment more than doubled in the first two years of Harris’s presidency and kept going up, but the appropriation from the church did not go up correspondingly. At one point the Church Board of Education decided BYU would have to limit enrollment or limit various programs to keep within the appropriation. BYU had a new library but inadequate funds for operating it. They couldn’t get accredited because department equipment wasn’t adequate and faculty teaching loads were too high. Funds needed to maintain physical facilities were used for programs. Students were unable to pay fees during the Depression. Tithing funds were greatly reduced for the same reason which meant BYU appropriations had to be reduced. It was no wonder Harris had to manipulate and pinch pennies to keep BYU going. (Church Board of Education minutes, 2 May 1923, 4 Mar. 1925, 26 Mar. 1937; BYU executive, 6 June 1924; to Adam S. Bennion, 2 May 1935; George Stewart, 4 Jan. 1926; Kiefer B. Sauls, 3 Dec. 1926; Frank Harris Jr., 6 May 1932)
    9. Within a year after he became president, Harris had outlined an ambitious building program, with a new library being the first building proposed. In 1924 Harris began his library campaign in earnest, first approaching President Heber J. Grant with his plans and later the Church Commission of Education. He even had the commissioners and their wives to dinner when they came down to investigate the question. In August the Church Board of Education appropriated $125,000 for the new library,17 and Harris was elated. By the end of the month he and the architect had left on a trip to look at a dozen or more libraries between Salt Lake City and Chicago. Ground was broken for the new building on Founders Day in October 1924, but the contract was not let until March, and the building was dedicated in October 1925. The original intent was that the library would be the first phase of a larger building, and by 1938 the library was again too small. In 1940 Harris proposed that the planned addition be built but, possibly due to World War II, it never was. Harris realized that the content of the library was even more important than the building. When he arrived in 1921, estimated library holdings were anywhere from 10,000 to 19,000 volumes. When he left in 1945, estimates were between 119,000 and 138,000. 
    10. In addition to library collections, Harris endeavored to upgrade art and science collections. He believed it was important that students be surrounded with good works of art in order to develop greater appreciation for it. During his administration he bought about seven hundred art works and had them hung in offices, halls, and classrooms.
  7. World travels
    1. First trip:  Harris… decided that the next year was the year to be away from Brigham Young University, and by the first week in December he had another scheme going. He had been invited to present a paper at the Third Pan-Pacific Science Congress to be held in Japan from 18 October to 19 November, 1926.2 He wanted to take a year to continue on around the world and spend whatever of the year was left in the universities of Europe. He began immediately working on schemes to finance such an ambitious project. Again he turned to Widtsoe and Merrill to see if he could do work for either of their respective government departments. He presented a definite idea to Widtsoe. One of the chief difficulties of current reclamation projects was the waterlogging of the soil and accumulation of alkali. He proposed studying the way this problem was met in the oldercountries such as India and Egypt, and wondered if the Reclamation Service would be willing to take over two thousand dollars of his expenses if he were to make such a study and report to them. (To John A. Widtsoe, 3 Dec. 1925) Writing to Merrill he wondered about making “a study of methods under long established irrigation projects.” (To M. C. Merrill, 3 Dec. 1925) 
    2. The day before he left Harris spent some time with the First Presidency receiving instructions on what they wanted done in Japan and Syria. At his request they gave him a blessing, with Anthony W. Ivins being voice. They blessed him to “go in peace and return in safety” and to “be a witness of the truth of the Gospel and its fruits.” (Blessing 1926) The 1920s version of an around-the-world tour was by boat rather than by airplane
    3. It took a week to make the trip to the Hawaiian Islands, and Harris stopped over on Oahu for a week before boarding the SS President Wilson to continue his trip. He spent most of his time on the island with church people, particularly Antoine R. Ivins, who was managing the church sugar plantation at Laie. He toured most of the plantation and spent a day at the University of Hawaii (then about half the size of BYU), the Federal Experiment Station, and the Bureau of Forestry. The next stage on the boat, to Yokohama, took ten days. As on all the boats during his journey, he participated in the usual activities of a long boat trip—reading, walking on the deck, socializing with other passengers, playing deck games, and writing letters and sometimes articles. He always attended the Sunday church services on board his boats, sometimes twice if they were held twice. 
    4. He began immediately, the day after he arrived [in Japan], to fulfill his assignment from the First Presidency to contact the Japanese members of the Church and organize MIAs. He called on Fujiya Nara6 at his office in the Traffic Bureau of the Department of Railways. Brother Nara and three other members spent the evening with Harris at the hotel.
    5. The first group Harris organized were the members in Osaka. He took Brother Nara with him to that city on his way to Shimonoseki to catch the boat for Korea. On Friday, 25 October they spent the entire day getting in touch with church members and getting them organized. It was fortunate Brother Nara had been able to go with him, as few in Osaka spoke English and there was “much going on street cars and through many strange-looking streets.” In the evening, after Brother Nara had returned to Tokyo, the members came to Harris’s hotel and he “organized an MIA and explained to them about the work.” (Diary, 24 Oct. 1926) In speaking of this experience Harris wrote, “I found the members in Osaka to be intelligent and devout. I could not in any other way have had so good an opportunity of getting into their homes and seeing the real Japan. The ordinary tourist never gets these chances at seeing the inside.” (To family, 26 Sept. 1926)
    6. Harris spent a day with one of the after-congress excursions in Kyoto, then left the group for Kobe where he boarded the SS President Van Buren on 13 November. He was on a boat for a full month, although he changed to the SS Edavana in Penang and to the SS Ekina in Rangoon. Stops were made at some of the major cities of Asia en route, and he spent one to three days sight-seeing in each of the following: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Penang, and Rangoon. 
    7. In the Calcutta botanical gardens he made it a point to visit the oldest banyan tree in the world (157 years) and wrote home to the Y News about it, since the BYU yearbook was titled Banyan. He told them the tree was 89 feet high, 1000 feet in circumference, and had 601 aerial roots that rooted in the ground. “Our entire B.Y.U. student body could stand under this tree at one time and all of them be shaded by its branches
    8. At Benares Harris contemplated the four major religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, Muhammadanism, and Christianity) which he had observed there and throughout Asia. As he took a boat ride up and down the Ganges, watching the people ritually bathing in the river and the corpses burning on the shore, he was struck by the comment of his guide that the four religions did not have four different gods but only one god known by different names.
    9. Like most Westerners encountering the Orient for the first time, Harris was alternately fascinated and frustrated. He was fascinated by the differences. I have never had so many new kinds of experiences and seen so many new kinds of sights in my life in one day. This is really the Orient and the Orient is just different from the Occident. The point of view is not the same in many fundamental things. After he returned home, having been through Europe, he commented, As interesting as Europe is it did not really have the charm of the Orient because in the Orient there is so much that is so entirely different from anything that I have ever known before. The various customs of the people, their ways of dressing, and their social life are so different from anything that we have known that every day of seeing things is a real adventure
    10. Another thing he enjoyed was reading the Bible as he traveled through the Orient. This oriental country helps me to understand it [the Bible] better because in many places they still do things in much the same way as they were described in ancient bible times, which is very different from the way we now do the same things. (To Chauncy, 17 Oct. 1926
    11. There were frustrations as well as fascinations. One frustration was the physical discomforts. He was used to American comforts and often commented on the comforts he did or did not get in relation to American standards as he traveled on boats and stayed in hotels. Living on the floor in Japan was uncomfortable for him, as for most Westerners, although he experienced a minimal amount of it. He also found that while some of the Japanese food was good, some of it “is eaten for some reason that I have not yet been able to discover.” In short, Harris would be glad to get out of the Orient. “I shall have been under its influence six months before I finally escape.” 
    12. One of the reasons he had difficulty in Asia was the amount of suffering he saw, so much of which could be eliminated with the banishing of ignorance from that part of the world. He wept at the ignorance, filth, and superstition, but also for joy that a new day was dawning and hoped the day would soon come when “mankind may be saved from the terrible thraldom [sic] that goes with superstition, and ignorance, and laziness and vice.” If he was made sorrowful, he was also learning a lot. The experiences that I am having are teaching me a lot of very fundamental lessons and I hope that out of them I may learn better than I have known before the things that are really important and those which are trivial in making for human happiness. I can see very clearly that a great part of the human energy of the past has gone to worship of gods of stone when at the same time there was really important work to be done in the world. In the end, he felt that the interesting things more than compensated for the frustrations. 
    13. Traveling by auto stage this time and visiting famous cities on the way, Harris went to Haifa on 1 February for an overnight stay and then on to Beirūt, Lebanon. There he was met by President Joseph W. Booth of the Armenian Mission and began the second assignment he had been given by the First Presidency. He was to become acquainted with conditions of the Armenian Saints and report on the possibilities of establishing an agricultural colony for them.
    14. The original homeland of the Armenians was an area southwest of the Black Sea and northeast of the Mediterranean. For several centuries Armenia had been only a culture, not an independent country. Armenians in Turkey in the late 1800s were persecuted, massacred, and finally in 1915 over 1,750,000 of them were deported to Syria. About a third of their number died in the Mesopotamian deserts. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. s. v. “Armenia”) It was only in 1990 with the break-up of the Soviet Union, that Armenia became once again an independent country, although there are still Armenians in surrounding areas. Harris spent ten days with President Booth, visiting with the Armenian members of the Church. On the way to mission headquarters in Aleppo, Syria, they visited with members in an Armenian refugee camp in Beirūt and with Armenian members in Damascus, Syria. They always managed to see other sights along the way. Harris spent several days in Aleppo talking with members of the Church and going to their meetings. He was intrigued by their languages. When he spoke to them in meetings it was translated into Turkish, but Armenian was their mother tongue, Arabic the chief language of that part of the world, French the official language, and English the language of the Church. He stayed at the mission compound where members lived with as many as three families in one room.
    15. Harris found only twenty of the members were able to support themselves, but characterized them as being similar to handcart pioneers who had also been destitute but were willing to work hard and long to raise their standard of living. But since they were only able to use “hand labor,” he felt that they wouldn’t be able to raise their standard much. (Harris 1927s; D. C. Peterson 1992, 337) 
    16. For Harris and most Americans in his era, there was no question but that the Western culture and lifestyle were superior and that the Western way should be taken to the East whether they wanted it or not. He had the best of intentions, but nevertheless his attitude was influenced by the spirit of colonialism. Of course there were few Westerners in his day who did not share this attitude, and it would have been very unusual if he had thought any differently. As he moved into Europe he may not have been as fascinated as he was in Asia, but he felt much more at home and mixed more willingly and easily with the local people. 
    17. After three weeks visiting the major cities of Italy, and a few days in Switzerland, all by train, Harris arrived at the Hotel Malherbe in the Latin Quarter of Paris. That hotel became his headquarters for the duration of his European stay. Perhaps because he spent so much time there, Harris considered Paris to be the greatest city in the world. He also thought it was the “only city” in France and that rural France was inferior
    18. A[..] personalized aspect of his travel was his ties with the Church. How many standard tourists look up the birthplace of Karl G. Maeser in Meissen, Germany, as he did, even getting the kind people who lived there to show him the room in the top story where Maeser was born? He often looked up the missionaries or the mission home and frequently found BYU students and others he knew
  8. Anything else that looks interesting
    1. Father in talking about teaching and discipline problems said that if the teaching were good that there would seldom be a discipline problem
    2. 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 is was romantic dirt.  
    3. When father was a child he looked forward to having refreshments (the Sacrament) in church