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Bleak Family papers Edit


WASH 001
Finding Aid Author
Amber J. D'Ambrosio
Finding Aid Date
2013 February 15
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1865-1994 (Creation)


  • 3.55 Linear Feet (Whole)
    9 manuscript boxes

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  • Abstract

    The collection contains a variety of original documents as well as photocopies of Bleak’s diaries and other family history materials where the originals are held by libraries in northern Utah. The materials cover the years 1865 to 1994 and include papers from the Bleak Family Organization.

  • Biographical/Historical note

    James Godson Bleak, 1829-1918, was born in Southwark, Surrey, England to Thomas and Mary Godson Bleak. He was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while in England and traveled with his family to Utah in 1856 as part of the Martin Handcart Company. Before leaving to settle southern Utah, he was set apart as clerk and historian of the Southern Utah Mission, and he kept church tithing records for about twenty-five years. He and his family settled in St. George, Utah. Over the years he was very active in politics and civic affairs and was the postmaster and city recorder for St. George. He also held many jobs in the Church, such as: bishop, high councilman, stake presidency, stake patriarch, missionary to England, and was a Temple worker, chief recorder, and assistant to the Temple President in the St. George Temple for many years. He was the husband of four wives (Elizabeth, Caroline, Jane, and Matilda) and father of thirty-three children. He passed away in St. George, Utah in 1918.

    Jane Thompson Bleak was James G. Bleak’s third wife and many of the original items in the collection bear her signature. Jane Thompson was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, December 1, 1845, to Joseph Lewis Thompson and Penelope Thompson. Her family moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1855, and she moved west with her older brother's family as part of the Eldredge Company. Her father was a friend of James G. Bleak, and when Jane arrived in Salt Lake City, she stayed with the Bleaks until her family could come. Shortly after this the Bleaks were called by the Church to help settle the Cotton Mission in Utah's Dixie. Brigham Young requested that James G. Bleak take another wife, which he proposed to be Jane Thompson. She joined her husband in settling the Cotton Mission and outlived him by 24 years, dying in 1935 in St. George, Utah.

    The Bleak Family Organization was formed with the purpose of gathering together all known information regarding the family history, arranging family reunions, and arranging to make copies of James G. Bleak’s diaries available to members of the family.

  • Scope and Contents

    The collection contains a variety of original documents as well as photocopies of Bleak’s diaries and other family history materials held by the LDS Church Archive and Brigham Young University. The materials cover the years 1865 to 1994. Papers from the Bleak Family Organization, created to manage the family reunions and compilation of family history information, also comprise a portion of the collection. These papers include addresses of family members, completed order/registration forms for copies of the diaries and attendance at the family reunion, account information, and other organizational information. Family history research conducted by various members of the family and collected together by Glenn E. Snow includes pedigree charts, photographs, newspaper clippings, bulletins, and other miscellaneous materials. The correspondence and financial records of James G. Bleak and his third wife Jane Thompson Bleak comprise most of the original documents in the collection.

    Because the collection was gathered together by Glenn E. Snow for the purpose of writing a book on James G. Bleak, the significance of the materials to Washington County, and the fact that the originals are housed in Provo and Salt Lake City, the photocopies of Bleak’s writings and diaries have been retained in the collection.

  • Arrangement

    The collection is organized into series by originator or type of material and then into files of similar materials.

  • Existence and Location of Originals

    Photocopies of materials in the collection originate from the LDS Church Archive and the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University. They are retained within the collection to facilitate local access to material of importance to the region.

  • Separated Materials

    The following publications were removed from the collection and cataloged as part of the Special Collections book collection:

    John Jaques. Catechism for Children, Exhibiting the Prominent Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Liverpool: Horace S. Eldredge, undated.

    Richard S. Rosenthal. The Meisterschaft System. A Short and Practical Method of Acquiring Complete Fluency of Speech in the Spanish Language. Boston: Meisterchaft Publishing Company, 1890.

    The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah (April 1913).

    John Clifton Moffitt. John Rocky Park in Utah’s Frontier Culture. 1947.

    David O. McKay. Ancient Apostles. Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1952.

    George Reynolds. A Complete Concordance to the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, 1900.

    Caroline S. Addy. James Godson Bleak: Pioneer Historian of Southern Utah. Thesis. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1953.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item description and date, MC 01 Bleak Family papers, 1865-1994, Dixie State University Special Collections & Archives.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Reproduction and use of the materials in this collection are subject to copyright law. Many materials in this collection are reproductions of items held in other archives, and Dixie State University Library Special Collections and Archives cannot grant copyright or use permissions for those items. Dixie State University Library Special Collections and Archives holds the copyright to original, unpublished material in the collection that is not in the public domain. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist and a correct citation provided. A user may be asked to submit a "Request for one-time use of photocopies or reproductions" form in order to obtain reproductions.