On the Trail of the Twentieth-Century Mormon Outmigration

Beginning around 1900, the Church changed its practice of encouraging all Saints to come to the Intermountain West. And a shortage of jobs and educational opportunities led many young Latter–day Saints to move. These outmigrants put down roots and helped establish the Church in their communities. Over time, the number of Saints leaving the West increased due to the Great Depression and job opportunities elsewhere. The research for this project focused on migration to twenty U.S. cities. It looks at assimilation, replication of Mormon practices, having critical mass in a community of Saints, and the influence of military service and missions on those who left the west. It also tells the stories of three people, William F. Edwards, Roy Oscarson, and La Dorna Eichenberg, who left Utah between 1928 and 1932.

The Mormon Outmigration Leadership History Project Records are now available at the BYU Perry Special Collections, MSS 7469. It contains the case files, transcripts, photographs, newspaper clippings and oral history interviews collected by the Outmigration Leadership History Project between the mid–1980s and 2007.

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