Levi Stewart Udall collection

MS 293
Certificate of Life Membership in the Morse Telegraph Club of America, undated

Certificate of Life Membership in the Morse Telegraph Club of America issued to Hon. Levi S. Udall, undated.

Collection area: Political Affairs

Collection dates: 1842-1974

About this collection

Papers, 1842-1974 (bulk 1910-1960), of Levi Stewart Udall (1891-1960), lawyer and judge. Includes personal files, correspondence, reminiscences, activity files, ledgers, and speeches relating mainly to his family, their settlement in Saint Johns, Arizona, his professional activities and services to the state and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The bulk of these papers are found in three series, Correspondence, Activity Files, and Speeches. These papers best document the Udall family, their settlement in Arizona, the influence of the church in their lives, the editing and publication of his father's memoirs in Arizona Pioneer Mormon, and the many civic and religious speeches given by Levi Udall.

This collection does not document Udall's official tenure as a leader in Mormon organizations, or his career as a lawyer and judge in St. Johns and Phoenix. There is little information which recounts his youth on the farm, his stewardship as farmer, or his life as father to six children, including two of Arizona's most respected Democratic politicians. There is little correspondence between members of the Udall family.

Historical background

Levi S. Udall was born 20 January 1891 at Saint Johns, Arizona, to David K. and Ella Udall, Morman pioneers to Arizona in 1880. His childhood was spent working on his father's farm and carrying United States mail by team and buckboard for his father's mail contract business. He attended public school in St. Johns, completed his secondary education at Gila Academy (1910-1911), and briefly attended the University of Arizona, Tucson.

He married Louise Lee of Thatcher, Arizona, on 10 June 1914. They had six children: Inez, Elma, Stewart, Morris, Eloise, and Burr. In addition to the farm, the family operated Apache Abstract Company (c. 1930-1945), the only title company in Apche County. He was member of the Arizona Boy Scouts Councils (1915-1960). He worked as a clerk for the Apache County Board of Supervisors (1915-1918), and as a clerk for the Superior Court (1919-1920). An Democratic National Convention in San Francisco (1920). Admitted to the state bar (1922), he served as county attorney for Apache County (1922-1923, 1927-1928). He was elected as Judge of the Superior Court (1931-1946), and later, as Judge to the Arizona Supreme Court (1947-1960).

He was appointed Ward president for the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (1915-1920), a Morman organization. Ordained into the Mormon priesthood by his father, David K. Udall in 1920, Levi Udall was a committed member of his church. He served as president of the St. Johns Stake (1922-1945), and later was appointed as Patriarch for the Phoenix North Stake.

Dedicated to the preservation of his father's deeds, he edited a biogrpahy prepared by his sister, Pearl Udall Nelson, titled Arizona Pioneer Mormon (1915). A member of many civic associations, he was awarded both the Medallion of Merit (1959) and an honorary Doctor of LAws (1960) by the University of Arizona.

He died of a heart attack in Wickenburg, Arizona, on 30 May 1960.

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