Scope and Content

Extensive files accumulated by Gates as wife and mother, church worker, author, editor, lecturer, teacher, and organizer of LDS women's groups and activities.

Papers include Gates's correspondence with family members, as well as many other individuals and organizations; occasional journals and other autobiographical materials kept by Gates and her relatives, as well as other family papers such as patriarchal blessings; files documenting Gates's interest in genealogical and temple work and especially genealogy of Brigham Young family; files regarding her service on Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and Relief Society general boards (1889-1901 and 1911-1922, respectively) and as editor of their official journals, Young Woman's Journal and Relief Society Magazine; files relating to Gates's major writings, especially her unpublished History of Women and her biography of her father, The Life Story of Brigham Young, as well as other books, poems, short stories, and plays; and numerous newspaper clippings about Gates and people and issues of interest to her, many of them reporting opera career of her daughter, Emma Lucy Gates Bowen.

In addition to types of records already mentioned, Gates papers also contain numerous programs and invitations, as well as scrapbooks, financial records, texts of speeches, biographies of LDS women, and occasional minutes of meetings. Family photographs and other visual images received with Gates papers were removed for separate cataloging.

Besides husband Jacob F. Gates, children Leah D. Widtsoe, Emma Lucy Gates Bowen, B. Cecil Gates, Harvey H. Gates, and Franklin Y. Gates, mother Lucy Bigelow Young, grandmother Mary G. Bigelow, sisters Dora Y. Hagan and Mabel Y. Sanborn, and father-in-law Jacob Gates, other frequent correspondents represented in Gates papers include church leaders Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, Abraham H. Cannon, Reed Smoot, John A. Widtsoe, Elmina S. Taylor, and Emmeline B. Wells, half-sister Zina Y. Card, close friend Elizabeth C. McCune, lecturer Lydia M. Mountford, and officers of National Council of Women and International Council of Women.

Portion of Gates's papers held by her daughter Leah D. Widtsoe, as well as additional papers of Emma Lucy Gates Bowen beyond those found in MS 7692, are at Utah State Historical Society. Historical Department has registers for both those collections and microfilm copy (MS 8884) of Gates papers. Official Relief Society files kept by Susa Young Gates are cataloged as CR 11 256. Correspondence of Susa Young Gates and other family members can also be found in Widtsoe family papers (MS 5417).

Gates was daughter of Brigham and Lucy Bigelow Young. Studied at University of Deseret in Salt Lake City. Moved to St. George, Utah, 1870. Married Alma B. Dunford, 1872. Divorced and moved to Provo, Utah, where she taught at Brigham Young Academy. Married Jacob F. Gates, 1880. Mother of thirteen children. Served mission with husband in Laie, Hawaii, 1885-1889. Trustee of Brigham Young Academy/Brigham Young University, 1891-1925, and Utah Agricultural College, 1905-1911. Officer of Genealogical Society of Utah from 1923. Involved in national woman's suffrage movement and served as president of Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

Arrangement of Materials


113 boxes

113 boxes

Linear Feet

Use and Access

Portions closed to research.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], Susa Young Gates papers. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

Related Material

Gates files that passed into hands of daughter Leah D. Widtsoe were donated in 1976 to Utah State Historical Society.

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Gates, Susa Amelia Young, 1856-1933
Language of the Materials
Access Restrictions
Portions closed to research.
Alternate Finding Aids
Electronic Version
113 boxes
113 boxes

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