Mormon Missionary Diaries
About the Collection
Newton Rumell Jackson
by Jeffrey S. Hardy
Newton Rumell Jackson was born on 3 June 1889 in Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, to John Jackson and Seraph Celestia Noyes. He was the fourth of five boys in the family, but the first two had died before Newton’s birth. His grandfathers were both early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and helped settle Fillmore. From 1904 to 1909 Newton studied at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, and obtained his high school diploma. Of his experience there he wrote that “the high ideals of the institution makes it a character builder for every student who comes under its influence.” 1
In 1911 Newton was called on a mission to Great Britain. Upon arriving in Liverpool he was assigned to the Liverpool Conference and labored for most of his mission in Lancaster. Evidently possessing a passion for learning, Newton recorded in his diary not just missionary experiences, but also observations of the language, culture, and history of the English people. He also purchased and read numerous books while in England. Newton experienced considerable opposition to his message, recording on one occasion: “As we started home the crowd of about 30 of them followed us yelling ‘Mormons, Mormons’ and everything else they could think of.” 2 To supplement his own experiences, he collected many anti-Mormon newspaper articles that were published in England during his mission. Newton felt strongly about the principle of obedience, stating that “if we understand God’s laws and the blessings obtained by obeying them, we also know what our dues are for disobeying.” 3 Newton also was sensitive to the Spirit, recording after one meeting that “as usual the spirit of the Lord was there in abundance and we had a spiritual feast.” 4
On 1 January 1912 Newton was appointed clerk of the Liverpool Conference. Soon thereafter he wrote a letter to his home bishop, testifying that “there is one and only one true Church of Christ,” and that “we the chosen servants of God are to prepare this world for the second coming of our Lord.” 5 In the capacity of clerk he spent much time preparing reports and writing rebuttals to the anti-Mormon propaganda in the British press. In July 1912 he took a sight-seeing trip to the continent and visited Holland, Germany, and France. On 6 December 1913 Newton boarded the ship Victorian and “bode farewell to Old England.” 6
After returning home Newton pursued a liberal education and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1917 with an Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.), a degree that signifies knowledge of Greek, Latin, and classical civilization. While attending BYU he met Jessie Isabella Hammond from Provo, Utah. Her grandfather, Francis A. Hammond was a prominent pioneer, missionary and church leader, as well as a founder of Provo. They were married on 5 June 1918 in Salt Lake City and in their marriage they were blessed with three children, Maxine (b. 7 November 1919), Robert (b. 28 September 1924), and Marilyn (b. 18 September 1918). Marilyn, unfortunately, died just a week after birth.
After graduation, Newton enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Camp Fremont, California, where he obtained the rank of sergeant in the Army Medical Corps. Upon his release from the army he enrolled at the University of Utah and studied medicine. After a year of study there he transferred to Stanford University in 1919, where he received his M.D. with honors in 1921. The Latter-day Saint Hospital in Utah then hired him as intern for a year and he remained there an additional year as a resident surgeon. His training complete, Newton opened his own practice in Salt Lake City as a surgeon and physician.
After completing fifty years of practice, Newton was recognized by the Salt Lake County medical society for his service to the community. Upon retirement he actively participated in the Red Cross blood bank program. Newton Rumell Jackson died of natural causes in Salt Lake City on 25 July 1976.
1 Newton R. Jackson, “Diary, 1913,” 15 January 1913, MSS SC 2852, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
2 Jackson, “Diary, 1912,” 19 January 1912, MSS SC 2852, LTPSC.
3 Ibid., 3 December 1912.
4 Ibid., 7 December 1912.
5 Newton R. Jackson to Provo Fifth Ward Bishopric, 2 February 1913. MSS SC 2852, LTPSC.
6 Jackson, “Diary, 1913,” 6 December 1913.
Alder, Cecil. Utah, the Storied Domain. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1932.
Ancestral File. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2002. 14 December 2003 available from http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp.
Jackson, Newton R. “Diaries, 1912-1913.” MSS SC 2852, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
Simmons, Ralph B. Utah’s Distinguished Personalities: A Biographical Directory of Eminent Contemporaneous Men and Women who are the Faithful Builders and Defenders of the State. Salt Lake City: Personality Publishing Company, 1933.
Salt Lake Tribune, Obituary of Newton Rumell Jackson, 25 July 1976.
West, Edmund, comp. Family Data Collection—Individual Records. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com Inc., 2000. 14 December 2003 available from http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/4725a.htm.