Transcript for Andrew Jenson, "Northwestern States Mission," Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941), 594-96
NORTHWESTERN STATES MISSION comprises the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana and the northern part of Idaho; also the Province of British Columbia in Canada, and Alaska. It consists of seven districts, or conferences, namely, Montana, Oregon, Southern Oregon, East Washington, West Washington, Southwest Washington and British Columbia.
In 1890 the Oregon Lumber Company was organized by David Eccles, Charles W. Nibley and other influential members of the Church to operate in Sumpter Valley, Oregon, with offices at Baker City, Oregon. A number of Latter-day Saints were employed by said company in whose interest a Sunday school was organized at Baker City, and in 1893 a branch organization was effected as a part of the Oneida Stake of Zion. Pres. George C. Parkinson of the Oneida Stake, visiting the district, learned that there were a number of scattered Latter-day Saints in the northwest, and in reporting to the First Presidency he stated that in his opinion missionary labors might be carried on there successfully. This led to the appointment, in 1896, of Edward Stevenson of the First Council of Seventy to proceed to Montana, Washington, and Oregon and open up a mission. He was accompanied by Matthias F. Cowley, second counselor in the presidency of the Oneida Stake, and, later the same year, the Montana Mission was opened up and placed under the temporary jurisdiction of the Bannock Stake.
Elders Stevenson and Cowley then went into the states of Oregon and Washington, laboring in Spokane and Walla Walla in Washington, Lewiston in Idaho, Baker City in Oregon, and in other cities, with the result that on July 26, 1897, the Northwestern States Mission was organized with George C. Parkinson, president of the Oneida Stake, as president and Charles D. Goaslind (stake clerk) as secretary. Elders Lewis S. Pond, Denmark Jensen, Thomas Preston, George Z. Lamb, Gaston L. Braley and James R. Smurthwaite were called to labor in the mission with Lewis S. Pond as presiding Elder, all acting under the direction of Pres. George C. Parkinson. Other missionaries went into the district and three conferences were organized, namely, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
On June 12, 1898, the territory included in the Northwestern States Mission was enlarged by the addition of the state of Montana, the Montana Mission, as a separate organization, being dissolved. On this occasion, the Northwestern States Mission was detached from the Oneida Stake and Franklin S. Bramwell, president of the Montana Mission, was appointed to preside over the Northwestern States Mission, the headquarters of which were established at Baker City, Oregon. The work of the mission was crowned with such phenomenal success that in 1901 it was decided by the General Authorities of the Church to organize the saints residing in the eastern part of Oregon and the northern part of Idaho into. a stake of Zion, and so the Union Stake was organized June 9, 1901, Franklin S. Bramwell being chosen as president. For about a year he continued to preside also over the Northwestern States Mission, but in May, 1902, he was succeeded as mission president by Nephi Pratt. At the time of the organization of the Union Stake the headquarters of the mission were removed to Portland, Oregon. Here a fine chapel was erected in 1929, said to be the most imposing church edifice in the city.
Pres. Pratt labored with great fidelity until 1909, when, on account of ill health, he resigned and died a few months later. He was succeeded on April 6, 1909, by Melvin J. Ballard, who presided until 1919, when he was called to the Apostleship.
In 1928 missionary work was commenced in Alaska with some success.
For the past four years, automobile caravan excursions to the temple at Cardston, Canada, have been made annually in the month of July. About 400 persons have participated in each excursion; two days were spent in the temple on each trip, and a large amount of ordinance work performed.
On June 20, 1928, ground was broken in Portland for a $150,000 chapel on the corner of East 30th and Harrison streets. The corner stone was laid Aug. 25, 1928, and the building erected so that is could be used as a house of worship in February, 1929. On the occasion of holding the first meeting in the building, 1,380 persons were present, including President Anthony W. Ivins, Charles W. Nibley and Rudger Clawson.
At the close of 1930 the saints at Anaconda, Dillon and Allendale in Montana owned their own chapels, also those at Everett, Spokane, Seattle and Olympia in Washington, and one at Moscow in Idaho. Regular meetings were held in hired halls at Butte, Bynum, Charlo, Cascade, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula and Simms in Montana; at Bend, Eugene, Medford, Klamath, Salem and Hood River in Oregon; at Grays Harbor, Tacoma, Walla Walla, Kelso and Yakima in Washington; at Lewiston and Salmon in Idaho, U. S. A., and at Vancouver in British Columbia.
The numerical strength of the Northwestern States Mission Dec. 31, 1930, was 4,705, including 43 High Priests, 38 Seventies, 324 Elders, 161 Priests, 94 Teachers, 270 Deacons, 2,944 lay members, and 831 children. William Reid Sloan presided over the mission, assisted by 57 Elders from Zion, and 29 lady missionaries, also six short-term missionaries, including two sisters.
Following is a list of the presidents of the Northwestern States Mission: George C. Parkinson (president of Oneida Stake), 1897-1898, with Lewis S. Pond as his local assistant; Franklin S. Bramwell, 1898-1902; Nephi Pratt, 1902-1909; Melvin J. Ballard, 1909-1919; Heber C. Iverson, 1919-1923; Brigham S. Young, 1923-1927, and William R. Sloan, 1927-1930.