Articles/Essays – Volume 29, No. 3

Inside the Salt Lake Temple: Gisbert Bossard’s 1911 Photographs

The banner headline on Sunday’s 17 September 19911 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune greeted morning readers: “Gilbert [sic] L. Bossard, Convert, is Named as One Who Photographed Interior of Salt Lake Temple. Revenge Is Sought by Him after Trouble with the Church; Has Left the City.” The sensational article began:

No local news story published in recent years has caused so much comment as the exclusive story in yesterday’s Tribune regarding the taking of photographic views in the Salt Lake Mormon temple by secret methods. . . . The most important development of the day was the identification, through efforts of a Tribune representative, of the man who took the views. This man is Gilbert L. Bossard, a German convert to Mormonism, who fell out with the church authorities and secretly took the pictures in a spirit of revenge.[1]

For faithful Mormons, the thought that someone had violated the sacred confines of the eighteen-year-old Salt Lake temple, which he desecrated by photographing, was “considered as impossible as profaning the sacred Kaaba at Mecca.”[2]

Gisbert L. Bossard

Gisbert Ludolf Gerhard Bossard was twenty-one years and one month old when Salt Lake City residents learned the identity of the photographer of “every nook and comer” of the Salt Lake temple. He was born in Coeln, Rheinland, Prussia, on 12 August 1890 to Gisbert Von Sudthausen and Maria Louise Franziska Pollock. By 1898 his natural father was gone, having either died or left his family, and his mother had remarried Theodor Bossard, who later adopted Gisbert. In 1905, when Gisbert was fourteen, his mother died. Within a year Theodor and his adopted son converted to Mormonism and emigrated to America. In a Tribune interview with Theodor the day after his stepson became famous, he explained: “When we first arrived [Gisbert] was a Latter-day Saint in good standing. However, he soon fell away from the church, and although he says he still believes that the gospel is true, he said he trunks the administration of the business affairs of the church is crooked.”

Only the barest skeleton exists of Gisbert’s church participation after immigrating to America. He was baptized in January 1907 at age sixteen in the Salt Lake Fifteenth Ward. Before the end of that year his father remarried in the temple. In October 1908 Gisbert paid tithing of $5.10 to Bishop Edwin F. Parry of Salt Lake1s Sixteenth Ward, possibly in anticipation of his (non-temple) marriage the next month to Elsbeth Elfriede Elisabeth Luck, known familiarly as “Elsie.”[3] Two weeks after exchanging wedding vows, he was ordained a priest in the Aaronic priesthood; five months later, on 26 April 1909, he was ordained an elder. Despite these outward appearances of religious commitment, according to his father, G1sbert was already fantasizing about photographing the inside of the temple. About the time of the birth of Gisbert and Elsie’s first child in the fall of 1909, an undisclosed difficulty resulted in Gisbert’s being tried for his church membership. At least from the church’s point of view, the matter was amicably settled and Gisbert was soon restored to his original standing.[4] A year later Gisbert and Elsie welcomed their second child into the world. The “Certificates of Blessing” show that neither child was blessed by Gisbert.[5]

In June 1911, a few months after the second child was blessed, Gisbert announced to his father: “I know what’s in there [the temple] and I know what they do in there.” When his father asked him how he knew, Gisbert winked and replied: “I had a vision.” By mid-August 1911 he had explained in detail to his father how he had obtained the photographs and was boasting that he could sell the negatives for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some months earlier Gisbert, described as an expert photographer and film developer, had received permission from LDS church president Joseph F. Smith to photograph the interior of the Beehive House, ostensibly to share the views with relatives in Germany. When he did not return the plates, the church referred the matter to Salt Lake City’s chief of police. During questioning in early August 1911 Bossard expressed to Chief Barlow his resentment of the church and threatened to take pictures of the interior of the temple “and expose the iniquities of the church to the world.” Bossard, who had in fact already taken the pictures, bragged to Barlow that gaining entrance to the temple would be easy and coyly inquired what penalty could be imposed for such an act. Barlow answered that Bossard “stood an excellent chance of getting himself into serious difficulty.”

It is unlikely, however, that the Beehive House was the real reason Barlow was interested in Bossard. Bossard, perhaps anonymously, had already contacted Joseph F. Smith about the church’s purchasing negatives of the interior of the temple. In his 18 September Tribune interview, Bossard’s stepfather stated that his son “had the pictures about two months without attempting to do anything with them, except sell them to the church,” but those attempts came to nothing. In the same interview the elder Bossard also revealed how Gisbert had obtained access to the temple. The son, realizing that “he never could get in the right way,” had cultivated a friendship with assistant temple gardener Gottlieb Wutherich.[6] Wutherich, who slept in a room next to the temple, not only had keys to the temple but was expected to enter the building many times a day to take care of the flowers inside.[7] After befriending Wutherich, and reportedly convincing him that “although the church was all right, the officials were not,” Bossard enjoyed easy access. He confided to his father that upon entering the temple grounds, “he hid the cameras under his coat and that some of the pictures were taken during the daytime and others at night by flash light.”

Once suspicion began to focus on Bossard and Wutherich,[8] matters escalated quickly. In his Tribune interview, the senior Bossard continued:

One day, after he had told me that he had the pictures, we were standing on the comer of Third South and State Streets, when he said, “See, there’s a detective following me and there’s another,” and he pointed two men out to me. Sure enough, they were following us.

A few nights after this, while my son was away, his house was entered and ransacked. However, nothing was carried away and no due was left behind by those who had accomplished this work. He did not keep the pictures in his house, however. On two occasions after this his house was entered and ransacked, and as on the previous occasion, nothing was taken away.[9]

Bossard remained in Salt Lake only a week or two longer. On 1 September, after incorporating a capital stock company with Wutherich and a local theater promoter named Max Florence to dispose of the pictures, Bossard and Elsie, six months pregnant, caught a train for Denver.[10]

Max Florence

From here on Max Florence, entrepreneur extraordinaire, handled matters.[11] Negatives in hand, he left immediately for New York City, arriving about 7 September.[12] After settling into a room at the Hotel Imperiat Florence placed eight photographs in a package, scrawled Joseph F. Smith’s name on the front wrapper, and dropped his bomb in the mailbox. On 16 September—the day before Bossard’s part was made public—the pictures hit the front pages of the Tribune and the Deseret Evening News.[13] Florence’s letter to Smith accompanying the photographs read:

During the past several years, “certain” parties were admitted into the temple and while there managed to make and obtain a large number of photographs of the interior settings, scenery, surroundings, etc.—sixty-eight negatives. The pictures show almost every nook and comer from the basement to the steeples. I arranged to purchase an interest in these pictures while in Salt Lake City and have done so since arriving here, as a purely business proposition. . . . My associates and myself have canvassed, “in an off hand way” the market here for such pictures . . . and we have found out what we can do by selling these pictures to postal card makers, lecture bureaus, magazines and a great many other profitable purposes; but we have decided that if you are willing to make us a reasonable business offer . . . we will give the same due consideration. . . . We are sending you a few prints under separate cover. . . . If you do not want these pictures suppressed we know of many persons who are very anxious to begin giving them publicity at once.

President Smith replied testily: “I will make no bargain with thieves or traffickers in stolen goods. I prefer to let the law deal with them.” He stated further that he did not believe the pictures had been taken by flashlight. “They look to me,” he said, “as if they were taken within the time that the temple was given a thorough cleaning during the last few months. In fact, some of the pictures show that the furniture was covered with canvas as it was during the cleaning process.”[14]

The headline in the Deseret Evening News Extra the same evening read: “Max Florence Fails to Scare Church.” The News reproduced seven of the eight photographs,[15] reminded readers that over 600 non-Mormons had been invited to walk through the temple prior to its dedication in 1893, and reproduced a narrative description of much of the temple’s interior from a booklet titled The Great Temple.[16] In addition, the News recited Florence’s domestic failures and unsavory reputation as a local saloon keeper, informing readers that near the site of the newly constructed Boston and Newhouse buildings Florence had once run a saloon, in the rear of which “were several wine rooms where men and women congregrated nightly in drunken debauches.” The News hinted that Florence may have intentionally set fire to some of his movie houses, presumably to collect the insurance.[17]

The next morning Sunday Tribune readers awoke to news of Bossard’s identity as the photographer.

Isaac K. Russell

As the Tribune ran follow-ups the next several days, more details—some of them obvious figments of Florence’s grandiose imagination—spilled out. When church attorneys advised that Florence had probably committed no crime, and that Bossard could only be charged with trespassing, the church was forced to change its course. On Monday, 18 September, James E. Talmage had written to the First Presidency suggesting that it steal Florence’s thunder by publishing a booklet on the temple with photographs of the interior. Three days later Talmage wrote in his journal: “Had interview with the First Presidency, and was appointed by them to special work viz. The preparation of the manuscript for a booklet on temples and temple work. . . . The authorities have since announced that pictures of the interior will be made, and that copies of the same may be obtained by reputable publishers. “[18]

News of the church’s counterattack was widely disseminated, and church authorities promised to distribute the booklet of photographs without cost.[19] When Florence heard of the church’s new plan, he responded by promising to copyright his photographs: “Then the Mormons can’t take anymore [photographs] like them in their own holy of holies, at least not for sale. Say, how’ll that be for putting one over on them ?”[20] In a rush to obtain copyright Talmage and photographer Ralph Savage, son of pioneer photographer Charles R. Savage, were already in the Salt Lake temple taking photographs as early as 26 September. By the 30th Savage’s views had been dispatched to the copyright office.[21]

Florence and Bossard were unaware that the church’s counterattack was two pronged. The second was Ben E. Rich, church representative in New York City, who, unknown to Florence and Bossard, had New York Times newspaperman Isaac K. (“Ike”) Russell in his pocket. Russell, a native Utah Mormon and grandson of Parley P. Pratt, had gone east to make a living as a joumalist.[22] Covering the story for the Times, he became acquainted with Florence and Bossard, and by 4 October Rich had written to Smith: “Of course, [Florence and Bossard] know nothing about Russell, only as a newspaperman. . . . Ike Russell has rendered me great service . . . and seems to be able to get almost anything he wants to out of these black guards.”[23] A week later Rich reported that Florence and Bossard “do not seem to have the slightest idea who Russell is and they appear to be somewhat stuck on him. He no longer hunts them up but they seek him. Russell is to see them again tonight and if they have a picture of Bossard in Temple robes, as mentioned in the interview, we will try to get it and send the same to you.”[24]

In the same letter Russell recounted for Rich a recent conversation in which Bossard explained one of the irritants which had driven him to apostasy. “Not only has President Smith got five wives,” said Bossard,

but Pres. [Anthon H.] Lund has two wives at least. I carried flowers to them, and so did the gardener who is now in cold storage with us. The gardener told us about it and told me to address the second lady as Mrs. Lund when I gave her the flowers. I did so and she would say “Yes, I am Mrs. Lund,” and would take the flowers. I took flowers to one house on North Temple Street across the road from the Temple and another on West Temple near the home of John Henry Smith.

Bossard also told Russell how he had been able to gain access to the temple:

I always came out through the annex but never went in that way. . . . The engineer of the temple hired me and my chum. We were to string some electric cables and I would chisel away into concrete right above my head with the chips falling into my eyes. . . . There is a tunnel runs to a new heating plant and to the Sharon Building and the Utah Hotel. I found that there was an old tunnel that ran west of the temple to the west side of West Temple just opposite the temple gate or a little south of it and that it had been extended with new concrete to the heating plant. . . . We found a spot on the temple grounds where we could lift up an iron cover, drop down into the tunnel, and there be perfectly safe. . . . While working for the gardener I could always slip down into this tunnel and then go prospecting with my chisel along the old concrete.[25]

By the end of the third week after the appearance of the sensational headlines, Florence and Bossard were getting nowhere. Bossard told Russell that Florence, who was now planning a public lantern show, had been unable to reserve an empty theater.[26] On Saturday, 7 October, during the church’s semi-annual general conference weekend, the Deseret News

reported: “Florence’s Temple Pictures Still Unsold.” Undaunted, the creative Florence offered the Mormon prophet a new proposition:

What is the chance of getting the Tabernacle, two nights to exhibit 68 views of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple, with an excellent lecture, given by Elder Gisbert L. Bossard. It’s understood that seventy-five percent of the proceeds must go to the poor of every denomination in Salt Lake.

Twenty-five percent to be divided equally between both parties. . . . As further consideration, Elder Bossard makes his statement, that you should put your best speaker, or yourself against him, before the public in the Tabernacle.

Should your speaker, or yourself, succeed in convincing Elder Bossard, by argument, that Elder Bossard did wrong or committed a sin against the Holy Ghost, by taking photographs in the temple, he would surrender all pictures and everything pertaining to it to you.[27]

It is unlikely Smith favored Florence with a response.

The church also successfully interfered with Bossard and Florence’s efforts to profit from magazine publication of the photographs. In late October 1911 Leslie’s Weekly published, “courtesy of President Smith” seven of the Savage photographs with a brief introduction critical of Florence.[28] When Bossard tried to entice Leslie’s to publish his photographs the following month, the church intervened with Leslie’s editor John A. Sleicher.[29] In January 1912 four of the Savage photographs were also published with a short introduction in Popular Mechanics.[30]

The Show at the Bijou

Between mid-October and early November 1911 Florence and Bossard were preparing their upcoming show at New York City’s Bijou Theatre. They hired a newspaper cartoonist named Toner to draw at least four cartoons which were made into slides[31] but kept running into obstacles in producing and promoting the photographs. On 25 October Ben E. Rich wrote to Joseph F. Smith that the same company Florence and Bossard had attempted to hire to produce their temple slides—Levi Company of 1560 Broadway—had dropped them and was now producing a competing slide show to be sponsored by the church.[32] Upon hearing of the competing show, Florence and Bossard responded on 24 October with a sworn affidavit:

We, Max Florence and Gisbert L. Bossard do hereby certify that the only and genuine contract for the making of the stereopticon slides of the Interior Views and Facts about the Mormon Temple Lecture, which consists of 105 slides, controlled and owned exclusively by us, is that one executed to A. J. Clapham, Fine Art Slide Maker, 130 West 37th St., New York. . . . The above mentioned lecture set is re-produced from the only genuine photographs ever taken of the Mormon Temple by Gisbert L. Bossard, and which were the cause of the controversy between President Joseph F. Smith of the Mormon Church and the undersigned.[33]

The show finally opened on Saturday, 11 November, at the Bijou Theater, 13th Street and Broadway. The 13 November Deseret News reviewed the performance:

The show is advertised in a way that shocks even the least refined. The chief poster in front of the theater depicts a large bedstead filled with women, all engaged in fighting. . . . Florence and Bossard occupied the lobby of the theater before the performance trying to induce patrons to enter, much on the order of barkers before a tented show. . . .

Reputable papers like The World, Herald, Times and American have refused to mention Florence’s show and do not even carry his advertisements.

At Saturday’s show, when the time to begin arrived, there were only two persons in the audience, one of whom was The [Deseret] News correspondent. The unspeakable poster at the entrance had failed to attract the great crowds who had passed it all day long. During the progress of the lecture, six other persons entered the house, making an audience of eight, all told. . . .

The photographs used to illustrate the show were the ones which had been published in The Deseret News and several others which were pronounced fakes, some being drawn by local newspaper cartoonists and others the infamous Jarman pictures.[34] In his lecture Bossard said that he crawled through underground tunnels to enter the building. The papers ignore the show completely and no mention whatever, favorable or unfavorable, has been given it so far. . . .

Bossard’s lecture, admittedly, was written by New York ministers who have taken part for a number of years in anything and everything that seemed to be anti-“Mormon” in its aspect, but Bossard’s delivery was absolutely unintelligible and for Sunday’s shows he was supplanted by a professional lecturer who could speak English. The whole affair was a dismal failure and it is expected that another day will see the close of the show.

The Long Road to Forgiveness

The failure at the Bijou broke not only the pocketbooks but also apparently the spirits of Bossard and Florence, portending an inevitable falling out. In October, after being made aware of his excommunication, and again in early November, Bossard had sent letters to his ward bishop in Salt Lake City justifying his course of action against the church.[35] But in early December Elsie gave birth to their third child in Denver, and by the end of the month the Salt Lake Tribune was reporting that Bossard, “friendless and alone, has taken a decidedly repentant attitude with regard to the picture deal.”[36] In January 1912 the church published nine of the Savage photographs in a new edition of D. M. McAllister’s The Great Temple and issued the same nine photographs as postcards, foreshadowing the publication nine months later of James Talmage’s House of the Lord.[37] On 20 January Bossard wrote from New York to President Smith:

You will no doubt be surprised to receive a line from the undersigned; but I feel it my duty to apologize and ask your forgiveness for the unjust attacks I made upon you.

The latest developments have shown me that every member should thank God that leadership of the Church is in the hands of such men like you.

I searched for truth, and I found it, which makes me a strong supporter of your policy and the gospel. It means that the case of Paul has itself repeated once more in history. My first act will consist in turning over the temple photos to you, without charge. Mr. Florence will leave Monday for Salt Lake, and turn everything over to the church. I sent Bishop Parry a letter, in which I explain everything in detail.[38]

Bossard was unsuccessful in getting forgiveness. He tried again in 1915 and 1916 to regain his church membership, but the wound was too deep, the scar too fresh. In a 29 April 1916 letter to Walter P Monson, president of the church’s Eastern States Mission in New York, Joseph F. Smith’s First Presidency ordered that Bossard not be rebaptized, explaining: “[T]he treachery and greed which prompted this desecration of the House of the Lord is entirely another thing, something which cannot be so easily disposed of.”[39]

Some time after 1911 Gisbert moved with his family to Amsterdam, New York On 9 March 1917 two letters signed by him appeared in Amsterdam newspapers critical of Vernon J. Danielson and Lulu Shepard, two anti-Mormons who had recently held a meeting there.[40] In both letters Bossard vigorously defended the LDS church:

The entire “expose” of Mr. Danielson is nothing but a hoax. . . . I find that at their very best they are nothing more or less than the old stale stories printed in the Cosmopolitan Magazine about 6 years ago. . . . Polygamy in Utah is a thing of the past and any man that ever lived in Utah for any length of time knows it. . . . The temple is not secret, and Dr. James E. Talmage’s book “The House of the Lord,” contains 34 actual photographs of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple, together with a full description.[41]

About 1920 Bossard and his wife moved from Amsterdam to Troy, New York, where their sixth child was born in 1920.[42] Between 1920 and 1925 the Troy Directory lists Bossard as president of the Bossard Railway Signal Corp. In 1925 he moved his company to Albany.[43] Sometime during his residence there, probably in the late 1920s, and apparently tired of waiting to be forgiven, he retook to the anti-Mormon stump. An undated Albany newspaper headline reads: “Bossard Will Tell Secrets of Mormons. Correspondence School Manager Has Photos of Interior of Temple. To Be Shown in Albany.”[44]

Bossard was not forgiven during his lifetime. About 1930 Elsie left him and returned to Utah, divorcing him in 1932. That same year she received her temple endowments and was sealed to her parents in Salt Lake City, remaining a member of the church until her death in 1978.[45]

Gisbert moved to Ohio and remarried. When he died on 1 February 1975, at age eighty-four, he was living in Orange City, Florida, and was still a non-Mormon. Finally, on 15 November 1985, a decade after he died, he was rebaptized into the LOS church by proxy, and on the following 10 December he finally received his temple endowments “the right way.”

The Photographs

[Editor’s Note: For the photographs, please see the PDF at the bottom of this page.]

The photographs which follow are the earliest known taken of the interior of any Mormon temple.[46] For more than eighty years, from 1912 until late 1993, the whereabouts of all but a handful of Bossard’s photographs was a mystery. In December 1993 I discovered some glass negatives and two sets of lantern slides in four wooden boxes in the library of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Utah in Salt Lake City. No one there knows how, when, or by whom the views were deposited. Max Florence died in 1932 in Farmington, Utah. In Set in Stone, Fixed in Glass photojournalist Nelson Wadsworth describes how a few of the lantern slides were uncovered in the floorboards of Florence’s former Farmington home after it burned in 1944,[47] indicating that Florence kept the lantern slides after returning to Utah. Recalling the ransacking of Bossard’s home, Florence may have hidden the five boxes in the floorboards of his new residence. Later, when he (or perhaps his wife, Celia, who survived him) removed the boxes, perhaps he failed to reach far enough for the fifth box. This fifth box of slides was subsequently deposited in Special Collections, Merrill Library, Utah State University, Logan. In addition, the LOS church has in its possession prints from forty-six of Bossard’s negatives.[48]

The photograph numbers in the captions and in the Inventor are handwritten numbers on the black-and-white glass lantern slides.[49] The plans of the four floors of the Salt Lake temple are based on drawings by Joseph Don Carlos Young, which show the temple as it was completed in 1893.[50] All of the Bossard views are published courtesy of the Grand Lodge of Utah, which has deposited a complete set of the photographs described in the Inventory in the Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah.

References in the captions are to Talmage (The House of the Lord), McAllister (A Description of the Great Temple) (1912 ed.), and Hamilton and Cutrubus The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to a People.

Note: The Dialogue Foundation provides the web format of this article as a courtesy. There may be unintentional differences from the printed version. For citational and bibliographical purposes, please use the printed version or the PDFs provided online and on JSTOR.

[1] Unless otherwise stated, the sources for all quoted material are news stories in either the Salt Lake Tribune, 16-21 Sept. 1911, or in the Deseret Evening News, 16 Sept. 1911. Other major sources include James E. Talmage’s personal journal, Talmage Papers, Archives and Manuscripts, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter Talmage Journal); materials in Scott Kenney Papers, Ms. 589, Western Americana, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (hereafter Kenney Papers); and photographs of certificates issued to Bossard by the LDS church described in the Inventory (numbers 9-15) following this essay. Basic genealogical information on Bossard, his parents, his wife, and their children was obtained from family group sheets in the LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City.

[2] Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Sept. 1911.

[3] She is so listed in the 1920 Amsterdam, New York, Directory.

[4] New York Times, 21 Sept. 1911.

[5] Bossard is listed in R. L. Polk & Co.’s Salt Lake Directory for 1907 through 1911. Through 1910 he is described as a machinist, probably working for his father, Theodor. In 1911 he is listed as General Manager and Master Mechanic at The Specialty Co., 317 S. State. Bossard’s address changes in each of the five years.

[6] Also spelled “Wuthrach” in some articles. The confusion may in part have been caused by an umlaut, the actual spelling being “Wiitherich” or “Wuetherich.” The LDS Family History library Lists a Gottlieb Wuethrich, born in Bern, Switzerland, on 26 August 1875, died on 3 January 1936, who may be the assistant gardener.

[7] The Garden Room annex to the temple was filled with flora; see caption for photograph number 45.

[8] In early July 1911 W. F. Nauman, head landscape gardener and florist of the temple grounds, in whose department Wutherich was employed, somehow became aware that photographs of the temple interior had been taken and notified Benjamin Goddard, the temple’s head custodian. A few days later, when Bossard and Wutherich arrived at the temple block, Chief Barlow was waiting for them. They were released after denying any connection with the affair. Nevertheless, in about mid-July Wutherich was fired. See Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Sept. 1911. This interview apparently preceded the one which focused on the Beehive House photographs.

[9] The church denied that it had “shadowed” Bossard. Deseret News, 18 Sept. 1911.

[10] Prior to taking the photographs, Bossard and Wutherich also apparently induced a roan named William Seiler to invest $300 in the scheme. According to the 19 September 1911 Salt Lake Tribune, after Seiler had invested his money, Bossard and Wutherich told him it might become necessary to murder the guard to gain admission to the temple. Frightened, Seiler left for Portland, Oregon. This episode, the only detail of the affair which hints at violence, seems out of character for Bossard and unnecessary given Wutherich’s access.

[11] For a detailed account of Florence’s role, see Gary James Bergera, ‘”I’m Here for the Cash’: Max Florence and the Great Mormon Temple,” Utah Historical Quarterly 47 (Wmter 1979): 54-63. A more recent treatment is Nelson B. Wadsworth, Set in Stone, Fixed in Glass (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), “Epilogue: The Max Florence Affair,” 355-78.

[12] After settling his wife and children temporarily in Denver, Bossard joined Florence in New York City.

[13] The 16 September 1911 Tribune article stated that as early as Wednesday, 13 September, Apostle John Henry Smith had admitted to a Tribune reporter that someone had taken pictures of the temple’s interior. Florence may have dropped a note to the news media at the same time he mailed the photographs.

[14] Close examination of the lighting indicates that a few of the photographs were probably taken at night.

[15] The photograph not reproduced was probably Joseph F. Smith’s private office and curtain leading to his bedroom in the Beehive House; see number 105 in the Inventory.

[16] Duncan McNeil McAllister, A Description of the Great Temple, Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City: Bureau of Information, 1909).

[17] After losing his saloon license for selling liquor on Sunday, Florence went into the moving picture business, owning at least six Salt Lake theaters at one point. Apparently from expanding too quickly, however, he went broke.

[18] Talmage Journal, 21 Sept. 1911. The First Presidency’s official written commission to Talmage, dated 22 September 1911, accepted Talmage’s offer and specified that his manuscript “be revised by a committee to be appointed by ourselves for that purpose.”

[19] New York Tribune, 22 Sept. 1911; Salt Lake Telegram, 21 Sept. 1911.

[20] At one point Florence threatened to legally enjoin the church from publishing its own views. Salt Lake Telegram, 21 Sept. 1911.

[21] Talmage notes in his journal that he also photographed the inside of the temple on 2 October 1911. In a 5 October article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Florence states that Bossard’s photographs, including the eight mailed to Joseph F. Smith, were copyrighted on 22 September 1911. In a communication from Ben E. Rich to Joseph F. Smith on 4 October 1911, Rich expresses his intention to go to Washington, D.C., and through J. Reuben Clark and Preston Richards find out if Florence had actually established copyright.

[22] B. H. Roberts Papers, Marriott Library. In a 21 November 1911 letter, Russell addresses Rich as “Uncle Ben,” suggesting that Russell was Rich’s nephew. Kenney Papers, Box 4, Fd. 15. In 1913 Russell offered to provide Joseph F. Smith “a complete roster of all the anti­Mormons working east of Chicago with a fairly complete biography of each and a number of sample sermons and list of societies with which each is affiliated.” Kenney Papers , Box 4, Fd. 17.

[23] Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15. On 25 September 1911 Rich communicated to Smith: “Yesterday morning a wire came to the New York Times from the Salt Lake Tribune, saying they understood Florence had a photo of your bedroom, showing 4 beds and asking the Times to interview him on the same. The matter is in Russell’s hands who will see the DAMN cuss today and I will then report to you. The longer I live, the more firmly I believe some fellows should die. Yours faithfully.”

[24] Ibid. In early October Florence and Bossard had publicity photographs taken of themselves at Scherer Studios in New York City. In nine of the twelve photographs Bossard is dressed in temple clothing. See Inventory, numbers 8, 46-48, 63, and four unnumbered photographs. The poses he strikes and the arrangement of his clothing suggest that he was unfamiliar with the endowment ceremony. By 15 October Russell had obtained copies of six photographs of Bossard in temple robes, all of which lack the temple apron. On 20 October, after receiving the photographs, Joseph F. Smith wrote to Rich: “I note with some pleasure that the dress of young Bossard, in the photos just received, is by no means a pattern of the clothing that he means to represent as you yourself will perceive. It is evident to me that he has made his dress from his memory and that he has not evidently in his possession the true clothing.” Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15. In three other photographs taken in the studio which were not provided to Smith, Bossard is wearing the apron over white pants and shirt but without the robes and cap. See Inventory, numbers 46-48. Three photographs of a man in full temple clothing had been published during the Reed Smoot Hearings seven years before (14 Dec. 1904) on the front page of the Washington Times and New York Herald.

[25] Ike Russell to Ben E. Rich, 11 Oct. 1911, Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15. A 1911 map of Temple Square prepared by Sanborn Map and Publishing Co., Ltd., shows stone or concrete tunnels connecting the temple and annex, temple and boiler house on the north end of temple square, temple and tabernacle, tabernacle under West Temple to north side of steam plant, annex to boiler house, and along the west half of the north wall of the temple to the west wall of the temple. Neither the 1911 Sanborn map nor the 1950 map (the next in the series) shows tunnels between the temple and Sharon Building (57 West South Temple, just east of the Temple Square Hotel) or Hotel Utah, although the tunnel to the Hotel Utah is well-known.

In this same conversation Bossard denies that Wutherich, the gardener, let him in, claiming he had at least three ways to enter and had invented the story about the gardener to divert attention from his true point of access. Although Bossard probably discovered more than one means of entry, it seems unlikely that he would have taken the time to cultivate Wutherich’s friendship and involve him in the scheme if it were unnecessary. It also seems unlikely that he would have lied to his father at a time when he had no incentive to mislead.

[26] Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15.

[27] Florence to Joseph F. Smith, 10 Oct. 1911, Kenney Papers, Box 6, Fd. 12.

[28] Leslie’s Weekly, 26 Oct. 1911, article titled: “Mysteries of the Mormon Temple Unveiled.” This is the first publication of any of the Savage photographs.

[29] Letter of rs (recording secretary?) to John A. Sleicher, 11 Nov. 1911. An 11 November 1911 entry in Joseph F. Smith’s letterpress book states that “Sleicher has been a particular and valuable friend of mine.” Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15.

[30] Popular Mechanics 17 Jan. 1912): 38-39. I am indebted to Nyal Anderson, Beehive Collector’s Gallery, salt Lake City, for this information.

[31] See Inventory, numbers 23-25, and one unnumbered. Slide number 25, a cartoon which has Bossard in temple robes, was probably drawn from one of the photographs taken in the New York studio.

[32] Rich to Smith, 25 Oct. 1911, Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15. Rich stated, “The firm has tried hard to please me.” The church’s show, which Rich arranged with “fp” (First Presidency?) to beat out Florence, had forty slides.

[33] The affidavit was photographed and included in the show at the Bijou. See Inventory, number 7. At some point prior to this, Wutherich’s interest must have been purchased by Bossard and Florence. Wutherich’s withdrawal may have been behind Bossard’s insistence at this time that he had other ways of entering the temple than with the gardener.

[34] One of the unnumbered hand-colored slides is titled: “The Great Salt Lake Hell Exposed. By W. Jarman, Ex-Mormon Priest from Salt Lake City.” William Jarman is best known for U.S.A. Uncle Sam’s Abscess, or, Hell upon Earth (Exeter, Eng.: H. Leduc’s Steam Printing Works, 1884).

[35] The 4 October New York Times and 5 October Salt Lake Tribune ran notices of Bossard’s excommunication. Bossard responded defiantly in a long letter dated 8 October 1911 to Bishop Edwin F. Parry in which he blames Joseph F. Smith for making the whole affair public, challenges Smith’s status as a prophet, and demands reinstatement. Bossard copied the letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, where it was published in full on 9 October 1911.

[36] Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Dec. 1911. ln a 3 January 1912 article in the same paper Bossard denied being repentant. The Tribune added that “Florence telegraphed that he, too, was not repentant,” concluding tongue-in-cheek: “No one suspects that Max has repented.”

[37] McAllister, A Description of the Great Temple, Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City: Bureau of Information, 1912). The postcards of the Savage views were published in 1912 by Souvenir Novelty Co. in Salt Lake City. The series is described by Neal West in “Mormon Postcards,” Postcard Collector, Apr. 1986, 44-45. At some point at least eight of Bossard’s views were also published as postcards. The official date of publication of The House of the Lord was 30 September 1912. Although the Savage photographs in McAllister appear at first glance to be the same as those printed in The House of the Lord, close inspection reveals that most of the photographs in McAllister are unique to it. Twenty-four of the Savage temple photographs were reproduced in C. Mark Hamilton and C. Nina Cutrubus, The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to a People (Salt Lake City: University Services, Inc., 1983), 111-37.

[38] Kenney Papers, Box 5, Fd. 15.

[39] In a 13 January 1915 letter to Monson the First Presidency had written: “[W]hile we are glad to learn of his [Bossard’s] repentance, we are not prepared to extend to him the hand of fellowship; neither do we think he ought to expect such leniency at this time in view of the gravity of his offense. It will therefore be in order for him to continue to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and be content to wait for the mercy of the Lord to come to him.” Facsimile transmission from Scott Kenney to Kent Walgren, 17 Nov. 1995.

[40] Amsterdam Morning Sentinel, 9 Mar. 1917, and Amsterdam Evening Recorder, 9 Mar. 1917. Danielson is the author of Mormonism Exposed; or the Crimes and Treasons of the Mormon Kingdom (Independence, MO, 1917); Lulu Shepard authored Getting Their Eyes Open. A Program for Missionary Societies Showing Popular Fallacies of Latter Day Saints (Pittsburgh, PA: National Reform Assn., n.d.).

[41] Amsterdam Morning Sentinel, 9 Mar. 1917.

[42] A fourth child had been born in 1917 in Amsterdam. A fifth, also born in Amsterdam, on 29 December 1918, died two days later. The sixth and last child, born in Troy, New York, on 15 June 1920, was the only one baptized into the Mormon church at age eight. Of the five surviving children, only one remained in the church.

[43] The 1925 Albany Directory lists Bossard as president of the Bossard Railway Signal Corp. and Bossard Electric Home Service of New York He does not appear in the 1926 and 1927 directories but is again listed in the 1928 Albany Directory as being involved in real estate. After 1929 he is not listed in the Albany Directory. According to family tradition, Bossard invented both the railway crossing signal and the doorbell but never substantially profited from either.

[44] The brief article begins: “With a manuscript entitled ‘The Mormon Temple and Its Secrets,’ and a collection of 400 photographs of the interior of the costly temple . . . at Salt Lake City . . . Gisbert L. Bossard, manager of the International Correspondence schools, 51 State Street, this city, is planning an expose of what he claims is the truth about Mormonism.”

[45] She was living in Los Angeles when she died on 17 February 1978.

[46] Except the Kirtland temple, in which no endowment rituals were performed.

[47] Set in Stone, Fixed in Glass, 377-78n16. The Van Fleet lantern slides are now in Special Collections, Utah State University Library.

[48] Access to these prints is currently restricted.

[49] The numbering may generally represent the order in which Bossard took the photographs as he proceeded through the temple. Entry through the Garden Room annex supports such a conclusion.

[50] See Hamilton and Cutrubus, 70, 75, 78 and 79, in which the captions are not always accurate. On page 22 of his 1912 edition of Description of the Great Temple, McAllister states that there had been no alterations in the temple since its completion in 1893.