By Stephanie Abney
Lehi resident, Alice Boyle, picked up the hobby of photography more than 50 years ago. That hobby soon grew into a passion, as she photo-documented nearly every church function held in the Mesa Arizona Lehi Stake, including funerals and the Stake Pioneer Trek, and she took portraits of stake members, Now, her collection of 110 albums is in the hands of the Church History Department.
Alice grew up in Virden, New Mexico. She moved to Arizona as a young adult, where she met her husband, Pat. Lehi has been their home since 1960. The Boyles are members of the Monument Ward, in the Lehi Stake. They are the parents of six children, four of whom are living.
As Alice’s collection of photographs grew, she began to organize them into archival-quality albums. She also collected newspaper articles, newsletters and written histories about people in her ward and stake. These items fill 24 of the albums recently donated to the church.
Sister Boyle has always been active in the church and in her community. She has served in the Relief Society, as Primary President, Cub Scout leader, chorister, welfare leader and as a nursery leader for nine years. Not surprisingly, she also served as ward and stake historian.
Ancestors of both Pat and Alice were among the first residents of Lehi. Brother Boyle’s mother‘s family, the Shills, came to Lehi before it was officially founded in 1877 when Brigham Young sent Mormon pioneers to settle there.
Alice had wondered what would become of her treasured photographs in the future and decided it was time to let the church take charge of them. The Church Historical Department has contacted various stakes from time to time in search of collections such as Alice’s. They were aware of her efforts and welcomed her offer to donate her photographs.
On Sunday, September 29, 2013, during a combined 5th Sunday Relief Society, Priesthood, Young Men and Young Women’s meeting, Sister Boyle presented her 110 albums of photographic and written history pertaining to the Lehi Stake to Michael Landon of the Church History Department, who had come to Lehi to receive the collection. He was joined by Brother and Sister Feriante of Houston, Texas. Brother Chris Feriante, the North American Southwest Area Church History Advisor, facilitated the acquisition.
In appreciation for sharing her collection with the church, Sister Boyle was presented with a Hansen Classics porcelain sculpture titled, “Family Ties,” which depicts a family reading their history together.
The church is grateful to have acquired this collection.
“Alice Boyle has done a remarkable service in donating this history of Lehi. Not only is it important for the present generation, but it will undoubtedly bless future generations as well,” said Brother Landon.
Alice’s collection will be archived and digitized, and she will receive a digital and a hard copy.
She claims to be slowing down now, after half a century of photographing people and events near and dear to her heart. However, the last time Alice was spotted around Lehi, she had her trusty camera with her.