Helen Candland Stark was the oldest of nine children. Her family lived in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, until they moved to Provo, Utah, when she was in the second grade. While growing up, Helen had to spend much of her free time helping at home because her mother was frequently ill. Her mother died of encephalitis in Bingham Canyon in 1931, which devastated the family. Helen attended Brigham Young University and was in the first graduating class of T. Earl Pardoe. She earned her Master's degree in English and the family lived off her earnings from teaching. Helen taught school until she married Henry Stark when she was 35 years old. They were married in the Washington, D.C. temple, and adopted three children. The Starks settled in Delaware where they helped establish a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Helen participated in Church activities by teaching literary lessons in Relief Society, writing a monthly newsletter, and writing a history of the LDS Church in Delaware. Years later, when Helen discovered that she had a congenital heart defect, the Starks moved to Salem, Utah. In Salem, Helen was involved in working on a Historical Arts project.
This is a typewritten transcription of an interview conducted with Helen Candland Stark in 1977. In the record Helen talks about her childhood memories, recollections of her grandparents, and school experiences. She recalls memories of high school and the ranch her parents owned in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, which a flood destroyed in 1918. Helen describes holiday traditions such as celebrations for Christmas and Pioneer Day. She was very active in college and talks about the activities she enjoyed, including experiences working on the Banyan and attending social functions such as dances and hikes. Helen discusses her teaching experiences throughout Utah, in Kanab, Jordan High School, and Bingham Canyon. She talks about earning her Master's degree, and mentions different courses in the curriculum and her thesis on college verse. She describes working with the Saints in Delaware and how the branch grew. Helen discusses the differences she saw between the Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and Salem, Utah. She also shares her thoughts on the roles of women and marriage, especially concerning young people, families, and divorce, and talks about her opinion on the differences between the points of view of the LDS Church and the world on these issues. She finishes her commentary by discussing the women's movement, women stereotypes, and role models. MSS OH 1304: This is a typewritten transcript of an interview with Helen Candland Stark conducted in 1980. The interview was held as part of the Utah State Historical Society Oral History Program. See the BYU Library Catalog for more information.