Brigham Young University
1065 JFSB • 801-422-2276
womensstudies@byu.edu • icon representing the news feed subscription link Facebook

Ella Carpenter Jensen (1905-1986)

Ella Carpenter Jensen was born in 1905 in the small southern Utah town of Glendale. She was the youngest daughter in a family of four. She became a teacher and during the difficult years of the Great Depression taught first in the small Utah town of Oasis and then taught elementary school in Kaysville. In 1938 she married Clarence Jensen, a machinist from Michigan who had come to Salt Lake working for the Civilian Conservation Core, a jobs program initiated to put men back to work. She taught Clarence how to read and introduced him to the gospel. They married and were eventually sealed in the temple.  Ella and Clarence established a home in Salt Lake City. They had no children of their own, but helped to raise and support nieces and nephews. Clarence worked as a machinist, Ella was a teacher. Every week Clarence brought his paycheck home and Ella put a small portion into savings bonds.  Her money management, his work ethic (he continued to work well past his 80th birthday), and their modest lifestyle enabled them to put away a sizable sum of money by the time Ella passed away in 1986. 

In honor of Ella, Clarence established the Ella Carpenter Jensen Scholarship to support the graduate work of women studying in the Family, Home, and Social Sciences college.  In 1986, LDS women were not pursuing education in the way they currently do.  Grateful for what Ella had done for him, Clarence wanted to help support LDS women’s investment in education, especially beyond the bachelor’s degree. Ella and Clarence Jensen were survived by many grateful grand nieces and nephews who benefited from their support.