D. Arthur Haycock
David Arthur Haycock served as secretary to five presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was born on September 4, 1916, in Farmington, Utah. The family moved to Bancroft, Idaho, when he was a baby and then back to Herriman, Utah, when his father was called to serve a mission.
Haycock worked hard throughout his childhood and youth with his siblings to supplement the family income. He herded cows, gathered firewood, hauled hay, labored in fields, had a paper route, delivered packages for department stores, and other odd jobs.
After his father returned from his mission, the family moved to Firth, Idaho, in 1924. They returned to Utah in 1929, settling in Salt Lake City. During high school, Haycock joined the ROTC, which helped him pay for his books. After he graduated from South High School, he continued postgraduate work there with courses such as dictation, transcription, and bookkeeping. He had already taken two years of shorthand. These skills later helped him obtain work at the offices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Haycock began his service as a missionary to Hawaii a few months prior to his nineteenth birthday. He later served as mission president in Hawaii and as president of the Laie Hawaii Temple. As a missionary he served as secretary and stenographer in the mission home. He concluded his mission in June 1937 and married Maurine McClellan on May 6, 1938, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of four daughters.
His first job was writing letters for guests of the Hotel Utah. He then worked at the Salt Lake Tribune information desk. He persistently walked to the Church Offices each Monday during his lunch break to apply for a job. After six months, he secured a job in the Finance Department.
During World War II, he was registered for the draft and could not continue to work in an office. He worked for the railroad, and after the stationmaster, Gordon B. Hinckley, was transferred to the Denver headquarters, Haycock was offered the job and put in charge of the Salt Lake station. When the war ended in 1945, Haycock was offered a job by Richard L. Evans to serve as office manager of the Improvement Era.
Two years later, Haycock was loaned to President George Albert Smith’s office to help with secretarial duties. Joseph Anderson had been serving as secretary to the First Presidency and the President of the Church since 1922. Haycock became secretary to President George Albert Smith and continued to serve with subsequent presidents Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson. His service with President Benson was brief because of his call to serve as president of the Laie Hawaii Temple.
In addition to his service to five Church presidents, he was assistant secretary to the First Presidency and secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve during the presidency of President David O. McKay. He also was an administrative assistant to President Benson when he was U.S. secretary of agriculture from December 1952 to June 1954.
He worked with Gordon B. Hinckley “all the years that he worked in the administrative offices of the Church.”
- President Hinckley said that during the time Brother Haycock was temple president, a hill behind the temple was covered with jungle growth and had become a dumping ground for junk.
- "He took me out there one day and said, This ought to be cleaned up.' And I said, You're the temple president.' And he said, I know, but that isn't my duty.' I said, It isn't your duty, but you know you want to do it.' And he went to work and secured help, contributions and cleaned all that rubbish out of there, tons and tons of it. . . . He exposed it as an old Hawaiian burial ground, cleaned up the headstones, put them in place, built walks and a beautiful driveway, and a gazebo sort of thing on the top of the hill, planted grass on those rolling slopes and made it beautiful, a place of quiet meditation. I have thought many times that ought to be called the Haycock Sanctuary. He was a man who carried in his heart a spirit of reverence, a great regard for that which is sacred, for that which is divine, for that which is holy, for that which is beautiful.”
Haycock retired in 1986. He passed away on February 25, 1994.