What gave the baby name Rulon a boost in 1941?

Mormon Church leader Rulon S. Wells (1954-1941)
Rulon Wells

The rare name Rulon saw a dip in usage in 1940, followed by a spike in usage in 1941. These two conditions combined made Rulon the fastest-rising male name of 1941:

  • 1943: 11 baby boys named Rulon (5 in Idaho)
  • 1942: 12 baby boys named Rulon (9 in Utah)
  • 1941: 21 baby boys named Rulon (15 in Utah)
  • 1940: 6 baby boys named Rulon (5 in Utah)
  • 1939: 18 baby boys named Rulon (7 in Idaho, 6 in Utah)
  • 1938: 14 baby boys named Rulon (11 in Utah)

I can’t account for the dip, but the spike corresponds to the death of Rulon S. Wells, who was a prominent leader in the Mormon Church. (This explains the particularly high usage in Utah and Idaho.)

Rulon Wells was born in the 1850s in Salt Lake City. He was one of about three dozen siblings and half-siblings (via his father’s seven wives). I don’t how the name “Rulon” was chosen, but the names of some of Rulon’s siblings aren’t hard to figure out:

Rulon himself had just one wife and seven children: Josephine, Rulon Jr., Sidney, Elizabeth, Lillian, Helen, and Dorothy.

Do you like the name Rulon? Would you use it?

P.S. Mary Juneve Jones of Utah, mentioned in the post about baby names inspired by Rexall scents, had a father named Isaac Rulon Jones (b. 1902).

Source: Rulon S. Wells – Wikipedia

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