A Book of Mormons
by Richard S. Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker
H – I
1819. April 2: Born Jacob Vernon Hamblin in Salem, Ohio, his family later homesteaded a large tract of land in Wisconsin. When he was nineteen, Hamblin worked in a lead mine but quit when the mine caved in, killing a co-worker.
He married Lucinda Taylor in 1839 and later, Rachel Judd Henderson (1849), Priscilla Leavitt (1857), and Louisa Bonelli (1865). He was the father of twenty-four children.
1842. Hamblin was converted by the preaching of Elder Lyman Stoddard. When he told Lucinda that he intended to be baptized, she threatened to leave him.
1844. After two years in Nauvoo and a short mission in behalf of Joseph Smith’s presidential candidacy, Hamblin moved his family west to Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Two years later, Hamblin and his three older children returned from a short trip to Council Bluffs to be met by Lucinda, who shoved thirteen-month-old Lyman under the fence to Jacob and screamed, “Take your little Mormon brats.” “The family saw her for only one brief visit after this.”
1849. Hamblin married widow Rachel Judd Henderson of Council Bluffs eight months later. Having dreamed that he would marry her, he knocked on her door and announced, “My name is Jacob Hamblin, I was impressed to come to your home and ask you to be my wife.” She replied, “I am Rachel Judd, and am willing to marry you, but it will be impossible for us to have children.” Hamblin responded, “My name is Jacob, yours is Rachel, we will have two sons and shall name them Joseph and Benjamin.” They also had three daughters.
1850. Sent to colonize Tooele the day of his arrival in Salt Lake. Though Indian depredations were common, Hamblin [p.110]had a strong aversion to killing Indians. Assigned to bring in some Indian prisoners, he promised them safe conduct. Local authorities wanted to execute them on the spot, but Jacob stood between the Indians and the settlers, warning that it would be necessary to kill him first.
1853. Called to the Southern Indian Mission in Washington County, Utah. Four years later he established a Paiute mission in Santa Clara. He failed to convert many but suppressed the desire to give up and instead “gave vent to the mission impulse by making peace and by engaging in pathfinding and other services short of the redemptive effort.”
He became the “Mormon Leatherstocking” to Paiute, Piede, Moquis, Navajo, and Hopi Indians.
“Dirty Finger Jake”
1857. Following a meeting with Brigham Young and twelve Indian chiefs in Salt Lake City, Hamblin returned to his summer home in Mountain Meadows to find evidence of a terrible massacre. “Oh! horrible!indeed was the sight. … The slain, numbering over one hundred men, women and children, had been interred by the inhabitants of Cedar City. At three places the wolves had disinterred the bodies, and stripping the bones of their flesh, had left them strewn in every direction. At one place I noticed nineteen wolves pulling out the bodies, and eating the flesh. … This was one of the gloomiest times I ever passed through.”
As a prosecution witness, Hamblin earned the animosity of John D. Lee, who was executed for his role in the massacre. To his dying day, Lee referred to Hamblin as “Dirty Finger Jake” or “The Fiend of Hell.”
“Apostle to the Lamanites”
1873. When three young Navajos were killed by non-Mormons near Richfield, Utah, Hamblin was invited to meet with the Navajos before they took revenge. After trying to convince the Navajos that Mormons had not been involved, [p.111]he was told, “You must not think of going home, but your American friends might go if they start immediately after they witness your death.”
A tense, night-long council ensued, during which Hamblin’s fifteen-year record with Indians was reviewed. After answering their questions and justifying his actions, he was finally released. “Again has the promise been verified, which was given me by the Spirit many years before, that if I would not thirst for the blood of the Lamanites, I should never die by their hands.”
1876. Considered by many to have known the Indians of Utah and northern Arizona “better than any one who ever lived,” Hamblin was ordained “Apostle to the Lamanites” by Brigham Young. However, he never served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
“Red Men Rules”
“Some of my rules and ways to managing Indians:
“2nd. I think it useless to speak of things they cannot comprehend.
“3rd. I strive by all means to never let them see me in a passion.
“4th. Under no circumstances show fear.
“5th. Never approach them in an austere manner; nor use more words than is necessary to convey my ideas; nor in a higher tone of voice, than to be distinctly heard.
“6th. Always listen to them.
“7th. I never allow them to hear me use any obscene language.
“8th. I never submit to any unjust demands or submit to coercion.
“9th. I have tried to observe the above rules for the past twenty years and it has given me a salutary influence wherever I have met with them. Many times when I have visited isolated bands upon business and have been addressing them in a low tone of voice around their council fires, I have noticed that they have listened with attention and reverence. I believe if the rules that I have [p.112]mentioned were observed there would be but little difficulty on our frontier with the Red man.”
1886. Anti-polygamy pressure had forced Jacob and his families into New Mexico. Contracting malaria while living in Pleasanton, the sixty-seven-year-old Hamblin weakened in health and died August 31. Initially buried in Pleasanton, he was re-interred in 1888 in the Alpine, Arizona, Cemetery.
Arnold, Frank R. “Utah Piety on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.” Improvement Era, June 1926, p. 765.
Christensen, C. L. “Personal Experiences of an Indian Interpreter of the Navajo Tribe.” Contributor 16 (1895):555.
Corbett, Pearson H. Jacob Hamblin: the Peacemaker. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1952.
Little, James A. Jacob Hamblin. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1909.
Peterson, Charles S. “Lamanites and the Indian Mission.” Journal of Mormon History 2 ( 1975):21-34.
Salt Lake City, Utah. LDS Church Archives. James G. Bleak, “Annals of the Southern Utah Mission.”
1783. May 18: Born in Easttown, New York. In 1808 he married his cousin Lucy Harris; they had three children. She divorced him in 1831 because of his funding of the Book of Mormon. In 1837 he married Brigham Young’s niece Caroline Young, by whom he had five children.
Farmer and Community Leader
1804. Harris’s 240 acres of prime land made him one of the most prosperous farmers in the Palmyra, New York, region. He served in the local militia during the War of 1812, and was later elected or appointed to a number of civic posts.
Book of Mormon Scribe
1827. As a neighbor, Harris was one of the few persons outside the Smith family to know of the existence of the Book of Mormon plates before they were retrieved from the Hill Cumorah.
1828. According to Harris, an angel told the Prophet “to go look in the spectacles, and he would show him the man that would assist him … He did so, and he saw myself, Martin Harris.”
As a “last precautionary step” to be sure “there was no risk whatever in the matter,” Harris took some of the copied characters from the plates to scholars in New York City. Though he did not obtain written certification of their authenticity, he was satisfied, and became the first Book of Mormon scribe.
To convince his skeptical wife, Harris persuaded the Prophet to let him take the 116 pages of completed manuscript home with him. They were lost or stolen, and as a result, the plates and interpreters were taken “for a season,” and Martin was no longer allowed to transcribe.
Book of Mormon Witness and Benefactor
1830. As one of the Three Witnesses, Harris testified he heard the [p.115]voice of God declare the Book of Mormon to be authentic as an angel showed him the gold plates.
Harris mortgaged his farm to raise the $3000 needed to print five thousand copies of the Book of Mormon. Lucy, violently opposed to his investment, unsuccessfully sued Joseph Smith for “defrauding Husband.” The marital discord increased when Martin testified that “Joseph had never asked him for money that he was not more than willing to give.”
Early Church Leader
1830. Oliver Cowdery baptized Martin Harris shortly after the organization of the Church. The following year, he accompanied Joseph Smith to select the “land of consecration” in Missouri.
1834. Became a member of the first high council in Kirtland.
During Zion’s Camp, Harris boasted that he could handle snakes with “perfect safety.” While “fooling with a black snake with his bare feet, he received a bite on his left foot.”
1835. Harris and the other Book of Mormon Witnesses, David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, selected, ordained, and instructed the twelve elders who became the original Quorum of the Twelve.
1834. Tried by the Kirtland High Council for accusing Joseph Smith of not understanding the Book of Mormon, of wrestling too much, and of drinking while translating the Book of Mormon, Martin confessed that his mind had been darkened so that he said things inadvertently.
His discontent mounted with the collapse of the Kirtland Anti-Banking Society, and on September 3, 1837, Harris was dropped from the Kirtland High Council. He and his family remained in Kirtland when most Saints emigrated to Missouri or Nauvoo. “I never did leave the Church,” he claimed, “the Church left me.”
[p.116]Kirtland Temple Caretaker
In later years Harris often conducted tours of the temple. One visitor described him as a “poorly clad, emaciated little man on whom the winter of life was weighing heavily.” Harris enjoyed proclaiming his testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith:
“Just as surely as the sun is shining on us and gives us light, and the moon and stars give us light by night; just as surely as the breath of life sustains us, so surely do I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, chosen of God to open the last dispensation of the fullness of times; so surely do I know that the Book of Mormon was divinely translated.”
On various occasions Harris was reported to be a firm believer in Shakerism, a Strangite, and a member of the Church of Christ. In all, he affiliated with eight different religious groups.
1859. Caroline Harris and their five children emigrated to Utah without him. Though she never divorced Harris, Caroline married John Cathy Davis in 1860.
1870. Harris was persuaded to visit Utah by his son’s brother-in-law, William H. Homer. Harris sent a message to Brigham Young through Homer: “Tell him that Martin Harris is an old, old man, living on charity, with his relatives. Tell him I should like to visit Utah, my family and children—I would be glad to accept help from the Church, but I want no personal favor. Wait! Tell him that if he sends money, he must send enough for the round trip. I should not want to remain in Utah.”
Brigham Young contributed the first $25, declaring: “Send for him? Yes, even if it were to take the last dollar of my own. Martin Harris spent his time and money freely, when one dollar was worth more than one thousand dollars are now. Send for him?Yes, indeed, I shall send!”
During the trip, Harris was frequently invited to witness to the Book of Mormon. At one of these gatherings, [p.117]a baptism was performed, and Edward Stevenson explained rebaptism to Harris, who said it was “new doctrine to him.” He “had not been cut off from the Church,” but if rebaptism were “required of him it would be manifested to him by the spirit.”
A short time later, he informed Stevenson that “the Spirit had made known to him that it was his duty to renew his covenant before the Lord.” Stevenson rebaptized Harris, and Orson Pratt reconfirmed him. Pratt later explained, “Martin Harris, when he came to this Territory a few years ago, was rebaptized, the same as every member of the Church from distant parts is on arriving here. That seems to be a kind of standing ordinance from all Latter-day Saints who emigrate here, from the First Presidency down; all are rebaptized and set out anew by renewing their covenants.”
After visiting friends in Salt Lake, Martin moved to Clarkston, Utah, where he lived with his son, Martin Harris, Jr.
When the Relief Society offered to have a set of false teeth made up for him, Harris replied, “No sisters, I thank you for your kindness but I shall not live long. Take the money and give it to the poor.”
1875. July 10: Died at the age of ninety-two in Clarkston, Utah. Buried in the Clarkston Cemetery with a Book of Mormon in his right hand and a Doctrine and Covenants in his left.
Anderson, Richard Lloyd. Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1981.
Contributor 5 (1884):406.
Deseret News, 24 September 1856.
History of the Church, 1:21, 2:95, 2:510, 2:575, 4:424.
Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson Historical Company, 1901-1936.
Journal of Discourses, 18:160.
Millennial Star, 31 October 1846.
Nibley, Preston, ed. History of Joseph Smith By His Mother. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1973.
Salt Lake City, Utah. LDS Church Archives. William Pilkington, Jr. “The Dying Testimony of Martin Harris as given to William Pilkington, Jr., by Martin Harris Himself in Clarkston, Cache Co., Utah.”
_____. William Pilkington, Jr. “Autobiography.”
1815. April 16: Born William Adams Hickman, eldest of thirteen children, in Warren County, Kentucky. His family moved to Missouri, where he became a skilled woodsman. In 1832 he taught in a small rural school near his home.
1832. Married Bernetta Burckhardt and later Sarah Elizabeth Luce, Minerva Wade, Sarah Basford Meacham, Eliza Virginia Johnson, Margaret Indian, Hanna Dyantha Harr, Martha Diana Case, Mary Lucretia Harr, and Mary Jane Hetherington. Most of his wives divorced him in 1867. “Each [wife] agreed to going, and doing the best we could for our children.” Only his first wife remained with him. He was the father of thirty-four children.
1839. A Methodist, Hickman “lived a quiet and religious life, making theology my principal study. I investigated every religious belief I had ever heard of, and among the balance, Mormonism, which I had supposed was trivial and trashy, but soon found I was mistaken. I continued to investigate it for two years.” Baptized by John D. Lee, he traveled to Nauvoo and was ordained a seventy by Joseph Smith.
1840. In Nauvoo, Hickman was one of twelve “life guards” for Joseph Smith.
1846. Fought in the “Battle of Nauvoo: … How many were killed I never learned. I had been anxious from a boy to be in a battle, but I assure you this fight took a great deal of starch out of me. My appetite for such fun has never been so craving since.”
According to Hickman, a half-breed Indian Church member had a falling-out with Brigham Young in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and threatened to lead Indian attacks against the Mormons.
[p.120]Brigham Young “sent me word to look out for him. I found him, used him up, scalped him, and took his scalp to Brigham Young, saying: ‘Here is the scalp of the man who was going to have a war-dance over your scalp; you may now have one over his, if you wish.’ He took it and thanked me very much. He said in all probability I had saved his life, and that some day he would make me a great man in the kingdom.”
A short time later, Hickman said, he was “called upon to go for a notorious horse-thief, who had sworn to take the life of Orson Hyde. I socked him away, and made my report, which was very satisfactory. Hyde was well pleased, and said he knew I had saved his life.”
1848. At Council Bluffs, Omaha Indians from across the Missouri River were stealing stock from the Saints. Hearing a report of Indians lurking about, “I took my pistol and knife … and went in search, crawling through the brush with all the quietness of a cat after a mouse. … After watching about an hour, I saw three Indians with ropes and bridle, and armed with bows and arrows. I took deliberate aim, having two in range; one fell, and one ran towards me, the third ran the other way. The one that ran towards me fell about three rods off. The ball had cut the back off his head, and made him crazy; but I was to him as he rose, and shot him dead. I took their bows, arrows, ropes, and bridles, and put them into a pile, went to town, told a few of my friends, who were well pleased, but thought we had best say nothing about it, as there might be some exceptions taken to it by United States agents.”
Unfortunately, the Indians were innocent Pawnee. When word of their deaths got around, Hickman was excommunicated for “violating church policy of friendliness towards the Indians.”
1849. Called with a group of 150 men to clear out a group of Indians who were harassing settlers on the Provo River. The Indians had called the Mormons “all petticoats and won’t fight.”
[p.121]After personally killing the chief, Big Elk, Hickman reported, “I took off his head, for I had heard the old mountaineer, Jim Bridger, say he would give a hundred dollars for it. I tied it in his blanket and laid it on a fiat rock; hid his gun and bow and arrrows, forty-two number one good arrows, and awaited the arrival of the company.
“I had to laugh. Those rear fellows who had been in the habit of picking up everything, had untied the blanket that was around the chiefs head, but on seeing what it contained left it untied with the head sitting in the middle of it, entirely untouched. I took the head, gun, bow and arrows, mounted my horse, took a pretty spuaw [sic] behind me and a sick pappoose in front, and was off for our quarters.”
1850. Rebaptized, Hickman eventually became a member of the West Jordan bishopric.
1854. Brigham Young appointed Hickman sheriff, prosecuting attorney, and assessor for Green River County (later Wyoming). He was also elected a member of the Utah territorial legislature.
1856. Joined businessman Hiram Kimball and frontiersman Orrin Porter Rockwell in a mail-carrying venture. Rockwell carried the mail from Fort Laramie to Salt Lake and back; Hickman carried it from Fort Laramie to Independence, Missouri. The company eventually merged with the Brigham Young Express Company against the advice of Hickman, who knew “I would have to be gone three months or more, suffer many privations, be at a heavy expense, and the way they had things fixed, not make a dollar.” When the Utah Expeditionary Force left Fort Leavenworth, the mail contract was suspended, the express company went defunct, and Hickman lost $1000.
1857. A blessing given by Church Patriarch John Young, shortly before Hickman embarked on a mail run, promised, “You shall have power over all your enemies, even to set your feet upon their necks, and no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper. … When danger approaches you the Angel of Life shall be with you to forewarn you of those things. If you are faithful, you shall assist in avenging the blood of the prophets of God…Not a hair of your head shall fall to the ground by the enemy.”
1859. An argument over stolen property between Hickman and Lot Huntington escalated into a wild Christmas Day shootout in Salt Lake City. Forty shots were exchanged, two striking Hickman. This altercation, along with his theft of army horses from the Utah Expeditionary Forces and his association with “bad men,” made Hickman a target for Church action. Orson Hyde, a friend since Nauvoo, acknowledged Hickman’s guilt but “gave it as the word of the Lord to set him free for the past, and bid him go and sin no more.”
1860. According to Brigham Young’s office journal, “Mayor Smoot had a conversation with the President about Wm. A. Hickman, observing people see him come in and out the office, and that leads them to suppose he is sanctioned in all he does by the President. He also observed that dogs were necessary to take care of the flock, but if the Shepherd’s dogs hurt the sheep it would be time to remove them.” Hickman was disfellowshipped by the Third Quorum of Seventy.
1868. Excommunicated for reasons not completely clear. Official Church records cite “apostasy,” but Hickman declared it was because he left the territory “without permission.”
When he asked Brigham Young if there were any other charges against him, “He said yes, I had been intimate with the Smith boys, Joseph’s sons …. I told him I only went to see them out of respect to their father, and never had a private chat with them. This he was not disposed to believe. … I asked him what more was against me, and he said he did not know, I asked him why I was dis-[p.123]fellowshipped. He seemed beat, and was mad, and said, ‘If it was not right to have done it, it would not have been done,’ and got up and left.”
August 15: Hickman wrote Brigham Young, “I feel bad to have so many false charges brought against me. I feel bad when I think you do not feel well towards me. What am I to do when I do not know of wrong I have done? How or of what can I repent? I wish you would point out a course and have it under your immediate notice for me to take, not under [Bishop] Gardner.” A postscript added, “I know I was always your friend at home or abroad and true in every sense of the word. I do hope you’ll be kind to me—how bad I feel, you do not know.”
“Brigham’s Destroying Angel”
1871. After killing “Spanish Frank,” seducer of his wife, Eliza, Hickman was unable to resolve his difficulties with President Young. He published a sensational autobiography, Brigham’s Destroying Angel: Being the Life, Confession, and Startling Disclosures of the Notorious Bill Hickman, purporting to give, in vivid detail, an account of his murderous deeds instigated by Brigham Young. Hickman apparently prepared a very rough draft for ghost writer J.H. Beadle, a prominent anti-Mormon journalist intent on implicating Brigham Young in numerous alleged crimes, especially in the 1857 murder of Richard Yates.
Though Hickman testified that “Brigham Young had ordered him to kill Yates,” he called Brigham’s Destroying Angel “a lie from the wild boar story onward.” Hickman’s disclaimer may have been related to his disappointment in not receiving a promised $50,000 for the book—or an honest, albeit belated retraction. In either case, the book is an important document of Mormon folklore.
At the final meeting between the two, Brigham Young asked Hickman if he planned to rejoin the Church. Hickman said that he “had for three years tried to find out what was against me, and could not; consequently, I expected to remain as I was.” Later he added, “I had no desire to belong to his Church, but would have accepted a [p.124]re-union for the purpose of having more peace and a better show to do business and raise my children.”
1872. Brigham Young and others were indicted on testimony provided by Hickman. The charges were eventually dropped.
1883. Seriously wounded in the groin in his 1859 gun battle with Lot Huntington, Hickman recovered only partially and suffered a nearly fatal typhoid infection on two separate occasions. His death on August 21 at the age of sixty-eight was attributed to “diarrhea and old bullet wounds.” He was buried in Lander, Wyoming, though rumor “has it that the body was exhumed by a physician from the East and his skull now adorns his private collection.”
1934. May 5: As authorized by President Heber J. Grant, all former priesthood and temple blessings were restored.
Arrington, Leonard J., and Hilton, Hope A. “William A. Hickman: Setting the Record Straight.” Mimeographed. Task Papers in LDS History #28. Salt Lake City: LDS Church Historical Department, 1979.
Deseret News, 24 August 1883, 23 August 1885.
Hickman, William A. Brigham’s Destroying Angel: Being the Life and Confessions of the Notorious Bill Hickman, Danite Chief of Utah. Edited by J. H. Beadle. Salt Lake City: Shepherd Publishing Company, 1904.
Hickman, William A., Family Organization. Profiles of William Adams Hickman. Salt Lake City: William A. Hickman Family Organization, 1980.
Hilton, Hope A. Some Progenitors and Descendents of Edwin and Eleanor Webber Hickman. Salt Lake City: Hope A. Hilton, 1978.
Hunter, Milton R. Brigham Young, the Colonizer. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Company, 1940.
Jenson, Andrew. Historical Record 6:343.
New York Times, 29 September 1859.
Salt Lake City, Utah. LDS Church Archives. Brigham Young Office Journal and Papers.
1805. January 8: Born in Oxford, Connecticut. Orphaned at the age of twelve, Orson was raised by the Nathan Wheelers, who moved to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1819. There he worked in an iron foundry, carded wool, and clerked in the Gilbert-Whitney store.
In 1834 he married Marinda Nancy Johnson, sister of Apostles Luke and Lyman Johnson. He later married Martha R. Browett (1843), Mary Ann Price (1843), Ann Eliza Vickers (1857), Elizabeth Josephine Gallier (1864), and Sophia Margaret Lyon (1865). Marinda divorced him in 1870. He was the father of thirty-two children, only seventeen of whom lived to adulthood.
1827. Joined the Methodist church and later the Campbellite congregation of Sidney Rigdon. For a time he lived with the Rigdons in Mentor, Ohio.
1831. When Sidney Rigdon converted to Mormonism, Hyde studied and prayed for three months. Finally he decided, “I could not be the loser by joining the Mormons and as an honest man, conscientiously bound to walk in the best and clearest light I saw, I resolved to be baptized into the new religion.” He was baptized by Rigdon.
1831. Shortly after baptism, Hyde began missionary efforts among his acquaintances in Kirtland. “I felt that all my old friends (not of the ‘Mormons’) would believe me, and with a warm and affectionate heart, I soon went out among them, and began to talk and testify to them what the Lord had done for me; but the cold indifference with which they received me, and the pity they expressed for my delusion, soon convinced me that it was not wise to give that which is holy unto dogs, neither to cast pearls before swine.”
[p.127]During the next twenty years, Hyde served thirteen missions, including Ohio (1831, 1833), “eastern countries” (1832), Missouri (1833), Pennsylvania (1834), New York (1835), Canada (1836), England (1837, 1846), Indiana (1839), Palestine (1841), and the Eastern United States (1843).
1833. Hyde taught grammar in the Kirtland School of the Prophets and attended Joshua Seixus’s school of Hebrew at Kirtland.
1854. Claimed to have memorized the Bible in English, German and Hebrew. Hyde, W. W. Phelps, and Albert Cartington signed the teaching certificates of Utah Territory. In 1855 he taught night classes in English at Salt Lake City.
1835. Called by the Three Witnesses to be a member of the first Quorum of the Twelve. He had served as a member of the first high council and of Zion’s Camp. After a six-month excommunication in 1838-1839, he was restored to his former position in the Quorum.
1847. Became president of the Quorum of the Twelve at Council Bluffs, Iowa, a position he held for twenty-eight years. In 1875 Brigham Young reordered the Quorum of the Twelve, giving Hyde and Orson Pratt seniority according to the dates of their return to the Quorum, rather than their original ordinations. Otherwise, at the death of Brigham Young in 1877, Orson Hyde would have been the senior apostle.
1839. Hyde had been disfellowshipped in 1835 for criticizing Sidney Rigdon’s teaching methods. Four years later he was excommunicated with Thomas B. Marsh for “failure to support the Church.” The charge stemmed from their [p.128]sworn affidavit that the Mormons had “among them a company, considered true Mormons, called the Danites … for the purpose of burning and destroying. … The Prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith’s prophecies are superior to the laws of the land.”
Marsh wrote the statement, but Hyde added, “The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to be true, the others I believe to be true.”
Six months after his excommunication, Hyde had a “vision in which it was made known to him that if he did not make immediate restitution to the quorum of the Twelve, he would be cut off and all his posterity, and that the curse of Cain would be upon him” He was reinstated in June, 1839.
John Taylor later explained, “Orson Hyde had been sick with a violent fever for some time, and had not fully recovered therefrom, which with the circumstances with which we were surrounded, and the influence of Thomas B. Marsh, may be offered as a slight palliation for his default.”
Dedicator of Palestine for the Return of Jews
1841. October 24: In fulfillment of a prophecy by Joseph Smith and of his own 1840 vision, Hyde ascended the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and dedicated Palestine for the future return of the Jews:
“Now O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which thou gavest him in his native land … to dedicate and consecrate this land unto thee, for the gathering of Judah’s scattered remnants.”
In 1979 President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
1848. An original member of the Council of Fifty, Hyde was appointed an associate judge of the Utah Supreme Court. He also served in the Utah legislature (1852-53, 1856-59, [p.129]1861-73), and was elected president of the upper house in 1870.
1853. Called by Brigham Young to colonize Fort Supply, Wyoming. Mormon settlers burned Fort Supply and Fort Bridger in 1857 to prevent their falling into the hands of the Utah Expeditionary Force.
1855. Called to settle Carson Valley, Nevada. En route, he was confronted by a soldier whom he had charged with abducting two girls in Salt Lake City. “He slapped me in the face and drew a revolver instantly. My pistols being in the holsters outside on my horse, I was not exactly prepared to measure arms with him at that time. … I am resolved to defend myself if I have to shoot him down wherever and whenever I see him.” The soldier never arrived for a showdown in Carson Valley.
Hyde served as probate judge in Carson Valley from 1856-57.
1858. Called by Brigham Young to preside over the Sanpete-Sevier district of south-central Utah. Hyde originally settled in Manti, then moved to Spring City, where his fine old home still stands. In 1860 he was sustained as the first president of the Sanpete Stake.
1878. November 28: Died in Spring City on Thanksgiving Day at the age of seventy-three. Buried in Spring City Cemetery.
Barron, Howard H. Orson Hyde: Missionary-Apostle-Colonizer. Salt Lake City: Horizon Publishers, 1977.
Deseret News, 3 October 1877.
[p.426]Hill, Marvin. “Orson Hyde.” Master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1955.
History of the Church 1:415, 3:167-168, 4:106, 4:446-459, 6:98, 6:345.
Hyde, Orson, “History of Orson Hyde.” Millennial Star 26 (1864):7:42-792.
Journal of Discourses 2:81.
Page, Albert R. Orson Hyde and the Carson Valley Mission, 1855-1857. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1970.
Roberts, B. H. Comprehensive History 1:473, 2:45.
Anthony W. Ivins (1852-1934)
Juarez Stake President
officiator for Post-Manifesto Plural Marriages
Member of the First Presidency
1852. September 16: Born Anthony Woodward Ivins in Toms River, New Jersey. First cousin of Heber J. Grant.
The Ivins family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1853 and helped settle Saint George in 1861. In southern Utah Tony developed life-long interests in hunting, fishing, and Indians.
Married Elizabeth Ashby Snow, daughter of Erastus Snow, in 1878; they had nine children.
Explorer and Missionary
1875. Ordained an elder at the age of thirteen, Ivins was called at the age of twenty-three to help explore Arizona and New Mexico for areas which could be colonized by the Saints.
In 1877-78 he served another mission in New Mexico, and in 1882 he was called to preside over the Mexican Mission in Mexico City. He learned to speak Spanish so fluently that Mexican President Porfirio Diaz described him as “a gentleman who speaks my native tongue as if he were a native born Castilian.”
1877. Appointed constable of Saint George.
1882. A self-taught lawyer, Ivins was elected prosecuting attorney for Washington County.
1888. Helped organize the “Sagebrush Democrats,” an attempt to move Utah away from the People’s (Mormon) and Liberal (non-Mormon) parties toward national parties.
1890. Elected mayor of Saint George, Ivins also served two terms in the Utah legislature.
1896. As a member of the 1894 Utah State Constitutional Convention, Ivins gained widespread popularity among Democratic delegates. Two years later the state Democratic [p.132]convention telegraphed his cousin Heber J. Grant, “Where can we find Anthony Ivins? We will give him his choice to be nominated for the first Congressman, now that we have statehood, or the first governor.”
Grant answered, “He is on the Kaibab Mountain selling the cattle, horses, and property of his company; he has accepted a call of the Church to go to Mexico. Nothing in the world would cause him to fail to fulfill that call.”
Presiding Authority in Mexico
1895. Eight Mormon settlements in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, provided refuge for Saints in danger of prose- cution for violating anti-polygamy statutes. When Wilford Woodruff called him to succeed George Teasdale as the presiding officer there, Ivins wrote in his journal, “I answered the letter rec’d from Presidency telling them that I would go to Mexico as soon as possible. I did not want to go to Mexico.”
[p.133]In Juarez, Ivins served as the first stake president, and as vice-president and general manager of the Church’s Mexican Colonization and Agricultural Company. For twelve years, his word was final in the ecclesiastical and civic affairs of the colonies.
The Ivins mansion in Juarez was fronted with a heart-shaped lawn bordered by dahlias and imported rose bushes and shrubs. The estate included fruit trees, berries and grape vines. “He built an attractive and spacious barn and outbuildings and filled them with imported purebred horses and cows including Plowboy, an imported stallion. His blooded dogs and registered chickens were in line. From a cement-covered cistern on the west canal he piped water to his home, making inside plumbing possible for the first time in the history of the town.”
Officiator for Post-Manifesto Plural Marriages
1897. Though a monogamist himself, Ivins was authorized by the First Presidency to perform plural marriage sealings, illegal under both U.S. and Mexican laws. A form letter was prepared which, when properly filled out, would indicate to Ivins that the couple presenting the form were authorized to be married. The Anthony W. Ivins collection at the Utah State Historical Society contains a list of more than forty couples so married, and the Joseph F. Smith collection in the LDS Church Archives contains many more signed authorization forms used in Mexico. Additional plural marriages were finally prohibited by Joseph F. Smith’s “second manifesto” given at April conference, 1904.
1907. Called to the Quorum of the Twelve by President Joseph F. Smith.
1912. Supervised the evacuation of Mormon colonies during the Mexican Revolution.
[p.134]1921. Named second counselor to his cousin, President Heber J. Grant. He became first counselor in 1925. As a staunch but discreet Democrat, Ivins was an important political influence, moderating partisan Republican policies whenever they were advocated in Church councils. Ivins aggravated Republican loyalists like Reed Smoot and J. Reuben Clark, inspired Democratic partisans like B.H. Roberts, and amused apolitical gadflies like J. Golden Kimball. As a member of the First Presidency, Ivins also provided tacit encouragement for Mormon modernists.
Ivins had been a prosperous rancher in Saint George, where he was manager of the Mojave Land and Cattle Company and co-owner of the Kaibab Cattle Company. In Salt Lake City he served as vice-president of Utah State National Bank, Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company, and ZCMI; director of Deseret Savings Bank and United States Fuel Company; and president of Utah Savings and Trust Company.
1934. September 23: Died of a heart attack at his home at 519 B. Street, Salt Lake City, at the age of eighty-two. Buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
1958. Elected to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Deseret News, 24 September 1934.
Dryden, David. “Task Papers in LDS History.” Mimeographed. Salt Lake City: LDS Church Historian’s Office, 1976.
Durham, G. Homer. Gospel Standards: Selections from the Writings of Heber J. Grant. Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941.
Hatch, Nelle Spilsbury. Colonia Juarez: An Intimate Account of A Mormon Village. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1954.
Jorgensen, Victor W., and Hardy, B. Carmon. “The Taylor-Cowley Affair and the Watershed of Mormon History.” Utah Historical Quarterly 48 (Winter 1980):4-36.
Romney, Thomas Cottah. The Mormon Colonies in Mexico. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1938.
Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah State Historical Society Library. Anthony W. Ivins Collection.