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Lightner, Mary E. (Mary Elizabeth), 1818-1913



  • Existence: 1818 - 1913

biographical statement

Mary E. Lightner (1818-1913) was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Independence, Missouri. She also was a plural wife to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Mary Elizabeth Rollins was born in Lima, Livingston County, New York, April 9, 1818, daughter of John P Rollins and Keziah VanBenthuysen. In 1828 she moved with her family to Kirtland, Ohio, where they lived with her uncle Algernon Sidney Gilbert, and in October 1830 she was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Along with her mother, sister Caroline, and brother Henry, she moved to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, where she encountered many of the persecutions suffered by the Latter-day Saints in Missouri. Mary E. Rollins married Adam Lightner of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri in 1835. Adam Lightner was not a Latter-day Saint, but he was a good friend to Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints all of his life. They moved from place to place in Missouri and later to Minnesota, and eventually went west arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1863. Mary was the first plural wife to Joseph Smith in 1842. The Lightners settled in Minersville, Utah, where Mary was one of the first school teachers and was asked to speak frequently to various groups including gatherings of General Authorities, prominent citizens, and the 1905 graduating class of Brigham Young University.

Mary E. Lightner died in 1913, at the age of 97 in Minersville, Utah.

Citation:, via WWW, Jan. 26, 2017 (Mary E Lightner; b. Apr. 9, 1818 in Lima, NY; d. Dec. 17, 1913 in Minersville, UT; parents, John P Rollins and Keziah VanBenthuysen; m. 1835 in Liberty, MO to Adam Lightner)

Mary E. Lightner Papers, 1865-1914, Jan.26, 2017 (plural wife to Joseph Smith 1842; moved to Kirtland, OH 1828; uncle Algernon Sidney Gilbert; baptized Oct. 1830 into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; siblings Caroline and Henry; move to Independence MO; persecutions of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; move to MN; move to Salt Lake Valley 1863; school teacher; public speaker for General Authorities; graduating class BYU 1905)

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mary E. Lightner papers

 Collection — Folder 8: [Barcode: 31197239236448]
Identifier: Vault MSS 363
Scope and Contents Collection contains materials pertaining to the life of Mary E. Lightner. Includes handwritten originals and photocopies of correspondence including correspondence to Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many prominent Mormon women while in Utah. Also included are personal histories, autobiographies, speeches, articles pertaining to her life while in Minersville, Utah, along with patriarchal blessings and a statement relating to her marriage to Joseph Smith. Dated...
Dates: 1865-1980