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Johnson, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1818-1905



  • Existence: 1818 - 1905


Benjamin F. Johnson (1818-1905) was an early pioneer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and active in early Utah government.

Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin) Johnson was born on July 28, 1818, in Pomfret, New York. He was the tenth of Ezekiel Johnson and Julia Hills' sixteen children. Baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age thirteen, Johnson then migrated to Kirtland, Ohio soon after in 1833. There he began a close friendship with Joseph Smith, Jr. that lasted until Joseph's death. He went on to serve his first mission for the Church in 1840 to the Eastern States and Canada.

Johnson traveled with the early members of the Church to Nauvoo, Illinois, and then to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1848, where he lived for four years. Johnson received a call to establish a settlement in Santaquin, Utah, and then to serve a mission in Hawaii. During his time in Utah, he served fourteen terms in the Utah State legislature and was a framer of the Utah constitution.

Johnson moved with his family to Mesa, Arizona in 1892, where he died on November 18, 1905.

FamilySearch, via WWW, Feb. 17, 2017 (parents Ezekiel Johnson and Julia Hills; tenth of sixteen children; baptized at 13; close friend of Joseph Smith; mission in 1840; move to Nauvoo, Illinois; founded settlement in Santaquin; mission in Hawaii; served 14 terms on Utah legislature; helped frame Utah constitution)

I knew the prophets, c1976: t.p. (Benjamin F. Johnson) introd. (held various offices in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; b. July 28, 1818; d. 1905)

Benjamin Franklin Johnson family, [2010], ©2010: t.p. (Benjamin Franklin Johnson) p.2 (born July 28 1818 in Pomfret, New York) p.4 (June 1833 moved to Kirtland, Ohio) p.11 (arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley October 18, 1848 and settled in Salt Lake City) p.12 (mail carrier in 1851) p.31 (November 18, 1905 died in Mesa, Arizona)

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

Benjamin F. Johnson family correspondence and ephemera

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 9512
Scope and Contents Letters of the Benjamin F. Johnson family spanning 1864 to 1915. Letters were often written from Latter-day Saint communities within Utah and Arizona, particularly Richfield, Utah, and Mesa, Arizona, and usually to or from women. Includes a small number of ephemeral items such as receipts, a small decorative card with a poem, a small broadside with a song for the Babbitt family reunion in 1909, and a handwritten poem. All items were found in a leather wallet owned by Benjamin F. Johnson,...
Dates: 1864-1915

Typescript copy of Benjamin F. Johnson letter to George Snow Gibbs

 Collection — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197232578648]
Identifier: MSS 8915
Content Description Contains a typescript of a 1903 letter from Benjamin F. Johnson, who was in Mesa, Arizona, to George Snow Gibbs in Salt Lake City, Utah, written in response to a request from Gibbs to have Johnson relate some of his early experiences in the Church, particularly with reference to his associations with Joseph Smith. Topics covered by Johnson include plural marriage and its effect on the members of the Church; Joseph Smith's charge to the Twelve Apostles before his death, causes for persecution...
Dates: 1911

Benjamin F. Johnson papers

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230317114]
Identifier: MSS SC 1912
Scope and Contents

The collection contains handwritten letters, a reminiscence, and a draft for an obituary. The reminiscence is by Sarah Melissa Johnson and relates to her life growing up in Nauvoo, Illinois. She mentions how her father was called to protect the Prophet Joseph Smith whom they considered to be in danger.

Dates: 1881-1907

Johnson family biographies

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 172
Scope and Contents

Typewritten biographies and family histories. The materials relate to the families of Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Utah poneer, Mormon polygamist, farmer, and secretary to the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith. Also included are a biography of Sarah Elizabeth Senior Johnson, daughter-in-law of Benjamin Johnson, and a book of poetry.

Dates: approximately 1950

Johnson family journals and correspondence

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197225535167]
Identifier: MSS 3095

Contains letters to James Francis Johnson from his father, Benjamin Franklin Johnson, and the journals of Benjamin Franklin Johnson. The collection has some legal documents pertaining to the death of James Francis Johnson.

Dates: 1885-1914

Seth Johnson family history

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230320134]
Identifier: MSS SC 2209
Scope and Contents

Handwritten and typewritten biographies, diaries, newspaper clippings, and family genealogical records. Included are biographies of Benjamin F. Johnson (1818-1905), Joel Hill Johnson (1802-1882), and Seth Johnson (1839-1927). The Johnson family joined the Mormon Church in the 1830s, lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and later migrated to Utah where they settled in various communities.

Dates: 1860-1947

Photographs of Benjamin F. Johnson

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 230
Scope and Contents

Collection includes a photograph and two negatives with images of Benjamin F. Johnson and his family in front of their Mesa, Arizona home in about 1890.

Dates: approximately 1890

The testimony of Joseph Smith's best friend

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230322338]
Identifier: MSS SC 2318
Scope and Contents

Typescript of a biography of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) by his secretary. Johnson relates his personal observations of Smith and treats many topics relating to the prophet's work and doctrines. Also included is a typescript of a vision by Joseph Eldridge Robinson (1867- ), president of the California Mission for the Mormon Church from 1901-1919, relating to Benjamin Johnson and Joseph Smith.

Dates: 1900-1910

Additional filters:

Letters 3
Biographies 2
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2
Diaries 2
Home and Family 2