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Winchester, Benjamin, 1817-1901



  • Existence: 1817 - 1901

Biographical History

Benjamin Winchester (1817-1901) was an early convert to Mormonism; participated in the Zion's Camp march to Missouri; was ordained a Seventy; and performed extensive missionary service for the early Mormon Church. Later he would leave the Church due to disagreements with church leadership and lived out most of his life in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Benjamin Winchester was born at Lindy's Lane, Pennsylvania, to Stephen Winchester and Nancy Case on August 6, 1817. His family joined the Mormon Church in 1833 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Benjamin accompanied his father on the Zion's Camp march in 1834, attended the School of the Prophet's in Kirtland, Ohio, and was ordained a Seventy in 1835. He was a missionary and leader of the Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and published several Mormon works there, incuding a history of the priesthood and "The Gospel Reflector," a newspaper. Benjamin married Mary Hannah Stone on February 25, 1840, and they had five children who lived to adulthood. Conflicts with authorities of the Mormon Church combined with his disagreement to the practice of plural marriage forced Benjamin to leave the Church, and he was excommunicated on September 26, 1844. Benjamin had short-lived support for Sidney Rigdon's movement, but later owned a cigar shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1846-1854, and finally moved his family to Council Bluffs, Iowa. During most of his life in Iowa he worked in the brick making business, and also dabbled in farming and fruit growing. Benjamin remained in Iowa until his death on January 25, 1901.

Winchester family papers, October 10, 2013. (born on August 6, 1817, to Stephen Winchester and Nancy Case; family joined LDS Church and moved to Kirtland, Ohio; participated in Zion's Camp and School of the Prophets; ordained a Seventy in 1835; was a missionary and leader of the Church in Philadelphia; published several LDS works; married Mary Hannah Stone on February 25, 1840, and they had five children; left the LDS Church in 1844; owned a cigar shop in Pittsburgh; moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1856; spent rest of life in Iowa; had brick making business, and dabbled in farming and fruit growing; d. Jan. 25, 1901)

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

William Hart Miles papers

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197231566404]
Identifier: MSS 1459
Scope and Contents

The collection includes journals, biographical information, genealogical materials and a mission record.

Dates: 1861-1936

Philadelphia Branch minutes

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230342377]
Identifier: MSS 2182
Scope and Contents

Includes meeting minutes, record of members, and names of children blessed. Minutes reflect activities of Benjamin Winchester, Parley P. Pratt, Samuel Bennett, William Smith, George J. Adams, James J. Strang, and others. Reports of other Latter-day Saint congregations on the East Coast are also occasionally given.

Dates: 1840-1854

Winchester family papers

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197230305648]
Identifier: MSS SC 815
Scope and Contents

Materials primarily include correspondence between members of the Benjamin Winchester family. Some of the letters are written between family members who were visiting their grandparents in the Salt Lake Valley during the Civil War. The bulk of the correspondence is to and from Benjamin's oldest son, Savillian. Also includes business material and various receipts relating to Benjamin's life in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Dated 1864-1908.

Dates: 1864-1908

Additional filters:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2
Material Types 2
Biographies 1
Church Government 1
Correspondence 1