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Smith, John, 1832-1911

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1832-1911

John Smith (1832-1911) was the son of Hyrum and Jerusha Barden Smith, a missionary to Denmark, and a Presiding Patriarch of the LDS Church.

John Smith, son of Hyrum and Jerusha Barden Smith, was born 22 September 1832, in Kirtland, Ohio. His mother died when he was five, while his father was in Missouri. Three months later, on 24 December 1837, his father married Mary Fielding. In June 1844 John's father, Hyrum Smith, was murdered. Nineteen months later, the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo began. In February 1847, John joined Heber C. Kimball's family on their westward journey. On the westward journey, near Council Bluffs, Iowa, John assisted Col. Thomas L. Kane, who was extremely ill. He helped his family travel to Winter Quarters after arriving there himself. He and his family remained there for the winter. On his sixteenth birthday, 22 September 1848, John Smith drove five wagons into the Salt Lake Valley. In 1853 his stepmother, Mary Fielding Smith, died, leaving John to support a family of eight. He was married on 25 December 1853, to Hellen Maria Fisher, and the couple had nine children. In 1855 he was sustained as the sixth Presiding Patriarch of the Church, replacing his deceased grand-uncle. In 1862 John was called to set aside his duties as Patriarch and go to Scandinavia as a missionary. He served there until 1864. John, was strongly supported in his position as Patriarch by his half brother, Joseph F. Smith. When Joseph F. Smith became President of the Church in 1901, he requested that "strictly in accordance with the pattern the Lord has established," John, as Patriarch, should do the ordaining. As Patriarch of the Church, John pronounced over 20,000 blessings. He died at his residence in Salt Lake on 6 November 1911.

Citation

Biographical information for John Smith was taken from the collection itself; from articles found in Andrew Jenson, L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia. 4 volumes (Salt Lake City UT: Deseret News Press, 1901-39) [Vol. 1, pp. 52-3;183-6 and Vol. 3, p. 780]; and from Irene May Bates, "Transformation of charisma in the Mormon Church: a history of the office of Presiding Patriarch, 1833-1979," (Ph.D. dissertation, UCLA, 1991), pp. 212-38.

Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:

Miles Anderson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2061
Scope and Contents This collection contains 2 diaries covering briefly related experiences and financial dealings of Anderson during the period of 1842-1856, from Nauvoo to the Utah Territory. Also includes patriarchal blessings given by Hyrum Smith and John Smith, as well as other documents and correspondence. Two diaries, family correspondence, patriarchal blessings, family land deeds, Nauvoo Legion Certificate, and War of 1812 pension certificate.
Dates: 1799-1877

Don C. S. Millikin and Joseph Smith letters

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 1012
Scope and Contents Typed copy of two letters. Smith's letter is dated August 14, 1863 and was addressed to his cousin "John," presumably John Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah. Smith mentions the visit of two other cousins, Joseph F. Smith and Samuel H. B. Smith. Also included is a letter by Don C. S. Millikin dated August 19, 1863 and addressed to "Dear Friend and Cousin." Millikin also writes about the visit of Samuel and Joseph.
Dates: 1863 August

Monument dedication

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 266
Scope and Contents Typewritten transcript of services conducted at the dedication of a cemetery monument in Salt Lake City, Utah, erected to the memory of John Smith, George A. Smith and John Henry Smith. Joseph F. Smith was a speaker at the services.
Dates: 1916

Patriarchal blessing of Henrietta Holladay

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 2789
Scope and Contents Handwritten patriarchal blessing, dated 16 Dec. 1869, and was given to Henrietta Holladay. Smith tells Holladay that she will be able to receive salvation by following the teachings of the Mormon Church.
Dates: 1869

Pinegar family patriarchal blessings

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 3232
Scope and Contents Photocopy of microfilmed copies of the original materials. The collection consists of patriarchal blessings given to members of the Pinegar family. The partriarchs giving the blessings are John Smith (2), William Grotegut (1), and Hyrum G. Smith (2). Also included are Pinegar and Palmer family genealogies.
Dates: 1867-1944

Smith family artifacts

 Collection — oversize: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 775
Scope and Contents Collection consists of physical artifacts of Hyrum Smith and his son John Smith. These include a walking stick of Hyrum Smith, a walking cane of John Smith purchased while on his mission to Denmark, Hyrum Smith's metal scales, John Smith's pistol and carrying case, Hyrum Smith's razor and case (ownership of this item is dubious; it may have belonged to his grandson, Hyrum Fisher Smith), Hyrum Smith's coin purse and notebook, a knife of uncertain ownership, and six portraits (two of Hyrum Smith,...
Dates: 1832-1911

John Smith and Gee family photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3919
Scope and Contents The John Smith and Gee Family Photographs, undated, include two archival series: (1) Smith Family Photographs, undated and (2) Gee Family Photographs, undated. Each series includes multiple sub-series organized by family group. Notable items include pictures of John Smith and Joseph F. Smith, sons of Hyrum Smith.
Dates: Date not identified

John Smith notebook

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1638
Scope and Contents Notebook containing handwritten miscellaneous entries and a loose sheet both of which contain various handwritten genealogies of families in Logan, Utah. The notebook also contains notes on Mormon missionary activities in England in 1889-90 and four patriarchal blessings given by John Smith (1832-1911).
Dates: 1865-1921

John Smith papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 803
Scope and Contents Collection contains papers related to Smith's mission to Denmark, life in Utah with family, and his position as Presiding Patriarch of the LDS Church. Includes diaries, letters, articles containing references to John, his personal patriarchal blessing, sheep accounts, family history notes, and copies of patriarchal blessings pronounced by himself. Dated 1848-1962.
Dates: 1848-1962

John Smith patriarchal blessings

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1895
Scope and Contents Photocopies of three handwritten items. The documents are two copies of the same patriarchal blessing given to Charles Hawkins on 12 Aug. 1888 and a copy of a patriarchal blessing given to Susan Sophia Hawkins on 2 Aug. 1888. The blessings assure Charles and Susan Hawkins that they are noble spirits who will be able to go to heaven.
Dates: 1888 August