Ammon Meshach Tenney

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Ammon Meshach Tenney

Birthplace: Rand, Lee, Iowa
Death: Died in Thatcher, Graham, Arizona, USA
Place of Burial: Thatcher, Graham, Arizona, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathan Cram Tenney and Olive Tenney
Husband of Eliza Ann Tenney; Hettie Milicent Tenney and Anna Sariah Tenney
Father of Millicent Tenney; Eugene Adams Tenney; Helaman Pratt Tenney; Paul Frost Tenney; Anthony Ivins Tenney and 4 others
Brother of George Alma Tenney; Samuel Benjamin Tenney, Sr; Nathan Cram Tenney; Olive Eliza Tenney; Nancy Ann Tenney and 4 others

Managed by: Paula Claire Essmeier
Last Updated:

About Ammon Meshach Tenney

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Ammon Meshach Tenney (November 16, 1844 – October 28, 1925) was an American Mormon missionary and colonizer in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, who taught the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to such peoples as the Zunis and the Isleta Pueblos, baptizing hundreds. He also was the first president of the Mexican Mission when it was reorganized in 1901..."

"...Tenney was born in 1844 in Lee County, Iowa. He came to Utah in 1848 and later moved with his parents to San Bernardino County, California. It was in San Bernardino that Tenney first learned Spanish..."

"...In 1876 Tenney was among the first seven LDS missionaries called to go to Mexico..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Ammon M. Tenney', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 October 2011, 16:05 UTC, <> [accessed 18 December 2011]


Ammon was born to Nathan Cram Tenney and Olive Strong. His mother, and then his father, joined the Mormon church in the early 1840s, when Ammon was a very young child.

The family had been living in Nauvoo, Illinois, but then moved to Lee County, Iowa, across the Mississippi river from Nauvoo, about 1844.

Ammon's family left with the main body of Mormons when they left Nauvoo to go to Winter Quarters (Florence), Nebraska in 1846. In 1848, the family left Winter Quarters and traveled by wagon train to Utah, where they settled in Cottonwood, Grand County, Utah. The family later lived in San Bernardino, California, southern Utah, and Arizona.

Ammon learned to speak Spanish in California and used that skill to act as a Mormon missionary and scout in the Southwest United States. He spent most of his life as a Mormon missionary in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico.

Ammon was a polygamist; by 1872 he had two wives. In 1884, he was arrested and convicted of polygamy; he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in the Detroit House of Corrections. He had served over two years of his sentence when he was pardoned by President Cleveland.

In 1890, Ammon wanted to take a third polygamous wife; to do so he had to go to Mexico, because the Mormon church had promised the federal government they would not continue practicing polygamy, although they did to some extent. Polygamy was also illegal in Mexico, but the Mexican government did not spend much time proscecuting people who practiced it.

After bringing all his wives to Mexico, in 1890, his first wife, Anna, separated from him.

Anna and her children continued to live in Colonia Diaz, while Ammon and his other two wives moved to Colonia Dublan and other places in Mexico. In 1912, Mexican revolutionaries drove all foreigners out of Mexico, including Ammon's families.

Ammon married:

(1) Anna Sariah Eagar November 9, 1867 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had ten children together. She separated from him.

(2) Eliza Ann Udall on December 12, 1872 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had two children together. She separated from him.

(3) Hettie Millicent Adams on March 24, 1890 in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico. They had ten children together. She separated from him.

Ammon lived alone in El Paso, Texas and other locations in the South and Southwest, until he died in Thatcher, Arizona.



Nathan Cram Tenney (1817 - 1882)


Olive Strong Tenney (1818 - 1881)



Anna Sariah Eagar Tenney (1850 - 1934)

Eliza Ann Udall Tenney (1855 - 1913)

Hettie Millicent Adams Tenney (1872 - 1957)



Anna Sariah Tenney Coleman (1870 - 1944)

Nathan Cram Tenney (1871 - 1957)


Olive Eliza Tenney Curtis (1874 - 1928)

Phoebe Relief Tenney Gardner (1876 - 1966)


Abbey Celestia Tenney (1876 - 1883)

Lois Jeannette Tenney Lemmon (1879 - 1940)


Luella Maude Tenney (1882 - 1883)


Rosalia Tenney Payne (1884 - 1967)


John Eagar Tenney (1887 - 1896)*


Millicent Tenney McKellar (1890 - 1977)

Lurline Tenney Whiting (1891 - 1965)


Eugene Adams Tenney (1892 - 1952)

Heleman Pratt Tenney (1895 - 1978)


Paul Frost Tenney (1897 - 1921)


Anthony Ivins Tenney (1899 - 1955)

Udall Adams Tenney (1901 - 1965)

Ezra Strong Tenney (1903 - 1963)

Allen Dwight Tenney (1905 - 1971)

Meshach Adams Tenney (1907 - 1993)


Sarah Tenney (1910 - 1911)

Maintained by: For Emma

Originally Created by: Raymond McGrath

Record added: Apr 02, 2006

Find A Grave Memorial# 13831491

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Ammon Meshach Tenney's Timeline

November 16, 1844
Rand, Lee, Iowa
March 23, 1870
Age 25
Touquerville, Washington, Utah, United States
December 25, 1890
Age 46
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
August 23, 1892
Age 47
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
April 4, 1895
Age 50
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
March 25, 1897
Age 52
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
February 10, 1899
Age 54
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
May 22, 1901
Age 56
Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico
August 4, 1903
Age 58
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico
September 28, 1910
Age 65
Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico