John Anderson West

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John Anderson West

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Chalk Level, Benton County, Tennessee, USA
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Cause of death: Acute obstruction of the bowels with strangulated hernia
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Walker West and Margaret West
Husband of Mary Jane Robinson West and Betsy Jane Fish West
Father of Samuel Ezra West; Joseph Anderson West; William Heber West; Maroni Edward West; Amulec Isaac West and 11 others
Brother of Sarah Esther West Barton; Isles Marion West; Susan Elizabeth West Smith; Emma Serapine West Smith; Margret Fletcher West Smith and 4 others
Half brother of Isaac Walker West; Phoebe Maria Pendleton; Minerva Ann West; Christena Elizabeth West; Hannah Rebecca West Allen and 1 other

Occupation: Pioneer, Farmer, Merchant, Hotel Owner, and Elder in the LDS church
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About John Anderson West

A short documentary for a Utah History Class of Parowan, Utah, found on talks about John Anderson West (1830-1917) and his family, including John's father, Samuel Walker West (1804-1873), who were some of the original settlers of Parowan, Utah, in the 1850's. Also mentioned in the video is George Albert Smith, who was John Anderson West's brother-in-law. George Albert Smith (1817-1875) was an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (and cousin to Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the church) and was married to John's sister, Susan West (1833-1926).

John Anderson West, a Patriarch in the Ensign Stake of Zion, Salt Lake City, Utah, was born December 19, 1830, in Benton County, Tennessee, the son of Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper West. Before they joined the Mormon Church, Samuel and Margaret lived on a 1,000 acre plantation in Tennessee which was given to Margaret Cooper's maternal grandmother, Esther Fletcher, by Mrs. Fletcher's uncle William's estate. He had received the land as a result of his service in the Revolutionary War.

John Anderson West was baptized in February, 1842, by Joseph Johnson. Together with his parents, who had joined the Church in 1834, he gathered with the Saints in Nauvoo, in 1842, and while there received a strong testimony in regard to the truth of Mormonism.

The West family left Nauvoo during the general exodus in 1846 and started for the Great Salt Lake Valley. After remaining in Iowa until June, 1851, they started for Utah in Harrison Walton's company. On the journey across the plains, in a stampede a woman named Ellen Kingsley jumped from the wagon just at the head of the one belonging to John Anderson West and was run over and killed.

Elder West arrived in the Valley September 25, 1851, and located at Parowan the same year. He was ordained an Elder by John L. Smith on December 29, 1851. On May 19, 1854, he married Betsy Jane Fish, who bore him five children. From 1854 to 58 he filled a mission to the Hawaiian Islands.

On May 27, 1865, John married Mary Jane Robinson. In 1870 he was ordained a Seventy by Abraham Smith and became a member of the 85th quorum of Seventy. From 1872 to 1875, he filled a second mission to the Sandwich Islands. John and Mary Jane had eleven children but three of them died as children.

In 1875 he became superintendent of the Parowan Sunday school. He was ordained a High Priest and set apart as a High Councilor in the Parowan Stake August 22, 1875, by Erastus Snow. In 1879 he moved to Snowflake, Arizona, where he became superintendent of the Sunday schools of the Eastern Arizona Stake, and later of the Snowflake Stake, being in the superintendency of the Sunday school for about thirty years.

He was ordained a Patriarch May 24, 1910, by Apostle Anthony W. Ivins, and that same year he sold his property in Arizona and settled permanently in Salt Lake City. In his early days John West took part in the Walker Indian war and later in the Black Hawk war.

NOTE: From a search of, in the 1900 U.S.Federal Census, John and his plural wife, Mary Jane Robinson West, and three of their children, Mary, Susan and Wilford, were already living in Salt Lake City, Utah. John's occupation was listed as a grocer and his daughter Mary was a clerk in a grocery store. His two youngest children Susan and Wilford were still attending school at that time.

John Anderson West was a missionary companion of future prophet, Joseph F. Smith and between the two of them they had one suit and they took turns wearing it.


Last Tribute Paid John Anderson West, Pioneer:

Funeral services were held Sunday for John A. West, a pioneer of 1851, who died last Friday, September 28, 1917, at the family residence, 718 Ninth Avenue. The services were held in the Ensign Ward Chapel, Bishop George Romney, President Joseph F. Smith and Bishop D. R. Lyon, each of whom spoke eulogisticly of the integrity and faithfulness of the departed. President Smith referred feelingly to his journeys across the desert and across the deep, as he and the decedent wended their way to the Hawaiian Islands, where they journeyed into the missionary field 63 years ago. He also spoke of the admiration he had for the decedent after laboring with him three years.

The opening prayer was by Elder Hyrum G. Smith and the benediction by Elder Joseph E. Smith, Jr. Solos were rendered by Pearl Larson, who sang I” Have Read of a Beautiful City” and “Elegie,” with violin obligato by George Groseman, and Ashley H. Wallace rendered “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

The pallbearers were Thomas H. Cartwright, Don H. Riggs, Silas D. Smith, E. M. West, William H. West and Joseph A. West. Many floral tributes were sent and a large automobile cortege followed the remains to the city cemetery.

This clipping is from an unidentified newspaper, probably the Deseret News.


The following information is from another source, an post by Ann Guthrie dated 10/10/2009:

John Anderson West...This pioneer of Utah and Arizona was born December 19, 1830, in Benton County, Tennessee. His parents, Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper joined the Latter-day Saints in 1834, and gathered with their fellow religionists in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842. The family left Nauvoo during the general exodus in 1846, but remained in Iowa until 1851, when they continued their journey to Utah, and settled in Parowan that same year.

John A. West took part in the Walker and Black Hawk Indian Wars. He filled two missions to the Hawaiian Islands, in 1854-1858 and 1872-5. In 1879 he moved to Snowflake, Arizona. He was active in Church work both in Parowan and Snowflake. He served as high councilor in Parowan State, and for 30 years, he was Superintendent of Sunday Schools in Arizona. In 1910 he was ordained a patriarch and that year he moved to Salt Lake City, where he died, September 28, 1917. Patriarch West was the father of 16 children. John was a farmer.

Marriage #1:

John married Betsy Jane Fish May 19, 1854, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Betsy was born in Quebec, Canada. Her parents were Hannah Leavitt and Horace Fish. John and Betsy had five children:

Elizabeth Jane, born August 9, 1863, married and had children but died at the young age of 34 years old.

Margaret Hannah, born March 15, 1862 (died age 14 from Mountain Fever)

John Anderson, Jr., September 1, 1864, died in 1919, the same year as his mother. He never married and was buried with his mother. They have a joint headstone which can be seen on his mother Betsy's Geni profile page.

Erastus (Horace) born January 10, 1868

Sarah Anna West Crandall, born April 16, 1869, she died at the very young age of 32 in 1901, after having five children with her husband David Delos Crandall.

John and Betsy later divorced and by 1870, John was living with his younger, plural wife, Mary Jane Robinson West in Parowan, Iron County, Utah.

Marriage #2:

John married Mary Jane Robinson May 27, 1865, also in the Endowment House. Mary was born October 24, 1848, in Little North Canyon, Davis County, Utah. Mary's parents were Susan McCord and Joseph Lee Robinson. Mary Jane and John had eleven children:

Samuel Ezra, born May 25, 1866

Joseph Anderson, born October 5, 1867

William Heber, August 10, 1869

Edward Moroni, born July 28, 1871

Amulek Isaac, born February 17, 1876

James Alma, born November 9, 1877

Oliver Robinson, born November 2, 1880

Mary, born September 7, 1883

Robert McCord, born October 8, 1885;

Susan, born August 16, 1887

Wilford Cooper, born February 26, 1890

Amulek Isaac, James Alma, and Robert McCord West all died as children.

Mary Jane separated from John April 20, 1875. However, they were back together in 1880 in Snowflake, Apache County, Arizona.

Additional Information From Another SOURCE:

Arizona Memory Project, Oral Histories of Pinetop, Lakeside, McNary, Whiteriver, by the Pinetop-Lakeside Historical Society:

Glenn and Lonnie West, descendants of the West family were interviewed and mention that their great grandfather, John Anderson West, emigrated from Parowan, Utah, crossing the Grand Canyon at Lee's Ferry to Snowflake, Arizona Territory, in 1879. When they arrived they unloaded a piano, promptly sat down and played hymns before entering their home. They established the John Anderson West Hotel.

Their son, Ezra, married Julia Ellsworth, a daughter of Edmund Ellsworth, and her sister, Retta, married Hans Hansen. Ezra, also a sheep herder, after establishing his marriage, moved to Woodland. They bought Abe and Belle Amos' homestead and settled down. Abe and Belle's son, Earl West, who was Glenn and Lonnie's father, was born on this homestead.

After the sheep market bottomed out, Will (the oldest son of Abe and Bell Amos) sold his homestead to Hans Hansen and took his sheep elsewhere. Allie and her daughter and sons also went their separate ways, leaving only Abe Amos on the White Mountains. Abe and Belle sold their homestead and moved down off the rim onto the reservation near Belle's parents.

Ezra and Julia established the West Hotel in Lakeside and during the school years, the Amos school children would rent the top floor from them. Earl West became close friends with Earl and Elsie Amos. After Earl Amos drowned in the lake, his father Abe forbade his only daughter to see Earl West. As things heated up, 16 year old Elsie Amos ran away with Earl West with the law in pursuit. They were caught in Phoenix. Earl West was jailed for kidnapping, and Elsie was made a ward of the court. Earl and Elsie married in July, 1920.


There are other photos of John Anderson West under the Media Tab above. These photos were found on The first one depicts John and his plural wife, Mary Jane Robinson West. The one below that photo shows John standing. To the right is a photo of three women who were members of the Snowflake, Arizona, LDS Stake Relief Society, including John's wife, Mary Jane Robinson West, his sister, Emma Seraphine West Smith, and another woman, Sarah Olivia Rogers Driggs.

view all 21

John Anderson West's Timeline

December 19, 1830
Chalk Level, Benton County, Tennessee, USA
October 25, 1859
Age 28
Parowan, Iron , Utah, USA
March 14, 1862
Age 31
Parowan, UT, USA
September 2, 1864
Age 33
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
May 25, 1866
Age 35
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
January 10, 1867
Age 36
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
October 5, 1867
Age 36
Parowan, Iron, Utah, USA
April 16, 1869
Age 38
Parowan, UT, USA
August 10, 1869
Age 38
Utah, USA
July 28, 1871
Age 40
Parowan, UT, USA