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John Smith

Birthplace: Kirtland, Geauga, OH
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
Immediate Family:

Son of Hyrum Smith and Jerusha Smith
Husband of Nancy Melissa Smith and Hellen Maria Smith
Father of Hyrum Smith and Hyrum Fisher Smith
Brother of Lovina Smith Walker; Jerusha Smith Pierce; Hyrum Smith; Mary Smith and Sarah Smith Griffin
Half brother of Joseph F. Smith, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Martha Ann Smith

Managed by: Susan
Last Updated:

About John Smith

Mormon Pioneer

"...In April of 1848, I started with the family for Great Salt Lake. It was rather a hard journey, as we did not have team enough. I remember I had to drive a team composed of wild steers, cows and oxen, with two wagons tied together, and, before we had gone over two miles, a wagon tongue broke and we had to camp for the night. On the way over the plains I broke several yoke of cows and steers to work, and had to take a man's place, standing guard at night and in the day time, noon, etc. I had to be the boy who brought the wood and water, herded the cows, and assisted to double teams over bad places, up hills, etc. On one occasion a circumstance occurred, which I shall never forget. At about sundown, while we were encamped on the Platte River, it was reported that a woman was lost. Without ceremony I took my coat on my arm and a piece of corn bread in my hand, and started out up the road, to follow a part of the company which had left us at noon. I had not gone far when I came up with a dead carcass, which was covered with wolves, fighting and howling. I walked past as fast and as quietly as possible. I travelled six miles before I came up with any wagons. During this distance I passed about twenty such frightful scenes. I got through safe and I think unnoticed by the wolves. I stopped for the balance of the night with an aquaintance. At daybreak I proceeded on my journey and found the lost woman, safe with her mother, a little after sunrise, six miles from where I stayed for the night.

On the 22nd of September, my 16th birthday, I drove five wagons down the "Big Mountain," east of Salt Lake City. It was dark long before I got into camp with the last wagon. On the way one wheel of my wagon ran into a tree about fifteen inches through, and I had to lie on my back and chop the tree down with a dull ax before I could go any further. At about 11 p.m. on the 23rd of September, 1848, we arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley..."

SOURCE: Smith, John, Autobiography, 4-5, reel 3, in University of California (Berkeley) Bancroft Library, Utah and the Mormons collection. Retrieved online from:,18016,4976-5522,00.html

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John Smith's Timeline

September 22, 1832
Kirtland, Geauga, OH
January 24, 1846
Age 13
January 26, 1846
Age 13
January 10, 1856
Age 23
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
November 6, 1911
Age 79
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
November 12, 1911
Age 79
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
December 6, 1967
Age 79