Joseph M. Tanner

Is your surname Tanner?

Research the Tanner family

Joseph M. Tanner's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Joseph Marion "Jay" Tanner

Birthplace: Payson, Utah County, Utah, United States
Death: August 19, 1927 (68)
Lethbridge, Division No. 2, Alberta, Canada
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Myron Tanner and Mary Jane Tanner
Husband of Annie Clark Tanner
Father of Obert Clark Tanner and Private
Brother of Myron Tanner, Jr; John Tanner; Gertrude Tanner; Mary Elizabeth Tanner; Grace Lillian Tanner and 3 others
Half brother of Joseph Marion Tanner and Arthur Leroy Tanner

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph M. Tanner

Joseph Marion ("Jay") Tanner (March 26, 1859 – August 19, 1927) was an American educator and a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He has been described as "one of the most gifted teachers and writers in the [LDS] Church in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries".

Tanner was born in Payson, Utah Territory in a Latter-day Saint family. He attended Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah before departing the United States as a missionary for the LDS Church. From 1884 to 1887, he preached Mormonism in Europe and the Middle East. Along with Jacob Spori, he was the first LDS Church missionary to preach in Turkey—where they baptized Mischa Markow—and was the organizer of the first branch of the LDS Church in Palestine.

From 1887 to 1891, Tanner was the principal of Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah. In 1891, he became the leader of the first group of Latter-day Saints to enroll at Harvard University. Tanner studied law at Harvard Law School until 1894, when his ill health prompted him to return to Utah.

From 1896 to 1900, Tanner was president of Utah Agricultural College, which is today Utah State University.

In 1901, Tanner succeeded Karl G. Maeser and became the second Commissioner of Church Education for the LDS Church. At the same time, he became the second assistant to Lorenzo Snow in the general superintendency of the church's Deseret Sunday School Union. When Snow died and was succeeded by Joseph F. Smith, Tanner became Smith's second assistant in the church's Sunday School.

Tanner retired in 1906 and emigrated to Alberta, Canada, where he farmed in the Cardston area.

From 1906 to 1921 Tanner wrote extensively for the Improvement Era, an official periodical of the LDS Church. He wrote a number of books, including manuals for the church's Sunday School and a biography of John R. Murdock.

Tanner was a practitioner of plural marriage and had five wives. His second wife, Annie Clark Tanner, accused him of abandoning her and their children.

Tanner died in Lethbridge, Alberta and was buried in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Residence: Provo, Utah, Utah, United States
  • Residence: Provo, Utah, Utah, United States - 1860
  • Residence: Provo, Utah, Utah, United States - 1880
  • Residence: Medicine Hat Sub-Districts 1-11, Alberta, Canada - 1911
  • Residence: Ogden Ward 4, Weber, Utah, United States - 1920
view all

Joseph M. Tanner's Timeline

March 26, 1859
Payson, Utah County, Utah, United States
September 20, 1904
Age 45
Farmington, Davis, Utah, United States
August 19, 1927
Age 68
Lethbridge, Division No. 2, Alberta, Canada
August 25, 1927
Age 68
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States