Moses Franklin "Frank" Farnsworth

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Moses Franklin Farnsworth

Also Known As: "Frank"
Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Johnson, Indiana, USA
Death: February 25, 1906 (72)
Manti, Sanpete, Utah, USA
Place of Burial: Manti, Sanpete, Utah, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Reuben Farnsworth, III and Mary Runyan Farnsworth
Husband of Susanna Lawrence; Elizabeth Jane Farnsworth; Elizabeth Jane Farnsworth; Lovinia Jane Bulkley; Clara Farnsworth and 1 other
Father of Franklin Levi Farnsworth; Mary Melinda Farnsworth; John Riley Farnsworth; Louisa Caroline Farnsworth; Heber Chase Farnsworth and 23 others
Half brother of Laura Liston; Lydia Farnsworth; Stephen Martindale Farnsworth; Lucinda Farnsworth; Reuben Lafayette Farnsworth and 8 others

Managed by: Kirsten Rose Leman
Last Updated:

About Moses Franklin "Frank" Farnsworth

Mormon Pioneer:

"Moses Franklin Farnsworth (1834-1906) ...I determined on going west and made arrangements with Elijah Mayhew (husband of my sister Lydia) to go with them and help what I could on that long tedious journey of 1700 miles. He fitted up two wagons and teams and we, being comfortably supplied, bid adieu to our many friends and relatives and stared from Indianapolis, Indiana, Marcy 15, 1853, on our pilgrimage. Our company consisted of Elijah Mayhew and wife, Lydia, his children, Otto L., Austin S., Caroline A., Walter F., and myself. I had left Edinburgh, March 8th, so as to help fit up the wagons, and when we started for good we were rather a raw set of teamsters, for Otto and I herded the oxteams through the streets of Indianapolis, attracting considerable attention, as we were so green with our nervous "Gee, Haw, Buck and Berry." That our cattle knew more than we did is evident from the fact that we struck the center post on the bridge over Pognes, run in the heart of the city, but soon extricating our wagons we were successful in getting through town onto the turnpike on our way towards Terre Haute. We made ten miles the first day and stopped for the night at a wayside Inn kept by Zimmerman. The next day we started early and at noon arrived at the terminus of the plank road. Then our experiences commenced in earnest-mud, slush, and snow gave us all we could desire. We necessarily had to travel slowly and the journey seemed more serious the farther west we went. The prairies of Western Indiana and over into Illinois were almost a sea of mud and slush, and as grass had not started to grow we had to buy corn and hay for the animals. They soon showed the effects of travel. So with patience and toil until we were almost worn out we finally reached Kanesville, Iowa on the 6th day of May. This was a joyful time for us for we remained in this vicinity until the 7th day of June. On the 8th we crossed the Missouri River by ferry and started on the overland journey across the great plains. Our company had 46 wagons. John W. Cooley was captain, Daniel Mellor [Miller] assistant. We had the usual monotonous travel from day to day, resting, shoeing oxen, setting wagon tires, etc., when necessary. This routine was only enlivened by the sudden appearance of Indians who would come into camp to beg or steal as opportunity presented. We had to keep strict watch by day and guard by night so as to prevent a stampede of the animals and we had all the experiences of tiresome travel that anyone could desire. Though the hardships of overland travel may have been overestimated by some, yet we had enough and plenty to satisfy the most ambitious.

In the beginning and following the wake of the pioneers, it was a necessity for the Mormon people that had been exiled and driven, they had no homes wherein they could dwell in peace among their christian friends, and they had to try the realities of life beyond the pale of civilization. To me this journey caused much serious reflection. I had left a good home, pleasant surroundings, a good position, and a bright outlook for future success, but having decided to cast my lot among this people no such word as regreat [sic] entered my mind and heart, but to push ahead, taking things as they come, and no matter what it cost. I was determined to stay with it. Day by day we continued our journey until finally on the ninth of Sept., 1853, we reached Salt Lake City..."

SOURCE: Farnsworth, Moses Franklin, [Autobiography], in "Utah Pioneer Biographies," 44 vols., 43:44. Retrieved from,18016,4976-5647,00.html

History - Moses Franklin Farnsworth was the chief recorder in the Manti Temple.

He is the son of Reuben, being in the sixth generation in descent from the emigrant ancestor to America. He received a common school education, was brought up to the mercantile business, and became a proficient salesman, bookkeeper, etc.

He came to Utah in 1853, driving an ox-team from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Salt Lake City, a distance of nearly seventeen hundred miles. He started March 8, 1853, and arrived at his destination Sept. 9, 1853, and had all the experience that a trip through the mud, slush and snow over the prairies of Indiana and Illinois and the waste plains of Iowa could give in that early day, as well as the hardships of the plains.

Upon arriving in Utah, he located at Pleasant Grove, Utah county, and was almost immediately enrolled in Capt. Thorit Peck's company of militia, and served in the Blackhawk war. He was orderly sergeant, and arose to the rank of third lieutenant in company B, battalion of infantry, of Pleasant Grove military district, and was commissioned as such by Gov. Brigham Young, taking rank Nov. 24, 1854.

He taught school during the winter of 1853-54 and 1854-59, took part in the Echo canyon campaign, and was commissioned first lieutenant in Company B, first battalion, third regiment, infantry of Nauvoo Legion, Sept, 28, 1857.

He was called to take a mission to England in 1862, and again in 1868, both of which missions he faithfully performed. In 1870 he was called to help form the settlement of Kanab, Kane county, to which call he responded. In all the offices of trust and confidence held by him he has always discharged his duties faithfully, and he is one of Utah's workers for the good of all. He has indeed shared in the joys and sorrows of the people of Utah since his first arrival there.

In June, 1877, he was called to St. George, and entered upon the duties of recorder in the St. George Temple; he continued there until May 9, 1888, when he started for Manti, and was appointed to the same position in the Manti Temple.

He commenced gathering the genealogy of his father's house in 1877, and was very successful in its compilation; he published the same under the title of "The Farnsworth Memorial," in 1897, as the first book of its kind ever published in Utah; it compares favorably with any similar work published in the East. He gathered the material and wrote the history of Manti, as published in the local newspaper there; has done a very extensive work in the Temples for his kindred dead.

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Moses Franklin "Frank" Farnsworth's Timeline

February 5, 1834
Edinburgh, Johnson, Indiana, USA
May 14, 1854
Age 20
May 14, 1854
Age 20
November 9, 1855
Age 21
November 9, 1855
Age 21
December 16, 1856
Age 22
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA