Nathan Tanner, Sr.

Is your surname Tanner?

Research the Tanner family

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!

About Nathan Tanner, Sr.

Nathan Tanner

Nathan Tanner, Senior, was the son of John tanner and his second wife, Lydia Stuart Tanner. He was born in Greenwich, Washington County, New York, May 14, 1815. The early life of Nathan as a boy, was very closely associated with that of his father who imposed upon his son a variety of responsibilities. He was among the first to receive the gospel in this dispensation. At the time of his death, he was perhaps the oldest L.D.S. Church member, having lived eighty years from the time he was baptized.

At one time he was the only member of Zion's Camp. He traveled with the Prophet and assisted Zerubbabel Snow of the Commissary Department. He was with the Prophet on one occasion when the latter was wrapt in vision, and saw in vision the future of the country over which they were traveling. When a boy, he filled a mission with his brother-in-law, Amasa Lyman, in the Eastern States. At the old home in Bolton, he married Rachel Winter Smith in 1836.

He suffered from mob violence that tried so severely the Saints both in Kirtland and in Missouri. After occupying a prominent position among those who were driven to Nauvoo, he was chosen by the prophet Joseph as one of the explorers to accompany him to the Rocky Mountains. With his brother John and Loyal Souls, he was among those awaiting the Prophet on the night of June 22, 1844, when they crossed the Mississippi River preparatory to proceeding westward. Joseph and Hyrum returned to Nauvoo and their martyrdom followed.

He lived in Adams County, Illinois, for about one year, then moved to Montrose opposite Nauvoo until the exodus.

In 1848, Nathan moved south of Salt Lake City about ten miles on what was then known as the Lyman survey. He was one of the first to bring water from the Little Cottonwood stream for irrigation purposes.

In the fall of 1849 he was called on a mission to explore southern Utah, with Parley P. Pratt and others. In 1852 Nathan started out on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. He went south to San Bernardino, thence north to San Francisco and from here he set sail with a number of elders that were on their way to India.

At his funeral, held in the Granite Stake Tabernacle, President Joseph F. Smith, who was the chief speaker, said that his fidelity to the Prophet Joseph Smith would alone assure him of a place among the worthy in the celestial kingdom.

He died in December, 1910, at the home of his son Stewart in Granger. He was a few months under ninety-six years of age at the time of his death.

At the funeral services of Nathan Tanner, President Joseph F. Smith spoke of the history of this good man which he said had been closely woven with the history of the Church. He said that he had regarded the life of Nathan Tanner as an example for his life. In conclusion, President Smith urged the children and descendants of this man to follow in his footsteps, leading a life of truth and righteousness.

  • See the book “descendants of Nathan Tanner (SR.)” for “Incidents in the Life of Nathan Tanner Written by Himself on the Occasion of the Tanner Family Reunion Held in Payson in 1895.” (11 pages).

Birth: May 14, 1815

Death: Dec. 17, 1910

NATHAN TANNER had a total of five wives and 18 children. N. Eldon Tanner, Franklin D. Richards, Hugh B. Brown, and Victor L. Brown are among his descendants, all through his first wife Rachel. N. Eldon Tanner is a descendant of Nathan Tanner on both his mother's and his father's side, being both a great-grandson AND a great great grandson of Nathan. Nathan Tanner's wives were Rachel Winter Smith, Mary Baker, Persis Tippetts, Sarah Littley, and Mary Peacock.

Nathan served in Zion's Camp, and also the Battle of Crooked River. Since he left more writings than any of the other Tanners, he has already been extensively quoted. He served at least four missions. After coming to Salt Lake Valley at age 33, his life thereafter was rather quiet and uneventful when compared to all of the events of Church history he had been a part of in his youth, but we do have a record of some of his activities. It is said that "he was influential in dealing with the Indians, and also had his share of missionary experience and was a minute man in the fullest sense of the word." He was involved in freighting and in various business enterprises such as the store previously mentioned; his son Nathan Jr. at one time held the contract for hauling the ore out of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and had 45 men and teams working for him. Nathan Jr. later moved to Ogden where he became a prominent lawyer. Nathan Sr. did not stay in South Cottonwood either; after a few years he moved into Salt Lake City. In the fall of 1849 Nathan was called on a mission to explore southern Utah, with Parley P. Pratt and others.

In the October General Conference of 1852, he was called on a mission to the Sandwich Islands with eight other elders.

It is said that Nathan was a man of rare charm, much of which resulted from his enthusiasm and complete dedication to a cause, as well as his positive attitude and his love for life and people.

Family links:

 John Tanner (1778 - 1850)
 Lydia Stewart Tanner (1773 - 1825)

 Helen Alcy Tanner Maxfield (1839 - 1915)*
 John William Tanner (1842 - 1893)*
 Rachel Winegar (1848 - 1905)*
 Alva A. Tanner (1849 - 1929)*
 Emily Sophia Tanner Richards (1850 - 1929)*
 Abigail Lodicia Tanner Thompson (1858 - 1938)*
 Sarah Littley Tanner Buttars (1859 - 1951)*

 Rachel Winter Smith Tanner (1818 - 1896)
 Mary Rosina Tanner (1824 - 1894)
 Persis Pansy Tippets Tanner (1828 - 1903)
 Sarah Walker (1843 - 1926)

  • Point here for explanation



Salt Lake City Cemetery

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County

Utah, USA

Plot: C-1-13-1-E

Created by: L Despain

Record added: Jun 14, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 27552578

view all 49

Nathan Tanner, Sr.'s Timeline

May 14, 1815
Greenwich, Washington County, NY, United States
September 10, 1832
Age 17
September 10, 1832
Age 17
September 10, 1832
Age 17
January 27, 1838
Age 22
Caldwell County, Missouri, United States
December 18, 1839
Age 24
New Liberty, Pope County, Illinois, United States
November 16, 1841
Age 26
Montrose, Lee, Iowa, United States
October 27, 1845
Age 30
December 30, 1845
Age 30