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About Joshua Davis


Joshua Davis was born December 23, 1820 at Alton, Illinois. He was the fifth child in a family of nine who were born to Joanna Thomas and Dennis Davis. The vision of Joseph Smith concerning the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Gospel on earth was received the year Joshua was born. This was to play an important role in his life. He grew to manhood on his father's farm in Alton.

As a young man he became interested in the gospel taught by Joseph Smith and was baptized and confirmed into the Latter-Day Saint Church on the 16th of April 1840 by Orson Hyde. He was the only member of his family to join the Church at this early period. The rest of the remained with the Methodist and Presbyterian faiths.

Joshua made his home in Nauvoo, Illinois where the Saints gathered and were building a beautiful city. Joshua helped with the building of the Nauvoo Temple and became well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. On seeing him on his way to work on the temple with a pair of worn shoes strapped together with hickory bark, Joseph gave him a new pair of boots. On November 2, 1841 Joshua married Susan Ann Cole in the NauvooTemple. Their first child, William Dennis, was born at Carthage, Illinois in 1842.

Just two years later the Prophet and his brother Hyrum, were murdered at the Carthage Jail. Joshua and Susan Ann were outside the jail a short time before they were murdered. That night Joshua's horses were stolen. He didn't find them for several days. They suffered much persecution along with the other Saints.

In 1846 Joshua and his family left Nauvoo, where they had lost most of their possessions and started the westward journey. On September 3, 1847 Joshua Martin was born in Stringtown, Iowa. He died while they were still at Council Bluffs February 5, 1850.

Although Joshua started westward in 1846, his financial circumstances prevented him from reaching Salt Lake Valley until September 1850. His friends urged him to go into the barbering trade and stay in Salt Lake. However, he heard of abundant fish and game near Provo so he decided to take his family there.

A fort had been built by the first Saints to move to UtahValley. Joshua moved with his family to a home in the southwest corner of this fort. The first daughter Emily Ann was born December 23, 1850.

In the spring of 1851 Joshua was busy acquiring land and preparing the soil at the sight which is the Geneva Steel Company. He also built a cabin there. At this time the City of Provo was being planned. The blocks were numbered and the numbers were placed in a hat. Joshua drew the northeast corner of First South and Fourth West Streets. He built a two-room adobe house and his family moved here from the fort.

Polygamy was being practiced by members of the Church. Joshua married a second wife Jane Brandon. To this marriage a daughter Maribah Rosetta was born. Joshua met Hannah Anderson from Ephraim, Sanpete County. She came to Provo and after working in his home for a while she also married Joshua.

Joshua built Hannah a cabin across the street east from his home. Later she moved to the farm where the Geneva Steel plant is located. He also owned a plot of land near Irontown. Hannah lived their also.

Joshua had 18 children by his three wives. Susan Ann had eleven, Jane had her one daughter, and Hannah had six children.

President Brigham Young called Joshua to fulfill a mission to the Central States. While on his mission he visited his relatives. Calling at his father's home he found him chopping wood. It had been twenty-two years since they had seen each other so his father didn't recognize him. Wishing to have some fun Joshua did not disclose his identity. He asked for food and lodging but the old man pleaded his inability to accommodate him. He sent him to his son John's home nearby. John's wife met him and after a pause recognized his manner. She pushed back his hat and saw a tell-tale scar on his forehead that he had received while ice skating when he was a little boy. She was happily surprised and said "It's Uncle Josh." After supper they went to their fathers home and spent the evening with his father and stepmother. His relatives treated him royally. His brother John was converted to the Church. On returning home he did temple work for his father and his brothers John and Sam.

Joshua was active in the early development of Provo. He was the first Sheriff of Utah County. He helped build corrals, clear land and operated one of the first threshing machines. He hauled building materials and freighted to and from the surrounding territory. He died November 21, 1902 at the age of 82.

  • Residence: Provo, Utah, Utah, United States
  • Residence: Utah County, Deseret - 1851
  • Residence: Provo, Utah, Utah, United States - 1860


BBrock.FTW Other Date of Import: Aug 4, 2000


BBrock.FTW Other Date of Import: Aug 4, 2000


BBrock.FTW Other Date of Import: Aug 4, 2000

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Joshua Davis's Timeline

December 23, 1820
Alton, Madison County, Illinois, United States
April 10, 1840
Age 19
July 8, 1842
Carthage, Hancock, Illinois
December 20, 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States
January 29, 1846
Age 25
September 3, 1847
Dover, Davis, Iowa, United States
October 23, 1849
Coucil Bluffs,Pottawattamie,Iowa
December 23, 1850
Provo, Utah County, Utah, United States