THE ANCESTRY OF JOSEPH F SMITH
Joseph Smith Sr. (1771-1840) & Lucy Mack (1775-1856)
Joseph Jr Smith PROPHET (1805-1844)
Alexander Hale Smith (1838-1909)
Arthur Marion Smith (1880-1965)
Joseph Fredrick Smith (1935-)
Joseph Jr Smith (1805-1844) Emma Hale (1804-1879)
THE ANCESTRY OF JOSEPH F SMITH
Nine children were born to the union of Alexander Hale Smith and Elizabeth Kendall. The eighth child, Arthur Marion Smith, was born February 8, 1880, in Colfax, Harrison County, Missouri. Since he was born in a room in their home which also served as the local post office, Arthur often joked that he came by special delivery. By the time he had turned one year old, the Smith family had moved to Independence Missouri, settling in a small house on South Spring Street. This move would make it possible for the family of Alexander to see him more often, as his church duties had been expanded to Missouri and the states that bordered it.
At times growing up in Independence was a bittersweet experience for young Arthur. At the tender age of six, he experienced the sting of contention and division while on the school playground. Several boys had made fun of him because he was a grandson of Joseph Smith Jr., calling him a Mormon. Arthur recorded in his memoirs;
“I may have heard of this name before but had not registered with it anything of a disgraceful nature, yet I recognized in the manner with which the word was spoken, that it carried an intent to insult.”
When the insult was hurled again, a fight ensued which was broken up by some older boys. Arthur would later write, “I went home with a bloody nose and a wounded heart.” The experience would in time prompt Arthur to learn more about the church that his grandfather had established, and why there was animosity against it.
Shortly after Arthur’s experience on the playground, Alexander moved his family back to the farm near Andover, Missouri; about six miles south of Lamoni. Since Alexander had been assigned to do missionary work in the northern states, the move to Andover would allow him to spend more time at home; however, Arthur wrote that his father was away often. Throughout the duration of their stay in Andover, he gained much of his religious and worldly education from his mother and siblings. It was during those years that Arthur learned the history of the Restoration, including the hardships and persecutions his parents and grandparents had suffered. Arthur was baptized into the RLDS Church at the close of the April 1888 conference in Lamoni, Iowa.
For years, Arthur experienced a rather normal, adventurous life like that of any young boy growing up in the rural wilds of the Midwest. However, at the age of 16 he would encounter someone that would influence him to start asking questions about the origins of The Church. While being employed as a farm laborer, Arthur’s employer, a Mr. Wicks, informed him of parts of church history he had not heard before. He was told that many errors had been made during the process of the early Restoration, including the changing of some revelations. Arthur was then given a pamphlet called the Book of Commandments, which he took home in search of further understanding from his father. Alexander said that the book would later be replaced by the Doctrine and Covenants, in which many changes to the original revelations had been made. Thus, in his teenage years, Arthur would learn that certain actions of men had set the stage for division in the Lord’s Church. A seed had been planted that would take root in years to come.
At the age of 18, Arthur received his Patriarchal blessing from his father, Alexander. Contained within this blessing, are several passages that speak of diligence in serving Christ, and the importance of rectifying any wrongs committed against others; “…and greater peace of mind shall come to thee, and thy latter days shall be blessed by the influences of the Spirit, and thou shalt feel the assurance of thine acceptance; and the Lord will open the way for obtaining, richly, those blessings promised to one who serves the Lord.”
On June 15, 1904, Arthur married Estella Danielson. Over the next four years, Arthur obtained employment as a bookbinder at the Herald Publishing House. By 1908, they had two sons; Verl and Carl. It was during this time that Arthur and his family moved to Yuma, Colorado to establish a homestead. This was a harsh and violent environment which made it increasingly hard to make a living there. In 1909, Arthur’s father, Alexander passed away in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Arthur and Estella’s next two children, Alexander and Kenneth, were born in Colorado in 1909 and 1911, with Arthur being the only one to attend his wife. By 1914 the harsh and primitive livelihood in Yuma, Colorado had taken its toll on Estella, who developed consumption. The small family moved to Kansas City, where Arthur began working as a streetcar conductor. Later that same year, a daughter, Elizabeth, was born. Estella’s health began to further decline, and by the time Elizabeth was two, it was decided she should spend time with her relatives in California, in hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. At the time, she was expecting her son Arthur, who was born March 18, 1916, shortly after her return to Missouri. Within three months of Arthur’s birth, Tuberculosis would claim the life of the young mother, leaving Arthur a widow with six children, the youngest being three months old.
After the death of his wife, Arthur and his children moved to Lamoni to live with his mother, Elizabeth. The two youngest children lived for a time with their maternal grandmother, Julia Danielson, who also lived in Lamoni. During this time, Arthur bought and operated a livery barn with stables. He attended the RLDS Church and was ordained to the office of priest in April of 1914 by Elbert A. Smith, Heman C.Smith, and Fredrick A. Smith.
On June 6, 1919, Arthur’s mother, Elizabeth, passed away. In that same year, Arthur moved to Des Moines, Iowa and worked once again as a bookbinder. While attending church in Des Moines, Arthur met a lady by the name of Minerva Catherine Smith, who would become his second wife. Known by friends and family as Minnie, she was born to Henry Smith and Catherine Coble, May 20, 1894, in Charlestown, Clark, Indiana. Minnie’s Smith line is not related to Arthur’s and has a history steeped in Virginia, the Carolinas and Indiana.
Arthur and Minnie were married May 21, 1922. Minnie would take in Arthur’s children as her own. Arthur and Minnie had five children together; Georgia Mae, Alta Lorraine, Myrle Lee, Barbara Jean, and Joseph Fredrick.
After the birth of Georgia Mae, Minnie and their new daughter went to live with her family while Arthur and his older sons sought opportunities that would produce a new home for them. After a few failed ventures, Arthur took instructional courses in Minneapolis, MN and began teaching the trade of bookbinding at a vocational high school in Minneapolis. It was during this time that Arthur’s faith was greatly tested, and he took a new direction in his spiritual growth.
In 1925. Fred M. Smith, president of the RLDS Church and Arthur’s cousin, introduced a policy called, “Supreme Directional Control.” This new policy caused confusion and divisiveness in the church. Arthur had very strong objections to this new direction and through a friendship with Daniel McGregor, a former RLDS missionary who had converted to the Church of Christ Temple Lot, began to look further into the Temple Lot Church’s doctrine. Convinced that it more accurately reflected the original teachings of the early restoration, Arthur had his membership transferred to the Church of Christ Temple Lot on July 1, 1926.
In his younger years, Arthur had seen the damages caused by contention and division, which fueled his desire to bring balance to people and situations that fell into discord. Throughout the remainder of his life, Arthur would serve as Apostle, secretary, and missionary for the Church of Christ Temple Lot. In his endeavor to spread the gospel, he traveled to many states and even Wales, where the people there loved and welcomed him. Arthur and his family settled in Ava, Missouri, where his son Joseph Fredrick Smith was born January 3, 1935.
On a cool, spring day on March 6, 1965, Arthur sat in his chair in the little log cabin on a hill that had become his home. He had sent someone to get a cup of coffee for him, when they returned, he was found asleep in the arms of Christ, passing peacefully away at the age of 85
Elizabeth Agnes Kendall(1843-1919)
Alexander Hale Smith (1838-1909)
Arthur Marion Smith (1880-1965)
Minnie Catherine Smith (1894-1988)
Joseph Fredrick Smith
(1935 - Present)
ALEXANDER H SMITH
Alexander Hale Smith was born in Far West, Missouri on June 2, 1838, in the midst of the Missouri persecutions of the Later-Day Saints. His young life was far removed from peace and harmony, clutched tightly against his mother’s heart as she and her children crossed a frozen Mississippi River in the spring of 1839; the sting of persecution close upon their heels. In time, they were settled in a log cabin purchased from Hugh White in Commerce, Illinois; later called Nauvoo. Alexander celebrated his first birthday there.
There is only scant information concerning Alexander’s first six years of life, but he recorded in his memoirs how often he loved to be out of doors, roaming the wilds of the woods and embarking on adventures on the banks of the Mississippi. At times many Native Americans would come across the river from Iowa, and there would be games and competitions which almost certainly stirred the adventurous spirit of the young lad. Between the ages of four and six, Alexander would have been aware that his environment was beginning to get more and more stressful. He would have been painfully aware that his father was more absent than at home, hiding from those who sought his life. He may have been on the receiving end of jibes coming from the sons of those who were beginning to turn against Joseph.
In June of 1844, at the tender age of six, Alexander felt the last embrace of his father, Joseph, and watched him ride away upon his horse toward Carthage, never to be seen again. The degree of mourning which surrounded him after the deaths of his father and uncle must have been impactful for such a young heart.
Despite ongoing threats of being driven out by the mob, the family would stay in the Mansion House, which had become their home, for two more years. On a cold night in the fall of 1846, a friend who owned a riverboat called The Uncle Toby risked his life by sneaking into Nauvoo to warn the Smith family that the town was about to be attacked. Escaping in the cover night, Emma and her children sailed upriver to Fulton, where they stayed several months, then returned to Nauvoo. It would be their mother’s final move for the remainder of her life.
In 1847, yet another adjustment was brought into the lives of Joseph and Emma’s children, when Emma remarried to a man named Lewis Bidamon. Alexander was nine years old at the time, and by then had immersed himself in going to school, although his pursuits were more geared toward nature and the outdoors. Incredibly athletic, he exceled in sports, including wrestling, swimming and ice skating. Wanting to ensure that her children received some kind of spiritual education, Emma and her children attended the Methodist Church in Nauvoo. For the first time in their lives, the children of Joseph Smith Jr., the Prophet, experienced a normal childhood, void of persecution and being driven from place to place.
Alexander’s life growing up in the wilds of Illinois would instill in him a strong will, determination, and a love for all of God’s creations. As Alexander grew, many who had known his father remarked how he looked so much like him; the same piercing blue eyes, ruddy complexion, and brownish/blonde hair with hints of auburn when the sun rested on it. It was said of Alexander that once he had his attention upon something or someone, he had won them over completely;
“The signals of wind and tide, bird and animal, were known to him in wonderful measure. He laid his hand to the rudder and the simple craft answered to his will like a thing of life…he placed a caressing shoulder close to her nose and immediately the high-spirited filly yielded to his guiding.”
Throughout his young adulthood, Alexander would develop a catalog of skills and interests including photography, carpentry, and marksmanship. He was so precise in his ability to shoot, that he was barred from local shooting competitions because no one could ever beat him!
Because the memory of persecution, hardships, and the loss of his father was so fresh in his mind, Alexander was not inclined toward any particular faith, especially one having to do with the Restoration. In 1860, when his brother, Joseph III accepted the presidency of The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Alexander was greatly upset. There also began to emerge within the circle of their friends, a fear that the old problems which had divided so many in the past would emerge once again, such as polygamy and baptism for the dead. Alexander began to study this turn of events in his life with serious reflection and consideration. In 1861, he married Elizabeth Agnes Kendall, who had been adopted as a child by Emma after the little girl’s mother had passed away. Elizabeth had grown into womanhood in the Smith home and at length, Alexander fell in love with her. They were married in the parlor of the Mansion House, afterward settling on the family farm on Parley Street.
In April of 1862, Alexander’s brother, Frederick, died of consumption. The passing of their beloved Frederick dealt a severe blow to the Smith family as he was considered one of the most gentle and kind-hearted of them all. Alexander was particularly sorrowed because his brother had died without being baptized, and after praying continuously for his soul, Alexander was given to know that his brother’s spiritual welfare was in good keeping and all would be well. This answer to prayer prompted Alexander to look more seriously toward the direction that his brother, Joseph had taken. After much study and prayer, he received an answer that he should embark upon the same path as his brother and was baptized by Joseph III in May of 1862. As time progressed, the citizens of Nauvoo and friends of the Smith family, began to see that none of the questionable doctrines of the past were being taught, abating the old fears and allowing the RLDS Church to prosper.
On April 8, 1863, Alexander was ordained as an elder in the RLDS Church. Along with his many other talents, the execution of public speaking seemed to come naturally to him, and that gift grew as he preached many sermons while serving missions in the western and midwestern United States, He also traveled to New York, Boston, and the South Seas. He was ordained a high priest on April 12, 1866.
In 1870, Alexander moved his family to Colfax, Harrison, Missouri. Between 1870 and 1900, Alexander and his family would relocate many times due to his work in the church. The locations would include; Stewartsville, Missouri; Independence, Missouri; Lamoni, Iowa; and Fayette, Iowa. Within that time span, Alexander would be ordained President of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1890; Patriarch of the Church in 1897, and he continued to perform missionary work.
Alexander’s wife, Elizabeth, was a stalwart supporter of her husband’s work. Known as a loving and kind mother who brought her children up in devotion and love toward Christ, she bore with steadfastness and at times loneliness, the great responsibilities that come with being married to a minister of faith. To their union was born nine children; Frederick Alexander, Vida Elizabeth, Ina Inez, Emma Belle, Don Alvin, Eva Grace, Joseph George, Arthur Marion, and Coral Cecil. The love that was shared between Alexander and Lizzie, was expressed often by their children, most notably their daughter Vida, in her book, The History of the Church. In reflecting on how his children viewed him, Vida wrote, “To us he was a hero, whom we enjoyed defeating in games of jackstraws, dominoes, or checkers.”
In August of 1909, Alexander visited Nauvoo while en route to a conference. During his visit, he fell severely ill and was taken to his beloved Mansion House. He had expressed some years before that when he passed, he would love to be in the old home in Nauvoo, near the raging whitecaps of the Mississippi that so often called to him. He passed away on August 12, 1909, with his daughter and dear friends by his side. His beloved wife, Lizzie was traveling by train to be with him but arrived after he had passed. Lizzie would live another ten years, passing away in 1919.