John Smith

Male 1799 - 1870  (70 years)


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  • Name John Smith 
    Born 13 Feb 1799  , Union, South Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 Jan 1870  Grove Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Mormon Cemetery, Grove Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I267  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 14 Jan 2015 

    Family 1 Elizabeth Martha "Massie" Koons,   b. 1806, , Randolph, North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1839, , Adams, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years) 
    Married 14 Jul 1822  of Liberty Township, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Mary Smith,   b. 16 Sep 1823, of Liberty Township, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1860, of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
    +2. Patience Smith,   b. 25 Nov 1825, New Castle, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1895, Macedonia, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
    +3. Hannah Smith,   b. 27 Dec 1826, of, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Nov 1903, Underwood, Norwalk Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     4. Elizabeth Smith,   b. 19 Nov 1831, of, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 May 1896, , Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     5. Lydia Rhoda Smith,   b. 25 Jul 1834, of, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1913, Macedonia, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     6. Anna Smith,   b. 1835, of, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Stephen Smith,   b. 28 Jan 1836, New Castle, Henry, Indiana, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Dec 1907, Grove Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     8. Joseph Samuel Smith,   b. 13 Feb 1838, , Caldwell, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Sep 1867, Savannah, Andrew, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F222  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Sarah Ann Winegar,   b. 19 May 1807, Germantown, Chenango, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1880, Grove Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 1840  , Adams, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F224  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • RESEARCH_NOTES:
      1. Son Stephen Smith's 1900 census indicates father born in North Carolina and mother in South Carolina.

      2. The Pitt book cited below shows a ninth Child, Rhoda Ann Smith, b. abt 1841, IL; d. in infancy; fur. at Wheeler's Grove, near Macedonia, Potta. Co., IA. This appears erroneous. The entry in the cemetery is "Rhoda A., inf. dau. died 10 Dec 1875." If the Pitt book were correct, then the "infant daughter" would be 31 years old. When studied in context, she is the dau. of Samuel Carlos and Mary Frances [Peckenpaugh] Smith - Samuel Carlos is the son of John Smith and his second wife Sarah Winegar.

      3. Censuses:
      1850 US: Dist. 21, Pottawattamie, Iowa, p. 98a, dwelling 542, 28 Sep 1850, next door is George and Mary Graybll:
      John Smith, 51, SC.
      Sarah, 43, NY.
      Lydia, 16, IN.
      Stephen, 14, IN.
      Joseph, 12, IN.
      Rhoda Ann, 9, IL.
      Hyrum 6, IL.
      Samuel Carlos, 4, IA.
      Abraham, 1, IA.

      1851 Iowa State: Pottawattamie County. FHL film 1022203. The entire state was counted but only Pottawattamie listed everyone by name in the household and their ages; other counties only listed the head of the household and a numerical count without names of the various ages by sex in the household. No date is given when the census was taken but it was certified in Dec. 1851; however, the other counties show a Sep 1851 date which also appears more likely for Pottawattamie as well in light of ages given some children with known birthdays in October. Census return:
      Smith: John 50, Sarah 43, Lydia 16, [unreadable: may be Joseph 13], Rhoda A. 9, Hiram 7, Samuel C. 4, Abraham 2. [Note that the following related families are in this census and very close neighbors: Simeon P. Graybill, Michael/Polly Graybill with Polly's mother Catherine Eller Stoker, Eller/Margaret Stoker, Jacob/Catherine Stoker, Philip/Catherine Gatrost, David/Barbara Stoker, Edward/Sarah Davis, and William/Almira Stoker. Other relatives in same county but separated by several pages of census include the following families: Thomas/Hannah Pilling whose daughter Hannah, later marries William Lenore Graybill, Levi/Patience Graybill, John W./Sarah Stoker, Hannah Ford whose son Martin later marries Zibiah M. Stoker, and John/Sarah Smith.]

      1852 Iowa: there are over 60 John Smith's listed in FHL book heads of household index for the 1852 Iowa census; three are in Pottawattamie County in the following townships: Council Bluff, p. 15; Kanesville, p. 18, and Indianstown, p. 21. It is not very helpful for families or positively identifying a given individual. The following Stokers are shown as being in the same area: David, Eller, Jacob, John, and William as well as Michael Graybill, Martin Ford, Philip Gatrost, John Smith, George Graybill, and Levi Graybill.

      1854 Iowa: Madeconia, Pottawattamie, Iowa, FHL film 1022207. Next door neighbors include Levi Graybill and John Smith. Census return:
      John Smith, 6 males, 2 females, 1 voter, 1 militia, 8 total.

      BIOGRAPHY:
      1. The book "Mormon Redress Petitions, Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict," edited by Clark V. Johnson, contains a copy of the "Scroll Petition" dated 28 Nov 1843 at Nauvoo, IL addressed to the U.S. Congress by members of the LDS Church who had property destroyed by Missouri mobs in the 1830's. Included with over a couple thousand signatures are those of Jno. and Sarah Smith and some of his children from his first wife who was deceased at the time of the petition: Hannah, Elizabeth, Stephen. Jos., and Rhoda A.

      2. Worked on the Nauvoo Temple for his tithing. According to the Pitt book cited below, John was a mason and plasterer.

      3. Ordinance Index and Pitt book cited below give parents as Joseph and Hannah Smith.

      4. Susan Easton Black, compiler, "Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," (Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1993, copy in Family History Library in Salt Lake City), p. 468: "John Smith. Birth: 13 Feb 1799, Union County, South (North) Carolina of Joseph and Hannah Smith. Married: Elizabeth Martha (Massie) Koons, 1822, Pottawattamie County, Iowa [this is an obvious error as to place] and Sarah Winegar. Death 12 Jan 1881 (1870), Macedonia, Pottawattamie, Iowa. John Smith was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 Sep 1838 at Daviess County, Missouri, by Henry Jacobs. He was ordained a high priest in Sep 1840 at Mount Hope, Adams, IL, by Hyrum Smith and Almon W. Babbitt. He received his endowment on 22 Jan 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple. John latter affiliated with the RLDS. He was expelled from the Church on 5 Aug 1872. He resided at Pittsburgh, Alleghany, Pennsylvania. Sources: Early Reorganization Minutes, 1852-1871, Book A and 1872-1905, Book C; 'Saints' Herald' Obituaries, p. 112; Black, 'Membership of the LDS: 1830-1848, 39:953; Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, 1845-1846; Smith, Nauvoo Social History Project, Wheeler's Grove, Iowa, RLDS Branch Records, Temple Index Bureau; Field and Reed, 'History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa'; Iowa, Pottawattamie Federal Census, 1850." [Note: some of his children and grandchildren left the RLDS church for other faiths - see especially notes of Stephen Smith in this database.]

      5. 12 Jul 2002 email from Ron Romig, Archivist, RLDS Church in Independence, Missouri:
      a. "I tracked the reference to History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, vol 3: 324 -The following-named persons were baptized by Elder William H. Kelley: Stephen Smith, E. W. Knapp, James Otto, E. F. Hyde, and P. E. Knapp. Early Reorganization Minutes, Book A (of membership records) adds: Stephen Smith was confirmed by E. C. Briggs and W. Baldwin, citing Herald vol. 4 (1863):28."
      b. "October RLDS Conference, 1859, held at the barn of Israel L. Rogers in Kendall Co., Ill. April 9th A.M. Conference met. Bro Beebe, delegate from the Farm Creek Branch in Mill's Co. Iowa presented the following report: "Organization of the Farm Creek Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. of Mill co. Iowa. Were organized on the 16th of Oct. 1859 by giving in their names as follows: Calvin Beebe, Mrs. Submit Beebe, John Smith, Sariah Smith, John Richards, Harriet Richards, Richard Y. Kelly, Sariah E. F. Kelley, Levi Graybill, Patience Graybill, Elxander Liles, Frances M. Liles, Calvin A. Beebe{e}, Angeline C. Beebe, Joseph Smith, Rachel Smith, Stephen Smith, William H. Kelley <1>(this day was rebaptized) Henry Winegar, Mrs. Frances L [Page 63] Richards, Mrs. Elizabeth Winegar, Mrs Ann Strong, Sariah A. Flesher, Mrs Alice Osler, after which they chose Calvin Beebe, President; John Smith, Priest; Richard Y. Kelly, Deacon. Early Minutes of the Reorganization, 62-63."
      "I leave it to you to resolve the contradictory baptismal dates for the mentioned Stephen Smiths."

      6. Per FHL book 977.77 H2b "Settlers of Western Iowa of Council Bluffs, Macedonia, Wheelers Grove..." which is a few pages of oral history transcribed 29 Mar 1936 from an interview with Mr. Frank Shinn. He recounts: "I will tell you who were the first white settlers here. There was Levi Graybill, he came with Brigham Young, and was the first settler anywhere around here. And John Winegar and Uncle John Smith. Those three were the first... Then there was Milton Pitt, who was a politician; he was Speaker of the House fo Representatives and was a state senator. Milton Pitt married the daughter of Levi Graybill. She is alive yet, or was the last I heard..."

      7. FHL film 934962, items 3 and 4, "History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa," by Field and Reed, 1907, pp. 196, 197: "Grove Township... The first sawmill in the township was built and owned by John Smith in 1853, and was located on Farm creek. This mill was washed away during a freshet and was rebuilt in 1858 by C. Hurley, Sr., and again washed away... Many of these early settlers left Nauvoo intending to go to Utah, but for one reason or another they paused here and finally concluded to remain and few, if any, have had cause to regret it. The first to organize a religious body in the township were the Latter Day Saints. E.W. Briggs and W.W. Blair were the organizers, and the original members were John Smith and wife, E.W. Knapp and wife, A.J. Field and wife, James Otto and wife, Levi Graybill and wife, John Winegar and wife, Joseph Smith and wife, and Stephen Smith. John Smith was their first president and E.W. Knapp the first clerk. Services were held at residences of the different members and later at schoolhouses, but the society becoming more numerous and wealthy, in 1874 they erected a modest church building at a cost of $763. The membership had increased until in 1881 it had reached ninety and maintained a regular Sabbath School."

      8. The following partial quote is included in the biography of Stephen Smith, son of John Smith, per FHL film 934962, items 3 and 4, "History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa," by Field and Reed, 1907, pp. 1066-1067 [see notes for Stephen Smith in this database for full quotation]: "Stephen Smith, now living retired but still residing on his farm on section 27, Grove township, came to Pottawattamie county about the 1st of November, 1847. On this day he arrived in Council Bluffs, where he spent the winter. In the following April his father arrived in Macedonia township, bringing his family with him, and there he built the first house within what is now the borders of the township. John Smith, the father, resided there for eight years or more, and in the fall of 1853 or 1854 became a resident of Grove township, settling on section 8, where he continued to reside until his death occurred, in 1870, when he was 72 years of age. His remains were interred in the cemetery of the Latter Day Saints in Grove township. He was a farmer by occupation and at one time he built the first saw mill on Farm creek, which he operated for several years, thus becoming associated with the industrial development as well as the agricultural interests of the county. In politics he was originally a whig, but upon the dissolution of that party became a republican. He served for several terms as supervisor from his township and was a member of the county board when the first courthouse at Council Bluffs was built. As a determined pioneer and influential citizen he was well known in this county. His birth had occurred in North Carolina and he had resided for some time in Indiana prior to coming to Iowa. The wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Martha Koonts, was born in Indiana, and from that state they removed to Adams county, Illinois, where the death of Mrs. Smith occurred, in 1840. Stephen Smith was born in Henry county, Indiana, January 28, 1836. His father wedded a second time, having wedded Miss Sarah Winegar in Adams county, Illinois, after losing his first wife. She accompanied her husband to Pottawattamie county and died here in 1882 [error; should be 1880]. By the two marriages there were seven sons and six daughters. Those of the family who came to Pottawattamie county were: Mary, Patience, Hannah, Elizabeth, Lydia, Rhoda [error: Lydia Rhoda is one individual and not two], Anna, Stephen, Joseph, Hiram, Carlos and Abraham. [Note: I believe Anna being included in this list to be an error in that it appears she died in Indiana as an infant.] Two brothers of the family died in early Childhood. Of the children Stephen, Lydia, and Abraham are still living, the sister being a resident of Cheyenne county, Kansas, while the brother makes his home in northwestern Nebraska. Stephen Smith was eleven years of age when he came with his father to Pottawattamie county..."

      9. The book "The Howard Leytham Stoker Von Dollen Family Histories," FHL 929.273 H833a, by Doris Lewis, 2017 So. 80th Ave., Omaha, Nebraska, 68124, pp. 110-111, lists the following children of John and Sarah (Winegar) Smith:
      Rhoda, b. 1841, died as an infant.
      Hyrum, b. 1844.
      Samuel Carlos, b. 1846.
      Abraham, b. 1849.
      John, b. 1851, died as an infant.
      George, b. 1853, died as an infant.
      She notes that all three who died as infants are buried in Wheeler's Grove.

      10. FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996, pp. 125-140: "Stephen [John's son] often told his sons, and later his grandsons, of the time he went with his father to and Indian camp to see Chief Fontenelle. it seems the Indians had driven his father's horses across the Missouri River to their camp. John Smith talked to the chief, told him how necessary it was he should have his horses to farm with. They went back home, and the next morning the horses were back on the farm."

      11. The FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996, pp. 125-140, has an extensive downlined biography of the children of John Smith and Sarah Winegar.

      12. FHL Book 929.273EL54h "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, p. 152: "Children of John Smith and his 2nd wife Sarah Winegar:
      Rhoda Ann Smith, aged 9 in 1850 census, b. in IL.
      Hyrum Smith, aged 6 in 1850 census, b. in IL.
      Samuel Carlos Smith, aged 4 in the 1850 census, b. in IA.
      Abraham Smith, aged 1 in the 1850 census, born in IA.
      A son Smith, died in infancy.
      A son Smith, died in infancy."

      13. Article "Why Didn't You Go West, John Smith?," by Gregory Smith (MA, Kansas City, is a 6th generation Mormon, former RLDS appointee, studying regional history at UMKC, and currently employed in health care management), from "The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, vol. 19, 1999, RLDS Library Archives, P.O. Box 1059, Independence, MO 64051, (Note: photo of John Smith accompanies article.): "Unraveling the life and times of John Smith without the aid of genealogy would be most difficult. The name of John Smith is difficult enough to follow during the movement of 19th century mid-American families. Even worse, he carried no middle name nor middle initial. At times, it is almost easier to say who this John Smith was not. He was not the uncle of the prophet Joseph Smith; he was not the John Smith born in Yorkshire, England, who also became a Reorganite; and he was not the John Smith who became president of Lamoni Stake, in the Reorganization. Later in his life he was called 'father' John Smith as was the Utah patriarch John Smith, the prophet's uncle. Many Reorganites assumed he was a patriarch, but he was not. Patience is required of the historian to sift each John Smith entry through a filter of time, place, wives, and Children. Similarly, the tenacious work of the genealogist and the art of the historian are mutually required to understand what was to happen to the Smith, Winegar, Koons, and Graybill families (who were all related) in the 1840's... John Smith was the first child born in America to Joseph and Hannah Brown Smith, in Union county, So. Carolina, 13 Feb. 1799. John Smith's father was born 13 July 1762 in Hose, Leicestershire, England and his mother in 1766 in Long Clawon, Leicestershire, England. They were married 29 Sep. 1787, and were members of the Church of England. John's older sister, Ann, and three older brothers - Joseph, Samuel and James - were born in England. Joseph Smith, unlanded in England, brought his family to the U.S., apparently through the port of Charleston, S.C., in 1798 and was living in the Union District at the 1800 census. By 1820, the family had moved to southern Indiana, where John Smith met Massie Koons in 1822. Massie Koons was the second child of George Koons and Mary Eller, born in 1806 in Randolph county, N.C. George Koons, also born in Randolph County, in 1782, was a Quaker who was disowned by his family for marrying Mary Eller, a Dunkard. George's parents, Gasper and Massie Presnell Koons, were charter members of the first Quaker church in Back Creek, Randolph County. They also disowned another son and daughter for marrying outside the Quaker faith. George and Mary Eller Koons left N.C. in 1819, moving to Wayne County, Indiana, and finally settling in Liberty Township, Henry County, Indiana, in 1821. There Massie Koons met and married John Smith. Their first six children were female - Mary born in 1823, followed by Patience, Hannah, Elizabeth, Lydia Rhoda, and Anna. The first son, Stephen, was born in 1836. John and Massie settled on 80 acres of land in Liberty Township, Henry County, Indiana, in 1831. Who or what converted John Smith to the Restoration message of the church is not certain. The National Road, which ran from Baltimore west to St. Louis, ran through southern Henry County, and was used by Zion's Camp in their expedition to Independence to defend the Jackson County Saints. Possibly John was exposed to Mormon missionaries and/or Mormon militants since he lived near this thoroughfare. Despite having lived in Indiana some 20 years, John pulled up stakes, moving his wife, six daughters, and one son to join the saints in Far West. The next child born to the family on 13 Feb. 1838 in Caldwell County, MO, was a son named Joseph Samuel. This second-born son was named for John's father and in devotion to the prophet of John's new found religion. John was baptized by Henry Jacobs on 1 Sep. 1838 in Daviess County.(1) The introduction of the church into the lives of John Smith's family caused some tragic consequences. With the persecutions and expulsion of the saints in Far West, the Smith family headed back east during the winter of 1838-39. One year after leaving their Indiana home, John lost his Missouri home and worse yet, his wife. [Redress petition:] 'Illinois, Columbus, Adams County, March 11, 1840. I, John Smith, certify that I was resident in the state of Missouri in 1838, when I was driven from my house, and a pre-emption right, and forbid to stay in the state, (the mob) threatening me if I did not go forthwith. I took my family and pursued my journey one hundred miles. In consequence of cold, snow, water and ice at the inclement season in which I was driven, I fell sick, and for four weeks I was unable to trvel; during which time I was threatened daily; yet I was so sick it was considered by many that I could not live, and was compelled to start when I was not able to sit up through the day. I landed in Illinois; the long and fatiguing journey, lying out in the cold, open air, proved too much for my companion; it threw her into a violent fever, with which she died. Many others in the company took sick and died with the same hard fare. John Smith.'(2) Massie Smith lost her life due to persecution of the Missouri mob, however, she had not been baptized into the church. Later in 1841, in Nauvoo, John was baptized for his dead wife, Massie, and his parents Joseph and Hannah Brown Smith.(3) A year earlier in 1840, John was ordained a high priest by Hyrum Smith and Almon Babbitt at Mount Hope in Adams County, Illinois.(4) So, although his parents and wife had not united with the church during their lifetime, John continued valiantly in the faith, like so many other Saints of this period. John experienced the church's heritage of hardship. Living in western Illinois, widowed, with eight children and no land, John struggled to survive. In 1840, a year after Massie Smith was buried, John met and married Sarah Ann Winegar, in Adams County, Illinois. The Winegar family had joined the church in early 1833 in Erie County, PA. Sarah Ann Winegar was the first child of Rhoda Cummins and Samuel Thomas Winegar, born 29 May 1807 in Germantown, Chenango, NY. Samuel Thomas Winegar moved his family several times in the 1820's, living in several counties in central western NY. Sarah's mother, Rhoda, was the first person baptized by Elder John F. Boynton on 20 Jan 1833. Samuel Thomas Winegar was baptized the same day, after his wife. Later, in Nauvoo, Rhoda was baptized as proxy for her parents John and Sarah Cummins, and Samuel Thomas was baptized as proxy for his father Samuel Winegar. Alvin Winegar, the oldest brother of Sarah Ann, and her father, Samuel Thomas both participated in the Zion's Camp expedition of 1834.(5) Samuel Thomas and Rhoda moved their family to Far West but were forced out in Oct. 1838. [Note: redress petition follows but not copied herewith.(6)] The Winegar family also fled Missouri and next settled in Adams County, Ilinois. John Smith's daughter, Patience, married Levi Graybill in Nauvoo, 21 June 1841. They were second cousins; Patience and Levi both had Eller grandparents. Patience's sister, Mary, married Levi's brother, George Graybill. Mary Smith Graybill died a young woman, and later George Graybill, married another Smith sister, Hannah, who had been widowed. Lydia and her brother Stephen Smith, married a Frain brother and sister from New York. The last daughter of John and Massie Smith, Elizabeth, married John Winegar, who was her stepmother's (Sarah Ann Winegar) brother. Elizabeth Smith Winegar's mother-in-law was also a grandmother through marriage. The youngest Smith daughter, Anna, died in childbirth. The Hancock County, Illinois, tax rolls 1840-46 reveal that John Smith, Samuel Thomas Winegar, Levi Graybill and George Graybill owned land next to one another in Bear Creek Township. By the spring of 1842, Samuel Thomas Winegar had moved his family to Nauvoo and was listed in the First Ward. He later owned lots two and three in Block 43 on the north side of town. John Smith also moved his family to Nauvoo, living further north of his father-in-law on the corner of Brigham and Mulholland streets. The first son of John and Sarah Winegar Smith was born in Nauvoo on 27 Feb. 1844 being named after Hyrum Smith, the church's patriarch. John Smith and Samuel Thomas Winegar both worked out their tithing in labor to build the Nauvoo Temple, where Winegar cut stone. Family tradition relates that Smith went on a mission, while Emma Smith helped care for the younger children. A younger Winegar daughter-in-law, Mary, also assisted Emma Smith. Both Smith and Winegar received their temple endowments in the Nauvoo Temple, on 22 Jan. 1846.(7) The Smiths well remembered 27 June 1844, not only because of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, but also for the birth of a new grandson. Born in Nauvoo, Brigham Young Graybill, lived to be 87 years old. John Smith grew closer to Levi Graybill than his other in-laws. Later, in western Iowa, they labored together in the work of the Church. Levi was born in Jackson County, Ohio, on 12 Mar 1818. Levi was baptized in Nov. 1833, and ordained an elder in 1836 in Kirtland. After ordination in Kirtland, Levi was sent to Far West with his father Michael Graybill. [Note: lengthy biography for Levi follows but not copied herewith since it is already transcribed by me from the original source that this article uses - see notes for Levi Graybill.(8,9,10,11)] John Smith did not leave Nauvoo until the summer of 1846. The longer the Saints waited in Nauvoo that season, the more severe was the action of the mob. One family member recalled seeing homes burning as they crossed the Mississippi. Generally, the most poor and sick left Nauvoo in late summer. Stephen Smith, John's eleven year old son remembered the night they were ordered to leave. 'A man came pounding of the door, and as he stood there in the doorway he looked ten feet tall.'(12) Stephen remembered his parents loading the wagon with food, clothing and implements for the trail, and taking with them what stock they could. John and Sarah Smith tried to put off the inevitable trip west, since Sarah was pregnant, and in no condition to begin a trail toward an unknown destination. But, on 1 Aug. 1846 just a short distance west of Nauvoo, in Van Buren County, Iowa, another son was born, named Samuel Carlos. Once again, John Smith had lost his home and land. In the eight years since his baptism at Far West, he had lost his first wife, added more children to the family with his second wife, and given up or lost homes and land in Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. John Smith and family arrived at Garden Grove in the fall of 1846. They spent the winter of 1846-47 and were still there in the summer. In July 1847, John had signed an oath of support indicating his faith in the leadership of the council of twelve and the church. Also the names of Samuel Thomas and Rhoda Winegar are listed, as well as the names of John and Elizbeth Winegar.(13) John Smith fit well into this temporary encampment, joining in the labor to plant and harvest crops, resting from the rigors of the trail, finding safe refuge from the mob in Nauvoo knowing also that his in-laws were safe, and living in the newly built log cabins. His signature indicating his faith to the church authorities may have been a stronger indication of his desire to stay at Garden Grove, as crude as it was, since it provided shelter and food for his family. Illness in the family, according to Stephen Smith, John's oldest son, slowed their movement west. By Nov. 1847 the Smith family reached Kanesville. By this time the seeds of dissension had been sown in Winter Quarters. John Smith arrived at this encampment in the midst of local Indians stealing livestock, continued illness and a very harsh winter. Some Saints were refusing to pay tithing and the police tax, and some were affected by dissenting leaders James J. Strang, Lyman Wight, and George Miller. A seed of doubt had already affected Levi Graybill since he would not cross the Missouri into Winter Quarters. [Quote from Levi:] 'I think that it was in the spring of 1847 that Bishop George Miller came from the East, and stated to us that we had no church, for the church could not exist without a head, and that we were without a prophet in the flesh. It was this reasoning that moved the church to elect Brigham Young president, seer, and revelator. The vote was taken at a time that the members were called together for the purpose, when it was well known that the great body of the church was not there.'(14) The practice of polygamy became more obvious on the trail. On the trail, outside of the confines of Nauvoo homes, the plural wives of the leaders primarily traveled and camped with their husbands or other plural wives. [More quoting from Levi Graybill.] Although the objection to polygamy rested heavily upon the mind of Levi Graybill, it was not a serious doctrinal problem or cause for dissension for most Saints at Winter Quarters.(15) For John Smith, the practice of polygamy concerned him much less than his desire for land that would provide a living for his trail weary family. John Smith pushed back east in April 1848 settling in what would become Macedonia Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, which sat in the Loess Hills.(16) Almost twenty miles due east of Kanesville, the Mormnon Trail met the West Nishnabotna River at a point where there was a solid limestone rack bottom, providing for an easy crossing. Levi Graybill built a cabin at this point and staked his claim. A year later, however, he found that the boundaries of his claim did not include the land where his cabin was built, so he moved the cabin. John Smith initially settled west of his son-in-law. Calvin Beebe preached a sermon one Sunday at Stutsman's Mill to several families who had settled there. Beebe used as his biblical text, Acts 16:9, referring to a vision of the Apostle Paul, where he heard the words, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." When the post office was chartered in 1850, the name of Macedonia was submitted, which became the town name as well as the name of the township. The federal census taken in Sep. 1850 lists John and his family living in Macedonia Township, with another son, Abraham, born June 1849.(17) Two other sons were born, John in 1851 and George in 1853, but both died in infancy. The extended family had also begun settling in the area. 'John Winegar and David Bagley came from Illinois in 1849; both drove ox teams through the old Mormon trail.'(18) George Graybill, another son-in-law of John Smith, had begun farming in Wheeler's Grove, a few miles east of the soon to be founded town of Madcedonia. In 1858, Grove Twonship was carved out of Macedonia Twonship. Grove Township received its name from the many groves of timber. This area was also considered a desirable area for agriculture and livestock. 'The varieties of original growth were principally black and white hickory, burr and red oak, black walnut, red and water elm, ash, hackberry and basswood.'(19) John saw the obvious relationship between the abundant timber and the need for housing of the new settlers. 'The first saw mill in Grove Township was built and owned by John Smith in 1853, and was located on Farm Creek. Prior to the building of this mill, the settlers built their cabins of round logs, and chinked the cracks with a mixture of mud and prairie hay.'(20) John's mill was washed out in a freshet and was later rebuilt by Orman Osler. John also staked claim to 80 acres on Farm Creek within sight of Wheeler's Grove. The area became so quickly populated that by 1855, the community built its first schoolhouse. These families were now settled near the site of the crossing of the trail that years before led them to Kanesville. 'The old Mormon Trail, previously mentioned, was used when these trips were made to the mills, and for a number of years it was the only public road in the township.'(21) An 'Epistle to the Saints of Pottawatamie' written by Brigham Young, dated 21 Sep 1851 from Great Salt Lake City appeared in the 'Frontier Guardian.' 'We have been calling to the Saints in Pottawatamie ever since we left them to come away; but there had continually been an opposing spirit, whispering, as it were - Stay another year, and get a better fitout, until many who had means to come conveniently have nothing left to come with, even as a former Prophet said, 'if a man will not gather when he has the chance, he will be afflicted with the Devil,' his property will go to waste, his family fall by sickness, and destruction and misery will be on his path; even so has it been with some of you, if you do not hearken to this call and come away. What are you waiting for.'(22) John Smith did not hearken to this call and come away, nor did his family succumb to the dire prophecy cast by the leaders in Salt Lake. While Smith was well settled in Wheeler's Grove area in the later 1850s, he was attending a Cutlerite group named Farm Creek, which was a few miles south in Mills County. In the summer of 1859, Reorganite missionaries, E.C. Briggs and W.W. Blair were proselytzing in Pottawatamie County. On Sat., 30 July 1859, Elder Blair reported in his journal visiting John Smith and his wife, who were strong in the faith and were looking for young Joseph.(23) They asked to meet with the Cutlerite group where Calvin Beebe was pastor. Blair preached to the group, and then a young man, J.R. Badlam, experienced the influence of the message: 'When he had finished his discourse and Elder Briggs had testified, the Spirit rested upon me in power. I arose and spoke in the gift of tongues. The interpretation was given by Father John Smith, which was that these were the servants of God, and the Lord had sent them on this mission, and that a great work would be done in all that region of country, and the Lord would greatly bless his people; and to beware what we received and what we rejected, for many deceivers had out into the world. We were also called upon to look well into our condition, for these were the servants of God, and the work which they represented and that which we were engaged in would come together, and in time the Lord would remove the obstacles which were in the way of the Saints.'(24) This group of 20 charter members was then organized as Farm Creek Branch of the [RLDS] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Oct. 15, 1859, with Calvin Beebe, president and John Smith serving as branch priest.(25) By this action, these families felt vindicated in their decision not to go west. However, the Winegar family had split. Samuel Thomas and Rhoda Winegar, with their son Alvin, had gone to the Salt Lake Valley in the early 1850's. John Winegar and his sister Sarah Winegar never left western Iowa and later joined the Reorganized Church. John Smith, however, remained sympathetic with those Saints who did push their way west to Utah. Stephen and Joseph remembereed a time when they went with their father to take grain and supplies to a group of sick, Utah-bound Mormons, who were camped by the Platte River. In June 1860, a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was held at Council Bluff City, Iowa. John Smith responded positively 'to the call for laborers in the vineyard.'(26) John felt strongly enough about the Reorganized Church that he was rebaptized and later re-ordained a high priest by W.W. Blair and Joseph Smith III at a semi-annual conference held at North Star Branch in Pottawattamie County, 6 Oct 1863.(27) Charles Derry, an English-born Mormon who had left Utah in the 1850s, began missionary work for the Reorg. Church, and was initially assigned to counties in western Iowa. The Wheeler's Grove Branch was organized by Derry on 29 April 1862 with John Smith appointed as branch president.(28) John was credited with pastoring the first religious organization in Grove Township. The Wheeler's Grove Branch continued to grow to the point that a church building was erected in 1874 at a cost of $763.85. John Winegar later followed his father-in-law as branch president in 1869.(29) Levi Graybill had offered Derry ten acres of land if he would move his family to Wheeler's Grove and live there, but Derry chose not to move his family at that time. Levi Graybill and John Smith attended many church conferences and ministered together in Pottawattamie County. Levi also undertook missionary trips to Kentucky and Tennesee, and by 1865 he had become president at North Star Branch, some five miles east of Council Bluffs. John Smith also committed himself to his community. He served several years as a commissioner for Grove Township. He was on the county board when the first courthouse was built in Council Bluffs. He became a Whig in Nauvoo, and later a Republican in Iowa, and was remembered as a good citizen. He died in Jan. 1870, just short of his 71st birthday, having lived longer in western Iowa than anywhere else, leaving an estate for his wife of $3,000.00. Between two wives, he fathered 14 children, two having died in infancy. John had farmed in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa. But the land he farmed in Iowa, enhanced by his industry, spawned farms for his sons and sons-in-law. John died on the land he had helped settle, with sight of the trail that delivered his family from persecution, and surrounded by sons and daughters who had married other Latter Day Saints. John left a Latter Day Saint heritage, in the Loess Hills, never having walked the final thousand miles into the Salt lake Valley. John Smith left no journal, diary or letters. However, John painted a portrait of himself through his children, grandchildren and the choices he made. Where he lived, how he lived, and what he left, tell us a lot about John Smith. John did not feel the need to follow James Strang, Willam Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, of C.B. Thompson. Although John was affiliated with the Cutlerites, it appeared an affiliation out of geographical convenience, rather that belief in doctrinal differences. John was somewhat influenced by Levi Graybill, in Levi's rejection of polygamy and the leadership of Brigham Young. However to assume that people went with the church to Utah or that they stayed back in Iowa over a single doctinal issue oversimplifies their lives. John Smith did not leave the Mormon church, he simply chose not to continue to Utah. The great majority of Mormons had continued on to Utah by 1852, but according to Richard Bennett, some 2132 people stayed back.(30) When the Farm Creek Branch was organized as a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. John was continuing in the tradition of Joseph the Martyr, and his son Young Joseph. John did not see himself as a dissenter; neither did he see himself as a supporter of the current leadership in Utah. John Smith's devotion to the church had brought him to western Iowa, but his devotion to family kept him there. By 1850, John had seven children living at home and his youngest one was one year old, yet John already had 13 grandchildren.(31) One of John's first six daughters never married, yet there were nine marriages among the other five daughters. The earliest settlers in the Macedonia and Wheeler's Grove areas were Levi Graybill, George Graybill and John Winegar, all of whom were sons-in-law of John Smith. John Winegar, brother of Sarah Winegar, who was John's second wife, married Elizabeth Smith. This made John Smith the father-in-law and brother-in-law of John Winegar. By 1860, John Smith still had three children living at home, and he had 36 grandchildren.(32) Eventually, 66 grandchildren would call John Smith their grandfather. The oldest grandchild was born in 1842 in Nauvoo and the youngest grandchild was born in Wheeler's Grove in 1896. John Smith was in the unique position of fathering children over a four decade period. Perhaps his reference as Father John Smith actually had a double meaning. The fact that a family this size were all transplanted in one county in a newly incorporated state, during 1846-47, seems miraculous. Continuing on the trek west, would have forced John Smith to make a conscious descision to separate himself from many of his older children. John had already experienced the loss of parents, his first wife, and brothers and a sister, all due to his following the movement of the church. At the heart of John's Nauvoo experience was family salvation. In John's mind, staying back in Iowa with all his family made him a faithful Latter Day Saint. Did belief in the ordinances and temple endowments that John accepted, conflict with the admonition to travel west? The beauty of the Loess Hills spoke to John's heart and seduced him into settling on available land. He had lost and/or given up land in Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. Deep within his family memories was the recent fact that his father, Joseph, was unlanded in England, and leaving land tore at this conscience. After living at Winter Quarters, John realized there was fertile land available just twenty miles east. This overshadowed the prospect of making a living in the presumed desert of the Salt Lake Valley. Within the Smith psyche there were romantic, somethimes poetic urges, that could cause the dairy farmer to buy cows simply for their milk production; or for a man to force his family into taking the long road home from a church meeting so that he could see the late afernoon light filter through a grove of trees; or would cause a man to forget his chores while he was caught up in the rapture of a midwestern thunderstorm whose winds rolled over the prairie. This appreciation of the simple yer poetically intricate fabric of life was as important to John as the practical aspects of running a sawmill, plowing a field, or selling land to his sons and sons-in-law for a family inheritance. John's heart was rooted as deeply in his family as it was in the land that he chose to settle and farm. Some historians claim that the one defining moment for Latter Day Saints came when they endured the 1000 mile trek from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley. A similar defining moment came for John Smith when he chose to stay back in western Iowa. John was defined by the family who loved him and whom he loved, by the farm land that he would no longer give up, and by his faith in the a Latter Day Saint tradition. These choices defined John Smith, and became the heritage that he passed to future generations. Notes:
      1. 'Early Reorganization Minutes, Book A, 1852-1871,' 130-131, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Library Archives, Independence, MO. (Hereinafter cited as RLDS.)
      2. Clark V. Johnson, ed., 'Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict.' (Provo, UT: Brigham Young Univ., 1992), 345.
      3. 'Nauvoo Baptisms for the Dead Index, 1841-1845.' Family History Center, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independence, MO.
      4. 'Early Reorganization Minutes, Book A, 1852-1871,' 130-131.
      5. Roger D. Launius, 'Zion's Camp: Expedition to Missouri, 1834.' (Independence, MO; Herald House, 1984), 176.
      6. Johnson, 383-384.
      7. 'Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register,' Family History Center, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nauvoo, Illinois.
      8. 'Testimony of Elder Levi Graybill,' 'Journal of History,' 4 (Jan. 1911), 108.
      9. Ibid., 107-108.
      10. Florence Graybill Wilson, Oral History, in possession of author.
      11. Testimony of Elder Levi Graybill,' 109.
      12. Violet Smith Leonard, Oral History, in possession of author.
      13. 'Garden Grove, Iowa, Conference Minutes, 18 July 1847,' Family History Center, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nauvoo, Illinois.
      14. Testimony of Elder Levi Graybill,' 109.
      15. Bennett, Richard E., 'Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852 - And Should We Die...' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), 226, 227, 315.
      16. A portion of the Mormon Trail in western Iowa crossed the Loess Hills. The Loess Hills Region, resting in the Missouri River Valley, begins south of Sioux City, Iowa and extends to west central Missouri, ending in Saline County. The accumulation of loess soil (pronounced lus) occurred during the Illinoian and Wisconsinian glacial periods. As the glaciers receded, the landscape was pulverized into fine grained, silty loam which the winds then blew into deep deposits. Only in central China and western Iowa depths of loess loil up to two hundred feet are found. This type of soil is agricuturally ideal for deeply rooted crops and orchards, and also supports a wide variety of crops. Loess soil, which is highly permeable, but less organically fertile, is considered more productive than fertile. Over thousands of years of erosion, this loess soil was carved into many deep ravines and bluffs, that created the beauty of the rolling hills in western Iowa. A few of the pioneers who walked the Mormon trail in the late 1840s would shortly become those who would first break the prairie sod of the Loess Hills.
      17. Federal Census 1850, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, District 21, 195.
      18 'History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa' (Chicago; O.L. Baskin & Co., 1883), 353.
      19. Ibid., 350.
      20. Ibid., 353.
      21. Ibid., 354.
      22. 'Epistle To The Saints in Pottawattamie,' 'The Latterpday Saints' Millenial Star 15 (15 Jan. 1852), 29.
      23. 'Journal of W.W. Blair,' 30 July 1859. P2J1, RLDS.
      24. 'Experiences of Elder J.R. Badham,''Autumn Leaves 1 (April 1888), 171.
      25. 'Early Reorganization Minutes, Book A, 1852-1871,' 62-63, RLDS.
      26. 'Minutes of the Special Conference,' 'The True Latter Day Saints' Herald' 1 (July 1860), 168.
      27. 'Minutes of the Special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of Western Iowa,' ibid. 1 (Aug. 1862), 45.
      28. 'Wheeler's Grove Branch Record Book,' #172 Local Jurisdictional Record Book, RLDS.
      29. 'History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa,' 355.
      30. Bennett, 315.
      31. Federal Census 1850, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, District 21, 195.
      32. Federal Census 1860, Grove Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, 145."

      BIRTH:
      1. Per Endowment record.

      DEATH:
      1. Per tombstone cited below. The RLDS obituary date seems totally off and was included at the same time they published the obituary of his wife Sarah; evidently they got the year wrong in their recollection.

      BURIAL:
      1. Picture of tombstone on website for "Mormon Cemetery" located in Grove Township of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, four miles east of Macedonia on County Road G66/Pioneer Trail.: <http://www.rootsweb.com/~iapottaw/CemMormon.htm> It reads: "John Smith, Died Jan. 12, 1870, Aged 70 ys, 1 mo." Also within cemetery per listing cited below:
      "Alta E. Smith, 16y 6m 17d, 15 Apr 1881 - 2 Nov 1897" (Dau. of Samuel Carlos and Mary Frances [Peckenpaugh] Smith - Samuel is son of John and Sarah [Winegar] Smith.)
      "Drucy Smith, died 2 Jun 1890, 19y 11m 16d" (Laura Drucella Smith, dau. of Samuel Carlos and Mary Frances [Peckenpaugh] Smith).
      "Rhoda A., inf. dau. died 10 Dec 1875" (Dau. of Samuel Carlos and Mary Frances [Peckenpaugh] Smith.)
      "Hirum Smith, 27 Feb 1844 - 22 Jul 1897, 53 y, 4m, 25d" (Son of John and Sarah [Winegar] Smith.)
      "Samuel J. Smith, 1864-19__ " (Son of Samuel Joseph and Rachel [Yocum] Smith - Samuel is son of John Smith).
      "Mary Etta Smith, his wife, 1874-1919" (Maryette Elizabeth Denton - wife of Samuel J. Smith).
      "Clifford, Smith, died 6 Jul 1881, 9m 3w 1d" (Son of Abraham and Olive Melissa [Knapp] Smith - Abraham is son of John and Sarah [Winegar] Smith).

      2. Copy of complete printed cemetery listing from FHL book 977.771 V3e, vol. 1, Bk. 3-5 in hard file 90 with John Peter Graybill. Information fon the cemetery from the 11 Nov 2002 website <http://www.rootsweb.com/~iapottaw/CemMormon.htm?sourceid=00319368866824358798>: "Mormon Cemetery. Located in Grove Township [Pottawattamie County, Iowa], four miles east of Macedonia on County Road G66/Pioneer Trail. It has been called the Mormon cemetery and the LDS cemetery because it is on the Mormon Trail and many of the people buried there belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church was organized in 1863. Original members were John Smith and wife, Sarah; E.W. Knapp and wife, Melissa; A.J. Fields and wife, Sarah; James Otto and wife, Mehitable; Joseph Levi Graybill and wife, Patience; John Winegar and wife, Elizabeth; Joseph Smith and wife, Rachel and Stephen Smith. [Taken from the 1882 Pottawattamie Co. History by Baskin.] Many of these members are buried here. [In later years members of the Re-organized Latter Day Saints were buried here.] The oldest burial is that of Peter Frain, 12 Oct 1861, whose stone is still visible." [Note: most of the people mentioned were RLDS by 1863.]

      OBITUARY:
      1. The RLDS publication "Saints Herald," v. 28 (1 Apr 1881), p. 112: "John Smith was born in Union county, South Carolina, February 18th, 1799; baptized into the Church in Daviess county, Missouri, September 1st, 1838, by Henry Jacobs; was ordained to the office of High Priest in Adams county, Illinois, by Hyrum Smith; died at Maccedonia, Iowa Janruary 12th, 1859; strong in the faith of the latter day work."

      SOURCES_MISC:
      1. Mentioned in the FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996, pp. 125-140.