CHAPTER VIII The Sunset Years of Samuel SmithNot only did Samuel lose seven children during the year of 1874; he also contracted rheumatic fever that same year. -This disease kept him in bed a great deal of the time between March and October of that year. Because of increasing pressure to abandon polygamy, there was a great deal of tension in the Mormon settlements which was intensified with the passage of the Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker Acts. These laws stipulated that those practicing what the acts declared were "illegal cohabitation" were to be subject to huge fines and/or imprisonment. Samuel was arrested and spent a short time in jail. This did nothing to improve his health. He continued to be harassed about plural marriage until his death.
But he did not flinch from his responsibilities. Where possible, he kept doing his duty to the end of his life.
Activities in the Church
There are various notations of Samuel's activities in the Deseret News and the Brigham City Bugler. Not only did he serve with distinction as counselor to Lorenzo Snow during the years that Apostle presided over the Box Elder Stake, but he continued his service in other areas upon his (Samuel's) release.
When, after 22 years as counselor, he was released (in August of 1877), Samuel was, in that same meeting, sustained a member of the high council. He was ordained and set apart for that office on September 9 of that year.
In 1888, on Sunday, April 29, he was set apart as President of the High Priests Quorum, with James Pett as his first counselor and Nephi P. Anderson and his second counselor. In the conference held that year, the Deseret News reports that Rudger Clawson was the visiting authority and that the meeting was held in the Tabernacle there in Brigham City. The newspaper notes: "The speakers on Sunday forenoon [were] Elder Samuel Smith and Apostle Lorenzo Snow, whose good counsel and instructions were listened to with marked attention by all present." In the afternoon "President Clawson presented Samuel Smith to be a Patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
On October 27, 1889 the Deseret News reported Box Elder's stake conference, in reference to Samuel's contribution, it said: "Patriarch Samuel Smith said that all blessings are ours if we live for them. He advised the Saints to keep from all evil and set a good example before their families."
On Sunday, January 24, 1892, the Deseret News reports: "Two meetings were held... much valuable instruction was given in the forenoon by Samuel Smith, Bishop P.C. Jensen... James May, Wm. L. Watkins and Elder Seymour B. Young..."
On Sunday, April 24 of that same year it was reported that in a conference session over which Rudger Clawson presided, with Elder B.H. Roberts joining the brethren on the stand. In the 2 p.m. session "after some preliminary business, Elder B.H. Roberts delivered a powerful address on the subject 10,,Union.1 He depicted the great evils growing out of strife, contention and division among the Saints. We were not brought into these valleys to do our own will, but the will of the Lord."
"Brothers Samuel Smith, Charles Kelly, Wm. S. Watkins and Crandall Dunn spoke briefly upon the present situation of affairs among the people; called upon them to repent of their evils, and turn therefrom."
"The entire conference was unusually interesting and well-attended." On Sunday, July 24, 1889 the benediction of the conference presided over by J. Golden Kimball was offered by Patriarch Samuel Smith.
On Sunday, October 23 (1892 ) and the following day, the 59th quarterly conference was held in Brigham City. "Patriarch Samuel Smith made some earnest and interesting remarks, advising the people to become acquainted with the principles of the Gospel and live by [those] principles."
On Monday, January 23, 1893 in the afternoon session, the "services were taken up principally by the remarks of Elders Samuel Smith and Charles Kelly, both of whom gave fatherly counsel and instruction well adapted to all present." These excerpts indicate that Samuel was active almost to the end of his life, and he held a prominent place in the hearts and minds of the people of Box Elder stake.
Decline and Demise
Though Samuel was well-known for his mental toughness, there were some self doubts as he grew older. He was possessive and assertive by nature; he had to be to be so successful over the years. He also had a steak of jealousy, though his wives gave him no reason to be. When he realized his health was failing, he sometimes rebuked him young wives, saying that they would probably be glad when he was gone so they could remarry. Frances Ann retorted "One man was sufficient for me and he never needed to worry about her marrying another one." She said that all the wives respected him very highly and
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the child's coming and often expressed his desire to be able to live and hold it. A week after the child arrived, Samuel took her in his arms and held her. When Frances Ann took the baby, Samuel went to sleep and slept almost continually until he passed away on October 2, 1895 at the age of 77 years.
He left his family in good financial condition. Frances Ann and Janette Maria each had a fine home and 48 acres of farm land; Caroline and Mary Ann each had nice homes and cash in the bank which was equivalent to the price of the farms. Each was also given stock in the woolen mills, the flour mill and the Brigham City Co-op, which had played such an important role in Samuel's life and which would now provide a comfortable living for his widows.
When the news of his death reached Brigham City, the Brigham City Bugler published the following article:
From THE BRIGHAM CITY BUGLER Saturday, October 5, 1895 p. 1 ANOTHER PIONEER GONE Patriarch Samuel Smith dies at Smithfield.
Thursday at 2:30 a.m., the spirit departed from his body, and Samuel Smith is no more. He died in Smithfield, where he has been for several months. The deceased has been very feeble for years, many times appearing to be on the brink of death, but as often rallied, much to the surprise of his friends. His death was quiet and peaceful. He fell into a deep sleep some twenty-four hours before the end. He continued in this state and his light went out so quietly that the spectre Death was not suspected until the patriarch's soul had gone to meet his Maker. The funeral services will be held in the Brigham City Tabernacle at 10 o'clock this morning, after which the remains will be laid away in the Brigham cemetery.
Samuel Smith, age 76 [actually 77], was one of the pioneers and founders of Brigham City; ever standing as one of the chief pillars of the town. That he possessed many admirable qualities and was held in the highest estimation by the people, is evident by the numerous honorable positions he held. He has been prominently connected with the woolen mill, flour mill, co-operative store etc. City Councilman, Mayor of the city and Probate Judge of the county; besides holding many responsible ecclesiastical positions. Brigham City never had a more enterprising, loyal and honorable citizen. All regret his departure for the obscure land of the hereafter.
The following Saturday, (the Bugler was evidently a weekly) this "card of thanks" appeared:
Dear Sir--In behalf of the family of Samuel Smith I desire to thank all those who have in any way assisted him during his illness or at his funeral. We especially appreciate the kindness of the Apostle Lorenzo Snow, in leaving conference to attend the funeral, and his kind and consoling remarks will long be remembered by all who heard them.
We would especially mention the services of Bros. Kelly and Madson, and also Bishop Jensen, also the choir and the beautiful pieces that were rendered by it.
The aged brethren of his quorum, the High Priests presented a sight long to be remembered by all in walking to the grave with him whom they had walked so long and faithful in life.
The remarks of all the brethren who spoke were timely and consoling to the family.
It would take too much of your valuable space to mention all, so I will close by again thanking all who were present, and who have in word or thought or deed assisted the family in this our great loss.
ISAAC SMITH [Note 15]
Thus ended the earthly life of Samuel Smith, a valiant leader in the cause of Zion. Those of us who descended from him are indeed proud of him and his wives. They all made outstanding contributions to the church and community and, as it has been stated of other great leaders, "generations of posterity will rise up and call their names blessed." We certainly do.
1. Tullidge's Histories, "Samuel Smith" p. 118.
2. They were later sealed 19 Oct 1861 Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Utah.
3. Data taken from "Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage" provided through the General Register office Somerset House, London. Copy provided by Ivy Watson Larsen.
4. Stillborn child born 3 July 1837, according to Mary Ann Line history.
5. Some records indicate the baptismal date was December 28, rather than December 26th.
6. Tullidge's History, p. 119.
7. The "Yorkshire's" passage was not nearly so smooth as the "Swanton's". The "Yorkshire" hit a heavy storm in mid-sea and nearly capsized. However, they did make the rest of their passage in good time and the total time at sea was just six weeks. Ingraham took sick or where they ultimately died. But several records indicate that the double tragedy occurred in St. Louis, Missouri area. The five Ingraham children were thus left orphans. The two eldest apparently decided that they had had enough of the rigors of pioneer life in America. They returned to England. The other three Ingraham children--Richard, age six; Sarah age four and Fanny Ann age three--became the wards of their uncle and aunt Richard and Mary Griffith.
8. Beatrice Smith Weeks Larsen described Richard Ingraham as a "most wonderful" man. In about 1855, Samuel tried to help Richard get out of mining and bought a farm for him. But the "leading" had already taken its toll and he was too infirm to operate the farm. On doctor's advice he moved to a warmer climate. His later life and death date are unknown.
9. Sealed 19 May 1853. Second sealing on 19 Oct. 1861 Endowment House. Source: Ivy Watson Larsen.
10. Amy Ann Smith Hancock compilation "The Ingraham and Samuel Smith Histories 1960.
11. Sealed in the Endowment House 19 Oct. 1861.
12. Sealed in President's Office by Brigham Young.
13. They did not start Harold's Club. The man who was instrumental in its beginning was Raymond "Pappy" Smith was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Nevada for the gambling incentive. The club was named for Raymond's son Harold.
14. 52 children. 51 of record.
15. Isaac Smith was the third child of Samuel and Sarah Jane Ingraham Smith.