Wilford Woodruff Papers

Appreciate Wilford's experiences in the context of Church and American history


1 March 1807 Wilford is born in Farmington Township (Avon), Connecticut, to Beulah Thompson and Aphek Woodruff.
7 June 1807 Wilford is baptized in the Northington Connecticut (Congregational) Church by Reverend Rufus Hawley.
11 June 1808 Wilford’s mother, Beulah Thompson Woodruff, dies at age 26 of spotted fever.
1801–1809 Thomas Jefferson is third president of 16 United States.
4 March 1809 James Madison is inaugurated as fourth president of 17 United States.
9 November 1810 Wilford’s father Aphek marries Azubah Hart; only two of their six children live to adulthood.
4 March 1817 James Monroe inaugurated as fifth president of 17 United States.
Spring 1820 Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Joseph Smith—History 1:14–20
1 May 1821 Wilford completes general education at age 14; lives with George Cowles for two years to learn miller’s trade.
1821–1826 Wilford works summers, continues schooling at Farmington Academy during the winters.
21 September 1823 Joseph Smith’s second vision: instruction about the Book of Mormon and mission of Elijah. Joseph Smith—History 1:30–54
4 March 1825 John Quincy Adams is inaugurated as sixth president of 24 United States.
1827 Wilford begins managing mill for his aunt Helen Wheeler.
22 September 1827 Joseph Smith receives records to begin translation of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith—History 1:59
4 March 1829 Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as seventh president of 24 United States.
May–June 1829 Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods are restored. Joseph Smith—History 1:68–72; Doctrine and Covenants 27–8, 12
June 1829 Joseph Smith finishes translating the Book of Mormon.
26 March 1830 First copies of the Book of Mormon are available in Palmyra, New York.
6 April 1830 Joseph Smith officially organizes the Church in Fayette Township, New York.
Spring 1830 Wilford is age 23 when Robert Mason prophecies of the restoration of the gospel and Wilford’s place in it.
1830 Church membership reaches 200; the population of the 24 United States is 12,866,000.
May 1830 Wilford hired by Collins Ax Company to run their mill; works in Collinsville (South Canton), CT.
December 1830 Joseph Smith explains the need for all living and dead to receive ordinances.
1831 Wilford works in Cowles mill in Farmington, Connecticut.
5 May 1831 Wilford is baptized by immersion by George Phippen, a Baptist minister; does not join Baptist Church.
16 Feb 1832 Joseph Smith receives revelation regarding the three degrees of glory. Doctrine and Covenants 76
8 March 1832 First Presidency of the High Priesthood organized with Joseph Smith, Jesse Gause, and Sidney Rigdon.
Spring 1832 Wilford reads newspaper article about the Mormons; intrigued by similarities to New Testament church.
Spring 1832 Wilford feels inspired to go to Rhode Island, but does not follow prompting.
May 1832 Wilford and his brothers purchase a farm, sawmill, and orchard in Richland, Oswego County, NY.
December 1832 Joseph Smith commanded to build a temple in order to receive priesthood keys. Doctrine and Covenants 88:119–120
5 June 1833 Construction of the Kirtland Temple begins.
23 July 1833 Cornerstones laid for the Kirtland Temple.
29 December 1833 Wilford hears the restored gospel for the first time from Zerah Pulsipher and Elijah Cheney.
31 December 1833 Wilford is baptized and confirmed by Zerah Pulsipher; Wilford’s brother Azmon also baptized.
2 January 1834 Richland Branch of Church organized; Azmon ordained a priest, Wilford ordained a teacher by Zerah Pulsipher.
January 1834 Wilford begins preaching with Harry Brown (father of future wife Sarah) and James Blakesly.
1 April 1834 Wilford is directed by Parley P. Pratt and Harry Brown to join Zion’s Camp.
11 April 1834 Wilford leaves New York to join Saints in Kirtland, Ohio.
25 April 1834 Wilford arrives in Kirtland, Ohio, where he meets Joseph Smith and stays at his house for the week.
May–June 1834 Wilford travels with Zion’s Camp to Missouri to help protect and defend persecuted Saints there.
July–December 1834 Wilford works in Clay County, Missouri, making brick to build the home of Michael Arthur.
5 November 1834 Wilford ordained a priest by Simeon Carter at Adam-ondi-Ahman in Clay County, Missouri.
13 November 1834 Wilford licensed by Edward Partridge as a representative of the Church in order to serve a mission.
31 December 1834 Wilford consecrates himself and all his earthly possessions to the Church.
13 January 1835 Wilford leaves for his first mission in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee with Harry Brown.
14 February 1835 The first Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is organized in Kirtland, Ohio. Doctrine and Covenants 101:23–24
28 June 1835 Wilford ordained an Elder by Warren Parrish at Eagle Creek, Tennessee.
21 January 1836 First washings and anointings administered; vision of celestial kingdom in Kirtland Temple. Doctrine and Covenants 137
27 March 1836 Kirtland Temple is dedicated. Doctrine and Covenants 109
3 April 1836 Jesus Christ appears in Kirtland Temple; Moses, Elias, Elijah confer priesthood keys. Doctrine and Covenants 110; 1:67
19 April 1836 Wilford called to be a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy at age 29.
22 April 1836 Wilford stays in Samuel Smith’s home (father of future wife Emma Smith).
31 May 1836 Wilford ordained a Seventy in Second Quorum of Seventy by David Patten and Warren Parrish.
25 October 1836 Wilford leaves Kentucky to return to Ohio.
7 November 1836 Wilford votes in national elections for Martin Van Buren (president) and Richard Johnson (vice president).
25 November 1836 Wilford returns to Kirtland from mission to Southern states and tours Kirtland Temple.
December 1836 Wilford studies Latin and Greek in the Kirtland School (held in the attic of the temple).
January–April 1837 Wilford attends School of the Prophets.
3 January 1837 Wilford called to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
28 January 1837 Wilford introduced to Phebe Whittemore Carter, a recent convert from Maine.
4 March 1837 Martin Van Buren inaugurated as the eighth president of 26 United States.
23 March 1837 Wilford spends his first day in the Kirtland Temple.
4–6 April 1837 Wilford attends Solemn Assembly and receives washings and anointings in Kirtland Temple.
13 April 1837 Wilford and Phebe married by Frederick G. Williams in Joseph Smith’s home in Kirtland.
15 April 1837 Wilford receives his patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith Sr.
April–May 1837 Wilford and Phebe live with Warren and Martha Parrish; Wilford works for Heber C. Kimball.
May 1837 Woodruffs live with Jonathan and Olive Hale; Wilford records patriarchal blessings for Joseph Smith Sr.
31 May 1837 Phebe stays with Olive; Wilford leaves on mission to Canada/Maine with Jonathan Hale.
12 June 1837 Wilford visits childhood home in Farmington, Connecticut, and stays with his family.
6–20 July 1837 Wilford meets with relatives in Connecticut.
12 July 1837 Wilford baptizes his Uncle Ozem, Aunt Hannah, and cousin John Woodruff.
8 August 1837 Wilford meets Phebe’s family for the first time while visiting Scarborough, Maine.
19 August 1837 Wilford arrives in the Fox Islands, Maine.
29 December 1837 Wilford stays with Charles Brown (father of future wife Sarah E. Brown).
12 January 1838 Joseph Smith moves Church to Far West, Missouri, to escape persecution in Ohio.
19 April 1838 Wilford stays with Charles Brown (father of future wife Sarah E. Brown).
14 May 1838 Wilford reads Parley P. Pratt’s explanation of adoption by baptism into kingdom of God.
July 1838 Joseph Smith explains the need for all living and dead to receive ordinances.
1 July 1838 Wilford baptizes father Aphek, stepmother Azubah, half-sister Eunice in Farmington, CT.
8 July 1838 Wilford called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Doctrine and Covenants 118
14 July 1838 Wilford present for birth of his first child, Sarah Emma, in Scarborough, Maine.
7 August 1838 Wilford returns to his mission in the Fox Islands.
9 August 1838 Wilford receives news of calling as an Apostle; call to go on mission to England with apostles.
4 October 1838 Woodruffs begin trek from Maine to Missouri with group of converts to gather with the Saints.
27 October 1838 Governor Boggs issues order expelling Saints from Missouri under threat of extermination.
30 October 1838 Haun’s Mill massacre in Caldwell County, Missouri, and surrender of Church leaders in Far West demanded.
1 November 1838 Joseph and Hyrum Smith and other Church leaders surrender; General Samuel Lucas orders their execution.
November 1838 Court hearings to determine Church leaders’ fate; Joseph, Hyrum and others are incarcerated in Liberty Jail.
December 1838–April 1839 While Church leaders remain in Liberty Jail, the Saints are forced from Missouri and relocate in Illinois.
November–December 1839 Phebe deathly ill with brain fever; after her spirit leaves her body Wilford restores her to life.
11 December 1839 Wilford’s half-brother Asahel dies in Indiana at the age of 24 (last living of 5 half-brothers).
November–December 1839 Woodruffs winter in Rochester, IL, with Brown family; Charles and Rebecca Brown die.
16 March 1839 Wilford, Phebe, and Sarah Emma finally arrive in Quincy, Illinois.
16 April 1839 Church leaders escape Liberty Jail with help of guards; Saints move to Commerce, Illinois, and establish Nauvoo.
26 April 1839 At age 32 Wilford is ordained an Apostle at the temple site in Far West, Missouri.
4 May 1839 Wilford records his call to serve his third mission.
18 May 1839 Woodruffs move to Montrose, IA, live in abandoned barracks with Brigham Young’s family.
11 June 1839 Joseph Smith begins dictating history to scribe James Mulholland; used in Manuscript History of the Church.
8 August 1839 Wilford leaves on two year mission to England with John Taylor.
November 1839 Times and Seasons published in Nauvoo, Illinois through 1846.
3 November 1839 Church historian James Mulholland dies; completed Manuscript History of the Church up to September 30, 1830.
29 November 1839 Joseph Smith travels to Washington, D.C. to deliver Missouri redress petition to President Van Buren.
1840 Church membership is 16,800; population of the 26 United States is 17,100,000.
11 January 1840 Wilford arrives in Liverpool, England; helps convert 1,800 people; serves until May 1841.
10 February 1840 Wilford celebrates Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert by preaching the gospel.
5 March 1840 Wilford arrives at John Benbow’s home; over 600 people baptized in 35 days.
22 March 1840 Phebe’s second child Wilford Jr. is born in Montrose, Iowa, in Wilford’s absence.
May 1840 The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star first published in Manchester, England, by Parley P. Pratt.
17 July 1840 Phebe’s first child Sarah Emma dies at age two in Montrose, Iowa.
14 August 1840 Joseph Smith’s first explanation of doctrine on baptism for the dead by living relatives.
15 August 1840 First baptisms for the dead performed in the Mississippi River.
September 1840 Joseph Smith announces the need to build a temple in Nauvoo.
19 January 1841 Revelation to Joseph Smith on building Nauvoo Temple; place for baptisms and endowment. Doctrine and Covenants 124:28–42
4 March 1841 William Henry Harrison inaugurated as ninth president of 26 United States.
6 April 1841 John Tyler inaugurated as tenth president of 26 United States after death of President Harrison.
6 April 1841 Cornerstones are laid for the Nauvoo Temple.
20 April 1841 Wilford leaves England for America with other members of Quorum of the Twelve.
20 May 1841 Wilford arrives in New York.
2 June 1841 Reunited with Phebe after 2 years; meets his 15-month-old son Wilford Jr.
July–August 1841 Wilford spends time with family; officiates in marriage of sister Eunice to Dwight Webster on August 4.
27 August 1841 Church historian Robert B. Thompson dies; he completed Manuscript History of the Church September to November 1830.
1841–1842 W. W. Phelps writes Manuscript History of the Church Vol. A–1 for November 1830 to November 1, 1831.
3 October 1841 Joseph Smith directs Saints to stop proxy baptisms in Mississippi River, wait for completion of temple font.
6 October 1841 Woodruffs arrive in Nauvoo.
19 October 1841 Wilford and Phebe move into their own home for the first time in their married life.
30 October 1841 Wilford is appointed to Nauvoo City Council.
8 November 1841 Wooden font completed in the unfinished basement of Nauvoo Temple.
21 November 1841 Wilford witnesses first baptisms for the dead in the Nauvoo Temple.
27 December 1841 Wilford sees Urim and Thummim.
January 1842 Wilford helps haul stone for the Nauvoo House and Nauvoo Temple.
3 February 1842 Wilford appointed manager of the Church’s official newspaper Times and Seasons.
19 February 1842 Wilford sets type for printing/publishing the Book of Abraham in Times and Seasons.
4 March 1842 Phebe’s third child Phebe Amelia is born in Nauvoo, Illinois.
15 March 1842 Serial publication of Manuscript History of the Church in Times and Seasons as “History of Joseph Smith.”
27 March 1842 Nauvoo Reformation included rebaptisms; Wilford rebaptized for the first time.
21 April 1842 Wilford baptized for mother Beulah; half-brothers Philo and Asahel; Phebe for grandparents.
3 May 1842 Joseph receives revelation regarding the meaning of endowment; prepares place to administer endowment.
4 May 1842 Joseph administers first endowment ordinances in room above the Red Brick Store in Nauvoo.
7 May 1842 Wilford baptized by proxy for great-grandparents Josiah and Sarah Woodford Woodruff.
15 May 1842 Wilford baptized by proxy for more great-grandparents.
29 May 1842 Wilford and Phebe baptized for six family members.
August–September 1842 Wilford is confined to his bed with illness for 40 days.
June 1842 Millennial Star begins serial publication of Manuscript History of the Church in England.
6 September 1842 Joseph Smith’s letter states baptism for the dead is welding link between fathers and children. Doctrine and Covenants 128
30 October 1842 3,000 gather in unfinished temple for the first official meeting (the walls were only 4 feet high).
11 December 1839 Willard Richards starts writing Manuscript History of the Church November 1, 1831–August 30, 1834.
May 1843 Wilford assists in publication of the Nauvoo Neighbor (published until Saints leave Nauvoo in 1846).
16–17 May 1843 Joseph Smith’s letter states baptism for the dead is welding link between fathers and children. Doctrine and Covenants 128
July–November 1843 Wilford serves fourth mission in eastern states (with other apostles) to raise funds for temple.
12 July 1843 Revelation regarding new and everlasting covenant of marriage for eternity dictated. Doctrine and Covenants 132:15–20
25 July 1843 Phebe’s fourth child Susan Cornelia born in Nauvoo, Illinois, in Wilford’s absence.
5 August 1843 Wilford arrives in Philadelphia.
1 October 1843 Willard Richards starts Volume B–1 of the Manuscript History of the Church commencing with September 1, 1834.
4 November 1843 Wilford returns to Nauvoo from mission to New England. (Age 36.)
11 November 1843 Wilford’s marriage to Phebe sealed for eternity by Hyrum Smith.
2 December 1843 Wilford receives washings, anointings, and endowment.
23 December 1843 Phebe receives washings, anointings, and endowment.
28 January 1844 Wilford and Phebe receive second anointings.
2 March 1844 Willard Richards completes Manuscript History of the Church Vol. B–1 covering September 1, 1834–August 5, 1838.
1844 Publication of "The History of Joseph Smith" in the Times and Seasons covering period up to January 7, 1832.
26 March 1844 Wilford attends meeting when Joseph Smith confers priesthood keys on Quorum of the Twelve.
7 April 1844 Wilford records Joseph Smith’s discourse on important doctrines at funeral of King Follett.
4 May 1844 Wilford completes brick home in Nauvoo; over the next 2 years lives in it for less than 6 weeks.
May–August 1844 Wilford serves fifth mission in the eastern states; holds conferences, campaigns for Joseph Smith.
26 June 1844 Wilford arrives in Boston to attend convention; nominate Joseph Smith for president of the United States.
27 June 1844 Joseph and Hyrum Smith murdered while in Carthage Jail.
1 July 1844 Wilford attends Jeffersonian Democracy Convention in Boston to nominate Joseph Smith.
7 July 1844 Work on the Nauvoo Temple resumes.
9 July 1844 Wilford learns of Joseph and Hyrum’s death through newspaper article in Boston Times.
6 August 1844 Wilford returns to Nauvoo with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve.
8 August 1844 Meeting where majority of Saints sustain Quorum of Twelve as governing body of the Church.
12 August 1844 Wilford accepts call to preside over the European Mission for one year.
26 August 1844 Wilford and Phebe baptized in Mississippi River for deceased relatives.
28 August 1844 Wilford and Phebe and their children leave Nauvoo for England; Wilford’s sixth mission.
6 December 1844 Woodruffs board ship to sail from New York City to Liverpool.
11 December 1844 Willard Richards, under the direction of Brigham Young, resumes work on Manuscript History of the Church.
3 January 1845 Woodruffs arrive in Liverpool.
4 March 1845 James K. Polk inaugurated as eleventh president of 27 United States.
15 June 1845 Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock resume work on Manuscript History of the Church begin at August 5, 1838.
25 June 1845 First stone laid for the new baptismal font in the Nauvoo Temple.
18 July 1845 Phebe’s fifth child, Joseph, is born in Liverpool, England.
5 October 1845 Church Conference is held in the Nauvoo Temple; pulpits are complete and windows installed.
10 December 1845 First endowments for the living performed in the Nauvoo Temple.
8 January 1846 First priesthood adoptions performed in the Nauvoo Temple.
11 January 1846 First sealings of children to parents performed in the Nauvoo Temple.
16 January 1846 Phebe and 40 other Saints (incl. Wilford’s future wife Mary Ann Jackson) leave England.
20 January 1846 Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock stop work on Manuscript History of the Church (until July 1, 1854).
22 January 1846 Wilford leaves England for New York; experiences terrible Atlantic storm.
4 February 1846 First Saints leave Nauvoo for Iowa.
1846 Population of Nauvoo 14,000–15,000; population of Illinois 500,000–600,000.
7 February 1846 On final day of work in temple, 600 received ordinances; total of 5,615 received endowments in Nauvoo.
15 February 1846 Times and Seasons stops serial publication of the Manuscript History of the Church; final entry re: August 11, 1834.
February–March 1846 Main exodus of Saints from Nauvoo. Brigham Young’s family leaves February 15. Temperature -12° F on February 24.
17 March 1846 Wilford retrieves daughter from sister-in-law’s where she lived during his mission to England.
20 March 1846 Wilford returns to Farmington, CT; parents and cousin Betsey Cossett accompany him to Nauvoo.
13 April 1846 Wilford arrives in Nauvoo with daughter, cousin, and parents; Phebe arrived a few days before.
15 April 1846 Woodruffs tour Nauvoo Temple with others.
30 April 1846 Private dedication of Nauvoo Temple.
1–3 May 1846 Public dedication of Nauvoo Temple; Wilford attends with parents, Phebe, Mary Ann Jackson.
13 May 1846 United States Congress declares war on Mexico.
22 May 1846 Woodruffs leave Nauvoo to join Saints in Iowa.
26 June 1846 Wilford at Mt. Pisgah when Captain Allen arrives to recruit Mormon Battalion.
9 July 1846 Woodruffs reach Council Bluffs.
16–17 July 1846 Mormon Battalion recruited by United States Army.
25 July 1846 Woodruffs cross Missouri River to Cutler’s Park, Nebraska.
2 August 1846 Wilford sealed to Mary Ann Jackson, Sarah Elinor Brown, Mary Caroline Barton.
8 August 1846 Wilford rebaptized 2nd time; rebaptizes Phebe, Sarah E. Brown, Mary C. Barton, Mary Ann Jackson, Rosetta King.
29 August 1846 Wilford expels Sarah E. Brown and Mary C. Barton from his family.
August 1846 Wilford moves his family to Winter Quarters and begins building a cabin to house them for the winter.
15 October 1846 Wilford severely injured by falling tree: breaks breastbone, three ribs, suffers internal injuries.
12 November 1846 Phebe’s fifth child Joseph dies at age 16 months in Winter Quarters, Nebraska.
8–10 December 1846 Phebe’s sixth child Ezra born in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and dies 2 days later.
13 December 1846 483 Saints at Winter Quarters: 334 sick, 53 wives of Mormon Battalion soldiers, 75 widows.
19 January 1847 Wilford organizes “adopted” family (40 heads of households) under covenant to abide rules.
14 April 1846 Wilford leaves for the Salt Lake Valley with the first company of pioneers.
25 May 1847 James Jackson Woodruff born (only child of Mary Ann Jackson and Wilford).
1847 Church membership is 34,694.
14 June 1847 Mary Ann Jackson and her 19-day-old son James start journey to Salt Lake with Wilford’s father Aphek.
22 July 1847 Advance company arrives in Salt Lake Valley (still Mexican territory at the time); sets up camp.
24 July 1847 Wilford arrives in Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young and plants potatoes.
26 July 1847 Wilford first to climb Ensign Peak.
26 July 1847 Location for Salt Lake Temple Block designated (originally 40 acres).
31 July 1847 First bowery built on Temple Block by Mormon Battalion.
6 August 1847 Wilford, Brigham Young, and other apostles are rebaptized (Wilford’s third rebaptism).
26 August 1847 After planting crops and building cabins, Wilford leaves Salt Lake to return to Winter Quarters.
3–5 September 1847 Wilford’s group meets companies heading west incl. father Aphek, wife Mary Ann, son James.
28 October 1847 Phebe’s seventh child Shuah Carter born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in Wilford’s absence.
31 October 1847 Wilford arrives in Council Bluffs/Kanesville, Iowa.
5 December 1847 First Presidency reorganized with Brigham Young as President of the Church.
December 1847 Log tabernacle built in Council Bluffs.
27 December 1847 Brigham Young sustained as President of the Church by the Saints.
2 February 1848 Treaty signed ending Mexican-American War. Mexico cedes to United States: present day CA, NV, NM, WY, AZ, and CO
18 March 1848 Wilford baptizes 8-year-old son Wilford Jr.
11 May 1848 Mary Ann Jackson divorces Wilford.
21 June 1848 Wilford leaves Iowa with family to preside over Church in Eastern United States and Canada.
22 July 1848 Phebe’s seventh child Shuah Carter dies in LaMoille, Illinois, at age 9 months.
12 August 1848 Woodruffs arrive in Boston, Massachusetts.
5 March 1849 Zachary Taylor inaugurated as twelfth president of 30 United States.
8 March 1849 Constitutional convention held to form the State of Deseret (to encompass present day Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and parts of CA, WY, CO, NM, OR, and ID).
22 March 1849 Wilford baptizes father-in-law Ezra Carter.
Spring 1849 Second bowery built on Temple Block in Salt Lake City.
1850 Church membership 61,000; population of Utah Territory 11,380; population of United States 23,192,000.
9 April 1850 Woodruffs leave Boston with a group of 209 converts to join the Saints in Utah.
16 May 1850 Woodruffs return to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
15 June 1850 Woodruffs leave for Salt Lake Valley from Kanesville, Iowa.
10 July 1850 Millard Fillmore inaugurated as 13th president of 30 United States.
9 September 1850 Under Compromise of 1850, Congress created the Utah Territory; Brigham Young appointed as governor.
14 October 1850 Woodruffs arrive in Salt Lake Valley and live in cabins Wilford built in 1847.
5 December 1850 Wilford appointed to the Council (Legislature) of the State of Deseret (serves a total of 21 terms).
1851 Wilford moves his cabins from Old Fort to construct home on South Temple and West Temple.
1851–1854 Marriage sealings and endowments administered in the Utah Territorial Council House in Salt Lake City.
6 January 1851 Wilford begins serving as member of Utah Territorial Legislature.
20 March 1851 Wilford’s stepmother Azubah Hart dies in Burlington, Vermont.
Spring 1851 Plans announced for construction of adobe Tabernacle on Temple Block.
19 July 1851 Phebe’s eighth child Beulah Augusta born in Salt Lake City.
2 August 1851 Groundbreaking for adobe Tabernacle on Temple Square.
15 November 1851 Publication of the Manuscript History of the Church begins in the Deseret News.
January–March 1852 Wilford serves second term as member of Territorial Legislature.
28 March 1852 Wilford sealed to plural wife Mary Meek Giles Webster by Brigham Young in Woodruff’s home.
1852 First Thursday of the month designated for fasting and prayer (later changed to first Sunday by Wilford).
6 April 1852 General Conference held in new adobe Tabernacle on Temple Block.
7 April 1852 Brigham Young sustained as Governor of the State of Deseret.
7 July 1852 Endowments resumed in Council House by Heber C. Kimball at the direction of Brigham Young.
25 July 1852 Wilford rebaptizes plural wife Mary Webster and baptizes 8-year-old daughter Susan.
3 August 1852 Workers began laying foundation stones for the wall around the Temple Block.
8 August 1852 Revelation on patriarchal marriage first made public by Brigham Young.
3 October 1852 Wilford’s plural wife Mary Meek Giles Webster dies.
21 December 1852 Wilford appointed clerk and historian of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at age 45.
2–14 January 1853 Wilford serves third term as member of Utah Territorial Legislature.
25 January 1853 Phebe’s ninth child Aphek born in Salt Lake City and only lives two hours.
14 February 1853 Wilford attends groundbreaking ceremony and dedication of Salt Lake Temple site.
February–April 1853 Wilford assigned to supervise construction of temple foundation; started digging February 23.
4 March 1853 Franklin Pierce inaugurated as 14th president of 31 United States.
13 March 1853 Wilford sealed to Emma Smith and Sarah Brown in Council House; resealed to Phebe.
6 April 1853 Cornerstones of Salt Lake Temple were laid.
15 June 1853 Eunice, Wilford’s only sister, dies in Burlington, Vermont.
1 July 1853 Thomas Bullock and Willard Richards resume work on the Manuscript History of the Church.
1 December 1853 Manuscript History of the Church completed to March 1, 1843: Vol. D–1 is August 1, 1842 to July 1, 1843.
13 December 1853 Sealing to Mary Ann Jackson cancelled?
4–20 January 1854 Wilford serves fourth term in Utah Territorial Legislature.
4 April 1854 Sarah Brown’s first child David Patten Woodruff is born in Salt Lake City.
7 April 1854 George A. Smith appointed Church Historian; Manuscript History of the Church July 1, 1843–April 30, 1844.
Summer 1854 Third bowery built on Temple Square, north of adobe Tabernacle.
11 December 1854 Wilford serves in Territorial Legislature December 11 to January 19, 1855.
3 February 1855 Wilford elected president of the Universal Scientific Society established in the Territory.
5 May 1855 Wilford attends dedication of Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
5 May 1855 First endowments for the living administered in the Endowment House.
1855–1857 Church Reformation takes place in Utah.
9–27 May 1855 Wilford tours southern Utah settlements with Brigham and apostles.
13 September 1855 Wilford helps establish the Deseret Horticultural Society.
December 1855–January 1856 Wilford serves fifth term in Territorial Legislature.
17 March 1856 Second Constitutional Convention held and petition for State of Deseret delivered to Washington, D.C.
17 March 1856 Wilford rebaptizes family members over the age of 8 (3 wives, 3 children, and “Lamanite” boy Moroni).
7 April 1856 Wilford appointed Assistant Church Historian (serves in Historian’s Office from 1856 to 1883).
28 April 1856 Wilford poisoned while skinning livestock; life saved through priesthood blessings.
September 1856 Church-wide reformation includes rebaptizing, restructuring and recommitment to principles and covenants.
2 October 1856 Wilford helps dedicate Endowment House baptismal font.
2 October 1856 First baptisms performed in font; Quorum of the Twelve rebaptized (4th rebaptism for Wilford).
30 December 1856 Members of Utah Territorial Legislature rebaptized (Wilford for the fifth time).
December 1856–January 1857 Wilford serves sixth term in Utah Territorial Legislature to January 16, 1857.
1856–1861 Wilford serves on Board of Directors of Deseret Agriculture and Manufacturing Society.
January 1857 Wilford and George A. Smith complete Manuscript History of the Church up to Joseph Smith’s death in 1844.
18 January 1857 Sarah’s second child Brigham Young Woodruff is born in Salt Lake City.
4 March 1857 James Buchanan inaugurated as 15th president of 31 United States.
1857 Church membership is 55,236.
13 July 1857 President Buchanan removes Brigham Young as Governor; sends army to escort new Governor Cumming.
24 July 1857 Saints receive news that 2,500 U.S. Army troops are coming to Utah.
31 July 1857 Wilford sealed to plural wife Sarah Delight Stocking (“Delight”) by Brigham Young.
7-11 September 1857 Attack on wagon train of emigrants and massacre at Mountain Meadows.
29 September 1857 John D. Lee gives false report of Mountain Meadows massacre to Wilford and Brigham Young.
1 October 1857 United States Army winters at Camp Scott, Wyoming, 100 miles from Salt Lake City.
4 October 1857 Emma’s first child Hyrum Smith Woodruff is born in Salt Lake City.
16 October 1857 US Army Colonel Alexander’s letter threatens Saints with extermination if they oppose Army.
21 November 1857 Alfred Cumming charges Brigham Young with treason; declares Utah citizens in rebellion against U.S.
13 December 1857 Wilford serves seventh term in Territorial Legislature.
3 February 1858 President Buchanan asks for four more regiments to help quell “rebellion.”
Spring 1858 Third bowery on Temple Block in Salt Lake City dismantled before arrival of Johnston’s Army.
8 April 1858 Wilford moves families to Provo; 30,000 Saints prepare to abandon/burn Salt Lake City ahead of army.
April 1858 Governor Cumming enters Salt Lake City without army escort under terms negotiated by Thomas Kane.
June 1858 U. S. Army enters abandoned Salt Lake Valley.
July–August 1858 Saints begin returning to their homes in Salt Lake City.
24 November 1858 Emma’s first child Hyrum Smith Woodruff dies at age 13 months.
13–31 December 1858 Wilford serves eighth term in Utah Legislature.
30 January 1859 Wilford performs marriage of daughter Susan to Robert Scholes (first child to marry).
4 April 1859 Wilford’s daughter Phoebe Amelia is sealed to Lorenzo Snow as his eighth wife.
30 May 1859 Sarah’s third child Phebe Arabell is born in Salt Lake City.
16–29 October 1859 Wilford is dying; gives family final instructions on funeral and disposition of belongings.
1860 Church membership 61,000; population of Utah Territory 40,273, population of 33 United States 31,443,000.
21 May 1860 First grandchild born, Robert and Susan’s daughter; four generations living in his home.
4 July 1860 Emma’s second child Emma Manella is born in Salt Lake City.
20 December 1860- 1 February 1861 Seven southern states secede from Union. (Confederacy included 15 states and territories by 1862.)
4 March 1861 Abraham Lincoln inaugurated as 16th president of 26 states.
21 April 1861 News arrives in Utah of firing on Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War.
28 May 1861 Wilford’s father Aphek Woodruff dies.
1 June 1861 Delight’s first child Marion is born in Salt Lake City; Wilford learns of father’s death.
December 1861 Governor John Dawson arrives on 7th departs on 31st; vetoes 3rd Constitutional Convention.
14 January 1862 Sarah’s fourth child Sylvia Melvina is born in Salt Lake City.
20 January 1862 Wilford helps draft constitution for State of Deseret; Brigham Young elected first governor.
9 June 1862 Congress rejects fourth petition for formation of State of Deseret; Brigham Young still serves as Governor.
1862–1870 Legislature of the State of Deseret meets simultaneously with Utah Territorial Legislature.
10 June 1862 Salt Lake Temple foundation razed and top stones removed.
6 July 1862 Wilford baptizes son David Patten Woodruff.
8 July 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law signed by Abraham Lincoln.
6 July 1862 Wilford moves plural wife Delight to Fort Herriman to be near her family.
22 July 1862 Wilford serves as president of Deseret Agriculture and Manufacturing Society for 15 years (1862–1877).
23 August 1862 Wilford records Brigham Young’s plans for a 15,000-seat tabernacle on Temple Square.
1 January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln.
3 February 1863 Emma’s third child Asahel Hart is born in Salt Lake City.
6 April 1863 Plans announced for construction of Great Tabernacle on Temple Block.
7 April 1863 Wilford Jr. called to serve a mission in England.
29 May 1863 James Jackson Woodruff returns to live with Wilford.
25 July 1863 Delight’s second child Emeline is born in Salt Lake City.
3 November 1863 Sarah’s fifth child Newton is born in Salt Lake City.
4 March 1865 Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration.
9 April 1865 Civil War ends.
14 April 1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated.
15 April 1865 Andrew Johnson inaugurated as 17th president of 36 United States.
23 December 1865 Delight’s third child Ensign is born in Salt Lake City.
26 December 1866 Brigham Young reintroduces second anointings.
12 February 1867 Emma receives her second anointing.
14 February 1867 Delight receives her second anointing.
10 April 1867 Emma’s fourth child Ann Thompson is born in Salt Lake City and dies the next day.
11 April 1867 Emma’s child Ann Thompson dies.
6 October 1867 First meeting held in Great Tabernacle on Temple Block.
26 October 1867 Sarah’s sixth child Mary is born in Salt Lake City.
2 December 1867 Wilford participates in reestablishment of the School of the Prophets.
23 July 1868 Emma’s fifth child Clara Martisha is born in Salt Lake City.
29 August 1868 Delight’s fourth child Jeremiah is born in Fort Herriman, Utah.
4 March 1869 Ulysses S. Grant inaugurated as 18th president of 37 United States.
10 May 1869 Transcontinental Railroad completed, effectively ending isolation of Utah.
16 December 1869 Delight’s fourth child Jeremiah dies at age 15 months in Salt Lake City.
1870 Church membership 90,130; population of Utah Territory 86,336; population of 38 United States 39,820,000.
February 1870 Utah women given the right to vote; Liberal (non-Mormon) Party formed opposing People’s (Mormon) Party.
21 November 1870 Wilford comforts Emma through her miscarriage.
5 December 1870 Sarah’s seventh child Charles Henry is born in Salt Lake City.
31 January 1871 Brigham Young proposes idea of building a temple in St. George.
2 February 1871 Sarah’s seventh child Charles Henry dies at age two months in Salt Lake City.
17 April 1871 Delight’s fifth child Rosannah is born in Salt Lake City.
18 April 1871 Wilford moves wife Sarah Brown and her children to Randolph, Utah along with Wilford Jr. and his family.
6 October 1871 Priesthood members vote in favor of building temple in St. George.
9 November 1871 Groundbreaking ceremony for St. George Temple.
9–27 September 1872 Wilford travels to California to attend California State Fair.
22 October 1872 Delight’s fifth child Rosannah dies at age 18 months in Salt Lake City.
23 November 1872 Emma’s sixth child Abraham Owen is born in Salt Lake City.
2 February 1873 Sarah’s eighth child Edward Randolph is born in Randolph, Utah.
8 February 1873 Sarah’s eighth child Edward Randolph dies in Randolph.
14 August 1873 Delight’s sixth child John Jay is born in Salt Lake City.
23 June 1874 Poland Act passed by Congress becomes legal basis for the prosecution of polygamists in the 1870s and 1880s.
10 April 1875 Seniority of apostles adjusted according to ordination date, placing John Taylor ahead of Wilford.
17 July 1875 Wilford rebaptized (for the sixth time) along with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve.
11 August 1875 St. George Temple baptismal font dedicated; used to rebaptize Saints entering the United Order in St. George.
3 October 1875 President Ulysses S. Grant visits Salt Lake City.
9 October 1875 Great Tabernacle on Temple Block dedicated by President John Taylor.
3 January 1876 Wilford moves Delight into her new house in Salt Lake City.
9 April 1876 Emma’s seventh child Winnifred Blanche is born in Salt Lake City.
1 November 1876 Wilford moves to St. George to assist in readying temple for dedication.
7 November 1876 National elections.
13 November 1876 Wilford, L. John Nuttall and John D. T. McAllister begin writing down the temple ceremony.
1877 Church membership reaches 115,065.
1 January 1877 Wilford, Brigham Young Jr., and Erastus Snow dedicate portions of St. George Temple.
9 January 1877 First baptism for the dead performed in St. George Temple font.
11 January 1877 First proxy endowments performed in this dispensation in St. George Temple.
11 January 1877 First proxy sealings and sealings and endowments for the living in St. George Temple.
14 January 1877 Brigham Young asked Wilford and others to write out the temple ceremonies.
16 January 1877 Wilford administers second anointing to the first couple in the St. George Temple.
7 February 1877 Wilford administers second anointing by proxy for the first time in the St. George Temple.
23 February 1877 Wilford receives revelation authorizing proxy ordinances for his family by non-relatives.
1 March 1877 In honor of Wilford’s 70th birthday, 154 women serve as proxies in ordinances for his family.
3 March 1877 Rutherford B. Hayes inaugurated as 19th president of 38 United States.
10 March 1877 Wilford sealed to Eudora Lovina Young by her father Brigham Young.
21 March 1877 Wilford and others finished writing down the ceremonies and temple procedures.
22 March 1877 Wilford performed first adoptions (two couples to Brigham Young) in St. George Temple.
27 March 1877 Phebe, Wilford Jr., Beulah and Phoebe Amelia arrive in St. George to work in temple.
30 March 1877 First time Wilford ever acted as proxy in endowment: for “Prophet” Robert Mason.
1 April 1877 General Conference held in completed temple, dedication of entire temple.
8 April 1877 At the age of 70, Wilford called to preside over the St. George Temple (served until June 26, 1884).
11 April 1877 First time anyone ever adopted to Wilford: Josiah G. Hardy, Samuel B. Hardy and their wives.
14 April 1877 Wilford’s family leaves St. George to return to Salt Lake City.
16 April 1877 Wilford resigns as president of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society after 15 years.
25 April 1877 Site for Manti Temple dedicated by Brigham Young.
18 May 1877 Site for Logan Temple dedicated by Brigham Young.
16 June 1877 Wilford’s son Brigham drowns in Bear River at age 20.
July 1877 Church-wide priesthood reorganization included rebaptism.
19–21 August 1877 Wilford’s vision of Signers of Declaration of Independence; proxy baptisms for Eminent Men and Women.
22–24 August 1877 Majority of endowments completed for Eminent Men and Women; some sealings also completed.
29 August 1877 Brigham Young dies.
1 September 1877 Wilford accompanies Lucy Bigelow Young to Salt Lake City for funeral.
2 September 1877 Funeral service for Brigham Young held in Tabernacle.
2 September 1877 Wilford dedicates Brigham Young’s grave.
4 September 1877 Apostles meet and agree that John Taylor will be President of the Quorum of the Twelve.
16 September 1877 Wilford publicly shares his vision of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
17 September 1877 Wilford participates in the cornerstone laying ceremony for the Logan Temple.
6 October 1877 Solemn Assembly to sustain Quorum of Twelve as leading body; John Taylor as Quorum president.
29 November 1877 Endowments resume in Endowment House in Salt Lake City for those too ill or elderly to travel to St. George.
January–March 1878 Wilford spends two months working in St. George Temple.
1 April 1878 Wilford and Eudora’s son Brigham Young Woodruff is born and dies nine hours later. He is buried in the St. George City Cemetery.
28 June 1878 Delight’s seventh child Julia Delight Stocking is born in Salt Lake City.
November 1878 Wilford is divorced from Eudora Young? (“sent bill” on November 25; “signed bill” on November 28).
2 December 1878 Wilford asks Mary Ann Jackson to be resealed to him. (Note written in shorthand in journal margin.)
1 January 1879 Wilford and Phebe move from Valley House into house next door; lease Valley House to be used as a hotel.
2 January 1879 Emma’s eighth child, Wilford’s 34th and last child, Mary Alice is born in Salt Lake City.
6 January 1879 Supreme Court denies George Reynolds’ challenge to Morrill Law; plural marriage a criminal offense.
7 February 1879 Wilford goes into hiding to avoid arrest for polygamy.
March 1879–April 1880 Wilford spends a year in Arizona “on the underground” serving a mission among the Native Americans.
1880 Church membership 135,000; Utah Territory 143,963; population of 38 United States 50,190,000.
26 January 1880 Wilford receives Wilderness Revelation re: God’s defense of the patriarchal law of marriage.
2 April 1880 Wilford returns to Salt Lake City from exile in Arizona.
10 October 1880 First Presidency reorganized with John Taylor president; Wilford as President of Quorum of Twelve.
10 October 1880 Pearl of Great Price officially accepted as scripture by the membership of the Church.
16 January 1881 Wilford appointed General President of Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.
February–March 1881 Wilford works for a month in the St. George Temple.
4 March 1881 James A. Garfield inaugurated as 20th president of 38 United States.
5 March 1881 Apostles wash feet against enemies as directed in Wilderness Revelation.
May 1881–April 1889 Wilford serves eight years as Church Historian (until becoming president of the Church).
20 September 1881 Chester A. Arthur inaugurated as 21st president of 38 United States after assassination of James A. Garfield.
November–December 1881 Wilford works in St. George Temple.
8 January 1882 Assembly Hall on Temple Block dedicated by Joseph F. Smith.
14 March 1882 Edmunds Act passed: plural marriage a felony, cohabitation a misdemeanor.
24 March 1882 First Presidency counsels men to live with “only one wife under the same roof.”
April 1882 Sixth Constitutional Convention for Utah held; Congress rejects petition for statehood on February 23, 1883.
5 October 1883 Wilford sustained in General Conference as Church Historian and recorder.
12 October 1883 John Taylor reinstitutes the School of the Prophets with “washing of the feet.”
December 1883–January 1884 Wilford works in St. George Temple.
17 May 1884 Wilford helps dedicate Logan Temple.
29 May–19 June 1884 Wilford tours Idaho settlements with wife Sarah and Heber J. Grant.
January 1885–October 1887 Wilford goes into hiding again to avoid arrest; lives in St. George area from January 20 to November 5, 1885.
4 March 1885 Grover Cleveland inaugurated as 22nd president of 38 United States.
5 November 1885 Wilford called back to Salt Lake City for a meeting of Quorum of the Twelve.
9 November 1885 Wilford sees Phebe for the last time and gives her a blessing.
10 November 1885 Phebe Woodruff dies; Wilford watches funeral from Church office to avoid arrest.
13 January 1887 Congress passes the Edmunds-Tucker Act; Act becomes law on March 3, 1887.
24 April 1887 John D. T. McAllister becomes St. George Temple President.
June–July 1887 Seventh Constitutional Convention for Utah held; Congress rejects petition for statehood.
25 July 1887 John Taylor dies at the age of 80.
25 July 1887 Wilford, as President of Quorum of the Twelve, becomes the leader of the Church.
29 July 1887 Wilford watches John Taylor’s funeral procession from Church office to avoid arrest.
30 July 1887 Frank H. Dyer appointed receiver for the government; Church property confiscated.
9 October 1887 Wilford meets with Saints in Salt Lake Tabernacle for first time in three years.
March 1888 Wilford’s reorganization of First Presidency fails due to discord re: George Q. Cannon.
17 May 1888 Wilford dedicates the Manti Temple in private services.
21 May 1888 Lorenzo Snow dedicates Manti Temple in public ceremony after Wilford returns to Salt Lake City.
27 May 1888 When Erastus Snow dies Wilford is only living Apostle who served in the days of Joseph Smith.
14 June 1888 Wilford directs all 32 stakes to establish Stake Academies to educate youth of the Church.
9 July 1888 Church’s attorneys obtain commitment from U.S. Solicitor that temples would not be confiscated.
7 November 1888 Benjamin Harrison is elected president.
20 December 1888 Apostles refuse to sign document rejecting polygamy.
4 March 1889 Benjamin Harrison inaugurated as 23rd president of 38 United States.
5 April 1889 First Presidency reorganized: Wilford as president, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors.
7 April 1889 Solemn Assembly held in Tabernacle to sustain new First Presidency.
21 October–16 November 1889 Wilford travels with Emma and Church leaders to Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
November 1889 Endowment House closed and demolished.
24 November 1889 Wilford receives revelation on politics and polygamy; will not trade religion for statehood.
30 November 1889 Judge Anderson denies immigrating Church members United States’ citizenship.
23 December 1889 Church-wide fast day on Joseph Smith’s birthday asking for deliverance from persecution.
1890 Church membership 188,000; Utah Territory 210,779; population of 44 United States. 62,948,000.
19 May 1890 U.S. Supreme Court sustains Edmunds-Tucker Act and Congress’s right to escheat Church property.
June 1890 Secretary of State James G. Blaine drafts document renouncing polygamy which Church leaders refuse to sign.
August 1890 Frank H. Dyer is removed as receiver and replaced by Henry W. Lawrence.
3 August 1890 Wilford visits Saints throughout Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
24 September 1890 Wilford meets with three apostles regarding decision on polygamy.
25 September 1890 Wilford issues Manifesto on polygamy as a press release.
6 October 1890 Majority of members of the Church attending General Conference sustain the Manifesto.
9 May 1891 Wilford meets President Benjamin Harrison when he visits Salt Lake City.
29 May 1891 People’s Party is disbanded; Saints advised to join Democrat/Republican parties.
19 October 1891 Wilford testifies in court regarding practice of polygamy.
25 October 1891 Wilford’s testimony to Saints and defense of Manifesto.
6 November 1891 Wilford decides temple recommends will be signed by Bishops and Stake leaders only, not by Church president.
13 October 1892 President Harrison asks for the prayers of the First Presidency on behalf of his very ill wife.
5 January 1893 Limited amnesty granted to former polygamists by President Harrison.
4 March 1893 Grover Cleveland inaugurated as the 24th president of 44 United States.
6 April 1893 Wilford dedicates the Salt Lake Temple at age 86.
29 August 1893 Wilford attends World’s Fair in Chicago.
17 October 1893 Wilford meets with temple presidents to harmonize the endowment ceremony in all the temples.
12 January 1894 Money taken by government under Edmunds-Tucker Act returned to the Church.
19 March 1894 Wilford has dream about Benjamin Franklin.
6 April 1894 Wilford receives revelation regarding sealing practices and the Law of Adoption.
8 April 1894 Wilford announces end to practice of adoption.
18 April 1894 Wilford present at first endowment ceremony in Salt Lake Temple.
17 July 1894 President Cleveland signed the Utah Enabling Act which gave Utah admission into the Union.
25 October 1894 Wilford inaugurates weekday religious education classes (led to seminary and institute programs).
13 November 1894 Wilford establishes the Genealogical Society of Utah.
March–May 1895 Eighth Constitutional Convention held; new constitution banning polygamy ratified November 5th.
June–July 1895 Wilford travels to Oregon, Washington, and Alaska for recuperating vacation.
4 January 1896 Utah admitted to the Union as the 45th state by President Grover Cleveland.
6 April 1896 Wilford and Quorum of the Twelve issue Political Manifesto.
13 August–9 September 1896 Wilford travels to Oregon and California for recuperating vacation with L. John Nuttall.
5 November 1896 Wilford changes fast day from the first Thursday to the first Sunday of each month.
1 March 1897 Wilford attends the celebration of his 90th birthday in the Tabernacle.
4 March 1897 William McKinley inaugurated as 25th president of 45 United States.
12 March 1897 Wilford records his testimony (only known recording of his voice).
April 1897 Publication of Conference Report begins (replaced by Ensign Conference issue starting in 1965).
20–24 July 1897 Wilford joins 50th anniversary celebration of first pioneer company arriving in Salt Lake.
9–25 September 1897 Wilford travels to Oregon and California for recuperating vacation.
10 April 1898 Wilford’s Conference address on his 1877 vision of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
24 July 1898 Wilford dedicates Pioneer Park (site of fort he helped build in 1847); last public appearance.
13 August 1898 Wilford leaves Utah for vacation in California to recuperate.
2 September 1898 Wilford dies from complications of a medical procedure in San Francisco at age 91.
1900 Church membership 283,000; population of State of Utah 276,749; population of 45 United States 76,212,000.