Skip to main content

Historian speaks to Sons of Pioneers on story of Brigham Young many do not know

Mar 05, 2020 05:48PM ● By Mike Bowan

The Mt. Nebo Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers held their monthly chapter meeting at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Veteran’s Home in Payson on Feb. 27.

After a great meal provided by Magelby’s Fresh, the members were educated and entertained by a presentation on Brigham Young by Dr. Thomas Alexander.

Alexander is an American historian and academic who is professor emeritus from Brigham Young University. He has taught History at BYU for almost 30 years and has served in leadership roles of various local and historical organizations. He is a past president of the National Sons of Utah Pioneers organization.

Alexander recently published a book on Brigham Young titled “Brigham Young and the Expansion of the Mormon Faith.” Alexander stated that often people do not know Brigham Young as a father or husband and his presentation concentrated on the family life of Brigham Young.

This included his relationship with his wives, children, his homes, and his day to day family schedule. Brigham Young had 55 wives and 56 children by 16 of them. Only 46 of his children reached adulthood. Several of his wives were older, so he called them grandmothers, and they were supported and provided for by Brigham but they did not live with him.

Several of Brigham’s wives were involved in his businesses, including managing his grist mill and tree farm.

One was the director of the all women hospital in Salt Lake City.

Brigham built several houses in Salt Lake City for his families, including the Lion House and Beehive house. These are still standing on Temple Square and can be toured.

Brigham believed in education and many of his children, both sons and daughters, were educated at universities, including West Point. Some were sent overseas for education and training.

He advised all of his children to take advantage of being exposed to art, industry and inventions throughout the world.

The Mt. Nebo Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers meets each month at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Veteran’s Home in Payson at 6:30 p.m.. There is a catered meal followed by a presentation. New members are welcome.

Dan Howlett is the Membership Chairman and can be contacted at 801-361-0188 for information.

Next month the presentation will be by Bruce A. Van Orden on W. W. Phelps. (Serve Daily submission.)