William Huntington, Jr. was born 28 March 1784 in Grantham, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States to William Huntington (1757-1842) and Prescendia Lathrop (1761-1810) and died 19 August 1846 Mount Pisgah, Union County, Iowa, United States of unspecified causes. He married Zina Baker (1786-1839) 28 November 1805 in Plainfield, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. He married Lydia Clisbee (1793-1878) 1840 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States.


William Huntington was born March 28, 1784, in Grantham, New Hampshire. In 1804 he moved with his parents to Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, being among the first settlers of that county. In 1805 he returned to New Hampshire and married Zina Baker, Daughter of Doctor Oliver Baker, on September 26, 1805.

War of 1812 Veteran

He participated in the war of 1812, playing the fife, and engaged in at least one battle, the Battle of Sacketts Harbor. After the war he suffered financial reverses. Through the hard work and indomitable courage of both he and his wife, finances were recouped and for a season the going was smooth. In 1816 he joined the Presbyterian Church.

Nephite Visitor

In the fall of 1830 an unknown traveler came to their house and asked for food and lodging. He was told that their food was plain and the lodging would have to be in the kitchen; but if he could put up with it, he was welcome. After a hearty meal, William told their guest that they usually sang songs and had a little program each night. If he was not too tired, they would like to have him join in. He said he would like that. The songs they sang were all hymns, and the music religious. At the close, William announced that they always read a chapter in the Bible before retiring and invited the stranger to join in. The stranger explained the difficult passages with such clarity and meaning that Zina was moved to say, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have the gospel taught to us in the plain and simple way that Christ taught it in its entirety.” The man promised them if they continued to live as they were and pray for this light and knowledge, it would not be long before it would be given them. The next morning they awoke to a slight skiff of snow. The stranger left after having his breakfast and thanking his host warmly. William sent one of the older boys to tell him that if he came that way again to be sure to stop. But the boy could see no sign of him, not even tracks in the snow.

A few years laters, he was telling the story of the stranger in the presence of the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and was told by the Prophet, ‘My son, you have entertained one of the Three Nephites”.

Conversion to Mormonism

In the winter of 1832-33 Hyrum Smith brought the gospel to them. William read the Book of Mormon and immediately believed it. He preached to his neighbors and friends and held meetings in his home. In 1835 he, his wife, and two children were baptized by Elder Dutcher. His home became the home of the traveling elders and all Saints.

Move to Kirtland

May 18, 1836, William sent two of his children, Dimick and Presinda and their families to Kirtland, Ohio, waiting only to sell out his farm etc. On October 1, 1836 he moved to Kirtland with quite a number of the Saints under the direction of Apostles Orson Pratt and Luke S. Johnson. Being ordained an elder previous to leaving, William arrived in Kirtland on October 11. He bought a farm from Jacob Bump for $3,000. He was defrauded of this and was forced to day labor. This started a period of misfortune and persecution. His children often went to bed hungry. For a period of two weeks his family lived on greens.

His house was the hiding place of father Smith, Hyrum, Samuel, and Don Carlos Smith while they attempted to escape persecutions in Kirtland. The Egyptian mummies were also hidden in his home. In Kirtland he received his washings and anointings in the temple and was a high priest and high counselor until he left Kirtland. He lost $500 in the Kirtland Bank when he left. He was telling the story of the stranger in the presence of the Prophet and was told by the Prophet, ‘My son, you have entertained one of the Three Nephites”.

Move to Missouri

On May 21, 1838, he started for Far West, Missouri. He arrived two months later and moved (by counsel) to Adam-Ondi-Ahman, where he was chosen commissary agent for the brethren of the Armed Defense. He was also foreman of the committee to confer with the mob after the surrender of the Church in Far West. He was on the committee to help the poor and get them out of the state of Missouri. He did this with much personal sacrifice and exertion, his own family being the last to leave.

Move to Nauvoo

His family was one of the first to arrive in Nauvoo on May 14, 1839. On July 1 his whole family took sick. On July 8 his wife died as a result of all the hardships and exposure she had endured en route to Kirtland, Far West, and Nauvoo. In the book, Faith Like the Ancients, it speaks of her as a loving mother and loyal wife, and that she was a very large woman, weighing 230 pounds. She received a Patriarchal Blessing from Joseph Smith Sr., father of the prophet, in which he promised her that her flesh should never reunite with mother earth. It was believed by many that this meant that she should never die but be like John the Beloved. She was buried in the Old Commerce Cemetery which was in the center of the town and had to be moved as Nauvoo grew to a city of 20,000. Dimick Huntington took the contract to move the graves. When he uncovered his mother’s coffin, a plain pine box, he noticed that the boards on the bottom had rotted. He asked his father what his wishes were. William accompanied Dimick, and it was decided to open the box so that new boards could be put in place. When they opened the box, her flesh was as firm as when she was buried years before. They then knew the answer to the patriarch’s prediction.

At this time he suffered for many of the comforts of life, in fact, many of the necessities also. On August 28, 1840, he married Lydia Clishel Partridge (widow of Edward Partridge). While in Nauvoo he served on the high council and helped lay one of the corner stones of the temple.

Mount Pisgah Cemetery State Preserve


Mount Pisgah was a refugee way station from 1846 to 1852 along the Mormon Trail between Garden Grove and Council Bluffs. Today it is marked by a tall monument on a nine-acre state presertve which contains exhibits, historical markers, and a reconstructed log cabin. However, little remains from the 19th century except a cemetery memorializing the 300 to 800 emigrants who died while passing through or residing in the community.

After the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, he was made captain of a company of fifty wagons to aid in the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo. When they reached Mount Pisgah (Iowa), he was asked to stay and preside over this stake. Here he labored extremely hard and tirelessly to comfort the sick and look after the general welfare of the people left there.

He was beloved of the Saints, for he was a true friend and brother to all; and his conduct was above question. August 9, 1846, he was taken sick with chills and fever of which he died August 19, 1846, never having seen the valley in the Rocky Mountains. Years later the Church erected a monument on which he is most prominently mentioned, located in the Mount Pisgah Cemetery, Iowa.

Marriage & Family

1st Marriage: Baker

In 1805 William Huntington returned to New Hampshire and married Zina Baker, Daughter of Doctor Oliver Baker, on September 26, 1805.

  1. Nancy Dorcas Huntington (1806-1807)
  2. Chancey Dyer Huntington (1806-1875)
  3. Dimick Baker Huntington (1808-1879)
  4. Prescinda Huntington (1810-1892) - md Norman Buell, Joseph Smith (plural wife) and Heber Kimball (plural wife)
  5. Baby Boy Huntington (1813-1813)
  6. Adaline Elizabeth Huntington (1815-1826)
  7. William Dresser Huntington (1818-1887)
  8. Zina Diantha Huntington (1821-1901) - md Henry Jacobs, Joseph Smith (plural wife) and Brigham Young (plural wife) - social activist and 3rd President of the LDS General Relief Society.
  9. Oliver Boardman Huntington (1823-1907)
  10. John Dickenson Huntington (1827-1900)

2nd Marriage: Clisbee

On August 28, 1840, he married Lydia Clishel Partridge (widow of Edward Partridge). (After the death of his first wife.)


Offspring of William Huntington, Jr. and Zina Baker (1786-1839)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Nancy Dorcas Huntington (1806-1807)
Chancey Dyer Huntington (1806-1875)
Dimick Baker Huntington (1808-1879) 26 May 1808 Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, United States 1 February 1879 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Fannie Maria Allen (1810-1894) Ellen Sophia Jacobson (c1808-c1900) Fannie Maria Allen (1810-1894) Ellen Sophia Jacobson (c1808-c1900) Harriett Augusta Hoagland (1833-1895)
Prescinda Huntington (1810-1892) 7 September 1810 Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, United States 1 February 1892 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Norman Buell (1805-1872) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Norman Buell (1805-1872) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Heber Chase Kimball (1801-1868)
Baby Boy Huntington (1813-1813)
Adaline Elizabeth Huntington (1815-1826)
William Dresser Huntington (1818-1887) 28 February 1818 Burrville, Jefferson County, New York, United States 20 March 1887 Springville, Utah County, Utah, United States Caroline Clark (1819-1901) Harriet Clark (1825-1918) Caroline Clark (1819-1901) Harriet Clark (1825-1918) Ann Maginn (1822-1881)
Zina Diantha Huntington (1821-1901) 31 January 1821 Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, United States 1 September 1901 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Henry Bailey Jacobs (1817-1886) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Henry Bailey Jacobs (1817-1886) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Brigham Young (1801-1877)
Oliver Boardman Huntington (1823-1907) 14 October 1823 Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, United States 7 February 1907 Springville, Utah County, Utah, United States Mary Melissa Neal (1824-1906) Hannah Mendenhall Sanders (1836-1913) Mary Melissa Neal (1824-1906) Hannah Mendenhall Sanders (1836-1913) Elvira Stevens (1832-1909)
John Dickenson Huntington (1827-1900)





Footnotes (including sources)

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