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Elizabeth Ann Smith

26 December 1800–15 February 1882

Born 26 Dec. 1800 in Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut.[1] Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley.[2] Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, in Geauga Co., Ohio; eleven children.[3] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nov. 1830, in Kirtland, Geauga Co.[4] Designated the “Sweet Songstress of Zion” by Joseph Smith, who was often comforted by her singing, 1831.[5] Founding member and counselor to President Emma Smith in the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, organized 17 Mar. 1842.[6] Migrated to the Salt Lake Valley with the Heber C. Kimball pioneer company, arriving by 24 Sept. 1848.[7] Widowed 23 Sept. 1850.[8] Served as matron in the Salt Lake Endowment House.[9] Accompanied EBW and was also visited by her often, 1874–1882.[10] EBW assisted her in writing her autobiography, published in Woman’s Exponent 1874–1879.[11] Counselor to President Eliza R. Snow when the Relief Society was reorganized, 1880–1882.[12] Sang in the “pure Adamic” tongue at her eighty-first birthday party, hosted by EBW, 26 Dec. 1881.[13] EBW attended and prepared her for burial, 12–17 Feb. 1882.[14] Died 15 Feb. 1882 in Salt Lake City.[15]

 

[1] “Sealings and Adoptions of the Living, 1846–1857; Index, 1846–1857,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nauvoo Temple, vol. A, 1846–1857, p. 545, Newel Kimball Whitney and Elizabeth Ann Smith, 7 Jan. 1846, microfilm 183374, DGS 6296 (restricted access), FHL. Newel K. Whitney Blessings, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, p. 3, MS 24568 (restricted assess), CHL. Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153–154. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 9 Sept. 2019), Elizabeth Ann Smith (KWJC-2GZ).  

[2] Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153–154. “Death of Mother Whitney,” Deseret News, 22 Feb. 1882, 8–9.

[3] Geauga Co., OH, Probate Court, Marriage Records, 1806–1920, vol. A, p. 205, Newel K. Whitney and Elizabeth Ann Smith, 20 Oct. 1822, microfilm 873461, DGS 416917, image 107/527, FHL. Vernon Sirvilian Phillips, comp., Lake County and Geauga County, Ohio Marriages, 1805–1825 (Akron, OH: Puritan Manuscripts, n.d.), 22, Newel K. Whitney and Elizabeth Ann Smith, 20 Oct. 1822, microfilm 7410881, DGS 3056, image 317/319, FHL. Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 154.  

[4] Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Sept. 1878, 51. Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153.

[5] Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Nov. 1878, 83. Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153–154. Louie Wells, “In Memoriam, Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Contributor, Feb. 1882, 156–158. “Death of Mother Whitney,” Deseret News, 22 Feb. 1882, 8–9.

[6] Relief Society Minute Book, Mar. 1842–Mar. 1844, 17 Mar. 1842, pp. 6, 8, MS 3424, images 29, 31/270, CHL. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Nov. 1878, 91.

[7] “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Pioneer Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel, accessed 5 Sept. 2019). “Heber C. Kimball Company (1848),” Pioneer Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/, accessed 24 Oct. 2019). Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153–154. 

[8]  “Died,” Deseret News, 28 Sept. 1850, 2. Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 153–154. “Newel K. Whitney,” Kimball-Whitney Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, Find a Grave, memorial no. 21933326 (http://findagrave.com, accessed 17 Oct. 2019). 

[9] Emmeline B. Wells, “Elizabeth Ann Whitney,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Mar. 1882, 154.

[10] EBW, Diary, 27 Apr. 1874; 17 and 22 Apr. 1875; 22 June 1881; 27 Nov. 1881; 18 Dec. 1881.

[11] EBW, Diary, 21 Jan. 1875; 14 Mar. 1875; 10 and 15 May 1875. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Aug. 1878, 33. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Aug. 1878, 41. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Sept. 1878, 51. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Oct. 1878, 71. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Nov. 1878, 83. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Jan. 1879, 115. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, “Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Feb. 1879, 191.

[12] History of Relief Society, 1842–1966 (Salt Lake City: General Board of Relief Society, 1966), 30, 32. Jill Mulvay Derr, Janath Russell Cannon, and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 121.

[13] “Death of Mother Whitney,” Deseret News, 22 Feb. 1882, 8–9. EBW, Diary, 26 Dec. 1881.

[14] EBW, Diary, 12–17 Feb. 1882.

[15] Salt Lake City, Office of Vital Statistics, Death Records of Salt Lake City, 1848–Sept. 1950, p. 207, line 10659, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, 15 Feb. 1882, microfilm 26553, DGS 7578789, FHL. EBW, Diary, 15 Feb. 1882.