Willard Richards

1804– 1854

Born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts; obtained copy of Book of Mormon while practicing medicine near Boston, 1835; baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, 1836; served mission to England, 1837–1841, during which he was ordained an apostle in 1840; settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, where he served as personal secretary to Joseph Smith; escaped injury at Carthage Jail during the June 1844 martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith; member of vanguard pioneer company that entered Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young in July 1847; sustained as second counselor in First Presidency to Brigham Young in December 1847, a position he held until his death; served as Church Historian and General Church Recorder, 1842–1854; first editor of the Deseret News; died of palsy. (See Jenson, BE, 1:53–56; Whitney, History of Utah, 4:21–25; Bitton and Arrington, Mormons and Their Historians, 3–14; GQC journal, July 18, Nov. 11, 1852; Feb. 6, Mar. 13, 23, Apr. 12, May 26, June 5, July 2, 1854.)