Abraham O. Woodruff

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Abraham O. Woodruff
Abraham O. Woodruff.jpg
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 1896 (1896-10-07)[1] – June 20, 1904 (1904-06-20)
Called by Wilford Woodruff
LDS Church Apostle
October 7, 1896 (1896-10-07)[1] – June 20, 1904 (1904-06-20)
Called by Wilford Woodruff
Reason Removal of Moses Thatcher from Quorum of the Twelve; death of Abraham H. Cannon[2]
at end of term
Charles W. Penrose ordained
Personal details
Born Abraham Owen Woodruff
(1872-11-23)November 23, 1872
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States
Died June 20, 1904(1904-06-20) (aged 31)
El Paso, Texas, United States
Cause of death Smallpox
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000
Spouse Helen M. Winters
Eliza A. Clark
Parents Wilford Woodruff
Emma Smith

Abraham Owen Woodruff (November 23, 1872 – June 20, 1904), born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was also the son of LDS Church president Wilford Woodruff. He was ordained an apostle at the young age of 23, but served less than 8 years due to his death.

Woodruff was born November 23, 1872 to Wilford Woodruff and Emma Smith Woodruff just south of Salt Lake City in a log house built by his father. He attended Latter-day Saints' College after he graduated from high school. Upon completion of his studies, he became employed in a bank at the age of 18. In 1893, at 21 years of age, he was called to the Swiss-German Mission. While on his mission, he had to endure persecution against the missionaries and Latter-day Saints in Germany. He had to dress and act like a common worker in the cities, and preach in secret in private homes at night. He was released after three years of service in 1896.

After his mission, Woodruff returned to work at the bank. On June 30, 1896, he married Helen May Winters. That October, in General Conference, he was called by his father as an apostle at the very young age of 23. He was ordained by his father on October 7, 1896.[1] Like other apostles, he helped establish settlements, stakes, and the church throughout the area. He developed a close and very personal relationship with his father during this time as well.

Woodruff took a second wife, Eliza Avery Clark, on November 1, 1900, thus practicing plural marriage 10 years after the 1890 Manifesto. It is not known who sealed the marriage or where it was performed. It is possible that the marriage was performed outside of the United States. He had one child with his second wife.

In May 1904, Woodruff was called to visit the settlements of the Latter-day Saints in Mexico with his family. There, his wife, Helen Woodruff, contracted smallpox. She died on June 7, 1904 from that disease, with her husband patiently and faithfully waiting by her side. He contracted the disease himself, and died on June 20, 1904 in El Paso, Texas, at the young age of 31, after serving as an apostle for less than 8 years. Woodruff was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c Jenson, Andrew (1901). Latter-day Saint biographical encyclopedia: A compilation of biographical sketches of prominent men and women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Andrew Jenson History Company (Printed by The Deseret News Press). p. 174. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Matthias F. Cowley and Woodruff were ordained at the same time to fill two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve.


External links[edit]

Media related to Abraham O. Woodruff at Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Matthias F. Cowley
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 1896–June 20, 1904
Succeeded by
Rudger Clawson