Alexander Neibaur

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Alexander Neibaur
Alexander Neibaur.jpg
Personal details
Born (1808-01-08)January 8, 1808
Ehrenbreitstein, Alsace-Lorraine, France
Died December 15, 1883(1883-12-15) (aged 75)
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse(s) Ellen Breakel
Children 11
Parents Nathan and Rebecca P. Neibaur

Alexander Neibaur (January 8, 1808 – December 15, 1883) was the first dentist to practice in Utah and first Jewish person to join the Latter Day Saint movement. He was educated for the profession at the University of Berlin and was a skilled dentist before the establishment of dental schools in America. He was fluent in 7 languages and as many dialects.

Neibaur was born in 1808 to Nathan and Rebecca Peretz Neibaur in Ehrenbreitstein, Alsace-Lorraine (near Coblentyz, Prussia, now Koblenz, Germany), which was at that time a part of France. Neibaur's father served as a surgeon in the Army of France.

Neibaur was first educated to be a rabbi but concluded to become a surgeon and dentist. He received a degree to that end in 1827, before his 20th birthday. Neibaur converted to Christianity approximately two years later. He moved to Preston, England, in 1830. On 15 September 1834, Neibaur married Ellen Breakel, who was from a Church of England family.[1]

In 1837 he was converted to the Mormon faith after reading the Book of Mormon in three days, but was persuaded to delay his baptism until the following spring that he might be more prepared for the ordinance. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[2][3] on 9 April 1838.[4]:24

Neibaur arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois on 18 April 1841.[5] There he established his dental practice and developed a close friendship with Joseph Smith, Jr., whom he helped study German[6] and Hebrew.

In 1846, after Smith's death, Neibaur and his wife remained in Nauvoo later than the first Mormon pioneers because Ellen was pregnant, but joined the second party. Neibaur was among the defenders of the city during the Battle of Nauvoo.

Neibaur then went to Winter Quarters, Nebraska and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, rejoining with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in 1848. In Utah Territory he continued the practice of dentistry and was a manufacturer of matches. He was also the primary person to introduce Mormonism to Morris D. Rosenbaum, a Jew who later became his son-in-law.[7] Neibaur's daughter Rebecca married industrialist and LDS Church leader Charles W. Nibley, thus Rosenbaum's brother-in-law, and early business partner. Rosenbaum was instrumental, with his second father-in-law President Lorenzo Snow, in the founding and development of Brigham City, Utah, and served as county commissioner and president of the North Germany Mission. Neibaur is a great-grandfather of scholars [[Hugh, Reid, and Richard Nibley]], as well as founder of a large and diverse family to be found throughout the West. His graddaughter is an American sociologist, life coach, best-selling author Martha Beck.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Carpenter, Ellen Wilde (July 17, 2011), "The Story of Ellen Breakel Neibaur", neibaur.org 
  2. ^ Manuscript History of the Church, LDS Church Archives, book A-1, p. 37; reproduced in Dean C. Jessee (comp.) (1989). The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical and Historical Writings (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book) 1:302–03.
  3. ^ H. Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters (1994). Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books) p. 160.
  4. ^ Woods, Fred E. (Spring–Fall 2006), "A Mormon and Still a Jew: The Life of Alexander Neibaur" (PDF), Mormon Historical Studies 7 (1-2): 22–34 
  5. ^ Millennial Star 4, no. 10 (February 1844): 147.
  6. ^ Smith, Joseph (B. H. Roberts, ed.) History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 426.
  7. ^ Smith, Eliza R. Snow (1884), The Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Company, p. 360, OCLC 4623484 

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