Charles C. Rich

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Charles C. Rich
Charles C. Rich 1875.jpg
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 12, 1849 (1849-02-12) – November 17, 1883 (1883-11-17)
Called by Brigham Young
LDS Church Apostle
February 12, 1849 (1849-02-12) – November 17, 1883 (1883-11-17)
Called by Brigham Young
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency; excommunication of Lyman Wight[1]
at end of term
John W. Taylor ordained
Personal details
Born Charles Coulson Rich
(1809-08-21)August 21, 1809
Campbell County, Kentucky, United States
Died November 17, 1883(1883-11-17) (aged 74)
Paris, Idaho Territory, United States
Resting place Paris Cemetery
42°12′47″N 111°24′27″W / 42.2131°N 111.4075°W / 42.2131; -111.4075 (Paris Cemetery)
Spouse Sarah D.Pea
Eliza Ann Graves
Sarah J. Peck
Harriet Sargent
Mary A. Phelps
Emeline Grover
Children 51, including:
  Joseph C. Rich
Parents Joseph and Nancy Rich
Signature of Charles C. Rich

Charles Coulson Rich (August 21, 1809 – November 17, 1883) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and served as an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).


Personal life[edit]

Rich was born in Campbell County, Kentucky to Joseph and Nancy O'Neal Rich. At six feet, 4 inches in height, he was considered a tall man for the time period. He was baptized into the early Latter Day Saint church by George M. Hinkle in 1832, after having been taught by Lyman Wight in 1831. In 1838 he married Sarah D. Pea (of Looking Glass Prairie, Illinois) whom he had previously proposed to by letter, the two having never before met.[2]

Rich followed the church's principle of plural marriage, taking six wives in all and fathering 51 children.

In 1863, Rich led a party of early Mormons to colonize parts of southeastern Idaho, which at the time was thought to be part of the Utah Territory. The communities of Paris and Geneva, Idaho, as well as some other neighboring towns, were under his direction. He died in Paris in 1883 at the age of seventy-five, after suffering several debilitating strokes. One of his children, Ada May Rich, was the mother of actress Laraine Day.[3]

Latter-day Saint leadership[edit]

Charles C. Rich
in 1880

Rich was a leader in Caldwell County, Missouri and fought in the Battle of Crooked River in 1838. His log house is the only structure from the Mormon period in 1836–38 in Caldwell County, Missouri to have survived. After the expulsion of the Latter Day Saints from Missouri, Rich settled in Nauvoo, Illinois where he was made an original member of the Council of Fifty. He also served as a member of the Nauvoo High Council,[4] and as a brigadier and major general in the Nauvoo Legion.

After the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., Rich followed the leadership of Brigham Young and the surviving Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He and his family migrated to what became Utah with the main body of the church in 1847, leading a pioneer company that arrived October of that year. When Young and the other apostles returned that winter to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, Charles served as a counselor to John Smith, who presided over the early pioneers in the Great Salt Lake Valley. In October 1848 Rich was made the president of the Salt Lake Stake.[5]

Brigham Young appointed Rich a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 12 February 1849.

Rich helped form a Latter-day Saint settlement in San Bernardino, California. However, this settlement attracted many people who wanted to get away from the leaders of the church. The faithful members were called home in 1857 at the time of the Utah War. He also led the settlement around Bear Lake (on the Utah-Idaho border) and is the namesake of Rich County, Utah.

In the early 1860s, Rich served as president of the British Mission of the church.

Sermons by Charles C. Rich[edit]

  • "Privileges Better Appreciated By Absence—Present Salvation," Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, pp. 353–354
  • "Sufficiency of the Gospel—Obedience to Truth," Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, pp. 296–300
  • "Present Opportunities of Obtaining a Knowledge of the Principles of Truth—Importance of Improving Them," Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, pp. 90–95
  • "Building the Temple—General Duties of the Saints," Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, pp. 160–163
  • "Labor To Build Up The Kingdom," Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 3–5
  • "Saints Should Be Whole-Hearted—Seek First the Kingdom," Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 26–30
  • "Expectations Deferred," Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 161–168
  • "Blessing the Result of Obedience to Law—Our Agency in the Flesh," Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 249–258
  • "No Salvation in Ignorance," Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 371–376


  1. ^ Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards were ordained on the same day to fill four vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  2. ^ Autobiography of Sarah Dearmon Pea Rich
  3. ^
  4. ^ Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 124:132
  5. ^ Larson, Andrew Karl. Erastus Snow: The Life of a Missionary and Pioneer for the Early Mormon Church. (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1971) p. 188
  • The Deseret Morning News: 2005 Church Almanac, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • "Charles C Rich, Mormon General & Western Frontiersman," by Leonard J Arrington, 1974.
  • "Charles Coulson Rich, Pioneer Builder of the West," 1936, by John Henry Evans.

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Ezra T. Benson
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 12, 1849 – November 17, 1883
Succeeded by
Lorenzo Snow