Ezra T. Benson

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For the religious and political leader (1899–1994), see Ezra Taft Benson.
Ezra T. Benson
Ezra Taft Benson (1811).jpg
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
July 16, 1846 (1846-07-16) – September 3, 1869 (1869-09-03)
Called by Brigham Young
LDS Church Apostle
July 16, 1846 (1846-07-16) – September 3, 1869 (1869-09-03)
Called by Brigham Young
Reason Removal of John E. Page from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles[1]
at end of term
Albert Carrington ordained
Personal details
Born Ezra Taft Benson
(1811-02-22)February 22, 1811
Mendon, Massachusetts, United States
Died September 3, 1869(1869-09-03) (aged 58)
Ogden, Utah Territory, United States
Resting place Logan City Cemetery
41°44′57″N 111°48′22″W / 41.7492°N 111.8061°W / 41.7492; -111.8061 (Ogden City Cemetery)
Spouse 8
Children 35
Parents John Benson
Chloe Taft

Ezra Taft Benson (February 22, 1811 – September 3, 1869) (commonly referred to as Ezra T. Benson to distinguish him from his great-grandson of the same name) was as an apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Early life[edit]

Benson was born in Mendon, Massachusetts, the son of John Benson and Chloe Taft.[2] His father moved to a farm in Uxbridge, Massachusetts in 1817 where he lived for at least 16 of the next 18 years. Benson married Pamelia Andrus of Northbridge on January 1, 1832, at Uxbridge. They lived at Uxbridge for the next three years, between 1832 and 1835. He also had lived in Northbridge, on his sister's farm in 1830 and 1831. He and Pamelia had children, one of whom died at Uxbridge in 1833. He managed a hotel in the center of Uxbridge and made a considerable sum of money which he invested in a cotton mill at Holland, Massachusetts, before moving West.

Joins the Latter-day Saint movement[edit]

Benson, along with his wife, was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[3][4] on July 19, 1840 in Quincy, Illinois. He had moved to Quincy previously, and first met members of the church when they came there at the time they were driven out of Missouri. In April 1841 the Bensons moved to Nauvoo. On April 27, 1844 Benson married a second wife, Adeline Brooks Andrus, the sister of Pamelia.[5]

Benson was ordained to the office of apostle on July 16, 1846. He replaced John E. Page in the Quorum of the Twelve.

Missionary service[edit]

Benson served as a church missionary in the United States and in the Sandwich Islands.

His first mission in the 1840s took him to his birthplace of Mendon, Massachusetts. On this journey he also preached in Chambersburg, Illinois. During his second mission he was in New Jersey serving with John Pack when they received news of Joseph Smith's murder. From December 1844 to May 1845 Benson served another mission during which he served as president of the Boston Conference.[6]

Plural marriages, later career[edit]

Like many early Latter Day Saints, Benson practiced plural marriage. Benson later married Adeline Brooks Andrus, Desdemona Fullmer (widow of Joseph Smith, Jr.), Eliza Ann Perry, Lucinda West, Elizabeth Gollaher, Olive Mary Knight, and Mary Larsen. Benson had a total of eight wives and 35 children. He served in the Utah Territorial Legislature and died in Ogden, Utah. Benson's great-grandson, also named Ezra Taft Benson, also became an apostle of the LDS Church; the younger Benson served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in the 1950s and president of the LDS Church in the 1980s and 1990s.

Death and burial[edit]

Benson died suddenly from a heart attack on September 3, 1869 while in Ogden, Utah.[7] He is buried in the Logan City Cemetery in Logan, Utah.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Page was disfellowshipped and removed from the Quorum on February 9, 1846. Page was subsequently excommunicated from the church on June 27, 1846.
  2. ^ "Ezra Taft Benson, 1811-1869". Brigham Young University. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ 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) 1:302–303.
  4. ^ H. Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters (1994). Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books) p. 160.
  5. ^ Dew, Sherri. Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987) p. 4
  6. ^ Dew. Benson'. p. 4-5
  7. ^ "The Family of Ezra T. Benson (1811–1869)". Bensonfamily.org. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Orson Pratt
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
July 16, 1846–September 3, 1869
Succeeded by
Charles C. Rich