Alexander Hale Smith

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Alexander Hale Smith
Photo of A. H. Smith
Presiding Patriarch of the
RLDS Church[note 1]
April 1897 – August 12, 1909 (1909-08-12)
Called byJoseph Smith III
PredecessorWilliam Smith[note 2][1]
SuccessorJoseph R. Lambert
President of the Council of Twelve Apostles
April 15, 1890 (1890-04-15) – April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Called byJoseph Smith III
SuccessorWilliam H. Kelley
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 10, 1873 (1873-04-10) – April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Called byJoseph Smith III
PredecessorSamuel Powers
SuccessorIsaac N. White
John W. Wight
R. C. Evans
Personal details
Born(1838-06-02)June 2, 1838
Far West, Missouri
DiedAugust 12, 1909(1909-08-12) (aged 71)
Nauvoo, Illinois
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery
40°37′30″N 93°56′51″W / 40.625°N 93.9475°W / 40.625; -93.9475 (Rose Hill Cemetery)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Kendall
ParentsJoseph Smith
Emma Hale Smith

Alexander Hale Smith (June 2, 1838 – August 12, 1909) was the third surviving son of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale Smith. Smith was born in Far West, Missouri, and was named after Alexander Doniphan, who had once refused an order to execute Joseph Smith, then had acted as Joseph's defense attorney during Joseph's incarceration at Liberty Jail.[2] Alexander Smith eventually became a senior leader of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church, now Community of Christ). Smith served as an apostle and as Presiding Patriarch of the church. He became religiously inclined after the April 1862 death of his older brother Frederick G. W. Smith (b. 1836), who had not been baptized,[3] and was baptized on May 25, 1862, in Nauvoo, Illinois, by another older brother, Joseph Smith III.

Alexander was ordained an apostle on April 10, 1873,[4] and "served a mission to the Pacific Slope"[3] with David Hyrum Smith in 1875. He was ordained president of the Council of Twelve on April 15, 1890, at Lamoni, Iowa. He was called to be a counselor to his brother, Joseph Smith III, and also a patriarch and evangelical minister on April 12, 1897.[5] He went on a mission to Australia, Hawaii, and the Society Islands in 1901. Smith was a partner in a photograph gallery before becoming a carpenter.[3]

Smith married Elizabeth Agnes Kendall in Nauvoo, on May 23, 1861. A History of Decatur County, Iowa,[6] published in 1915, provides many details about his life and his personality:

He loved the wide outdoors, land and water and sky, and delighted in athletic sports, holding a record in his younger days as one of the best skaters and one of the two surest shots in the community. Of the nine children born to him, one daughter, Mrs. Grace Madison, died and is buried in San Bernardino, California, and one son, Don A., is buried at Lamoni. The second daughter, Mrs. Ina I. Wright, lived at Avalon, New South Wales, Australia, and Mrs. Coral Horner lived near Davis City, Iowa, she spent the later years of her life with her husband in Ronan, Montana. Mrs. Emma Kennedy and the youngest sons, Joseph G. and Arthur M., resided at Independence, Missouri, while the oldest children, Fred A. and Mrs. Heman C. Smith, were residents of Lamoni, where the widow still lived in their home on the south side.


  1. ^ The Community of Christ was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints before its name change in 2001.
  2. ^ While William Smith, who was the Presiding Patriarch of the LDS Church from May 24 to October 6, 1845, believed that he was entitled to become the presiding patriarch or a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles of the RLDS Church. Joseph Smith III, his nephew, did not agree and William Smith remained a high priest in the RLDS Church for the remainder of his life.

External links[edit]

Community of Christ titles
Preceded by
William Smith
Petitioner for Patriarchate
Presiding Patriarch
April 12, 1897 – 12 August 1909
Succeeded by
Joseph R. Lambert
Acting Presiding Patriarch
Preceded by
President of the Council of Twelve Apostles
April 15, 1890 (1890-04-15) - April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Succeeded by
William H. Kelley
Preceded by
Samuel Powers
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 10, 1873 (1873-04-10) - April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Succeeded by
Isaac N. White
John W. Wight
R. C. Evans
  1. ^ Paul M. Edwards, "William B. Smith: The Persistent 'Pretender'" Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 18, no. 2 (1985) pp. 128–139 at pp. 132–139.
  2. ^ Quinn, D. Michael. "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power." Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1994. Pp. 100-101.
  3. ^ a b c Early members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1993, By Susan Easton Black, Brigham Young University. Dept. of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University. Religious Studies Center, p. 436
  4. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 117:4a.
  5. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 124:2a.
  6. ^ J. M. Howell and H. C. Smith, supervising eds History of Decatur County, Iowa, 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.