Alexander Hale Smith

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For other people named Alexander Smith, see Alexander Smith (disambiguation).
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 by Joseph Smith III
Predecessor William Smith[note 2][1]
Successor Joseph R. Lambert
President of the Council of Twelve Apostles
April 15, 1890 (1890-04-15) – April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Called by Joseph Smith III
Successor William H. Kelley
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 10, 1873 (1873-04-10) – April 12, 1897 (1897-04-12)
Called by Joseph Smith III
Predecessor Samuel Powers
Successor Isaac N. White
John W. Wight
R. C. Evans
Personal details
Born (1838-06-02)June 2, 1838
Far West, Missouri
Died August 12, 1909(1909-08-12) (aged 71)
Nauvoo, Illinois
Resting place Rose 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
Children 9
Parents Joseph 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 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,[2] 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,[3] and "served a mission to the Pacific Slope"[2] 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.[4] 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.[2]

Smith married Elizabeth Agnes Kendall in Nauvoo, on May 23, 1861. A History of Decatur County, Iowa,[5] 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. ^ Paul M. Edwards, "William B. Smith: The Persistent 'Pretender'", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 18, no. 2 (1985) pp. 128–139 at pp. 132–139.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 117:4a.
  4. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 124:2a.
  5. ^ J. M. Howell and H. C. Smith, supervising eds History of Decatur County, Iowa, 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.


  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