Charles Ora Card

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Charles Ora Card (c.1901)

Charles Ora Card (November 5, 1839 – September 9, 1906) was the founder of the town of Cardston, Alberta, the first Mormon settlement in Canada. He has been referred to as "Canada's Brigham Young".[1]

Card founded Cardston in 1887—in what was then part of the Northwest Territories—under the direction of John Taylor, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). This was motivated in large part by strained relations the LDS Church was then experiencing with the federal United States government over the church practice of plural marriage in Utah Territory and elsewhere. Card went to Canada as a fugitive from the "raid", having jumped a train following his arrest. Card was the first president of the Alberta Stake of the LDS Church, the first stake established outside of the United States. Leavitt, Alberta, adjacent to Cardston, was founded by Thomas Rowell Leavitt, another Mormon fleeing the U.S. federal crackdown on polygamy.[2]

Card was born in Ossian, New York. Card's parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1839. In 1846, they moved to St. Joseph County, Michigan. They later moved back to New York. In 1856, the Card family set out to join the body of the Latter-day Saints in Utah Territory. They crossed the plains in one of the wagon companies that went with the Mormon pioneer handcart companies. The family moved first to Farmington and then to Logan.

In 1871, Card served as an LDS Church missionary in Michigan, New York and Massachusetts.

Prior to moving to Canada, Card served as the president of the Cache Stake, headquartered in Logan, Utah.[3]

Card married Brigham Young's daughter Zina Young,[4] and is the great-grandfather of writer Orson Scott Card. He died in Logan.

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