Joseph S. Murdock
|Joseph Stacy Murdock|
June 26, 1822|
Hamilton, New York
|Died||February 15, 1899
Heber City, Utah
|Known for||Mormon pioneer, Bishop, Colonizer|
Murdock was born in upstate New York in 1822. He married Eunice Sweet. He and his family were taught by a Latter Day Saint missionary and were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had a desire to live with others of their faith and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1841.
Murdock was asked by Brigham Young to enter the practice of plural marriage and was sent to jail for doing so in 1889. Murdock was pardoned in 1894 by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. He had 32 children from six wives: Eunice Sweet, Eliza Clark, Adeline Warner, Jane Sharp, Elizabeth Hunter, and Pernetta.
After arriving in Utah, Brigham Young assigned Murdock the task of helping establish settlements in several areas of present-day Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Murdock participated in the creation of American Fork, Utah; Heber City, Utah; Carson City, Nevada; and Muddy River (an abandoned settlement along the then southern Utah Territory and northern Arizona Territory, now in Nevada and called the Moapa Valley).
Murdock wrote the poem "Come Listen To A Prophet's Voice", which was put to music by Joseph J. Daynes. The hymn was based on Murdock's friendship with Joseph Smith, for whom he had acted as a bodyguard.
In 1860, Murdock was set apart as a bishop by Brigham Young and sent to preside over the Latter-day Saints in Heber City, Utah, and vicinity. In this capacity he served as both the ecclesiastical and political leader for this new settlement.
On August 20, 1867, Murdock negotiated a peace treaty with Chief Tabby-To-Kwanah, the local Ute Indian chief, to end hostilities between the Ute Indians and the local settlers. This was one of the turning points which led to the end of the Utah Black Hawk War.
After working to establish cities throughout the west, Murdock settled in Heber City and worked as a farmer. He continued to serve in leadership positions in his church throughout his life. He died of pneumonia at the age of 76.
- Joseph Stacy Murdock's Journal (unpublished but included in its entirety in Advancing the Mormon frontier: the life and times of Joseph Stacy Murdock -- pioneer, colonizer, peacemaker )[unreliable source?]
- Church Archives Database on wagon and handcart pioneers
- Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p. 174.
- Thompson, George; Humpherys, Alan Glen (1987), Advancing the Mormon frontier: the life and times of Joseph Stacy Murdock -- pioneer, colonizer, peacemaker, BYU Press, p. [page needed], OCLC 22712972
- Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 328.
- National Register of Historic Places.
- The Wasatch Wave, February 17, 1899.
- Esshom, Frank Ellwood (1913), "Murdock, Joseph Stacy", Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneers Book Publishing Company, pp. 1050–1051, OCLC 2286984