Jacob G. Bigler, Sr.

Jacob G. Bigler, a Patriarch in the Juab Stake of Zion, was born April 4, 1813, in Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of Mark Bigler and Suzanna (Ogden) Bigler. Patriarch Bigler wrote:

My boyhood days were passed at home with my parents at the place of my birth. I remained there till I was twenty-five years old. My father and I were farmers to which he also added stock raising on a small scale. During this time I heard “Mormonism” taught and was a believer, but did not join the church until I went to Far. West, Missouri in March, 1838. There I investigated the principals more fully and was thoroughly convinced of their truth. On the tenth of June, 1838, I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.¬†After I had been in Far West a while, I bought a farm of 240 acres for my father and myself. We were to give $2, 000. 00 and paid $200.00 down to bind the bargain.

In July, 1838, I returned to Virginia. We sold our land and property, and I took my mother and unmarried sisters (I had no brothers) viz. , Sarah, Jane, Bethsheba and Melissa, and returned to. Far West. In the meantime, Governor Boggs had issued his exterminating order and we with the rest of the Saints were compelled to leave the State of Missouri or deny the faith.

We left Far West, February 11, 1839, traveling through deep snow, and arrived in Quincy, Illinois about the Ist of March. My first acquaintance with .the Prophet Joseph Smith was in March, 1838. I became intimately acquainted with him and his family also his father and mother and family from that time till his martyrdom. I helped to move he and his family also his father and family from Quincy, Illinois to Commerce (now Nauvoo).

The Egyptian mummies were part of my load. My father became ill and on the 23rd of September, 1839, died. Mother and I administered on the Estate and when we got that settled in the spring of 1839, we moved to Nauvoo.

In March, 1841, I returned to Virginia and on the 19th of April, I was married to Mary Ann Boggess.In May, I with my wife returned to Nauvoo, and later that year, on October 29, 1842 my wife died with fever. In March, 1843, I returned to Virginia on business. May 24, 1844, I returned to Nauvoo and on the 18th of June, I married Amy Loretta Chase. I worked on the temple at Nauvoo from that time, nearly continuously, until its completion. I remained in Nauvoo from that time, nearly continuously, until June 10, 1846, when I crossed the Mississippi River and made a start for the West with a poor outfit for the journey, but was greatly blessed of the Lord and arrived at Winter Quarters on the 18th of August, 1846.

There I remained until the spring of 1848 being on the Indian reservation, we had to recross the river, not having means to continue our journey west; we settled near Kanesville, Iowa and afterwards, moved into that town. In the spring of 1849, I was called to take charge of the general tithing office of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, receiving the tithing from the seventeen Bishops wards or branches of the Church, and looking after the poor. There were many poor that could go no further. I acted as Bishop of Kannesville and also as a member of the High Council.

I left Salt Lake City on April 25, 1861 and landed in Liverpool, July 25, and was assigned to labor in Ireland and to take charge of the Irish Mission. Arrived in Belfast, August 1, 1861.1 remained in Ireland till the 9th of May, At the August election of 1849, I was elected Justice of the Peace and the following August, 1850, was elected Probate Judge of Pottawattamie County. From the spring of 1849 until the spring of 1852, my time was almost all taken up with looking after the duties of my office, both in church and state capacities. In 1850, I was preparing to start to Utah, but Apostle Orson Hyde wanted my services in Iowa, so I remained there till 1852. On June the 10th, 1852, we started west.

We crossed the Missouri River with a moderate outfit for the journey and were organized in Captain Gardner’s company, it being Company 10. I was, captain of the first 10 families. We arrived in Salt Lake City in September. After remaining in the city a.short time,. I left for Nephi, Juab County, Utah, ,arriving there October 18, 1952, where I have lived ever since until the present time (1907). This settlement was commenced in 1851. In November, 1852 I was ordained Bishop of Juab County by Apostle George A. Smith which position I held until 1861, when I was called on a mission to Europe. In June, 1853, the Indian War broke out, we had to tear down some of our houses and move into closer quarters; we had to do all our work in companies. At the August election 1853, I was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly and between then and 1868, was elected and served six sessions in the Legislature. In 1853 and 1854 we built a wall in Nephi, 205 rods long, 12 ft. high, 6 ft. wide at the bottom and 2 ft. wide at the top.

In 1859, I was elected Mayor of Nephi and in 1861, called on a mission to Europe. In 1862 I was called to Liverpool by George Q. Cannon to take charge of the European Mission during his absence in Washington, D. C. While in Europe, I traveled in Ireland, England and Wales, and preached the gospel. Being released to come home I left Liverpool, March 18, 1863, and arrived in New York, April 1 st. Left there on the 7th and arrived in Omaha on the 17th. On the 24th I went to Florence, remained there about three months and assisted with the emigration, crossed the plains with ox teams and arrived in Salt Lake City on the 24th of September and at home in Nephi on the 26th late at night. February 24, 1864 I was elected by the Legislature to fill the office of Probate Judge and held off ice by election continuously until August, 1876. The last two years being elected by the voters of Juab County. In 1863, I was called and set apart to preside over the Juab Stake.

In 1869, I was a member of the Legislature to represent Juab and Millard Counties. I held the Presidency of the Juab Stake until October, 1871, when President Brigham Young came along and requested me to join him and company on a trip South. I expected to go to Old Mexico, therefore I resigned the Presidency of the Stake and went as far as. St. George, but on account of having been elected to the Legislature council, I was released to return and attend the council which convened on the second Monday of January. In June, 18T8,. I way ordained a Patriarch, I have given over 200 blessings for which I have not received any remuneration whatever. Freely I have received, freely I gave. My scribe received what was given for her services.

Patriarch Bigler died in Nephi in February, 1907 a few days after he had written the above sketch of his life.

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2 Responses to Jacob G. Bigler, Sr.

  1. D. Higham says:

    My Mother is on a LDS Mission in Nauvoo. She wanted me to find her some information on her great-great grandfather, Jacob G. Bigler. Thanks for your help.

  2. edwin says:

    I am glad that it could be of some help. If I can help I am always glad to do so, Edwin Bigler

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