Sidney Rigdon (1793-1876)
19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe Brooks, 12 June 1820, at Warren. Minister of First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, 1821–1824. Later joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples of Christ or Campbellite) movement and became influential preacher. Moved to Bainbridge, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1826. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., 1827. Introduced to Latter-day Saint movement by his former proselyte to reformed Baptist faith, Parley P. Pratt, who was en route with Oliver Cowdery and others on mission to unorganized Indian Territory. Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Oliver Cowdery, Nov. 1830. Scribe for Joseph Smith, 1830. Ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight, 4 June 1831, in Kirtland, Geauga Co. Appointed to serve mission to Missouri, 6 June 1831. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 1831. Appointed member of what became the Literary Firm, Nov. 1831. Counselor/assistant president in church presidency, 1832–1844. Appointed member of United Firm, Apr. 1832. Attended organizational meeting of School of the Prophets, 22–23 Jan. 1833, in Kirtland. Accompanied Joseph Smith to Upper Canada on proselytizing mission and helped keep Smith’s diary during trip, 1833. Stockholder in Kirtland Safety Society. Arrived at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, from Kirtland, 4 Apr. 1838. With Joseph Smith in jail at Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri, Dec. 1838–Feb. 1839. After release, found refuge at Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois. Accompanied Smith to Washington DC to seek redress for Missouri grievances, 1839–1840. Member of city council in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, 1841. Appointed postmaster of Nauvoo, 24 Feb. 1841. Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge. Admitted to Council of Fifty, 19 Mar. 1844. Claimed right to lead church after death of Joseph Smith; excommunicated, 1844. Moved to Pittsburgh to lead schismatic Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1844; name of church changed to Church of Christ, 1845. Rejected from Council of Fifty, 4 Feb. 1845. Located near Greencastle, Antrim Township, Franklin Co., Pennsylvania, May 1846. Removed to Friendship, Allegany Co., New York, where he died.
Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.