David Whitmer (1805-1888)
7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged for completion of translation of Book of Mormon in his father’s home, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York, June 1829. Baptized by Joseph Smith, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, 1829. Among six original members of church and ordained an elder, 6 Apr. 1830. Married Julia Ann Jolly, 9 Jan. 1831, at Seneca Co. Migrated from Fayette to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1831. Ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831, at Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio. Traveled to Jackson Co., Missouri, with Harvey G. Whitlock, 1831. Driven from Jackson Co. by vigilantes, Nov. 1833; located in Clay Co., Missouri. Appointed president of church in Missouri, 7 July 1834. Left for Kirtland, Sept. 1834. Stockholder in Kirtland Safety Society. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, by 1837. Rejected as church president in Missouri at meetings in Far West, 5–9 Feb. 1838. Excommunicated, 13 Apr. 1838, at Far West. Expelled from Far West, late June 1838. In 1838, moved to Clay Co. and then to Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri, where he operated a livery stable. Ordained by William E. McLellin to preside over McLellinite Church of Christ, 1847, but later rejected that movement. Elected mayor of Richmond, 1867–1868. Founded Church of Christ (Whitmerite), 1875. Later set forth his religious claims in An Address to All Believers in Christ, by a Witness to the Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, published 1887. Died at Richmond.
Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.