Oliver Cowdery (1806-1850)

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828. Taught term as local schoolmaster at Manchester, Ontario Co., New York, 1828–1829. Assisted Joseph Smith as principal scribe in translation of Book of Mormon, 1829. With Smith, baptized and received priesthood authority, 1829. Moved to Fayette, Seneca Co., New York, and was one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Helped oversee printing of Book of Mormon by E. B. Grandin, 1829–1830. Among six original members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 Apr. 1830. Served as church recorder, 1830, 1835–1837. Led missionaries through Ohio and to Missouri, 1830–1831. Ordained a high priest by Sidney Rigdon, 28 Aug. 1831. With John Whitmer, left Ohio to take revelations to Missouri for publication, Nov. 1831. Assisted William W. Phelps in conducting church’s printing operations at Jackson Co., Missouri, 1832–1833. Married Elizabeth Ann Whitmer, 18 Dec. 1832, in Kaw Township, Jackson Co. Edited The Evening and the Morning Star, 1833. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by Sept. 1833. Member of United Firm, Literary Firm, and Kirtland high council. Appointed assistant president of church, 5 Dec. 1834. Edited Kirtland continuation of The Evening and the Morning Star, 1833, and edited reprint under modified title Evening and Morning Star, 1835–1836. Edited LDS Messenger and Advocate, 1834–1835, 1836–1837, and Northern Times, 1835. Stockholder in Kirtland Safety Society. Elected justice of the peace in Kirtland, 1837. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1837. Excommunicated, 1838. Driven from Far West, late June 1838. Moved to Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri, summer 1838. Returned to Kirtland, 1838, and briefly practiced law. Moved to Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, where he continued law practice and held political offices, 1840–1847. Attended Methodist Protestant Church at Tiffin. Moved to Elkhorn, Walworth Co., Wisconsin Territory, 1847. Ran unsuccessfully for Wisconsin State Assembly, 1848. Coeditor of Walworth County Democrat, 1848. Requested and received readmission to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1848, at Kanesville (later Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie Co., Iowa. Died at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri.

Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.