John Pack

John Pack

Born May 20, 1809 in Saint John, New Brunswick

  • Born in Canada. Moved to United States later on.
  • Ninth of twelve children.
  • October 10, 1832, married Julia Ives at Watertown, New York.
  • Purchased the homestead from his father in Hounsfield and assumed responsibility of caring for his parents.
  • Baptized with his wife by Elder James Blakesly on March 8, 1835.
  • At his home, he became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Sr., and Heber C. Kimball.
  • In early spring of 1837, disposed of his farm and moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and met and became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith.
  • Purchased a farm not far from Kirtland and began constructing a sawmill.
  • Received his patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr.
  • In springtime of 1838, sold his farm due to persecution and traveled to Missouri.
  • Purchased a farm in Grand River, twenty miles from Far West, thirteen miles from Adam-ondi-Ahman and joined by several of his brothers and other relatives.
  • Buried his father in Far West in September 1838, and packed up their belongings that evening and the next morning they left their farm and headed into Far West, where he hurriedly put together a one-room house where twenty people lived during the winter, persecuted by the mob.
  • Moved to Log Creek and then in February 1839, was forced to leave and went to Illinois (traveling a distance of over two hundred miles in the cold and mud).
  • Settled on a farm sixty miles south east of Nauvoo in early spring of 1839.
  • In spring 1840, moved to Nauvoo and served several short-term missions in Illinois and adjacent states. Later, went on a mission to Maine and another in New Jersey.
  • Major in the Nauvoo Legion.
  • Sealed to his wife, Julia, in August 1843 by Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo and this sealing was repeated when the Nauvoo Temple neared completion on December 16, 1845, by Heber C. Kimball. Received their endowments at the same time and became temple workers.
  • In New Jersey on a mission when the prophet was martyred and returned to Nauvoo.
  • Made senior president of the Eight Quorum of the Seventy on October 8, 1844, having been ordained a seventy on October 6, 1844.
  • Left Nauvoo February 1846.
  • Had four wives: Julia, Ruth Moshier, Nancy Booth, and Eliza Jane Graham.
  • Wintered in Winter Quarters from 1846-47 and prepared for the exodus west.
  • Left Winter Quarters on April 5, 1847, then had to wait for some time due to conference, gathering of more people, and the return of the prophet.
  • Was in the first company to head west and was a captain of fifty in that company, led by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and the Twelve.
  • Appointed Major (company organized in military fashion) in Brigham Young’s division.
  • Excellent horseman
  • In the morning of July 22nd, in company with seven others, went from the camp un upper Emigration Canyon to seek a suitable place for cops and settlement. They decided upon a location within a mile of where the Salt Lake Temple now stands. Thus, he was a founder of Salt Lake City.
  • Later, on the 24th, President Young affirmed that it was the right place. At this time, John Pack had already entered the valley twice.
  • Began plowing and planting immediately and preparing the Salt Lake valley for settling.
  • Left the valley on August 16, 1847, to go back to Winter Quarters and prepare the road and select campsites.
  • Was with his family again in October, 1847 and met a new son, Don Carlos, who was born while he was away.
  • Shortly after arriving, preached to the saints at Winter Quarters and gave a description of the Salt Lake Valley.
  • Went to Salt Lake with his family in 1848 under the direction of President Young, in Heber C. Kimball’s company. His family he took with him: Julie and five children (Ward, Lucy, George, John, and Don), wives Ruth and Nancy, and his mother who was seventy-four.
  • When one of ox was shot by an Indian, he was going to use one of his cows when a stray ox came from somewhere and walked directly into the place of the cow. (The ox had a government brand on it and it was believed to have been turned out of the plains to die, but had survived the winter instead.)
  • Became a hunter of experience and skill.
  • Obtained a home at the southwest corner of North Temple and First North, which he retained the rest of his life.
  • In 1849, obtained eighty-acres in West Bountiful, and later gave forty acres to others. Made the somewhat undesirable land into good garden land.
  • Went on a mission to France in late 1849 and left his wives to take care of themselves. Served a three-year mission.
  • Arrived in Salt Lake early August, 1852.
  • In Autumn of 1850, the first session of the University of Deseret were held in John Pack’s home at West Temple, First North and continued to meet there until Feb. 17, 1851.
  • Began cultivating his farm in Bountiful in 1852, and was very successful.
  • Good friend with Heber C. Kimball all his life.
  • Married his fifth wife, Mary Jane walker, (whom he met on his mission to France) in September 1852.
  • His second wife, Nancy Boothe, died in SLC on August 14, 1853, leaving two small children.
  • April 1856, called to assist in the settlement of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
  • In 1861, obtained land and established the town of Kamas.
  • Soon after going to Kamas, build a sawmill on Beaver Creek, which proved to be successful.
  • One time, it was required that he drive a herd on Sunday. Someone asked if he knew the commandment relating to the Sabbath, and John Pack reported that he did, and said that he was only a sixth guilt as the person who asked him, because the commandment also said, “six days shalt thou labor.”
  • Married Jessie Bell Stirling in 1864.
  • Married his seventh and last wife, Lucy Jane Giles, in May 1868.
  • Gathered genealogy and did temple work for his ancestors.
  • Organizes of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society—forerunner of State Fair Association.
  • Died suddenly in his home in Salt Lake City in late evening of April 4, 1885, after an illness of less than a week.
  • Had forty-three children.
  • 5’9”, 170 lbs. Stood erect, walked neat and sprite. Well dressed, neat, tended towards aristocracy. Black curly hair. Striking and commanding.
  • Frank. Outspoken and fearless. Sometimes offended people. Opinionated, by obedient. Honest. Hated to be in debt.
  • Staunch convert. Lived the gospel. Ten years of missionary work away from home.
  • Good provider. Didn’t like wealth for its own sake, but the service it could do. Helped others. Fair to his wives and family.

Julia Ives Pack

  • Buried her daughter, Julia, when she was less than a year old, due to the hardships of the journey westward from Nauvoo.
  • When her husband left to go west, she wrote about it and offered no complaint, even thought she was left to the support of herself and her children and her own health was the best.
  • When her husband went on three-year mission to France after shortly arriving in Salt Lake, she made no complaint as she wrote about it and instead worked hard with the rest of her family and trusted in the Lord through her hardships.
  • Lived in John Pack’s Salt Lake home.
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Author: Heather Hoyt

I'm a stay-at-home mom living in Wyoming and I like to write, take photographs, and play with my kids.

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