Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity (Chicago: National Historical Record Co., 1902), p. 141–42
JOSEPH YOUNG. Much has been written about the pioneers of the Mormon Church in Utah, and of the hardships and sufferings they endured on their long and tedious journey over the plains. Although not strictly a pioneer—for the pioneers arrived in Utah in 1847—Joseph Young was among the earliest settlers, reaching the Beehive State in the year 1850. His brother was Brigham Young, the first President of the Mormon Church in Utah, the man whose name will go down in [p.142] history as the father of the pioneers and the founder of the City of Salt Lake.
Joseph Young was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on April 7, 1797, and died on July 16, 1881, at the ripe age of eighty-four years. He was the Senior President of the Seventies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and held this high office until the time of his death. He came of old Puritan stock. His early years were spent in Massachusetts and New York, and he obtained his schooling in the western part of the Empire State. Up to the time of the founding of the Mormon Church he lived in the vicinity of Auburn, New York, and he became one of its early adherents. When the Mormons migrated to Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Young went with them to their new home. He was a member of what was known as Zion Camp, which was the first delegation to go to Independence, Missouri, and found the settlement which they believed was to be the Zion, where, in course of time, the great Mormon temple is to be erected. But this dream has not yet been realized .The Mormons were driven out of Missouri, and found a new resting place at Nauvoo, Illinois. Here Joseph Young assisted in building the temple, and at the time of the Mormon exodus from Illinois moved to winter quarters near Omaha, at a place now called Florence. In the summer of 1850 he crossed the plains in a company to the Great Salt Lake Valley, having spent the three preceding years in Iowa. Here, in the virgin soil of a new country, he took an active part in the development of the great valley and the settlement of the future State of Utah.
Joseph Young helped to lay the corner-stone of the magnificent Mormon Temple, a sanctuary whose intrinsic value is stated at $4,000,000 and which stands to-day as a marvel of beauty of architecture, a wonder to the whole civilized world, and a monument to the enduring energy and enterprise of the Mormon people.
As First President of the First Seventies, Joseph Young was commissioned to preach the gospel, and most of his life after coming to Utah was devoted to his sacred mission. The memory of few men will be cherished by the generations to come with deeper respect or greater love. He carried the word of the gospel throughout the greater part of the State of Utah, ever ready to succor the needy or help the suffering. He was a man of marked ability and an earnest student, and the work of his life showed that he was a firm believer in the doctrines and principles which he inculcated.
Joseph Young was a man of mild and gentle temperament. If he ever had an enemy no one knew of it, for he was ever genial and kind to all. He was thoroughly grounded in the precepts of the Mormon faith, and claimed the right to believe as his conscience bid him, and was ever willing to accord to every man the same privilege. If any believed differently to him, he would never quarrel with him or harbor hard feelings against him on this account. His brother, President Brigham Young, has often said of Joseph that he never knew a better man, nor one who followed more closely the teachings of Christ.
In the early Territorial days Joseph Young was a member of the Territorial Legislature. He was broad and cosmopolitan in all his views, in politics as well as religion. It has been said that his gentle, kindly disposition was inherited from his mother.
By his first wife, Jane Adeline Bicknell, Joseph Young had nine children—Jane Adeline Young Robbins, Joseph Young, Jr., Dr. Seymore B. Young, Judge Le Grande Young, Vilate Young, Chloie Young Benedict (wife of Dr. Benedict), Rhoda Young Mackintosh, Henrietta Young and Brigham Bicknell Young. His second wife, Elizabeth Flemming, bore him three children—Isaac, Fannie and Caroline Young; and his third, Lucinda Allen, five—Phineas, John C., Josephine, Augusta and Wilfred. The fourth wife, Mary Burnham, had two children—Moriah Young Russell and Clara Young Conrad. By the fifth wife two children were born—Edward and Mary Young.