RLDS History
Volume 1
Chapter 26
Biographies

EDWARD PARTRIDGE - NEWEL K. WHITNEY.

  IN this chapter we will give Biographies of two of the leading Bishops of the church.

EDWARD PARTRIDGE.

  Edward Partridge was the first Bishop of the church. A sketch of his early life quoted from the words of Joseph Smith is published in the body of this work-pages 170, 171. The statement of Elder Pratt, found on page 155 regarding his ordination is a mistake, as he was not baptized until his visit to New York. See page 171.
  In a revelation given February 4,1831, he was called to this office, and of him it was said: "His heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathaniel of old, in whom there is no guile." In the summer of 1831, in obedience to revelation, Bishop Partridge journeyed to Missouri in company with Joseph Smith and others.
  In May, 1831, while at Kirtland, a revelation was given instructing Bishop Partridge regarding consecration, inheritance of the saints, and other matters; and in July further instruction of the same nature was given him concerning Zion. Independence was pointed out as the place for the building of the City, and the Temple Lot indicated. Instruction was also given for the Bishop and others to be planted in Zion. In harmony with this commandment the Bishop located there as soon as he could arrange to do so. Active measures were at once adopted for the gathering of means to purchase land in Zion, and especially to get title to the Temple Lot. This was successful, and on December 19, 1831, Bishop Partridge bought for the church a tract of land including that lot, which has ever since been known as the Temple Lot.
  This transfer was made by Jones H. Flournoy and wife, and is on record in Jackson County. 1 The deed was held by

Page 660
  Bishop Partridge until the time when the church was driven from the State under the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, when the Bishop, not knowing what would befall

Page 661
  him or other adults, and supposing that children would be spared, made a transfer of the property to the minor heirs of Oliver Cowdery, being careful to state the purpose for which the property was held. 2 This title was finally transferred

Page 662
  to the Reorganized Church, in the manner described in "Plaintiff's Abstract of Evidence in Temple Lot Suit," page 243, and following pages; to which the reader is referred.
  Through the trying scenes in Jackson, Clay, and Caldwell counties, accounts of which are elsewhere given in this book, Bishop Partridge was a patient and faithful participant, being prominently engaged in every measure to

Page 663
  advance the interests of the church, to gain redress for her wrongs, or to legally defend her against the encroachments of ungodly and unlawful men. He ever maintained the high character ascribed to him in the revelation of 1831, when he was designated for the office he held. He shared in the expulsion from the State in 1839, and was indefatigable in his efforts to ameliorate the condition of the suffering saints. In Illinois he served in his office diligently, leaving behind him an untarnished record for faithfulness and good works.
  He died at Nauvoo, Illinois, May 27, 1840. The June number of the Times and Seasons, pays a high tribute of respect to his honor, faithfulness, and unselfishness. 3

NEWEL K. WHITNEY.

  Newel K. Whitney, Bishop of Kirtland, was born in Marlborough, Windham County, Vermont, February 5, 1795.

Page 664
  When the missionaries of the church first visited Kirtland, Ohio, in 1830, they found him engaged in the mercantile business as a member of the firm of Gilbert and Whitney. He was among the first to embrace the gospel in that place. When the Prophet Joseph Smith and wife arrived in Kirtland, in January, 1831, Mr. Whitney received them into his house and provided them a home until other provision could be made.
  In December, 1831, Newel K. Whitney was called to the office of bishop, to officiate in Kirtland. He was thereafter designated as the Bishop of Kirtland, while Bishop Partridge was known as the Bishop of Zion. The Bishop of Kirtland was made subject to the Bishop in Zion and instructed to report to him.
  In April, 1832, Bishop Whitney accompanied Joseph Smith and others to Missouri. On May 6, in company with Joseph Smith, he started to return. In Indiana the Bishop undertook to jump from a stage while the horses were running, and broke his leg. This delayed them about four weeks, Joseph remaining with him, and caring for him. They finally reached Kirtland sometime in June.
  In September, 1832, Bishop Whitney was instructed by revelation to travel around among the churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants; and was also enjoined to visit the cities of New York, Albany, and Boston, and warn the people with the sound of the gospel.
  During the fall of this year he visited those cities, to carry out this instruction. He was accompanied by Joseph Smith.
  In May, 1833, Bishop Whitney was reproved by revelation for not having his family in order, and warned that if not more diligent they would be removed out of their place. When Zion's Camp went up to Missouri he remained at his post in Kirtland and looked after church affairs in his department. Though there was nothing especially remarkable about the career of Bishop Whitney, he followed the fortunes of the church while President Smith lived, and was faithful in his calling, retaining the office of Bishop. In September, 1844, he presided over the council which tried Sidney Rigdon. The exparte manner in which he conducted that council, or

Page 665
  suffered it to be conducted, is not very complimentary to his judicial ability or his sense of fairness. He followed the fortunes of the western exodus under Brigham Young, and died in Salt Lake City, September 23,1850.

Page 666

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[from page 660]
  1 To all people to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.
  Know ye that we, Jones H . Flournoy and Clara Flournoy, wife of the said
[from page 661]
  Jones, of the county of Jackson, and State of Missouri, for the consideration of one hundred and thirty dollars, received to our full satisfaction, of Edward Partridge of the county and State aforesaid, do give, grant, bargain, sell, and confirm unto the said Edward Partridge, the following described piece or parcel of land; being a part of the southeast Quarter of Section three in township number forty-nine of range number thirty-five in the aforesaid county, bounded and described as follows, to wit; Commencing on the south line of said quarter section forty poles from the southeast corner of said quarter section, at the corner of a certain piece of land sold by said Flournoy and wife to one Lewis Jones, and from thence running west one hundred and twenty poles to the southwest corner of said quarter section. Thence north sixteen poles and ten links, thence north forty degrees east, ten poles, thence north twenty-one degrees east, fourteen poles, thence north fifteen degrees east, twenty poles, thence north forty-two degrees east, thirty-four poles, thence north fifty-five degrees east, thirty poles, thence north sixty-four degrees east, forty poles, thence north seventy degrees east, seventeen poles and fifteen links to the corner of a certain tract of land sold by the said Flournoy and wife to one G. M. Hensley, south one hundred and twenty-two poles and seventeen links to the place of beginning containing sixty-three acres and forty-three one hundred and sixtieths of an acre, be the same more or less. To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises, with all and singular the rights and privileges thereunto in any wise belonging and appertaining unto him the said Edward Partridge, his heirs and assigns for ever, to his and their own proper use and behoof. And also we the said Jones H Flournoy and Clara Flournoy, wife of the said Jones, as aforesaid, for ourselves, our heirs, and assigns, that at and until the ensealing of these presents we are well seized of the premises as a good indefeasible, and have good right to bargain and sell the same in manner and form as it is above written and that the same is free from all incumbrances [encumbrances] whatsoever. And further more we the said Jones H. Flournoy and Clara Flournoy, wife of the said Jones, as aforesaid, do by these presents bind ourselves, our heirs and assigns forever, to warrant and defend the above granted and bargained premises to him, the said Edward Partridge his heirs, and assigns, against all lawful claims and demands whatsoever.
  In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals the nineteenth day of December in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-two [thirty-one].
Jones H. Flournoy.
Clara Flournoy.
Seal.
Seal.
State of Missouri, }
County of Jackson.}
ss.
  Be it remembered that on this nineteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one before the undersigned deputy for Samuel C. Owens, Clerk of the Circuit Court for the aforesaid county, personally came Jones H Flournoy and Clara Flournoy both personally known to the said undersigned, to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing as having executed the same and acknowledged said instrument of writing to be their act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned, she, the said Clara Flournoy, being by me first made acquainted with the contents thereof -
[from page 662]
  and examined separately and apart from her husband, whether she executed such deed and relinquished her dower in the lands and tenements in said deed mentioned, freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband, acknowledged and declared that she executed said deed and relinquishes her dower in the lands and tenements in said deed mentioned, freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband
  Taken and certified under my hand and the private seal of Samuel C. Owens, Clerk of the said Circuit Court, there being no official seal at said office the day and the year above written
[Seal] Russell Hicks,
Deputy for Samuel O Owens, Clerk C. C. J. C.
State of Missouri, }
County of Jackson.}
Sct.
  I, Samuel C. Owens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and ex officio recorder within and for the aforesaid county, do hereby certify that the foregoing deed of bargain and sale from Flournoy to Partridge, was filed in my office for record on the l9th day of December, 1831, and duly recorded in my office on the 24th day of May, 1832, in Book B, page 1.
Samuel C. Owens. Clerk.
State of Missouri,}
County of Jackson.}
ss.
  I, R. T. Hinde, Recorder of Deeds, within and for said county of Jackson and State of Missouri, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and complete transcript of the record of the W. D-Acknowledgement [Acknowledgment] -and note of record thereon indorsed [endorsed] from Jones E. Flournoy and wife to Edward Partridge, as the same now remains on record in my office in Independence, Missouri, Book No. B, at page 1, and following.
  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of said office, at my office in the city of Independence, in said county, this 11th day of June, A. D. 1887.
R. T. Hinde, Recorder
By W. R. Hall, Deputy
2 Edward Partridge
To
Jane Cowdery, et al.
  KNOW ALL MEN, that whereas there was money put in my hands, to wit,-in the hands of Edward Partridge, by Oliver Cowdery, an elder in the Church of Latter Day Saints, formerly of Kirtland, State of Ohio, for the purpose of entering lands in the State of Missouri, in the name of, and for the benefit of said church; and, Whereas, I, Edward Partridge was Bishop of, and in said church he took said money and funds thus put in his hands and entered the land in his own name, in the county of Jackson, State of Missouri, in the name of Edward Partridge, the signer of this deed,
  Now know ye that for the furthering the ends of justice, and as I have to leave the State of Missouri, by order of Governor Boggs, and with me also our church, I do for the sum of one thousand dollars, to me in hand paid by said Oliver Cowdery, do give, grant, bargain, and sell to John Cowdery,
[from page 663]
  son of Oliver Cowdery, now seven years old; and Jane Cowdery three years, and Joseph Smith Cowdery one year old, all the lands entered in my name in the county of Jackson, in the district of Lexington, in the State of Missouri said Edward Partridge the first party and signer of this deed does also sell, alien, and confirm to the aforesaid John Cowdery all real estate and lands he has both entered as aforesaid, and all he owns in his own name by private purchase and holds by deed of gift, being intended for the use of the Church of Latter Day Saints or otherwise. This sale is to embrace all lots of all sizes, situated in Independence, and to embrace the lot known as the Temple Lot, and all other lands of whatever description said Partridge the first party is entitled to in said Jackson county, in the State of Missouri said Partridge also agrees to amend this deed to said Oliver Cowdery at any time for the purposes aforesaid
  Given under my hand and seal on the date above written
E. G. Gates, Witness. Edward Partridge. [Seal]
State of Missouri,}
Caldwell County. }
ss.
  Be it remembered, that on the 25th day of March, 1839, before me, the undersigned, one of the Justices of the County court in and for said County, came Edward Partridge, who is personally known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing as party thereto, and did acknowledge the same to be his act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned.
  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my private seal on the day and year above written.
Elias Higbee, J. C. C. C.
  The foregoing deed with the acknowledgment thereon from Edward Partridge to Jane Cowdery, et al, was filed and duly recorded in my office on the 7th day of February, A. D 1870.
A Cumingo, Recorder,  
By H. G. Goodman, Deputy.
State of Missouri,}
County of Jackson.}
ss.
  I, R. T. Hinde, Recorder of Deeds within and for said County of Jackson, and State of Missouri, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and complete transcript of the record of the Deed-acknowledgment-and note of record thereon endorsed from Edward Partridge to Jane Cowdery et al., as the same now remains on record in my office In Independence, Book No 73, page 432, and following
  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said office in the city of Independence, in said County, this 11th day of June, A. D. 1887.
[Seal] R. T. Hinde, Recorder,
By W. R. Hall, Deputy.  
[from page 664]
3 [Communicated.]
  DIED-In this place, on the 27th day of May, Bishop Edward Partridge, aged 46 years. In recording the death of this our brother, we record the death of one of our earliest, most faithful, and confidential members. His life was one continual exhibition of the sincerity of his religious belief, and a perpetual evidence of his confidence in a future state of rewards and punishments: in view of which he always acted. His strict regard through life to all the commandments of heaven and his undeviating obedience to them, are consoling evidences to his friends that if there are any such things as rewards in the future world for well-doing in this, he is certain of enjoying them
  No man had the confidence of the church more than he. His station was highly responsible; large quantities of property ever intrusted [entrusted] to his care. Deeds and conveyances of lands, to a large amount, were put into his hands, for the benefit of the poor, and for church purposes; for all of which the directest account was rendered, to the fullest satisfaction of all concerned And after he had distributed a handsome property, of his own, for the benefit of the poor; and being driven from his home, found himself reduced to very limited circumstances, still, not one cent of public property would he use to indemnify himself or family; but distributed it all, for the benefit of the widow, the fatherless, and the afflicted; has deceased, leaving his family in very ordinary circumstances.
  Had there been one covetous desire in his heart, no man had the opportunity better to gratify it; but he has left a testimony, to be had in everlasting remembrance, that he lived above its influence, and over him it had no control; but in all things, he had respect to the reward of the just.
  A life of greater devotedness to the cause of truth, we presume, was never spent on this earth. His religion was his all, for this he spent his life, and for this he laid it down. He lost his life in consequence of the Missouri persecutions, and he is one of that number whose blood will be required at their hands. As a church we deplore our loss, but we rejoice in his gain. He rests where persecutors can assail him no more.

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