Martin, Jesse Bigler


Jesse Bigler Martin was born at Shinnston, West Virginia on 11 April 1825. The family moved to Illinois after his parents, John and Agnes Matilda, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesse also joined the Church while living in Illinois, and he spent the ensuing years at Nauvoo and Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1846, at the age of twenty-one, Jesse left Council Bluffs and marched to California as a private in Company B of the Mormon Battalion.

After being mustered out, Jesse worked at Sutter’s Mill in California. He then came to Salt Lake City in September 1848. On 14 December 1848 he married Sophronia Moore, who had arrived at Salt Lake City the previous year.

Jesse left his young family in 1853 to serve a mission to England, and Sophronia supported the couple’s three children on a small plot of land. Jesse returned to Utah in 1857 as captain of the Jesse Bigler Martin Company, and several months later took Ann Clark, of England, as a plural wife. Sophronia and Ann bore eleven and eight children, respectively.

Both families moved to Lehi in 1860 where Jesse labored as a farmer. Three years later, Brigham Young called Jesse to relocate to Millard County, a sparsely settled area of western Utah. Jesse was ordained as a Patriarch of the Millard Stake in 1875.

Jesse and Sophronia moved to Provo, Utah in their later years, while Ann remained in Millard County. Jesse died at Provo on 17 October 1908 at the age of eighty-three.


Carter, Kate B., ed. Our Pioneer Heritage. Vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958.

_____, ed. Treasures of Pioneer History. Vol. 4. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1955.

_____, ed. Heart Throbs of the West. Vol. 3. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1941.