Young, Joseph A.


The oldest son of Brigham and Mary Ann (Angell) Young, Joseph Angell Young was born at Kirtland, Ohio on 14 October 1834. He was baptized by his father into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age eight and was one of the first emigrants to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Joseph served a mission in 1854–56 to Great Britain, laboring in the Liverpool, Manchester, and Bradford Conferences. Following his return to Utah in 1856, he helped rescue some of the handcart companies which had been stranded by early snows that fall. Joseph married Margaret Whitehead, a native of England, soon after.

Joseph was a visible Church leader as well as an astute businessman. He manufactured lumber, owned stock in several cooperative associations, and built a line of railroad from Ogden to Salt Lake. Joseph persuaded his father to accept a grading contract for the Union Pacific railroad, and took subcontracts for the work through Weber Canyon himself.

Joseph also served in the Utah Legislature for many years and was a member of several United Order organizations. In 1864 he interrupted his business pursuits to organize that year’s emigration to Salt Lake City, and made the necessary journey to New York and England.

Joseph was called to preside over the Sevier district of the Church in 1872, and then was appointed president of the Sevier Stake after its organization two years later. His presidency was cut short when he died unexpectedly on 5 August 1875 at Manti, Utah. He was forty years old. Historian Edward W. Tullidge said of him: “Endowed with splendid talents, gifted with the genius of statesmanship and blessed with a magnanimous nature, which made him worthy to be the leader of men, might truthfully be written of the lamented Joseph A. Young” (Jenson, 519).


Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia.Vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1901.

Warnock, Irvin, and Lexia Warnock, eds. Our Own Sevier. Richfield, Utah: Sevier County Commissioners, 1965.

Young, Brigham. Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons. Edited and with an introduction by Dean C. Jessee. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974.