Frederick Granger Williams Smith
Birth date: June 20, 1836
Birth location: Kirtland, Lake, Ohio
Died: April 13, 1862
Death location: Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Frederick Granger William Smith, born 20 June 1836, came into the world at a most challenging time in the lives of his parents, Emma and Joseph Smith Jr. They had arrived in Kirtland, Ohio in January 1831, refugees from the state of New York, where in 1830, Joseph had founded a new church, established an all-out missionary effort to acquaint the world with the testimony that the Lord had opened the heavens and a new dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was about to roll forth upon a wicked and unsuspecting world. The Smiths arrived in Kirtland as a result of the missionary labor which converted over one-hundred souls in that area to the new church variously named, Church of Christ, Church of the Latter Day Saints. By 1833, the Church had begun to build a temple, and in 1835, had adopted the official name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In March 1836, just a few weeks before Frederick G. W. Smith was born, the beautiful Kirtland Temple was dedicated amidst magnifi cent heavenly manifestations which attested to the fact that this was indeed a time when God’s voice and power was being revealed to men (and women) on earth. it was also a time when the devil’s rage was being manifest both without and within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Before young Frederick would reach the age of two, his family was forced to flee from Kirtland, and make a difficult winter trek across country, to Far West, Missouri. As a babe in arms, he was too young to know or understand the trials his parents were going through; but, as a child of three, he was able to articulate the dreadful night dreams he had, in which he told his family at breakfast that “the Missourians came and got their heads knocked off.”
At the age of eight, he suffered the loss of his beloved father, murdered with his uncle Hyrum in Carthage on June 27, 1844. At such a young age, he could little have understood the causes, but he certainly realized the grief and pain of the loss of his loved ones. That loss was magnified when his beloved uncle Samuel Smith died within a few weeks after that event; the deaths of these good men would change his life forever.
Frederick left no written works; his memorial remains in a few comments about his character by his brothers, Joseph III and Alexander who attest to his sweet nature and his disinterest in participating in any conflicts over religion. On 13 November 1857, Frederick married Anna Marie Jones. A little over a year later, 27 November 1858, a daughter, Alice Fredericka, was born to them at Nauvoo. In 1861, his younger brother, Alexander, and his wife Elizabeth moved to the Smith farm southeast of Nauvoo. In January, 1862, when Elizabeth gave birth to her fi rst child, her health became so seriously compromised Alexander took her from the farm into Nauvoo to be nursed by his mother. Apparently, Frederick, and his wife Anna Marie, and little Alice Fredericka moved to the farm so Frederick could take care of things there.
Little information exists from which to contrive any sort of personal accounting of their lives other than that in the spring of 1862, Frederick became very ill. Instead of contacting his family to report his condition, his wife left him at the farm and went to her mother’s home. Joseph Smith III happened to stop to see his brother and family. To his great dismay, he discovered Frederick alone in the cold house, desperately ill, with no food, and no wood to make a fire. Joseph immediately took Frederick to the Mansion House to be nursed by their mother.
Emma was skilled in nursing the sick; she was well known for being able to cure the sick through the use of herbs and tender care. It was not to be this time however, and on 27 April 1862, Frederick succumbed to his illness, possibly tuberculosis. He was about two months short of his twenty-fourth birthday. Frederick’s death left the entire family in stunned sorrow. Anna Marie took her daughter away from Nauvoo; she later remarried and returned expecting and hoping for some legacy from Frederick’s share of the estate. Frederick had owned nothing of his own. His daughter grew up away from Nauvoo and never knew much of the family until she was grown. She never married; there is no living posterity.