Abraham Hoagland Cannon, a member of the Council of
Twelve Apostles from 1889 to 1896, was the son of pres. George
Q. Cannon and Elizabeth Hoagland, and was born March 12, 1859, in Salt
Lake City, Utah. As a boy he was given the best opportunity that the times
afforded for an education, and being of a studious nature, he availed himself
of that privilege, finishing his studies in the Deseret University.
For a time when his father was editor of the "Deseret
News" he was employed in that office as errand boy. Later, he learned the
carpenter's trade at the Church carpenter shop, and worked on the Temple
Block. He also studied architecture under the late Obed Taylor, and became
In 1879 he was called on a mission to Europe. After
laboring for some time in the Nottingham conference, England, he was assigned
to the Swiss and German Mission, where he mastered the German language
and traveled as a missionary in both Switzerland and Germany. He wrote
some of the hymns which the German Saints now sing in their congregations.
During his absence on this mission, his mother died.
He returned home in June, 1882, and was ordained
and set apart as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies Oct. 9,
1882, in which calling he labored with diligence and zeal and traveled
extensively throughout the Church in the interest of the Seventies. In
1882, when twenty-three years old, he assumed business control of the "Juvenile
Instructor" and associate publications, developing what was a small printing
office into one of the foremost publishing houses in the west. During the
time of his management, which lasted until his death, a large number of
publications were issued under his direction; and while he laid no claims
to great literary genius, he found time, between his many other duties,
to write many articles for publication.
Having entered the order of plural marriage, he was
arrested on a charge of unlawful cohabitation, and being convicted, he
was sentenced, March 17, 1886, by Judge Zane, to a term of six months in
the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $300. He served his term and was
released Aug. 17, 1886. At the October conference, 1889, he was sustained
as one of the Twelve Apostles, and was ordained by Pres. Joseph
F. Smith, Oct. 7, 1889.
In October, 1892, in connection with his brother,
John Q. Cannon, he took charge of the "Deseret News," forming the publishing
company which for a number of years conducted that paper, and he assumed
the business management thereof. In 1892, also, he became the editor and
publisher of the "Contributor."
He was connected with many other business enterprises.
He was the moving spirit in the Salt Lake and Pacific and the Utah and
California railways—enterprises which had for their object the connection
by rail of Salt Lake City and California and the building of a line into
the Deep Creek country. He was also director, vice-president and assistant
manager of the Bullion-Beck mining company; director and one of the organizers
of the State Bank of Utah; director of the Utah Loan and Trust Co., at
Ogden; director in Z. C. M. I.; vice-president of Geo. Q. Cannon &
Sons Co.; director in the Co-operative Furniture Co.; first vice-president
of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce; the owner of a prosperous book and
stationery business in Ogden.
He was also an active promoter in canal and irrigation
enterprises; and was a member of the Deseret Sunday School Union, to the
duties of which he gave much attention. In the vast amount of labor which
he performed, and in which he never seemed to tire, he accomplished much
more in the course of twenty years than many truly, active men have been
able to do in double that time. He had extraordinary qualifications for
business management, and conducted with success many enterprises undertaken
under adverse circumstances.
For some time previous to his death he suffered with
severe headache; in returning from a business trip to California he became
seriously ill, and he underwent operations for ear troubles; general inflammation
set in, resulting in death July 19, 1896, at his residence in Salt Lake
In an article published in the "Deseret News" at
the time of his demise the editor of that paper says: "In his religious
life and duties Abraham H. Cannon was scrupulously strict and energetic.
He did not shrink from any duty devolving upon him and avoided no obligation;
but responded to every call with promptness and fidelity. His precision
in this regard was remarkable and was characteristic of him from his youth
up. As a boy and as a man he was frank and fearless with a love for truth
and virtue that was sublime. He never sought to shift to others any burden
that devolved on him, and never hesitated to undertake a task that fell
to his lot. In his public religious calling and in his private life he
was a true disciple of Christ, essentially a servant of God, whose conduct
endeared him to all associates by the bonds of that pure and holy love
which comes of conformity to divine principles. When in the Course of events,
during the persecutions of the Saints, it came his turn to endure imprisonment
for his religion, he did so cheerfully, praising God that he was worthy
to suffer in His cause; and all sufferings and privations then and at other
times in his ministry he bore without murmuring, being willing to endure
all for the gospel's sake. In his record as a man of God he will ever live
in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, by whom he was greatly beloved."