Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Horace S. Eldredge Horace S. (Sunderlin) Eldredge

1816 - 1888
  • Born 1816 Brutus, New York
  • Baptized 1836
  • Married Sarah Gibbs 1836; later practiced plural marriage; twenty-eight children
  • Ordained Seventy and called to First Council of Seventy 1854-1888
  • President of European Mission 1870-1871
  • Died 1888 Salt Lake City, Utah

    Horace Sunderlin Eldredge was one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies from 1854 to 1888. He was the son of Alanson Eldredge and Esther Sunderlin, and was born Feb. 6, 1816, in Brutus, Cayuga county, New York. When he was eight years old, his mother died, and his training devolved upon his eldest sister and an aunt. The influences by which he was surrounded during boyhood were those of refinement and piety, and we have his own testimony to the effect that at a very early age his mind was engrossed with reflections concerning a future state and the necessity of preparing for it. When sixteen years old he united with the Baptist church, but he was not able to accept certain doctrines of the Calvinistic creed.

    He remained a member of the Baptist church, however, until the spring of 1836, when for the first time he heard the gospel of Christ taught in its fulness, and he was soon afterwards baptized. During the summer of 1836 he married Miss Sarah Gibbs. Later he would practice plural marriage and father a total of twenty-eight children. After his marriage he settled on a farm near Indianapolis, Indiana; but prompted by the spirit of gathering, he sold his farm in the fall of 1838 and went to Missouri.

    He located at Far West, Mo., where he purchased a large farm and a house and lot in the town, expecting to make the place his permanent home. But he shared in the disappointment of thousands of other Saints who went to Missouri with similar anticipations. He had occupied his new home only a few weeks when the fires of mobocratic hatred towards the Saints burst forth with such fury that they had to flee, and in December, 1838, Brother Eldredge left Far West and returned to Indiana. He always retained the title to his real estate in Missouri, and never received a dollar for it.

    During the fall of 1840, he joined the fast gathering community of Saints at Nauvoo, Ill., and was present at the breaking of ground for the Nauvoo Temple, an event which occurred shortly after his arrival. He resided in Nauvoo till the exodus therefrom in the spring of 1846, and shared in the expatriation of the inhabitants of that devoted city and in their march through the wilderness to Winter Quarters. Here he, with his family, spent two winters, and here he buried two children, victims of the monstrous Missouri Mobs, starvation, and deprivation..

    In the spring of 1848, he started for Great Salt Lake valley, where he arrived the following September. Soon after his arrival he was appointed marshal of the Territory, assessor and collector of taxes and a brigadier-general of militia. At the general conference of the Church held in October, 1852, he was appointed to preside over the St. Louis (Mo.) conference and act as a general Church and emigration agent. The duties thus placed upon him were of a very important and arduous character, but he discharged them well.

    The autumn of 1854 found him home again with his family, when he was chosen and ordained one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies. Joseph Young officiated in the ordination. In the following winter he served as a member of the Territorial legislature. In the fall of 1856 he formed a partnership with Wm. H. Hooper and engaged in mercantile business, opening with a $15,000 stock of goods in Provo. In the spring of 1857 he was assigned to his former position and duties at St. Louis, Mo. He was absent over a year, during which "the move" had taken place.

    About the time of his return to Utah the Saints began to return to their homes; and after getting his family back to their home in Salt Lake City, he again started east, in September, 1858. This time he went to purchase merchandise and machinery. He was absent nearly a year, and on his return the firm of Hooper & Eldredge opened out with a large stock of goods in the store just north of the Deseret Bank corner, in Salt Lake City. From this time on he was a leading figure in the mercantile and financial circles of the Territory, and was rated as one of its ablest business men.

    But business pursuits by no means engrossed all of his time or attention. In the spring of 1862, after having served another term in the legislature, he was appointed Churh emigration agent at New York, which appointment was repeated one year later. From 1864-69 inclusive his time was mostly devoted to business affairs, and during that period he helped to establish Z. C. M. I., being at the time of his death one of the oldest directors of that institution.

    At the April conference, 1870, he was called to preside over the European mission. He was absent about fourteen months, during a portion of which time his health was very poor, his lungs being badly affected. After his return from that mission he made repeated journeys to the East and the Pacific coast, generally on business. He served several terms as superintendent of Z. C. M. I., which position he held at his death. He also acted as vice-president and president of the institution. He was one of the organizers of the Deseret National Bank and of the First National Bank of Ogden, of both of which he was president at the time of his death.

    The disease which terminated his life was a lung trouble, from which he suffered a number of years. He died at his residence in Salt Lake City Sept. 6, 1888. Horace S. Eldredge was a man of magnificent physique. He was fully six feet in height, broadshouldered and compactly built. He had a fine countenance, the forehead being broad and high and the features of exquisite mould. His eye was clear and impressive, and his whole appearance expressive. His voice was peculiar, being remarkably resonant. When he made up his mind upon any matter, he could scarcely be moved; and he generally took an unequivocal stand upon every point of importance with which he had to deal, so that there was never any reason for doubt as to where he stood. He had great native force, was strikingly straightforward in his utterances and had the most unqualified contempt for every species of trickery, to which he never resorted in his financial affairs.

   LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p.196
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   2005 Church Almanac, p.71

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