David Elliott or Elliot was born November 18, 1799
at Charleston, Montgomery County, New York, the son of Peter Elliott (AFN:
8QZ2-NH) and Phebe Holly (AFN: 8QZ2-PN).
The Ancestrral File lists six wives
for David Elliott. Whether he was a widower five times over, practiced plural
marriage, was incorectly entered in the Ancestral File, or some
combination of the above, is not completely known. We will assume the AF is
David's first wife was Almirah Holliday, by whom he
fathered one child, Lucena Elliott, about whom later. We may assume Almirah
died in or shortly after childbirth. for only seven moths after Lucena's birth
David married Margery Quick March 3, 1823. David and Margery are known to have
had four children.
Little is known of his life, but it is certain
that he came into contact with the Church early in its existence for he
was baptized in 1831 and in the same year took his third wife, Mary Cahoon, his
first two wives presumably having died.
In 1834, he participated in Zion's Camp, the mission to
succor the suffering saints in Missouri. Whether he was a blacksmith by
avocation is not known, but he did perform smithing duty for Zion's Camp,
shodding the hooves of the horses.
Perhaps because of the faithfulness he displayed
on the Missouri expedition, he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy,
being ordained in 1835.
On October 29, 1835, he was charged by
William Smith, the Prophet's brother, with
whipping his daughter (presumably, the afore mentioned Lucena) unreasonably.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was called
to testify. He stated, "My testimony was in Brother Elliott's favor, from
conversation with the parents and the girl at their house in Chagrin, I
was satisfied that the girl was in the fault, and that the neighbors were
trying to create a difficulty."
Later the same day, Sister Elliott's case came before
the High Council. The Prophet's mother, Lucy Mack Smith was called to testify.
She began to testify of events which had previously been settled. Joseph
objected as to the relevancy to the case at hand. He was challenged by
his brother William and the matter almost came to blows. (See History
of the Church, Volume II, page 293-295) "The decision of the Council
in the case of Brother Elliott was 'that the complaint was not without
foundation, yet the charge has not been fully sustained, but he has acted
injudiciously and brought a disgrace upon himself, his daughter, and upon
this Church, because he ought to have trained his child in a way that she
would not have required the rod at the age of fifteen years.' Brother Elliot
made his confession and was forgiven. Sister Elliot confessed her wrong
and promised to do better, consequently the Council forgave her. And they
were both restored to fellowship."
As the winds of Apostasy swirled around Kirtland, David
and a number of the other Seventy determined to leave the city and emigrate to
Zion as part of the Kirtland Camp. He arrived in
Missouri as the Missouri persecutions reach a crescendo and was forced to emigrate
again, this time to Illinois, settling for a time at Springfield. His wife Margery
died in 1837 or very early 1838, perhaps as a result of the privations of the
persecution she endured.
On March 11, 1838 Elder Elliott married his fourth wife,
Miranda Reynolds. She bore him five children before her death in 1846 at Mount
Pleasant, Iowa. Mount Pleasant is on one of the many routes followed by the Mormon
Trail, so we may speculate that her death, like Margery's was as a result of
Elder Elliot's fifth wife was Margaret Straway, whom he
married in 1848 at the aforementioned Mount Pleasant.Two children are listed for
this marriage. Unlike the first four wives, Margaret would live long, dieing in
Salt Lake City in 1901.
Having suffered with the saints in Illinois and sojourned in
Iowa, at some point Elder Elliott resumed his journey westward, trudging the long
miles of the Mormon Trail to the Great Basin.
The Ancestral File lists a sixth wife, Miranda Pratt, but
does not give a date of marriage. Nor does it list any children. Given that Elder
Elliott married, in every case, shortly after the death of the previous wife, there
does not seem to be time to slip Miranda in between any of his previous marriages.
Grampa Bill speculates that Miranda was a plural marriage and occurred after David's
arrival in the Great Basin.
Elder David Elliott died December 2, 1855 in Salt Lake City and
is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.