Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Heber C. Kimball Heber C. (Chase) Kimball

1802 - 1868

  • Born 1802 near Sheldon, Vermont
  • Married Vilate Murray 1822; later practiced plural marriage; sixty-five children
  • Baptized along with Brigham Young 1832
  • Zion's Camp 1834
  • Ordained Apostle 1835
  • Two Missions to Great Britain 1837-38, 1839-41
  • First Counselor in First Presidency, 1847-1868
  • Died 1868 Salt Lake City, Utah

    Heber C. Kimball was born June 14, 1801, near Sheldon, Vermont, to Solomon F. and Anna Spaulding Kimball. At the age of ten the family moved to western New York. His schooling as was typical in rural New York. He became a potter.

     He became physically impressive, some six feet tall and weighing more than two hundred pounds, with a barrel chest and dark eyes. He married Vilate Murray in 1822.

    He, his friend Brigham Young, and their wives joined the Church in 1832, after a two-year period of inquiry, and in 1833 they moved to Church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio. He participated in Zion's Camp with honor and distinction. Though many murmured against the Prophet during those weeks of hardship and deprivation, Heber was not one of them. That loyalty was one of his lifelong attributes.

    Heber was one of the original Twelve Apostles selected when that quorum was restored to earth after almost two thousand years. The Prophet Joseph Smith said of him, "Of the Twelve Apostles chosen in Kirtland,Ö there have been but two [who have not] lifted their heel against meónamely Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball"

    As the Saints were driven from Missouri, Heber and Brigham Young worked to organize their egress. Then selecting a spot on the Mississippi River in western Illinois, the pair began building the city of Nauvoo and provided overall leadership until the Prophet returned. Elder Kimball helped build the Nauvoo Temple and received his temple ordinances therein.

    When Joseph Smith taught him privately that God required him to enter into plural marriage, he was initially reluctant. Then kept his plural marriage to Sarah Noon secret from Vilate until she came to him and announced that she had been shown by the Lord that the principle was true. Elder Kimball ultimately married a total of forty-three women (in many cases a caretaking rather than an intimate relationship), and by seventeen of them he had sixty-five children.

   In December 1847, at Kanesville (Council Bluffs, Iowa), the First Presidency was organized, with Brigham Young as President and Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his counselors. He served many years with honor and distinction until he died June 22, 1868, from the effects of a carriage accident, ending thirty-six years of unexcelled, dependable service to the Church.

   Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p.34
   Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.263
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, KIMBALL, HEBER C.
   2005 Church Almanac, p.57

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