Little is known of Harpin Riggs.
It is known that he was born April 12 1809 at Oxford,
Connecticut, the son of Gideon Riggs and Susan Pitcher. Harpin was the
second of five sons and eight chilldren in the family. We know that all
or most of his father's family joined the Church as most died either in
Nauvoo, on the trail, or in the west. Whether they joined all at once or
at different times is not known. And we know that he was the brother of
Burr Riggs, a General Authority in his
own right and one of the few men to ever be excommunicated from the Church
Certainly Harpin was a member by 1833 for on February
fifteenth of that year he was ordained an Elder by the Prophet Joseph
Smith. The following spring he participated in Zions Camp, the excursion
from Kirtland, Ohio to Missori intended to provide relief to the saints
in Missouri who were suffering intense persecution. When Zions Camp was
disbanded, Harpin returned to the Kirtland area where, in 1835, he was ordained
a Seventy and called to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
As a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, the single
Harpin would have immediately become a prized catch and on May 17, 1835
he was married to Malinda Hanson. She would bear him four sons and three
Little more is known of Elder Riggs. He died November
2, 1865 at Mount Pleasant, Iowa and was apparently a citizen of some note and accomplishment as he was called to serve as a trustee for a State Hospital for the Insane. Malinda outlived him by seventeen years, dieing in 1882, also at Mount Pleasant.