Cahoon, Carter & Co.

Summary

A mercantile company likely established in June 1835, composed of partners Reynolds Cahoon, Jared Carter, and Hyrum Smith. The company was an outgrowth of their role as members of the committee to build the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio; the funds they procured in this venture were used to complete the temple. The mercantile partnership purchased goods and opened a store in Kirtland in June 1835. The store they operated was known informally as the “Committee Store,” reflecting the connections between the firm and efforts to fund the construction and completion of the Kirtland temple. In October 1835, Hyrum Smith traveled to Buffalo, New York, with Newel K. Whitney to purchase goods for the store. After the dedication of the Kirtland temple, the three men continued to operate the store. In June and October 1836, an agent for the store, likely Hyrum Smith, purchased goods on credit from wholesale merchants in Buffalo and New York City. It is unclear when the store closed, but the last business record related to the company dates to March 1837. Unable to pay its sizable debts, the firm faced litigation in 1837. In some instances, the partners were able to renegotiate unpaid promissory notes owed to New York merchants to avoid or at least postpone litigation. Between October 1838 and August 1839, JS assumed the debts owed by the company, although the three partners could still be held liable. Oliver Granger, an agent for JS and the church, undertook efforts to repay this debt with land donated by Latter-day Saints in the eastern United States from 1839 until his death in 1841. There are no extant daybooks or ledgers for the company or the store.

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