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Winchester, Benjamin

Biography

6 Aug. 1817–25 Jan. 1901. Farmer, author, merchant, brick maker. Born near Elk Creek, Erie Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Stephen Winchester and Mary Case. Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, early 1833, in Elk Creek. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, Nov. 1833. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834. Received elder’s license, 14 Apr. 1836, in Kirtland. Ordained a seventy, 20 Dec. 1836, in Kirtland. Served missions to New England, 1837, and to mid-Atlantic U.S., Jan. 1838–June 1839. Appointed member of First Quorum of the Seventy, Feb. 1838. Married Mary Hannah Stone, 25 Feb. 1840. Presided over Philadelphia branch, ca. Apr. 1840–15 Oct. 1842. Published church-based newspaper Gospel Reflector, Jan.–June 1841, in Philadelphia. Served mission to Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, 3–18 Sept. 1841. Arrived in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, by 12 Nov. 1841. Worked in Times and Seasons office, Nov. 1841–Jan. 1842. Returned to Philadelphia, Jan. 1842, and published Synopsis of the Holy Scriptures, and Concordance, ca. Aug. 1842. Elder’s license taken and directed to move his family from Philadelphia to Nauvoo. Returned to Nauvoo, by Nov. 1843. Elected chairman of board of trustees of Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute, 25 Jan. 1844. Appointed to preside over mission in southern U.S. to campaign for JS as president, 15 Apr. 1844. Returned to Philadelphia, by 10 Aug. 1844. Excommunicated in absentia, 26 Sept. 1844. Affiliated with Sidney Rigdon’s Church of Christ, Oct. 1844–Dec. 1845, and moved to Pittsburgh. Engaged in tobacco trade, ca. 1845. Appointed apostle in Rigdon’s movement, 8 Apr. 1845. Resigned membership in Rigdon’s church, by 13 Dec. 1845. Moved to Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, May 1854, and served two years on city council. Died in Council Bluffs.

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