Leonard Ishmael Smith

Brief Life History of Leonard Ishmael

Leonard Ishmael Smith was born March 10, 1823, in Hamilton County, Illinois, to Randolph and Anne Hensen Smith. Family sources said Leonard was descended from Hyrum Smith. His parents arrived in Hamilton County­ named after Alexander Hamilton around 1817. Leonard grew up in this frontier country in the southeastern section of Illinois. The Smith family was recorded as having the second store, also a tavern, in Mc­ Leansboro. It is surmised Leonard was born here. It is not known exactly how Leonard joined the L.D.S. Church, but is thought he joined by his own decision. He was baptized May 1847 by Jeter Clinton. This was just a few weeks after Brigham Young and the first group of one hundred forty-eight persons left Winter Quarters on the first trek to Great Salt Lake City. It was thought, Leonard remained in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois locations during the first years of migration. It was recorded in missionary records, Leonard was ordained a Seventy June 14, 1848. It is surmised Leonard arrived in Great Salt Lake City, after June, 1850. Leonard worked as a teamster as part of the Mormon migration. Leonard was recorded having a patriarchal bless­ing October 11, 1851 in Salt Lake City, by Patriarch John Smith. When Leonard was about twenty-eight years old, February 10, 1852, he married his first wife, Ann King Shanks, from Breckenridge County, Ken­tucky. Leonard entered plural marriage this same year. On the same date, he married second wife, Eveline Benson, in Lafayette County, Missouri. Leonard was much involved in the L.D.S. Church by now. Along with Elders Jesse Haven end William Walker, he was asked to go on a mission to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Leaving two pregnant wives, he left September 15, 1852. It was a rough trip, but Leonard and the other elders landed at Cape Town April 19, 1853. They encountered much perse­cution and difficulty, but Leonard was credited with organizing a small conference at Fort Elizabeth. He completed his mission after three years eight and one-half months and arrived back in Great Salt Lake, May 31, 1856. About this time, Leonard's second wife, Eveline Benson, decided she wanted a divorce. She obtained a Temple divorce in 1856. However, Leonard again entered plural marriage with not one but two wives, Decem­ber 21, 1856. Number three was Maria Mayer and number four was Mary Ann Hazelhurst. In the United States Census for Utah, June l, 1860, Leonard was listed as having three wives and children living in the thirteenth ward in Salt Lake City. His occupation was listed as "Hotel Keeper." It was the custom for some of the Mormons to meet the incoming im­migrants on the ships at New York City. So it was, that Leonard met the L.D.S. Saints arriving on the ship "General McClellan" from Scotland. One of them was Sarah Stuart, a very pretty dark-haired brown-eyed girl under five feet tall- my great grandmother. Later, he met her again in Salt Lake City. She became his fifth wife November 24, 1868. Leonard was about forty-five years old and Sarah was twenty years. They made a home in the thirteenth ward in Salt Lake City, where three of their children were born. Alice, a daughter-my grandmother, was born August 30, 1869. Charles Samuel, a son, or as he later called himself "Charles R.", was born June 21, 1871. Second son, Jerome, was born April 23, 1874. Leonard owned a freight line, which he run from Salt Lake City to Stockton and various other points in Utah. Leonard became owner of a very nice ranch in Erda, Tooele County, Utah. It had a large beautiful white brick home built on it. (I later, visited this ranch.) Leonard moved Mary Ann Hazelhurst Smith and their five children on it. They were named Hattie, William, Lorene , Leonard, and Joe. Later, Leonard built a two room house on this same ranch and moved Sarah Stuart Smith and their children, Alice, Charles Samuel, and Jerome into it. Their fourth child, a son, David Prince, was born here January 3, 1876. Leonard was tragically killed July 19, 1877. "REPORTED KILLED--It was rumored on the street this afternoon that Mr. Leonard I. Smith was shot and killed, today, at the Halfway House near the terminus of the Utah Western Railroad. We are unable to vouch for the correctness of the report. Deseret News report, Thursday July 19, 1877 " The very next day, Friday, July 20, 1877, the Deseret Evening News carried this shocking item: "FATAL SHOOTING AFFRAY- The report alluded to in yesterday's NEWS, to the effect that Mr. Leonard I. Smith as shot and killed, yesterday afternoon, near the Halfway House, not far from the terminus of the Utah Western Railroad, proved correct. The person who killed him was Charles Wells, a nephew of Mr. Smith, and who had lived with the latter for several years. Wells had been stopping on Mr. Smith's ranch, and it was alleged had been guilty intercourse with the latter's wife, and he left, went to the place of Mr. Bates, and got a six-shooter and returned. The two subsequently met, Mr. Smith being armed with a shotgun. It is alleged that Wells fired the first shot, which took effect in Mr. Smith's thigh, the latter returning the fire and hitting Wells in the arm. Wells shot again, the bullet entering Mr. Smith's side. The latter, then being entirely disabled, called to his assail­ant to spare his life. Instead of doing so, Wells beat him over the head with his pistol, and then taking the shotgun that was used, but Mr. Smith, broke it in pieces upon him, beating his brains out with it. Wells was arrested, and a number of indignant citizens collecting around him, an effort was made to lynch him on the spot, some parties even going so far as to procure a rope with which to hang him. By the interference of the more cool end collected however, this summary punishment was prevented. The remains of Mr. Smith were brought to the city last evening for interment." This item was repeated in the Deseret News weekly for July 25, 1877 "BOUND OVER- We understand that Charles Wells, the person who was alleged to have been guilty of making improper advances to Leonard I. Smith's wife, Sarah, and who shot and killed Mr. Smith, was held to answer to the grand jury Yesterday, after preliminary examination, at Tooele, on the charge of murder." This item was repeated in the Deseret News weekly for July 25, 1877 Leonard had not wanted to shoot his nephew and pleaded with him to stop. Charles Wells escaped from prison and disappeared. His fate was unknown. I remember my Grandmother Alice, speaking about this tragedy and wondering what happened to Charles Wells. I also remember my Great­ Grandmother, Sarah, visiting Grandmother, Alice, when I was Two years old. Leonard was very ambitious and hard-working and accomplished a great deal in his fifty four years of life. Sarah became a widow at twenty-nine years of age. Daughter Alice was eight years old, Charles was six years, Jerome, three years, and baby David was one year old. Their husband and father's sad death was a great loss to his family. Incidentally, when my daughter, Jill, and I went to the Genealogy Building seeking information on Sarah and Leonard, (at that time, our family had very little authentic history on Leonard), as we entered the door, I felt Sarah and Leonard's presence so strangely, I felt as if they were leading us. We went directly to the Tooele records, where we found information on Sarah, and then back to the old Deseret News and found stories on Leonard. I felt like my pioneer Great-Grandmother, Sarah, and Great-Grandfather, Leonard, wanted me to write their histories and family sheet, so, I am. by Great Granddaughter Ruby Willa Dansie Conkle Tithing Yard Hill D.U.P., Riverton, Utah One of the first missionaries to go to far off Africa. They (Jess Haven, William Walker and Leonard) were called August 28 1852, they were called to take the gospel to English families who had settled in South Africa. Traveling by way of England they arrived at Cape Town, South Africa April 19, 1853. They began proselyting among the white settlers. On June 15, 1853 Henry Stringer of Mowbray was baptized, the first fruit of their labor. Leonard came to Utah in 1864 and married Sarah Stewart in 1868. They moved to Erda in 1880. He carried mail from Salt Lake City to Tooele. Their home was in Erda where the Peter Clegg place was. He was shot during a quarrel while living in Erda.

Photos and Memories (13)

Do you know Leonard Ishmael? Do you have a story about him that you would like to share? Sign In or Create a FREE Account

Family Time Line

Leonard Ishmael Smith
Mary Ann Hazlehurst
Marriage: 21 December 1856
Harriet Ida Smith
William Randolph Smith
Lorana Louise Smith
Almira Smith
Leonard Jasper Smith
Joseph Ishmel Smith

Sources (37)

  • Leonard Smith, "United States Census, 1850"
  • Leonard I Smith, "Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949"
  • Leonard Ishmael in entry for Jerome Smith, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Record of Members (Worldwide), 1836-1970"

World Events (8)

1825 · The Crimes Act

The Crimes Act was made to provide a clearer punishment of certain crimes against the United States. Part of it includes: Changing the maximum sentence of imprisonment to be increased from seven to ten years and changing the maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000.


Historical Boundaries 1835: Jasper, Indiana, United States


U.S. acquires vast tracts of Mexican territory in wake of Mexican War including California and New Mexico.

Name Meaning

English and Scottish: occupational name denoting a worker in metal, especially iron, such as a blacksmith or farrier, from Middle English smith ‘smith’ (Old English smith, probably a derivative of smītan ‘to strike, hammer’). Early examples are also found in the Latin form Faber . Metal-working was one of the earliest occupations for which specialist skills were required, and its importance ensured that this term and its equivalents in other languages were the most widespread of all occupational surnames in Europe. Medieval smiths were important not only in making horseshoes, plowshares, and other domestic articles, but above all for their skill in forging swords, other weapons, and armor. This is also the most frequent of all surnames in the US. It is very common among African Americans and Native Americans (see also 5 below). This surname (in any of the two possible English senses; see also below) is also found in Haiti. See also Smither .

English: from Middle English smithe ‘smithy, forge’ (Old English smiththe). The surname may be topographic, for someone who lived in or by a blacksmith's shop, occupational, for someone who worked in one, or habitational, from a place so named, such as Smitha in King's Nympton (Devon). Compare Smithey .

Irish and Scottish: sometimes adopted for Gaelic Mac Gobhann, Irish Mac Gabhann ‘son of the smith’. See McGowan .

Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

Possible Related Names

Story Highlight

Story of Leonard Ishmael Smith by Great Granddaughter

LEONARD ISHMAEL SMITH by Great Grand-daughter Ruby Willa Dansie Conkle Tithing Yard Hill D.U.P. Riverton, Utah Leonard Ishmael Smith was born March 10, 1823, in Hamilton County, Illinois, to …

Discover Even More

As a nonprofit, we offer free help to those looking to learn the details of their family story.

Create a FREE Account

Search for Another Deceased Ancestor

Share this with your family and friends.