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 Oliver Cowdery

Photo added by Carl W. McBrayer

Oliver Cowdery

  • Birth 3 Oct 1806 Wells, Rutland County, Vermont, USA
  • Death 3 Mar 1850 Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA
  • Burial Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA
  • Memorial ID 12062

Assistant President LDS Church. Elder Cowdery was the son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller and was born 3 October 1806 at Wells, Rutland County, Vermont. He became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and began writing as his scribe on the translation of the gold plates in April 1829. With the Prophet he received the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods in the spring of 1829. He was one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon and became a charter member of Church on 6 April 1830. As the first scribe he assisted Joseph Smith in the translation of the Bible and led the Lamanite mission to Missouri in the winter of 1830. He returned to Ohio in August 1831 and was ordained to the High Priesthood on 28 August 1831 by Sidney Rigdon. He was accompanied by John Whitmer to Missouri in November-December of 1831 with the manuscript revelations for the printing of the Book of Commandments and he was a member of Literary and United firms. He married Elizabeth Ann Whitmer on 18 December 1832 and they became the parents of six children: Maria Louise, Elizabeth Ann, Josephine Rebecca, Oliver Peter, Adeline Fuller, and Julia Olive. (No grandchildren). He left Missouri for Ohio in July 1833 to confer with Joseph Smith concerning the persecution in Jackson County and arrived in Kirtland before 18 August 1833 and traveled to New York in October to purchase printing materials. As a member of Kirtland high council he assisted in the administration of Church affairs during the summer of 1834 while Joseph Smith was in Missouri. Oliver was ordained Assistant President of the Church on 5 December 1834 and also assisted in the choosing of the twelve apostles in 1835. In 1835 Elder Cowdery was appointed the Church recorder and participated in the dedication of Kirtland Temple in 1836. With the Prophet Joseph Smith he received the priesthood keys from Elijah, Elias, and Moses in the Kirtland Temple on 3 April 1836. He returned to Missouri in 1837 arriving in Far West on 20 October 1837. Elder Cowdery was excommunicated from the Church for apostasy on 12 April 1838 at Far West, Missouri. Later he practiced law in Tiffin, Ohio, and Elkhorn, Wisconsin and ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in Wisconsin in 1848. Oliver was rebaptized by Orson Hyde on 12 November 1848 at Kanesville, Iowa and anticipated moving west with the Saints. Before his plans were finalized however he died on 3 March 1850 at the home of his brother-in-law David Whitmer in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri. Inscription: He was the scribe of the translation as it fell from the lips of Joseph Smith the prophet. He copied the original manuscript for the printers use and was proof reader of the first edition. He was the first person baptized in the Latter-Day dispensation of the gospel, and was one of the six members of the Church of Jesus Christ at it's organization, on the sixth day of April, A.D. 1830, at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Though separated from it for a time, he returned to the church. He died firm in the faith.

Bio by: Carl W. McBrayer


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 30 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12062
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oliver Cowdery (3 Oct 1806–3 Mar 1850), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12062, citing Pioneer Cemetery, Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .