Benjamin Franklin Johnson

Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Death 18 Nov 1905 (aged 87)
Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Burial Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 9271792 · View Source
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NOTE: At least 14 more photos-- including the cemetery entrance and his gravestone are viewable by scrolling down the photos on the right hand side of this page, then clicking the link BENEATH the "Add a photo" button. The link states: "Click here to view all images".

LDS Pioneer- Colonizer- Church Leader- Patriarch

A native of Pomfret, New York, Benjamin moved with his family to Kirtland, Ohio. in 1833, although he wasn't baptized into the LDS Church until 1835. He moved with the Kirtland Camp to Missouri in 1838. He settled in Adam-Ondi-Ahman, but was soon driven out and arrested. Later, in Nauvoo, he was chosen as a member of the Council of Fifty. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 22, 1848.

Served mission to Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands 1853-55.
Ordained as a Patriarch 1883.
Colonizer of several settlements in Intermountain Region.

Patriarch Benjamin F. Johnson died November 18, 1905 and his funeral was held November 20th in Mesa, Arizona in the Latter-day Saints' Tabernacle with Bishop James M. Horne presiding. The speakers were F. T. Pomeroy, Noah Brimhall and President Isaac Dana, all eulogizing the noble, upright life of the departed. There was a large concourse of people in attendance to do honor to his name and his remains were followed to the Mesa cemetery by a cortege a mile long.

Thanks to Darrell for sponsorship!

Excerpts from his autobiography. I have included just a few to show his early home life and his skill in writing. He wrote many pages which are well worth reading. :

Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life's Review (Independence,
Missouri: Zion's Printing and Publishing Co., 1947), pp. 7-107.

"I was born July 28, 1818, in the town of Pomfret, Chatauqua County, New York. My father, Ezekiel Johnson, was born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, January 12, 1776, and my mother, Julia Hills, was born in Upton, Massachusetts, September 26, 1783...

My earliest recollections are of pioneer life, clearing deep forests with great labor for my parents, to obtain but scanty living comforts. While gathering forest nuts, wild fruits and flowers, with the tender care of (to me) a beloved and beautiful mother, loving elder sisters, and companionship of my almost twin brother [Joseph Ellis Johnson] ; these were to me the happy features of my childhood and early youth.

At about 4 years of age, the death of my 8-month-old brother, Elmer Wood, brought to me a deep and lasting sorrow and grief, that through childhood often wet my pillow with tears and saddened my lonely hours. My mother possessed high religious veneration, and early taught me faith in God and the necessity of prayer...

With the deepest sympathies for our father's hard labors all his boys early learned to be helpful, and even at six years of age I was accustomed to follow him in the summertime to the forests and fields, to pile and burn the brush, or in planting time, to drop the seeds, or in haying, open the swaths for drying the hay, and no one then old enough to become in any way a help was left to be idle. All our support and home comforts were produced by our home industry; from the wool all our winter clothing was made for the men and boys, and from the flax all the summer clothing both for women and men; also all the bed and table linen and toweling... Our cheese, butter and honey were home products, as also sugar, thousands of pounds of which we made from maple forests; while soap and candle making, with beer brewing were common, homelike events...

B. F. Johnson married Flora Clarinda Gleason on 3 Jan 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. They had a daughter, Clarinda Huetta Johnson Winget, born in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska, on 15 Jan 1847.

BF Johnson and Flora Clarinda were later divorced. Flora Clarinda later married Abraham Washburn.

Another wife was Eliza Perkins Saunders Johnson (1841-1903). Married 3 Mar 1885 in St. George, Washington, Utah. She was actually his brother, Joseph Ellis Johnson's wife, so when Joseph died, Benjamin may have married Eliza in order to help take care of her.

Benjamin Franklin Johnson had another daughter with Sarah Melissa Holman: Cassandra Johnson

Benjamin Franklin Johnson thought of his brother, Joseph Ellis as his "almost twin". He wrote: "My brother, Joseph E., who was just fifteen months older than myself, possessed all the facilities for acquiring education that I lacked. We were constant companions, and he, being capable of taking the first prizes in our school, my pride and anxiety all followed with him, so that if duties at home were likely to interfere with his success, I assumed them, even in staying from school, through fear that he would not obtain the highest prize or honors of our school and class..."

Family Members


  • Maintained by: Sandra Smith (Barton) Gwilliam
  • Originally Created by: Carl W. McBrayer
  • Added: 5 Aug 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9271792
  • C
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Franklin Johnson (28 Jul 1818–18 Nov 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9271792, citing City of Mesa Cemetery, Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Sandra Smith (Barton) Gwilliam (contributor 46485418) .