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Emma Hale Smith
Emma Hale Smith
courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fulton's Mormon Connection

Wife of Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. In Fulton, Illinois September 18, 1846 to Spring 1847 Age 42. Docked at End of Cherry Street (10th Avenue — near windmill) Rented Apartment NE Corner of Base & Wall Street (12th Avenue & 4th Street)

Emma Hale Smith came to Fulton, Illinois, in the fall of 1846 because she feared for the safety of her family. Emma's husband, Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, had been killed in 1844 in the Carthage jail. Emma had six siblings living in Dixon, Amboy, and Sublette. She traveled upriver to Fulton from Nauvoo, IL, aboard the steamer the Uncle Toby. Her journey took six days with her children Julia 15, Joseph 13, Fredhist-emmahale-2.jpgerick 10, Alexander 8, and David 2.

In Fulton, Emma rented space in a large, white 2-story boarding house at the NE corner of 12th Avenue and 4th Street. She and the children found normalcy in Fulton's river setting and the winter refuge enabled them the opportunity to restore their physical and mental health.

At her death in 1879, a letter to the editor of the Fulton Journal wrote, "It seemed to me that the rocky hills of Pennsylvania had developed in her a character of uprightness and integrity that carried her bravely through trials that would have overwhelmed women of more common mould."

Emma was closely associated with three prominent men in Mormon history: 1) husband, Joseph Smith, 2) friend and antagonist, Brigham Young and 3) son, Joseph Smith III, first president of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints.

Published in Historical Articles