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Jesse Knight

Jesse Knight[1, 2]

Male 1845 - 1921  (75 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name Jesse Knight  [3
    Born 6 Sep 1845  Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Mar 1921  Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Cause: Apoplexy 
    Jesse Knight death certificate
    Death notice for Jesse Knight
    Buried 16 Mar 1921  Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstone
    Headstone - Detail
    Headstone - Sign
    Headstone
    Jesse Knight grave marker
    Knight family memorial marker
    Side of memorial with 'Faith in every footstep' pioneer plaque
    Person ID I227154  Full Tree | Timmins, Frint
    Last Modified 25 Jun 2014 

    Father Newel Knight
              b. 13 Sep 1800, Marlboro, Windham, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 11 Jan 1847, Fort Niobrara, Knox, Nebraska, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years) 
    Mother Lydia Goldthwaite
              b. 9 Jun 1812, Sutton, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 3 Apr 1884, Saint George, Washington, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 23 Nov 1835  Kirtland, Lake, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Family ID F61650  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Wife Amanda Melvina McEwan
              b. 13 Nov 1851, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 15 Dec 1932, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married 18 Jan 1869  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6, 8
    Children 
     1. Lydia Minerva Knight
              b. 19 May 1870, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 28 Dec 1887  (Age 17 years)
     2. Oscar Raymond Knight
              b. 8 Apr 1872
              d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Jesse William Knight
              b. 20 Aug 1874
              d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Amanda Inez Knight
              b. 8 Sep 1876, Payson, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 5 Jun 1937, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years)
     5. Jennie Pearl Knight
              b. 7 Nov 1885, Payson, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 12 Mar 1973, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     6. Addie Iona Knight
              b. Dec 1891, , , Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 26 Jun 2014 
    Family ID F87594  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Sep 1845 - Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 18 Jan 1869 - Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Lydia Minerva Knight - 19 May 1870 - Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Amanda Inez Knight - 8 Sep 1876 - Payson, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Jennie Pearl Knight - 7 Nov 1885 - Payson, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Apoplexy - 14 Mar 1921 - Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 16 Mar 1921 - Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Location Cemetery Hospital Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Photos
    Jesse Knight
    Jesse Knight
    Jesse Knight
    Jesse Knight Oval
    Jesse Knight's home in Provo, Utah

    Histories
    Biography

  • Notes 
    • http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~colby/colbyfam/d331.html
           Jesse Knight was born on 6 SEP 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. He was a pioneer and began the journey with the Edward Hunter Company on 17 JUN 1847 to Winter Quarters. He was ordained an Elder on 22 JAN 1891. Officiator: Varnee L. Haliday. He was ordained a High Priest on 3 MAR 1907. Officiator: David John He died on 14 MAR 1921 in Provo, Utah County, Utah. He was buried ? MAR 1921 in Provo, Utah County, Utah.
      JESSE KNIGHT

      When he was five years old, with his mother and her family of seven children, he arrived in Utah, a settlement three years old, one thousand miles from the nearest town. His father died a few days journey westward from the Missouri River.

      The homes in Utah at that time were improvised shelters, there were no public and few private schools, and the needs of home were never satisfied. With these surroundings he grew to manhood and fatherhood. He tasted life from every angle that could fall to a boy and a man, under such surroundings.

      He had not been an ardent Church member; while he was recognized as a Mormon, he had not been classed as a Latter-day Saint, he had not "had a testimony"; in other words, he had not been convinced as to the truth of the religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the truth that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

      In a dream, or vision, there was revealed to him that Utah was for the Mormons; that the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true; that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; also, that if he went to a certain place (indelibly imprinted on his mind), that he would find a great vein of rich. mineral, a mine. He followed the instructions given him in his dream, which took him to the now well-known Eureka mining district. There, away up on the mountain, he found the spot he had seen in his dream, and he uncovered the vein which led to a vast mineral body, which was opened up, only by much hard labor and many vicissitudes. Many times, for the lack of provisions, he would have to stop his work, but he never lost faith in his dream, and would return and continue his labor. At last the mine yielded the long sought precious mineral that made him a large fortune, which has multiplied and been added to.

      Before his dream came true, and while he was laboring (as only one can who has faith) to take from "Mother Earth" her treasure, he met Wilford Woodruff, then president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who proph-esied that "he (Jesse Knight) would save the Church's credit." Not long afterward, the mine began to yield. The Church had outstanding notes upon which the interest was nearly due, the country was in a panic and money almost impossible to get. The first car of ore came from the mine and gave much greater value than was expected. When the miners and debts incidental to the production of ore had been paid, there was ten thousand dollars remaining, which amount, Mr. Knight gave to President Woodruff, who paid the interest on the Church's notes, and its credit was saved.

      From thence on, he knew the truth of dreams, visions and prophecies, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the restoration of God's Church on the earth.

      There are many pages in the history of Mr. Knight's life that forces one to believe that the hand of providence guides our way.

      He has a Christian, upright family, is in possession of great wealth, and is honored by his fellowman. Thusly endowed, many a man is raised above the multitude. It causes him to forget the griefs and hardships that the less fortunate bear. Not so with Jesse Knight--he has not changed--he hears the cry of the needy, has sympathy for those in sorrow, his heart throbs with sentiment and love for human kind, which gives him a mannerism, a receptiveness and a simplicity that makes one know that the Spirit of Jesus Christ is reflected in man on earth.

      He is a beloved father, an honored citizen, a kind, assisting friend, a public benefactor, a Christian.

      Comments: Jesse was founder of the town of Raymond, Canada. He built the first sugar factory in the Northwest territory, being the second sugar factory in Canada. He was president of the Knight Investment Company's industries: sugar company, power company, woolen mills, smelter company, Iron Blossom mining company, Colorado mining company, Beck Tunnel, Black Jack and Dragon Consolidated Mining Companies, railroad, reservoir, light and irrigation companies. Jesse served the party in many capacities and was unanimously nominated as democratic candidate for governor of Utah, but refused to accept. He was a large contributor to church and charity. He was the prime mover and principal contributor in the founding of the Maeser Hall of the Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He was director of Utah Pioneer Book Publishing Company.


      Knight, Jesse, a prominent Elder of the Church and a resident of Provo, Utah county, Utah, was born Sept. 6, 1845, at Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, the son of Newel Knight and Lydia Goldthwait. He participated as a child with the Saints in the exodus from Nauvoo in 1846 and came to Utah in 1850, crossing the plains and mountains in a company led by Edward Hunter, whose train arrived in Salt Lake City Oct. 13, 1850. The family made their home temporarily in Salt Lake City. Jesse remained with the family, who resided on the Church farm, near Salt Lake City, until he was eleven years of age, when he moved with his mother to Provo. He started out for himself by herding cows, gleaning potatoes, etc., and in due course of time he earned enough to buy a horse, the first property he owned for himself. He also engaged in freighting with ox teams and followed that business for eleven years. In 1862 he made a trip to the Missouri river after emigrants; in 1863 he made a trip to Montana, teaming and freighting, and in 1866 he participated in the Black Hawk Indian war. Bro. Knight was baptized when about eight years of age and was ordained an Elder Jan. 22, 1891, by Vernee L. Halliday. He was ordained a High Priest March 3, 1907, by David John. In 1868 (Jan. 18th) Brother Knight married Amanda McEwan, who was born Nov. 13, 1851, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the daughter of John McEwan and Amanda Higbee. The children of Jesse Knight and Amanda McEwan are Lydia Minerva (died Dec. 28, 1887), Oscar Raymond, Jesse William, Amanda Inez, Jennie Pearl and Addie Iona. For about twenty years after his marriage Bro. Knight took little interest in the Church. The loss of confidence in men, the faithfulness of his parents, sickness and healing in his family led him to seek the Lord in earnestness and humility. Thereby, in 1887 - 1888, he received a testimony of the gospel and of the authority of the Priesthood, and he decided that the most effectual way to do good was through the organization of the Church. Since that time he has developed numerous mining properties. Through his efforts three settlements have been started, namely, Knightville, in Tintic, Utah, Raymond, in Alberta, Canada, and Storrs, in Carbon county, Utah. Each of these towns have a branch of the Church, and none of them have ever had a saloon. Much has been done by Bro. Knight in getting water on to dry lands, developing power plants, and home industries, and in all things his motive has always been as much to help others as to make profits. Brother Knight built the first sugar factory in the Northwest Territory, Canada, the second sugar factory in Canada. He is president of all the Knight Investment Company's industries, including a sugar company, power company, woolen mills, smelter company, coal and other mining companies, railroad, reservoir, light and irrigation companies and others. A few years ago he was unanimously nominated by the Democratic party as candidate for Governor of Utah, but he refused to accept. In June, 1907, he visited the place of his father's death and burial, which is seven miles from Mobrara, Nebraska. He found remnants of the old fort which was built by a company of Saints who wintered there in 1846 - 1847. This company was the first to start from Nauvoo for the mountains in 1846, but owing to the call for the Mormon Battalion they could not continue the journey that year and the Ponca Indians inviting them to winter on their reservation they spent the winter of 1846 - 1847 on the Running Water. The place of the fort is still an Indian reservation. Bro. Knight erected a monument in commemoration of his father and the other Saints who died in that place on account of unusual privation and hardship. Bro. Knight was the principal contributor to the Maeser Memorial Hall of the Brigham Young University at Provo, which was built under the direction of the Alumni Association. As his parents were ready to help the Church in the beginning, so throughout Bro. Knight is a liberal contributor to Church and Charity.
      ***

      Daughters of Utah Pioneers Lesson for March 2003, compiled by Mary N. Porter B. Harris

      Jesse Knight was a simple man and pioneer who became a beloved father, an honored citizen, a kind friend, and public benefactor.  He was born Sep. 6, 8145, in Nauvoo, Illinois, the fifth child of Newel Knight and Lydia Glodthwaite Knight.  Jesse was seven month old on April 17, 1846, when his parents and five older brothers and sisters left Nauvoo with the George Miller Company.  They accepted the invitation of the Ponca Indians to settle in their territory in Nebraska near Niobrara.  There they spent the fall and winter.  His father, Newel Knight, died of pneumonia on January 11, 1847, leaving his mother to care for the children.  Her stepson Samuel was sixteen years old at the time.  The family went on to Winter Quarters, where they spent the next four years trying to save money for their trip to the West.

      In the spring of 1850, the family left, traveling with the Edward Hunter Company and arrived in Utah October 13, 1850.  Jesse was five years old.  Four days after their arrival in the valley, they settled on a small farm in Salt Lake,  In 1858, when Jesse was eleven, the family moved to Provo. 

      At the age of fifteen, Jesse traveled with an ox team to haul a load of oats to the overland mail station in Egan Canyon near Ely, Nevada.  It was a lonely trip for the young boy.  When he was sixteen he was employment by Ben Roberts as a logger for $30 per month.  This was later raised to $50 per month.  During his employment as a logger he made many hazardous trips into Nevada and Montana.

      At the age of seventeen, he went back to Florence, Nebraska, with the Horton D. Haight Company, carrying supplies to help bring back several thousand immigrants.  In 1867 he participated in the Black Hawk War.

      He was preparing to marry sixteen-year-old Amanda McEwan in October 1868, but in September he had heard of the approach of the Union Pacific Railroad into the area.  They postponed the wedding, and he immediately bought an ox team and wagon as well as a load of barley and went to meet the railroad crews to sell his goods.  He obtained a job with the railroad, running a plow at $20 per day and worked at this for several months.  The wedding date was re-set for January 1, 1869.  He started home in plenty of time to make that date but got snowbound in Provo Canyon.  The couple eventually married on January 18, 1869, in the Endowment House.  They made their first home in Provo.

      Jesse started his ranching business soon after he was married by investing his money in land and livestock.  With Amanda's encouragement, he traded their home in Provo for a good-sized ranch two miles west of Payson. Five of their six children were born at the ranch home.

      For twenty years after his marriage, Jesse took little interest in the LDS Church.  In fact, he felt some opposition to the Church, enough to cause arguments with his mother, Lydia, who was a very devout member.  Jesse commented: "I was always in sympathy with the weak or with those who seemed unable to defend themselves.  Because I felt the some Latter-day Saints in early days were prejudiced against the few non-Mormons who were among us, I was often in sympathy with the outsiders… But when among outsiders in Montana, I was always known as the young Mormon, and [I] defended the Mormons."

      The peaceful, happy life at the ranch was shattered when a dead rat got into the well which the family used for their drinking water.  The children all came down with a high fever and some of them were critically ill.  The doctor gave little hope for two-year-old Jennie.  At this point Amanda asked the elders to administer to Jennie.  At first Jesse refused, saying that he thought it would be hypocritical when the doctors had given her up.  But their young son Ray was sent to summon two neighbors.  As soon as the elders finished administering to her, the little girl awakened, raised up on her pillow, and noticed the flowers in the window.  Each of the sick children gradually recovered.  This experience greatly strengthened Jesse's faith.

      The ranch was often visited by mining men traveling to and from the mines at Eureka in Juab County, and occasionally Jesse went prospecting himself a few times.  On one of these occasions, on the east side of Godiva Mountain, he sat down under a pine tree to rest.  He believed he received a message that "This country is here for the Mormons."  He felt that it was a message for him to prospect in the area.  He was not a geologist, only a simple prospector; but he carefully studied the rock from which the ore from many mines in the area came.  He prospected around the area until he found what he thought was a promising site.  He asked Jared Roundy, an expert miner, to look at the place and give him advice.  Roundy was not impressed, and when Jesse offered him a partnership in any mining operation, he refused, saying, "An interest in a damned old humbug like this?"

      It took several years of hard labor to open up the mine and develop it into a paying proposition.  Many times he had to stop working for lack of provisions, but he never lost faith in his dream and would return as soon as he could and continue his work.  At last the mine began to produce.  In August 1896 Jesse patented his claim on the side of Mount Godiva and gave it the name of "Humbug."  When the first car of ore came from the mine, it was assayed at a much greater value than expected.  After the miners and debts incurred in producing the ore had been paid, there was $10,000 remaining.  Jesse gave that money to President Wilford Woodruff to help pay for some of the debt incurred by the Church during a time when the Church was experiencing some financial problems.  He was also a heavy contributor to the Brigham Young University.

      Jesse continued to develop mining properties.  The Humbug Mine was a very rich strike, and the second shipment of ore brought in $11, 189.  He later owned and operated the Colorado, Iron Blossom, Dragon, Beck Tunnel, and Uncle Sam mines.  It has been said that his income from the mining operations averaged $10, 000 per month.  At one time he was reputed to be one of the largest tithe payers in the LDS church.

      Through his direct efforts and financing, three different settlements were started:  Knightsville in Juab County near Eureka, Utah; Raymond in Alberta, Canada; and Storrs in Carbon County, Utah.  Each of the towns had a branch of the Church, none had a saloon, and the inhabitants of all three towns knew and respected their benefactor.  He was affectionately called "Uncle Jesse" by his employees.  Knightsville and Storrs were eventually abandoned and became ghost towns.

      Knightsville was the most famous of the three towns he established.  It was located on the mountain summit about one and one-half miles east of Eureka.  Jesse at first built a bunkhouse for his workmen.  He was appalled at the way the miners would work so hard for months for their pay and then "blow" an entire paycheck in the saloons of Eureka.  To help his employees and their families have better lives, he decided to build his own town - one without a saloon.

      The first home in Knightsville was built in 1898 by Paris Boyle with Jesse providing the money.  Soon other families followed until there were twenty homes.   Eventually there were about sixty-five homes in the prosperous little community.  Jesse built, at his own expense, a small one-room church for the town.  An LDS branch was organized with John Roundy as presiding elder.  A school was started with Knight hiring miner James Higginson of Diamond to move there with his eight children so that the school population would be large enough to entitle the community to county school funds.  By 1907, the town population was over a thousand.  In 1909 a new brick elementary school was built, mostly at Knighthis family, or living what he believed to be an immoral life.  The dream of a perfect little town did not last, however, for gradually the ore was worked out, and the mines closed.  In 1915, the town was dismantled, and the last citizen moved away.

      In addition to his mining efforts, Jesse worked to get water to dry lands throughout the West, and he developed power plants and numerous home industries.  The sugar factory he built at Raymond, Alberta, Canada, was the first sugar factory in the Northwest Territory of Canada and the second sugar factory in all of Canada.  He organized the Knight Investment Company which owned a sugar company, a power company, several woolen mills, a smelter, coal and other mining operations, a railroad, a reservoir, and both a light company and an irrigation company as well as various other businesses.

      In June 1901, Jesse sent Isaac Riddle to Niobrara, Nebraska, near the Santee Indian Reservation and the southern border of South Dakota, to locate the burial place of his father.  The graves of those buried at Niobrara had been obliterated.  The remnants of the old fort, including ashes from fireplaces in the barracks, were found.  In the spring of 1907, Jesse, his daughter Inez Knight Allen, his daughter-in-law Lucy Jane B. Knight, his elder brother Samuel, President George H. Brimhall of Brigham Young University, and J. W. Townsend of Crete, Nebraska, visited the old campsite and arranged for a monument to be built in honor of Jesse's father and the other Saints who died there.

      Jesse Knight died March 14, 1921, in Salt Lake City at the age of seventy-six.  He never forgot his humble beginnings and was always ready to lend a hand to those in need.  He once said; "My means are the Lord's to be used in the right way.  I hope that I will never become selfish, but that I will be blessed with wisdom to use my means as the Lord would have me use them." [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S2244] Theda Laws or Irene Louise Potter, Personal Genealogical Research, Compiled.

    2. [S1535] Personal knowledge of Clark Timmins, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]\..

    3. [S2891] Personal knowledge of Marla Kirby, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]\..

    4. [S1098] Sarah P. Collinwood, The Descendants of George Palmer and Phebe Draper  (Provo, UT: J. Grant Stevenson, 1962.), 444..

    5. [S1129] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index (R)  (Copyright (c) 1980, 2002, data as of April 3, 2007).

    6. [S2892] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS]., "International Genealogical Index." Digital images.  ( FamilySearch . http://www.familysearch.org), (http://www.familysearch.org)..

    7. [S2900] William G. Hartley, Stand by My Servant Joseph  (Deseret Book 2003).

    8. [S30] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, International Genealogical Index(R)  (Copyright (c) 1980, 2002), downloaded 28 JUL 2008.


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