William Jared Pratt

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william jared pratt

William Jared Pratt, son of William Dickinson Pratt and Wealthy Eddy, was born in Nauvoo, Illinois June 27, 1844, the day that the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred in the Carthage Jail. He lived much of his tender years under clouds of persecution in Illinois and eventually emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley with his parents at age seven. In 1866, he moved to Payson, Utah County, then on to the southern Idaho community of Franklin.

William married his first wife, Alice Smart, In 1863. Following the practice of polygamy then prevalent, he took a second wife, Charlotte Chandler Parkinson, daughter of Samuel Rose and Arabella Chandler Parkinson on April 10, 1872.

During the mid 1860’s Bro. Pratt served as a Bishop in the Clinton, Idaho ward.

As a frontiersman and pioneer, he assisted in the settlement of Wilford, Idaho in 1883, helping to build schoolhouses and working for public betterment.

An interesting story recounted in the “Logan Journal” recounts his arrest for cohabitation during the period when church members were being persecuted for following the practice of polygamy. On May 10, 1885, a party of eight armed men on fleet horses surrounded William’s home in the middle of the night. They rushed into the unlocked house and surrounded the beds of the Pratt family, awakening them and demanding that the father surrender. He offered no resistance. The posse had no legal warrant or authorization. They ceased William and after picking up a few more victims, rode to Blackfoot, Idaho and placed the men in jail where they awaited trial.

The mockery of justice indicted the men for unlawful cohabitation, to which they all pleaded guilty, after which the men were allowed to go home and arrange affairs before being sentenced to prison for four months and a $300 fine.

William Jared wrote a letter to the editor of the “Deseret News” while he was in prison, stating that they were being very well treated, all of them being in good health and spirits. At that time, they felt they were serving the Lord by suffering this insult.

In 1904, William Jared moved to Alldon, Cassia County, Idaho, where he resided the last five years of his life, Death came June 1909, caused by an unknown illness. The obituary says he took ill and was sent to the Latter-day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment. An operation was performed, from which he never recovered.

Both of his wives and nine of his twelve children survived him. His posterity also numbered ninety nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren at the time of his demise.

[compiled by Virginia Allen, May 2007]