Birth: 22 Januray 1810 in Tottington, Lancashire, England
Death: 12 November 1893
William was born in England to Doctor Thomas Smith and his wife Alice. Because his father was a doctor, he was taught about medicine and herbs as a child. As he grew older, he became a very strong and large man that liked to roughhouse with friends.
William P. Smith married Mary Grimshaw (15 March 1815-14 November 1856), who probably had a different first name but went by her middle name. They were married on 23 May 1834 in Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, England.
It was in England that the couple first heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. William was baptized on 30 September 1840 and the family soon after began to prepare for their journey to meet up with the Saints in the United States.
William and Mary had eleven children: John Smith (died as a child), Mary Ann Smith, William Smith (died as a child), Ann Smith (died as an infant), Nathan Smith, Thomas Smith, Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Maria Smith (died as a child), Alice Smith and Richard Smith (died as an infant).
By the time the family had reached Nauvoo, only two of their children were alive. However, they did not give up. William worked on the Nauvoo Temple and constantly tried to improve his land.
On 19 January 1845, William was ordained to the priesthood, and after the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, William and Mary received their endowments, on 2 February 1846 (they were not sealed until 1863 when the work was done by proxy in Salt Lake).
In 1862, when the family had reached Utah, William served as the first counselor in the bishopric of the Union Ward as well as the “watermaster” for the town.
As Mary had died several years earlier, William married Anna Bengtsson on 12 December 1863. On this same day, Anna stood as the proxy for William to be sealed to Mary. This all happened in the Salt Lake Endowment House.
William and Anna’s sealing was canceled in 1867. William had become dissatisfied with the Church and had become associated with the Reorganized Church and Joseph Smith III. He was excommunicated on 21 April 1867 which caused his wife Anna to leave him and take their three children with her.
The children of William and Anna were: Elizabeth Ann Smith (died as a child), James Smith (died as an infant) and Zilphia Smith.
William then met and married Sarah Pidd. They were active in the reorganized church for the rest of their lives. Their only children were twins in 1865: Isaac Smith (died as an infant) and Sarah Pidd Smith (died as a child).
William was buried with his scriptures. Despite his disassociation with the LDS church, he had a love for the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
An excellent reference on the William P. Smith family can be found at this website:
To biographies about William P. Smith view the link below: