Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sarah Granger Kimball

Sarah Granger Kimball about the time she married Hiram Kimball--isn't she beautiful?
Their home has the second most magnificent view of the temple only to be exceeded by mine. Every day she could look out her window and see the progress on that magnificent structure. She also saw the temple burning in 1848, and watched the tornado of 1850 knock it down. She had vision and spunk. In addition to all of the things she did for the Relief Society, she served on the committee for Women's Sufferage (Votes for Women--step in time!), and attended as a delegate the Constitutional Convention of the State of Utah. Her 75th Birthday was spent throwing a party for the widows and poor of her ward, and she paid for their transportation to her home. When the home was restored and dedicated in 1982, Barbara B. Smith, who recently passed away, and who was at the time serving as the General Relief Society President of the Church declared, "WE WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT SOMETHING BIG CAN COME OF SOMETHING SMALL. WE HOPE THAT WOMEN WILL UNDERSTAND THAT WITHIN THEIR OWN HOMES, THINGS CAN HAPPEN THAT WILL HAVE GREAT SIGNIFICANCE IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD." Sarah understood that and showed all her life.
This is the Kimball family Bible--a gift from Hiram to Sarah. In it is recorded their family history up through the birth of their first grandchild in Sarah's own handwriting. Now this is another one of those miss the forest for the trees pictures, because I did not take a picture of the room in which the sisters of Nauvoo first met to determine a women's organization needed to be established. Margaret Cook, Sarah's seamstress, wanted to do something to help the work of the temple. She could sew but had no means to purchase material. Sarah had means to buy the material, but couldn't sew (maybe that's why I like her so much), so they determined that their efforts together could make a difference. They wanted to share that with others and invited them to this very living room. It was determined a consititution should be drafted by Zion's Poetess, Eliza R. Snow. When it was shown to the prophet, Joseph Smith, he responded, "Tell the sisters their offering is accepted of the Lord, be has something better in mind for the women." Later he said of the Relief Society, "The church was never fully organized until the women were thus organized."

Hiram Kimball was a very succcessful merchant of Commerce when the Granger family moved here. He was well respected and well-to-do. He had a frame home that was so well built that it still stands today. The foundation of her store is out in the cow pasture behind the home. I've got to meet the farmer that rents it and see if I can walk out there to see it. He was 14 years Sarah's senior, and not a member of our faith, but when he followed the family back to Kirtland (sent there at the request of Joseph Smith to take care of the financial mess and dispose of properties) to ask for her hand in marriage, they readily agreed. He married Sarah, and then in 1843 joined the Church. His business kept them from going west in 1846, but in 1851, Sarah had enough and packed up their two boys (the third son to be born while in Salt Lake) and moved west. He joined her a year later. He was called on a mission to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and enroute, the boiler of the ship blew up and he was killed. Sarah was a widow for about thirty years.

The silver cup in the upper right hand corner of the china closet was given to Sarah in token of appreciation of her many years of service in 1880. She served as third counselor to Eliza R. Snow in the General Relief Society Presidency and was secretary to the General Board for many years. Eliza asked Sarah for an outline of the board that she established to run her ward. It was from that outline that guidelines for ward Relief Society Boards were established. Although she was not "honored" by what she did to begin Relief Society, she was thought of with great esteem by Eliza R. Snow, and that would be one of the greatest things that I could think of as a word of praise.

This is somewhat ironic. The rocking chair with the paper sitting on was made by Brigham Young. The Brigham Young house has a chair made by his brother, Phineas. You just never know where things are going to pop up in Nauvoo. Sarah served as Relief Society President of the Salt Lake Fifteenth Ward for 41 years (just shoot me now, as Doug Myler can tell you I was begging at the end of two for release). I guess she deserves to have a chair of Brigham's in her home, and probably a lot more--several crowns of glory.

Sarah and Hiram's bedroom. This is located on the second floor on the south wall, so it would have been a very warm room. Although the shaving stand did not belong to Hiram, men of affluence were able to have them,and he was a man of affluence. You notice the baby cradle. When their son, Oliver, was born, Sarah went to Hiram and asked how much he was worth to him. Hiram told her a lot. She asked, "A thousand dollars?" Hiram agreed at least that. She asked if he was half hers. He, of course, responded in the affirmative. Then she said, "I'd like my half of that money donated to the building of the temple." As Hiram gave $500 to Joseph Smith, he related why that money was being given.


Shelli Dame said...

Aunt Marcia! i didn't know you had a blog! What wonderful photos you have, and amazing stories, too! I hope you know we miss you and love you dearly!

Thomas said...

WOW, Sarah Granger Kimball is now one of my new favorite "heroes".
Thanks for that wonderful story about an elect lady I didn't know anything about!!! I loved the pics too, almost feel like I'm in Nauvoo when I visit your blog. Love and Miss you. Sher said...

I really love the stories of the early sisters. I am so drawn to the simple but hard way of life. I admire them so. Thanks for these pictures.

cindy g

Camille Cottle said...

Hello! I do not know you but was so inspired to find your blog. I was recently asked to portrait Sarah Kimball at a Stake Youth Conference in Salt Lake City and was online looking or getting any information I could on her. Thank you for your beautiful photos. I would love any more info you could give me on her. I need to dress as her and talk about her next to her grave in Salt Lake.