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Biography

Benjamin Lynn Clapp was born 19 August 1814 in West Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, United States to John Ludwig Clapp (1772-1848) and Margaret Ann Loy (1773-1855) and died 31 October 1865 in Liberty, San Joaquin County, California, United States of murdered by doctor. He married Mary Rachael Shultz (1815-1874) 1832 in Kentucky. He married Elvira Corinda Randall (1825-1876) 1846 in Illinois. He married Ane Kjersten Mortensen (1837-1898) 1856 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. He married Ann Bingham Thomas (1813-1887) 26 January 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. Ancestors are from the United States, Germany.


Kentucky Missionary

Although Clapp was born in Alabama, by 1834 he was living in Kentucky where he met missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized. He was ordained a Priest by Elder Wilford Woodruff (later a leading elder in the church who would become its fourth president) on February 26, 1836 and ordained an Elder December 2 of the same year. He labored as a missionary in Kentucky in 1838. Elder Woodruff writes of one experience on a missionary journey with Elder Clapp:

"While traveling in the night, with Brother Benjamin L. Clapp and others, a tremendous storm of wind and rain overtook us. We came to a creek which had swollen to such an extent by the rain, that we could not cross without swimming our horses; several of the company were females. We undertook to head the stream, to ford it; but in the attempt, in the midst of the darkness and the raging of the wind and rain, we were lost in the thick woods, amidst the rain, wind, creeks and fallen treetops. We crossed streams nearly twenty times. I was reminded of Paul's perils by water; but the Lord was merciful unto us in the midst of our troubles, for while we were groping in the dark, running the risk of killing both ourselves and animals, by riding off precipitous bluffs, a bright light suddenly shone round about us, and revealed our perilous situation, as were upon the edge of a deep gulf. The light continued with us until we found a house, and learned the right road; then the light disappeared, and we were enabled to reach the house of Brother Henry Thomas, at nine o'clock, all safe, having rode twenty miles, five hours in the storm; and we felt to thank the Lord for our preservation."[1]

Benjamin L. Clapp with his family was among the first company of saints to emigrate to Far West, Missouri, from Kentucky. This company left Terrapin, Kentucky, Sept. 19, 1836. In Far West he passed through severe persecutions, and after participating in the Battle of Crooked River he, together with others fled into the wilderness in order to escape their enemies. They traveled through the northern part of Missouri, and the southern part of Iowa and finally reached Illinois in safety.

1st Alabama Mission: 1843

Times Seasons 1842 Agents

Page 798 of the Times & Seasons (16 May 1842) listing subscription agents including several for the Dixie States. (Source: [JosephSmithPapers.org])

As early as May 1842, Benjamin Clapp is listed as a subscription agent for the church's newspaper, the Times & Seasons for the Alabama region. From Tuscaloosa, Alabama he passed westwards through Pickens County, Alabama and Noxubee County, Mississippi where he baptized James Richey (1821-1890) and many members of his extended family.


In Jan 1844, the T&S Prints a big report of his successful 1842-1843 mission to Kemper County and Noxubee County, Mississippi.

2nd Alabama Mission: 1845

Seven Presidents of the Seventy

Clapp was set apart as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy on December 2, 1845. He replaced Daniel S. Miles, who had died. After moving west, he settled in Ephraim, Utah Territory where he conflicted with Bishop Warren S. Snow. He was subsequently dropped from the Presidency and excommunicated for apostasy on April 7, 1859. Jacob Gates took his place in the church hierarchy.[2]

1850 Hunter Wagon Company

Wagontrain1861

Numbered amoung the participants in the Edward Hunter 1850 Pioneer Company, a early Mormon pioneer wagon train traveling from to Salt Lake City in the early summer. 261 individuals and 67 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs). This company was organized at 12-mile creek near the Missouri River. It was the first Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company of LDS Church. Its leader, Edward Hunter would go to become the 3rd presiding bishop of the church the following year. Several diary/biographical accounts exist for this group.

Elder Clapp traveled with his 2 wives, his mother and 9 children. They would settle for a length of time in Salt Lake City before moving to Sanpete County, Utah in about 1857.

3rd Mission : Texas 1855

1856 Clapp Wagon Company

Wagontrain1861

Numbered amoung the participants in the Benjamin Clapp 1856 Pioneer Company, a early Mormon pioneer wagon train traveling from Iowa City, Iowa to Salt Lake City in the early summer, arriving there circa 21 Sep 1856. It was led by Elder Benjamin L. Clapp, one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy of the LDS Church, who was returning home from a mission to Texas. Several diary/biographical accounts exist for this group.

Move to California

Clapp died (at least after the birth of his last child in 1864) probably in Liberty, California on October 31, 1865, "with a firm conviction of the truth of the latter-day work." By this time, some of his wives and children had become members of the RLDS Church and he likely would have done so as well had he lived longer, as the rest of his family converted after his death. (See below : Marriage and Family)


Marriage and Family

Benjamin Clapp practiced plural marriage, being married to four wives.

1st Marriage: Mary Schultz

Most of this family group was in Utah in 1859 and in Santa Cruz County, California by 1864, afterwards most of them scattered across California.

  1. Frank Lewis Clapp (1833-1892) - by 1856 had settled in California.
  2. William N Clapp (1834-1888) - moved across Kansas and Illinois before moving to Southern California in 1872.
  3. Joseph Carlos Clapp (1837-1912) - moved to California, Idaho and then joined RLDS group in Missouri.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Clapp (1840-1904) - by 1860 had settled in California.
  5. Benjamin Clapp (1842-1843)
  6. Margaret Ann Clapp (1845-1896) - by 1863 had settled in Santa Cruz County, California.
  7. Sarah Mariah Clapp (1847-1904) - 1860 first marriage in Salt Lake City, but by 1862 had settled in Santa Cruz Co. 1850 family census lists birthplace as Indian Territory, probably Nebraska. 1860 census gives birthplace as Iowa.
  8. Nancy Jane Clapp (1848-1892)
  9. John Ethan Clapp (1849-1892)
  10. Rachael Clapp (1853-)

2nd Marriage: Elvira Randall

  1. Corinda Elvira Clapp (1848-1923)
  2. Joel Henry Clapp (1850-1919)
  3. Benjamin Riley Clapp (1852-1902)
  4. Thomas James Clapp (1855-1904)
  5. Alfred Loy Clapp (1857-1867)
  6. Almena Deseret Clapp (1860-1885)
  7. Francis Ann Clapp (1862-)
  8. Mattie Laurine Clapp (1864-1908) - Members of Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints. Her husband was an ordained minister for over 50 years. Home at 615 Spencer Ave San Jose, Ca.

3rd Marriage: Christina Mortensen

Ane Kjersten Mortensen (1837-1898) "Christina" emigrated with her family from Denmark and in 1856 joined Ben's wagon train from Iowa City, Iowa. Barely one month after their arrival they got married. She bore Benjamin twin boys in 1857. When Benjamin left for California in 1859, she stayed behind with her family in the Sevier County, Utah area and remained active in the LDS Church and married her sister's husband (Lars Nielsen). The twin boys were married on the same day (14-Dec-1882) in Salt Lake City.

4th Marriage: Ann Thomas

Ann Bingham Thomas (1813-1887) married to Ben in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846. In 1847 she traveled to Utah with her father's family in the Edward Hunter wagon train. In 1851, after her sister died in childbirth, Ann married her sister's husband, Albert Collins. She died in Snowflake, Arizona.



Children


Offspring of Benjamin Lynn Clapp and Mary Rachael Shultz (1815-1874)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Frank Lewis Clapp (1833-1892) 6 January 1833 Calloway County, Kentucky, United States 18 June 1892 Santa Ana, Orange County, California, United States Ruth Whithead Condit (1839-1911)

William N Clapp (1834-1888) 15 August 1834 Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, United States 3 June 1888 Pixley, Tulare County, California, United States Melissa Sylvia Brooks (1843-1927)

Joseph Carlos Clapp (1837-1912) 24 August 1837 Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, United States 31 January 1912 Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, United States Sarah Servilla Austin (1856-1912)

Mary Elizabeth Clapp (1840-1904) 9 February 1840 Illinois, United States 19 February 1904 Walla Walla, Walla Walla County, Washington, United States John Lear (1829-)
Robert Jackson Wolf (1835-)

Benjamin Clapp (1842-1843) 13 May 1842 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States 13 November 1843 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States
Margaret Ann Clapp (1845-1896) 14 May 1845 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States 16 April 1896 Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California, United States Andrew Christian Stuart (1835-1914)

Sarah Mariah Clapp (1847-1904) 13 April 1847 Indian Territory, Nebraska, United States 1 January 1904 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States Joseph Breson (1838-)
Samuel Lear (1832-1877)
James G Moore (1846-)

Nancy Jane Clapp (1848-1892) 6 January 1848 Iowa, United States November 1892 Benjamin Franklin Hartley (1842-)

John Ethan Clapp (1849-1892) 1853 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 1892 Tulare County, California, United States
Rachael Clapp (1853-)

Offspring of Benjamin Lynn Clapp and Elvira Corinda Randall (1825-1876)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Corinda Elvira Clapp (1848-1923) 28 September 1848 Iowa, United States 13 March 1892 Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana, United States Alexander Burton Smith (1840-1924)

Joel Henry Clapp (1850-1919) 7 August 1850 Utah, United States 4 September 1919 San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States Harriet Genora Moore (1860-1928)

Benjamin Riley Clapp (1852-1902) 30 October 1852 Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 18 October 1902 Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, United States
Thomas James Clapp (1855-1904) 3 January 1855 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 4 March 1904 Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, United States Rosa Gilkey (1858-1911)

Alfred Loy Clapp (1857-1867) 2 July 1857 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 18 February 1867 Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California, United States
Almena Deseret Clapp (1860-1885) 25 January 1860 Eklhorn, San Joaquin County, California, United States 26 December 1885 Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California, United States James Frederick Young (1849-)

Francis Ann Clapp (1862-) 19 May 1862 Eklhorn, San Joaquin County, California, United States
Mattie Laurine Clapp (1864-1908) 15 November 1864 Eklhorn, San Joaquin County, California, United States 6 February 1908 Santa Clara County, California, United States Charles Washington Hawkins (1852-1936)

Offspring of Benjamin Lynn Clapp and Ane Kjersten Mortensen (1837-1898)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elijah Charles Clapp (1857-1913) 11 December 1857 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 12 December 1913 Iona, Bonneville County, Idaho, United States Mary Caroline Nielsen (1865-1937)

Elisha Drown Clapp (1857-1914) 11 December 1857 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 13 January 1914 Logan, Cache County, Utah, United States Harriet Cecelia Snow (1861-1937)

Siblings


Offspring of John Ludwig Clapp and Margaret Ann Loy (1773-1855)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Lewis Clapp (1792-1840)
Mary Elizabeth Clapp (1793-1849)
Maria Barbara Clapp (1795-1889)
Soloman Clapp (1795-1881)
Helen Clapp (1796-)
Sophia Clapp (1798-)
Martha Clapp (1799-)
Neusi Clapp (1799-)
Joel Clapp (1801-1854)
Catherine Elizabeth Clapp (1808-1846)
Benjamin Lynn Clapp (1814-1865) 19 August 1814 West Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, United States 31 October 1865 Liberty, San Joaquin County, California, United States Mary Rachael Shultz (1815-1874)
Elvira Corinda Randall (1825-1876)
Ane Kjersten Mortensen (1837-1898)
Ann Bingham Thomas (1813-1887)

Vital Records

1850 US Census : Salt Lake City

1850 US Census taken at Salt Lake City:

  • Benjamin Clapp Male 37 Alabama
  • Mary Clapp Female 36 Indiana
  • Lewis Clapp Male 18 Kentucky
  • William M Clapp Male 16 Kentucky
  • Joseph C Clapp Male 14 Missouri
  • Mary Elizth Clapp Female 11 Illinois
  • Margaret Clapp Female 6 Illinois
  • Sarah Clapp Female 4 Indian Territory (Nebraska or Iowa - See 1860 Census)
  • Nancy J Clapp Female 1 Deseret (1850's name for Utah)


1860 US Census : Gilroy CA

Late 1859/early 1860, most of the Clapp family had moved to Gilroy in Santa Cruz County, California. Joseph Breson would later marry Sarah. Baby Rachael is missing from this census list.

  • Mary Clapp Female 41 Tenn
  • Joseph C Clapp Male 22 Mo
  • Sarah M Clapp Female 13 Iowa
  • Nancy J Clapp Female 10 Iowa
  • John E Clapp Male 7 Utah Ter
  • Joseph Breson Male 22 Canada



References


  1. ^ Benjamin L. Clapp = Grandpa Bill's General Authority Pages
  2. ^ Benjamin L. Clapp = Grandpa Bill's General Authority Pages


Residences

Footnotes (including sources)

Contributors

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