David Henry Cannon was born 23 April 1838 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom to George Cannon (1794-1844) and Anne Quayle (1798-1842) and died 24 December 1924 St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Wilhelmina Logan Mousley (1840-1918) 15 January 1859 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. He married Josephine Langley Crossgrove (1848-1929) 19 October 1867 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. He married Rhoda Ann Knell (1858-1945) 20 June 1877 in St. George, Washington County, Utah.

Early Years

His parents were George and Ann Quayle Cannon, both from the Isle of Man (an island between England and Ireland.) His parents were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 February 1840 by his uncle, the Apostle (and later Church president), John Taylor (1808-1887).

Two and a half years later on 17 September 1842 the family left for America on the ship, Sidney. At that time the family consisted of the parents, George and Ann and five children, George Q. (15), Mary Alice (13), Ann (10), Angus Munn (8), David Henry (4), and Leonora (almost 2). Two other children had died in childhood. David's mother, Ann, was expecting another child as they began their journey and was suffering badly with morning sickness. Her husband tried to get her to postpone the journey but she felt that uniting her family with the main body of the Church in Nauvoo, Illinois was more important than her life.

As a consequence of her pregnancy combined with her terrible seasickness, David's mother did lose her life on this journey. She was buried at sea. Four-year-old David had to be tied to the mast to be prevented from throwing himself into the sea after his mother. David remembered this devastating moment for the rest of his life.

Miracle of the Quayle

David H.'s father died on 17 August 1844. He was working in St. Louis, Missouri which is about 200 miles down the Mississippi River from Nauvoo. One account says that he died of heat stroke. George Cannon's second wife, Mary, had a baby daughter, Elizabeth, a few months after the death of her husband. In 1845 Mary Alice's new husband, Charles Lambert, was appointed guardian of the three youngest orphan Cannon children: Angus, David H., and Leonora. The two older children, George Q. and Ann, were living with their Aunt Leonora and Uncle John Taylor.

The Lamberts and the Cannon children stayed in Nauvoo until they were driven out by the mobs. They were quite destitute and couldn't accompany the Saints who left in the Spring. They stayed on the west side of the Mississippi until they could obtain a team to take them on to Winter Quarters. They suffered many hardships at that time. David H. was eight years old at this time and he tells of the miracle of the quail, "...we witnessed the power of the Lord in sending great flocks of quail that fed the saints who were fairly in a state of starvation, through being driven from their homes in this inclement season of the year without shelter or sufficient food to eat. These birds were caught by thousands."

Migration to Utah

The way was opened and they were able to go on to Winter Quarters near present-day Omaha, Nebraska, where they stayed to work for a few years until they had the means to cross the plains. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the middle of October in 1849 where they found that their older brother, George Q. had made about 6,000 adobe bricks for a home for them before he left on a mission. He left just three days before their arrival.

On 17 February 1850 David H. Cannon was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder John White. In 1851 at the age of twelve David H. went to work in the Deseret News Office as an apprentice to the printing business. He was the first "printer's devil" in Utah territory. David H. also helped his brother-in-law, Charles Lambert, quarry rock and work on the farm when he had time away from the printing office.

Missions to California and England

In May 1856 at the age of eighteen David H. was called on a mission to California and was asked to leave the next day. He had very little means but with the Lord's help he was able to get enough together to leave. After a journey which included driving a team for transportation, walking over the mountains, and working on a steamer for passage down the river, he arrived in San Francisco. After his arrival he joined his brother, George Q., and helped with the publication of the Hawaiian Book of Mormon and the Western Standard, a newspaper they started there. He also preached in the country when he had the opportunity.

David was released from his California mission in 1857 and traveled home with George Q.'s wife and baby on the southern route through what is now southern Utah. They arrived back home in Salt Lake City on 1 January 1858.[1]

A year later on 15 February 1859 David H. Cannon married Miss Wilhelmina Logan Mousley (1840-1918). A year later he left on a mission to England, assigned to the Manchester Conference. On his way home he visited Martin Harris (1783-1875), David Whitmer (1805-1888), and the gravesite of Oliver Cowdery (1806-1850). Both Martin Harris and David Whitmer gave testimony to him of the angel showing them the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. And he heard reports that Oliver Cowdery bore witness to the same and had rejoined the Church before his death.

David Cannon 1861 Pioneer Company

1861 Wagon train in Echo Canyon

David Cannon 1861 Pioneer Company was the first of 12 Mormon Pioneer Wagon Trains to departed from Florence (now Omaha, Nebraska for Salt Lake City in 1861. At one point it has over 68 wagons and 265+ passengers and some cattle. Departed on May 29th and arrived on Aug 16th.[2]

On his way home David H. helped with the emigrating saints by procuring jobs for them setting poles for the Western Union Telegraph Company. He also helped select and purchase cattle for the emigrating saints. He took charge of the first company they organized, it comprised 270 people, 68 wagons and stock. The David H. Cannon company reached Salt Lake City on 16 August 1861. They buried four people and lost twelve head of cattle on the journey. David H. was just 23 years old at this time.

St. George Pioneers of 1861-62

This person was is listed on the Encampment Mall Memorial - a list of over 300 LDS Pioneer Families that helped to settle St. George, Utah in 1861. They were part of the "Dixie Cotton Mission" called by President Brigham Young to raise cotton and other southern crops in the warmer climate of Washington County, Utah.

A TV episode of Death Valley Days: "Sego Lilies" (1953) tells the story of Wilhemina and her husband David being called to leave Salt Lake City to settle in the Dixie territory (that would become St. George, UT). She missed the comforts of Salt Lake and grew weary of the barren desert of southern Utah. She told her husband she would be willing to stay if he could find just one beautiful thing in the area. David broke his leg while climbing a hill to gather some Sego Lilies for his wife. The Sego Lily convinced her to stay, and went on to become the Utah state flower. See

Utah Church Service

David H. Cannon was president of the St. George Utah Temple 1893-1924. His brother was an apostle in the church, Elder George Q. Cannon.

Less than two months after his arrival home David H. Cannon was among those called to the Dixie Mission during General Conference on 6 October 1861. Less than one month later on 3 November 1861 they started from Salt Lake City. On 3 December 1861 they arrived at the campgrounds one mile east of St. George, and moved onto their town lot in St. George, Utah in January 1862.

David H. Cannon spent the rest of his life in St. George. He always said that he had never been released from his mission to settle there. It was a hard life in Utah's Dixie. They worked hard to make the desert blossom as a rose and it did eventually but not until they had replaced the dam on the Virgin River many times.

On 18 October 1867 David H. Cannon married Miss Josephine L. Crosgrove in Salt Lake City. And on 20 June 1877 he married Miss Rhoda A. Knell. A polygamous life was a hard life. There were a lot of people to feed and clothe as well as raising up a righteous family and keeping peace in the homes. David H. was active in many civic activities, he served on many committees, he was a member of the state board of education, and he served at least two terms as sheriff.

David H. also spent many hours serving the Lord in various callings. He was a bishop, a high counselor, and a member of the stake presidency for many years which required traveling to visit the wards and branches throughout southern Utah and southern Nevada. And then after the building and dedication of the St. George Utah Temple David H. served first as an assistant to then temple president Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898), then as an assistant to temple president John D.T. McAllister and finally on 28 August 1893 David H. Cannon received a letter from the President of the Church calling him to be President of the St. George Temple. He served diligently in this calling for over 30 years and had many faith-promoting experiences.

David H. Cannon lived a full and rich life, serving the Lord and loving his family. He died on 27 December 1924 and was buried in the St. George City Cemetery.


Offspring of David Henry Cannon and Wilhelmina Logan Mousley (1840-1918)
Name Birth Death Joined with
David Henry Cannon (1860-1944) 15 October 1860 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 20 March 1944 St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States Camilla Ensign Mason (1861-1941)
Ann Mousley Cannon (1864-1865)
George Quayle Cannon (1866-1884)
Elizabeth Munn Cannon (1869-1869)
Amanda Mousley Cannon (1870-1889)
Angus Mousley Cannon (1872-1947) 23 June 1872 St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States 5 August 1947 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Rachel Cunningham (1877-1941)
Wilhelmina Mousley Cannon (1875-1927) 29 November 1875 St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States 22 March 1927 St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States Charles Sullivan (1879-1951) Charles Sullivan (1879-1951) William Thomas Morris (1861-1946)
Lewis Ray Cannon (1878-1963)
Josephine Cannon (1881-1944)
Frank Cannon (1883-1961)

Offspring of David Henry Cannon and Josephine Langley Crossgrove (1848-1929)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Charles Crossgrove Cannon (1869-1870)
John Crossgrove Cannon (1871-1877)
Mary Alice Cannon (1873-1874)
Effie Cannon (1875-1875)
Leonora Crossgrove Cannon (1876-1899)
Erastus Snow Cannon (1878-1883)
Bayard Cannon (1881-1968)
Eugene Crossgrove Cannon (1883-1955)
Theresa Cannon (1885-1979)
Claude Cannon (1887-1976)
Raymond Cannon (1890-1977)

Offspring of David Henry Cannon and Rhoda Ann Knell (1858-1945)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Evaline Knell Cannon (1878-1959)
Robert Knell Cannon (1879-1880)
Wilford Woodruff Cannon (1880-1973)
Clarence Cannon (1883-1883)
Rhoda Knell Cannon (1885-1914)
Walter Cannon (1888-1957)
Clara Cannon (1891-1990)
Vernon Cannon (1894-1970)
Douglas Cannon (1897-1985)
Earl Cannon (1900-1985)
Harold Cannon (1903-1992)



Vital Records

St George Gravestone


See Also


Footnotes (including sources)