Don Carlos Smith was born 25 March 1816 in Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont, United States to Joseph Smith (1771-1840) and Lucy Mack (1775-1856) and died 7 August 1841 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States of unspecified causes. He married Agnes Moulton Coolbrith (1811-1876) 30 July 1835 in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, United States.


Don Carlos Smith, Younger brother of the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and a leader, missionary, and periodical editor in the early days of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Smith was born in Norwich, Vermont, the seventh son of Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. As an adolescent, Smith was an early convert to the Church of Christ that was established by his brother Joseph in 1830. Don Carlos was baptized on June 9 of that year.

Smith was the first editor of the Nauvoo, Illinois-based Latter Day Saint newspaper Times and Seasons. He was also active as an early missionary of the Latter Day Saint church. Smith participated in the ceremony of the laying of the cornerstones of the Kirtland Temple, and he was a member of the temple's construction crew. As a printer and editor, Smith was involved in the printing of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, several editions of the Book of Mormon, and also served as the publisher and editor for the short-lived periodical Elders' Journal.

Mission to Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in spring of 1838 to raise money to move Smith families to Missouri. Left Ohio for Missouri 7 May 1838; arrived during summer. Mission to Tennessee and Kentucky 1838 to collect money to buy out land claims of non-Mormons in Daviess County, Missouri. Left Daviess County 26 September 1838. Returned 25 December 1838.

On January 15, 1836, Smith was selected as the first president of the high priests quorum of the church, a position that is today referred to as a stake president. He represented the high priests of the church when the cornerstones were laid to the Nauvoo Temple in early 1841.

Appointed by revelation to preside over high priests quorum in Nauvoo area 19 January 1841. Elected member of Nauvoo city council 1 February 1841. Regent of University of Nauvoo 3 February 1841. Major in Hancock County militia. Elected brigadier-general in Nauvoo Legion 4 February 1841. Officer of Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association 23 February 1841. (Cook, Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 274-275)

Smith died in Nauvoo, Illinois, of malarial fever at the age of 25. He was survived by his wife Agnes Moulton Coolbrith, who later became a plural wife of Joseph Smith. Don Carlos Smith was the father of Ina Coolbrith (Josephine Donna), who became the first poet laureate of California.


Offspring of Don Carlos Smith and Agnes Moulton Coolbrith (1811-1876)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Agnes Charlotte Smith (1836-1873)
Sophronia C Smith (1838-1843) 22 April 1838 New Portage, Summit County, Ohio 3 October 1843 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois
Josephine Donna Smith (1841-1928)


Burial Site


Smith Family Cemetery, in Nauvoo, Illinois, is the final resting place of this person and several other historical figures in the early LDS Church including the prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844), his wife Emma Hale (1804-1879), brother Hyrum Smith (1800-1844) and several family members. Additionally their parents are buried there.

Overlooking the Mississippi River, the cemetery is located on Water Street, and is open 24 hours a day to visitors.

Footnotes (including sources)

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