Joseph Smith Scofield

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Question: Which three temples did Joseph S. Scofield work on as a carpenter?

Answer: Joseph Smith Scofield was born on August 2, 1809, in Windham, New York. He was the son of Elijah and Hannah Thompson Scofield. After his father's death in 1828, Joseph learned the joiners trade and became a skilled carpenter.

He moved to Michigan but returned to New York, and it was here he married Clarissa Aurilla Terry on July 11, 1838. Joseph heard the Gospel preached in 1841, and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 3, 1841 by Rufus Beach. At the organization of the Branch, he was appointed clerk in their community, which consisted of twenty members.

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In August 1842, Joseph and Clarissa moved to Nauvoo where they established a home. Joseph worked on the Nauvoo Temple until its completion. Joseph and Clarissa had a daughter born in November 1842 in Nauvoo. Another daughter, Eliza, was born and died in September 1843. They had a son, Joseph, born in August 1845. (Their next five children were all born in Utah.)

In June 1844 Joseph and Clarissa were in Nauvoo at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum. In 1844 Joseph is listed as one of the Bishops of the Fifth Ward.

Due to the persecution at that time, in 1846 Joseph had to move his family to Winter Quarters.

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When the time came for the first group of Saints to commence the hazardous journey to the West, Joseph was one of the men chosen, perhaps because of his special training as a skilled carpenter. Joseph traveled to the Salt Lake Valley in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in the summer of 1847 and was part of the 3rd Company of Ten led by Phineas H. Young.

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When they arrived in the valley, Joseph was soon employed erecting the fort and then public buildings and homes. He assisted in the building of the Salt Lake Temple, the Salt Lake Theatre, the Social Hall, and the Lion House. In 1851, Joseph married, as his second wife, a widow by the name of Cornelia Noble. She died in January 1853.

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In 1854, the lot on which the home Joseph formerly occupied in Salt Lake, was purchased for the purpose of erecting a City Hall on that lot. In 1855, Joseph married his third wife, Anna Christina Nelson, in Salt Lake City. They had six children together.

In 1856 Joseph was called on a mission to England. At the end of his mission to England, he sailed back to America from Liverpool in February and March 1858 on the ship Empire. Joseph returned home to Utah with the John W. Berry Company in the summer of 1858.

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In 1873, at age 64, Joseph was called by the Church authorities to work on the St. George Temple, the masonry of which was commenced on March 10, 1873. Joseph would go down to St. George from Salt Lake and work for weeks at a time. He worked many months on the Temple as a supervisor of the carpenters. While working on the Temple, Joseph apparently fell from a scaffolding and broke his back.

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On March 8, 1875, Joseph was returning to Salt Lake in a wagon when he could go no further. Joseph died in Bellevue (now Pintura), Washington County, Utah. His body was taken on to Salt Lake where he was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. At his funeral President George A. Smith said that Joseph Scofield was the best framer that he knew of.

Source: “Joseph Smith Scofield,” FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave