David Fullmer: Wikis


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David Fullmer

David Fullmer (July 7, 1803 – October 21, 1879) was an American politician and farmer, born in Chillisquaque, Pennsylvania. He was the older brother of John S. Fullmer, another politician.


Early childhood and career

David Fullmer spent his childhood and early adult years on his family's farm in Chillisquaque, Northumberland County. In 1830, his father, Peter Fullmer, moved the family from Pennsylvania to Jefferson Township, Richland County, Ohio.

He was brought up on a farm and received a common-school education. He left the farm and for a while taught school, after which he went into merchandising. He married Miss Rhoda Ann Marvin, daughter of Zera Marvin and Rhoda Williams, in September 1831. In 1835 he moved to Richmond County, Ohio, where he heard that the Lord had revealed his gospel again to man. David Fullmer believed, and was baptized September 16, 1836, by Elder Henry G. Sherwood.

Religion and Kirtland/Missouri/Nauvoo years

The following winter he went to Kirtland, Ohio, where he had the pleasure of meeting Joseph Smith for the first time. Shortly afterward he was ordained an elder under the hands of Reuben Hedlock in the Kirtland Temple; he also received a patriarchal blessing from Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr.

In September 1837, he removed to Caldwell County, Missouri, to be near the principal gathering place of the Saints, and in the spring of 1838 he moved to Daviess County in the same state. The following summer he had a severe attack of sickness which threatened his life, but through the healing power of God he was restored to health.

At this time great persecution raged against the Saints, and after Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued the Extermination Order, they were compelled to leave their homes and possessions in Missouri. Elder Fullmer and his family were among those forced to leave all and flee for their lives. With the Saints, he went to the state of Illinois, where he left his family and then continued to Ohio to assist in moving his father to Illinois. They settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. Elder Fullmer was ordained to the office of high priest in 1839 and appointed to the high council in the Nauvoo Stake.

In 1844 Elder Fulimer was appointed to be one of the electioneering missionaries in behalf of Joseph Smith. He was engaged in this labor and in preaching the gospel in the state of Michigan when news was received of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Elder Fullmer immediately returned to his home in Nauvoo and attended the general meeting of the Church at which the claims of Sidney Rigdon to be guardian of the Church were rejected, and the Twelve Apostles, with Brigham Young at the head, were sustained as the rightful leaders of the Church.

Plural marriage

Fourteen years after President Fuilmer had married Rhoda Marvin, he became a polygamist. In Nauvoo in 1845 he married a second wife, Sarah Banks, who bore him nine children. His first wife bore eleven children, so there were twenty children in President Fullmer's family.

Expulsion from Nauvoo and journey to Utah

Elder Fulimer was appointed a member of the Living Constitution committee, the business of which was to settle all difficulties which might arise among the different mechanical associations. He was also a member of the Nauvoo City Council and when the Illinois Legislature repealed the Nauvoo city charter, he continued on what was called the "town council" of Nauvoo. He was also a member of the Council of Fifty. When the Nauvoo Temple was opened for work, Elder Fullmer, with his companions, received all the ordinances and blessings which were given to the Saints at that time.

In the winter of 1846, when the Saints were expelled from their homes and the presiding authorities of the Church decided to journey into the wilderness to seek a new home in the Rocky Mountains, Elder Fullmer was appointed captain of a hundred and started west with the first company of the Camp of Israel to find a home in the West. In 1846, it was decided that a temporary settlement was needed as a resting place for the rear company of Saints and all those who, from lack of means, were unable to proceed further, so Garden Grove, Iowa was established. Brother Samuel Bent presided at this resting place, with Elder Fullmer as his first counselor. Here the exiled Saints made a large farm and worked together to raise grain. There were many poor among them who were destitute for food and clothing. When President Bent died shortly after the settlement was established, the presidency was passed to Elder Fullmer. He sent missionaries out along the great rivers to solicit aid for the relief of the poor, and by this means some help was obtained.

The company moved to another temporary settlement called Winter Quarters, Nebraska, on the Missouri River, where Elder Fullmer served on a committee of vigilance by appointment of President Young. Elder Fullmer traveled from this place in the company of President Willard Richards and arrived in due time in Great Salt Lake Valley.

He was appointed first counselor to Daniel Spencer, president of the Salt Lake Stake, in 1849. Willard Snow was second counselor. At this time, when Church leaders also served as community leaders, there was a fusion of church and state. David Fuilmer was deeply involved.

When a company of brethren was appointed to travel southward on an exploring expedition, Elder Fulimer was appointed counselor to Elder Parley P. Pratt, and for five months he traveled with that company in the dead of winter. Later captain of a relief company, Elder Fullmer traveled east to Independence Rock to assist a company of Saints who were journeying westward.

When the territory of Utah was created, President Fullmer was elected a member of the legislature for Salt Lake County, and at various times served in other civic positions, such as treasurer of the University of Deseret, treasurer pro tern of Salt Lake County, treasurer of Salt Lake City, delegate to one of the early territorial conventions, director of the Agricultural Society, and home missionary.

Stake president

Despite all the responsibilities of Church and government, missionary work was not neglected. In the fall of 1851, President Spencer's second counselor, Willard Snow, was called to a mission in Denmark. A few months later, in 1852, Daniel Spencer, then president of the stake, was called on a mission to Great Britain. President David Fullmer assumed responsibility for leadership in the stake after the departure of President Spencer, and the work of the kingdom continued, much of it under the direction of the bishops.

At a meeting of the bishops of the stake held on December 21, 1852, in the Tithing Office, under the direction of Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter, the brethren discussed tithing and the general conditions and problems of their wards. Some priesthood advancements were made and other necessary Church business was also transacted at that time. In the general conference held April 7, 1853, David Fullmer was formally sustained as the fourth president of the Salt Lake Stake. A special conference was convened under the direction of President Brigham Young on August 13, 1853, at which time Thomas Rhoads and Phineas H. Young were sustained as counselors to President David Fullmer of the Salt Lake Stake.

When community problems arose they were often solved by the priesthood brethren. For example, a resolution of the brethren of the Mill Creek Ward passed on January 29, 1853, explained the necessity of calling a general meeting for discussion of uniform prices for agricultural products and standard wages for mechanical labor and related services. Such a meeting was subsequently held on February 3, 1853, where the Deseret Agricultural Society was formed for the purpose of carrying out the resolutions of the farmers.

During the three and a half years President Fullmer presided over Salt Lake Stake he organized two new wards: 5th Ward (previously authorized, but not made an active ward until 1853) and the Sugar House Ward in 1854. The stake then had a total of twenty-nine wards when President Spencer returned. None of the wards had been transferred or discontinued. President Fulimer appointed four members of the high council during his presidency and twenty new bishops.

As the officers of Salt Lake Stake were presented during the semiannual conference of the Church held October 8, 1853, as was the usual practice, it was reported that there were three members of the First Presidency and nine members of the Council of the Twelve who resided and had their membership in Salt Lake Stake. Members of the Council of the Twelve attended the annual meeting of the 14th Ward on December 26, 1853. After certain matters of business were attended to and some spiritual talks given, dancing and social activities were enjoyed by all.

President Fullmer died at his Home on October 21, 1879 at 11:20 PM of Causes Incident To Age. He was 76 years of age. He was lauded at Funeral Rites on Thursday October 23, 1879 in the Salt Lake Sixth Ward Chapel at 1 PM with several prominent members of the LDS Church in attendance. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery in the Family Plot.


  • Salt Lake Stake, "The Story of the Salt Lake Stake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 150 Years of History 1847-1997, Salt Lake City.


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