WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
THOMAS L. KANE
(army officer, friend of the Mormons)
BIOGRAPHYThomas Leiper Kane was born January 27, 1822 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was a respected attorney who later served as federal judge.
Kane was a close friend and admirer of Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers from 1846 until his death. His counsel and contacts proved invaluable to the Mormons in their struggles with the federal government.
When Kane County was split off from Washington County in 1864, it was named in honor of Thomas L. Kane.
Kane's struggles to make a living and then his war experiences took a heavy toll on his health. In 1872, he was critically ill. Brigham Young, hearing about this, invited Kane and his family to come to Utah on the new transcontinental railroad and to be Pres. Young's guests. Thomas, his wife, two younger sons, and a cook arrived in Salt Lake City on November 26, 1872, just in time to accompany Young and his family to St. George to spend the winter. It was hoped that the sunny, dry climate of Utah’s Dixie would benefit Kane’s condition.
For three months, General Kane rested, reminisced, soaked up the warm sun, breathed deeply of the bracing western air, and talked with Brigham Young about the pioneering problems of both Kane and Utah. He regained his health, threw away the crutches he had arrived with, and even gave away his cane. The three-month interlude in St. George was the last personal visit the two long-time friends shared.
After returning to Salt Lake City with Brigham Young, the Kane family left for Pennsylvania by train on February 27, 1873.
General Kane died of pneumonia on December 26, 1883 in Philadelphia.
REFERENCESSentinel in the East: A Biography of Thomas L. Kane
Book by Albert L. Zobell, Jr.
Published by Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., 1965
(Rewritten from Zobell's Masters Thesis at the University of Utah)
Wikipedia article on Thomas L. Kane
Thomas L. Kane
Article in the Pioneer Magazine, September/October 1994.
General Thomas L. Kane: the Pioneer
Article by Norman R. Bowen and Albert L. Zobell, Jr.
Ensign magazine, October 1971
Find-A-Grave entry for Thomas Leiper Kane