Samuel Knight



(frontiersman, indian missionary, early dixie pioneer, churchman)


The Newell & Sally Knight family were good friends with Mormon Church founder, Joseph Smith. They were very involved with the early history of that Church. Samuel was born in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri and from there they moved to Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri and then to Nauvoo, Illinois. Samuel's father, Newell, was appointed to take charge of the first company of fifty going west and in 1846 they made it as far as the prairies of Nebraska where they waited out the winter. Newell died there on January 11, 1847.

In the spring of 1847 (age 15), upon the advice of Pres. Brigham Young and friends, Samuel decided to go west and prepare for those who would come later. He went with a company of 660 wagons and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.

At the general conference of the Church in October of 1853, a group of 21 men, including Samuel, and two young men with their fathers, were called to go to southern Utah to establish the Southern Indian Mission. They were give the winter to prepare.

On April 14, 1854, the company under the leadership of Captain Rufus C. Allen and Lieutenants David Lewis and Samuel F. Atwood started their mission. They arrived at Harmony on May 2.

In December of 1854, Samuel and others were called to go to Santa Clara to serve. There is a record of Samuel being there on January 11, 1855. The missionaries were charged with feeding, clothing, and teaching the local Paiutes. They built a diversion dam on Santa Clara Creek to get water for their crops.

In the fall of 1855, Jacob Hamblin and some of his brothers arrived with their families. These were the first women and children to join the missionaries there. Other families joined them during the summer of 1856. During the winter of 1855-1856, a stone fort was built at Santa Clara. About 30-40 acres of land was cultivated and good crops were grown.

During the summer of 1856, Samuel went back up to Salt Lake to visit family. There he met a young Danish girl, a recent convert to the Church and daughter of Herman & Anne Christine (Kirstina) Beck. After a short courtship, they were married and she returned to Santa Clara with him.

Jacob Hamblin was appointed President of the Southern Indian Mission in 1857. He chose Samuel Knight and Dudley Leavitt as counselors and they served from 1857 to 1859. The Southern Indian Mission was abandoned in the early 1860s, but Jacob Hamblin stayed until 1869 before moving to Kanab.

Samuel and his family spent the rest of their lives in the area. He continued to work with the indians, farmed, and raised his family.

Samuel was Second Counselor in the Santa Clara bishopric from 1872 to 1877 and then First Counselor from 1877 to 1884. When the bishopric was to be reorganized in 1884, everyone expected Samuel Knight to be bishop. But when the visiting authorities from St. George spoke in the meeting, Br. Snow said, "Br. Knight is a good man, but he has not observed the law of plural marriage." So John G. Hafen was made Bishop. Samuel served many years on the High Council.


Parents and Siblings:
    Newell Knight
    Sally Co(l)burn Knight
        Samuel Knight
        Eli Knight

(9/13/1800-1/11/1847)   (married 6/7/1825)
(10/14/1832-2/11/1910)   (married Caroline Beck; later, Laura Melvina Leavitt)

First Wife and Children:
    Caroline Beck Knight
        Caroline Kirstina Knight
        Mary Josephine Knight
        Leonora Knight
        Emma "Emmie" Evaline Knight  
        Lydia Eva "Evie" Knight
        Sally Romania "Manie" Knight

(5/12/1831-2/13/1870)   (married 8/3/1856) (aka Karen Kirstine Hermansdatter Beck)
(8/6/1857-10/18/1887)   (married John R. Findlay)
(10/8/1859-5/3/1950)   (married Stephen Bunker)
(2/8/1862-11/7/1913)   (married John Hafen)
(12/26/1863-12/21/1923)   (married Myron Abbott; later, William Hunt)
(9/16/1866-3/23/1946)   (married Theodore H. Graff)
(9/17/1867-2/17/1948)   (married Daniel Dunton)

Second Wife and Children:
    Laura Melvina Leavitt Knight
        Samuel Carlos Knight
        Newell Clarence Knight
        Lemuel Raymond Knight
        Edward Leavitt Knight
        Laura Melvina Knight
        Edith Lovisa Knight
        Wilford Woodruff Knight
        Thomas Dudley Knight
        Delma Knight
        Inez Knight

(8/4/1851-2/3/1922)   (married 3/4/1872)
(12/10/1872-1/21/1947)   (married Rose Ann Linge)
(1/23/1878-5/21/1955)   (married Alice Emma Strasser; later, Hattie Slade)
(4/3/1879-1/6/1962)   (married Hugh Bunker)
(7/27/1881-1/25/1915)   (married Harmon Wittwer)
(11/22/1883-3/4/1946)   (married Josephine Baumann)
(2/20/1886-1/7/1958)   (married Edith Leavitt, divorced)
(11/18/1887-11/21/1960)   (married John Alfred Tobler)
(12/18/1889-4/11/1958)   (married Sidney Leavitt)

Third Wife:
    Susan Charlotte Tempy Nanney Knight

(4/30/1843-5/23/1919)   (married 1/14/1888)


WCHS photos:
WCHS-04516   Photo of Samuel Knight


A Sketch of the Life of Samuel Knight, 1832-1910
by Arthur Knight Hafen - A Grandson
St. George, Utah: March 1960

Biographical sketch of Samuel Knight

Biographical sketch of Samuel Knight

Some Knight family genealogy

Some Knight family genealogy

Some Knight family genealogy

FamilySearch entry for Samuel Knight

Find-A-Grave entry for Samuel Knight

FamilySearch entry for Karen Kirstine Hermansdatter

Find-A-Grave entry for Karen Kirstine Hermansdatter “Caroline” Beck Knight

FamilySearch entry for Laura Melvina Leavitt

Find-A-Grave entry for Laura Melvina Leavitt Knight

FamilySearch entry for Susan Charlotte Tempy Nanney

Find-A-Grave entry for Susan Charlotte Nanney Hunt