January 17, 2023

Get to know Newel K. Whitney

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Newel K. Whitney was born 1795 in Windham County Vermont the son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball.

He was only 19 when he started his profession of merchandising in Plattsburgh, New York.

He also helped fight against the British forces and fought to save Plattsburgh. Fortunately, it was not much of a fight because the British had already been defeated on the lake and the British troops were discouraged, and gave up without much of a fight.

From the battle Newel lost most of his belongings and had to move from the area. He left Plattsburg and moved to Green Bay on Lake Michigan, where he set up another shop and became an Indian trader. A kit is with an enraged, drunken Native American made Newel abandon Indian trading and he moved to Ohio.

Newel Whitney partnered up with Sidney Gilbert who worked as a clerk and a bookkeeper. The business was very successful.

Newel married Elizabeth Ann Smith in 1822.

Newel and his wife Elizabeth started looking for a church to join and which on was right. They were praying on night when they had an amazing spiritual experience. The couple was praying and a cloud came over them and they felt the spirit of the Lord. A voice in the cloud said “Prepare to receive the world of the Lord, for it is coming.”

The couple accepted the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and were baptized in 1830.

Joseph Smith saw the Whitney’s in a vision. He saw Newel pleading with the Lord that the Prophet would come to Kirtland. On around February 1, 1831 the prophet arrived at the Whitney store.

The Prophet Joseph Smith and his wife resided in the Newel’s house for several weeks.

Newel was called to bishop and he would open his home to many more people during this time. He would shelter the homeless, and feed the hungry. The Whitney’s held a three day feast in January 1836 for the poor Saints that were coming to Kirtland.

After Joseph’s death Newel Whitney was called as Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Newel K. Whitney is the grandfather of Orson F. Whitney, a future apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Whitney Family journeyed to Salt Lake in 1848. He’s buried in the Kimball-Whitmer Cemetery in Salt Lake City.

Other Blog Posts:

Who is Sidney Gilbert

Saints to gather in Kirtland, Ohio

Lucy Mack Smith’s bringing Saints to Kirtland Miracle

Joseph’s Kirtland Ohio Accomplishments

Newel K. Whitney Store Kirtland Ohio

Places to Visit:

Historic Kirtland, Ohio

Whitney Store- Kirtland Ohio

Kirtland Temple


Kimball-Whitney Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah


“Who’s who in the Doctrine and Covenants” by Susan Easton Black (p.339-341)

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