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Andrew Smith Gibbons

Question: Why did Andrew Gibbons add the middle name of “Smith’ to his name?

Answer: Andrew Gibbons was born March 12, 1825, in Union Station, Licking, Ohio, to William and Mary Hoover Gibbons. His mother died giving birth to twin boys, Andrew and Richard, and the father already having four young children to care for, gave the baby boys to two other families to care for. Andrew was given to Joshua and Sarah Smith to raise. He added the middle name of “Smith’ to his name in honor of the parents who raised him, Joshua and Sarah Smith. Because of this good couple, Andrew was baptized in 1840 and became a faithful member of the Church.

On January 5, 1845 Andrew married Rizpah Knight, a daughter of Bishop Vinson Knight, in Nauvoo. After having to leave Nauvoo, Andrew and Rizpah made their way to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Their first three children were born at Council Bluffs, the first one in December 1846. Andrew and Rizpah would have a large family of fifteen children, with seven living to maturity.

In 1847, Andrew (age 22) was asked to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company. He was in the 12th Ten led by Norton Jacobs, Captain. He was assigned as assistant cook. Once organized, this vanguard pioneer company consisted of 142 men, 3 women, 2 children, and 72 wagons. They traveled 1031 miles before reaching their destination. While crossing the Platte River, Andrew jumped into the river to help steady a wagon that rolled over in midstream. He swam safely to the other side. Some members of the company traveled ahead and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley as early as the July 21, 1847. By the 24th of July, the entire company had arrived.

Shortly after arriving in the Valley, Andrew went back to Winter Quarters to get his family. Andrew (age 27) returned to the Great Salt Lake Valley together with his wife and three children in 1852 in the Robert Wimmer Company.

Andrew located in Bountiful, Davis county, where he farmed and planed orchards. He later moved to Lehi, in Utah County. In 1854, he was called to Iron county to strengthen the settlements which were being made there at that time. Here he became identified with the Indian mission, then in charge of Jacob Hamblin. In 1858, in company with ten other men, he visited the Pueblo Indian villages, east of the Colorado river.

In the spring of 1861 Andrew moved to St. George, where he was elected sheriff of Washington county. In 1865 he was called to the Muddy (now in Nevada) by Apostle Erastus Snow, to locate and mediate between the whites and the Indians. In 1868 he represented Piute county, Arizona, in the Arizona legislature, which met at Tucson. This necessitated a very long and dangerous journey through a country infested with hostile Indians. At the breaking up of the settlements on the Muddy, Andrew moved to Glendale, Kane county, Utah, from which point he made several trips of exploration with Jacob Hamblin and James S. Brown into Arizona and New Mexico, looking to the colonization of Saints in those territories.

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