Question: Daniel Stanton is mentioned in D&C 75:33. Who was Daniel Stanton and what role did he play in the life of Ezra T. Benson?
Answer: Daniel Stanton was born 28 May 1795 in Onondaga County, New York. Daniel was a veteran of the War of 1812. On May 16, 1816, Daniel married Clarinda Graves. Clarinda was born 8 March 1797 in New York, and was baptized by Oliver Cowdrey on 3 November 1830. To this couple were born six children, five girls and one boy. One of the daughters, Melinda Elizabeth Stanton, married John Barton Atchison in April 1844. John Barton Atchison was baptized by William Smith, a brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Mississippi River in 1841.
Daniel migrated with his family to Ohio in 1819. He was the one of the earliest members to be baptized into the Church. He was baptized by Parley P. Pratt November 3, 1830, at Kirtland, Ohio. He was ordained a Priest by Lyman Wight in January 1831, an Elder by Sidney Rigdon in June 1831, and a High Priest by Oliver Cowdrey on 25 June 1831.
Daniel was called as a missionary in January 1832. In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in January 1832, instructions were given to those Elders who had been called. He was to serve with Seymour Brunson.
Daniel moved his family to Jackson County, Missouri, where he presided over Branch Number Two before being called as a counselor to Bishop John Corrill. Religious persecution in the area forced them to flee to Clay County. Amid personal affliction, he volunteered to serve a mission and labored in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
By 1838 Daniel had returned to Missouri, where he was appointed to serve on the Adam-ondi-Ahman high council. After assisting Saints in the region, he fled from Missouri to Quincy, Illinois. In Quincy, Daniel served as the president of one of the Branches. At the close of one of the meetings held there, Ezra T. Benson, requested to be baptized, and Daniel baptized him and his wife in the Mississippi River. Ezra T. Benson later became an Apostle, and his great grandson, Ezra Taft Benson, became President of the Church.
Daniel served as the Stake President in Quincy before moving to Lima, Illinois, where he again served on a high council. In 1852, Daniel journeyed with his family in the exodus from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley. He was one of the earliest settlers in Springville, Utah. In 1856, at age sixty-one, Daniel volunteered to be a member of a rescue company for the two handcart companies coming to Salt Lake late in the season.
By 1860 Daniel was in the small Utah community of Fairfield. He then moved to Panaca, which was part of Washington County, Utah. In 1866 Panaca became part of Nevada.
Panaca was southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement, founded as a Mormon colony in 1864 at the request of Brigham Young as a place where Church leaders could take refuge if needed. The name “Panaca” comes from the Southern Paiute word Pan-nuk-ker, which means “metal, money, wealth.” William Hamblin, a Mormon missionary to the Paiutes, established a silver mine there in 1864.
Daniel died on 26 October 1872 at the age of seventy-seven and is buried in Panaca, Nevada.