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George Scholes

Question: What responsibility did George Scholes have in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: George Scholes was born February 2, 1812, at Chadderton, Lancashire, England, to George and Sarah Scholes. He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 3, 1839, by Thomas Miller and confirmed by William Clayton.

In 1841, George immigrated to America on the ship Sheffield from Liverpool, and arrived at New Orleans on March 30, 1841. He arrived in Nauvoo on April 18, 1841, with his wife and two children. In Nauvoo, he built a brick home and planted an orchard. He was ordained an Elder at the April Conference of 1842 by George A. Smith. In 1845, he was ordained a Seventy and became a member of the 23rd Quorum of Seventy in Nauvoo. While living in Nauvoo, his wife and three of his four children died. After the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, George settled at Winter Quarters.

At Winter Quarters, he was asked to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company and was part of the 5th Company of Ten led by Stephen H. Goddard. He was assigned to the crew that was responsible for the artillery cannon.

Journal Entries:

17 Apr 1847, “We are now 133 miles from Winter Quarters. Thomas Tanner drilled his company with the cannon, putting them thro” their evolutions. Thomas Tanner, Stephen H. Goddard, Seeley Owens, Thomas Woolsey, John G. Luce, Horace Thorrington, Charles D. Barnhum, Sylvester H. Earl, George Scholes, & Rufus Allen form the Gun detachment. [NOTE: The pioneer artillery had charge of an 1812-period naval carronade mounted on a wagon box that was said to have been captured from the Missouri militia. The Saints called this short iron cannon the “Old Sow” in honor of the pig that discovered its hiding place.]

29 Apr 1847, “The cannon brought up the rear of the wagon train. Members of the gun crew were Thomas Tanner, Captain, Stephen H. Goddard, Seeley Owens, Thomas Woolsey, Horace Thornton, Charles D. Barnum, Sylvester H. Earl, George Scholes and Rufus Allen.”

After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, George immediately prepared some land and planted vegetables and helped construct the Old Fort. He returned to Winter Quarters in the fall of 1847 and was then sent to St. Louis, Missouri., to conduct business for the Church.

George returned to the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, bringing his newly-wedded wife, Mary Spencer Scholes, to whom he had been united in marriage at Council Bluffs by Orson Hyde. The family settled in Cottonwood in south Salt Lake County.

George Scholes died August 14, 1857, in the Cottonwood area, at age 45, leaving his wife and four children. There is no record of his burial information.

Source: “Biographies of the original 1847 Pioneer Company,’ Deseret News, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009,; George Scholes in the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia,; “Diary Notes about George Scholes,’

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