Question: What relation was Harvey Stanley to the Prophet Joseph Smith?
Answer: Harvey Stanley was born December 21, 1812 in Tunbridge, Orange, Vermont to Benjamin Stanley and Ruth Mack. Lucy Mack Smith was Harvey’s great aunt. His mother, Ruth Mack, was a granddaughter of Solomon Mack and Lydia Gates, making Harvey a first cousin, once removed to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Harvey was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at age 21, in April 1834. He then served a mission to New York. In 1834, he participated in the Camp of Israel (Zion’s Camp) expedition to Missouri, serving under the Prophet Joseph.
Upon returning to Ohio, Harvey labored on the temple in Kirtland, Ohio. He was ordained a seventy by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery, on February 18, 1835, in Kirtland. He was a stockholder in the Kirtland Safety Society.
Harvey married Lerona Cahoon on January 17, 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio. Lerona Eliza Cahoon was born to Reynolds Cahoon and Thirza Stiles on October 25, 1817 in Ohio. Harvey took his family to Missouri but had to leave due to the persecution and ended up in Quincy, Illinois. They had one little girl, Thirza, born November 22, 1839 in Quincy, Illinois.
Harvey then moved to Nauvoo, where he lived from about 1840 until about 1847, where he worked as a stonecutter on the Nauvoo Temple. Harvey’s wife, Lerona, died June 18, 1840 in Nauvoo. Upon Lerona’s death, baby Thirza, was raised by Lerona’s parents. She traveled west, at age eight, with her grandparents, Reynolds and Thirza Cahoon in Brigham Young’s Company in 1848.
In 1842, Harvey married Harriette Amelia Hoagland in Nauvoo, and they had seven children. Their first child, Harriette, was born in Nauvoo in 1843. There is no record of Harriette being a member of the Church, which may have been why Harvey did not go west with the Saints. He stayed in the Nauvoo area, across the river, in Keokuk, Iowa, after the saints were driven out of Nauvoo. In 1847, Harvey was living in Keokuk where his next two children, George (1847) and Katherine (1850), were born.
Harvey moved to Petaluma, Sonoma, California between 1850 and 1853, as his next four children were born there. Petaluma had a strong agricultural base with dairy farms, olive groves, vineyards, and berry and vegetable farms. Harvey was a dairy man, so it may have been that which led Harvey to Petaluma or it could have been the discovery of gold that lured Harvey to California. Petaluma is located 37 miles north of San Francisco.
It appears that Harvey no longer affiliated with the Church, as there is no record of any of his seven children with Harriette being baptized or any record of any interaction with Church leaders after that time. Harvey died on February 16, 1862, at age 49, in Petaluma, Sonoma, California, and is buried in the Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, California.