Question: What role did Stephen H. Goddard have with the Tabernacle Choir when it sang in the Old Tabernacle?
Answer: Stephen Hezekiah Goddard, one of the original pioneers of 1847, was born August 24, 1810, in Champlain, Clinton County, New York, a son of Stephen G. Goddard and Sylvia Smith.
He married Isabelle Bisbee on November 14, 1833 in McDonough, Chenango, New York. In 1834, they moved to Ohio. Here they became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 1836. While living in Ohio, Stephen and Isabelle had five children. Then in 1839, they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. In March 1839, Isabelle died and was buried in Nauvoo. In August 1839, their daughter, Mary, also died.
On September 11, 1839, Stephen married Zeruah Norwood Roby. Then in 1841, Stephen’s seven-year-old daughter, Rachel, died in Nauvoo. Stephen was ordained a Seventy by H. Harrison on June 9, 1845, and became the senior member of the 27th Quorum of Seventy.
On February 6, 1846, Stephen married Alamantha Goddard. They left Nauvoo in 1846, along with other Saints being forced out of Nauvoo at that time and went to Winter Quarters in Florence, Nebraska. In April 1847, Alamantha died at Winter Quarters.
Stephen emigrated to Utah with Brigham Young’s Company in the summer of 1847, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. He then returned to Winter Quarters to get his wife and two daughters and emigrated with them in the summer of 1848.
Stephen was called on a mission and returned back to Utah in 1858. He was in the John W. Berry Company, which left Des Moines, Iowa on May 3, 1858, and arrived in Utah on June 21, 1858. It had 110 people in the company, and was called an Independent Train. It consisted of returning missionaries including the handcart missionaries from Europe and other places. Stephen was among the United States and Canada group of returning missionaries.
He wrote: “Every steamer that arrived from St. Louis would bring some returning missionaries, all of those who had been laboring in Europe or America having been called home. On the 3rd of May 1858, we left Florence and started on the plains for home. The entire company consisted of eighty-five missionaries, twenty-one others, one woman and three children, making in all one hundred and ten souls. (Journal of George Goddard)
Stephen assisted in building up the city of Salt Lake and owned land at the corner of Main Street and First South Street, later known as the Godbe-Pitts Corner. He had a great love of music and was the leader of the Tabernacle choir when it sang in the Old Tabernacle.
For a time Stephen resided at Bountiful, Utah. He later went to California to live with his daughter. He died in San Bernardino, California on September 10, 1898, and was buried in the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino.