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William Arvidus King

Question: Who was the leader of the Group of Ten in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: William Arvidus King was born on July 3, 1820 in Paris, Oxford, Maine. His birth date is confirmed in the Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register.

William became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is found in Nauvoo, Illinois by 1846. He was a member of the 25th Quorum of the Seventies in Nauvoo,

William received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple in January 1846 before leaving Nauvoo and moving on to Winter Quarters.

William was chosen to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company. He was in the 9th Company of Ten led by Heber C. Kimball. Others in his group were Howard Egan, Philo Johnson and William Clayton.

Howard Egan’s journal:

Thursday, April 15th. – This morning was cool and pleasant. Brother [William Arridus] King and myself started early in search of my horse and found her ten miles from the camp.

Friday, May 21st – Brother Cushing drove my team this afternoon, while I rode in Brother King’s wagon and drove some for him.

Thursday, June 17th. – The morning was windy and cold, and all hands were engaged ferrying. We hauled our three wagons down to the river and unloaded Brother King’s wagon and lashed the wagons, and took the loading over in the cutter.

Monday, June 28th – Brother King is sick and there are many in the camp complaining. Brother Kimball does all in his power for the comfort of those that are sick around him.

William stayed a short time in the Salt Lake Valley, and then returned to Winter Quarters. He apparently didn’t return to Utah, but in 1850 is living in his hometown of Paris, Maine with his parents– George and Mary King.

By 1860, William has moved to Milwaukie, Wisconsin, with a wife, Elizabeth, and a two-month-old son, Charles. He is listed as a carpenter and joiner. He is still living there in 1870. In the 1880 census, he has moved to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and is working in a car shop.

His death record is found in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, death register. He died on August 12, 1899, at age 79. He was buried in the Forest Home Cemetery, in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

Source: “Biographies of the Original 1847 Pioneer Company,’ Church News, Updated, 14 October 2009;; Pioneer Overland Trail;, Information: Birth and death dates and places, family and burial information come from the death certificates at the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds office.

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