A. Milton Musser

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A. Milton Musser served as Assistant Church Historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1902 until his death in 1909. He had served for several years as a clerk in the Church Historian’s office prior to his appointment.

He was also a writer and editor. He wrote many pamphlets defending the faith of the Latter-day Saints. He authored "To The Press Of The United States" (Philadelphia, May 1877), a press release defending the faith in response to charges that the Latter-day Saints are a "blood-thirsty people" in newspaper coverage of the trial and execution of John D. Lee for his role in the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Musser was born on May 20, 1830, in Donegal, Pennsylvania. His father died four years later. His mother remarried Abraham Bitner, but he also died. John Neff, her sister’s husband, accepted the responsibility of guardianship and it was through him that the family came to know of the Church. In 1837, his family moved near Quincy, Illinois. Musser was not baptized until arriving in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1851, but he was involved in the Battle of Nauvoo, when a militia attacked Nauvoo in September 1846 to drive the Saints from the state. Musser took work as a store clerk in Eddyville, Iowa.

After arriving in Utah Territory in 1851, Musser became a clerk in the Tithing office. In 1852, Musser joined other Latter-day Saint missionaries on a trip to India. He returned to Utah in 1857 with the William G. Young Company and served as the company clerk and historian. From 1860 to 1876, he served as a traveling bishop and visited all the major settlements in Utah at least twice a year. In 1876, he was appointed assistant trustee-in-trust overseeing the assets and properties of the Church.

Musser served in a variety of other positions, including one of the incorporators of Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company. He held several positions with the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing society. He was the general superintendent of the Deseret Telegraph Company; he promoted several plans to build railroads; and he was connected with the Utah Bee Association and the Utah Silk Association. He served as Fish and Game Commissioner of Utah Territory from the late 1870s through the early 1890s.

Musser practiced plural marriage. He married Ann Leaver in 1858, Mary Elizabeth White in 1864, Belinda Marden Pratt (a daughter of Parley P. Pratt) in 1872; and Anna Seegmiller in 1874. He served a six-month sentence for “unlawful cohabitation” in 1885. He fathered twenty-six children.

He died on September 24, 1909.