Abraham H. Cannon

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Abraham H. Cannon, late Mormon Apostle
Abraham H. Cannon, late Mormon Apostle

Abraham Hoagland Cannon (March 12, 1859 – July 19, 1896), was born in the Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He was the son of President George Q. Cannon. He was a member of the First Council of Seventy and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Early Life and Education

Born March 12, 1859, to George Q. Cannon and Elizabeth Hoagland, Cannon was provided with excellent educational opportunities. His father, George Q. Cannon was a prominent leader in the Church and an important figure in publishing, especially for his position as managing editor for the Deseret News. While his father was thus employed, Cannon worked as an errand boy for the paper. He was said to have a studious nature, and he took advantage of the educational opportunities given him, finishing his studies at University of Deseret. He also studied architecture under Obed Taylor and was learned in carpentry.

Publishing and Business

In 1822, at the age of 23, Cannon took business control of the Juvenille Instructor and associated publications. Under his management, a large number of publications were produced, and the small printing office became the major publishing office, Canon & Sons. He not only managed these publications but occasionally contributed to them as well.

In October 1892, he and his brother John Q. Cannon assumed management of the Deseret News. In this same year he also became the editor and publisher of the Contributor.

He was the author of many books, including A Handbook of Reference to the History, Chronology Religion and Country of the Latter-day Saints, Revelation on Celestial Marriage, for the Use of Saints and Strangers; and Questions and Answers on the Book of Mormon, Designed and Prepared Especially for the Use of the Sunday Schools in Zion.

Cannon’s other business enterprises and contributions include the Salt Lake and Pacific and the Utah and California railways; service as the director, vice-president and assistant manager of the Bullion-Beck mining company; director and one of the organizers of the State Bank of Utah; director of the Utah Loan and Trust Co., at Ogden; director for Z. C. M. I.; vice-president of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co.; director in the Co-operative Furniture Co.; first vice-president of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce; and the owner of a prosperous book and stationery business in Ogden, Utah.

Church Service

Cannon was called to serve a mission in 1879 in Europe. He served in England, Switzerland, and Germany. While serving in Germany, he mastered the German language and wrote a few hymns for German congregations.

Upon his return, he was called to serve as one of the First Council of the Seventy in October 9, 1882. At age 30 he was sustained as an apostle, and was ordained by President Joseph F. Smith on October 7, 1889.

Plural Marriage

Cannon married Sarah A. Jenkins in 1878. Under the order of plural marriage, he also took Wihelmina M. Cannon and Mary E. Croxall to wife in 1879 and 1887 respectively. He was charged with unlawful cohabitation by the U.S. federal government during the time that it cracked down on plural marriage among the Saints, and was sentenced on March 17, 1886, to a six month term in the state penitentiary and a fine of $300. He served his term and was released August 17, 1886.