George F. Gibbs

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George Francis Gibbs was a native of Haverfordwest, South Wales, born on November 16, 1846. His parents joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was four years old. He was baptized at the age of eight. At age fifteen, he assisted Elder William Bowen with his missionary preaching for two years and at age of sixteen, he left school and became a junior clerk in a printing business. After working there for almost a year, he was offered the opportunity to work in the British Mission office in Liverpool, England. For four years, he worked as a junior clerk then a bookkeeper under Brigham Young Jr. and mission president Franklin D. Richards.

Like many Latter-day Saints from the British Isles, he immigrated to Utah in 1868 via steamship. Brigham Young employed him as a clerk for three years. During this time, Gibbs lodged in Brigham Young’s home and studied shorthand in the mornings and evenings, which Young noticed and encouraged.

Gibbs was sent back to Liverpool to serve a mission for three years. During his return in June 1874, he helped bring a company of over 800 Latter-day Saints to Utah.

Back in Salt Lake, he worked for nine months in the Zion Mercantile office. He then moved to Logan, Utah, and became the clerk of the Logan Tithing Office. On a trip to Brigham City, he met one of the daughters of Lorenzo Snow and married her in May 1876. He and Ida stayed in Logan for only a few months until he was called by President Brigham Young to serve as a phonographic, or shorthand, reporter for the Church. Later he was named as secretary and stenographer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles where he served for more than forty-eight years recording the talks of the Brethren in shorthand, long before machines became available.

Gibbs and his wife, Ida, were the parents of four children. In March 1884, Gibbs also married Sarah Worthen. Although Ida had been raised in a home where plural marriage was practiced, she changed her mind about it and was granted a divorce. She moved to the East and left her two sons with Gibbs. Gibbs and Sarah were the parents of eight children. He died on March 10, 1924.