John M. Bernhisel

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John Milton Bernhisel was a politician and physician. He served as an original delegate to the United States House of Representatives from Utah Territory (1851–59, 1861–63). He was also a member of the Council of Fifty of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Bernhisel attended medical lectures at the University of Pennsylvania and eventually graduated in 1827. He practiced medicine in several western states and served as a personal physician to Joseph Smith. He lived with the Smiths for a time and delivered some of Emma’s children.

He accompanied Joseph and Hyrum Smith to the Carthage Jail but was not present at the time of their deaths.

Bernhisel was born on June 23, 1799, in Sandy Hill, Tyrone Township, Pennsylvania. As an adult, he changed the spelling of his last name from Bernheisel to Bernhisel. He was baptized into the Church by November 1840 and ordained an elder in New York City and was later ordained a bishop. He moved to Nauvoo by May 1843. He was appointed one of five trustees responsible for financial and temporal affairs in Nauvoo in 1846. He was also appointed a traveling bishop in 1845.

He was a friend to Brigham Young and migrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. In Utah, in addition to being a territorial delegate to the U. S. Congress, he was president of the Board of Examination of Physicians and served as a regent of the University of Deseret. He was also vice president of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution.

Although he didn’t marry until he was 46 years old, he married a widow with five children and eventually practiced plural marriage.

He died in Salt Lake City on September 28, 1881.

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