John Q. Cannon

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John Quayle Cannon served as the second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from October 5, 1884 to September 5, 1886. His short service is due to his excommunication from the Church. He was rebaptized on May 6, 1888, but never served as a General Authority again.

Cannon was born on April 19, 1857, in San Francisco, California. He was the son of Apostle George Q. Cannon and was the editor of the Ogden Standard from 1889 to 1892, then worked as editor in chief of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City prior to serving as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. After his service he was an executive editor of the Deseret News until his death.

He married Elizabeth “Annie” Wells (daughter of Daniel H. Wells and Relief Society leader Emmeline B. Wells) in 1880 and they had three children. Shortly after he was called as a General Authority a story was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune alleging that he had taken his wife’s sister, Louie Wells, as a plural wife. The truth later came out that although Cannon and Louie had considered plural marriage, they had in fact begun an affair. He was excommunicated for unwillingness to abide the constraints of the [1] and the moral codes of the gospel.[2]

When Louie became pregnant, Cannon’s father urged Annie to divorce her husband so that her sister Louie could marry his son. She did so, and Cannon married Louie. When Cannon was criminally charged with polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, Louie was called upon to testify and was publicly humiliated. She went to San Francisco to live with family and while there she delivered a stillborn son and died a month later from childbirth complications. Cannon later remarried Annie and they had nine more children.[3]

Cannon died on January 14, 1931.