Joseph Leland Heywood
was a man with a great deal of experience in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a personal acquaintance with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was born in Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1815, to Benjamin Heywood and Hannah Rawson Leland. He was of Puritan stock. His GGG Grandfather, Edward Rawson, was Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a very prominent character in the early history of New England. His grandfather Heywood and his grandfather Leland served under General Washington. He spent his early years on his father’s farm. As a young man of twenty-two, he moved to Illinois, where, in the fall of 1839, he established a mercantile business in Quincy with his brother-in-law, Oliver Kimball. Three years later, he visited Joseph Smith and was converted to the Church. He was baptized by Orson Hyde and confirmed by Joseph Smith at Nauvoo in December, 1842. When the Latter-day Saints commenced their exodus from Nauvoo in 1846, Heywood, along with Almon Babbitt and John S.Fullmer, was chosen as one of the trustees to supervise the disposal of Church property. After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848, he was named postmaster of Salt Lake City, Bishop of the Seventeenth Ward, and surveyor of highways in the provisional State of Deseret. He helped John M. Bernhisel at the nation’s capitol obtain a territorial government for Utah and was appointed U.S. Marshal for the newly created Utah Territory. As a colonizer, Heywood supervised the settling of Salt Creek, later Nephi, in Juab County, Utah, in 1851,and in the spring of 1855 accompanied Orson Hyde in the founding of the Mormon settlement at Carson Valley. In 1861 he moved to southern Utah,where he spent the remainder of his life and for many years was a Church patriarch. He died in Panguitch on October 16, 1910.