Olive Woolley Kimball

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Olive Woolley Kimball, the mother of Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born on June 1, 1860, in Salt Lake City. She lived the first nine years of her life in a house designed by Truman O. Angell. When the Drury Lane Theater was built across the street, the Woolley children often accompanied their parents to participate in the performances. They later moved to a more modest home across the street from their ward meetinghouse.

Olive married Andrew Kimball, one of Heber C. Kimball’s sons, on February 2, 1882. Olive was twenty-one. She and Andrew became the parents of eleven children; the oldest daughter died when she was ten months old. Two other daughters died; one shortly after her birth and the other when she was five years old.

Olive’s husband was called to serve a mission to the Native Americans in the Oklahoma area after Olive had given birth to her second child. He served for three years, then was called as president to the Indian territory for an additional ten years; however, he was able to preside over the mission primarily from Salt Lake City.

When Spencer was three years old, Andrew was called to move his family to the Gila Valley in Arizona and strengthen the Church there as president of the St. Joseph Stake. He traveled often and Olive managed the home and trained her children. The family was often the center of activities in the valley. Olive both sang and played the organ. She often sang duets with her daughter Clare.

Olive was pregnant with her twelfth child when Andrew sent her to rest and restore her health with her family in Utah. She miscarried the child and died from an infection on October 18, 1906.


Leonard Arrington, Susan Arrington Madsen, and Emily Madsen Jones, Mothers of the Prophets, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009).