William Warner Player

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William Warner Player was one of the three English stonecutters who carved the Nauvoo Temple sunstones. He was also the chief stone setter for the Nauvoo Temple. He was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Of his conversion, George A. Smith wrote:

“Monday, May 18, (1840) Mr. William W. Player, who was a local preacher of the Methodists, visited me, and said he wished to talk with me, being aware I had been insulted by preachers of his profession; he assured me that his intentions were both christian-like and honorable; . . . [After some discussion] Mr. Player replied, ‘I am president of the Temperance Society in this place and should be pleased if you would give a lecture in our hall . . . , to which I assented . . .The town being notified by the crier, the Hall was crowded and I addressed them at 4 o’clock in the afternoon . . . We continued our meetings there until the Branch numbered 100, and Mr. Player became the presiding Elder.”[1]

After his conversion, he and his family traveled to America in 1842 on the ship “Hanover.”

William Clayton kept the temple building records and wrote the handwritten church history of the building of the Nauvoo Temple. It included: “The work on the walls did not commence til late spring of 1842 and there was but little done until Brother Wm. W. Player came in June. He had just arrived from England and came with full intention of working on the Temple.[2]

Player became the chief stone setter. He was ordained a high priest on November 24, 1844.

William and his family left Nauvoo at the end of July 1846 and lived in Ferryville, Iowa, from 1848 to 1852 and served as bishop there. He and his wife were able to travel to the Salt Lake Valley with the Horton D. Haight Company in 1862. Although he was now 69 years old, he helped build the Salt Lake Temple by cutting stone on Temple Square from May through September 1863. From 1862 to 1873 he chiseled headstones.

Player was born on March 3, 1793, in Chelsea, Middlesex, England, and died on February 23, 1873. He was married to Zillah Sanders, and after her death he married the widow Mary Capers Burrows. He was the father of five children.