Charles W. Nibley

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Charles Wilson Nibley (February 5, 1849 – December 11, 1931) was the fifth presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1907 and 1925 and a member of the church's First Presidency from 1925 until his death.

Life and work

Nibley was born in Hunterfield, Midlothian, Scotland to James Nibley and Jean Wilson. In 1855, his family moved to the United States to join with the main body of Latter-day Saints. They spent some time living in Rhode Island, then moved the rest of the way to Utah Territory. They were sent north to settle in Cache Valley, and eventually settled in Wellsville, Utah.

As an adult, Nibley moved to Brigham City, Utah, where he worked for Morris Rosenbaum (a Jewish convert to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ) [1] and later became a partner in the store where he worked. It was there he met Rebecca Neibar (who was the sister of one of Rosenbaum's wives) and was married in 1869. Following the teachings of the Church at the time, Nibley practiced plural marriage, marrying Ellen Ricks in 1880 and Julia Budge in 1885.

Nibley participated in many business ventures and was usually successful. In 1889, he joined with David Eccles and George Stoddard to form the Oregon Lumber Company. Nibley also became involved in railroads, insurance, banking, politics, and major agricultural endeavors, eventually becoming a multimillionaire. He was instrumental in forming the Amalgamated Sugar Company and the Utah and Idaho Sugar Company.

Nibley was called as the presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1907. It was during Nibley's term as presiding bishop that the Church built the Hotel Utah. In 1925, he was released as presiding bishop and was asked to be second counselor to Heber J. Grant in the church's First Presidency. He is one of the few individuals to serve in the First Presidency without having been ordained to the priesthood office of apostle.

Nibley died of pneumonia in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nibley, Utah, is named after him.

Charles's son Preston became a church leader and author of several Latter-day Saint books. Hugh W. Nibley, a Latter-day Saint apologist and academic, is Charles's grandson through his son, Alexander, as was musician Richard Nibley.


  1. Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 766

See also

External resources