1 March 1807 - 2 September 1898
Born in Connecticut, Wilford Woodruff was a son
of Aphek and Beulah (Thompson) Woodruff; he
learned the miller's trade and farming from his
father. Wilford was a life long student of scripture.
As a tennager he began reading histories and keeping
a daily comprehensive journal - activities that continued his entire life.
The term "God's Fisherman" referred to Wilford's prowess in his favorite
pastime of fly-fishing (learned in England) and to his missionary work. As did
Jesus' Apostles fish in waters, then became fishers of men, so did Bro. Woodruff;
during his lifetime, he baptised 2,000 souls.
"Right" and "wrong" were his direction-finders throughout life, ever seeking
truth and right. In Richland, NY, Wilford Woodruff was baptised into the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 31 Dec. 1833; that day began his lifetime of total
commitment to serve Jesus Christ.
Woodruff was associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith in Missouri and
Illinois, and came to Utah with the 1847 pioneers. He served missions near and far,
and was called as an Apostle in 1838. He was very industrious, carrying out every
occupation as if it were the most important of his life. Wilford walked and talked
with God and was a messenger of peace.
He was devoted to his families and totally
unpretentions. He never quibbled or doubted - just did
what was asked of him with no desire to be important.
Randolph, Utah was settled in 1870 and a year later Wilford moved one wife
(Sarah Brown Woodruff) and family here, along with his older son Wilford and
family. The two men built this house in 1872, in which both families lived. During
residency here, the Apostle loved to fish and farm. His experiences were many in
helping develop Randolph, but doe to other responsibilities, he could not be here
steadily. The Woodruff families left Randolph in 1876, but ownership of their
homes did not pass to John Snowball until 1898.
Woodruff's latter years were devoted to business, farming, and church endevors,
such as temple service and laboring in the Church Historian's Office; he traveled
a great deal with Brigham Young.
President Young died in 1877; then John Taylor led the Church for a decade.
Upon Taylor's death in 1887, Wilford Woodruff took up the reins and was sustained
as Church President in 1889, at age 82 years.
Wilford Woodruff was truly "an Israelite in whom there [was] no guile." He died
on a visit to San Franscisco, Calif., age 92y, 6m, 1d, and is buried in Salt Lake City.