Samuel Alger

  Wife: Clarissa Hancock
10 Children:
Eli Ward Alger (1809-1890)
Samuel Alger (abt 1809-soon after)
Saphony Alger (1813-young)
Frances Alger (1816-after 1884)
Amy Saphony Alger (1818-?)
John Alger (1820-1897)
Alva Alger (1822-?)
Samuel H. Alger (1826-?)
Thomas Alger (1828-1862)
Clarissa Alger (1830-1907)
Father: John Alger
Mother: Elizabeth Humes
Show Pedigree

Samuel Alger was born on 14 Feb 1786 in Uxbridge, Mass. to John Alger and Elizabeth Humes Alger. He married Clarissa Hancock on 25 Feb 1808. They moved to Rehoboth Mass. where they have five children, two of whom died young. Then they moved to Ohio about 1819 where they had five more children. Samuel was a Lieutenant in the Ohio Militia. He was noted for his great strength and wrestling ability. There he built several buildings, including a sawmill, with the help of Clarissa's brother Levi, who lived with them for a year in 1820.

At age 44, Samuel and his family joined the newly formed Mormon Church in Nov., 1830. His wife's uncle had been a boyhood friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. They were pleased and both consented when their daughter Fanny (Frances) became the first plural wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith about March, 1833. The ceremony was performed by Clarissa's brother Levi W. Hancock. This was all done in secret, and when rumors leaked out, several of the early leaders assumed it was an adulterous relationship. It became a major scandal and many left the Church over it. But the Algers always stood by the Prophet, for they knew that the couple had been secretly married. Fanny was subpoenaed in 1836 to testify against the Prophet, but refused to do so and escaped custody with the help of her father and brother Levi.

The family moved to Missouri with many of the Church from Kirtland, leaving in Sep 1836, staying in Indiana for a year, and then arriving in late 1837. Fanny went with them, but she decided to avoid any more scandal and stayed in Indiana, married Solomon Custer, and lived out her days there as Frances Custer. Ben Johnson stated that she "did not turn from the Church nor from the friendship for the Prophet while she lived." This entire account of Fanny was mostly taken from Levi's son's journal, and was summarized from In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd Compton (SLC, UT: Signature Books, 1997), pp. 25-42.

Then Samuel and Clariss, and most of the family moved to Nauvoo when the Mormons were driven out of Missouri. They they came west in 1846 when again driven from Nauvoo. After they had settled in Salt Lake City, Samuel and Clarissa were called to found a new city in southern Utah. Under the direction of Apostle George A. Smith, they help found Center Creek (Parowan), Utah in 1851. They went with their daughter Clarissa and her husband Francis Whitney. In 1870 Samuel's wife Clarissa died, and in 1873 he moved to St. George, Utah to live with his son John for the last year of his life. Samuel was an expert cabinet maker and joiner. He had made hundreds of coffins, and kept one for himself under his bed. But he repeatedly gave his own away to friends in need. Alas, when his time came time, he was buried in one not of his own making. He died on 24 Sep 1874.

Much of this information here was taken from his son Levi Hancock's journal and also from Carol Wolf's research.