Charles C. Rich

Charles C. Rich
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 12, 1849 (1849-02-12)  November 17, 1883 (1883-11-17)
LDS Church Apostle
February 12, 1849 (1849-02-12)  November 17, 1883 (1883-11-17)
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency; excommunication of Lyman Wight[1]
at end of term
John W. Taylor ordained
Personal details
Born Charles Coulson Rich
(1809-08-21)August 21, 1809
Campbell County, Kentucky, United States
Died November 17, 1883(1883-11-17) (aged 74)
Paris, Idaho Territory, United States
Resting place Paris Cemetery
42°12′47″N 111°24′27″W / 42.2131°N 111.4075°W / 42.2131; -111.4075 (Paris Cemetery)
Spouse(s) Sarah D.Pea
Eliza Ann Graves
Sarah J. Peck
Harriet Sargent
Mary A. Phelps
Emeline Grover
Children 51, including:
  Joseph C. Rich
Parents Joseph and Nancy Rich
Signature of Charles C. Rich

Charles Coulson Rich (August 21, 1809 – November 17, 1883) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and served as an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).


Personal life

Rich was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, to Joseph Rich and Nancy O'Neal. At six feet, 4 inches in height, he was considered a tall man for the time period. Rich was baptized into the early Latter Day Saint church by George M. Hinkle in 1832, after having been taught by Lyman Wight in 1831. In 1838, Rich married Sarah D. Pea (of Looking Glass Prairie, Illinois), whom he had previously proposed to by letter, the two having never before met.[2]

Rich followed the church's principle of plural marriage, taking six wives and fathering 51 children.

In 1863, Rich led a party of early Mormons to colonize parts of southeastern Idaho, which at the time was thought to be part of Utah Territory. The communities of Paris and Geneva, Idaho, as well as some other neighboring towns, were under his direction. Rich died in Paris in 1883 at the age of 75, after suffering several debilitating strokes. One of his children, Ada May Rich, was the mother of actress Laraine Day.[3]

Church leadership

Charles C. Rich
in 1880

Rich was a leader in Caldwell County, Missouri, and fought in the Battle of Crooked River in 1838. His log house is the only structure from the Mormon period in 1836–38 in Caldwell County to have survived to this day. After the expulsion of the Latter Day Saints from Missouri, Rich settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, where he was made an original member of the Council of Fifty. He also served as a member of the Nauvoo High Council,[4] and as a brigadier and major general in the Nauvoo Legion.

After the death of Joseph Smith, Rich followed the leadership of Brigham Young and the surviving Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He and his family migrated to what became Utah with the main body of the church in 1847, leading a pioneer company that arrived October of that year. When Young and the other apostles returned that winter to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, Rich served as a counselor to John Smith, who presided over the early pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. In October 1848, Rich was made the president of the Salt Lake Stake.[5]

Brigham Young appointed Rich a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on February 12, 1849.

Rich helped form a Latter-day Saint settlement in San Bernardino, California. However, this settlement attracted many people who wanted to avoid Young and other leaders of the LDS Church. The members who supported Young were asked to return to Utah in 1857 at the time of the Utah War. Rich also led the settlement around Bear Lake (on the Utah–Idaho border) and is the namesake of Rich County, Utah.

In the early 1860s, Rich served as president of the British Mission of the church.



  1. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards were ordained on the same day to fill four vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  2. Autobiography of Sarah Dearmon Pea Rich
  4. Doctrine and Covenants 124:132 (LDS Church ed.).
  5. Larson, Andrew Karl, Erastus Snow: The Life of a Missionary and Pioneer for the Early Mormon Church (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1971) p. 188.


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Charles Coulson Rich
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Ezra T. Benson
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 12, 1849 – November 17, 1883
Succeeded by
Lorenzo Snow
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