Richard was born September 19, 1792 in Holland River Tennessee.
His parents were Sir
George Smith and Lea Agee (she was a descendant of French Huguenots). His father
fought in the Revolutionary War. His Uncle was Captain John Smith, who's life was save
by Pocahontas (the Indian Princess). A few white settlers had been allowed to live in
western Tennessee before the Cherokee treaty was signed in 1803. He was able to speak
their language, which came to be very helpful.
Diana Brazel was born October 9, 1797 at Greenville, South Carolina, the
daughter of John Brazel and Rebecca Pruett. They were of French descent. John Brazel
was a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War.
Richard and Diana married on December 11, 1817. He was 25 and she was 20.
They became parents of 13 children.
When humble Mormon Elders came into the locality where the Smiths lived
preaching a new religion, they believed its truths and were baptized members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Both William and Diana were baptized in
August 1841. Their testimonies were so strong that they were willing to sacrifice
everything they had in Tennessee and move to Nauvoo, Illinois to be with the Saints.
They arrived in Nauvoo in 1842 or1843. Shortly thereafter persecution starting getting
It was a great tragedy when the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were
killed in Carthage jail on 27 June 1844. Brigham Young took over the leadership of the
saints and directed the exodus from Nauvoo in the winter of 1846 into the adjoining state
of Iowa. The saints made a temporary settlement in Mt. Pisgah, Iowa where the Smiths
lived for four years. The Smiths, along with the rest of the homeless people, underwent
great hardships there. They had poor shelters and insufficient food.
In 1850, the Smith family was able to make the trip to Utah. William was 58 and
Diana was 53 years old when they made this long journey to Utah. In her son Ephraim's
write up it mentions that in crossing the plains his mother walked the entire distance
because she was afraid of buffalo stampeding through the wagon trains.
Richard, Diana and their family did not remain long in Salt Lake City, they heard
of a new town to the South called Provo which seemed a likely place to make homes, so
they moved there about 1853. They remained in Provo until the early 1860, then moved
to Heber where they spent the rest of their lives.
Richard and Diana loved this beautiful little town situated close to the mountains in
a productive valley. Most of her children lived close by and they loved to have them and
their grandchildren to visit them often.
Diana was blind the last twenty years of her life. Her husband was there through it
all. She died March 8, 1875 at age 74. He died March 8, 1876 at age 84.
Recreated by John Shaw in September 1998. Credit needs to go to
Hope Smith Olsen,
Bonnie Sweat and Jane Coffey and probably others for the histories they wrote. These
histories along with family group sheets and church history information was used to create
this sketch. Thanks.