SMITH, Don Carlos - I44
Don Carlos SMITH
About His Name?
Carlos was pronounced Curloss. He frequently is referred to by that name rather than by Don or Don Carlos. People ask where did they come up with that name? Nobody living today knows. Perhaps from a popular novel of the day or maybe they heard it somewhere. One thing for sure, it is one of the most popular given to Smith children ever since.
What was Don Carlos Like?
He was of a sweet and gentle nature, devoted to his family and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which was founded by his brother, the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1830.
Don Carlos Smith, the youngest of the Smith sons, was barely twenty when Joseph dedicated the Kirtland Temple. The evening after the Book of Mormon plates were shown to the Eight Witnesses, Joseph Smith said that "all the witnesses, as also Don Carlos bore testimony to the truth of the latter-day dispensation." The spirit of testimony marked Don Carlos' entire life. In 1830, when but fourteen, he accompanied his father on a mission to St. Lawrence County, New York, and was instrumental in the conversion of his cousin George A. Smith. He also convinced a Baptist Preacher, Solomon Humphrey, of the truth of the work.1 When the Smith family arrived in Kirtland in February, 1831, Don Carlos was exhausted from his journey, and fell asleep in his chair during the first Sunday meeting they attended. Nonetheless, said James Henry Rollins, "after several had spoken he awoke and arose and bore as strong a testimony as I ever heard, of the truth of the work."2 This spirit of testimony guided him throughout missions in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Ohio. He later went on missions to Tennessee and Kentucky, to raise money to buy out the claims and property of the mobbers in Daviess County, Missouri. His own journal tells of experiences in which he testified to mobs and mobbers who were violently unfriendly to the Latter Day Saint cause.3 Don Carlos was one of the twenty-four Elders to lay the corner stones of the Kirtland Temple. Don Carlos also was one of the few who Joseph selected to bear testimony at the Dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Joseph simply recorded that "President Don Carlos Smith also bore testimony of the truth of the work of the Lord in which we were engaged."4
He married Agnes Moulton Coolbrith, on July 30, 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio. When he died he left behind his wife Agnes and three little girls: Agnes Charlotte, born 1, 1836; Sophronia C., born on May 24,
1838, and Josephine Donna, born on March 10, 1841. Little Sophronia died on October 3, 1843 at age 5. She is buried in the Smith Family Cemetery in the yard of the Homestead in Nauvoo as is also her father, Don Carlos. The only marker is the bronze plaque erected at the time the cemetery was dedicated in 1991.
Agnes and her two little girls left Nauvoo with William Pickett, who had befriended her and became her protector. They left Nauvoo for St. Louis, Missouri, 12 Sept. 1846, just as the mob was attacking the city. They were married in 1846. Agnes> gave birth to twin boys. William Pickett Jr., and Don Carlos Pickett, 11 Dec. 1847, in St. Louis. These sons grew up but never had children.
The rest of the story on William Pickett: While in St. Louis unbeknownst to Agnes, he took a plural wife. Susanna Rogers. He took Susanna to Winter Quarters where he left her; the marriage was later annulled. Susanna then married a man named Keate, went west and helped settle St. George, Utah. Her son, Horatio Pickett, became a well-known personality in St. George, and has posterity living in the same ward Gracia and Ivor Jones now live in. Without this interesting coincidence we'd never have known that sometime in the 1860's William Pickett left Agnes and the rest of the family. He died on April 2, 1891 in Portland, Oregon.
Agnes Charlotte Smith
Agnes Charlotte Smith Peterson, born August 1, 1836, died January 31, 1873. She married William Henry Petersen on March 3, 1868 in Los Angeles. They had 5 children: Agnes, Henry, Mary Charlotte, William Hiram Peterson, and Ina Lillian. It is possible she might have posterity.
Josephine Donna (Ina Coolbrith)
April 21, 1858 in Los Angeles. She had a baby, we believe to have been a boy. Her marriage ended in a bitter divorce. She changed her name to Ina Coolbrith. She was a noted poet and was honored in her later years as Poet Laureate of California. She died on February, 1928 and is buried in Oakland, California. Further information on Ina Coolbrith and her biography can be found by clicking here.
The Pickett family moved to Weber County, Utah. In 1850, but did not settle down. In 1852 they moved to California where William Pickett practiced law and followed various types of employment. They lived first at Marysville, Yuba County, then San Bernardino, Los Angelas; and Oakland.
- Brigham 11. Robert, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT. Deseret Book Company, 1967 (reprint), Vol. 4, p. 393.
- "A Life Sketch of James Henry Rollins (1816-1839)", Typescript, pp. 2-3, Brigham Young University, Special Collections.
- Roberts, Op. Cit., pp. 394-398
- History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 29, p. 427.