Biography of Jesse Knight
Utah Biographies





JESSE KNIGHT
One of Utah's leading and most respected citizens, and one who has devoted most of his life to the development of Utah's mineral resources, is Jesse Knight, of Provo. The Knights were pioneers and were identified with the Mormon Church at its very birth, and closely connected with the early settlement of Utah. Newel Knight, father of Jesse Knight, was one of the first converts to Mormonism and held many responsible positions in the church, and was a close friend and adviser of Joseph Smith, first president of the church. Jesse's mother was Lydia G. Bailey, and she was married to Newel Knight at Kirtland, Ohio, in November, 1834, the prophet officiating. It was the first marriage ceremony hem had ever performed. The Knights settled at Nauvoo, Illinois, where, on September 6, 1845, Jesse Knight was born. He was the sixth of seven children born; namely, Sally, James, Joseph, Newel, Lydia, Jesse, and Hyrum. The elder Knight died in 1847, and for three years following the widow had to battle with all the privations of frontier life with seven small children. In 1850, after three years of hardship, Mrs. Knight and family started for Salt Lake, where they arrived, after a troublons journey, in October of that year. Here she became a school teacher and thus supported her family. The earliest recollection of Jesse is attending his mother's school, and herding cows.

At the age of sixteen Jesse started out in life for himself, and chose Provo as a home, working at any employment he could obtain. When the Black Hawk War broke out he became a scout in Capt. Alva Green's cavalry company. In 1868 he worked on the railroad, helping to build the Union Pacific. On January 18, 1869, at Salt Lake, Jesse Knight, then twenty three years old, married Miss Amanda McEwen, a daughter of John and Amanda McEwen of Provo. Mr. Knight was still doing freighting and teaming in the canyons for the railroad. He was at Tintic when the first mines were discovered, and made some locations. He hauled the first ore from the Mt. Nebo mines to the Homansville smelter in Tintic. He next went into the cattle business near Payson, where he had forty acres of land at the beginning. He added to his holdings and reared his family there. He went to buying and selling cattle and investing in mines, but it was not until many years later that he realized any profits from his mining investments. His claims in Tintic became valuable, and he soon was worth $30,000; a large sum of money in pioneer days. He next located the Humbug Mine, which ultimately became one of the sources of his wealth. He then went to Provo in order to give his children better educational advantages for religious and scholastic training. He went broke again, owing to his open hearted, generous nature and charitable disposition. But in 1896 a rich strike was made in the Humbug Mine, and Jesse Knight was on his feet again. He next bought the Uncle Sam Mine, paying for it $26,000, and in the next three years had cleared $300,000, his income averaging $10,000 a month.

The children of Jesse Knight are: Oscar Raymond, Jesse William, Amanda Inez, Jennie Pearl, and Addie Iona Knight. His sons are connected with him in business. The business interests of Jesse Knight are many, and cover a wide field. Mr. Knight has done much for the welfare of Utah and its people.

From:
Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States
1847 - 1909
Utah Idaho Nevada
Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah 1909


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