Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Sylvester Q. Cannon Sylvester Q. (Quayle) Cannon

1877 - 1943
  • Born 1877 at Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Received Aaronic Priesthood as a youth
  • Ordained Seventy 1899
  • Mission to Belgium and Holland 1899-1902; President of misssion 1900-1902
  • Second call as Mission President to Belgium and Holland 1907
  • Presiding Bishop of Church 1925-1938
  • Ordained Apostle 1938
  • Sustained as Associate to Council of Twelve 1938-1939
  • Member of Council of Twelve 1939-1943
  • Died 1943 at Salt Lake City, Utah

    Sylvester Quayle was born June 10, 1877, in Salt Lake City, Utah, a son of George Q. Cannon and Elizabeth Hoagland.  He was the youngest of eleven children born to this couple. When an infant he was taken by his parents to Washington, D. C., where his father was in Congress as a delegate from Utah. His childhood was spent on the Cannon Farm southwest of Salt Lake City, where he attended a private school maintained by his father. From 1889 to 1892 he attended the Latter-day Saints College, and, having qualified in stenography, he accompanied his father as secretary on a trip to the Eastern States and England. In 1894-1895 he pursued special studies at the University of Utah. Prior to his first mission, in 1899, Elder Cannon graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering after pursuing a four-year course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Boston.

    He was baptized June 10, 1885, by his father, who also ordained him a Seventy, Sept. 1, 1899. On the latter date he was set apart for his first mission to the Netherlands and arrived in Rotterdam Sept. 28, 1899. Having studied French and German quite extensively, he was, in three months, placed in charge of the Seraing-Ougree Branch, Belgium. He labored in the Liege conference till August, 1900, when he was appointed to succeed mission president Alfred L. Fartell and had to learn the Dutch language. In February, 1902, he was called by Pres. Francis M. Lyman to visit with him the Turkish Mission as "guide and interpreter". On that three-months journey he visited Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy and France and prepared a series of articles in reference to the trip for the "Millennial Star." On Oct. 8, of the same year, he was succeeded in the mission presidency by his brother Willard T. Cannon.  After an absence of three years, Elder Cannon returned home and was engaged professionally by the State of Utah in a survey of irrigated lands and water from the Weber River.

    In March, 1904, at the organization of the Pioneer Stake, he was appointed first counselor in the stake presidency. On June 15, 1904, he married Winnifred Saville in the Salt Lake Temple. Four sons and three daughters were born of this union.

    On May 19, 1907, he arrived in Rotterdam for a second mission, accompanied by his wife and two children, Julian and Elinor. This time Elder Cannon succeeded Alex Nibley as president of the mission. He was also assigned to supervise the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants in the Dutch language. He also published a new and improved edition of the Book of Mormon in the Netherlands, and new editions of the French and Dutch hymn books, with many additions and improvements.

    He presided over the Pioneer Stake in 1917-1925, and on June 4, 1925, was chosen to succeed Chas. W. Nibley as Presiding Bishop of the Church, (See also Improvement Era, Vol. 28, p. 887.) being set apart and ordained by President Heber J. Grant. As Presiding Bishop he had general supervision of the following activities: Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood, the temporal affairs of the various wards with the ward bishoprics; receiving and accounting for the tithes, offerings, and other donations; preparation of all financial and statistical reports; the Church relief work and the design and construction of all Church buildings. In 1930-1931 he was appointed chairman of the Governor's State Flood Commission and in 1931-32 he acted as chairman of the State Advisory Council for Unemployment.

    Elder Cannon served as Presiding Bishop until 1938. On April 6, 1938 he was sustained as an Associate to the Council of the Twelve Apostles and was ordained an Apostle eight days later on April 14 by President Heber J. Grant. He served as an Associate to the Twelve until October 6, 1939 when he was sustained as a member of that quorum, succeeding  Elder Melvin J. Ballard, who had died. Elder Cannon served with the Twelve until his own death May 29, 1943 at Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of sixty-five.

    For greater insight into the life of this remarkable man, the gentlereader is referred to the The Official Sylvester Q. Cannon & Winnifred Irene Saville Family History Collection. This site contains photographs, documents, PAF Pedigree files, and news and information on current family events.

   2005 Church Almanac, p.66
   Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, multiple citations.

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