Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
No picture available. Burr Riggs

1811 - 1860

  • Born 1811 New Haven Connecticut
  • Baptized as a young man
  • Ordained Elder 1831
  • Ordained High Priest 1831
  • Excommunicated 1832
  • Rebaptized by 1834
  • Zions Camp 1834
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1835
  • Married Lovina Susan Williams 1834
  • Excommunicated 1839
  • Died 1860

    The following biographical sketch is adapted from the The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith by Lyndon W. Cook, page 155.
    Burr Riggs was born 17 April 1811 at New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut. He was the son of Gideon Riggs and Susan Pitcher and the brother of Harpin Riggs, who also became a General Authority.

    Burr was baptized and ordained elder before June 1831, then ordained high priest 25 October 1831. He was appointed by revelation to preach the gospel with Major Ashley in the "south country" 25 January 1832.

    On February 13, 1833 "a council of High Priests assembled to investigate the proceedings of Brother Burr Riggs, who was accused of failing to magnify his calling as High Priest, and had been guilty of neglect of duty, of abusing the Elders, and of treating their admonitions with contempt. After the council had considered the case, Brother Riggs agreed to make satisfaction, but did not show much humility."

    Two weeks later, on February 26, "a conference of High Priests was again called in Kirtland, concerning Brother Burr Riggs, who was accused of neglecting to make satisfaction to the Church as he had agreed, and disgracing the High Priesthood by neglect of duty, and saying he did not care how soon he was cut off from the Church. He was cut off by a unanimous vote of the council."

    Expressing repentance, he was rebaptized by 1834 for in that year he volunteered to accompany the Prophet Joseph Smith as a member of Zion's Camp the expedition to provide relief to the saints who were suffering persecution in Missouri.

    Returning to Kirtland, Burr married Lovina Susan Williams (daughter of Frederick G. Williams) 19 November 1834. He fathered three known children: George Washington, Adeline, and Lucy.

    In 1835 Burr entered the ranks of General Authorities as he was ordained a Seventy and called to serve in the first Quorum of the Seventy.

    Elder Riggs was a physician by profession. He moved to Clay County, Missouri in 1836; then located in Far West, Missouri, by 1837. There he owned a city lot as well as large acreage in Caldwell County.

    Riggs became disaffected from Church by 1838. He moved to Quincy, Illinois, 1839. There he became one of the few men ever to be excommunicated twice as he was excommunicated 17 March 1839 for apostasy.

    His wife, Lovina Susan Williams, died in Quincy, Illinois, November 1846 or 1847. By 1850 Burr was residing in Quincy. He married Eunice Stone (born 1825 in Pennsylvania) 8 March 1851, in Adams County, Illinois.

    Burr Riggs died 8 June 1860.

    Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.155 (primary source)
    Smith, History of the Church, multiple citations, see index
    Oxford Past Genealogy Project

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