Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
No picture available Hiram (or Hyrum) Stratton

? - ?

  • Zion's Camp 1834
  • Ordained Seventy and called to First Quorum of Seventy 1835
  • Subsequently transferred to Thirtieth Quorum of Seventy
  • Cut off by Thirtieth Quorum of Seventy 1846

    Little is known of Hiram Stratton. Although there are several Hiram Strattons listed in the Ancestral File, the International Genealogical Index, and the Pedigree Resource File, none of them contain enough information to conclusively identify any as the one we seek. We are inclined to believe that our man is the Hiram Stratton who was born in 1804 in North Towanda, Pennsylvania, married to Olive Parmelia Stewart in 1831, an died December 9, 1881 in Benton County, Missouri. But the gentlereader is cautioned, this is strictly a guess.

    What we know of a certainty is that he was introduced to the Church and accepted the Gospel at an early date, for by 1834 he volunteered to participate in Zion's Camp, the expedition to provide relief to the saints suffering at the the hands of the mob in Missouri. Hiram seems to have had a background of gunsmithing for in writing of the preparations for the camp, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote, "Brothers Hiram Stratton and Nelson Tubbs procured a shop of Myres Mobley and repaired every firelock that was out of order..." A point of interest to some is the use of the term "firelock." This would indicate that Joseph was either not highly informed as to weapons technology or that the expedition was armed with woefully antiquated weaponry, for the firelock had long since given way to the flintlock by 1834.

    While on the trail, Zion's Camp held regular Sabbath Services. George Albert Smith, writing in his journal, recounts one such meeting: "The congregation was also addressed by Elder Orson Hyde on baptism for the remission of sins; and by Hiram Stratton, exhorting the people to obey the gospel."

    In his journal and subsequently copied in the History of the Church, Joseph Smith wrote of another incident concerning Hiram, "Wednesday, June 18.--As Hyrum Stratton and his companion were taking up their blankets this morning, they discovered two prairie rattle snakes quietly sleeping under them, which they carefully carried out of the camp."

    Perhaps as a result of his valor and faithfulness, Hiram Stratton was ordained a Seventy and called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1835. Subsequently as the First Quorum was stripped to provide presidents and members of other quorums of Seventy, Hiram became a member of the Thirtieth Quorum of the Seventy.

    We note that Hiram was a subscriber to the Kirtland Anti-Banking Safety Society and surmise that like others, he lost all of his investments there when the Society went belly-up. We do not read of his murmuring against the prophet during this trying time, but neither do we find him listed as among the faithful Seventies who participated in the Kirtland Camp.

    The record is silent on Hiram Stratton through the remainder of the Kirtland era and that of Missouri, with the exception of one marriage performed by Elder Stratton in 1837. We may assume that Elder Stratton remained in the Church, and suffered with the other saints, but his deeds were not such as to gain mention in the chronicles... until 1846.

    From the journal of Samuel Rogers, we read, "Saturday, 10 [January, 1846]. Been on duty as usual. Yesterday I received my washing and anointing in the [Nauvoo] temple at the hands of the servants of the Lord. Last Thursday I wrote a letter for Father to Uncle Isaac Rogers. At our quorum meeting last Sunday evening, the council of the presidency considered the standing and character of Hiram Stratton.

    Monday, 19 [January, 1846]. At the trial of Hiram Stratton before our quorum, the charges against him of fraud and falsehood were sustained, and upon my motion he was cut off from the quorum."

    A formal notification to the Church of the quorum's action was contained in the Times and Seasons, Vol. 6, p.1096.
"To whom it may concern; This is to notify the church in general, that Hiram Stratton, was, on the 18th of January, 1846, cut off by the 30th Quorum of seventies, for unchristianlike conduct.
                       GEHIAL SAVAGE, President.
 City of Joseph, Jan. 19, 1846."

    The exact nature of the fraud and falsehood is not contained in these records. Further, we are not certain whether the quorums had the authority in those days to excommunicate their members or only to sever quorum membership. We also note that the Strangites claim him as an affiliate in 1846. In fact, he is listed as being on Strang's Voree's High Council. We find no further record of Hiram Stratton. We do not know whether he ever reconciled with the Church and we do not know of his later life and death.

    Smith, History of the Church, several citations; see index
    Samuel Rogers, Journal, typescript, BYU, pg. 47
    Messenger and Advocate

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