Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Frank B. Woodbury Frank B. (Bartlett) Woodbury

1867 - 1962

  • Born 1867 St. George, Utah
  • Baptized 1876
  • Received Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained Elder 1882
  • Married Lilly Druce Lambert 1891; six children
  • Ordained Seventy 1891
  • Mission to Indian Territory 1891-1893
  • Ordained High Priest 1901
  • Served as Patriarch to the Church 1935-1937??? (See text)
  • Died 1962, Salt Lake City, Utah

    This biographical sketch is adapted primarily from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia with adjunct material from the Journal of H. Clay Gorton and speculation from Grampa Bill's fevered imagination.
     Frank Bartlett Woodbury, Acting Patriarch to the Church and High Councilor in the Pioneer Stake, Salt Lake City, was born Dec. 27, 1867, in St. George, Washington Co., Utah, the son of Orin Nelson Woodbury and Ann Cannon. He received an ordinary education in the common schools of St. George, and at the age of seventeen he became an apprentice at the "Deseret News" Office, and after serving five years he remained in the employ of the "News" as a journey man printer.

    In 1891 (May 27th) he married Lily Druce Lambert, the eldest daughter of Chas. J. Lambert and Lily Druce. This marriage [was] blessed with six children, namely, Geo. L., Lillian, Frank Orin, Harvey Charles. Nettie and Melvin.

    In 1891–1893 Elder Woodbury filled a mission to the Indian Territory, laboring in the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole nations; part of the time he also acted as clerk of the mission. After his return home in October, 1893, he resumed his labors at the Deseret News office.

    He was baptized March 2, 1876, by Walter Granger, ordained an Elder March 10, 1882, by David H. Cannon, acted as secretary of a Deacon's quorum, was a teacher in the Seventh Ward Sunday school for many years, counselor in the Ward Y. M. M. I. A. from 1887 to 1889, and president one season. He acted as Ward clerk from 1894–1906 and was a home missionary in the Salt Lake Stake about one year. He was ordained a Seventy April 2, 1891, by Brigham H. Roberts and set apart as a president in said quorum March 28, 1901; ordained a High Priest and set apart as a High Councilor in the Pioneer Stake March 25, 1904, by Rudger Clawson. His wife Lily D. was set apart as the first Stake Relief Society librarian in the Pioneer Stake Dec. 8, 1906.

    Brother Woodbury's service as Patriarch to the Church is somewhat shrouded in mystery. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism so lists him, showing his term of service as 1935 to 1937. However, the Church Almanac omits him from the listing of Presiding Patriarchs and in fact specifically states, "From 1932 to 1937, no Patriarch to the Church was sustained." Grampa Bill believes but has not yet proven that Brother Woodbury was a Stake Patriarch to one of the Salt Lake stakes, probably the Salt Lake Stake or possibly the Pioneer Stake and had additional assigned duties to serve the transient needs of visitors to the Salt Lake area. Since this became the primary responsibility of the Patriarch to the Church, he is listed as having functioned as the acting Patriarch to the Church even though he was neither sustained nor set apart to the office.

    The following narrative is taken from the Journal of H. Clay Gorton ( and demonstrates that Brother Woodbury did so function.

    "On Monday morning I returned to Salt Lake City to report at Ft. Douglas when the thought occurred to me that I didn't have a patriarchal blessing. So, in my ignorance, I went into the Church headquarters at 47 East South Temple Street and told the girl at the desk that I wanted a patriarchal blessing. She informed me that a person who had his office on that floor was a patriarch and maybe I should talk to him. I went into the office of Frank B. Woodbury, who I recognized as one of the temple workers on the previous Saturday.

    I requested a patriarchal blessing and he asked for my recommend. I said, ‘‘Do you need a recommend for them too? I'm about to join the army; won't my temple recommend do?’’ He allowed that under the circumstances it would be all right, and asked me to take a chair.

    Before beginning the blessing he said, "if there is any particular blessing that you would like to Lord to give you, just ask Him, and if its his will He will inspire me to give you the blessing." I thought that that was a pretty good idea, so I asked the Lord about what I should know about my future wife and family. Brother Woodbury pronounced a rather long blessing,.." (Grampa Bill recommends reading the entire tale. It is a worthwhile read.

    Grampa Bill's belief concerning Patriarch Woodbury is reinforced by one final record. In 1951 Patriarch Woodbury gave the Opening Prayer to a General Conference session. He was introduced as "Patriarch to the Salt Lake Stake."

    The Church's Family Search web site, (Family gives Patriarch Woodbury's date of death as 21 Dec 1962 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p.433
    Gorton, Journal of H. Clay Gorton web site
    Family Search Web Site

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